So where does Old technology meet new technology – when you take the Amtrak to ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) conference in San Antonio.
Here are the logistics:
Get on train in Norman -(9 am)be there 15 minutes early or so..
get on train
carry all luggage with you.
2 hour layover in Fort Worth that turns into 4.
Arrive in San Antonio at midnightish.(so yeah that is 13 hours)
So pros and cons.. to my European friends, we don’t prioritize Rail in the US.. but this day long trip is only $52 dollars – which is cheaper than the gas it will take me to drive.
The bad thing – the rails are owned by the freight companies so rail work and freight backups means our train must wait, which is why so many delays.
This was a fun experience though..
turns out Vanessa Perez took the train too.. so that was fun to talk and not talk.
The Texas Eagle has an observation car and a dining car..
Each seat is super roomy.. They announced when there was cool to things to see like rivers and other natural sites because of a relationship with the National Parks service.
So great things..
So much leg room..
Seats are big and recline into beds.
the ride is overall comfortable
they have a dining car that is crazy expensive but we are doing it so we can say that we did it.
Cost is awesome.
Each chair has two plugs
Not so great things:
Rails owned by the freight trains so many delays.
(on the way back I am on a bus part of the way)
No wifi and very sporadic cell service.. if this thing had wifi – I would be 100% sold..(I really hate driving)
It is quite a juxtaposition. The old trains and going to a conference about modern technology.But with all things,if you don’t use them, you lose them, Let me challenge you to try to take train if it works into your schedule (lots of parts of the country do not have service). This is the my second Amtrak this month (earlier – Chicago to Milwaukee) but overall enjoyable and supporting alternative affordable transportation for many people who may need it.
so what did we do with our time? We talked about tech in education, I did an article review for JRTE, we talked about your schedule plan, a great way to build excitement and plan for ISTE 17.
So during the last school year the OU Innovation Hub Opened which includes a FabLab which is one of the coolest makerspaces around. Students and faculty can use it for free, but you are smart to bring your own wood and not rely on scraps.
I know this is important to my @OUEducation students in their preparation to be teachers, so when we switched to badging in Spring 17 we included a badge that they needed to go to the innovation hub or the Edge at the library to make something and share their experiences.
To be honest, I did not have time to go until summer, but now summer is here and two of my students got hired to work here next year, it is time for me learn to better support my students and work out logistics.
I am most excited by the Laser Cutter. I am constantly impressed by the cool wooden things that can be made.
First thing, I met with Brandt, FabLab Director, and he helped me make something after I took the safety quiz. He showed me a bit in Illustrator but then I knew that if I was really going to understand the process I better make some stuff. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWREqLJeUaGF5AdrziWzSMQ
So first, I started with a file created by Brandt so I had the basics that I could copy..(but really could not, but it helped me get started)..
Then I went to Home Depot and bought some 1/4 inch plywood.
I checked out a computer with Illustrator in the College of Education and then started to take short cuts.
I started to download Vector Files from Vecteezy. (No judgement I am learning – originals come later).
So then I printed my first projects but messed up proportions something fierce.. (my 3×5 quote sign ended up being like 8 x 11) and I made my first puzzle and forgot about the back of it and had to reprint and got all the proportions wrong.
Lesson 1: waste some wood while you learn!
Then we printed some other things and got proportions figured out and then I was hooked..
Making a Complete Puzzle
I was first inspired to make a puzzle by a card that I found at Hallmark.
So I left for two hours, sat on Campus Corner and did a new illustrator file to print. (and if they were open on Wednesday I would be there today) .
(Lesson 1.a – don’t leave plywood in a hot Oklahoma car – it rolls up like a taquito)
Lesson 2: keep practicing, you will learn more.. (and remember a lot you had forgotten from grad school)
This time I used a sheet of Owls from VectEezy to make a custom puzzle .. I figure I will give to someone at Arthur Elementary (Arthur owls) They are our local ConnectEd School and are setting up a MakerSpace.
I put the owls into Adobe Illustrator – and used a red line to create a cut around each owl and each square.
So first I printed the owls and planned to cut around them. Then I made a rectangle and cut that out.
so what I ended up was this – a rectangle that had the outlines of the owls.
Each of the owls is cut out but fit back in the square.
Then I also cut out a rectangle that was the same size of the cut out square.
