Monday, April 30, 2012

Dear Microsoft...

Dear Microsoft,

I hate to do this in a letter, but I feel I'm better with the written word than I am speaking face to face. I'm going to just say it. I'm breaking up with you. I know you might seem surprised, but if you look at our relationship recently, it's been heading this way for a while and I had no choice. I'm leaving you for Google.

You have tried so hard to keep me interested and I have waited patiently for you to blow my mind, but it hasn't happened. I have flirted with Google for years and have resisted the urge to move in completely because Google has some privacy issues, but I feel like things are better now.

I love the fact that Google is always looking to try things out. I need to be with someone who is willing to experiment. For me, that is a big Plus, even if the idea is a big minus. You were never really willing to learn or try things out. You might change the packaging, but it is always the same things.

I'm not going to lie, the fact that Google plays well with others is another reason I'm making the move. You have fought long and hard with my best friend Apple even though you know how close we are. It was a losing battle for you. Yes, I know that Google and Apple have their differences, but they play well when their together and that is what matters for now. Heaven forbid I'm ever in a position to choose either of them over the other.

The most recent event that had me make this tough decision is Google just opened up more space in their house for me. You forced me to keep my stuff in so many different locations or use third parties to hold my information it drove me crazy. I feel like if we were ever to be truly serious, you had to meet my needs and have all of my stuff with you. If I wanted to share my stuff, you gave me crap. I couldn't willingly live that way when I had options.

Google actually encourages me to share with others. It's so liberating. I need to be in a relationship that lets me be free and open to new and exciting things. That is what Google offers me. You just can't match that right now.

Google offers me everything I need when I want it. Google likes sharing videos and lets me write blog posts whenever I want. I'm writing this with Google right now. I'm sorry if that is awkward, but it is just the way things are now.

I'm sorry if I have led you on for the past couple of years. I wanted to make sure that I knew what I was doing. We've been together for so long, I was scared to move on, but it is the best decision for me right now. I've got my kids to think about. Do I want them to see me with you while secretly using Google on the side? I don't think so. I'm sure you will be fine and we will see each other at work from time to time. I hope we can be civil. I'd appreciate it if you could keep this between the two of us for now, I have to write a letter to Dropbox.

Wishing you the best,

The Nerdy Teacher

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sharing with QR Codes

My students spent a few weeks on Gothic Literature a bit ago and I was very impressed with some of the stories the students created on their own. I had always been frustrated in the past when I felt students did a great job, but had no way of really sharing what they did with the rest of the school.

QR Codes have changed all of that. With an available display case and some QR Codes, I can share student work with anyone that walks past. I chose 8 student stories and turned their blog posts (where they store all written work for my class) into QR Codes. I took the QR Code and paired it with the picture they based their story. The code and picture were place in the display case for everyone to see.

It took no more than 30 minutes to create the codes, print them out and set up the display case. Now, my school can read the amazing stories fellow students wrote and those students get to show of their work.

This is just another simple example of how technology can add another dimension to a lesson. How have you used QR Codes in your school or classroom?

 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Move to @Google Apps for Education Help Needed #EdChat

Hello everyone! My district is considering the move to Google Apps of Education. From an educational standpoint, I think this is a great chance to move away from Microsoft products and create a more collaborative environment in the cloud. The IT department has some questions that I just cannot answer and I was hoping my awesome PLN could provide the support I need to make this change over possible. Below are some questions that have been asked that I would love to have your input on.

Feel free to add problems that you encountered and how you dealt with them if you think it will be helpful. My hope to is not only use this document to help make the change possible in my district, but to share with others who are interested in making the same transition.

If you have links to articles, blog posts, etc, please leave them here as well. The more information you can share with me the better.

Again, I thank you for your time and I hope I can return the favor in the future.
Nick “TheNerdyTeacher” Provenzano


Here is the link to the doc if this embedded doc is not working for you.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Choir #edchat

I'm not sure what I hope to accomplish with this post, but it is a thought I have in my brain and the reasonI started this blog was to get thoughts out of there and onto here.

