Booklandia Discusses: Seven Great Books & Mandatory Reading Logs

Scott Bedley and I chat with Colby Sharp of the Nerdy Book Club on Booklandia 2 - Electric Boogaloo

Read aloud time is always a classroom favorite.

Read aloud time is always a classroom favorite.

Booklandia taped at 6:30 AM PST today.....whew. Scott Bedley, 1/2 of the Bedley Brothers Podcast, and I, were up for the challenge. Colby Sharp has a passion for books and reading, and it shows. These are the easiest podcasts to make. All we do is share a Google Doc, let Colby share his three books, and get out of the way. Colby gives a great summary of each book, so you can decide if it is right for your students. Listening to Booklandia, is a simple way to stay current on what is out there in children's literature. 

If you are a LA teacher, go on over a visit the Nerdy Book Club website. They have consistently cranked out a blog post every single day since the winter of 2011. 

Booklandia is definitely for the elementary and middle school teachers, but this month, Colby gives two professional books for high school teachers. All the links to the show are in the handy List.ly list embeded at the bottom of this post. Please share out the list to colleagues and other people you think would be interested. That is why we take the time to make them. 

Make sure you listen at the end when Scott asks Colby about mandatory reading logs. I think this is a topic that many elementary school teachers struggle with. We have an article from Donalyn Miller, author of the Book Whisperer, with her thoughts on the subject as well. It's the last link on the embedded Listly below. 

I want some wireless Beats for my birthday.....#1stworldproblems 

I want some wireless Beats for my birthday.....#1stworldproblems 

We will be recording a new Techlandia on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM PST with Felix Jacomino. Where I will ask him the question: Why does everyone speaking at Miami Device have a huge banner ad.....except for @ipadsammy? #1stworldproblems We will also ask him real questions about the conference, what is going on at his school, and what he thinks is important in education right now. So watch for the link on the Techlandia Twitter feed Wednesday night, or just subscribe already and get it over with! 

10 Ideas For The New School Year

Last Wednesday night, we kicked off Techlandia for the new school year. Moss Pike, a high school Latin teacher in California, discussed a number of great topics: (Moss is also Las Vegas born and raised.) 

Way in the distance is the Edtech 11 crew....squint and you can almost see them. 

Way in the distance is the Edtech 11 crew....squint and you can almost see them. 

  1. Moss talked about the recently completed Edcamp Vegas, that he attended. We also decided ANYONE can organize an edcamp, if @msgeekyteach can pull it off. 
  2. There was also talk about Playdate LA, and how you can bring it to your town.
  3. He talked about his session at Fall CUE with Karl Lindgren-Streicher, and the theory if you attend an edtech conference this year, you are only separated by Six Degrees of Lindgren-Streicher.
  4. A breakdown of the Design Thinking process was given. (So simple that even I could understand.)
  5. Moss talked about being elected to the CUE board. He also shared his ideas on how to get educators to keep the conversations going with CUE events.
  6. I snuck in some tool talk, and shared Nurph for Twitter Chats, and Get Point as the Chrome extension you need this year. 
  7. We discovered Curt's favorite author.....himself, as he wrote the forward for Matt Renwick's new book, Digital Student Portfolios.
  8. There was a discussion on Sketchnotes, and Moss shared some great resources.
  9. We talked about the IntegratEd SF conference in October, and why you should attend. 
  10. How listening to Techlandia every week, will help inspire you to try new ideas this school year. Moss was also amazed that people could just listen to Techlandia on their commute, and that a helpful List.ly was created with all the links so listeners wouldn't miss a thing while they were driving. 

Ok, number 10 was a lie....Moss didn't say he was amazed by our List.ly lists. That was me, putting in my two cents. The lists will ALWAYS be made so you CAN do those things if you would like. 

So you got sucked in to reading this from the title? Sorry, that was just me trying to prove that we need to STOP with these suck you in titles. 

