Clips Interviews on Flipgrid!

You know how I posted about a recent 1st grade project I did at Hillbrook? Well, I wanted to share with you the awesome end result!

To summarize the project:

  1. Students recorded short interviews with a partner using Apple Clips.

  2. They added effects to the clips to make them look cooler.

  3. They drew illustrations about one or two of the questions they asked/answered. Their homeroom teacher (Margaret) laid down some legit ground rules of drawing (has to have at least 7 colors, etc.). They turned out great!

  4. Students added a soundtrack via Clips.

  5. Students had a gallery walk to view each others’ interviews.

Now for step 6:

Students uploaded (mostly independently) their Clips videos to a Flipgrid “grid” that I created beforehand. They did great!

Check them out: https://flipgrid.com/112d6d99.

Overall, a fun project for all :)

Quick Tip: Create Mac OS Mojave Installer Drive

I love learning new things!

Recently, our front desk laptop at Hillbrook was bugging out, shutting itself off in the middle of a process and then showing an “international prohibition sign” (official name). #nobueno

download.png

The first time it happened, Deborah (front desk associate) brought the laptop to me with a real-life frowny face. It completely halted her workflow and it can definitely be a bit scary to see a symbol like this on a computer screen (I have to write notes to myself all the time, since I’m jumping from one thing to the next all day):

IMG_1788.jpg

I gave her a loaner laptop and then proceeded to boot up the computer in Recovery Mode, run First Aid in Disk Utility and finally re-install Mojave. It worked…for about two weeks. Then, it happened again! ERG.

This time, re-installing the OS left me looking at a fun message on the screen: “mac OS could not be installed on your computer.” Hmm. I was at a bit of a loss. I love me a good challenge, though! #lifemantra

macosupdate.png

I did a little research and discovered that it is pretty straightforward to install a clean OS from a separate startup drive (seems obvious, right?). I had never HAD to do this in my years of experience as a technology specialist, so therefore never actually learned. It’s awesome when you are presented with a healthy challenge, stretch your mind and resources and land on solid solution ground.

Thanks to this SUPER helpful article from Apple Support, I was able to create a clean OS installer using an extra flash drive.

After creating the new install disk, I booted up in the disk (option + power on) and reinstalled the OS via that route. It totally worked!

A few small tips:

  1. Make sure you have an external drive that is AT LEAST 16 GB.

  2. Make sure the drive is formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).

This article saved the day…and I am an even BETTER technology specialist for it! #newknowledge #growth

Why Do We Disconnect?

We all do it once in a while.  

"I'm taking a vacay here" or "a long weekend there" and "I need to disconnect from tech" for a few days (or weeks).  What is it that makes technology sometimes feel all-consuming, a slow soul-suck that wants to hang on like a giant lake leech?

It started with Facebook.  

A game-changer that shifted society's way of communicating and connecting.  A powerful engine of youth-driven tech bliss, which then seeped into the everyday lives of their parents and grandparents.  What started as a "cool new way of learning about one another and re-connecting with past friends," turned into a massive engine of artifacts, fragments, political/social movement, rhetorical questions and un-prompted answers.  A new single super-highway that evolved into a metropolis.  What if you don't want to "live" in a metropolis?  #suckstobeyou

Then came mobile apps and quick-firing fingertips that don't want to lose their mobile momentum.  Like the invention of the microwave and the need for quick, cheap food (due to world war craziness), we have again as a society followed the wave of innovative bliss.  "This is something we have NEVER experienced before.  Let's check it out, yo!"  There's nothing wrong with being a curious, ever-learning society with growth mindsets and such, but we do need to understand one thing:

Curiosity does not equal conviction.

We enjoy these toys that seem self-evident.  But, not all tech is created with an equal objective.  We must be aware of WHY we have this thing or that app.  WHY was it created, and to whom is it relevant?  Some of us still use microwaves to cook everything, but others choose to cook the majority of their food using an oven or stove top.  Not because they don't believe the microwave is a useful technology, but that they like to cook with their own two hands and eat food that is more naturally grown.  It doesn't make one person better than the other, but we all have a different version of what is RELEVANT in our lives.  With a greater density of technology options, it becomes so much more important to answer the question: What do I really NEED to make my life more fulfilling?

I go in phases myself.  Sometimes, I truly want to create things.  I am an ARTIST, after all, and often get the urge to compose music, write poetry or blog!  Sometimes this requires paper and more often a laptop/iPad/iPhone.  Frankly, a lot of technology out there makes it more efficient to create art.  Plain and simple.  I can put a digital music arrangement together on my laptop much quicker than recording each part live into an 8-track or whatevs.  I can convey my own thoughts so much faster by typing rather than writing on paper.  However, I still have moments where I truly want to journal and/or draw in an actual journal on nice paper with a nice pen.  Because I was not put on this earth to use technology.  I was put here to be me, whatever that means.

