Saturday, June 17, 2017

Blogging Buddies

One exciting outcome from being more focused on "being a blogger" is discovering ISTE's Blogging Buddies.  I've connected with four amazing educators, Lauren Villaluz, Arielle Goldstein, Jennifer Trattner and Bridget Walters.

Lauren Villaluz is a technology integrationist and former K-12 Spanish teacher in Michigan.
Arielle Goldstein is a technology and library media specialist in New Jersey.
Jennifer Trattner is a technology coach in Glendale, Wisconsin.
Bridget Walters is a district instructional coach and former science teacher in Florida.
 and learned about design thinking in 2nd grade, gotten a sneak peek into the Summer SPARK conference and been inspired to make the most of my summer by reading their blogs.

I look forward to learning and growing with this group and sharing both our education experiences and our journeys as bloggers.

On a practical note, I've added each person to a Twitter list and added that list to a tab in my Hootsuite.  I have a board called Blogging Buddies in Feedly to keep track of new posts and comments.  ISTE has created at Blogging Buddies Site where you can find information about the program. ISTE created a Twitter List of all the Blogging Buddies participants that you can follow.  You can also follow all Blogging Buddies on Feedly.

Monday, June 12, 2017

An Excuse To Go Shopping

Being selected as an ISTE17 Emerging Edublogger is a great excuse to go shopping. But, it's not what you think. I'm geeky, a title that I embrace, and I hate to spend money unless I absolutely have to.  But, for my Edublogging project, I need stuff. I am interviewing students and others and broadcasting using Periscope.  The interviews will be livestreamed to my Periscope channel at and to Twitter under the #ISTE17, #StudentShowcases and #PasstheScopeEDU hashtags.  The ISTE Twitter audience is huge so these interviews need to look and sound amazing, right? So... I need to shop for some stuff.

Purchase #1: The iRig Mic

I love this mic. It plugs into my Samsung S6. It has a long cord. It is directional, so it filters out the loud convention center noise and captures the voices of even the softest student interviewees. Check out this interview of adorable 3rd graders from my first interview project at NCTIES. (Pardon my awkwardness at the beginning or scroll to about 1:21 to hear the students.)  You can hear the students clearly even though in real life she was speaking in practically a whisper. And, you can see that I didn't need to hold the mic so close to her mouth.  I got better with positioning the mic as I got more experience doing the interviews.

Purchase #2: External Battery

Truth #1 - Periscope drains your battery like a boss. Truth #2 - Once your phone is down to about 30%, it's hopeless.  Truth #3 - Not all external batteries are created the same.  Truth #4 - Discovering all this in the middle of Periscoping your event is a bummer.

For ISTE, I'm bringing two external batteries;   the KMASHI 10000mAh Portable Power Bank with Dual USB Ports. This is going to be for charging low-use devices like my iPad.  The second batter is the Anker PowerCore II 20000 Portable Charger, 2000 mAh Power Bank with 3 Power IQ, 6A Output, Dual Input and 4A Fast Recharging. The Periscoping phone will be connected to this battery continually when scoping to keep it from draining down.  If needed, the fast charging connection will be helpful to get the phone recharged during down times.

Purchase #3: Microphone Logo Flag

This is the Foxnovo Square Cube Shaped Interview Mic Microphone Logo Flag Station.  This purchase is going to stretch my creativity, because I'm going to have to make a snazzy sticker. But, it's all part of the plan to amplify the message of the students that I'm interviewing. Sarah Thomas recently recommended Adobe Spark, so I think I'm going to try it using it to make the sticker(s).  The Logo Flag cube will let me display my blog URL, the #ISTE17 and #PasstheScopeEDU hashtags and my website right on the microphone.

Purchase #4: Mic Covers

Next up is a 10-pack of Microphone Windscreen Foam Mic Covers. These have not arrived yet and I'm a little nervous because the reviews on Amazon were very up and down. Some reviewers were super happy and others got packs of covers with faded and smeared colors.  I'm hoping for the best.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Pass the Scope EDU: An Epic Collaboration

I love collaborating with the people in the Pass the Scope EDU community. Educators from all over the United States and several countries share their experiences, wisdom, and expertise via Periscope on the third Thursday of every month and every month it is inspirational, funny and amazing. And, every month I think, "Well, that was the best ever.  It can't get better than that."  And, you know what happens, right? The next month, it gets better.

May Was Amazing

Periscope is a live-streaming app that also posts to Twitter. One of the easiest ways to watch our broadcasts is to search Twitter for the #PasstheScopeEDU. But, we also have a theme each month and a special hashtag to go with it. The theme for May was #aMayzingMoments. Trust me, it lived up to its hashtag. Almost half the scopers, that's what we call people who Periscope, produced a professional broadcast using OBS. OBS is a free, open-source software for video recording and live streaming.  And, as usual, I was left wondering how we were going to top that?

