Blog Roundup: Tales from the Field #GoogleEDU #MIEExpert #CTO #txed #edchat

Over the last few months (January through June, 2018), I've had a chance to crank out a few blog entries over at the TCEA TechNotes blog. I thought it might be fun to do a quick count to see where I stood with blog entries published by TCEA.org's blog, which as you may know, has been selected by EdTech Magazine several years in a row now as a must-read blog.

Hang on...let's see how many that is as of 6/25/2018, I have written this many blog entries:


Woohoo! That's the total number so far in June, 2018. Wait, not exactly. I did get the chance to write an article for USA Today. It appears in the list below but I did not include it in the count above. Of course, that doesn't count the blog entries I've ghost-written for others. ;-)

Special Thanks to TCEA.org for editing (what a tough job!) and publishing my writing as blog entries. I know it's tough to deal with my focused, scattered approach to blogging about education. Thanks for putting up with my pressure to publish entries faster, too.

Podcasting

Thanks to a suggestion from Wes Fryer, which he intended for a conversation I had invited him into with a school district, I decided to give Anchor.fm a try for quick podcasting. Just looking at the stats for the 24 podcasts published (almost half of total blog entries written so far), starting to see some engagement.


With just putting together some audio recordings of the blog entries I'd written, I started recording. I can honestly say that Anchor.fm is quite easy to use (and let's not forget, FREE). This means that for most of the blog entries below, you can read or listen to it.
Listen to all online at http://anchor.fm/tcea
One final point...some of the blog entries below are scheduled for publication but do not yet appear on the TCEA blog as published entries. So, if the link doesn't work right away, try again in a few days or weeks (depending on when you're reading this). I'll be circling back to add new blog entries to this list, in the hopes of making an end of year reflection easier, so check back!

Android

In December or January, I switched from iPhone to the OnePlus 5T Android phone. I have enjoyed the transition, and decided to share some of my takeaways and insights. This series of blog entries on Android capture my experimentation. I still have a few more to share but haven't taken the time to write them down yet.
  1. Android File Sharing Made Easy: This blog will showcase some powerful tools for projecting your screen and Android file sharing that you and your students can use.
  2. Androidify Learning: Discover some great apps to help “androidify” your classroom as your students create content using audio, live polling, and video tools.
  3. Android Security for Communications: Being safe while online is more and more a requirement in today’s world. Learn about Android security apps you will want to use daily.
  4. Become a PhotoDroid: Image Editing on Android: Want a great way to model photo editing skills to other learners with your Android device? Use these awesome PhotoDroid editing apps to learn how.
  5. Safeguard Your Android Device: Get a new Android phone recently? You’re not alone. In this blog entry, learn five ways to keep your new smartphone safe from hackers and malware. 

Apple

  1. Appify Science Learning: Teaching with an iPad and need to “appify” science instruction? Consider these apps for science instruction in your classroom. This collection includes reference guides and games. Each intends to engage students with visuals, video and interactive elements.
  2. TCEA Responds: Beginner's Guide to Classroom iPads: This second grade teacher has new iPads, but needs ideas on how best to use them for learning. Check out all of the resources we provide her.
  3. Microsoft iOS Apps on Your iPad: Mix the best of both worlds by using Microsoft iOS apps on your iPad. You’ll discover innovative solutions for both you and your students.
  4. Principal Whack-A-Mole with your iPad: Playing principal whack-a-mole with problems at school can be draining and ineffective. Learn about some iPad apps that can help.

CTO/Tech Directors/Leadership

As a director of technology, I can write from experience (often, successful). The data warehouse two part series, as well as the growing your technical support staff, come from my own experiences in a 10K student school district. These successful initiatives were difficult to achieve, a point I shared at a recent presentation for the Texas CTO Clinic in June, 2018. Yet, they accomplished difficult tasks, some might say impossible, for other districts. 

