If you are familiar with Google Apps for Education tools, then you already have foundation skills to take advantage of Office 365.
|Read the rest of this blog entry online at TCEA.org/blog|
If you are familiar with Google Apps for Education tools, then you already have foundation skills to take advantage of Office 365.
|Read the rest of this blog entry online at TCEA.org/blog|
Wondering what to do about video streaming high school graduation live? Yes, it is that time of year when superintendents are frantically turning to their technology staff and saying, “Help! We need to stream graduation this year! Can you get it done?” Of course, at this time of year, there is little budget to get the job done, so you have whatever funding is left over from the school year. The pressure is on!
|Read the Complete blog entry over at TCEA TechNotes blog entry|
Be sure to check out my new article over at TCEA’s TechNotes blog…thanks to Lori Gracey (Editor) and TCEA for publishing it:
|Read the rest|
Here’s the lead of that article:
Researchers from the Pew Research Center have found that gamifying learning stimulates interest and deep engagement with content. Two tools that facilitate this include Kahoot! and the relative newcomer, Quizziz.
Hard to believe any of us have time to watch television and movies, and, as you might guess, I seldom watch television anymore. Instead, I snatch moments of thrills and excitement via “small screens” using apps like those included below. Note that most of these require subscriptions of some sort, but they are well worth the price.
Some other apps include my Roku remote control app that makes for fun when others are using it (I have no idea how that channel changed!) and TimeWarnerCable suite of apps.
What are your favorite entertainment apps?
Are are you an avid reader? I know I am! It’s unbelievable how much content is available and demanding attention. Over the years, I’ve taken advantage of the following apps to feed my reading addiction!
Looking at my iPhone, I wonder how the FBI/NSA/local techie-crook could crack the security on my device! Of course, it would probably just take a wrench strategically applied, but that’s not why we protect our confidential, personally identifiable data in certain apps!
Here’s the run-down on my top 5 iOS Security and Privacy apps:
Recently, a colleague shared she was on a search for everyone’s top, must-have app. The idea for her blog entry stuck in my brain, and I couldn’t help but wonder, What’s YOUR top 5 iOS app list? I started to wonder, what ARE MY favorite apps? I did a quick inventory of my iPhone, and this blog entry details what I came up with. In this entry, you’ll find my picks for the following:
Here are the apps I load on an iPad or iPhone every time, without fail at least several times a day, if not more!
Today was my first day in my new position as Director of Professional Development at the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA). Key parts of my day were spent planning with Diana Benner and Peggy Reimers, as they prepare for the Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Teacher Academy on Wednesday, 03/23/16!
On the Road: While driving to Austin from San Antonio, I listened to Lindsay Buroker‘s Emperor’s Edge series (get the first book free…warning: you will want to buy the follow-ups!), a deliciously engaging steampunk/fantasy fiction collection of books! I highly recommend it!
TCEA laid out the welcome mat, and I’m truly grateful to be working with such fun folks! They were kind enough to share the following:
|Read this technotes blog entry online at TCEA!|
I suppose it’s safe to announce that I’ve created my alter-ego, STEAM Twitter account @tceamg and created a companion web site to house all the content I’ll be creating for workshops:
While my Twitter account (@mguhlin) is focused on sharing topics I remain interested in–essentially, cybersafety/privacy issues, leadership/learning/teaching with technology–I decided that since I was learning SO MUCH about STEM/STEAM, Raspberry Pi (read my previous adventures here), Arduino, Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE)–including Office365, OneNote–and Adobe, I probably should get a new Twitter going to do my research for me.
Using IFTTT.com, I am sharing some awesome resources via that Twitter account, @tceamg! I hope you’ll take a moment to follow that account!