At what point are we all just preaching to the choir? I engage in conversation after conversation and most people walk away feeling good that others agree with their point. Am I not challenging myself enough by butting heads with people I disagree? Is it bad that I do not want to spend my free time arguing with others over Twitter? I want change and I'm applying for jobs that could put me in a position to start change, but is that enough?

I'm not being critical of others that share an engage on Twitter. If I am, that is not my intent. I feel like I hit a wall of frustration as I listen to more and more people talk about the right way to do things and the people that are in charge never seem to listen or choose not to.

What is the next step? We write, tweet, share, etc on how to do things, but what is step two? How about step 3? Do we continue to rage against the machine and do what we can in our isolated pockets and hope it just happens?

I do not have the answer to this question and that is where the frustration stems. I want to do more, but can a teacher do it on their own? Is it a fruitless task if we are not empowered to make the change that is necessary to help our students and better ourselves?

I'm not expecting for anyone to come in a give me the answer, but I guess I'm curious to see who is just as frustrated. It might be good for others if we all shared our frustration.

IDK...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Adobe Creative Cloud & Creative Suite 6 for Students and Educators

Adobe Creative Cloud, Creative Suite 6 Deliver Professional Grade Features for Students and Educators

On Monday, April 23rd, Adobe announced Adobe Creative Cloud Student and Teacher Edition, and Creative Suite 6 Student and Teacher Edition for institutions, educators and students worldwide.

In addition to 14 new CS6 point products and four Creative Suites, Adobe is now delivering its first cloud offering for students and educators. Adobe Creative Cloud is a hub where students and educators can explore, share and deliver creative content using any of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 desktop applications, as well as new tools for HTML5 such as Adobe Muse™ and Adobe Edge Preview. By offering integration with Adobe Touch Apps, headlined by Photoshop® Touch, Adobe Creative Cloud enables new mobile workflows, from ideation to publishing, that bring the power of Adobe innovation to the classroom via iPad and Android tablets.

Prepare Students for Careers

With new capabilities designed to help students across all disciplines create stunning digital content that stands out, Adobe Creative Suite 6 gives students the ability to learn the skills needed in today’s competitive workforce:

Gain digital content creation skills across video, animations, 3D and photos with major updates to Adobe Photoshop CS6, Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6, Adobe After Effects ® CS6, and Adobe Audition® CS6. With the new Adobe Photoshop CS6, students can express themselves by leveraging the powerful new 3D and video editing tools for media they have captured across multiple devices.

Create on any device with Adobe Creative Cloud Connection which enables the syncing, sharing and storing of files from Adobe Touch Apps® for download and use with CS6 desktop products. For example, educators and students can work with a file in Photoshop Touch on iPad and use Adobe Creative Cloud Connect to sync and share that file on the desktop for refinement using Photoshop CS6.

Get noticed with multimedia-rich portfolios, websites and applications. InDesign CS6 extends its lead in digital publishing, streamlining the creation of multiple layouts from a single set of content, helping to deliver interactive campus publications for iPad, Kindle Fire and Android devices. Dreamweaver CS6 enables students to create high-impact school or personal websites.

Engage Students, Empower Faculty and Advance Teaching

The new Creative Suite 6 release gives faculty and students the tools to easily visualize, understand, and communicate information in creative ways across print, web, video, and mobile devices.

Create digital education content ranging from digital storytelling for history and languages, and gaming and animations for math, to data visualization in the sciences – all in a way that engages students and creates rich learning experiences. Adobe Creative Suite 6 provides the features and flexibility to produce interactive presentations and explore the boundaries of creativity and critical thinking.

Expand the delivery of education content with multi-screen publishing across multiple platforms and devices using HTML5 and the very latest standards for web, mobile, eBooks, and tablets.

Improve productivity and efficiency in the classroom with simplified workflows, speed and performance enhancements, and a new, more intuitive user interface across the CS6 product set.

Empower educators with ISTE-aligned curricula with the release of three newly-updated year-long, project based curriculums for graphic design and print production, web design and development, and video production. These curricula are available on the Adobe Education Exchange (http://edexchange.adobe.com), along with resources from the education community.

Certify industry-centric technical and communication skills with Adobe certifications. More than 300,000 students worldwide have been certified through the Adobe Certified Associate examination. With CS6, Adobe and CertiPort are offering new, updated curricula and certification for this major release. Educators and students can get certified for both entry-level skills as an Adobe Certified Associate (ACA), and professional-level skills as an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE).

