Twenty years ago I held my as the clock ticked from 11:59 to midnight. There was a real fear that this might be The End of the World as We Know It™. To me, that was just yesterday, and those memories are fresh in my mind. It’s hard to fathom that the college students in Laura’s classes were either born AFTER the year 2000 or were too young to have any experience of experience of the Y2K scare. Continue reading testtest

SCASL 2017 Conference

Photo by Jennifer Falvey from Twitter

Several weeks ago I got an unexpected request. Fellow tech educator Cathy Jo Nelson is president-elect of the South Carolina Association of School Librarians (SCASL), and was in charge of this year’s conference, to be held at the Hyatt in Greenville. Cathy asked if I, as a resident who blogs about our town, would be willing to say a few words about Greenville before the keynote address. I was flattered. Of course I said yes. Continue reading “SCASL 2017 Conference”

Super Simple Timelines

I’m just getting around to writing about this, and I’m probably late to the party as far as this product is concerned, but I’ve discovered a very simple, very effect way to create timelines for websites.

Back in the 1990s Tom Snyder Productions made some of the coolest EdTech software around. One of my favorites was Timeliner. Users could input dates and events, then print out long timelines on fan-fold printer paper with a dot-matrix printer. Along with Print Shop, it was one of my go-to tools for classroom printing.

Timeliner is still around, and has been updated to take advantage of modern technology. I haven’t played with it in ages, so I don’t know what the new version has, and, quite frankly, I no longer need to. I’ve found a much, much better (and free!) product in Northwestern University’s Knight Lab’s Timeline JS. Continue reading “Super Simple Timelines”

MaKey MaKey and Google Earth

Makey Makey and Google Earth-001
MaKey MaKey – Front Side

Before Christmas I got an Amazon gift card for my birthday, and I used it to buy a MaKey MaKey. It arrived just before the hectic Christmas rush and our traveling, so I didn’t really get a chance to play with it. These past few very cold days have been the perfect opportunity to see what this thing can do.

So, what is this thing?

A MaKey MaKey is an Arduino-based computer interface that allows any conductive material to be substituted for a key on the computer keyboard. The name is a contraction of “Make Anything a Key,” or “MaKey.”

The kit comes with alligator clips and jumper wires to attach to…just about anything. The board is connected to the computer via USB. You connect the clip to some conductive material such as aluminum foil, liquid, or even a piece of fruit. Another clip is attached to the ground on the board, the held in one hand. Touching the fruit-foil-liquid will complete the circuit through your body and trigger the key, depending on where the first clip is attached on the board. Continue reading “MaKey MaKey and Google Earth”

Oh, Technology…

The Greenville News reported that Greenville County Schools has undergone its review by AdvancED for accreditation. Here’s one of the things they found… The review team from the AdvancED Accreditation Commission conditioned its approval on a “required action” that the district improve its use of technology to provide equity for students in all schools and … Continue reading Oh, Technology…

The Last EdTech

This week many of my former instructional technology colleagues gathered for the South Carolina Educational Technology Conference. This was the second year in a row that the conference was held in Greenville, and it’s being right here in my back yard presented a unique set of problems. Last year before deciding to retire, I had … Continue reading The Last EdTech

A Bridge to Nowhere

Sparkleberry Swamp Altered
Sparkleberry Swamp

Somehow I found myself taking one last course for certification this summer. I’m taking one of the PBS Teacherline courses online. The course is on Dynamic Media and Digital Storytelling, a subject with which I’m already quite familiar. However, I just needed the course credit.

The course itself is been…so, so. There’s been more time spent on “Educationese” and gobbledy-goop catch phrases that I used to detest, than on actual digital storytelling.

Even so, I did manage to put together a decent (in my opinion) project. My digital story was entitled “A Bridge to Nowhere”, and it’s a summary of a previous blog post about the controversial Briggs-DeLaine-Pearson Connector, a proposed bridge from Lone Star to Rimini across Lake Marion.

The 12 minute video summarizes the history of the Santee Cooper area, and briefly touches on the controversy. I used photographs I’d taken from several paddling trips to lakes Marion and Moultrie, coupled with GoPro video. I filled in with a few maps, newspaper clippings, and historic shots to complete the video. Continue reading “A Bridge to Nowhere”

Back to School 2012

Aviary google-com Picture 1

And so it begins again. Students return on Monday. Our teachers were back last Monday. The summer is over and we’re getting back to the business of educating kids.

Not that summer has been a vacation for me. I’ve long ago left the cycle of having summers off. In fact, summer is typically my busiest time as we try to do upgrades on our systems. This summer was particularly busy because we tried to change/upgrade just about every technology system we have. It’s been a crazy time with late evenings, working on days that I would normally have off, and trying to conduct a three ring circus of vendors working on frantic deadlines to get everything ready before August 15.

Here’s a list of our projects this summer… Continue reading “Back to School 2012”