Got Charge? Giving Kids the Power!

3 Times the Charm?  OR  Spend $130 Bucks and Literally Give Kids the Power!
I've discovered that the mix of the digital divide, possible turbulent home lives, and general teenage forgetfulness results in a loss of power. Yes, they usually admit that they fall asleep with their phone next to them and not plugged in. Shocker.  It seems that some of my students who DO have devices (yes, there are still a lot who do NOT) show up to school with a low or no charge. A device that they LOVE to use for social connections and fun in the hallways and during free time. Oh yeah, and sometimes in class for learning, too! Without that device they feel a serious gap in their daily lives.
We fill that gap. 
A few years ago, I was inspiredby the charging lockers I saw during a visit to theHillwood High School Library in Nashvillewith the ISTE Board of Directors and I wanted to support our BYOD pilot program and our kiddos by giving them a place to recharge their devices in school.
And of course t…

5 Fab Ways to Animate Your EduLife!

This article was published in NEA Today Magazine - pages 18-20 - and also posted on the NEA Today Website 

5 Fab Ways to Animate Your EduLife!   
Begin BitmojiSavvy SignageFresh FeedbackSocial SharingCool Communication Have you fallen in love with Bitmoji yet? This fun FREE app has been around for a few years and now can be easily used to transform and animate your professional life and classroom. For those new to this app, 

Bitmoji is an emoji or avatar that you can customize to look just like you (or in my case a younger skinnier version of me!) which is then automatically inserted into all kinds of colorful cartoons. You can use Bitmoji stickers as your Twitter avatar, on Snapchat stories, within Seesaw and Google Apps for Education, rubrics, within Gmail, on your blog, or for classroom or library signage.  It’s also a fun way to add spice to you texting life with friends and family -- and there are at least four fab ways you can animate your edulife and use in the classroom! 


Text Me ART

Sometimes you just need Art in your life, on your wall, and now on
your phone. The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a great service for you.

"The Museum has just unveiled a novel twist on the picture of the day: Smartphone users merely text “send me” plus a word or two of what they want to 572-51 and the Museum’s servers spit out a related image from the institution’s 35,000 pieces of art."- NY Daily News

Text 572-51 with the words “send me” followed by a keyword, a color, or even an emoji and you’ll receive a related artwork image and caption via text message.

It's not perfect, though. Sometimes you have to try different words to get something close to what you want.

And there's no nudity - not that I think the gallery is prudish, I can just imagine the awkward conversations with parents of teenagers.

"The nude form has been part of artistic creation since the earliest cave paintings. But people who text “send me nudes” or “send me nude woman” receive …

8 Practical Tips for the Care and Feeding of the Reluctant Tech User

(This is a mirror post to the NEA Today Magazine article online and on  Pages 18-19,  under a shorter title - why did they change my title? I thought it was charming! They also only used one of my graphics, don't worry, I'll cry later- silent slow tears on my pillow)

In technology (and in life!), sometimes you’re the teacher and sometimes you’re the student - and it’s completely normal to always be a bit of both. One day, you help a colleague learn the joys of the copy and paste keyboard shortcut, and the next day you’re learning how to create and edit a YouTube video or a Gabsee 3D animated Avatar!

So, whether you’re teaching or learning, or a bit of both, here are a few practical tips to make it a little easier for the reluctant tech user.  

1. Make it Personal
Teaching technology in isolation never works. But teaching tech with a personal twist works most every time.  When a reluctant tech user learns how to do something with technology centered around a subject or topic abo…