Summercore Day 1

Today we talked about web 2.0 and Google Docs. There were many things I already knew, but there were plenty of things I had not seen before. In addition, the teaching about docs was priceless as I will be doing the same at the beginning of the school year with the faculty of my school. Great to see it done while wearing this lens.

A tagxedo word cloud of this blog


Balls in the Air

My job just got a lot more interesting and intense. We are in the process of getting a new website built, and with that come quite a few associated pieces such as integrating with our student information service, online payment processors, Google Apps, and a few other things. Many of these ended up in my court, and I now have to juggle much more than I was earlier in the year.

On the positive side, I am really excited about the synergy of all of these pieces when we have them in place. I think our digital services will be incredibly more integrated, efficient, and easy to use.

I just have to work on my multitasking which is not always my strength.

Apps for Ed

At my school, the Network Admin and I have been working on a plan to get Google apps for education up and running. We are both part time, so we probably will hire support for the transition. Meanwhile, I am working through some of the documentation which is at times dense and at times amazingly simple. This along with a new website being created and many other projects are beginning to create quite a bit more work for me. I am really enjoying the up swell in clear projects to shepherd through to completion.


No, I am not blue, but I am now capable of creating an avatar using Voki and embedding it in WordPress. This is thanks to help at this blog.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Avatar, posted with vodpod

And Once More from the Desktop

While I am not very confident that this new install is going to be perfect, I am happy to spend time trying to make it right. Unfortunately, my monitor periodically freezes up with vertical lines. I have removed the two hard drives that are not showing up and will troubleshoot that part later. I have not had the video problem since removing the drives, so let’s hope that was it. Much software to add, and much tweaking to do, but this post is the first one from my newly risen-from-the-dead computer. Yay!


How to watch movies

Netflix was the source for a long time, but when they split their delivery and online services, the cost became a factor. There are many options for satisfying my movie watching interests. Netflix on demand has a large if somewhat odd selection and is what I currently use. To supplement this, I get movies from the public library, but they are often scratched and unwatchable. I have repaired a few with my ancient CD cleaner, but I fear that the libraries probably don’t want users to do this. Many people like Hulu, but I dislike commercials so much that this is hard for me. Our Tivo is also a good source, but there aren’t many shows that I like to watch (on broadcast stations).

I am ready for a subscription/pay on demand source that aggregates content from many sources, is ad free, and has a wide selection of new and old media. It must also fall in the cost range of current Netflix subscriptions.

What do you use?

Slowly, Slowly Walk the Path

As I thought about this post, a Silly Wizard song popped into mind. Well, to be fair, the phrase slowly slowly walk the path did, and after some quick research on my iTunes and then on the web, I accessed all the lyrics to the song Golden, Golden. As often happens, the phrase seemed right, but the message of the song missed the mark.

Slowly, slowly, walk the path,
And you might never stumble or fall.
Slowly, slowly, walk the path,
And you might never fall in love at all.

Golden, golden, is her hair,
Like the morning sun over fields of corn.
Golden, golden, is her love,
So sweet and clear and warm.

Lonely, lonely, is the heart
That ne’er another can call its own.
Lonely, lonely, lies the part
That has to live all alone.

Wildly, wildly, beats the heart
With a rush of love like a mountain stream.
Wildly, wildly, play your part
As free as a wild bird’s dream 

No, this really doesn’t relate to my slow pace of technological growth as compared with the leaders of the ed tech field or to my own goals and standards, but it is a very sweet song. In relation to my learning curve in ed tech, I am slow, but I do love it.

In this endeavor to keep two blogs daily, I have had to take some things slowly. So far, I have not had time to add in links to other blogs and do all of the connecting between my feeds that I would like. Today, however, I think I have successfully set up both my DaddingIdeas blog and this one to post automatically to Facebook and Twitter. It is part of the tangled web I am trying to weave, but it goes slowly.

I am constantly amazed at the output of the leaders in the ed tech world. Some, I must assume, even have children and other demands on their lives, but they still are able to consume and digest prodigious quantities of information that they then make available to us on blogs, tweets, etc. 

Yet I stay on this path, even at the slow pace I tread, because it energizes me and because it is now inextricably linked to my job. If I do not explore the available technology out there, then I can not make good recommendations to the teachers at my school about what to use and how to integrate it in the classroom.

So it is not in order to avoid stumbling and falling as the Silly Wizard lyrics admonish, it is just my avialable time and energy as well as my level of efficiency and skill that keeps me at this rate of technological development. And even at my slow pace, I love it!


The Old
Clippings: mostly targeted to family and friends, in which I have shared my hobbies, my children, and odd musings. I have written on and off since 2005. Hosted on Blogger.
Facebook: This is still mostly a personal feed. I don’t yet follow ed tech stuff on FB. Should I?
DemoClassWiki: I ran my fifth and sixth grade class using a wiki for several years. This has been at various times my wiki testing ground, my resource list, and my technology workshop lessons. Hosted on Wikispaces.
Stlzdiigo: I am transitioning to using Diigo for my bookmarking. Formerly I had a page in my wiki, but that has become too cumbersome.
The New
Techological Ontology: where I will put material related to educational technology. This is new and hosted on WordPress.

Dadding IdeasCo-parenting, working part time, being a dad in a world of moms. Thinking of gender, of commercialization, of fun projects, and of more. Hosted on Tumblr.
@rilesdan: I am the proud owner of one tweet at this point, though that should change. I am starting to find folks to follow in the ed tech world.

Tools: RSS Readers

To start the process of creating a digiflow (digital workflow) I have been searching for an RSS reader and feed aggregator app. I plan to do much of my work using an iPad. Ideally, I’d like something that allows for access to Google Reader, Facebook, and Twitter, that organizes the feeds for very quick viewing, and that allows for posting to Diigo (my bookmarking tool of choice right now), Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr (I’ll explain that one later).

Well, I haven’t found it yet. If I could build it, I would. I’d call it FeedMe!

The choices out there so far:

Mr Reader has become my default reader. It is a Google Reader with no social feed integration. There are some ways to make your Twitter and Facebook feeds show up, but they are roundabout and probably temporary until updates make them obsolete. I really like the interface, however, and the app is what I use to see my RSS feeds. I searched long and hard for a reader that had Diigo integration. There aren’t many.

Flipboard is a pleasant way to see all of my feeds: Google Reader, Facebook, and Twitter. It lays out your articles in a magazine style format. I can’t blaze through as quickly as I can in Mr. Reader, but it is nice for browsing my FB and Twitter feeds. I use the FB and Twitter apps or mobile websites for more intesive work.

I also looked at Feedly, Perfect RSS, Zite, Reeder, and Taptu. None of them fit my needs, though they all had some good points.

The Egg

Can an organism practice reflective ontogeny? I am evolving from a classroom teacher into a technology specialist, a transformation many have undergone before me and many will after. What have others’ growing pains been? They are mostly hidden in the polished products they now present to the digital world. Those who come after have to relearn the same lessons.

This blog serves then as a record of my individual growth in this field. Mostly it is for me. I will document what I am doing in order to think more deeply about it and to have a resource available. If budding technologists find any pearls of wisdom, or more likely massive train wrecks to avoid, then please let me know in your comments. If any sage denizens of the ed tech world stop by, feel free to point out anything that could be useful.

I have chosen WordPress because it is a platform I have never used, because it is a popular tool, and because it is one of many forays into new ground I am making in order to spur my growth. This blog is the fertilizer of my seed, the yolk of my egg.

Image created using Pixlr.