Monday, April 21, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 6 - The Future of Ed with Tom Whitby)

By Dr Will

























Photo Credit: Tom Whitby


Today's guest was Tom Whitby. He is a former 34 year classroom teacher, blogger, online content creator, editor, and conference presenter.

In this episode we talked about Tom's experiences with guiding educators to becoming connected educators. 


ThomasD. Whitby has served a contributing Editor for SmartBlog on Education by SmartBrief. He retired from Public Education after serving 34 years as a secondary English teacher, and spent an additional six years as an adjunct Professor at St Joseph’s College in New York. He is the founder of seven educational groups on LinkedIn, the largest being 12,000+ members, the Technology-Using Professors Group. He is a Co-Creator of #Edchat, an award winning education discussion group on Twitter. He hosts the weekly Edchat Radio Show on the BAM Radio Network. He created the Educator’sPLN, a global Ning site, where approximately 16,000+ educators share and collaborate daily. He participated on The U.S. Department of Education's planning committee for Connected Educator Month in 2013 and 2014. He is an education Blogger, My Island ViewEducational,Disconnected Utterances. The Qatar foundation has invited him for the past two years to attend the WISE Conference, an International Education Conference in Doha Qatar. He has written about Social Media in Education for several national educational journals including Learning and Leading the Journal for the International Society for Technology in Education. He has presented at statewide and National Education Conferences, including several 140 Character Conferences on Social Media in Los Angeles, and New York City.

Connect with Tom on Twitter @tomwhitby

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 5 - All Things Google with Alice Keeler)

By Dr. Will




















Photo credit: google.com/+AliceKeeler

Today's guest was Alice Keeler. She is a teacher, edtech leader, conference presenter and doctoral student from California. Alice is also a Google Certified Teacher, Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer, CUE Leader, and much, much more. 

In this episode we talked about Alice's experiences in using Google Apps in her classroom, her doctoral program, and her advice to teachers interesting in using Google Apps for Education.

  
You can find her on Twitter @alicekeeler and on Google+. Her blog Teacher Tech  is a gem for finding resources on how to use a multitude educational technology tools.


The Dr. Will Show (Episode 4 - Schoology with Alice Chen)

By Dr. Will





















Photo Credit: Alice Chen 

Today's guest was Alice Chen. Alice Chen is an English teacher and Technology Coach, which means her time is divided between teaching in the classroom and helping other educators as a Tech TOSA.  Alice is also a Google Certified Teacher, 2014 Lead PBS Digital Innovator, Microsoft Innovative Educator Trainer, Schoology Ambassador, CUE Lead Learner, CUE Rock Star Presenter & Organizer, Orange County Department of Education Trainer, and SGVCUE Board Member.  You can follow Alice on Twitter @wondertechedu, circle her on Google+, or visit her blog at Alice in WonderTech.

In this episode we talked about Alice's experiences in using Schoology in her classroom and her advice to teachers who are transitioning to using Schoology.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 3 - The Ph.D. Game with Dr. Raq)

By Dr. Will



















Today's guest was Dr. Raquel Nunez. She is an educational consultant and educator who specializes in public policy as it relates to ELL students. In this episode we talked about Dr. Raq's experiences in pursuing a doctorate.  

You can find her on Twitter at @raq_steady. 



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Meet Dr. Eva Lantsoght

By Dr. Will

I have been communicating with Dr. Lantsought over the past two years. In the beginning, she and I both were writing our dissertations and blogging about our experiences. Fast forward two years later and we are both doctors, working full-time in our respective fields.  
I wanted to interview Dr. Eva because her blog is one of the best one's I've read and continue to read. It's informative, engaging, and dishes out some solid advice for those in the process of writing their dissertation. 
Please meet, Dr. Eva Lantsought.


Will: Your blog is PhdTalk.blogspot.com. What made you decide to blog about your doctoral experiences?



Eva: I had been on and off with blogging in the past, and after a year into my PhD, I wanted to share some of the lessons I learned about getting on track with my work, and doing experiments in the lab. I started writing just for my mom and a few friends, who read my earlier blogs, but a few months in and the audience turned out to be a little bigger.

Will: What did you blog about first? How long did it take you to get comfortable with a direction for your blog?



Eva: I started writing about my Day Zero project (which never really took off), and I also wrote about my way of planning my days/weeks/months and working in the laboratory (my PhD was based on experiments).

Will: What do you like blogging about the most? Is there one post that surprised you by the amount of feedback it received?