Then I used wood glue to attach the one with the cut outs to the plain one.
Lesson 3: a little Wood Glue goes a long way.
Then I realized I did not have a way to pull them out.. A girl had just cut out keychains and she had made these little pegs where she had cut out the hole for the keychain to attach. She had the idea – use the trash from her project to finish mine! So we cleaned out the trash tray and found enough to make the pulls to glue on.
Lesson 4: I learned more from looking at other’s projects than what I was doing myself. The community was amazing.
This student (Instagram: OklahomaMarigold ) had great ideas and I learned a bunch along with the Camp Crimson staff member that was working too.
So here is the final project
So what is the next step?
First I made this to match the size of the greeting card. It fits in a sandwich bag – but if I made it bigger by scaling it in Illustrator, I could make it big. (my first one is the size of a Melissa and Doug Puzzle)
I want to try to do it with original drawings and now I have plan. (I may use Adobe Illustrator Draw App to create a file to export to Illustrator to be able to draw with a stylus on an iPad)
Overall, this was a great start, I installed Illustrator on my computer today and plan to work on it while at #ISTE and print again when I return.
It is kind of like when my friend Mona taught me how to make hummus in grad school – mind blown – these projects that were so overwhelming to me are quite possible. This is the same transformation that I need for my students.. so I will keep learning and let them see me learn.
I am visiting my parents for their 49th Wedding Anniversary and my mother made a list of things that she wanted me to do while I was here. This included:
Help her upgrade her phone
Help her figure out how to renew her license (done online)
Update her Kindle Fire tablets (that have error messages about memory and app updates)
While I have been sitting here, my Aunt (her older sister) called me trying to figure out how she lost messages with the children she texts the most.
This is Day 1 – generally when I visit, my Mom has me go and visit with her Silver Sneakers class when they meet for coffee afterwards and I field questions about their cell phones, tablets, and computers.
I find that when we talk, technology always comes up.. More and more they can’t do things on paper anymore, their health insurance, their taxes, all have to be done online. Even 10 years ago, I regularly read how to find books in the library sessions during my regular visits.
Have we really thought about the update to technology and how it frustrates our parents and grandparents? Are we leaving them behind? We sat here talking about how she hears about her friends getting taken advantage of buying technology like phones and computers.. Maybe our need to efficiency needs to remember to help our elders adjust?
I am an Associate Professor and Apple Distinguished Educator – and I teach those studying to be teachers how to use technology in meaningful ways with kids (and also some practicing teachers). I have been a professor for 11 years and lead a 1 to 1 iPad program. So obviously I am an Apple fan but just to put myself in a adopter continuum – I will say I own two chromebooks, don’t have an Apple watch or iPad Pro and my first iPhone was a 6s Plus which I am still using. (and intend to for least another year) I try hard to be aware as many new technologies as I can and trends in education because it is my job to help my students learn about many technologies and choose which ones they want to use..
A lot of the innovations that they are talking about in the New York Times article are great, and in many cases these startups, while free now move to a freeium model – so while these things might be really useful now, the subscription costs (for which schools are not well set up) will be coming.
I find these also to be pockets of innovation – and don’t get me wrong we need pockets but I feel as though the large scale, company commitments were left off from this article. I appreciate the CEOs that spend their own money, but I also appreciate the large scale initiatives that are looking at larger changes to education.
For example, Google got a small shout out in their article for Google Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Education) They said : “Already, more than half of the primary- and secondary-school students in the United States use Google services like Gmail in school.” A true statement and this free service has changed the workflow in so many schools. I can see it in my college students and practicing teachers getting their masters – we expect to collaborate in real time in our documents. Apple and Microsoft have just joined in on this, they are late the game, and don’t have the seamless nature to the collaboration yet. (ie.. they still have problems with conflicted copies etc..) However, educators are worried that this will become a freeium in the way that Dropbox SpaceRace gave free storage to University students and faculty and then forced us to pay once it was an important part of our workflow.
So definitely Google is changing productivity in education and is currently free. but what this article missed all together is more of the philanthropic nature of some of silicon valley’s work. I have had personal experience with ConnectED which is an initiative funded by Apple (100 million) in an agreement with the Obama White House.
I have had several opportunities to interact with the students and teachers at ConnectED and I can tell you that I believe this philanthropy is changing the lives and learning experiences of students, teachers and communities.