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Creative Suite 6 products and Adobe Creative Cloud are scheduled to be available within 30 days. The Student and Teacher Edition of Adobe Creative Cloud is available for US$29.99/month. Volume licensing for Creative Cloud “team-ready” is available via the Adobe Transactional Licensing Program. More information on Adobe licensing can be found at: http://www.adobe.com/aboutadobe/volumelicensing/education/.

Adobe is also offering a new Adobe K-12 Enterprise Agreement designed for the needs of school districts in the United States and Canada. Customers can purchase Creative Suite 6 via Adobe.com and through select retail and online stores. More product information is available at: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite.html.

For more detailed information about educational upgrade policies and pricing, as well as the full portfolio of suites, please visit http://www.adobe.com/education.edu.html.

Adobe Launches Creative Cloud

Adobe® Creative Cloud, a radical new way of providing tools and services that will change the game for creatives worldwide. A subscription-based offering, Adobe Creative Cloud is a hub for making, sharing, and delivering creative work and it is centered around a powerful release of Adobe Creative Suite 6 software, packed with innovation across its industry-defining design, web, video and digital imaging tools.

Adobe Creative Cloud Highlights

Creative Cloud membership provides users with access to download and install every new Adobe CS6 application announced today and two new HTML5 products, Adobe Muse and Adobe Edge Preview.

Creative Cloud integrates Adobe’s creative tablet applications, such as Photoshop Touch, into everyday work - seamlessly synchronizing and storing files in the cloud, for sharing and access on any device.

Creative Cloud members will be able to easily deliver mobile apps to iOS and Android marketplaces and publish, manage and host web sites.

Adobe Creative Cloud members will have access to application upgrades, including new CS point-product features, before they are launched as part of major CS updates, as well as inventive new products and services as they emerge.

Creative Suite 6, Innovative HTML5 Tools Anchor Creative Cloud

CS6 includes landmark releases of industry icons such as Adobe Photoshop® CS6, Adobe InDesign CS6, Adobe Illustrator® CS6, Adobe Dreamweaver CS6, Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe After Effects CS6, Adobe Flash Professional CS6 and more. With Creative Cloud membership creatives can download and install all of the 14 new Adobe Creative Suite 6 applications.

Creative Cloud membership also includes access to Adobe Muse® and Adobe Edge® Preview, new tools for HTML5 design and development that demonstrate Adobe’s commitment to the latest web standards.

Creative Cloud Links Adobe Touch Apps to CS6 Desktop Tools

Adobe Creative Cloud integrates Adobe’s line of creative touch tools with CS6 desktop applications.

Adobe Touch Apps bring professional-level creativity to tablet devices and address multiple areas of the creative process: image editing; ideation; sketching; mood board creation; website and mobile app prototyping; and the presentation of finished work.

Photoshop Touch and Adobe Ideas have already proved runaway hits on the iPad and Android tablets. Three additional tools, available on Android today, will be coming to iPad soon: Adobe Collage, Adobe Debut, and Adobe Proto.

A new desktop app, Adobe Creative Cloud Connection, enables the syncing, sharing and storing of files across mobile devices and desktop.

Creative Cloud membership includes up to 20GB of cloud storage, with additional storage purchase options coming soon.

Creative Cloud Publishing Services Streamline Website and App Creation

Creative Cloud publishing services will include the ability to easily publish apps, magazines and catalogues to iPad, iPhone and Android devices.

Members have immediate access to Adobe Typekit, the web-based font library that pioneered the use of real fonts on websites, delivering more than 700 typefaces from leading foundries.

New Web hosting capabilities, integrated as part of Adobe Creative Cloud membership, allow users to easily create and host high-impact web sites. The Integration between Adobe Muse, Typekit and the web hosting capabilities power a new simplified workflow for delivering high-impact web sites.

Members Receive Ongoing Delivery of New Applications, Services and Features

Creative Cloud members will receive ongoing updates to Creative Suite applications as well as other new products and services as they emerge. Coming soon to Adobe Creative Cloud are:

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, the desktop software tool that enables photographic perfection from shoot to finish; the first complete release of Adobe Edge, a ground-breaking HTML5 development tool; and Digital Publishing Suite (Single Edition), the technology behind the delivery of digital magazines on iPad.

