Category Archives: Technology

Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 11: Beans, Trolls, and #MDEduTech

Today’s episode is about social interactions, for good or for ill.

Show Notes:

  • EdBean Podcast
    • 3 teachers discussing a variety of teaching strategies.
    • Conversation is frequently NOT about the tech, but about best practices.
    • Most recent episode from last month. Assumption is the padcast is still active.
  • “Don’t feed the trolls,” but what if they feed themselves?
    • (NSFW due to language.)
    • Written by Kathy Sierra, reposted on with permission.
    • Some people (mostly women) reach a status of recognition amongst trolls where they have no recourse.
      • Abandon social media, trolls win.
      • Ignore them, their antics escalate until they cannot be ignored.
      • Fight back, they escalate. See above.
  • #MDEduTech chat sessions
    • Start 10/20/2014
    • Every Monday @ 7PM EST
    • Target audience is Maryland teachers with an interest in technology, but we won’t chase you away.
    • First topic will be Digital Citizenship

Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 10: Echo Chamber

Should the world put up with more than one of me?I’ve been thinking for a while about so-called “echo chambers.”

We tend to gravitate towards people with similar tastes and ideas to our own.  This of course is only natural – if someone thinks the same way we think, we’re going to like them more. If we like them, why wouldn’t we want to hang out with them?

The problem that stems from this is that when the only thoughts you hear mirror your own, you sometimes begin to think that those are what everyone thinks – no matter how far from the truth that actually is.  Suffice to say, if you spend your days hanging out in an echo chamber, hearing only voices similar to your own, you’ll end up with limited intellectual growth and possibly a misguided view of reality.

(I’m going to bite my tongue here and not make a political statement, but those who know me may certainly fill in the gap.)

For the past several years I have been doing my best to place myself outside the echo chamber that is the teacher’s lounge – both the one in my school and the virtual ones online.  I still “talk shop” with teachers on many occasions, but the vast majority of my interactions now involve people outside of my chosen profession.

The blogs I read, the podcasts I heard, I read and listened to them from the viewpoint of an educator (and frequently asked myself how I could apply them to my classroom), but they weren’t focused on education.

There was good and bad in that. On one hand, I found a lot of cool new things that I and my students thought were interesting.  ToneMatrix? BitBuilder Avatars? Light painting? None of these things came to me from other teachers. On the other hand, I am far from the only teacher finding and sharing cool things.  By limiting my intake of information to non-educational sources, I ended up missing out on a lot of neat things that I would have otherwise been on top of.  (For example, hit me out of the blue. when my principal mentioned it to me. I’d never heard of it before. As a side note, my principal is pretty cool.)

This will not do. I’ve no intention of fully immersing myself in the education echo chamber for fear of missing outside ideas, but I at least want to keep one ear in there to know what’s going on.

Unfortunately … almost every teacher created podcast I used to listen to has faded away.  I’m not shocked by this, particularly when I look at my own … er … infrequent updates.

So in typical Web 2.0 fashion, I made a Google Doc and posted some tweets.

Less than 24 hours later, the spreadsheet sports 40 podcasts! (Though granted not all of them are by teachers.  I’m thinking I’ll migrate them off to a separate list rather than deleting them outright, as there are some real gems in there, too.)

Now that’s probably more than the average person could listen to in a student-filled day, but there’s always room for more. Do you know of an excellent teacher created podcast that isn’t on the list? Add it! Yes, go ahead. Anyone who can see the spreadsheet has editing rights, so just plop it on down in there.  Even if it’s your own creation, that’s fine.

The goal here is to create a teacher-curated list of teacher podcasts.  The more of us who get involved, the better.

Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 8

In today’s episode I discover why I should click on links BEFORE I start recording.  (And better yet, before I try to use them in class.)


Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 7

countbooks01.JPGIn today’s episode I do not cry.


Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 6

2010-01-20 10.21.01Today’s episode includes the sound of me forgetting to mute my phone. Clearly I am a skilled professional.

Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 5

2013-11-21 10.14.08Today’s episode includes bonus segments of my wife blowing her nose and our cat meowing.

Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 4

HPIM2282It’s our one week anniversary!  … and you thought I forgot…

Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 3

2010-07-12 20.29.00

Short show, but hey I’m still keeping to my schedule!


Academic Aesthetic S2 Ep 2

TIE_badge_180 - CopyLooks like this may be a 3x per week show.  We’ll see.

Show notes:

I am definitely looking for feedback and/or submissions for the show.  You can leave them as comments here or post them to my Tumblr account (anonymous posts do not require an account).

So This Happened…

I’ve been having a tough series of days, lately.  While this gem I found in my inbox does nothing to solve the LARGE OVERWHELMING PROBLEMS that I currently have on my plate, it certainly served to brighten my day a bit.

2013-11-14 13_59_41-My Drive - Google Drive


Your hard work, creative contributions, and dedication to creativity in the classroom has been noticed and you were recently nominated for the honor of being named a Tech4Learning Innovative Educator. Congratulations! We are thrilled to recognize the work that you are doing with Tech4Learning products.

As an Innovative Educator, we want to make sure you have the resources you need to be a success with Tech4Learning tools. As an Innovative Educator you receive:

1. Single copies of Tech4Learning’s top 3 tools. 
You may already be using our tools, but an email will arrive shortly and will include a link to download the latest versions of Frames, Pixie, and Share along with the registrations codes for you to enjoy.

2. A Tech4Learning Innovative Educator certificate and badge. 
You can proudly display the certificate on your wall and badge on your website or blog. These files are attached!

3. A multi-year Recipes4Success subscription! 
To start using the Recipe tutorials and Snack references, as well as tools like the Rubric Maker, go to:

You can change your password using the My Account link at the top.

TIE_badge_180 - Copy4. An Invitation to the Tech4Learning Innovative Educators group on Connect. You can jo

in the group at any time, and we will send you a formal invitation soon.

In the middle of next week we will be highlighting you in our blog and announcing your honor to all of our users on Connect. If you are not yet a member, or if your profile could use updating, now is the time to do it. I would also love to use a photo of you for the blog and would appreciate it if you would send me one that I may use.

Thank you for your continued support in educating 21st century students with Tech4Learning tools!

– Melinda and Danielle

PS – Please let us know if you are presenting at any conferences as we would love to give you items for the session or workshop to give-away. And feel free to add any of these conferences to the calendar on Connect so other community members can search for you!

 So there you go.  Day was still pretty rotten, but this made it just  little less so.

(And I’ve been saying Tech4Learning’s Frames is awesome literally for years, long before they gave me anything for free.  If you don’t have it installed on your computers, you’re missing out.)