Sunday, April 24, 2011

I Think Different: Macs Rule!

It came as no surprise to me to see that the CNN headline: Mac vs. PC: The stereotypes may be true that Mac computer ad campaigns have been spot on! Then dear Mashable of course picked up on that and gave us this brilliant infographic from Hunch,

You see, I've been a MacGrrl since the beginning of the first foray into teaching with the web was when I brought into my school library a 14.4k modem and a 100 foot phone line - I dialed up to the University of Maryland's server because my district didn't have the Internet yet and Uof M gave teachers FREE dial up! Wheee! My MacLCIII was smokin hon! C'mon kids let's huddle round this puter & look up state information for our unit Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego!
Then, when we opened our middle school school in 1997 we bought 200 PowerMac all in one 5200's that had the S-Video out so we could hook them up to a .....wait for it.....yeah 27" mounted TV! AND because it was a NEW school we planned to have not the one ethernet data port that was recommended per classroom but we said we needed 4! HA! We wanted one on every wall cause we sorta thought that someday we might possibly have more than one computer per classroom....cause that's how we rolled! (picture of my lab in 97)
Today we now have all new iMacs! So why am I so strenuously establishing my Mac street cred? Cause I really do think an OS reflects personality. I read that infographic & nodded the whole way! But it's really not the tool - it's the way we think. I think different. I'm creative and random and multi-tasking and as Torrence Temple said "You make ADD your beyatch." This blog posting is taking hours to write because like a squirrel ---Oh shiny! I get distracted! Tweeting DMs with Shannon Miller about AASL hotel reservations, finding pictures of my old Macs, and watching Burn Before Reading on FX....We need to teach to ALL the kids who Think Different. (and yeah, it doesn't *have* be on a Mac OS platform!)

From my iPad love, iPod touch adoration to App lust Apple has played a big part of my learning and teaching life. We don't have to be snooty about it though....really. And if we start to get uppity - then thank goodness we have people like Stephen Colbert making Salsa with his iPad and the Onion to keep us humble....AND laughing!

In The Know: Should The Nation's Unemployed Be Buying New Apple Computers?
Forgive the advertisement before the vid (though it's great ICB fodder).....darn the Onion wanting to earn money! Sharks! Poor LauraLee...go use that computer in the garage, honey! We're talking technology here! What are the poor unemployed gonna do? Go to the public library & use their free computers! Sheesh!
Forgive the shameless picture...I just HAD to do it! Maybe gonna do a whole series of these pics with my teachers - convert to B&W and photoshop the transparent .PNG logo over...did the whole READ posters years ago...something old is NEW again!
Celebrate Thinking Different!
ps. my b-day is May 21 wishing on this Tiffany Apple for my charm bracelet! [crosses fingers] Both for my love of all things Apple AND cause I'm a teacher.

Apple charm in sterling silver. via @TiffanyAndCo

Monday, April 18, 2011

or How Flickr Slapped My Smugmug!

I’ve given this every year since 08 & every year I think of dropping it –But it’s always a hit & all cool new gadgets keep coming out that excite me! Teaching is NOT about the Gadgets – it’s about the kids & content…but gadgets are cool! And with the right gadget in the hands of an engaged student & inspired teacher – magic can happen! So let's talk tools & toys!

Amazon with free super saver shipping usually wins. But sometimes if you just gotta have it NOW!…Just make sure to check the online price & availability at your local Best Buy store, and do print it out, & bring it with you! Go to the customer service desk & ask that they honor that price. Otherwise you could end up paying more? And Target? Yeah...they have great deals, too!

It pairs with your iPad via Bluetooth. It can be viewed either landscape or portrait…the keyboard feels right and the case is strong enough to drop on cement ---AND M.C. Hammer says it’s great….what more do you need? Less than $100!

I have so many USB charged stuff it ain't having extra adapters & chargers around makes life grand! Check Amazon for this great trio of handy adapters & chargers. I’ve bought this on Amazon for a .01 cents (plus $2.50 shipping) and I’ve bought it for $2.99 plus FREE shipping - either way it’s a great deal!

A 4G LiveScribe pen can do SO MANY cool things in the hands of a creative kid or teacher! Read my previous blog posting for ideas like the PenCast book reivew pictured above - PLUS…my inspired 6th grade Math teacher Liz Zinger just won a LiveScribe PenGrant and our kids are going to create pencasts with math problems worked out & explained by kids then posted to the web for on demand audio & visual help! SWEET!

Using Skype in the classroom or library is opening the world to authors and subject area experts! Find a way to make it happen!

I wrote a whole blog posting about this….but if you’re a serious reader you need a Kindle (large for a beach vacation – small for airline travel). An iPad is just so much more than a reader – and the Kindle is a must for those who read for hours!

Damn, you Cisco! Stoopid, Stoopid Cisco!!! They are NOT thinking about the education market! Schools use cameras like these for student projects, field trips, video diaries, video book reviews...anytime we want to put into the eager hands of kids a reliable, sturdy and yes...not super expensive device that let's them have the freedom of creative expression....AND then upload it easily for movie making - or the web - Flips are awesome products...I am so flippin annoyed! (pun intended!) But srsly, GAH!

I’ve written several blog postings about how to use an iPod touch Gen4 in the library & classroom. Search my blog for them or start with clicking on the QR code above….or ok…here ya go!

