Sit Rep

Summer’s over, folks. For me, anyway.

1. Got a cool announcement about a conference I’ll be at- but that I’m not running. Pretty excited about it. Check back tomorrow for details and linkage.

2. The school year is starting to roll along, so figure I’ll be getting started on new Tangentials pretty soon. First up is an episode about Red Heads. I’ll likely shoot it as a long form version, and then edit a short version down from that. Likely.

3. A very old friend of mine, Ed Sassler, has tapped me for a new project he’s working on. We’re meeting up this week, in person, to get started on my end of things. It’ll be a ton of work, but I’m excited to be onboard for this. Details/website/info as it becomes available.

4. I’m trying to run updates pretty much every day now. That means mostly shorter-format posts, which is something I’m better at anyway.

Loads more to come.

Back to my tea.

Sit Rep!

So my summer’s coming to a close (rapidly!), and it’s time to get a handle on where I am with things. Here goes.

1. #bpscon is ready to go. Mostly. Schedule is done, sessions are ready (?!), and logistics are mostly covered. Somewhat easier than other con’s I’ve done, in that way, given that everyone is an employee already…

2. One more day of iPad rollout for this year- until the mid-year mark, when there’s another HUGE rollout happening. But still. For now, almost done.

3. New room is mostly up-and-running. Got some smaller stuff to move around and some software I’m still waiting on (!), but the bones of it are coming together nicely. Next step: media gear setup, and art on the walls.

4. My handbook for my Media Production class is pretty much ready to go. It’s built in iBooks Author, and I’ll post a link to it here as soon as it’s public for the students.

5. I’ve been back to twitter, if you’ve been missing me there. I’m finding #sschat to be a great place, even though I’m not a Social Studies or History teacher… and as far as I can tell, #edchat is dead. Utterly useless at this point- a no longer productive echo chamber. A shame, really.

If you’ve read some of my other posts, you know my project list is hovering in the 30-40 range right now- and I’ve been making some progress through those in the last few weeks. I’ll likely abandon some of those- and that’s not a bad thing, but there’s a 100% chance I’ll add more too. As I’ve said before: I get bored quickly.

Back in the land of the living…

Holy Smokes.

Having your tonsils out at my age is (as everyone told me…) no joke. It’s been over a week and I’m just getting back to feeling like I’m alive again.

In the meantime, I’ve gotten a good start on my handbook/course expectations for my media production course this year. I’m doing it in iBooks Author because I want a) It to look glossy and nice and b) Because I want/need more practice with it as a publishing platform. It’s looking good thus far- heavily influenced by the Tom Sachs “10 Bullets” video I posted a couple of months ago. Next step with it is graphics work. Content is (mostly) there.

I’m headed back to work (I think…) tomorrow, for the rest of the summer. That’s right, kids: my year starts tomorrow. Long list of things to do there- see my last post for details. I’m sort-of looking forward to it, but I’ll miss the time with family.


Pretty excited for my new classroom. I’m going to spend some serious time working on it’s layout and configuration, and I’ve been doing some reading on the nature of creativity and creative spaces- that is to say, spaces that have been optimized to stimulate creativity- and I’m eager to apply them to my classroom.



Projects, oh my…

Figures. It’s halfway through summer and I’ve got more projects going than I can shake a stick at. Here’s a few:

1. Started working on a handbook for my media production class for next year based on some of the concepts from Tom Sach’s handbook for employees of his studio. His video is here, and is a good watch if you’re a dork like me.

2. In the midst of uploading near-as-makes-no-difference 11,000 songs to Google Play. I’ll be able to rock out anywhere from the cloud! Too bad the upload has taken three full days so far- and will almost certainly take another two.

3. Building a new fly rod for myself- a fiberglass switch rod created out of the unholy union of some existing rods. It’ll be cheap, dirty, and wildly unattractive, but fun. How often do you get to use a hacksaw while building a rod?