  1. Back to School: Five Tips for CTOs: As teachers and students head back to school, here are five tips for Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) looking forward to an incoming avalanche of support tickets. In this blog entry, join me as we explore relationship-building tips for CTOs.
  2. District Data Warehouse: Recognizing the Need (Part One): The selection and use of a data warehouse system in schools today is critical in the analysis of student data. Part one of this blog series looks at why.
  3. District Data Warehouse: Proposal Process (Part Two): Making the decision to create a district data warehouse is just the first step. Now you have to create a proposal of what you really need.
  4. Growing Your Technical Support Staff: Ready to learn how to put in consistent professional learning opportunities for your technical support staff? This blog entry offers some suggestions.
  5. Meltdown and Spectre-Implications for Schools: Learn how to handle the disaster that the Meltdown and Spectre problems are about to cause your school district for all devices.
  6. Technology Audit-Planning for Growth: Ready to grow as a district? The first step may be to conduct a technology audit as a powerful way to jump start learning possibilities.
  7. Technology End of Year Procedures: Does your technology department have end of year procedures in place? If not, you may want to review some tips and suggestions available here.
And, available as audio only, listen to my recap of my portion of TxCTO preso on Project Management Fundamentals. I had the opportunity to share the stage with Karen Fuller (Houston ISD) and Diana Benner (TCEA.org).

Google

As a Google Certified Trainer and Administrator, it's hard to believe how many people are sharing insights into Google Suites for Education tools. As a result, it's daunting to think you can share something new about any aspect. Still, it's been fun to find those areas and I treasure those blog entries the most. For example, my five Google Doc Hacks, Google Drive Cleaner, Infographics and Tips for Google Sites are some that are my favorites. They share some stuff you just don't run into by accident.

  1. A Homeschooling Parent’s Dream: Google Home: Ready to embrace digital assistants for help homeschooling? Then Google Home may be your go-to helper. Let’s explore a few ways to take advantage of it.
  2. Bookmark Organization the Easy Way: The simplest solution may often be what you already have. Here’s a bookmark organization tool for Google Chrome that may save you time.
  3. Chromebook Apps for Young Learners: This blog showcases some Chrome add-ons of benefit to young learners. Explore them with your students to support math and language arts activities.
  4. Creating gBooks, er, ebooks Just Got Easier: Get your students more engaged with your content by creating ebooks. There are lots of easy ways to do this, and we have them all for you in this blog.
  5. Create Voyages of Digital Discovery with Google Tour-Builder: Learn to create engaging and relevant digital learning experiences for students using Google Tour Builder and see how far their imaginations can take them.
  6. Exploring Google Sheets’ Functions: Import Range: As you may know, Google Sheets is a free, online, collaborative spreadsheet. It features functions, formulas, mail merge, allows you to easily insert images, GANTT charts, and more. In this blog entry, please allow me to share a few common challenges and tips for overcoming them. 
  7. Five Google Doc Hacks: Ready to hack your Google Docs experience? Start with these five simple hacks and take advantage of some lesser known Google Docs tools.
  8. Google Drive Cleaner: Remove Duplicate Files: Ready to rid yourself of duplicate files clogging your Google Drive? Then you will want to read this blog entry. It offers tips on removing duplicate files.
  9. Infographics Made Simple: Explore these three tips for infographic creation, straight from the “Infographics Made Simple” session at the 2018 TCEA Chromebook Academy.
  10. Infographic Templates with Google Slides: Students can use these infographics templates in Google Slides to showcase learning in any content area and at any grade level.
  11. Replacing the Goo.gl Shortener: Goo.gl web shortener service joins the host of other Google Projects being shut down. Check out some solutions that will keep you smiling in the mirror.
  12. Three Tips to Organize Google Drive: Overwhelmed with Google Drive files, scattered everywhere Take advantage of these three tips to consolidate, organize, and manage files and folders.
  13. Three Tips for New Google Sites Makers: Maximize your work on Google Sites with these valuable and time-saving tips and tricks. They’ll make you look like a pro!
  14. Tic Tac Toe-More Google Drive Tips: Here are three more handy tips to get you up to speed on the new Google Sites capabilities. You might be surprised by what you can do!
  15. UDL Chromebook Learning Opportunities: Learn how to support Universal Design for Learning (UDL) with Chromebooks using Book Creator for all students in your classroom.

