Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Make Something

original apple computer
Computers have changed! The days of the giant beige cases with thumbscrews you could remove without tools are quickly coming to an end. Some will bemoan this and probably they are right to do so. The tinkerers and hackers and backyard engineers are the folks who first created the vibrant industry that has grown into our sleek modern computers. We can easily forget that the original Apple's weren't what we are used to seeing todayThese early amateurs set a culture where every individual maintained their own computers.  We (yup, I was among them) would actually crack open the cases and do upgrades, modifications and changes ourselves! But most of the new Laptops and All-in-Ones aren't suited to this.  The tinkering has gone from the hardware to the software and even that is usually not tinkered with.  This is not new, the same pattern existed when the Amateur radio became a consumer product.  No one bewails that they can't modify their TV.  So is all the tinkering gone away.  Not if you ask Kip Kedersha, who also goes by the handle KipKay, sure doesn't think so! If you are ever in the need of a project for yourself or you tech oriented students check out his page.  While you consider it check out this which my son built just the other day and it works like a charm!

Friday, April 26, 2013

<=> Less equals more

There is a certain universal mathematics wherein <=> or spelled out
Less (<) equals (=) more (>)
This can be an importan concept in our personal lives and in what and how we teach.  This week take a look at the following video and then in the s give us some ideas about how <=> in your classroom!

For me less equals more in terms of homework.  I have often thought that expecting students to leave their full time 'job' and go home and work for several hours more sets a bad pattern.  I don't want to have to do that every day.  So I tried my hardest to only have 1 hour of homework a week in my class.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

GIS/GPS Resources from UEN

Web Address: http://www.uen.org/general_learner/gis.shtml

This week I wanted highlight one of our Utah's own resources.  UEN has been the premier curator of resources directly relevant to Utah Education for years and they continue to strive to be just as relevant.  For the last few years one way they have been doing that is by supporting CMAP courses.  These courses have allowed teachers to locate and map points of interest and of educational value in a variety of locations throughout the state.  Two areas that have particularly robust GIS systems are:
Each of the areas have developed a robust mapping system and used information from community mapping to add information.  The GIS/GPS page above is the place that you can go to find out all kinds of great things.  From how to use a GPS device to ways to contribute to other projects.  If you are interested in seeing just what these projects have accomplished take a look at the CMAP Projects page.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I try to keep these tech tips something relevant and hopefully cross platform and a tip! I think of these tips as little shortcuts or processes that can simplify what we do as tech enhanced educators. Often, we can spend a lot of time managing the technology and that can interfere with the big focus of all this which is the teach! Often we Ereader teaching things that aren't tech they are some other content. So he are two tips to managing information that I have found helpful:

Conventions, or Standards are rules that we use in grammar and writing to help cue people as to what we are doing. For instance if I put an ! At the end of a sentence you know I really mean it! Conventions that I use with student projects include the following naming of files:


The students replaced the number sign (hashtag) with their class period and the question marks refer to their own name or information in the file name. By doing this, when students submit their assignment in a shared network drive or save it to a shared folder on DropBox, Google Drive or Skydrive, I can sort the whole list and I have them separated by class, and alphabetically by last name. This saves hours of searching and hunting for files and matching things up. Especially when your school grading system doesn't connect to your online/digital submission tool.

I use the following date format at the beginnnng of all my documents


I then include whatever relevant file information I want. I learned this when Picasa started prepending this to my photos as they were I imported. While getting my science bachelor's I had gotten used to the standard scientific format for dates: 2013-apr-23 or 2013-IV-23 which is standard globally, but doesn't sort well on a computer, namely January is sorted after April by the computer who is using alphabetical sorting. By using the format above you get perfect chronological sorting. The 'last modified' or 'created on' data associated can be inaccurate when you move files from one external hard drive to another. So I have begun adding the date I created it at the beginning of all my documents to allow me to sort them.