Eva: I enjoy writing about a variety of topic (one of the reasons I ended up applying to become a writer at Lifehack.org ). I would say that I enjoy most of all writing posts that answer questions from my readers - kind of makes me feel that I’m “helping” somebody, rather than just writing about what has worked for me in the past.

One of my most popular posts is “How to write an abstract in 30 minutes” - and I never expected it to become so popular. I wrote it really quick after writing an abstract myself, using my tried-and-trusted method, and I think it has helped a lot of people. I never put much thought into that post, but it grew big.


Will: Do you have a schedule for blogging, or do you write when the mood strikes?


Eva: I used to write a couple of posts ahead on Saturdays, and sometimes as well throughout the week as I had inspiration. During my PhD, I had a pretty good schedule to get my work and hobbies balanced. Unfortunately, starting my new job as a professor and moving countries shook things up a bit (I’m still not fully settled into my new place, so it will take a little more time). Nowadays, I’ve been struggling to keep up with my posting schedule (I air posts 3 times a week). I don’t have the big buffer of posts that I used to have, but at least I try to write for the week ahead over the weekend.

Will: What made you start writing for other blogs other than your own?



Eva: It started by people asking me on Twitter if I wanted to share some of my experience on their blog (Peoplegogy was -I think- the first place where I wrote as a guest blogger), and after a while I started sending pitches to other blogs as well whenever I had an idea I thought would fit better on their page than on mine.

Will: After graduating you took to Twitter to ask about the direction of your blog. What has the transition been like from blogging about your PhD journey to now as an academic?



Eva: It evolved very naturally - I've had more posts about teaching, and making the transition from PhD student to assistant professor on the tenure track, which are the things that are going on in my academic life at the moment. I've also been crowd-sourcing ideas on Twitter with regard to teaching, academic workloads, and balancing teaching and research, which lead to Storify stories that I used for blog posts.


Will: What haven’t you blogged about that you want to? Where do you see your blog going in the future?


Eva: I have a whole lot more ideas than time to write, so there are quite a number of things that are left to be written. More than just writing, I want to experiment with different styles of posts. I've done an interview time ago, and would like to do more interviews, vlogs, webinars and the like. I’d like my blog to become a go-to resource for doctoral students and early career researchers, so -if ever I find the time- I’d love to write an e-book and share some worksheets with my readers.

About the author: Dr. Eva Lantsoght is a structural engineer specialized in structural concrete bridges and working as an assistant professor at Universidad San Francisco de Quito and researcher at Delft University of Technology. Originally from Lier, Belgium, she received an Engineering Degree from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, MS from Georgia Tech and PhD from Delft University of Technology. At her blog PhD Talk, she blogs about her research, the non-scientific skills you need in academia and living abroad (currently in Ecuador).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 2 - Flipping PD)

By Dr. Will















Today's guest was Jennifer Carey. She is the Director of Educational Technology at Ransom Everglades, a blogger, and expert voice on Twitter. In this episode we chatted about flipping professional development.  

Jen's blog can be found at IndianJen.com, and you can find her on Twitter at @TeacherJenCarey. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Dr. Will Show (Episode 1- The Connected Educator)

By Dr. Will


















Today I launched the start of my new interview show titled: Dr. Will. What makes this show different from my past shows is that viewers will get me unfiltered and free from my @peoplegogy brand. This show is about me "hanging out" with educators I admire. Tune in every week for a new episode. 

My first guest was Dana Ariss, an innovative, connected educator from Alberta, Canada. I connected with Dana on Twitter, and wanted her to be my first guest, because she is so enthusiastic and doing some amazing things with her students. Please check out her blog and give her a shout on Twitter

Monday, March 3, 2014

EdcampJXNms

By Dr. Will


Edcamps are (unconferences) where educators come together to connect, discuss, and share ideas about what they're doing in their classrooms. There's no set schedule, no list of presenters, and no PowerPoint presentations. There is, however, a communal spirit and a focus on learning and collaboration.

On March 1, 2014, Mississippi hosted its first Edcamp in Jackson, MS. This was my first unconference, and I was excited to learn with such a group of forward-thinking educators. Though we didn't get the turnout we expected, the experiences we had couldn't have been scripted any better in a movie.

What I enjoyed most about Edcampjxnms was the feeling of being part of something bigger. All of us were there because we believe in the power of connected learning and the possibilities that exist in using technology to transform education.


I must thank the sponsors and all of the  companies who donated door prizes and swag. We cannot thank you enough for your contributions. The list of sponsors are as follows: 


  • Dave Burgess
  • SimpleK12.com
  • CSpire Wireless
  • Atomic Learning
  • ASCD
  • Flocabulary
  • Edmodo
  • ClassDojo
  • WriteAboutThis and TellAboutThis
  • LessonPix
  • PLP Network
  • Techsmith
  • Krystle Rowry (krissdidit.com)
  • Lemuria Bookstore

Special shout out to Applebee's and Chick-Fil-A for providing us with nourishment.

