What I’m Learning: #Sugarcraft is a thing.

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I love this idea, a lot. #SugarCraft is low-tech minecraft.

Note: there is a real use of #Sugarcraft and it looks like a healthy community of culenary artists.  If this is what you are looking for here, I am sorry.  This is about teaching.

via Want Minecraft, but don’t Have the Tech? Try #Sugarcraft ~ My Paperless Classroom.

What I’m Learning: There is a time and place for “Snark” – A Devil’s Dictionary of Education Terms

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I find this kind of work to be both funny and sad. I hate that we have to be snarky about our educational work in order to get across the point of how unproductive some of our word choices are. However, I do find that sometimes it is valuable to satirize and skewer those choices and make it visible to those outside of the education world.

So, I am sharing this in order to see whether or not other folks feel like this list is valuable. Is it?

A Devil’s Dictionary of Education Terms — Teaching, Learning, & Education — Medium

A Devil’s Dictionary of Education Terms

All you need to navigate the murky waters of the profession.

via A Devil’s Dictionary of Education Terms — Teaching, Learning, & Education — Medium.

What I’m Using: “Slides Carnival” for Gorgeous Presentations using Google Slides

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I find myself feeling EXTREMELY underwhelmed regarding the templates that are available in Google Presentations. This site changes all that. I can’t wait to see some of these things in presentations around the web.

DESIGN MAKES INFORMATION CLEARER AND IT’S ALSO A MEDIUM FOR PERSUASION.

GOOD VISUALS WILL KEEP THE AUDIENCE ENGAGED AND MAKE YOUR POINTS EASIER TO UNDERSTAND.

CREATE MEANINGFUL CONTENT, AND USE OUR FREE TEMPLATE DESIGNS TO GIVE YOUR PUBLIC A BEAUTIFUL AND MEMORABLE EXPERIENCE.

via Slides Carnival – Free templates for presentations.

What I’m Thinking: Diversity in EdTech Leadership is a HUGE problem.

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This article really makes me wonder why we aren’t doing more to support the diversity of leaders in EdTech. Choosing keynotes should not be a choice between only a set of “vetted white men”. Choosing for diverse genders, races, and backgrounds within an event should not be an afterthought, but rather at the forefront of our mind. If the kinds of change we are trying to create only work for the the people currently in charge (mostly white, mostly male), we are not engaged in the right work.

Diversity is not a “nice to have.” It is essential because it is the only way that we will actually impact all teachers and students. It is also the only way that we get ALL of the voices in the room. Please go and read this article and commit to these two things:

Commit to a diversity policy. Start with the O’Reilly Media boilerplate language; you can adapt it freely under a Creative Commons license. We revisit it fairly regularly and consider how to make it a prominent part of our Web and social presence for each event.

Out the disparity. So things are tough, put it out there. The lack of diversity in tech is now the topic du jour at the Times and Fast Company. But change starts at home; keep the conversation going (beyond Tweeting links), or start one in your own organization and among your friends. If you have a diversity policy, state it in your program, from the dais, and challenge others in joining you in trying to do better.

via Lack of Diversity at Events? What We Can Do, Right Now — Medium.

What I’m Learning: Blogging for professional growth is (STILL) powerful.

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I often forget just how powerful blogging can be as a part of professional growth. What George Couros calls attention to is something I need to remind myself of all of the time. It is why this format won’t die, and why it can be a huge benefit to the way in which we reflect and show change over time. Here are my favorite parts:

1. A focus on both a “growth portfolio” and a “showcase portfolio.”

2. An opportunity to focus on “traditional” literacy.

3. The ability to use a wide array of “literacies”.

4. The ability to develop an audience.

5. Developing a voice.

via 5 Reasons Your Portfolio Should Be A Blog | The Principal of Change.

What I’m Using: Soundtrap (to record audio collaboratively on a Chromebook)

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I am always looking for new ways to make podcasts, music, and generally record audio. Because so many of our creation devices are chromebooks nowadays, I believe we need to push what those devices can do. This tool lets you create music and other audio through the web, and it does so in a collaborative manner. I like all of those things. 

Please share anything you create!

Soundtrap – Make music online

Make your music online – quick and easy! With Soundtrap you make music online. You can plug in your own instrument, use the software instruments available in Soundtrap or just record a song directly with your computer microphone. It’s super-easy!

What I’m Learning: RAT (Replace, Amplify, Transform)

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I like a good technology framework as much as the next guy, but I would agree that things need to be simpler than TPACK and SAMR for a lot of teachers. I think that this blog post goes a little far in decrying the “Replace” culture that we have in many schools (i.e., where we replace paper with screens without actually changing anything else), but it also does a good job of making the case for why we should push for Transformation. That I can definitely get on board with.

Digital Literacy Dover: The RAT, SAMr, Transformative Technology, & Occam’s Razor

Probably the single greatest challenge in my role is to encourage ICT use that does not make the mistake of just replacing or substituting pixels for pages. There are two frameworks, SAMR and RAT, I prefer RAT, but for some reason SAMR seems to get a lot more attention, which is crazy in my opinion, it’s far too complex to be of any really practical use, and it’s often misinterpreted.

What I’m Using: Tackk (for when you want to create a beautiful webpage, like now!)

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I love beautifully designed things. It is one of the reason why I love Canva so much, but there hasn’t been a great webpage builder for a very long time, especially not one that allows for the type of commenting and responses that Tackk allows for. My head is swimming with the possibilities. 

Tackk

Tackk is a simple way to create beautiful pages on the web. It’s your very own page, flyer, blog post, or poster.