We have a Connect Ed school in Oklahoma City – Arthur Elementary (part of OKCPS) . This school was one of the first schools to get going with Connect ED. Not only are their teachers new iPads new ways with kids, many of whom are English Language Learners but they also have partnered with our College of Education to host practica students and student teachers. I have offered training to them and several of their teachers are pursuing masters’ degrees with us. Whenever I visit the school, I see many other educators from within OKCPS and other districts visiting to see how they can use technology to reach their students. Their impact is much greater than being measured.
In February, I was able to participate in a training for Connect ED leaders from about 75 schools that was put on by Apple. Meeting these educators who were not only preparing students to use technology but also providing for many of the basic physical and emotional needs of students who are often not in a stable environment and may need food, clothing and shelter was inspiring. These were some of the most dedicated educators I have ever met and I found myself inspired by their projects and stories. As part of this, Apple has been activating the Apple Distinguished Educator community to serve this group. In all of the examples in the NYT story, I did not see where educators were helping to lead these efforts. I can’t help but think of the other news story that keeps popping in my feed about the need for large reform and philanthropy about schools to include teachers. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-gates-education-20160601-snap-story.html
I know many people will say that Apple has an up side, by giving away 100 million in tech, training and apps they must be setting themselves up to sell more. But lets look back to 1986 – in 1986 they did the Apple Classroom of Tomorrow (ACOT) which is the still the gold standard for planning technology professional development programs for teachers. In the end, they added to the collective knowledge but the research but that project really did not change their sales that much. Much of what they learned has benefitted all tech companies and ed tech researchers.
I know that Microsoft and other companies spend a lot of money on education too.. but to my point, I think the NY times missed the boat here, individual commitments from CEOs to create new educational products is great, but so are company wide commitments especially those that have a strong educator input. Where is the talk of that?
I had the pleasure of being invited to speak to the Oklahoma Women in Technology Meeting last night at University of Oklahoma Health Science Center Bird Library.
They Screened the Code Documentary (https://www.codedoc.co/)about the women’s representation in Tech fields and then we had a discussion afterwards.This film talks about how there is a gender gap in the tech field and how we can make a difference.
I was so impressed by the people who attended the meeting. There were both men and women and kids in attendance and everyone was passionate about how to encourage more women into the field (both kids and adults). There were all sides of IT including project managers, programmers, instructional designers and recruiters. This group has fantastic networking potential.
The group also has some great philanthropy including:
Supporting http://thediv.org which offers camps for kids and training for teachers on coding.
Organizing technology exploration camps for girls in middle and high school to explore tech careers.
Having monthly speakers and networking events to aid in the professional development of their members.
This is a new but poised to be powerful group in the OKC and Tulsa metro. You can become a member too.
As for the program, you might want to see the movie yourself. It is downloadable at a variety of sites https://www.codedoc.co/watch-the-film/ (but be warned it has about 7 minutes of bullying info that has the Fbomb and the C word in the non educational edition)
Also I encouraged the participants to pick a way (beyond all that their organization is doing to make a difference). here are my suggestions.
Volunteer in a classroom to support a teacher teaching code and tell the students about your job and life.
Be a beacon for coding.. Wear it proud, let people know that you are a woman in IT so that girls can see that someone like them could be in IT.
One of the questions I got, what is the right thing to use to learn about coding – there are so many, pick one and go with it.. and you could be making a difference in someone’s life and career trajectory.
I was so pleased to be part of this discussion, I joined the organization and am excited about being part of this vibrant community in Oklahoma.
Special Shoutout to @KimT (Kim Thomas) at OUIT who invited me as a program chair. She is a force for change both within OU and within the IT Field.
So this summer, I am trying to engage in the community more and build my skills as part of my personal summer Professional Development plan.
I have recommended several students consider doing Designers for Learning service projects as a way to improve and practice their instructional design skills. (http://designersforlearning.org/) I recommend them from knowing of them from Jennifer Maddrell at AECT but I have never participated in one myself. So that is about to change.
So I am doing Mobile Learning Design Sprint. Why?
It is a good experience doing instructional design towards a larger project.
If I recommend it, I should do it and know more about it.
I should model personal growth and professional development for my students.
