Thursday, February 24, 2005

Where does the time go?

I was just laying around thinking about nothing in particular. I am dog tired after putting in two 12 hour days in a row and should be fast asleep. I am having trouble falling asleep however, so I decided to try a little mind clearing writing. At some point I hope this has some tie to Macs in education. If not please forgive me.

One of the things that I was thinking about while not going to sleep was how I have not really posted here recently except for the podcast announcements. I really want to get into a regular schedule. Speaking of the podcast, I hope you have the opportunity to listen to show #4 and the interview with Bill Palmer. Even though Bill is looking at Macs in education through the rear view mirror he still has a lot of good thoughts to contribute.

I posted on MacUsingEducators last week about a project I have been working on. I also talked about it in show #3. I have been teaching a district professional development class on iLife. I have outlines posted on the website that my team develops and maintains. You can see the outlines here. I really can't wait to get some time to work on the video clips to go with the outlines. I got hung up with Snapz Pro, but I think I have found a good replacement thanks to Steve Denbo at Speaking of Steve, I rea have to plug his podcast again. His is one of the most insightful that I listen to on a regular basis. Steve has turned me on to more great 'casts than any list at iPodder or Lemon. One of the things I need to put on The Educational Mac show notes page is a list of what I am listening to.

The next 10 days are going to be crazy busy for me, culminating in the experience that is UCET. UCET is the Utah Coalition for Education Technology. It is the Utah ISTE affiliate. I serve on the executive board of the organization and our annual conference is next week. We will have a great keynote provided by Bernajean Porter on Digital Storytelling. We have 2 NASA scientists and 2 NASA education specialists coming to give presentations. We will have a total of nearly 100 sessions presented by over 70 presenters. We will have about 900 total educators in attendance. We will have over 30 sponsors and/or vendors. The amazing thing about this conference is that we pull it of with an elected and appointed board of about 15 people who along with 4 or 5 others volunteer their time to pull the conference off.

I don't mention this to brag, although I do want to state how proud I am to be a part of this organization. I also want to express my appreciation to those people I serve with for their dedicated service to the organization. Did I forget to mention that Apple is one of our key sponsors. There I knew I could tie this back into The Educational Mac somehow.

I also mention the conference because a great friend and colleague of mine is giving a presentation on podcasting. My guess is that most anyone who attends this session will not even know what a podcast is when they walk in. However, by the time they walk out, they will have been involved in putting a podcast together. I am going to help with the presentation and we will have those attending give comments and this will make up the basis for The Educational Mac Podcast Show #6. I am really looking forward to this happening although I am not sure what we will end up with, but make sure you look for it on or about March 5th.

Okay, I think I have talked myself out at this point. I can probably rest more easily having at least exercised my fingers for a few minutes.

See you in a Few!

The Educational Mac Podcast #4

On tonight's show, an interview with Bill Palmer, and not a whole lot else. I ended up putting the show together very late Wed. night, Thurs. morning so apologies if things aren't as clean as they could be. See You in a Few! Kelly

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Educational Mac Podcast #3

Here is the 3rd installment of The Educational Mac Podcast (Feb. 16, 2005). I really rambled this time. I had a hard time feeling like I had enough last week and this week I felt like the Energizer Bunny. So this one clocks in at about 25 minutes.
Topics include an iLife class tutorial I am working on, educational uses for iPods, the Cobb County School District laptop program, an age old debate that we have in our district and I suspect you do as well, and finally a few words about state and national educational technology organizations.
I have managed to get the rss feed working so you can subscribe one of two ways. 1 - Regular Feed or Feedburner Feed. As always comment are welcome at See You in a Few!

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

TEM Podcast #2

Here is The Educational Mac Podcast #2. Google's new map tool, intro music, no viruses, and more. Get it here See You in a Few!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Worms Underground and All Around

Man I love my Mac. The tech repair and support staff in our district has had a tough week this week. They have been doing nothing but trying to clean up the latest round of worms on PCs in our district.
Just in the building I work in one man spent 2 days trying to eradicate them from the premises. What a joke! All that effort and expertise wasted and the problem still isn't solved. We have about 90 facilities in our district. There are PCs in about 1/2 of them. There is probably an installed base of about 6,000 PC's in those schools and offices. With about 6 tech staff to work on it... well you do the math. It's not that they were all infected, well it seems like they just about all were.
Most of my work is done on the elementary level in the district. Fortunately, our elementaries are about 99% Mac. Needless to say the elementaries saw very little need for help this week. What is amazing to me is how the PC lovers continue to rave about how much better their platform choice is. Okay, they can't use their machines, but it sure is better.
It just seems to me that in this day and age there is no rational reason to put PCs in our K-12 schools. So much wasted time. Well it looks like the worms won this one. By next week we will be declared pretty much worm free in the district, at least until the next one.
I'm going to save my favorite anecdote from this week for the next podcast. I hope to complete it tomorrow. Until then...