Techlandia will roll this week, with No. Cal. educator extraordinaire, Lisa Highfill. We are excited to talk to Lisa, and guaranteed to make more fun of Karl Lindgren-Steicher and David Theriaut on the show. We know Craig Yen is busy playing softball on Wednesday nights, but you can always watch the Techlandia Twitter feed for the link if you would like to watch live. Our new time is Wednesdays at 10PM EST/7PM PST. 




Techlandia Is Back! Moss Pike Tonight!

Two Month Hiatus Is Over....

You thought we were gone...but you just can't get rid of us! 

You thought we were gone...but you just can't get rid of us! 

Techlandia will begin again tonight in the usual, way to long of a podcast, format. An announcement for Craig Yen: This school year we will Google Hangout live on Wednesday nights at 9PM CST. Alison, Curt, and I are trying to get a life, and will retire the Saturday night time slot. We will always open up the Q & A feature in Google Hangout, if you would like to interact live on the air. The Techlandia Twitter feed, will tweet the link out if you would like to watch live tonight. 

Tonight's guest will be: Moss Pike

Moss is a high school Latin teacher, and an organizer of many different events in the So. Cal area. He attended the first Edcamp Vegas, and is just a super smart guy. We will have to ask Moss, if he was a valedictorian, like Curt Rees, or if he has ever been to Milwaukee.

So please come back and listen to the show when it is posted tomorrow. You can find all our episodes at the Podomatic website, and other various places on the World Wide Internet Webs. 

Voxer Is So Last Year. Move To: Get Point.

I have seen all the Voxer talk on the Twitters lately.

I like this, I don’t like that, I know everyone likes it, but I am having a tough time with it.
— The Twitters

Well you are late to the party, my friends. We have been talking about Voxer on Techlandia for over a year. In fact, here is the episode: June 16, 2013.

That is a fun episode with Kyle Pace before ISTE 13 in San Antonio. Definitely still worth a listen. But.....I digress. We love Voxer, but it has limitations. If you get behind in a Voxer conversation it can be overwhelming to listen for 20 minutes and catch up. If you DO try to catch up, there are times when you could comment, but it is too late. The people in the thread were having that discussion two days ago. You want to contribute to the discussion, but they've moved on. You can also have people who talk FOREVER, and leave messages that are five minutes long. Do you hear me Shawn White? Shawn White once left me a ten minute long Voxer, and he isn't even the biggest talker....that would be me. 

I was trading messages with Jake Duncan the other day, and we thought it was funny Voxer is catching on after we have been using it for almost two years. The problem with apps of this type is you have to have people using the app as well, or you can't message anyone. Jake is the master of new tech tools. He is dialed in to what new tools are out there, his new pick is Get Point.

If you would like to be an early adopter, the 411 is below. 

Yeah, I'm talking to you! Get point! 

Yeah, I'm talking to you! Get point! 

Get Point is a FREE Chrome Extension that lets you share webpages, blog posts, pictures, and videos. Curt Rees and I have been testing it out, and it is very useful. He shared an article about the fourteen most overrated movies of all-time. He then highlighted the part about The Princess Bride, because for some unfathomable reason, he dislikes that movie. 

Curt being a real _________. (insert your own adjective based on your love of The Princess Bride.)

Curt being a real _________. (insert your own adjective based on your love of The Princess Bride.)

I can now comment back to him, that the list is terrible, and quote my reasons why. It pops up like a chat box for you to comment as you can see from the picture below. 

Here is my overwhelming case as to why this list stinks, and the Princess Bride is NOT overrated. 

Here is my overwhelming case as to why this list stinks, and the Princess Bride is NOT overrated. 

I think this is a great tool to try out and have some great discussions with. There are many times on Twitter that I share things, but I just want a few people to see. I tag people in the tweet, with a silly video, but it's out there for everyone to see. This would be a great way to clear some noise off Twitter, and have some great discussions. The aforementioned, Shawn White, just wrote a post on Twitter litter, that is worth a read. 