Finally, I have to admit, working with such wonderful folks and with the hope of visiting Texas learners, I can’t wait…
Looking for a Cisco-based Voice Over IP (VOIP) System Administrator position with a pay range of $67K-$92K? Check out Judson ISD in San Antonio, Texas:
|Title||VoIP Systems Administrator|
|Reports To||Network Manager and Director of Network Services|
During a Twitter chat–which I was monitoring on my iPhone while in the grocery store–I was shocked to discover Participate Learning, a suggested link from others participating in the chat. Wow, what an impressive and easy way to track Twitter chats:
It’s amazing, isn’t it? Just the grid and the schedule make it so much easier to see the breadth and depth of Twitterchats happening at any given time. If you’re not keeping track of Twitter chats this way, then they may help you be more purposeful about how you participate!
|Explain Everything Discover – Where You Can Share Your Whiteboard Creations|
If you’ve been working on an iPad, you’re probably already familiar with digital whiteboard apps like Educreations, ShowMe, Doceri, Jot, MolaSync (recently featured by TCEA), and, of course, my favorite, Explain Everything. These apps make presenting for a real audience, online or face to face, or creating something for flipped classroom approach much easier.
The Explain Everything folks just made a great announcement, sharing a real-time collaborative whiteboard app for iOS, Android, and Chromebooks that connects over WiFi:
We have launched a new iOS collaborative whiteboard, updated the Android, Chrome, and Windows interactive whiteboard, and published a new web-based EE project portal called Explain Everything Discover.
Amazingly, the new app comes with a user community known as Explain Everything Discover (not unlike EduCreations), as well as a subscription plan for education and app.
|Image Source: Explain Everything|
Unfortunately, Explain Everything Collaborative Whiteboard isn’t available for U.S. yet (I know, I tried to get it!)…”Please note that the Collaborative Whiteboard is first being launched in a few countries: UK, Ireland, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, China, Japan, Mexico, and Poland. The app will be available worldwide soon after.”
Sigh. In the meantime, why not try MolaSync?
“How hard would it be for my students to monitor news about the Presidential election and then present their findings to the rest of their class?” The question is certainly intriguing and I bet there are resourceful teachers already doing something similar with their students. And, perhaps, how would using technology in this way help students appreciate how they stay informed as compared to how folks stayed informed back in the day (e.g. newspapers, evening news broadcasts)? That’s what some call digital literacy…
Like most Americans, I often find myself glued to my television, listening to stirring speeches from Republican and Democratic candidates. When I hear something that irritates me, I desire to learn more about the candidate making what I may consider silly remarks, or conversely, cleverly entertaining ones designed to engage. More importantly, I am curious to find out about the democratic process.
When I vote in a Primary election, what does that mean? What is the significance of delegates and super-delegates? Often, I wish I could watch several news channels at once to get access to the latest information about what is happening…but I can’t. After standing in line to vote in Texas, I suspect I am not alone in my ignorance.
Students analyze the impact of technological innovations on American life. Students use critical-thinking skills and a variety of primary and secondary source material to explain and apply different methods that historians use to understand and interpret the past, including multiple points of view and historical context. (Source: Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills)
But what if I had access to mobile apps on my phone that could keep me in touch, that allow me to see primary and secondary source material–raw information–and then make my own interpretations, rather than have them filtered through a potentially biased on-screen personality, whether it be Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN?
And, that’s why this short list of apps are finding their way onto my mobile device:
“The POLITICO app for iPhone and iPad brings you your politics fix in a clean, easy-to-navigate layout that keeps you up to date when you’re on the go. POLITICO delivers the fastest, most in-depth coverage of politics and policy developments and everything you need to stay up to speed on the 2016 races. “
“The 2016 elections are upon us. With Talking Points Memo’s PollTracker app—one of the top apps from the 2012 and 2014 election seasons—you’ll have the very latest information about the political campaigns everyone’s going to be talking about, right at your fingertips.
Get up-to-the-minute data on key races for the 2016 presidential campaign, US Senate and governors’ seats, presidential approval, or issues like gun control or same-sex marriage.”
