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. 



Booklandia - NEW Podcast From The Techlandia Crew

It has been over a MONTH since we recorded a new Techlandia. You don't know what you've got, 'til it's gone. I miss Alison Anderson and Curt Rees. Why do they have to have lives and be busy this month? In the meantime, I moved to Portland, and as if she could sense that fact, Alison went on a two week vacation. The move will be another blog post, but for right now we are talking STRAIGHT LITERATURE with Booklandia! 

We recorded the first episode today with our literature expert, Colby Sharp. Colby will now be the featured speaker in our new series of short podcasts dedicated to children's literature. Colby reads over a thousand books per year and has a passion for getting students to read. We are so appreciative that Colby agreed to share his time with us for this podcast series. Today's episode was only SEVENTEEN minutes. This could be the podcast that Matt B. Gomez is craving, because of his short attention span. 

We will be back with old school Techlandia around August 9th, talking with the terrific, Moss Pike. 

We are putting out an open call to educators who have a passion for a certain subject, we don't want to stop with just Booklandia. This is an open invitation to Math, Social Studies/History, Science, Special Education, PE, Art, and Music teachers. If you would like to share 3 things/ideas per month on our new format, we would love to hear what you have to say. If you like regular old Techlandia, and think you could vibe with the crew, we have a spot for you. Just contact me on the Twitters and we can proceed from there.

Here is the show, book titles, and list of links shared by Colby today:

  1. Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner
  2. The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
  3. Babe Conquers the World by Sandra Neil Wallace 

Hope to hear from some people interested in helping out with the new podcast ideas, and we would love any feedback on the new show. You can follow the @techlandiacast Twitter feed for the links to the live show.