They are using a Google Sprint design process – which reminds me of SCRUM which is something all of our ID students should be learning.
I am interested to see what I learn here, and what I can take to my own classes and design process. the cost of the course is $20 and I will comment on it as I go.. It starts today but is individually paced, feel free to join me if you are interested.
The White House has asked people to vote to reorganize the executive branch. Seriously… seriously..
First, while our current POTUS may have experience by online polls that ask if we should vote off Omarosa or not, they are not scientific. They only sample those that are engage in a particular issue and those that have internet access and are comfortable with computers. (So let’s rule out my Mom, who does log into “the facebook” but really is not comfortable with a lot of navigation) and those without access (like IDK, people in rural appalachia)
Second – I ALREADY VOTED!!! I voted for a president, and I voted for senators and representatives – to represent me and my needs and it is time for them to do the job they are elected and paid for!!!!!!
Third, I am not qualified to vote on this.. (and sometimes I question our elected officials who don’t read the bills they vote for) but they have staff to educate them on their needs.
When I saw this survey I went immediately to the section for the Department of Education – What do you want to reform: and it lists the 9 Program Offices – Do you know what they all do? I am pretty knowledgeable (more than the average joe) because I am an Education Professor – but seriously – as an everyday citizen could you vote for which ones should be removed or reformed?
The Institute of Education Sciences provides national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge of education and produces rigorous evidence on which to ground education practice and policy. This is accomplished through the work of its four centers: the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, and the National Center for Special Education Research.
The Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students administers, coordinates and recommends policy for developing and supporting high-quality instructional programs designed to serve the education needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students, thereby helping these English language learners and immigrants attain English proficiency and academic success.
The Office of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership, technical assistance and financial support to state and local education agencies for the maintenance and improvement of both public and private preschool, elementary and secondary education. OESE administers programs designed to advance the academic opportunities of the nation’s neediest children.
The Office of Innovation and Improvement administers and coordinates programs and activities designed to support and test innovations throughout the K-12 system, including a number of teacher quality programs and reforms that expand parental choice of schools for their children and information about best practices. It is also the Department’s liaison to the non-public education community.
The Office of Postsecondary Education is responsible for formulating federal postsecondary education policy and administering programs that address critical national needs in support of increased access to quality postsecondary education for all students. OPE also promotes the domestic study of foreign languages and international affairs and supports international education research and exchange.
The Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools administers, coordinates and recommends policy for improving programs and activities that promote the health and well-being of students in elementary and secondary schools and institutions of higher education. Such programs and activities comprise drug and violence prevention programs, character and civic education, and a variety of other comprehensive efforts to promote students’ physical and mental health.
The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services supports programs designed to meet the needs and develop the full potential of children with disabilities, reduce dependency and enhance the productive capabilities of youths and adults with disabilities, and support research to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities, regardless of age.
The Office of Federal Student Aid administers the systems and products related to providing tens of billions of dollars annually in federal financial aid to millions of students pursuing postsecondary education and training opportunities. The office provides the information and forms needed to apply for loans, grants and work-study funds, as well as information for students, parents, financial aid administrators, lending institutions, auditors and others in the field. It also leads the U.S. government-wide initiative to deliver Web-based services from government agencies and organizations to postsecondary students (seehttp://students.gov).
The Office of Vocational and Adult Education supports a wide range of programs and activities that provide adults with the basic skills necessary to obtain a high school diploma or the equivalent and support them in their pursuit of postsecondary, career or technical education and lifelong learning.
So what goes?
Given that information? Even just a paragraph – what needs dropped or reformed? Do you want students with special needs to not be given an appropriate education – Get Rid of 7 ! Do you want those people who lose their jobs to not be able to get an education – no problem Get rid of 9! How about making student loans a free for all – that meaning – an uncontrolled predatory lending situation – (When did you last ask yourself – why can’t student loans be like a title or pay day loans?)
Now given the current leadership and the proposed education budget presented by DeVos to the Appropriations committee last week – many of these things will go away.
What should do you? I have no idea how this “survey” will be used by the whitehouse.. but I have two action steps.
Watch Devos testify to House Appropriations Committee last week.
WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON AND SENATOR:
In the end – this survey is unscientific and I ALREADY VOTED. Please take the time to write your congressperson or senator and tell them how you as a consitutient would like them to represent you.
Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education