Basecamp

My school’s web project is being managed in Basecamp. In some ways this is a nifty tools to increase communication and create a workflow to complete a project in time. However, in that one-size-fits-all way that many solutions have, it is lacking some features that would make it more useful. One can get around these by uploading files, but that necessitates clicking and opening. I’d love native support for viewing PDFs and much more. Luckily, I only have to use it for a short while.

I wonder how the state of project management will evolve as web capabilities continue to expand.

 


In a car, on a phone. Blogging there makes me groan.

This is my first entry using the WordPress app on my phone. Even my keyboard is dead. I am not actually in a car though I spent from 9:15 to about 6:00 on the road.

This app is serviceable in a pinch. I, however, do not have master finger typing skills, so this will be a short post.


RSS Some More!

Today I met with my writing group, or more accurately two of us met. Ever since attending the Boston Writing Project Summer Institute a few years ago, we have been meeting regularly and sharing our writing. It keeps me connected to friends, to the writing process, and to that gentle tension of learning that our students have to maintain almost constantly.

I shared a selection from my other blog, DaddingIdeas, and in the process we talked about blogs and RSS readers. Having just given professional development on this topic, I was fired up and soon got my friend up and running on her own Google Reader.

For those of you who subscribe to feeds, what are your favorite reads?

For me, they are:

Ed Tech: http://www.freetech4teachers.com/ and http://www.speedofcreativity.org/

Hobbies: http://lifehacker.com/ and http://adafruit.com/

News: http://www.slate.com/

Parenting; http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ and http://www.radicalparenting.com/

This is a link to my Ed Tech Bundle

 


Providing Professional Development

Today, I served up a helping of professional development along with lunch for teachers at my school. The head of school has been terrific in supporting my Tech Fridays of which this was the second. Also, the assistant to the division head organized the food and managed the logistics of the meeting. She is amazing.

So while chowing down on burritos and salad, the ten to twelve folks learned about RSS readers and how to aggregate feeds. It was fairly successful and the librarian with whom I share a space spent part of the afternoon finding library feeds to add to her new reader.

I love this aspect of my job. While today was very productive on many fronts, the collaborative work I did with the head of the website committee and this training session gave me the biggest boost. I love working with people, and I love opening people to new possibilities.


Photos Managed for Now

In my endeavor to unify, simplify, and organize the many different scattered elements of my digital life (and some parts that are still analog), I keep looking for a great photo organizer. There are many options out there from iCloud to SmugMug. For now, however, I have settled on Flickr. Family members are already using it, so sharing is a no-brainer. I paid for the upgrade to access my original photos and download longer videos. I am currently uploading my iPhoto library from the mac to which I have been downloading phone camera photos for the last few years. After that, I will tackle uploading the years of digital photos from my desktop. First, I have to reconnect the external drive that stores all that info. I still only have monitors, keyboard, and mouse hooked up to my recently resuscitated CPU. I also shopped around for a good app to upload images directly from my phone to to Flickr. What I have settled on for now is CameraSync, an app that will automatically sync my photos to Flickr (one way sync). I will have to do some management from within the website now and then to put images where I want them in sets and groups in my photostream. This solution will have to do for now, and probably once I have done massive uploading, it will stay through inertia.

For now, I have made new photos available to family and friends, so if you want to see my photostream, send me a note to add you to my Flickr contacts.

I decided to add this photo as an example of my now downloading iPhoto library. There were some really good ironic placements of adds on the Boston T a few years ago. My favorite was this ad with the C.S. Lewis quote next to a Lowe’s or Home Depot ad about grilling.


Mark as Read

Since my desktop is running again, I haven’t used my iPad as much, and I certainly haven’t read through my RSS feeds. I find it so much easier to do from the Mr. Reader app than on my computer. However, like dishes in the sink, once there is a critical mass of unread posts, I find it too daunting to plow through them. Not wanting to miss one gem, I am reluctant to click, “Mark all as Read,” but that is a fallacy of a bygone era. It is a mindset inherited from a time when you could keep up with the reading. Now, it is more of a stick-your-mouth-in-the-fire-hose attitude. When you want info, you can get inundated as much or as little as you want. What you can’t do is drink all the water. You have to let some go past untasted, unknown.

So I’ll go pick up the iPad, skim what I want, read what I want, and mark them all as read. If I don’t, I’ll miss out on some gems instead of all of them. Too bad I can’t apply this same strategy to my email!


A Gift that Gave again

A very good friend of mine looked through my Amazon wishlist, a place I was randomly throwing books I wanted to read later but did not really intend to purchase. Being the good friend, he identified probably the only book on there that I really wanted. Recently, Wesley Fryer has been tweeting about Goodreads as a place to store and access books and to get recommendations. I jumped on board and consolidated all the various lists of books I had floating around. Who else keeps a Goodreads bookshelf?