Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sharing Resources

I think that my favorite sites to visit are the ones that have links. Not just any links but links to the things that make me smarter and happier. Links that show me the latest and greatest apps for my iPad, pathways to blogs that show people who are innovating in education with technology, doors that tell me who to sit or start in my fantasy football league for the best chance of winning. All of this great information shares a common trait, someone shared them with me. Not all directly to just me but it feels like it since I'm the only one at my computer when I take a look at them. Nicely wrapped up and delivered for my viewing edification. So this post is an effort to repay the favor, I would like to share some of my favorite links with everyone out there. Oh and yes they are especially for you. 

So there are a few of mine, please visit and enjoy. No I have to ask everyone out there, what are some of yours?
Share any site that you would recommend for edtech or just a really cool site to visit with us (PG-13 is the rating here please). 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Apple leading the way in.....Happy?

So it is well documented that Apple as a company has done some things to poke the proverbial beehive of technology, but always get off without any real consequences. Two big ones come to mind, the final cut pro debacle of 2011 (see here for the FCP mistake for the video editors out there) and why Apple and Adobe can't just work out  this Flash thing like adults, perhaps a duel of proprietary input/output devices or something equally as eloquent for the IT aristocracy.
So all of that aside and my bitterness out in the open about it, I have to say I love my iPad. Everything about it get's cooler and cooler every day (I'm a nerd when it comes to tech and this is the coolest tech I've had in years) and studies show that I am not alone in my Apple product satisfaction. According to a yearly satisfaction survey of personal computer owners Apple is the clear ruler of the personal computer "Happiness" landscape. No surprise that they have been for the last 8 years as well, Apple keeps em Happy.

I admit it, compared to the Apple computers I use my PC is a pretty big let down, and I am happier when I use the Apple devices. What about you? Anyone feel the same way? Anyone feel different? I'm curious if they polled the right people, or only those at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My iPad to replace all of my textbooks......are you sure?

So there I was on a Monday afternoon, almost afternoon, 11:50am to be precise and the class I teach starts at noon. I get to my computer and the KTS system (I teach over the fiber-optic network and it is broadcast out to several classrooms in the eastern Iowa area) and I was just getting my iPad warmed up with my textbook to teach from. On a side note I thought that the iPad was going to revolutionize the way I was able to carry materials for my class. No more large textbooks or instructor manuals, just this sleek, elegant, and lightweight device "to rule them all". In it's defense so far it has, as long as the textbooks are in an e-version and the publishers are willing to impart them to a lowly adjunct instructor like myself. OK, so my story for today is right before class and warming up the iPad, and low and behold no network. It was not my iPad fault by any means but I had placed all of my faith, relied on the well being of my lesson for the day, to an electronic version of a perfectly good textbook that was laying on my desk at home gathering dust. A sudden thought of panic came over me, what to do if I could not use the book from my iPad. I thought about it and decided that I could go online and grab some of the backup files I had stored on Drop box. It wasn't what I was planning but I could make due.....but alas no network. So it was about this time that my decision to go paperless for this semester started looking a little less progressive than I had envisioned and a little more cautionary tale about the pitfalls of technology. What ever could I do, well luckily the network came back on about a minute into class and all was again right with my world. However my students almost had to sit through the most impromptu game of computers terminology charades in the history of Linn county. I guess this is a cautionary tail for all of those out there who are looking for the new tech to change the way we prepare for our classrooms. It's still a good idea, i have not lost faith in altogether, I just carry all of my textbooks in the car with me from now on.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A lack of prior planning on your part, does not constitute an emergency on mine.

ere we are again at the beginning of the semester. Everyone is getting the feel of their classes (yours truly included) and the nuances therein. Important things such as finding assignments, turning in assignments, procrastinating until the last minute to turn in an assignment and then frantically emailing the instructor to tell them there's a problem........
OK maybe that last one is not happening for everyone but there is always the tendency to wait until the last minute to attempt an assignment, then if something goes wrong (usually at 11:30pm and the assignment is due by 11:50pm) an email is sent to the instructor explaining the problem and asking for leniency
There are two important things I want to point out here, things you have heard all of your life I would imagine, before my soapbox gets kicked out from under me.
  1. I can't help myself on the first one, I have to say it. COMPLETE YOUR HOMEWORK AHEAD OF TIME! Did you get that, I caps locked it not out of anger but so everyone in the back can hear me. If you wait until the last minute to turn in an assignment and you run into a problem, as an instructor I cannot help you. My mantra here is as the title states "A lack of prior planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine."
  2.  Ok this one is not so much about assignments but more a general life lesson. Speel Chck everithig!!! Anyone else with me? One more time, SPELL CHECK EVERYTHING!! Everyone still hear me in the back? Notes, assignments, emails, grocery lists, absolutely everything should be spell checked.
So there it is, planning ahead (and spell checking your work) will benefit you in school and in life so getting to it early, or in some cases late, is never a bad thing. Now if you'll excuse me I have an assignment due in the next hour so I should totally get started on it. Wait, what? "Site not available" what does that mean? Down for maintenance for the next two hours.......where's my instructors e-mail again?