Creative Cloud will also include training, support and community features that drive meaningful connections between creatives worldwide.

Learn more about the Adobe Creative Cloud at www.adobe.com/go/creativecloud.

Adobe CS6 Release Delivers Major Innovations For Design, Web and Video Pros

Majors CS Upgrades and All-New Muse Anchor Landmark Launch for Designers

The performance and workflow enhancements in Adobe Photoshop CS6, InDesign CS6 and Illustrator CS6 will result in significant time savings for print, web and mobile projects.

In Photoshop CS6, designers will experience incredible performance, powered by the Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine, enabling near instant results from essential editing tools, including Liquify, Puppet Warp, Transform and Lighting Effects.

Adobe has built on Photoshop’s breakthrough Content-Aware capabilities with advanced new Content-Aware Patch and Content-Aware Move features.

Illustrator CS6 debuts a revamped modern interface and features include a new Image Tracing Engine, Pattern Creation and Gradient Strokes. The Mercury performance system delivers speed and stability, including 64-bit support for Mac OS and Windows.

InDesign CS6 continues to blaze a trail in publishing, streamlining the creation of multiple layouts from a single set of content with new Adaptive Design Tools – Alternate Layout, Liquid Layout, Content Collector Tools and Linked Content.

A brand new application, Adobe Muse™, a radical new tool that enables designers to create and publish HTML5 web sites without writing code.

Adobe Doubles-Down on HTML5 Tooling for Web Professionals

Innovative new workflows and capabilities across Adobe tools simplify the creative process for today’s web designers, developers and interactive professionals.

Web pros can conveniently integrate HTML5 animations, created with Adobe Edge Preview, into their Dreamweaver projects, driving home Adobe’s leadership in tooling for the HTML5 web standard.

Dreamweaver CS6 addresses the challenge of responsive web designs with the ability to build fluid grid layouts replacing the tedious manual process of creating and configuring separate CSS-based interfaces for phone, tablet and desktop.

Through direct integration with Adobe’s recently announced PhoneGap Build service, Dreamweaver CS6 helps round out a Web professional’s skillset and enables them to produce native mobile applications for multiple platforms.

Flash Professional CS6 users can easily translate and transition their skills to HTML5 using the Flash Professional Toolkit for CreateJS. Flash Professional CS6 also helps designers to create exciting and impactful gaming experiences and advancements include the ability to generate sprite sheets that improve workflows and performance.

Pre-built native extensions and new packaging options, leveraging the latest Adobe Flash Player and AIR runtimes, help expand and ease app delivery to Android and iOS devices.

Production Premium CS6 Pushes Boundaries of Video Creativity

Redesigned by and for video editors, with major performance enhancements, the tools included in Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium set a new standard in professional video.

With dozens of new features Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 is the hub of any professional video workflow, featuring a sleek new editing environment. The powerful Adobe Mercury Playback Engine now supports OpenCL on MacBook Pros.

The most significant After Effects release in a decade, After Effects CS6 is faster and more responsive than ever. With Global Performance Cache, previews are saved and ready to go— cutting the time spent bouncing between projects.

New to Production Premium are Adobe® Prelude™ CS6, which streamlines logging and ingest workflows in post-production, and Adobe SpeedGrade, which contains powerful finishing tools for film finishing and color grading.

Adobe Audition CS6 accelerates audio post-production: real-time clip stretching makes it simple to stretch clips to fit and edit; and Automatic Speech Alignment introduces a powerful new engine for automated dialogue analysis.

A new 3rd party API for hardware integration – Adobe Mercury Transmit – allows broadcast video monitoring to connect directly into the Mercury Playback Engine via third-party cards from AJA, Blackmagic Design, and Matrox.

Fast, Feature-Packed Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CS6 Extended


This major release of the undisputed standard for professional digital imaging integrates over 600 new features and enhancements. The software includes groundbreaking innovations and unparalleled performance breakthroughs that expand the frontiers of imaging science, and deliver new levels of creativity and increased efficiency. Photoshop CS6 Extended integrates the state-of-the-art editing, compositing, and graphic design capabilities of Photoshop CS6, as well as advanced tools for 3D design, image and video editing, and quantitative analysis which address the unique needs of the graphic design, video, Web, architecture, medical, manufacturing and engineering industries.