Let's get back to the original question: why do we disconnect (from technology)?

We disconnect from technology (and other things, frankly) to create a balance between your own drive and the motivations of innovation.  As humans, we need to be self-paced.  We need to control how we see the world and at what speed.  Sometimes this means really diving into something new, that really intrigues us and fits into our "speed" at the time.  Other times, we need to lay back, go back to first gear, ignore the microwave and re-connect with the analog properties of the everyday world.  It's pretty beautiful, actually.  Beautiful that we have that choice.

Don't feel ashamed if you have to touch the "disconnect dial" once in a while.  We are blood-pumping, breathing human machines that need some analog TLC on the occasion that our innovation-brain needs a vacation.  #longsentence #importantsentence

Why do YOU disconnect?  Comments below.  #hollaatyogirl 

With Technology Comes Patience...

We ALL know how frustrating technology can be, am I right?

Believe me, I've been working in the educational technology industry for 5+ years, the technology training industry for 5+ years, the technology support industry for over 5 years and the corporate A/V industry for a year.  Sometimes it still happens.  The RAGE.

Don't worry, I don't show it to other innocent humans.  But it still happens, and it's all perspective.

Summer tech. work is INTENSE.  It's a lot about making lists upon lists and always aware of deadlines upon deadlines.  It's also about what can wait until mid-September?  Good skills to have, though.  Being able to tell a heap of work that "you ain't worthy of the beginnings of my year, yo.  Wait in line like the rest.  You second best."  

I digress.

New iPads are LEGIT to setup.  So fancy and nice and...they require DEP scoping, yo.  

We got over 100 new iPads this year to replace older ones in the line-up.  Cool.  Don't forget to scope 55 of them (manually) to the correct DEP pre-stage enrollment group in JAMF (based on the graduation year) and leave the rest for the other general enrollment group.  Cool.  No biggity.

Let's make sure each Lower School classroom gets the same model of iPad...no easy feat.  Did some math and some magic and we GOOD.  However, 3/4 through wiping all LS iPads and setting them up in Active Directory bindings, they stop "checking in" with our JAMF database.  WTF.

Then, our printer policies stop pushing out and pretend like there's no driver in the freaking driver's seat.  #ERRRRRG

#BREATHE

I called my buddies at JAMF support (super cool and helpful peeps).  They on it.  I had to send multiple Terminal commands via our MySQL Database to dig deep.  It's still an open case.  I get the feeling these issues are related.  If this shiz doesn't get sorted in a week, ain't no one getting a computer that can print (I think).

#FCK

#BREATHE

...you know what?

I am a human using non-human tools in a human world.  I need to remind myself that my humanity is more important than the inner-workings of a human-made metal machine that doesn't know how to order an Americano from an indy coffee shop.

#CHILL

 There's always a solution stemming from a creative human brain.  Always.

#TRUSTYOABLILITIES

The bottom line is that you should never completely trust in a techno workflow and that you are strong enough to design the solution, with or without the techno.

Much love,

Emily

iPad Collection Season: Check!

Another "iPad Collection Season" at Hillbrook just wrapped itself up in a nice bow. 

We used a different strategy this year (compared to previous years): collect 4 grade levels of iPads in 1.5 days instead of 1.5 weeks.  It seemed a bit daunting at first, since it takes a lot of energy to guide multiple groups of students through the collection process, in addition to hauling said iPads from one side of campus to another after collection (with only two of us collecting).  It was worth it, however, to have a faster timeline and more efficient process.  Ultimately, it gave students a longer period of time with their iPads, which helps when teachers are still assigning final projects and assignments that are dependent on the use of an iPad.  

If you are curious about the process we use for iPad Collection (in middle school), check it out below:

  1. In the fall, when iPads are deployed, have students create an empty folder titled, "2018 Work."  They can upload items here throughout the year if desired.  This isn't exactly what we for "student portfolios," but it's a way for students to quickly keep things that are important to them. 
  2. Starting 1-2 weeks before iPad collection: have advisors/teachers guide students through uploading any content they want to keep for next year to the "2018 Work" folder mentioned above.  Here are the general instructions we give students for this process.
  3. Have advisors/teachers remind students to: have their name and grade level CLEARLY visible on their case, remove any decorations from their case, locate and bring their charger + cable and bring their iPads fully charged on collection day.
  4. (Optional) Make a special announcement to the whole school mentioning all important items from step 3.  BONUS: do this in character, calling yourself "Collector Gadget" and using a thick east coast accent and improvised routine (I have done this two years in a row!).  Feel free to make up your own character ;)
  5. Gather a BUNCH of milk crates/rolling carts and label them by grade level.  Have at least one bin solely for collecting chargers.  Grab some electronic spray cleaner and some micro-fiber cloths as well.
  6. Create a spreadsheet listing all students, separated into tabs by grade level.  Make columns for "iPad," "Charging block," "Charging cable" and comments.  This will be crucial for keeping track of missing items or broken screens.
  7. On collection day: go through these steps with students.  It helps to teach them how to properly tie their charging cable.  Also, it helps to setup a "cleaning station" for wiping their screens.
  8. Use your spreadsheet to check off items as they are turned in.  It took us about 20-25 minutes per group of 20 students (give or take) with two and sometimes one person checking in.  