Election NF 2016
“US Elections! Who will be the most powerful man, or woman in the world? Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker or Ted Cruz? Follow the presidential campaigns all the way, with a non biased feed, without missing a thing! Debates, press releases, media appearances, polls, opinions, analysis and more!
All Politics includes:
“Follow the 2016 presidential election. See up-to-date polling results with a single swipe with the widget in your Notification Center. See how candidates are polling over time. Pick and choose which candidates to follow and which to ignore. Be the first to know when there are new polling results. We combine the latest opinion polls and update when a new poll is released.”
“Updated every morning and throughout the day, RCP culls and publishes the best commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources from all points of the political compass and covering all the important issues of the day.”
Voter – Matchmaking for Politics
“Answer a few simple questions and find out which politicians truly have your best interests at heart, and have a track record to back it up.”
And, although it’s more of a reference guide to what people have said, let me throw two more in for fun:
“Find fact-checks by searching name, keywords and subject” (about the only feature that worked!). This app was quite bare except for some information about current candidates (e.g. quotes, positions on hot button items), but you have hope they will add some more information in over time.
“Resolve political arguments at the dinner table, check the facts in campaign ads and test your knowledge of the Truth-O-Meter with PolitiFact’s new Settle It! app.”
The arcGIS folks have an interesting Election Results app (works on the web, too), as well, although don’t see many students using it:
Election Results is a configuration of ArcGIS Online and Web AppBuilder for ArcGIS that can be used by citizens and other interested parties to review elections results. This application can be used to share results tabulated on election night; and historical results that are shared after each election. Election Results can accessed from a smartphone, tablet, and desktop computer.
Election Results is typically used by clerks, election commissions, or other local government organizations to deliver a map-based election reporting application. This application provides access to the organization 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and typically supplements tabular results published by these organizations.
Not being much of an election buff, I relied on these blog entries (and Google, Apple iTunes) to guide me and point me in the right direction.
“Are you still here?” I asked a friend and colleague. It was an empty building, and the business day officially had already ended 30-40 minutes.
“Yeah,” he sighed. “I have some work to catch-up on. What do you have for me?”
That conversation, like many others that followed it, came to mind as I reflected on the following passage from a “book app” I was reading. I’m reminded about the conversation because it highlights a willingness to get work done, but also a willingness to receive more work.
Here’s the passage that reminded me:
He is willing to do the unpopular jobs, the jobs he might think are beneath him, the jobs that no-one else sees, that are left when everyone else has gone home. That is leadership, whether you are labeled a leader or not. (Source: BibleGateway app)
I wonder what would happen if I asked these questions and did my best to answer them in my new job:
Do you think these questions would help me do well? What would these jobs look like in your situation?
I’m reminded of the custodian at my post in a large urban school district…we had a chance encounter when I went to splash water on my face at the end of a long day. I was tired after a day of meetings. He was joyfully cleaning the restroom.
I remember the enthusiasm with which he approached cleaning a toilet, whipping out an ice-scrapper to be sure that he had cleaned the scum from inside the toilet bowl, leaving it sparkling-white. Some might have seen the extra effort needed for that job as beneath them, but the old man–who retired that year–approached that job with an enthusiasm all of us would do well to emulate.
Here is a quote I learned early on in my education career and need to remember again:
|Source: David Truss, Solving Interesting Problems|
I’m grateful for so many things this week, including Alexis Cline’s efforts to share the image shown right on TCEA’s Facebook page by way of welcome, but also for the good times reflected in the photos featured in the collage.
Earlier today, the nephew of a colleague called and he asked me, “How did you get to where you are now?” What a fascinating question. As I took a moment to reflect back upon the path taken, I realize that while I thought it was purposeful and direct, in truth, it was quite circuitous. What seemed like the best decisions made objectively are actually course adjustments, as if you were climbing a mountain and taking the route that made sense in the moment.