What are some of your strategies for arranging and sorting files in our new age with massive numbers of files to manage? Post them in the comments!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Teaching with the World Peace Game

This is an excellent talk.  At around the 16:30 mark John Hunter says something truly profound
 That's the kind of engagement you want to have happen. And I can't design that, I can't plan that, and I can't even test that. But it's self-evident assessment. We know that's an authentic assessment of learning. We have a lot of data, but I think sometimes we go beyond data with the real truth of what's going on.
This is profound! The more I live and the more I teach and work with teachers, the more I truly believe we need to engage all the members of our society in solving the problems.  This reminds me of Ender's Game wherein the human race has to turn to children to solve the problem of war.  We as adults so often forget how capable we were as children.  We forget that we could generate creative imaginative play for hours.  We could plan and scheme and build.  I was once taught that assessments and assignments should be almost indistinguishable from one another.  By teaching this way students are unaware they are being tested.  Sometimes I feel strongly that learning and life should be indistinguishable. Learners should be paired with someone who understands and will guide them.  This would be in addition to parents.  Learners would be given opportunities even at young ages to start engaging in real work that they like.  For some this might be gardening for others 3-D digital design, but as they interact with the work they would identify what they need to learn and their facilitator would be able to help them identify resources and individuals to help them learn what they need.  In this way I could see students working 4 to 6 hours a day with scaffolding support of 2 to 3 hours of learning or instruction.  This kind of education could last a lifetime with everyone having mentors who help them but at the same time being mentors to others.  A true lifelong learning system.  As opposed to today's method of incarcerating young people until they prove they are ready to be let loose on the world.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wednesday Web: Edutecher and Educlipper

Web addresses:
EduTecher Logo

I have found it a little hard to describe these two sites.  Edutecher is a bit like social networking for teachers, but it isn't exactly.  It's a teacher web publishing tool, but it's more than that.  What I can definitively say is that it is definitely useful!  This site allows you to login and create a profile.  This profile allows you to interact with other educators and for them to interact with you. Additionally, you can create your own blog and start sharing out with students. Grab the RSS feed and you can republish it to other sites. Like your my.uen page.  You can also take notes, keep track of links and Search links that are curated on the site.

educlipper logo

Is like Pinterest but completely for educators.  You can Clip pages, images, books, even documents and files! Educlipper is a way teachers can store online and share with everyone the things that matter to them.  You can create multiple ClipBoards and then share them with Contacts, students, the whole world or whatever works best for you.  Educlipper is very new and currently requires an invite to become part of but when all the features are available to the whole world it will definitely be a player in the educational world.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


blogsy icon
  1. Rich text editing!
    • One of the very best rich text editors on the iPad.  It allows bold, underline, italics, strikethrough, Bullet lists, paragraph alignment, and a variety of other editing tools.
  2. Multimedia:
    • Allows quick drag and drop adding of photos from a variety of sources, (see below)
  3. Multiple Account Access:
    • You can link multiple different blogging and multimedia accounts to add content to your posts.  You can also post to multiple blogging services quickly.
  4. Drafts!
    • Because it will also allow you to access the camera and video rolls you can work up your whole blog post while offline.  Then when you get back online you can post away!
So at a price of $4.99 it is a pretty good deal if you are blogging to multiple accounts.  It allows some pretty useful tools for editing and all in all is probably the very best of the blogging apps.  My only issue with it is that it doesn't allow editing of previous posts on the blogs you activiate.  For example, I can keep the draft, but I can't go to a past blog post and add new information.

Blogsy App image

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The reasons I love blogsy

  1. Rich text editing!
  2. Multimedia


Learning in the Faculty Lounge

This week we are learning about iPad publishing options

iPad web publishing!

I have been looking at tools for web publishing from the iPad and other tablets. These new devices are amazing to take every where and they are pretty useful as creative devices. Especially those with built in cameras or good sized virtual keyboards (typically the 10" tablets)
I found one too that is highly reviewed iPad app. Blogsy
This tool lets you drag and drop from multiple accounts for multimedia? Like photos from Picasa
Or videos from YouTube
All in all this makes blogging from the iPad pretty simple and powerful!

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

Visit some of my other blogs or the other blogs I find mildly entertaining for a more polished feel.