Microsoft

As the designated Microsoft contact in my workplace, I find myself doing a lot of growing when it comes to Microsoft tools. That's because tools like MakeCode, micro:bit, Minecraft allow learners to go deep on coding and virtual space construction. That is just incredibly awesome. Tools like Microsoft Teams and OneNote Class Notebook are also rivaling Google Suites for Education offerings. Time will tell which school districts choose. In the meantime, I get to learn about both, comparing and contrasting them. 
  1. 2018 TCEA Microsoft Professional Learning Opportunities: If you are looking to increase your expertise in all things Microsoft, look no further. TCEA has got you covered with tons of learning opportunities.
  2. 3D Printing Projects for Micro:Bit: Combine 3D printing with the inexpensive micro:bit and some basic coding to take your printed creations to the next level.
  3. Codeate with Minecraft Coding Projects: Logical thinking and computer science skills expand to a whole new level when you are doing Minecraft coding. Learn more about it in this blog.
  4. Expand Classroom Possibilities with Microsoft: See how updates to your favorite Microsoft classroom tools, including Teams, OneNote, Class Notebook, and Immersive Reader, can expand learning.
  5. Five Ways Educators Can Inspire Classroom Curiosity in STEM: Ready to inspire classroom innovation in a STEM world? Create extraordinary experiences that make applying STEM skills to real life problem-solving simple.
  6. Journey to Innovation-2018 Microsoft Academy: The Microsoft Academy will feature amazing educators sharing their best ideas for the use of MS tools in the classroom. Won’t you join them?
  7. Microsoft Teams Updates: Learn about May 2018 updates to Microsoft Teams’ assignments and more. A handy infographic summarizes other changes you need to be aware of.
  8. Kindling STEM Learning in Your Classroom: Let’s explore tips for kindling STEM-powered learning in your classroom and rediscover what works best for hands-on learning. 
  9. The Demise of Office Mix: Office Mix as a tool is going away soon. This blog will explore some alternatives so that you and your students don’t lose out.
  10. Top Five PDF Annotation Tools for Windows 10 and More: Looking for some annotation tools for working with PDFs on your Windows 10 computer? We have some great recommendations for you.
  11. Turbocharge the 5E Model with Microsoft Office 365: Ready to blend Microsoft’s Office 365 tools into inquiry-based lessons? Give those lessons a kickstart with Office 365 tools. Take your first steps with blended learning. Turbo-charge the 5E Model with Microsoft Office 365. Make learning more engaging!
  12. Twitter Takeaways-Microsoft Sway in Education: Looking for Twitter takeaways focused on Microsoft updates for education? You have come to the right place. In January, 2018, Microsoft unloaded a wealth of updates to its education suite of products. In this Twitter Takeaway, we’ll explore these updates through the lens of Microsoft Sway. 

Napkin PD Series

This is a series that kicked off because one of the TechNotes' editors said, "Is this a new series?" After looking it over, I realized I had fallen into a pattern when developing my workshop materials. So, I decided to just keep at it. I have a few more planned for this series.
  1. Solving Problems Together: Curious about how you can engage educators with multi-device workshops? Model PBL activities in a BYOD setting. Adopt these napkin PD ideas.
  2. A PBL Approach to Texas History: Blend PBL with technology to engage learners with Texas history. Introduce them to the Texas GLO Education Resources featuring lesson plans and activities.
  3. Transform Learning with Google Tools: Planning out engaging professional development for teachers who use Google Suites for Education? Check out our napkin PD ideas.

