SitRep

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.

 

t.

 

SitREP

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.

t.

SitRep

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.

 

t.

 

SitRep!

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.

 

SitRep!

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.

 

t.

 

SitRep

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.

So much newness…

It’s the beginning of vacation for me, though I suspect there won’t be much in the way of “vacationing” going on around here. To busy for that sort of thing. Busy busy busy. So it goes.

Anyway, here’s the rundown of what lunacy I’ve involved myself in this week:

1. New England 1:1 Summit has over 300 tickets sold- we had limited to 300, but we’ve added another 200 tickets, just in case. I’ve got a post on it here, and clearly I’ll be there. I’m even leading a session. Come!

2. The transition to a self-hosted WordPress blog is complete- and wasn’t anywhere near as ugly as I was ready for. A big thanks to Noah over at Prxy. It wasn’t my skills that kept things moving and painless. All him.

3. I’m currently teaching Little Brother by Cory Doctorow in my freshman English class. I “taught” it last year while out on paternity leave, so this is my first year doing it in the class with students. Also: ePub only. Which means I actually have to bring my iPad to class a lot of days.

4. I’ve been pushing the Everything Is A Remix series for a good long time, and the last film just came out. It’s required watching, people- for both you and your students. Get on that.

5. I’ve got a couple of minor projects going together over the next week or three- all small stuff, but I’ll post up here about them as they get closer or after they’re done.

6. HUGE project in the works with some other very good folks. Cannot stress the nature of the HUGE-NESS, but alas, as of right now, it has to be hush-hush. Announcement on this coming soon. I promise.

Annndddd We’re Live!

There we go, folks. Live and back at ’em.

1. Email is live, too. So you can stop having your emails bounce. Which is nice.

2. I’m working on a pretty involved video project right now- multiple camera shoots, 1080/24p, and the like. I should have the A-roll finished this week, and with my fingers crossed, much of the B-Roll too. Then editing. Lots of editing. I can say that it’s for the New England 1:1 Summit, and that it will debut there, but I’ll post it here as well.

That’s it, for now.

Happy to be back and in action.

 

t.

 

Bit of news…

Couple of things going on. Allow me to enumerate them.

1. Our school is in the midst of Poetry Out Loud, a national poetry recitation/dramatic reading competition. School semi finals are today, and have just over 100 students taking part, which represents roughly the top 10% of performances. I’ll be running a livestream of the entire event today, which runs all day, from 7:35am until nearly 2:00pm (EST). Feel free to tune in over here to see what that looks like. The finals (which is much shorter & top 1% of all students) will be Feb 10th, and for that I’ll be producing the stream live- remote cameras and all. I’ll post that link then, too.

2. This blog/webpage is finally ready to move to a custom server- so expect that to be happening soon, likely over this weekend. If all goes well, it’ll look just as it does now, and you’d never be the wiser. But if things go sideways a bit… well, there you go.

3. The New England 1:1 Summit is gathering some steam- more people signing up, more sponsors getting on board… And you should, too. It’s free, it’s fun, and there will be tons of good talks about how 1:1 isn’t really about tech at all, and is about a shift in culture. The first-draft schedule just got posted too- check that out as well.

t.