Since Photoshop CS6 was released as a public beta on March 22nd, 2012 for Mac OS and Microsoft® Windows® platforms, there have been nearly one million downloads of the software worldwide – surpassing any public beta in Adobe’s history.

Create With Imaging Innovation and Peak Performance

Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CS6 Extended deliver unparalleled speed and power combined with the creative tools necessary to perform advanced image manipulation, design, motion‐based content editing, and compositing. The software helps users to patch images with control for exceptional results; edit with real-time interactions and a fluid feel powered by new GPU acceleration in editing tools; easily edit video; perform automatic tone mapping and sharpening; and use improved design tools for better results with fewer steps. Creatives will be able to take advantage of an efficient, modern UI that puts all focus on images, and sync settings and preferences for consistent workflows across multiple devices via Adobe Creative Cloud.

Photoshop CS6 features include:

Content-Aware Patch – Allows greater control by letting users choose the sample area used to create a patch

Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine – Takes advantage of cross-platform 64-bit support to speed up imaging and editing tasks, and process large images faster

New and Re-engineered Design Tools – Type styles enable consistent formatting; vector layers apply strokes and add gradients to vector objects; custom strokes and dashed lines are easily created; quick layers search and more

Intuitive Video Creation – The full range of familiar Photoshop tools and an intuitive set of new video tools to create and enhance any video clip

Blur Gallery – A simple new interface with on-image controls allows users to quickly create photographic blur effects including tilt-shift effects, blur everything with one focal point, or vary the blurriness between multiple focal points

Photoshop CS6 Extended includes all Photoshop CS6 features and:

Mercury Graphics Engine for 3D – Increased power and speed via engine optimized for 3D imaging

3D Fingertip Controls – UI improvements for more efficient 3D workflows

New 3D Effects – Reflections and “drag-able” shadows to enhance images

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Doxie Go Smart Digital Scanner - A Review

Doxie sent me a Doxie Go Smart Digital Scanner for the purpose of this review.

The big one for me is seeing how it is going to work with my iPad. If I'm scanning things, I want to access them on my iPad. If you are not using a wireless SD card, it would be wise to get the Camera Connection Kit. With a traditional SD card, you can scan the documents you want then slide the card into the connection to your iPad. The documents are instantly upload to iPhoto. From there, you can drop them into specific Evernote or Dropbox accounts. If you tend to need lots of scanning and travel quite often, the wireless SD card might be the route to go. If it is just occasional scanning with your iPad present, the traditional SD card will be fine. 

At $199, the Doxie Go Smart Digital Scanner might seem pricey, but I think it is a great value. I have plenty of items that need to be scanned and saved in one of the many other tools that Doxie works. I will have receipts from travelling, pictures that Leo will draw and many other things that I will receive in paper form that I will want to save in my digital space. 

I could see how this awesome scanner could be used in an Elementary classroom where a teacher scans and shares work their students complete with parents and the school as a whole. Since it is such a quick scan and load process, Teachers could quickly scan student work and share it before the students even get home. What a great way to create a digital portfolio of a student's work. 

If you are looking for a great way to quickly organize the clutter of paper on your desk into your digital life, look no further than the Doxie Go Smart Digital Scanner.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

No Tablets, No Problem Thanks to @Evernote

This past week, my students did not have access to the iPad they had been using this year. They were being used in the Science department as part of the ongoing pilot. I gave students plenty of warning in advance, but I wasn't sure how they were going to handle the change. Kids can be funny when it comes to change.

Well, they did not melt down. The kids quickly took out there personal devices, opened up Evernote, and got to work. Some students needed to download Evernote to their device, but they had the support of other students to direct them to the right place. It was awesome. Using Evernote in class allowed the students to transition to a non-iPad environment very quickly. Even if the internet went down, they could still use the app and sync the notes when they had access later.

