Tech Salad

With Crunchy Bits and Bytes

Month: July 2009

Do Not Go Quietly…

A few friends shared this video with me today. Watch it and see why you should use technology in your classroom.

Learning Ahead

Yesterday I passed my Apple iLife ’09 certification test. I can’t claim I know everything each of the applications in the suite can do, but I certainly know more than I did two weeks ago.

We currently do not have iLife ’09 as part of our computer image for teachers and students. Some of our older hardware cannot handle some of the stuff the new applications do. We have budget constraints, and personnel constraints. My brain, however, is not tied to budget and personnel. Neither is my enjoyment in learning something new.

Becoming certified was not about lamenting what we don’t have, but a preparation for when we do have it.

If I’m not moving ahead, I’m falling behind.

From the Earth to the Moon

“…3…2…1…Lift-off! We have lift-off.”

Now you can visit the Moon and see more than I ever imagined. Google Earth now has very detailed imagery of the Moon, with layers. The panoramic set-ups of the landing sites with extravehicular activity are so neat, you can almost reach out a touch the moon rocks (or are they chunks of cheese?)

I Still Can’t Believe It

Today I drove to Charlottesville to meet Marco Torres who was delivering the keynote at the EduStat . I went into the auditorium to listen for the last few minutes. I stood at the back, near the door, and turned to ask the lady sitting near me if I was blocking her view. When she said no, I glanced down at her name tag. Charlotte Wellen. Hmm. The name sounded so familiar. I looked back at the face…

Mrs. Wellen was my sister’s 5th grade teacher, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

This is unbelievable. I have to come to another country and sneak into a conference to find the teacher who made me so upset when she left before I made it to the 5th grade.

I hope we can keep in touch and collaborate. I’m sure I’ll learn from her. After 30 years of teaching, she’s still attending conferences and trying new things.

My Cup of AppleADE

This is day three of the ADE Summer Institute.

I have learned. Of course I expected to learn. Still, I’m surprised by how much.

Rebecca Stockley, the Improv Lady, worked with us extensively to get us started on our branding journey. I still don’t feel very comfortable making a “me” commercial, but I think I can recreate the process and update what I have so far sometime down the road.

I have learned about the ADE program, the ADE’s role in education, and how the ADE community stays connected. Our institute slogan of choice, created by a participant, will be printed on T-shirts and it reads, “Great minds don’t think alone.”

Maybe I would feel more at ease about making a “me” commercial if this week I could see myself as a big fish in a little pond. But, here, with all the other people attending the Institute, I feel like a small speck of krill… Fortunately, I won’t get eaten. Everyone here is so helpful and generous with their knowledge and experience.

The event is halfway over, and it is a terribly depressing thought. As much as I miss my home and my family, I don’t want this to end in just two more days.


On my last evening in DC, I met an educator from Australia. I am famously bad at small talk and asked the one obvious question. “How has NECC been for you this year?”

This turned out to be as far from small talk as anyone could get, and very enlightening.

I am a newcomer to NECC (this was my 3rd) so I never experienced the conference prior to NCLB. It seems our focus on standardized tests and “proven results” has rendered NECC a bit of a waste of time for international attendees. While I did gather good ideas from sessions, many others came mostly for the informal interactions with like-minded people and attended no sessions at all.

I had originally criticized this “no-sessions” approach to NECC as wasteful and slightly arrogant. After that conversation, I sincerely hope that changing the name of the conference from NECC to ISTE is much more than window-dressing.

NOTE: I am terrible at small talk AND at remembering people’s names. I hope to meet this one educator again in the future.

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