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Five Things To Do After Every Conference.

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My life has changed. Whether I admit and recognize it or not I have experienced a large shift in my world. I can feel the change deep in my core. This has happened thanks to ISTE.
It’s not the workshops or the Expo that has changed my life. Those pieces have been profoundly inspirational. I specifically went to gather information and resources. What I walked away with are connections. 
I recently found out I was accepted into the London 2019, #Lon19, Google Innovator cohort. I’m thrilled to have this experience. There is a large number of UK folks in the cohort. Only a handful are from North America. Thanks to ISTE I was able to connect with four of them. 
It’s unusual to have an instant connection with someone. Most meetings and connections are friendly and cordial. However, encountering these members of my cohort was like finding an extended family I never knew I needed. And I use the word “need” because I can’t see moving forward without them. In reality, yes, life goes on, but these…

AI and ML in Education

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Computer programming as a mandated part of the curriculum began in the UK in 2013. Six years later we are beginning to see other educational regions requiring computer programing in the curriculum. But what about some of the more advanced tool? What about Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI)? We live with intelligent tools daily now. Whether you are shopping online or asking Siri for the time you are connecting to intelligent machines. But we aren’t all discussing how to implement it in the classroom. My mission at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia was to explore what we are doing with AI and education. Here’s what I’ve taken away.  We have been asking an entire profession to pick up a necessary skill set by tomorrow. And we need them to do it again. Computer programming in the classroom integrated through various courses is very popular now. Many classrooms are drawn to block-based coding like Scratch or Code.org. Much of the content delivery can be done through a video tuto…

Gaming Education

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Is education a game where only some understand and play by the rules? Are others even playing the game? Do they know it even exists? Are educators just proliferating a lie of the system to control the masses? Let’s face it. If we truly wanted all of our students to be successful we would go back to the foundations of what defines success in education and rewrite it all. Around 30% of students in high schoolpursue higher education in America. While I’m not a believer that this is the only path to success this is often a good indicator. Are the two thirds just getting and buying into the game of school? I had the opportunity to discuss the topic an more at Philadelphia’sHack Educationat ISTE this week. The bullet point take aways: Shepherds are effective in supporting students. Education needs to take in the whole child Mindset matters The system is broken One of the points which has crossed my mind and come up in conversations is a bit of a taboo subject in education; education is structured …

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Makes A Case for Learning Cursive.

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I find myself writing more with my finger than a pen. Granted it’s not by a large factor. Actually most of my writing is with my thumb on my phone’s keypad. However the writing I’m referring to is that scrawling flourish of an unintelligible signature.When I sign for a delivery it’s with my right hand index finger flying over a mobile screen. When a signature is needed for a purchase it’s often with that same index finger on a touch device. And now when I cast a spell that finger attempts to complete the prestidigitation.
Niantic has released their newest game, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite for both iOS and Androidusing the underlying technology of Pokémon Go. You are in the role of a wizard helping to collect artifacts before the muggle (non-wizard) world learns of their existence. Each item, beast, or dark force has a mind of its own to stay and not be banished to the wizarding world. As a magic user yourself it’s your task to cast various spells magicking things to return. The unique …

ISTE preparation

As I prepare to attend ISTE 2019, or any conference, I find myself wondering if I’m doing it right? Is there a better way to plan to attend a conference? Even when said conference is like walking in front of a firehouse?
I have my calendar, in fact I made a shared calendar for my Personal Learning Network. I have my resources for presentations, I’ve provided a few ways to access them. I have some sessions I’d like to attend, I find many sessions are geared toward entry to educational technology. I have my social meetups planned, it really is more like I signed up for everything and will go along with what others are doing.I have people I want to meet, it’s not a strict list but it contains members and coaches from my new Google Innovator cohort. #LON19 Am I missing something?

Was there a better way to do this?

My friend @InnovativeEdu shared a few blogs about attending ISTE:

Worry less about what you will "do" and more about what you will "be" at ISTEThis was very in…

Give me a Backpack not a “teacher bag”

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My upcoming summer is full of conferences. I’m excited to connect with educators and vendors at various places. Educators always end up being given something. And that something is often contained in a “Teacher bag”.“Teacher bags”. Those square sacks of canvas with two handles at the top. Useful for toting books and papers about. They stack up folded in closets for just when you need to take a bunch of papers home to grade. However, the use of books and papers is going digital. These bags are becoming obsolete. For me they end up tossed in the garbage, stuffed in a closet and never used or cut up for some other unintended purpose #makerspace. I prefer to move about hands free. These bags don’t fit well to hang from my shoulder allowing me to move about freely. I also can’t give them away though I’ve considered using them as gift wrapping...I have a different idea. Backpacks. Vendors will always want educators to walk away with something in their hands so they give us a reusable contai…

Google's Accessibility Menu Isn't as Accessible as It Could Be

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When Google announced the Accessibility menu in G Suite I was excited for the various possibilities of this tool. My focus was on the screen reader. We all learn best in various ways. Accessibility tools shouldn't be considered just for those with special needs they can benefit all of us. Screen reader allows document text to be read back to the user. It also verbalizes the menus and actions the user is taking on the screen.



While I conducted a training the Accessibility menu was asked about. I hadn't previously had the time to explore it. The menu had just appeared on the school's domain teacher thought it could help a lot of students with various tasks. I was on my Macbook Pro and turned on the accessibility screen reader, "Speak" ...nothing. Teachers were on various PC's and turned on their Speak from the Accessibility menu. Again, nothing. I had to move on with the training but aimed to circle back and explore it in my own time.

What I've found is th…