4. Breaking in this new computer. MacBook Air 11″

5. Pushing towards no local storage use. Combo of GDrive and Dropbox right now. More specifics in an upcoming post on Setup.

6. Overhauling the backyard. I get to mount a brush blade on my gas line trimmer. Woooo!

7. Tonsillectomy. Today, actually.

8. Still waiting on Apple to release they’re school profile of BHS- and hoping to see a little of my shining visage in it.

9. Migrating (again) my large(ish) collection of digital photos. Not looking forward to this.

10. Tons of new art to hang at the house. Frames, as always, slowing that down. Have a literal stack of pieces to deal with.

11. Pre-production of several new Tangential episodes. These will be delayed in shooting until I heal from #7.

12. Roll out of 250 new iPad2’s at the High School.

13. Prep for mid-year distribution of ~1000 iPad2’s for Middle School.

14. Prep for 500 person 3 day district PD to kick off the year.

15. Prep for huge Google Conference in November.

That’s enough to mention here for now- but there’s more. I’ve found that the pile is so big I can’t look at it in the eye- only from the side before I get overwhelmed.

Side eye it is, then.




Where’d I go?

To Maine, actually. For a week.

And yes, it was lovely.

But I’m back for a week or so, and thought I’d do some work on here. To whit:

1. Updated (a bit) the “About Me” Section

2. Added a “Tangential” Tab, with a drop down menu of available videos

3. Deleted exactly 776 spam comments

Which tired me out, so I had a cup of tea.

I’m teaching a two day session at EDCO at the end of the week, and I’m pretty excited. It’s about iPads in the High School classroom, and I’m looking forward to conversations and questions.

Sit Rep!

It’s the very start of the summer, and here’s where I’m at with projects:

1. The Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative is happening tomorrow, and I’m pretty excited. We’re over 600 people registered- making it one of the larger one-day education conferences in the northeast. I’m leading one session the first day, and I’m leading four sessions (including a keynote) the second day. Busy busy busy. Exciting stuff, though.

2. I’ve had to put the fifth episode of Tangential on hold for a minute.  Between the end-of-the-year, exams, moving my classroom, #madpc, and getting ready for some genuine vacation time, there’s not been any time to shoot or edit an episode. The subject and script are both ready, I’ve just not been able to crank it out. Keep calm: I’ll be doing it this summer. Earlier- but likely not for about two weeks. Likely. As it stands right now, the entire Tangential series is less than twenty minutes long- but don’t underestimate how densely packed that twenty minutes is. That’s wall to wall, foot to the floor delivery- and boy, being a Boston kid, can I talk fast.

3. I’ve had a bit of a transformative moment after watching this video put out by Tom Sach’s studio. I’m not entirely sure why it’s effected me so much- but it’s been creeping into my life ever since. I’ve been knolling my cutting board in the kitchen while making our meals. No, really. Anyway, I think some of the concepts will form the basis of my new Media Production classroom for next year. The idea of “sacred space” and “the code” are pretty compelling. So compelling that I’m writing my own handbook for success.

That’s it, for now.




Hey Folks!

Lots going on, even though it’s the very end of my school year. The fun don’t stop.

1. The Mass Digital Publication Collaborative is nearly here, and numbers are booming! Nearly (as of Friday, anyway) at 600 people coming, and I do hope you’re one of them. The schedule is up, and I’m running a few sessions. The catering’s being done by B.Good, who are both excellent and excellent to work with. Can’t say enough good things about them. I’m getting excited- and I’ve got tons to share. If you can’t make it, make sure you follow the conference on twitter with the #madpc hashtag.

2. I’ve been doing the research for Tangential Ep5- I’m hoping to shoot/edit/post that this week, likely earlier rather than later. It’s a bit crazy right now with finals and whatnot going on, but I’m going to try to get it done anyway. View counts are still pretty low there, but I’m hoping that’s because it’s the end-of-the-year wind-down and nobody is looking for new stuff right now. Though, truth be told, it could just as easily be because (a) nobody really wants to see me that close up or (b) nobody really dives into the tangential stuff I do with Lord of the Flies. 50/50 really.