Here's How

At the end of June, Pass the Scope EDU educators will descend on the biggest technology conference in the world: ISTE - the International Society for Technology in Education conference in San Antonio, TX. Our missions are as varied as we are.  Here's a short summary of what each us is planning to do. We hope you find it helpful, give us feedback and comments during the live broadcasts and  let us know what you're doing to make #ISTE17 amazing!
Follow us on Twitter, search for the #PasstheScopeEDU hashtag on Twitter and find us on Periscope.
I am thrilled to be teaming up in real life with Toutoule Ntoya who I’ve been collaborating with virtually on Backyard Science and STEM projects for over a year.  We will interview students to amplify their voice and capture their point of view.  My focus, my mission, my quest is to show teachers the point of their investments in project-based, maker-based, inquiry-based, non-traditional, 21st-century teaching methods.  And that point is the students. And, they are amazing. Follow me on Twitter:

In addition to interviewing students, Toutoule plans to broadcast his experiences as he explores the influences of technology on students. Implementing technology can be really daunting and if teachers can see the results of taking the dive maybe there will be more tech use in classrooms around the country. The best part is that this "in real life" experience will form the basis for even more conversations as we head back home. Our collaboration at ISTE is the manifestation of the investment in building a PLN grounded in relationships. Our conversations have impacted  our thinking and passion behind technology integration.

This is Derek's first ISTE and he is making it as memorable as possible. He is speaking at the Sunday Ignite session and will be broadcasting interviews with edtech vendors about the newest technologies, software, devices, and applications for the classroom from the ISTE Expo Hall. He also plans to broadcast at Badge Summit and the Participate event on Saturday, the EduMatch Meetup and Global Education Day on Sunday, the Class Dojo meetup, Seesaw Happy Hour and EdTech Karaoke on Tuesday. You may even see some exclusive interviews with ISTE officials as Derek is an ISTE Emerging Edublogger. Should be a blast!

Brian is a 1:1 Technology Learning Coach in North Texas. An ISTE veteran, this will be his first year as an ISTE Review Captain for the BYOD Strand.  Brian will begin broadcasting on Saturday morning at the Badge Summit hosted at the ESC for Region 4. On Sunday, he will set up PTSEDU’s OBS and broadcast from the ISTE Bloggers Cafe to capture the learning and connections being made by the educators, learners and eduRockstars who come by. Monday and Tuesday will include broadcasts from the BYOD sessions approved by his team and broadcasts from the ISTE17 Bloggers Cafe including interviews with special guests from Common Sense Education, Nearpod, Air Squirrel, Microsoft and Flipgrid.
Jacqueline is an Instructional Technologist from Fort Worth, TX, as well as a first-time ISTE attendee. On Tuesday, she will be taking over the “Woman in Technology” Snapchat channel. She'll be interviewing fellow Pass the Scopers via Snapchat, and hopes to gain exposure for the Edu-scope movement by sharing a behind the scenes look.
On Wednesday the 28th, Jacqueline will be broadcasting from the ISTE Leadership Playground. This event focuses on exposing district administration and leaders to innovative educational methods.

Claudio is excited to be attending ISTE for the first time and will be presenting at ISTE Ignite Session on Sunday. He will be interviewing learners and educators as Man In The Street. He also plans to broadcast from the Badge Summit on Saturday, June 24th and from the Flipgrid ambassador dinner Tuesday, June 27th.

This is Dene's first ISTE experience, however, he is not new to San Antonio having served in the United States Air Force and spent time at Lackland AFB before entering education. He plans to broadcast from some of the sessions that he attends and to share his experiences as a new ISTE attendee. Dene is experimenting with using Periscope and the PasstheScopeEDU community to, in sense, manage the incredible volume of information that ISTE has to offer.

Sarah is a fourth-time ISTE attendee and plans to Pass the Scope as much as possible for the #notatiste crew. She will also be involved in a few things during the conference. On Sunday, she will be hosting the third annual Edumatch ISTE meetup, and later will be delivering an ignite immediately before the opening keynote. Monday, she will be participating in a panel discussion about being a Google Certified Innovator. Wednesday, she will be on an ISTE panel about what to do with information learned at the conference, and then will be doing a presentation about Edumatch and Edcamp Voice with the ISTE Global Collaboration PLN.

See. Told You!

That's how we're going to top the last year's worth of Periscope broadcasts that captured the wisdom of educators from all over the United States and Canada, from Buenos Aires to Singapore and more. Broadcasts that addressed edtech integration and social justice. Included teacher voices and student voices. This month, we're taking the show on the road and bringing ISTE to you in your kitchen or wherever you happen to be.
See you soon!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Best Buy Awesomeness

Virtual Reality and Best Buy Education

Virtual reality and Best Buy Education have been a huge part of my instructional technology life this year. My school district began the year working with Best Buy Education to bring Google Expeditions Virtual Field trip kits to every feeder school area. WOW! That means that my instructional technology colleagues and I have worked with every school and hundreds of teachers to deliver standards-based virtual reality lessons to over 7,500 students.