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Okay, Here We Go

Okay, you can't exactly call it a podcast yet, but here what will hopefully become one when it grows up. You can download or listen here. I introduce myself and what I want to do with the podcast. I also talk for a moment about something actually Mac and education related. Oh, and I say um and uhh, a lot. Well, give it a try anyway and let me know what you think. Send feedback to

A New Beginning

I started a blog called MacEd musings over a year and a half ago. It saw about 5 entries, the latest being nearly a year ago. At that time, I was interested in seeing what blogging was all about and what relevance it has to K-12 education. Well, here I go again. I am hoping this will not be the 9th false start of this project. I started a blog called MacEd musings over a year and a half ago. It saw about 5 entries, the latest being nearly a year ago. At that time, I was interested in seeing what blogging was all about and what relevance it has to K-12 education. I am still not sure about the answer to my relevance question. I am following several educational blogs and even listening to a couple of educational podcasts. I am intrigued, still I wonder about the relevance of it all in education. I do believe that we should do all we can to get students to write more and I think blogging can give them the incentive to do that. In my job I work with about 20 schools. In those 20 schools there are well over 20,000 students grades K-12. I am positive that some of those especially in grades 7-12 are blogging on their own. Why not channel some of that into the classroom. There are some legal and moral issues the need to be addressed, but I thing it could be a very positive thing. For me personally though blogging is a good thing. I never used to write. I didn't really like to write, but I have discovered that I really like writing in the blogging format. It allows me to get my thoughts and ideas down in a way I haven't been able to in a long time. I have even been writing for a website, Mac Using Educators . Anyway, this new blog is not about blogging. See I am a supporter of Macs in education. This blog will be about using Macs in K-12 education. I work with PC's when I have to and can find my way around, but I don't like to. PC's offer mostly inelegant solutions to most tasks. I am going to begin this new blog with an example. In October I taught a digital video inservice in my district. I had taught an iMovie inservice for several years. I had good attendance and a great time teaching the class, however I was asked to expand the class and include Windows Movie Maker (MM) as well. Like a dolt, I told myself that it couldn't be that hard. So I expanded the iMovie class into a Digital Video class and taught it cross-platform. I spent a month working with MM and really not enjoying it, but felt comfortable enough to teach the class. I had 16 participants in the class and tried to persuade as many as possible to use the Macs in our training lab as opposed to the PCs. It ended up pretty evenly split though. I decided that this would be okay and would give me some good personal data about both programs. I got the data alright. After 5 weeks all 8 of the participants who chose to work on the Macs had their projects completed and most even burned to DVD. On the PC side only 1 of the participants was finished after the 5 weeks. One of the PC people dropped out citing the difficulty of using Movie Maker (but refused to move to the Mac). Of the remaining 6, I spent a minimum of an extra 4 hours each. With one person I probably spent an extra 14 hours. The elegance and ease of using iMovie was never more vivid to me. Of the 7 completed PC projects 5 of them ended up using iMovie to do some clean-up work on their movies as well as using iDVD to make DVD's. One person I worked with ended up exporting her movie out of MM onto tape, then importing it into iMovie and completely re-editing it in about 1/4 of the time it took her on the PC. The biggest thing that amused me was trying to move projects. Have you ever tried to move a MM project from one PC to another. Moving the MM file itself is no problem, but try finding and moving the collections that make up the project. It is more than a joke. In fact with my limited Windows knowledge and experience it was impossible. Why doesn't MS get it. What does it take to move an iMovie project? You find the project folder and move it with an external HD, burn it onto a DVD, transfer it over the network, whatever. When it gets to the new destination, you open up the movie file an off you go. This example is the epitome of the elegance that is the Apple way of doing things. It works, it works right, it works all of the time. Is Apple perfect in the way they do things, no, but in education it seems they make it work much better and easier for students and teachers than anyone does for PCs. My goal is to update this blog 2-3 times a week. I am also looking into doing a companion podcast. If I do the podcast I will post the shownotes here as well. I will try at least 3-4 podcasts and then decide whether to continue.