In summary, be ahead of the curve:

  1. Listen to Techlandia every week.  
  2. Add Get Point to your Chrome browser, and start your discussions for the new school year.
  3. Then go back and subscribe to Techlandia. Do I have to spell it out for you? 

Here is the website to Get Point, Twitter, and a video tutorial on how to use Get Point. 

Point is a simple & fast way to share and discuss articles with friends. Install at www.getpoint.co

RIP Foursquare - Eulogy From A Lover Of Free Queso

The email hit me like a bullet. Thank you loyal Foursquare user, but after 4,281 check-ins, Foursquare is going away tomorrow.....just like that. Swarm may fill the void, but where are my mayorships? Gone? I like being able to check-in to cities easier, but at what cost? Where are my badges? Are they gone too? 

Foursquare taught me mayorships are trivial, much like becoming mayor of Chicago.

Foursquare taught me mayorships are trivial, much like becoming mayor of Chicago.

I loved battling daily for mayorship of my local taco shack, Mi Ranchito. It was a daily battle between me and some dude with a sinister skull looking icon. Now that I have moved to Portland, skull dude has won that battle. #wellplayed my taco loving friend, I hope I was a worthy opponent. Will I get to fight more battles with Swarm? Swarm, you only have 1.5 stars in the app store. Are we sure this is the new app that Foursquare users crave?

My love started with FREE queso upon checking in. 

My love started with FREE queso upon checking in. 

When I first started Foursquare, I was scared to tell everyone where I was. That quickly faded away after I saw my first check-in special....free queso. I love queso, but FREE queso....just for checking in. I had at least a dozen free quesos because of you Foursquare. I will always love you for that. I don't see specials on my Swarm app, there is no surprise at the end of a check-in. The gamification was fun too. A newbie badge? Then I became an adventurer...next an explorer. I became the Magellan of fast food. I didn't know I could be rewarded for pigging out. 

As time wore on, I started leveling up. I could become a 2x and 3x achiever of a badge the more I visited different restaurants. Now I was getting rewarded for variety AND for loyalty with my mayorships. I was so happy when I would check-in and level up my Fresh Brew badge. 

My favorite Foursquare moment: I was buying teacher supplies at our local store. Having just moved schools, I was trying to refresh some of the old material for some newer fresh decorations. One of my old students and his mom popped in the door. They had seen my check-in and gave me one hundred dollars for my new classroom upgrade. Just like that. When has an app EVER done that for you? Swarm will do that for me? I think not.

At the end, right before Swarm, my badges were getting legendary. I remember sitting at conference with Dean Shareski, talking some badges. He wanted to know what level Porky badge I had....Level 5, thank you very much. Impressed he inquired some more....Hot Tamale, Level 10. What? Yep, that is 48 different Mexican restaurants. Even Shareski had to admit those were some impressive badges. This coming from a guy that posts #meatpics of his BBQ. 

Swarm just isn't the same. Here are my favorite badges which I suppose are now retired (sniff, sniff) :

I only rose to a Level 4 Bento badge. #sushiisexpensive

I only rose to a Level 4 Bento badge. #sushiisexpensive

Porky Level 5 was a pretty strong showing.

Porky Level 5 was a pretty strong showing.

Level 7 for Earl of Sandwich. #nuffsaid

Level 7 for Earl of Sandwich. #nuffsaid

Flame-broiled Level 8. That's right I am an American! 

Flame-broiled Level 8. That's right I am an American! 

The already mentioned Level 10 Hot Tamale. You can't get any higher! 

The already mentioned Level 10 Hot Tamale. You can't get any higher! 

My Level 10 Fresh Brew was a layup. I could be Level 20 by now. 

My Level 10 Fresh Brew was a layup. I could be Level 20 by now. 

My Fresh Brew got me my only award in life, Starbucks Most Valuable EdTech. So I would like to thank the Edubros, Nic Provenzano and Tim Gwynn for that honor. The real thank you goes to Foursquare. You will be missed.