I’m not saying I’ve reached the summit of that particular mountain, or that I may soon find myself plummeting to the bottom. Rather, that following one’s passion and enthusiasms will certainly lead you on an adventure of some sort…whether it’s the sort you want, well, that is a matter of attitude and “adjusting your sails.”
For the nephew, just graduating from Texas A&M with a degree in Business Management, I have counseled him to build up his certifications and focus on opportunities that would give him experiences in the areas he was most apt to develop his passion and knowledge.
David Truss shares the image at the top of this blog post. It reflects a few truths I’ve committed to:
Earlier this year, I moved my domain (mguhlin.org) from GoDaddy to Tierra.net, my favorite domain registrar. The experience was marked by an hour of hair-pulling, keeping a tight handle on my temper, and wondering, why the heck couldn’t this process be easier? Of course, the real problem is that help is scattered across multiple Google Support pages–think of that cheerfully helpful neighbor that is maddening because he offers advice that isn’t specific to your problem or who buries it in a pile of helpful suggestions, and you’ll know the frustration I refer to–and it’s not obvious. And, it differs for different domain registrars.
If you are the person who signed up your business for Google Apps that makes you the Google Apps Administrator. You need to verify that you own your business domain, such as your-business.com, before you can use Google Apps services, including Gmail. This ensures that no one else can use services or send email that appears to come from your business. Verifying your domain is the first step to setting up Google Apps for your business.
Google Sites needed to VERIFY that my new domain name–www.tceamg.org–is one that I own.
As you can see, the image above shows what success looks like. To get there, I had to modify the TXT entry on Tierra.net account. Here are the steps I followed:
My Approach to the Solution
Step 1 – Get verification code from Google by adding the TXT record by first going to this site, but replacing the mywebsiteaddress with your’s (www.supermanflies.net):
This is what that looks like:
Copy and paste the TXT record (google-site-verification=longstringofvalues) then go to your domain registrar:
Shout Out: I’d like to thank Virgil Kirk for knocking his head against the screen trying to figure this out as well yesterday. He and I spent about 20 minutes on it yesterday, and I’d say I spent about 2 hours on it. Never again! I hope these notes will save time.
When I review the acts of my best leadership role models, I notice that they have certain “leadership moves” that set them head and shoulders above their peers. One of those leadership moves includes the ability to frame challenges in a way that is positive, open, transparent while keeping the focus on successful resolution of another’s plight (e.g. why did you sit on that technical support job for a month when you could have gotten help from the team? Don’t be afraid to admit where you need to grow if it means those we support suffer).
Instead of digging into the why, the focus is to learn enough to resolve the problem and move on. But that’s not the leadership move I’d like to focus in on.
Another leadership move that I admire is a willingness to jump into the fray, to provide hands-on leadership of what needs to be done. That is what Doug Johnson–who, by the way, will be keynoting the TCEA TECSIG Spring Meeting (see agenda) on April 14, 2016, note you can still sign up!–is doing when he describes leading change in his District in response to this blog entry I wrote recently:
As technology director, I’ve always felt I should use the same equipment that our department asks teachers to use. If we go cheap. If we go less powerful, if we skimp on memory, if we buy heavy devices, if we don’t upgrade operating systems, if we don’t replace on a regular basis, I believe I should experience the consequences. I would hope all school leaders would adopt this practice. Read more “Dropping the Old Stuff” at Blue Skunk Blog
Like Doug, I am leery about going cheap with the primary computing device teachers and students have access to. But we are moving to increasingly cloud-based computing, and the money saved on going with Chromebooks for the masses can be strategically used to provide high-powered workstations in shared areas, as well as other mobile devices (e.g. iPads) that provide features Chromebooks lack.
How Things Have Changed: We installed thin client across the District, and it wasn’t long before the CTO was called into the Superintendent’s Office. Apparently, nothing was working for anyone. “Why can’t we have a computer that has all the programs we need on it when the network fails?” Now, cloud-based computing and ubiquitous access mean that we don’t need to have every app we need on our primary computer…we just use the cloud.