That's about it!

I am usually the only Tech person here most of the summer, so it's important to me to have iPads as organized as possible before the school year officially ends.  This summer, I will fix broken iPads, swap out cases, update our MDM inventory and profiles, rotate iPads in or out of inventory and get ready for another rockin' school year!

What do you do at YOUR school for iPad collection?  Comment below!

#almostsummer

Hillbrook Sound Art 2018 (The Rundown)

Hey guys!  The Hillbrook Art Show 2018 is about to wrap up.  It's been quite the artistic year over here and I wanted to share with you some personal experiences with 6th grade Sound Art. 

As I mentioned in a previous post or two, I have been teaching a new 6th grade art class focusing on SOUND.  It's been a very fun and eye-opening experience for both the students and myself (being my first time teaching a class of my own outside of percussion ensemble) as a new medium for self expression and storytelling.

We created several small projects over the course of the class (I had 4 groups of 6th-grade students that rotated between 4 art classes throughout the year):

  • Sound Reflections (Listening for five minutes to a sound artifact and either writing or drawing their interpretation/story based on their connection with it.)
  • Soundscapes with LoopyHD (Students made observations in the form of writing and audio recording of sounds that encompass the area around them.  They then recreated the sounds they previously heard by recording new sounds in the LoopyHD app.)
  • Short Videos with Foley Sound Effects (Students got to meet and see a cool demo by a working Foley professional!  They also created their own 30-45 second video clips (or grabbed a licensed one from Vimeo) and recorded all of the sounds themselves!
  • AudioBiography Final Projects (Based on a chosen personal "theme," students composed their own audio (including Foley sound effects) to help embody that theme or idea.  A visual element was required in addition to sound.  Students used GarageBand, LoopyHD and iMaschine as primary audio creation tools and chose between iMove, Padlet, Thinglink or Scratch + MakeyMakey for their final presentation medium.  Check out all of the awesome student projects below (be ready for some interesting variety):

        Quarter 1: bit.ly/2ILnZRQ

        Quarter 2: bit.ly/2rHMOoe

        Quarter 3: bit.ly/2IlMguk

        Quarter 4: bit.ly/2II2CB8

For the Art Show this year, I made sure to take 360-degree images of each class.  Then, I uploaded either links to or the actual project to a hot spot under their picture.  I setup two iMacs at a table with links to the AudioBiographies (and other projects) already open in several tabs (on Thinglink).  I also laid out several pairs of headphones with headphone splitters so visitors could listen simultaneously (great way to connect with others in an abstract way!).  

All in all, this has been a fun and challenging year of stretching and discovering what students can create with sound.  Can't wait to teach this again next year!

#fyi I am always available for more information about any of the above-mentioned projects or any other thoughts or questions you may have.  

 

 

 

 

Fall CUE 2017 AudioBiography Resources!




(Click on image for presentation slides.)


Apps:

GarageBand (All-around "home base" for audio production)
iMaschine (Cool digital drum machine/looper)
LoopyHD (Basic live recording and looping)

Thinglink (Regular and 360 images + audio tags)

Padlet (Padlet Backpack is great for schools)

Other Links:




Contact Emily:


Twitter (@eh48)

Emily's Sound Projects:





Annual CUE 2017 Presenter Resources!

Hi All,

Below are the resources I shared in my two CUE Tip sessions during CUE 2017!

P.S. Don't forget to enjoy #cue17 and #rockitout.

Twitter: @eh48
Snapchat: emmo48

Presentation Slides:

CUE Tip: Own Your Tech!
CUE Tip: The "Pied" Piper

Websites:

myipadfix.com
Created by yours truly as troubleshooting tool for teachers/students.
bit.ly/ownyourtechguide
Template for creating your own Google Doc resource guide.
Google Slides
Create your own interactive troubleshooting guide!

Apps:

Reflector 2
Mirroring app for MacOS/Windows for Airplay from an iOS device to a laptop.
Paper53
Use for creating sketches/illustrations of your classroom setup.
Evernote
Use for creating organized notes/images/tags of setup-related resources.

Analog.

Sometimes being analog is okay.
It means doing some things manually
        and a few a day late.  It means breaking things
    apart
And putting others away.
Let's all be a little quieter today.