How Did This Happen?

My district has 5 feeder areas and a team of instructional technology facilitators who scheduled, trained, carried and carted five Google Expeditions kits from school to school beginning in September to the last week of school. We tried having our internal courier service pick up and deliver the kits from school to school, but the demand was so great that we found that, to be responsive to our teachers, we needed to deliver the kits ourselves. This maximized the number of days that devices were in the hands of students and teachers. Best Buy even wrote about our District in a Case Study for their website.

Find Out More

Best Buy Education has a booth at #ISTE17 (Booth #2818) and will be demonstrating Google Expeditions, Robo, pi-top and much more.  I'll Periscoping from the Best Buy booth and I hope you'll tune in. The broadcast will go out to the #ISTE17 and the #PassthescopeEDU hashtags.  If I can get my schedule organized I'll try to publish my calendar on line. #fingerscrossed!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

#ISTE17 Emerging Edublogger

Take a chance and go for it!  That's what I did and it worked. I'm officially an ISTE Emerging
Edublogger. It didn't seem real until I received an email with "media credentials".  How cool is that!
One of my primary missions at ISTE in San Antonio is to interview students at the poster sessions, panels and ignites and capture their ideas about learning in my blog & Google Site similar to the one I did for NCTIES last spring (Periscoping NCTIES) . In addition to being one of the best conference experience EVER, capturing student voice in this way gave me vehicle to show the end results of project-based, maker-based, inquiry-based, non-traditional learning to the teachers back home in my district in a way that is more powerful than a set of notes from a presentation. 
I want to give a shout out to Stacey Finkel with Adam Shapiro Public Relations who is handling media for ISTE this year. She has been amazingly helpful in getting information about the process, especially related interviewing students and social media permissions.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Power of Periscope

Why Periscope and not just a video interview posted on a website?

I've thought about that question a lot. What is the benefit of Periscoping the interviews that I do with
Davis Drive Elementary Students
students at conferences like the NC Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)?  It's the power of the hashtag and amplifying the student's voice to a wider audience.
The Hashtag. Conferences are hashtag heaven! Everyone is Tweeting out their best moments and gems of wisdom and it's all captured in the Twittersphere via the hashtag.  Search #NCTIES17 or #ISTE2017 and it's all there. What better place to extend the reach of our students than to broadcast their message to everyone following the conference hashtag?
The Interview. Turns out kids love to be interviewed. Even the kids who seemed reluctant at first, were amazing and lost their reservations once we started the interview.  A little background. I treated the students as if they were guests on a live TV show. I told them that I would do a quick introduction to our audience and then ask them to introduce themselves and tell us about their project. I let them know that our audience might ask questions live on screen.  This brief preparation had the effect of freaking them out and making them super excited all at the same time.
Here's the amazing thing. Teachers commented later that they heard their students talk about things during the interview that they had never heard before. The mere fact of the interview and a live audience pulled out ideas from the students that hadn't surfaced during the practice sessions back at school or during the previous hours of talking to the adults who passed by the student showcase booth. It was the power of The Interview.
The Power of Periscope. I don't use Periscope for everything. There are times when Google Hangouts is the right tool and other times when uploading a video to Youtube is the best choice. But, for amplifying student voice to the education community following a hashtag and connecting students to that authentic audience, Periscope is a powerful tool.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Aunt Martha Wants to Know.

What's the point?

Castle Hayne Elementary
@DavedGlenn and Students at NCTIES17
Two of my incredible PLNs are PasstheScopeEDU and NCEd. They are filled with talented people who, seriously, I’m privileged to learn with. Over the past few months, Kyle Hamstra, Ron Madison and Brendan Fetters have been urging, encouraging, suggesting, use whatever adjective you want to, that I write about Periscope. But, I’ve been too busy. Too busy working. Too busy Periscoping. Too busy doing … life!

Enter stage right.  Mom and Aunt Martha.

My amazing mom, who is turning 79 this year, told me about a conversation she had with my Aunt Martha the other day.  Mom was giving her an update on the family and what everyone has been up to. Apparently, when it came to me, the question that came up was, “Why?”

Why, at this point in my career, am I investing so much time and energy in all these crazy new things like Periscope and virtual reality?  Why not relax and enjoy just teaching?  It all seems so stressful. What's the point?

There are probably several blogs wrapped up in that paragraph, but I’m going to start here.  Why should teachers invest time and energy in all these crazy new techie things? I have an answer. Because, these techie tools enable us to see the point of everything we do.

I’ve needed to write about Periscope for a while.  This is the first in a series about the power of Periscope and live streaming in general to capture the point of what we do in education.  The first one is how Periscope amplifies student voice and how we can use it to capture authentic learning. I don't think I'm being hyperbolic.  Next, I'm going to write about why I choose Periscope over other live streaming platforms. Other blogs will be more practical and “how-to” oriented.

I would love your comments and feedback as I write these blogs and become a more active blogger. Thank you for reading!