If you need to do serious heavy duty intensive work on traditional applications (e.g. Adobe, MS Office suite), then you may want to stick with a device that runs Windows or Mac. For so long, though, we’ve bought “the best we can afford” because it was the prudent choice. When I set that advice aside to buy my Acer C740 Chromebook 11, it was after a year of using an Acer C720 Chromebook 11.
Leadership Move Praise: Kudos to Doug for making a leadership move that evaluates the needs of those he serves, then walks the path before they do, checking for obstacles and challenges.
A For Fun Conversation
“But what if you need to print?”
“Well, on my Acer C740 which I own, I’ve loaded GNU/Linux and switch to that when I need to do audio editing, use a different browser (e.g. Opera, Firefox), and/or print to a network/USB printer.”
“Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a Chromebook?”
“Not at all! It means that I get more value out of the hardware I have.”
Since there are a ton of folks starting to get into eBook reading–including bus drivers reading while driving–how can we easily create ePub documents for viewing on devices? There are a ton of ePub formatted ebooks available for reading in your iPad or Nook–and you can always use Calibre to convert them to the Mobi format for use in your Kindle–as I pointed out in this blog entry. And, ereaders are finding their way into schools. You can also create ePubs in a variety of ways.
You can also read ePub ebook format using Firefox browser and a special add-on. RonHoutman suggests GooReader for Windows computer; it is “a desktop application that allows you to search, download and read books and magazines available on Google Books.”
But what about turning your students into creators of ePub ebooks? There’s now a new player in town that many of us have been eagerly awaiting–Google!
In a recent blog entry, they share the following:
To make it easier for authors, publishers, and academic institutions to create works that can be consumed digitally, today we’re launching the ability to export Google Docs files as EPUB publications. Simply go to the File menu > Download as > EPUB Publication (.epub).
If you can save your document to HTML–and most word processors can these days–then you are in business. Here are some of the tools available to accomplish that:
You can also use these tools to convert from existing documents to ePub format:
Of course, I should also mention that Apple’s Pages allows you to create ePub documents as well, a point first brought to my attention by Tim Holt. Now that creating an ePub document is as easy as going save as an ePub on GoogleDocs, wow, that is just phenomenal!
You can also find existing sources of ePub ebooks…imagine sharing this list with students, or having this wide selection of books to choose from!
The East Central ISD–in San Antonio, Texas–has posted its Director of Technology position…
DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY
March 8, 2016
The position of Director of Technology will be available for the 2015-2016 school year. All individuals (district employees included) who are interested in this position must apply online through AppliTrack via the district website – http://www.ecisd.net. The deadline for submitting an applications is 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 22, 2016 or until the position is filled .
Primary Purpose: Direct and manage the information systems and computer services for the district. Ensure efficient and effective access to information and related technology by all campuses and administrative departments.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
1. Provides leadership and coordination of the district’s technology department.
2. Develops, implements, and controls the overall strategy and plans for the development, deployment and utilization of
technology to support the District in Departments and Campus operations.
3. Encourages and supports the development and implementation of innovative instructional programs to achieve identified needs.
4. Facilitates the use of existing technology in the teaching/learning process.
5. Provides foundation for developing student and teacher acceptance of future technological innovations.
6. Assists program directors in incorporating technology for efficiency of their daily operations.
7. Conducts training for staff to ensure that technology is being used effectively.
8. Plans for bids, purchases and follows through budget process to meet hardware and software needs.
9. Maintains a balanced technology budget and accurate hardware and software inventories within the district.
10. Manages repair needs in-house and external.
11. Analyzes facility and equipment needs for optimum teaching and learning; utilizes information to make necessary changes or
12. Implements the policies established by federal law, state law, state board of education rule, and the local policy in the area(s)
13. Actively seeks and uses evaluative feedback from peers, subordinates, and superordinates regarding performance.
14. Demonstrates openness and willingness to listen to parents and community members, and staff.
15. Communicates effectively with parents and community members, and staff.
16. Demonstrates a commitment to the mission of the district as it is communicated to the public.
17. Performs other duties as assigned.
NOTE: Not all applicants will be interviewed. Each applicant’s resumé, application, and other available information will be considered in the screening process. Only those persons currently meeting all of the minimum requirements will be screened.