That was a poem to set the right mood.  Yes, my job is primarily focused on technology.  Or, should I say that my job DESCRIPTION is focused on it.  We all work each day to fulfill certain expectations that are imposed on us due to goals set by either a third party or by your own awesome growth mindset.  There is nothing fundamentally wrong with this.  However, how often do you take a step back and realize that "hey, I'm human.  I have needs.  I get hungry.  I get sad.  I get angry.  I get confused, I get... I feel... I need..."  I get.  I feel.  I need.  These characteristics carry forward into the translations of our daily work.  We fill voids that lack empathy and bring perspective to a binary conversation.  We make the water cooler COOLER.  Our job descriptions don't include these very valid human characteristics and perspectives.  They are based on expected actions, activities and results (nothing wrong with it, though).

Go ahead and take a snapshot of today in your mind.  Pick any time that sticks out.  What were you thinking?  What were you planning?  What conversations did you have??  How much of that was in your job description?

All I am saying is that there is a reason they hire humans and not robots.  We could be automatonic or automa--NOT.

Don't exist to check the boxes.
Exist to persist,
Even if a dash or dot gets missed.
Sometimes being analog is okay.




ISTE 2016. The First Installment.

I just spent the past 3.5 days at the most populated ed. tech. conference in the world.  I walked past dozens of people with allergies, colds, weird quirks in their walking patterns, loud talkers, interesting smells, accents, alternative interpretations of common slang. 

ISTE 2016.

I don't know why I just told you all of that.  People are people.  We smell, we talk, we sneeze.  At the end of the day, however, we all BELIEVE in something.  I common goal, which happens to be the learning and empowerment of students.  Whoops, I forgot the hashtag!

#ISTE 2016.

Many minds coming together to talk about digital integration and purposeful design in the use of technology in the classroom.  

#ISTE 2016. #manymindschangelives 

Last night, I facilitated a workshop on managing the technology setup in your classroom and seriously feeling empowered to learn and reach for better solutions, stronger setups and resilient relationships with those that support you.  It was really fun and interesting to learn how technology fits into your daily process (as teachers and admin) and the opportunities we all have to make the technology integration process even SMOOTHER.

bit.ly/ownyourtech2016

#ISTE 2016. #owntyourtech #ifeelempowered #smooooth 

Ther is so much HEART here.  So many people working incredibly hard to support, enrich and empower their students in every way possible.  Technology has become such an essential part of this learning experience.  AND, it has been great exploring DENVER, CO.  The food, drinks and laughs have been incredible.  Thank you to everyone supporting this conference, and I know that I have grown so much from this experience!

#ISTE2016 #hugethanks #highfive #seriously

The Intersection of Old and New.

    Modern technology is a new species of insect.  To older generations, it may seem like an aggressive attack on comfortable living.  To the young, it is a new idea that is yet to be obtained, just within reach.  How can we, as a culture of modern citizens, create an environment where ALL can feel comfortable around a new "species" of technology?
     Can we bring a greater sense of discovery to those that consistently feel anxious, stressed and/or scared of new technology?  It spreads beyond just recent innovations.  Think of something as ingrained in our culture as a toaster.  Young people will be required to understand the goal behind the design of the toaster, and may even need to use it on a regular basis the rest of their lives.  To them, it will be "new," and to those in previous generations that grew up when the toaster was first invented, it is still just a regular part of life.
    Now, what happens when an "old" invention intersects with "new" innovation?  Today's technology!  (Don't forget about yesterday's technology, or tomorrow's technology either!)  If it is new to you, it's a new tech tool.  No matter how you look at it, both the young and old are discovering the inner-workings and meaning behind a tool.  Right now.  Today.
    "What exactly is happening within different generations," you ask?  The young bring some serious gusto in adding enhancements (based on learned theory and observation in today's culture), while the old carry incredible insight into why this "thing" came into play to begin with.  Naturally, a push and pull system arises.  The younger generations are constantly seeking ways to make things better, brighter and bolder (bless their hearts), while the older generations (bless their hearts, too) are constantly asking "Why?  Is this really necessary?"
    One more thought: What happens when a "comfortable" mindset intersects with a "curious" mindset?  My answer would be relevant innovation.  Ideas that work for that individual and make sense to him or her.  Today.  Right now.  Every time a relevant tool is discovered, explored and fully implemented by an individual, a new bar is set for creativity and innovation in that person's life, whether they are aware of it or not.
    No matter when or where we grew up, we have been exposed to a culture with a very specific set of tools and a certain path of growth and welfare.  Change and "new-ness" can be frightening to any of us.  But, what pushes us through this initial fear is the sense that, "Hey, this could actually be pretty cool.  What else can it do?"  That flicker, flare and flame of discovery can drive someone of any age onto a path of innovation, all their own.