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.





What a busy week it’s been. Lots going on:

1. My newest (same same but different) Vlog is live, over on my Youtube Channel. I’m back to (currently) recording video podcasts in my car, usually on the way home from work. It’s safe, I promise. I’m hoping to move on to other… venues… but right now my commute is some of the only free time I have. Give it a watch, think a bit, get psyched, and then…

2… take part in Mission #1: The Quest to Find a Good Classroom As A Video Game Platform. Or, TQFGCVGP, as I shall now call it. The Google Doc is here. I’m really excited about this- I hope you are too.

3. I’m teaching a class this summer for EDCO, in Waltham MA. The flyer (as a PDF) is here, and you should totally take it, if you’re interested in starting with iPads in a High School setting. It’s a topic I know a bit about. It’s a two-day session, and we’ll be starting at the basics and moving towards more advanced workflows. You’ll want to bring an iPad- and a smile, ’cause it’s going to be awesome.

4. Numbers of people coming to The 2012 Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative are ramping up, and I’ve been watching Andy and Dennis slave over the schedule to make sure the MANY sessions and MANY presenters all have a chance to share what they know. It’s going to be good, it’s going to be free, and you should, if at all able, come.

5. I’ve headed into some murky water with my latest project in the classroom- it’s too early to say how it’s going, but I’m looking forward to being able to post some of what I (and the students) learn in the next week or two. Suffice it to say that I’ve never done it before, and I’m a bit anxious- which are both good things.

6. I’ve added a “Mission Control” tab to the top of this blog for keeping track of the missions we embark on. I also updated my Setup page to better reflect my current uses/devices/apps. My actual setup changes ever couple of days, depending on what I’m doing, but this update better reflects how I’m currently using it. And lastly, some small updates/tweeks to my About Me page.



A very, very busy week- and not for reasons I’d like, for the most part. Regardless:

1. The Mass Digital Publication conference is inching every closer- make sure you sign up to come a share. We’re pushing towards a future where educators can quickly and easily produce their own custom digital textbooks without having to rely on commercial publishers. I’ll be presenting, likely on the topics of containers- which means formats for you to put your content into. I’ll likely be covering PDF’s, ePub’s, and iBooks Author files. And I keep saying “likely” because things aren’t set in stone. Yet.

2. There’s a post coming up on this subject, but I’ll mention it here a bit: I’ve been spending a chunk of time in the last two months or so working on how we display information to students. At first, it was just play. I wanted to mix up my setup a bit in part just to tinker. What I’m finding, however, is that the physical means by which we show data to students can make a profound impact on how that information is received and interpreted. Again, a full post on this soon.

3. We made Google Drive live for our staff (on our Google Apps for Ed deployment). I’m looking forward to the possibilites it opens up for sharing even more, and I’m even more looking forward to being able to open it up to students. Also: Google needs to make an iOS app for Drive. STAT.

4. I know it’s my darling, but If This Then That just keeps getting better- every time I go, I find more ideas about how to use it to make my life richer and simpler. If you’re not using it, I really do suggest trying it out. It’s a way (however small) of moving towards the very interesting future of the Internet of Things.

That’s it, for now.





It been a few weeks since I’ve done one of these, so I figured it was time again. All sorts of new bits in the works. So:

1. The Massachusetts Digital Publication Collaborative is doing it’s thing this June 25-27th. I’ll be there (and I’m helping organize and whatnot…). It’s looking likely that I’ll be presenting, most probably on the subject of digital textbook containers (ePub/PDF/iBooks Author, etc…). Sign up, come, say “Hi.”

2. I’m teaching a two day session for EDCO in Waltham MA. It’s focused on using iPads in High School classrooms. I suspect there’s still space, and it’ll be a good time. Maybe I’ll see you there, too.

3. Apple came back to our school for a video profile and interviewed me again- so there’s the chance you’ll be seeing me in a video on their webpage, thought that’s likely a few months out still.

4. I’ve been neck-deep in iBooks Author for a few months now. I’m starting to find it’s areas of both usefulness and limitations. It makes for a very nice, clean, enjoyable output, but it’s clearly be aimed mostly at professional producers.

5. I’ve been getting back to twitter in an interactive way recently. I was posting lots of content, but most of it wasn’t aimed a specific groups- it was just broadcast out into the twitterverse. These days, however, I’ve been finding myself on #sschat more and more. I feel a little traitorous doing it- I’m an English teacher by training, and hanging out with the History/SocialStudies people is all sorts of wrong. That said, they’re a really good group… and, well… #engchat feels pretty dead whenever I drop by. So now you know where to find me.



I’ve been under the weather for a few days, and not been sure why. Then I realized: this might be the busiest week of the year for me. It goes like this.

1. I’ve got visits from at least three different districts this week, which is always good. I really like getting to share what we’re doing and how we’re making it work.

2. I’m giving at talk for EDCO on Thursday evening. I haven’t been back since I did a presentation there last year, but I’m looking forward to explaining how we’re making our High School 1:1 program work.

3. And this is the big one, people. The New England 1:1 Summit is this Saturday, March 10th. Somehow, it’s gotten completely out of control. Vendors. Catering. T-Shirts. Sessions. 450 people. How did this happen? I’m totally excited about it, and totally in awe of how large it’s grown. Can’t wait to meet a lot of interesting and passionate people.

So there you go- from busy to insane in three simple steps.

Hope to see you along the way.





Lots of newness this week.

1. I’ve become a massive fan of the new app called Clear. I’m getting more done because of it, and the design is so clean and thought out it’s a pleasure to use.

2. Re: the New England 1:1 Summit– We’re going to have to cap tickets at about 350 out of fear we’ll run out of parking. Last I looked we were closing in on 330, so if you’re interested, time to get in on that.

3. Big News: I’m part of the biggest sponsor of that summit. Let me introduce to you, EducatorU. It’s a small(ish) consulting group aimed at providing soup-to-nuts help with district’s transitions towards 1:1 environments. To that end, the list of services is substantial (and growing), and we’ve got lots of content coming your way. The website is partially up (my Bio’s not even there yet- they’re waiting on my picture), but we’ve got a lot going on. Drop us a line.

4. Minor update to the Setup page.

5. I’ve been more active over on twitter recently. Lots of reasons, but I’m trying to bring related content to the educational world that isn’t from within the educational world. So expect lots of… slightly oddball… posts. Fair warning. But I hope you folks find them useful.