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.

What I’m Learning: There is a movement toward “Connected Courses” in Higher Ed

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I believe deeply in the power of connected learning, and I am so grateful to those who are pursuing it in all forms of education. I really like the structure of “Connected Courses” and the online community that has sprung up around it. Do you think we need something similar for K-12?

About | Connected Courses

Connected Courses is a collaborative network of faculty in higher education developing online, open courses that embody the principles of connected learning and the values of the open web. Our goal is to build an inclusive and expansive network of teachers, students, and educational offerings that makes high quality, meaningful, and socially connected learning available to everyone.

What I’m Learning: You can now Mirror your Chromebook to an Apple TV with AirParrot

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While this may not be a game changer for some. For those who heavily invested in Apple TVs and are now investing a lot in Chromebooks, this is huge! While it isn’t free, I think it could be important to think about strategically purchasing licenses for classrooms.

AirParrot – Chrome Web Store

AirParrot adds screen mirroring to any Chrome OS device. Wirelessly connect a Chromebook to a receiver for easy mirroring and streaming. AirParrot displays your entire screen, not just a tab or portion of it.

What I’m Reading: We shouldn’t forget Clifford Stoll

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Clearly, we have the benefit of hindsight on our side. In 1999 when this book was written, I could see this argument really making a lot of sense. I believe that the author of this book was one of the great contrarians before the first EdTech bubble, during the time where the first real use of e-rate for computers was being pushed (1996-2000). 

I think we are probably in the midst of the second EdTech bubble, however. There are many companies that are touting a better way to teach and learn and ignoring the human components of that process. I think the warning from this earlier time is still valid. Any technology without humanity is doomed to fail in our schools.

We need to push forward and create new opportunities for learning, but we need these contrarians. We need luddites to make sure what we are trying out in our classrooms is actually BETTER and not just different. Who are your favorite second-wave EdTech Contrarians?

High Tech Heretic | Awful Library Books

“To turn learning into fun is the denigrate the two most important things we can do as humans: to teach, To learn.”

What I’m Learning: Audrey Watters asks really great questions.

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This post is from a while ago, but I found it again and was compelled to make sure it gets seen by even more people. The questions she asks were originally for EdTech companies, but I wonder if they should apply to those who are trying to leaders in districts who claim to have the best interests of students in mind when they craft strategies for the way forward. 

What do you think? How should these questions be used?

“The Audrey Test”: Or, What Should Every Techie Know About Education?

I want us to set the bar really high when it comes to education technology — both in its development and its implementation. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. I mean, we’re talking about teaching and learning here, and while I believe strongly we should all be lifelong learners, most often when we talk about ed-tech, we’re talking about kids.