EXPERIENCE REQUIRED/MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS:
•Master’s degree – preferred
•Understanding of and background in LANS and WANS and the type of applications that run over these networks
•Ability to interpret policy, procedures and data
•Experience in managing budgets and personnel
•Ability to prepare accurate reports and to present them to small and large groups in both formal and informal settings
•Ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
•Successful experience as a campus administrator or comparable district level leadership role in instructional technology preferred
EQUIPMENT USED: Multiple platforms and devices
Mental Demands/Physical Demands/Environmental Factors:
Maintain professional demeanor under stress. Protracted and irregular hours of work.
Prolonged sitting, light to moderate lifting and carrying.
Subject to frequent interruptions.
Frequent district-wide and occasional statewide travel.
PERIOD OF EMPLOYMENT: 226-day basis
SALARY: Administrative Pay Grade 106. Based upon experience.
This past week, thanks to Jennifer Casa-Todd’s kind tweet, I joined in on the book chat–via Voxer–around George C’s book, Innovator’s Mindset. The conversation was so empowering, enthusiastic, it shook some ideas loose from my brain. Rather than blog those, I decided to use Voxer to record the reflections in MyNotes (or in Android Voxer, Notes to Self). Jen Hegna asked to hear them, then questioned me about my burgeoning effort:
Do you use voxer as your own personal reflection tool?
Originally, I hadn’t thought of using Voxer in that way, more as a way to quickly audio record some thoughts and then make them available to others. But then I realized that I was using Voxer as a reflection tool…personal? Not personal in the sense of “private, no one else can listen in” but more reflections to share with others who might be interested. That reflected my new habit:
Yes, I have been trying to get into the habit of audio reflections as a way to “blog in audio form” and get comfortable with sharing my thoughts in my own voice. I admire that folks like Wes Fryer and Bud Hunt are/have been able to do that, and I want to develop the same verbal fluency.
What do you think, should I stick to blogging reflections or do more audio? For now, let’s see what happens to these…”Voxflections:”
A favorite song of mine comes from the O’Shea group, Here I Am. Have a listen…aren’t they great?
Moving from one job to another, there’s something wonderful about taking a moment to reflect on the past, your hopes and dreams, and then, to re-open yourself to possibilities, to dream new dreams, to simply be open to possibility, to accept that you don’t know exactly what’s going to happen…and be grateful.
For example, as I divest myself of all the equipment issued to me in my current position, it’s a wonderfully liberating feeling to turn it all in. My hands are empty, ready to pick up new ideas, new technologies, explore different avenues of accomplishing my life goals. That’s why I love the O’Shea song…every thing that you imagined might derail you from your course actually moves you towards something phenomenal and fantastic.
RETHINKING MY PRIMARY COMPUTER
A year or so ago, someone asked me, “Would you buy a high-powered Mac if you had to start over with a computer?” My response, which I detailed in a blog entry I can’t find right now, involved investing in an Acer C740 Chromebook, loading GNU/Linux on it, and using the “Chrome” side of it to tap into the GoogleApps ecosystem. And, surprisingly, the experiment has been working great. I’m sure as I embrace a new job with different responsibilities, I’ll be using different technologies. But because I’ve always “kept my hand in” with new tech, I feel comfortable that I’ll be able to transcend the tech to get things done.