Miscellaneous

Well, I never imagined I would have this many miscellaneous blog entries.
  1. Battle Royale-Gaming in Schools: Recent horrific events have brought to the forefront again the debate about online gaming violence and schools. What is your opinion on this issue?
  2. Coaching Made Less Difficult: The power of collegial coaching cannot be overstated in education. But how do you set up both your mentees and your coaches for success?
  3. Creative Interactive Learning with a Choice Board: Innovative teachers empower students through the use of the choice board, either in paper or digital format. Learn how and see examples in this blog.
  4. Design Thinking Learning: Wondering how to encourage STEAM/STEM in all content areas, as well as ensure relevance of Maker Movement, 3D printing and coding? Try design thinking.
  5. Free for Schools-Adobe Spark
  6. Humanities Go Digital: Coding and Storytelling: Learn how teaching humanities with coding can enhance learning and retention for your students using the free tool Twine and some imagination.
  7. Go Large: Share Your Message Full Screen: Take advantage of these fun alternatives to share links and text in large font sizes on the screen. Go large or go home when sharing!
  8. Lesson Planning: 5E Model + Tech with the ISTE Standards (Part One): Explore the 5E Model plus technology in the context of the Dirty Thirties period of American history. ISTE NETS, TPACK, and UDL are discussed.
  9. Lesson Planning: 5E Model + Tech with the ISTE Standards (Part Two): Come along as we continue our exploration of the 5E Model + Technology in the context of a Dust Bowl lesson tied to the ISTE Standards.
  10. Make Innovation Possible: Great leaders make innovation possible for their staff by providing multiple avenues for them to learn, both individually and in groups. Here’s how.
  11. Make Thinking Visible: Coding Your Creations: Making thinking visible is so yesteryear. With new digital tools, we can now make thinking physical by building in virtual space or creating 3D designs.
  12. Panic Pendants-Increasing School Safety: In today’s world, unfortunately, school safety no longer seems a certainty. Learn how panic pendants and other technologies can help to overcome this issue.
  13. Simple Video Tricks: Video is the medium of today. Here are some simple video tricks to help you capture, edit, and rotate videos so that you look like a pro.
  14. STEM Projects with Green Screen: Take your STEM projects to the next level by adding the use of a green screen. It can be done inexpensively and will really engage your students.
  15. Teach Without Wires: Mirror Your Device: Regain mobility in the classroom. Mirror your device when working with students. Teaching without wires eliminates trip hazards. The most pernicious wire is the cable from your mobile device to your digital projector. Learn to teach without wires. In this blog entry, explore tools that maximize your mobility in the classroom.
  16. Wallpaper Your 3D Virtual Reality Room: Encourage your students’ creative sides in all subject areas by using the free website Panoform to turn paper images into 3D ones.
  17. When Text to Speech Matters: Text to speech or speech to text matters for learners of all ages.  In this blog entry, we’ll explore many solutions relevant to text to speech, speech to text, and more.
  18. Where Creatives Gather: 2018 Adobe Academy: Join fellow creatives at the two-day, exciting, hands-on 2018 TCEA Adobe Academy. Be selected to present two sessions and registration is free!

TCEA Responds Series

This is a series I started last year. My goal was to respond to questions from TCEA members, as well as anyone else, and I've had a lot of fun crafting responses to these. I try to crank out three or four every few weeks, depending on the number of questions folks send me.
  1. Google Shortcuts: Looking for some quick, easy ways to get started with Google Docs or Drawings? You'll love these Google shortcuts and this handy flyer.
  2. Making Connections: Need to be able to share your educational resources and expertise with educators? Take advantage of these TCEA Responds tips to deepen engagement.
  3. OneNote with Google Classroom?: Having trouble getting your technology aligned? Learn how to best align tools and objectives in this TCEA Responds blog for OneNote and Google Classroom.
  4. TCEA Responds: Beginner's Guide to Classroom iPads: This second grade teacher has new iPads, but needs ideas on how best to use them for learning. Check out all of the resources we provide her.
What blog entries would YOU be interested in reading in the future? Be sure to visit the TCEA TechNotes blog at http://blog.tcea.org. There is a TON of great writing being shared over there. Mine is but a small fraction.




Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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