I read the title of this post with my tongue firmly placed in my cheek. These pods at my school were made in the mid 80’s and really serve no special function other than retro aesthetic. I used the picture to make the point of how technology is always changing. I recall in 1997 when I started teaching in Santa Ana Unified, the computers were all early iMacs. Remember those ugly beasts? If it ate your CD-Rom, you had to send it out. AND they were inordinately heavy. We had the money to buy tons of equipment that no one knew how to use. It was often a drag when you wanted to scan something but no one had taken it out of the box yet due to ignorance. Still, we knew classroom websites were coming and we believed they would happen to us. Unofrtunately, with technology in education you have to make things happen. It rarely “happens to you.” Now, all these years later, similar bottlenecks stall progress. In addition, much technology lines the halls of storage rooms never to be used, now completely obsolete. Continue reading “Pods of the Future and Automation”
So you heard about a software you want for your classroom or school, great! What next? If you’re like I was, you have no idea what to ask or expect. One of the most important aspects of school software is the installation. Will they take responsibility to upload your students into the database? If not, are there instructions? Will it accept a csv file from Aeries, or EADMS or your attendance software? It doesn’t matter how modern and cool the program looks, if you can’t get it up and running you’re dead in the water. Software can sit for years unattended because this question wasn’t asked. Continue reading “School Software Choices: Web-Based or Stand-Alone?”
The Aeries Gradebook is a feature that has promoted recent years. It’s excellent for storing grades. Aeries report cards integrate well also. Getting a parent friendly print isn’t easy but having the information archived in there is a legally sound and readily accessible teacher benefit.
This year I am utilizing the Aeries Gradebook by taking the time to enter crucial assignments and assessments. Aeries is a cross platform, web based database that has more information on every child than a basic gradebook software you might find on the market. In short, I believe it is more productive to take the extra time to store data in Aeries than other data banks. As time passes, the reliance on Aeries for student grades will increase and that’s when the learning of Aeries as well as the comfort level with it will benefit teachers. What are your experiences?
Some technology used by teachers you hear about but never try because you don’t immediately “get” what it does. I recently tried what I’ve been reading teachers use for a while now: Evernote and Dropbox. It allows you to do more planning and prep on the fly, including at home, and you can readily drag multimedia and text materials into your lessons from wherever you are. It gives you seamless access to your materials right at your teaching area. Images, video, websites you put in your notes, audio, it’s all there for you with minimal trouble. Below is a screenshot of what I see when using these to teach. You can click on it to see full size. Continue reading “Teaching With Dropbox and Evernote”
This year the web based teaching materials have tripled. I login in to 15-20 resources a day and all require a password. Thankfully, Chrome saves most of them in memory. For the ones it can’t save I have to recall and type in from memory. It is a daunting task without a strategy. Some people write their passwords in a notebook they carry around. Others go on pure memory. The latter can leave you stranded based on my experience. Continue reading “Password Debacle”