Sometimes parents or visitors don’t’ show up when the cool stuff is going on in your school library or classroom – fix that by taking action pics & display them prominently with a digital photo frame with a motion sensor to save electricity! Great for back to school night! Promoting your program is not showing off – it’s sharing with the community!

The Cloud is here! Give it a shot by joining Dropbox – Are you a teacher? This secret squirrel link --> Dropbox loves schools! will get you (and me!) extra space when you join. After you join, if you are an educator you can get double the credit for referrals. That's 500 MB per friend that you invite will get you right to the .EDU account…yeah, it’s a total pyramid scam of Dropbox goodness! Adore you Gina Hartman of METC_CSD for hooking me up with this! Using the Magic Pocket: A Dropbox Guide (published by MakeUseOf) - PDF !

I loved me some Smugmug - it was the shizzle (yeah, I went there) back in 2004... I still adore the gorgeous BLACK background...but then came Flickr and won me over. There are SO many lovely, wonderful, social media connected features of Flickr that it's hard NOT to love it!
And I pay for it...Yup! My PRO account is worth every bit of my $29 yearly fee. Now if only they would go for the ability to have a lovely black background, I'd be ecstatic!

For buying information for the Gadgets check out my Gadget-A-Go-Go wikipage, check out the Web 2.Oh! Tools wikipage for links to online tools, and always - when you are curious if I've written about something use the search bar - I use it myself ALL the time!
Here's the Slideshare full peso...
What are your favourite Gadgets & Web 2.Oh! Tools? I love your ideas & comments!
Oh and two toys....not educational but just geeky fun!
The orig Ollie the Twitter bird in Rotocast Vinyl for $19.99 designed by the awesome David Lanham (who drew my fav monocled avatar) and the plushie version for only $12.99! I'll take both, please!

Cheers dears! Tweet Tweet!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

MSET Conference, Colbert, Crabs, & QR Codes

I'm putting the finishing touches on my presos for the MSET Conference, in Baltimore next week! Of course one of them is QR Code focused! (more on that below) The AWEsome Nick Ford may be the undisputed Captain of the QR Code Galaxy but I declare I'm the official QR Code Librarian for the movement! Zing!
I'm so honoured & excited to have been asked to be a featured speaker at this my "hometown" ISTE affiliate technology conference - this will be my 14th consecutive appearance - as MSET (formerly MICCA) was where I got my start speaking about my passion for educational and being an agent of change.
"This year's MSET conference will be filled with inspiring professional development workshops, concurrent sessions, and thought provoking keynote speakers to enhance your professional knowledge and skills. The MSET Market Place will provide an opportunity to check out the latest tech products and services. See live demos and speak with representatives! But best of all, the MSET Annual Conference is THE PLACE to network and share ideas and knowledge with your friends and colleagues! Don't miss it!"
I'll be hanging out in room 336 (and the Digital Sandbox!) giving 6 presos on these topics: Death by Powerpoint...or How to be a Presentation Ninja, Transliteracy, Advocacy & the Remix MashUp Revolution, Easy Animation for Dynamite Disposition & Program Promotion, the ever popular and soon to be newly updated - Gadget-A-Go-Go, and of course QR Codes in the Classroom (& the Library!)
Since some of you, my dear readers, won't be able to make it to Baltimore next week let me give you a sneak peek at the QR preso. As an introduction to QR codes & an "in the wild" example - and as an admitted Pop Culture Ho I'm entertaining (or abusing) my audience with a mashup of Rebecca Black's terrible....err viral song Friday (don't worry - I'm only showing a snippet!) However, as a proud member of the Colbert Nation I am showing the full glory of my personal hero Stephen Colbert singing on Jimmy Fallon's show his rendition of the Friday song featuring a QR Easter Egg at the end. What!? You haven't seen it yet?

That's drove me crazy to catch that code - but I got it in a screenshot!

(can't scan it? click above for a full size version)
That code ...sorry I'm gonna ruin it for ya....leads you to a special message from Jimmy Fallon.

Not the most exciting vid I admit, and I wish the Easter Egg coulda been a few more layers but that's ok...I think it's a fun way to introduce my audience to the QR code - what do you think?
For the rest of the preso I'll be going into their history, how they are created, the best scanner apps for both Apple & Droid, share my viral QR Code Comic Tutorial, & how they can be used in the classroom & the library with kids as I blogged about last week!
Whoohoo! A whole bunch of QR Code yummyness! I even convinced MSET to create a QR Code Game for the conference. The amazing Digital Diva Joquetta Johnson is in charge of that -but basically, the first 50 winners (25 per day) that have the correct responses to the QR code questions will receive a prize. All participants will receive the MSET Geek The Tribe Badge and the geekiest will get the honor of posting the winner badge below!
ISTE11 is also gonna run a QR Game in Philly this summer (yeah, as an ISTE board member I admit pushed for that, too! Ok...I admit it, I'm addicted...What!?)

Welcome new readers! Did my keyword tag QR Code bring you here? AWEsome! Search this blog for "QR Code" & see my other postings including shameless QR Code bling, busines cards, stockings, and other ways to get your code on! Cheers!
MSET members? Don't forget to take the MSET Crab Challenge! MSET Challenge: Blue Crab in Space! by gwyneth


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