Some students did not have access to a personal device and needed to take notes by hand. I apologized to one student who was taking notes by hand for the first time in months. They said it was not that big of a deal. They intend to just take pictures of the notes and upload them to Evernote at a later date. Awesome! I could also let them use the new Doxie Go scanner I have been playing around with if they would like. The scanner can send scanned papers directly to an Evernote account.  It is an amazing scanner for a decent price. It's worth checking out if you have lots of papers you want to organize in Evernote.

I'm very happy that I've been able to pilot Evernote Schools with my iPads. It has created a very solid note-taking environment for my students that is not solely dependent on the device and my students saw that this week. More of my students are now looking to use their personal devices in their other classes. I hope this little experiment pushes more students to think more about the tool and less about the device. It has definitely changed my thought process.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I threw the curriculum out the window! (For two days) #edchat #engchat

I happily tossed aside the district curriculum for two days and you will be shocked to find out that my students still managed to learn and my classroom did not burst into flames.

Through regular interaction with my students, I discovered that 26 of my 30 students had read The Hunger Games. They all had read the book on their own and we were spending time at the start of class discussing the Gale v Pitta debate. After some thought, I decided it would be fun to explore the book and really dive into the literature. I set aside two days this week (Monday and Tuesday) to talk about the hottest dystopian novel in years.

The kids could not have been more excited. I had 15 and 16 year-old students getting into heated debate over the value of the games and whether or not Katniss had to kill anyone. Student debated who the real monsters were, the Capital, the viewers of the Hunger Games or the Tributes. The importance of Haymitch as a drunk versus a traditional mentor was discussed at length. A girl was so excited to participate in the discussion, she Skyped in from Florida where she was finishing her Spring Break! Honestly, what 16 year-old girl do you know would wake up at 8am to have a discussion with class about a book?

I could go on at length about the need to update curriculums across the country, but that is not really the point of this post. Our students are reading and sometimes we just need to ask them what it is. Luckily I had read the books, but if I had not, I would have. Engaging students is increasing in difficulty as books get older and kids get younger. I set aside two days to have a discussion about the literary merits of a book my students had read. No points were awarded, not homework assigned. Students that chose not to read the books, sat and watched as their peers had a heated discussion on the symbolism of the bread sent by district 11 after Rue's death.

Sometimes curriculum can get in the way of learning. I plan on risking the immolation of my room when I set two days aside to discuss Mockingjay and Catching Fire.


.@RealTimeGatsby - Fun with Great Literature #EngChat

I was watching the tweets coming from @TitanicRealTime and was blown away at how real everything seemed. It was just an interesting way to engage people who might not really know much about the disaster save for the movie.

My students have started reading The Great Gatsby this week and I have to say it is one of my favorite books. It is one of the most "current" books we read all year and kids tend to love it. I get excited when I tell the kids that the character of Daisy is actually based off a girl that is from our little town. Now, that might not be something to be entirely proud of, the kids get a kick out of it. There is still plenty of things kids can learn from Gatsby and I always enjoy teaching it.

This year, after seeing the Titanic tweets, I thought it might be fun to do the same with The Great Gatsby. I'm not giving this assignment as extra credit and it is not part of some larger lesson plan, I just thought it might be fun for me to do for my kids and anyone that is a fan of the book. I know that this in not a revolutionary idea. This has been done with a couple of Billy Shakespeare's plays, but I wanted to do this anyway. Here is the feed for the account.


I'm really excited to see where this fun little adventure will take me. Even though the actual story plays itself out over the course of an entire summer, I will be tweeting the story out as the students read it over the next two weeks. The kids seemed slightly intrigued about the idea, but I'm not sure how much they will buy in. You know what though, if one kid in my class loves it, it's worth the extra work.

Thanks for indulging me with this silliness. I'll keep the feed on the right had side for the duration of the Real Time Tweets and probably a bit longer. I encourage you to follow and interact with the account. Please feel free to share it with your students and just have fun with it. Really, isn't that the point of literature? Read and have fun.

If you have any suggestions for tweets, please feel free to drop me a comment or send me a tweet and I will send them out when I get to that moment in time.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Saturday, April 14, 2012

#NerdyCast 1.2 with @L_Hilt

I'm excited to share with all of you the second episode of #NerdyCast featuring special guest Lyn Hilt.

