What Are You Doing With All Your Photos?

Cross posted at Tech & Learning

While visiting New York City I stood and saw nearly every person around me taking a photo. Not only with their phones and compact cameras but was astonished by the number of DSLR's. I kept wondering what would they do with these photos? I realized Facebook has now become the largest photo sharing site online, perhaps as many as 6 billion per month but I'm not convinced simply uploading them provides the value. I read last month about photo overload and it got me thinking about the value I have for my photos and why I don't feel overloaded with photos.

I've taken nearly around 13,000 photos over the past 6 years and most are housed on Flickr. I use flickr because:

  • It serves as a backup. My computer could be gone tomorrow and I wouldn't lose one photo
  • The paid version allows me virtually unlimited uploads and has no size restriction
  • I  like the fact they automatically offer several sizes
  • I like the community
  • I can easily share sets and single images with a link (I have issues with uploading to Facebook as many do but do share my photos there as well
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ISTE is What You Make of It

Cross posted at Tech & Learning

After attending my 5th ISTE event in a row, I always enjoy reading various reflections of the event. Those reflections usually reference the opportunity to network with other educators. The proverbial, “the hallway conversations trump sessions” statement continues to be the theme of the posts made by your favorite bloggers.  Of course, one must realize the bias of what you read online. Those who blog and tweet are those who have, and find value, in a networked community of learners. Most of these folks are pretty empowered to pick and choose sessions in balance with informal time with colleagues. They’re the ones that try and make it back year after year not because they think they’ll be blown away by something amazing or new but because they treasure the opportunity to reunite with colleagues and friends.  It’s summer camp for educators.

This year I tried to pay attention to those not so well connected, those who have never sent a tweet or might not know what “PLN” stands for. In the hands on session that Steve and I did for example,  I met a principal who shared that he came to ISTE to understand Read the rest

Great Moments in EdTech History

Cross posted at Tech Learning

My two favorite networks, The Golf Channel and NFL Network have been using “Top Ten” format of late to capture almost any topic within their respective sports. Obscure ones like, top ten left handed quarterbacks, Phil Mickelson’s top ten daring choices, etc. So while most of you think that’s pretty lame, I watch in fascination comparing my memories and choices with the producers.

It’s a lofty title but I wanted to look back at my personal journey into educational technology and share a few instances of “aha moments” that I think many can relate to. Not a list, (sorry Lee) in any order of significance but a chronological recollection of memories and events that have been influential in my learning with technology.  

Here we go:

The Digital Camera:
I remember our school got a digital camera in about 1996 or 97. For whatever reason, my principal let me take it home. I don’t recall the brand, I believe it’s no longer around but remember the miracle of being able to plug it into your computer and see your images. I believe it was 640 x 480 resolution. It was the next year the
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Trade Offs

 

 

Cross Posted at Tech & Learning

Traveling to new cities and renting vehicles I simply enter destinations into the GPS and follow the instructions. I really pay no attention to much other than watching and listening for my next turn (I always choose the Australian voice). Gone are the days when you studied a map, figured out your own route and familiarized yourself with your surroundings. That’s a trade off. We trade the convenience and accuracy of the technology and subsequently give up taking time to learn about our surroundings. Sure, I’m still able to learn about the places I visit but typically I don’t. I used to do so out of necessity and now that I don’t have to, I spend my time elsewhere.

 

I began to think about all the trade offs we make with technology. I’m not the first to have these thoughts but wanted to explore this from my own perspectives. I also don’t want to use the typical negative slant that this type of discussion can evoke. People often think nostalgically about trade offs and long for the good old days. That’s a bit too simple for me and is often bias Read the rest

The Paradox of Choice

Cross posted at Tech & Learning

One of my favourite TED talks is Barry Schwartz’The Paradox of Choice. Schwartz makes the point that the choice isn’t always a good thing and that at some point too many choices is a bad as no choice at all. His theory is more involved than that but that idea in particular is intriguing.

Thinking about the big challenge of changing the learning landscape in our schools to acknowledge that the world around us has changed, is something that keeps many of us working tirelessly and often being frustrated with the results. Whether it’s a lack of resources, time, commitment or understanding, major barriers continue to exist that has meaningful change held at bay.

Research is pretty clear about the importance of choice, which leads to engagement, which leads to learning. Few would argue against this. I’m not sure I’ve seen any significant change or improvement happen when professionals aren’t given a choice. Professionals, by definition assume a level of expertise and suggest they are responsible for their own growth and development. Professional development that honors choice sees results. However in cultures that choose efficiency over emotion, often choice isn’t seen as

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