Changing jobs has given me the opportunity to explore the Acer C740 Chromebook–loading Xubuntu on it as well so that I can do Chromebook stuff, but also, edit audio, move email from one IMAP account to another, remote into Linux-based servers via ssh and more–and the experience has been fun! Cost of the machine? $300. It’s an Acer C740 with 4 gigs of RAM, 16gigs of storage, and 9 hour battery life…it’s essentially, an awesome machine that I need as a writer and Linux nut. It actually plays well with everything and is easily my primary machine that I carry around.
REPLACING MY TABLET
As my 3rd generation iPad, which I essentially bought for my previous position since they were heavily invested in iPad, I’ve transitioned from an Android phone to an iPhone 6 Plus. I had invested quite heavily ($200 total, if I had to add it up) in apps that work on iOS, and feel quite comfortable working with iOS (I facilitated workshops on app-smashing and wrote an ebook, so…). But for my personal, carry around device, I am now carrying a $30 (bought it at a discount this past Xmas) Amazon Kindle Fire, and it’s great for reading and watching videos. While my 3rd gen iPad still works, I go to it less these days…the Fire is “good enough.”
REPLACING HARD DRIVES
One of the technologies I’ve relied on in the past has included external USB hard drives. This past month, I’ve spent time “cleaning out” the junk that accumulates in files, then moving it to cloud storage. Slimming down my data, my cloud storage options has made it easy to backup everything, eliminating unnecessary apps.
As I reflect on the other changes, I’m reminded of the old saying, “Drop the old stuff you are carrying so you can pick up the new.” Looking around my home office, I’ll probably have to do some more sorting through the old stuff, to make sure I keep what will support me as I open the door to possibilities. But, you may be happy to know, I won’t be dropping Around the Corner! It is where I’ll be tracking my journey into possibility.
How are you open to possibility in your life, work, and technology?
|Love this image! Found it on Linked In with
no attribution. Drop a line in comments
if you know source!
While presenting on Social Media in the Classroom, I ran into a former colleague. She mentioned a fantastic presentation she attended on Cyber Security in the Classroom. Our conversation soon drifted to a discussion about passwords and how secure our passwords really are, especially with the amount of data we are storing in the cloud.
When you think about it, the amount of information we are storing in the cloud is growing every day. Most of us no longer use USB flash drives to carry our docs because it so easy just to store our information in the cloud. However, we hear about data breaches happening all the time, so how can we be sure our information is safe and secure out there?
In her article, Diana mentions a few of my favorite tools, among them Secure Space Encryptor (SSE). Here’s my print tutorial and video!
And, you may want to read my article, 5 Steps to Protect Your Data!
|Image Credit: Samuel Delgado (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
As I shared in this blog entry, East Central ISD will be holding a Heroes for Health event at the East Central High School on Saturday, March 5, 2016. One of the booths, which will be staffed by Mary Ray (@mray29) and Marguerite Lowak (@mlowak), is the Digital Citizenship booth. You can access the resources online: tinyurl.com/ecisdcitizen
This is my second use of the YAPP.us web site to create a mobile app for an event, and I’m particularly pleased to Promote the Positive.
I encourage you to get the free app, which features a variety of curated digital citizenship resources. Below, you will find what the YAPP app design screen looks like…it’s fairly easy:
“When was the last time I reminded myself of what I should be grateful for?” Each and every one of us can easily come up with a list immediately on what we’re grateful for. There are moments, memories, experiences and relationships that can bring smiles to our faces. So every morning, take a moment to reflect on what you’ve been blessed with in your life.
Source: “Get a blender”: 10 habits to take your life into the stratosphere of greatness
When I look back over my career, I have many experiences that bring smiles to my face. May I share one in particular with you?
Note: You can read the short version of this by just jumping to the Big Announcement at the bottom of this post.