We will wax poetic on many topics including,

Strawberry Shortcake
Castle Greyskull
Heathers
Communication
Teachers as coaches
Bullying
Comic Sans

Please take a moment to download the podcast from iTunes.

If you have ideas for future guests and/or topics, feel free to leave a comment on iTunes, this blog or through email.

I want to thank all of you for listening to Episode 1.1. I hit over 1,000 views/downloads in just two weeks. I didn't realize that Tim had such an extended family for most of those, so thank you Tim's family and the rest of you that listened.

Due to the popularity of the podcast, I'm not renting space to host these awesome chats. If you want to get on the sponsorship train, drop me an email and we can work something out. I've got offers from Apple, but I'm holding out for more education friendly companies. :-)

Thanks again for all of the support. I can't wait to start recording Episode 1.3.

- The Nerdy Teacher

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Win Adobe's Digital School Collection #ADSC

Enter to win a FREE copy of Adobe’s Digital School Collection in the @AdobeEdu, #ADSC Tweetaway!
Adobe’s Digital School Collection is a key mechanism for augmenting classroom instruction while helping students learn lifelong communication skills for the digital age. Be sure to pay attention to the @AdobeEdu twitter account for your chance to Retweet & win!

Just jump on your Twitter account between Tuesday, April 9th and Thursday, April 19th and tune in for a series of helpful tips & ADSC facts – all you have to do is Retweet posts with the #ADSC hashtag to enter! The winner will be randomly drawn and announced on April 20th.

Learn more about the latest new features such as new photo & video editing tools and easier ways to find objects & share content with others: http://www.adobe.com/products/digital-school-collection.edu.html

The contest opens 9 a.m. PT, Tuesday, April 10, 2012, and closes 2 p.m. PT, Thursday, April 19, 2012. The prize drawing will occur on or before 5 p.m., April 20, 2012, with the winner announcement occurring that day as well. The drawings are open to residents in North America only.

Evernote in a shared environment

I'll be honest, I was not always an Evernote user. I had a few occasional encounters with the program, but never really found a place for it in my life. That all changed this summer when I decided to commit myself to using Evernote for all of my note taking needs. I couldn't be happier about my choice.

I love Evernote and cannot imagine being without in my daily life. All of my important information I want to access is kept in Evernote. I love that I can send articles directly from Zite to Evernote for future sharing and reading. If I take great notes at a session during a conference, I can share it with everyone on Twitter whether they have an Evernote account or not. I have integrated Evernote so thoroughly into my life, I really can't think of any better way to take notes and share them with others.

A couple of months ago, I was given an opportunity to pilot Evernote with my students on the class set of iPads. I wasn't sure how the students were going to react to having a new tool to learn, but it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it might be.

I have had Evernote on the iPads since I gave them to the students in November and never went into detail about Evernote. I told the kids it's an awesome app and they should take a look at when they get a chance. I was surprised to find that about 1/3 of my students started to use it on a regular basis for their note taking.

When I introduced the Evernote Schools pilot, the kids gladly joined up and were interested in the ability to quickly and easily share notes with others. Even students who were not comfortable using other apps on the iPad, took to Evernote very quickly. The students have been using it every day for their note taking needs.

The iPad pilot has been an experiment in shared devices and a potential 1:1 environment. Evernote is a perfect tool for either environment. As I look at the shared device system in my class, Evernote fits in perfectly. Students are able to take the notes they want in class and log out at the end of the period. It solved my biggest concern in the shared environment; How do students take secure notes? Evernote is the perfect choice.

For a 1:1 environment, Evernote makes a great deal of sense. I can see a student with a single tablet going to each class with Evernote to easily organize their thoughts. Students can quickly search older notes for information they need on the spot. Creating specific notebooks for each subject or even units within a subject can even help the most disorganized students. Instead of seeing students scurry around for extra paper, new pens or forgotten notebooks, students can carry around a tablet and nothing else (assuming the school is using e-textbooks).

I'm very excited at what Evernote for Schools means for the shared/1:1 environments. Giving students the chance to organize all of their notes in one spot is a potential life changer for many students. If you haven't had a chance to take a look at Evernote, now is the time.