Monday, July 14, 2014

My Recent History with Tech in School

Much of history isn't pretty. This year I was part of a tech cohort for iPads. I was hoping (and explicitly asked for) lots of hand-holding to make sure I got the most out it.

We're all busy. If something seems only moderately interesting, then it risks getting tossed to the side. Anyway, I'm a teacher. I know how to run lessons no problem. I don't “need” to incorporate any specific newfangled tech.

But I don't want to stagnate, either, so I signed up. It's pretty exciting to get the toy that everyone dreams of.

Good things:

  • cool
  • from Apple! Apple's cool, right?
  • (?) it takes videos...that's amazing, right?
  • decent way of navigating the web for a tablet
  • a few worthwhile apps

Bad things:

  • I had to use my home wifi connection in order to download any app whatsoever
  • I found out about that after wasting tons of time trying to use school internet
  • same with updating apps
  • and dropbox doesn't work
  • and I could never get a cable to connect the iPad to a projector
  • and for paid apps you have to submit a form and send it to central office
  • and for most any app you have to ask special permission to download
  • I never liked Apple in the first place

Okay, I'm bitter. I'm disillusioned. Plus (to add one more item to the list above), most of the resources we worked with in the cohort were just for websites, no specific device needed!

I don't want to finish sounding whiny and beaten. And I appreciate the opportunity. But I needed some serious hand-holding. Without purpose, technology goes to waste. And half (or all) of a tablet's appeal is its convenience, which was reduced to negative one million by all of the county tech policies.

My biggest takeaway: get your own Kindle Fire HD. It's awesome.

Oh, I edited the picture with Google's Pixlr app. That's awesome, too.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

To a Great New Year!

The past few years have had lots of downs and ups, but something tells me 2014 is going to be BIG.

I'm rich! I've got millions of dollars coming my way. Well, the lottery group I had didn't turn out that well – after five months we won $2 (minus the cost of the tickets). But now the odds must be in our favor – that's why everyone wants to do it again! After losing, you're more likely to win, right?

Espen is awesome! He just is. That's not new.

I'm a writer! Maybe. Basically, all of my life I thought I was good at writing and wanted to write a bunch of really awesome novels. In 2011 I started a YA novel, which I finished at the beginning of 2013. The book was bad. The biggest problem is that over the entire course of writing, It was the first time where I felt like I had enough time and enough constructive feedback. In other words, I had everything I needed to do my absolute best... It still was horrible. So, my failing despite all of that effort made me think that my dream would never realize. However, I never completely gave up, and my writers group (Columbia Writers) has breathed new life into the novel. It could actually be a good book! Hopefully I can finish by the end of 2014.
whatever the quality of the book, I know the cover will be good

I'm writer! Really! Plus, this year I'm going to self-publish a book related to education. Natasha is helping, too; she's the illustrator. The novel I mention above has issues, but this education book will be AWESOME.

I won't look like a monster! I've had really crazy irritation in both lower eyelids, making me look like an evil monster. Last week I started an extreme action plan with a new eyelid specialist, who will in two weeks remove the nastiest part of the problem. This time I really have confidence that the efforts will work and I might look like a regular human again. Then I'll only be ugly on the inside.

My arms are made of iron! Really. Touch them. You might be surprised.

Here's to a great 2014, everyone!