When I became a TENET Master Trainer in the 1990s, I remember the thrill as I signed up to present at my first-ever Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) State Conference (TCEA is a non-profit, 35-year old organization focused on serving educators and students in Texas and boasts 16K+ members!). It was magical to assist others in learning, but more importantly, connecting them to each other. The funny part was that I left the usernames and passwords for the session participants in my hotel room. As my wife jumped into a taxi, I saw her head flop back as the taxi accelerated away at top speed. “What did you tell that taxi driver?” I asked her later. She said, “I’ll give you an extra $20 if you get us there and back in 15 minutes!” We often look back on that experience with a smile, and TCEA made that successful opportunity to excel a reality for my wife, myself and the participants who became connected educators!
And, it’s been one packed room after another over the years (maybe not ALL of them were packed, ok?). That was the beginning of a life-long love affair with a Texas community of educators committed to sharing how they approached teaching, learning and leading with technology. How amazing is that?
Over the years, I’ve volunteered at TCEA as a conference presenter/speaker at regional and state events, Area 20 Board Member, and TECSIG Officer. I served on a TCEA State Conference Steering Committee with Barbara Brown (thanks, Barbara! You are great!), TCEA Leadership Retreats with Jackie S., and others. How wonderful that at TCEA 2016, I ran into both of them and had a chance to express my sincere appreciation for their support to a young educator.
And, at these TCEA events, I had the chance to facilitate–with awesome folks who taught me a lot–the Problem-based Learning Academy two years in a row at the TCEA State Conference. And, later, I was proudly awarded my Making IT Happen Award (with the signature jacket with hot-pink lettering) at a TCEA TECSIG Luncheon, and met many awesome folks. For me, TCEA is a volunteer organization–that is our strength as volunteers and members that celebrates our successes as Texas educators.
In the old days, the challenges we faced as members were different. We encountered roadblocks to tech implementation in schools because most people just didn’t get IT (some still don’t but thankfully, they are growing and learning). I encountered roadblocks to tech implementations and I began to ask myself, what could I become and do so that I could empower others…to free them from having to deal with, “Youtube is blocked! WiFi isn’t universal, we don’t have systematic approach to multi-year equipment replacement and I don’t have what I need, and more importantly, neither do our kids!”
My guiding question during those years was, “How can I create spaces where technology and learning can flourish?” My answer to that has been to try to eliminate boxes and wires hurdles, engage in strategic planning, address resource allocation issues, etc. And, I’d say I’ve been successful in building infrastructure solutions–through collaborative strategic planning, resource allocations–that enable those spaces to flourish. As one colleague put it, “I shaped that reality.” Thank goodness, none of this is done alone. There’s fun in that work and I enjoy juggling budgets more than I should.
This past year, though, I’ve felt the call…the fire of presenting and sharing began to warm my heart. I thirsted for that spirit-affirming work again… I found creative expression and realized my heart was asking a different question now that challenges and obstacles had changed over time. The question…Given universal access to technology now present in schools, what if I could just facilitate amazing, awesome learning experiences for others? This question really taps into who I am, and excited me tremendously.
While I have certainly enjoyed my stint as a Director of Technology, which has delighted me with strategic planning, multi-year equipment replacements, growing the WiFi network and bandwidth, eRate and budget planning, I wondered if maybe, just maybe, I was missing out on fun I’d enjoyed when younger. And, I followed that thought….
When I look back over my career as an educator, those experiences I am most grateful for are intertwined with my volunteer efforts with TCEA. Isn’t that an incredible realization? That’s why, when the opportunity arose to see if I could rekindle my flame in a new role WITH TCEA, I couldn’t say no. And, this brings me to my big announcement.
Today, I am proud to announce that I will join the terrific team at TCEA, each committed to serving a Texas-wide community of learners! I’ll be stepping down from my position as Director of Technology for a San Antonio area school district, and embracing Texas in a way I have only dreamed. My new position is as a Director of Professional Development for the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA); I start officially this March, 2016 after Spring Break.
Aside: Please allow me to extend my sincere thanks to the TCEA team I will be joining, as well as the TCEA Board of Directors! Oh, the places we’ll go!
Don’t be afraid to call TCEA and say hello, ok? My new email address there will be mguhlin at t c e a dot o r g
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