Check out the digital scrapbook from Edcampjxnms.

About the author: Dr. Will is an instructional technologist for Hattiesburg Public School District in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He graduated from Capella University, and holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management where he specialized in digital leadership and using social media to individualize the professional learning needs of teachers. Prior to becoming an instructional technologist, Dr. Will worked as a social media strategist. His expertise is in using social and digital tools to facilitate an array of connected learning experiences. This blog, Peoplegogy, was born out of his mission to explore and share the educational applications of web 2.0 tools.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Acer C720P Touchscreen Review

By Terie Engelbrecht























If you know me at all, you know that I am enamored of all things Google.  So, when I received an Acer C720P Chromebook for Christmas, I was overjoyed to say the least.  But after I was informed I was now the proud owner of a touchscreen Chromebook, I couldn’t wait to open the box and try out my new gadget. (Imagine a grown woman trying to claw open a Chromebook box with a look of manic technological Christmas-day glee in her eyes….sad, I know.) 


















I’ve used my Chromebook every day since I first laid eyes on it, putting it through its paces.  Below is the breakdown of the pros and cons I’ve discovered about the Acer C720P Chromebook.

Pros:

1) Lightweight and easily portable.  At 0.78 inches thick and around 3 pounds, this Chromebook is easy to tote around.  It’s actually lighter than my iPad in its case-and my Chromebook doesn’t need a special case.

2) Good battery life.  The specifications state that you can get around 7.5 hours of life out of the battery, which I would say is pretty accurate at this point in my Chromebook’s life. 

3) Easy to navigate file system structure.  The Chromebook has a 16GB solid state drive to store pictures, documents, etc.  The file system structure is very simple, with a Downloads folder and access to your Google Drive. 

















4) The touchscreen is pretty awesome.  There is no lag when tap-tapping away on the screen and navigation using the touchscreen is very seamless experience.  While there is a keyboard attached, I have found myself developing a hybrid touch/type way of using the Chromebook that works for me.  It doesn’t transfer very well, however, to my other devices that are not touchscreen; much like after using my iPad for a long time, I keep tapping the screen of my definitely non-touchscreen Windows machines at home and at work expecting great touchscreen things to happen.  And then become disappointed when they don’t.

5) It’s all Chrome, all the time.  You basically live in the Chrome browser, which is very easy to do and grow accustomed to doing.  This is fine by me, since Chrome has awesome apps and extensions that can be used to enhance your online experience. 

Cons:

1) Abrupt shut-downs.  In the few weeks that I have had my Chromebook, it has abruptly shut down twice and I once saw a pretty groovy black-and-white garbled screen after which I had to restart the machine.

2) No downloading/installing software.  This could also be considered a “pro” if you think about the fact that this protects you from viruses; however, it also means you can’t install anything.  For me, this means no iTunes and no music while I’m working on this machine, unless I start using Google Play and purchase songs I already have.

3) There’s offline access, but…. There are some apps that work offline, but the Chromebook is limited in what it can do when you don’t have an internet connection.  That’s just the nature of the Chromebook beast.

4) Limited screencasting options.  I love to screencast, but most of the programs I use are downloaded and installed software.  Since the Chromebook isn’t into that whole “downloading” thing, you are limited to using screencasting extensions or using Google Hangouts using the screen sharing option.


Overall, I am very impressed with this device, which is pretty much an iPad that comes with an attached keyboard.  In fact, it has pretty much replaced my iPad as the machine with which I travel, and my home Windows machine hasn’t been turned on since I got it.  While it does have its disadvantages, I can definitely see why people and schools choose Chromebooks.  If you’re heavily into Google like myself and have an weird love of touchscreens such as myself, then this is potentially the device for you.

About the author: Terie Engelbrecht is currently the Director of Teaching & Learning at Byron CUSD #226 in Byron, IL.  This is her first administrative position after leaving 16 years of classroom teaching. Terie taught Biology and a smattering of other sciences (Physical, Earth) at Wauconda and Marengo High Schools, both located in northern Illinois. Terie holds a Bachelor’s degree from Blackburn College, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Aurora University.  For the last three years of her teaching experience, Terie taught in a 1:1 classroom, integrating technology into all of her science classes mainly through the use of PBL and inquiry learning.  She has also been an instructional technology coach, a department chair, and an adjunct professor for Aurora University.