3. I’m working on some digital publications. That should come come as no surprise, I suppose, given #1, but it’s true. I’ll post more about them when they’re in a state to be posted.

4. I’m doing a bunch of work to refine my setup. Nothing that’s posted on the Setup page as of yet, but some clear changes that’ll simplify and amplify how I work, I hope. Cutting back on the number of machines I work at/with, clearing up some crazy cable messes, mounting things differently, etc… One of that inspirations for that came from this excellent video, found via The Setup.

5. I’m doing a lot more posting over at G+. More so, even, then here or twitter. I can’t recommend it enough as a platform, and it’s really maturing nicely with features. By far the most interactive place I’ve found to share ideas.

That’s it!


For a second, while cleaning out the span in the comments on here, I thought I had a live comment. Nope!


1. I helped write a grant for a 3D printer for my school, and it got accepted. So that’s good- and this week I had a meeting with a rep about some of the printers he carries and offers. I’ll give him loads of credit- he knows his stuff, and he was totally awesome to deal with. He’s offering his for more than twice the price of what I asked for, so that’s something to be thought about, but regardless it’s looking like we’ll have a 3D printer at the school next year. Awesome.

2. My session this summer with EDCO is running for sure, which is good news. I’m really looking forward to that. There’s still room, from what I gather, so get in while you can.

3. The MA Digital Publication Collaborative is coming along nicely- that is to say “is accelerating wildly.” The schedule is up, and I’m running a ton of sessions- so please, sign up and come and share. Last I looked we were rapidly approaching 400 people- and we still have some room for more…

4. I’ve got three episodes of Tangential up- the cover some basic vocab, the Milgram Experiment, and an overview of the Robbers Cave Experiment, the Stanford Prison Experiment, and The Third Wave experiment. I’m really enjoying doing them, and I’m hoping to get another up in the coming week. These are all part of the first unit devoted to Lord of the Flies- a book I have strong feelings about teaching.

That’s it, I think. Loads going on in the wings, but I’ll make sure to post about other new exciting stuff as it happens.





Tons of stuff.

1. Tangential, my new ELA podcast is two episodes deep right now, and I’m really proud of it. I’m starting with Lord of the Flies, and I’ll keep going to cover tangential topics related to other books as well.

2. Long Road Home is still live, but I’m changing the format somewhat. I got sick of one camera in the car, and I want to make it a little more stimulating visually. There are two of the new-er style up now, and I’m not entirely settled on where it goes from here.

3. The 2012 Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative is edging closer and closer. I’m still excited, and I’m still teaching a ton of sessions. Come!

4. I’m still teaching a summer workshop on iPads in High School classrooms with EDCO. You might still find it useful.

5. I’m starting some work on some digital editions of some books- It feels nice to get back to building books, as it’s been a good while since I handled anything properly large. I’ll post links as those go public.



It’s Memorial Day weekend, and instead of relaxing, I’m neck deep in projects.

Not a bad thing.

1. I’ve launched a new podcast series I’m calling Tangential. It’s focused on making quality videos that deal with issues tangential to the books often taught in High School English classes. I’m not in a classroom next year, so this is my way of contributing. I have no idea about my schedule for these; I’ll get them done as I can. I’m starting with Lord of the Flies.

2. The Mass Digital Publication Collaborative keeps inching (speeding?) closer every day. Attendance has jumped in the last few days, and we’re really excited about some of the sessions we’re running and offering. I hope you’ll come if you’re able.

3. I’m excited to be teaching a two day session at EDCO this July on using iPads in High School classrooms. It should be really good- I’ve learned a ton in my time doing this, and I’m really excited to share.

4. The Long Road Home is thundering away in it’s newest incarnation. I’ve had loads of good feedback, mostly (interestingly!) from students. I’m debating shifting the focus to address that specifically. Especially with my current mission of bringing computer games to the ELA classroom.

That’ll do, for now.