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Why a TOTAL Vacation is Needed from Technology

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AllureI recently went on cruise vacation for eight days with my husband. I did not do any foursquare check-ins or posting of pictures. Actually, collectively we only took twenty-five pictures. We didn’t take any laptops, only our iPhones and an iPad. This was going to be a time for us to reflect and connect. He is the texter and I’m into social media. We both used our techie stuff until Wednesday evening, when “no service” appeared on all our devices. Not wanting to spend $175 to connect, we completely disconnected. I became a 1999 version of myself – enjoying the moments. I had forgotten how slow and deliberate I used to be. It was truly a vacation from abscessing about checking the devices and/or playing with the apps.

Then on Sunday morning at 4:32AM our phones went off with all the texts and emails. 475 emails and 125 texts. The vacation was over. Not wanting it to end, we only did a quick check and enjoyed the final day.

As a connected educator we push to have others connect with us. But, having a tech-less vacation was simply marvelous. It slowed me down and made me appreciate my surroundings and the people I care so deeply about. Footprints

It recharged me and made me filter out some of the things I need to delete. It gave me a focus to appreciate the things I connect with using technology,  It put persecutive in my life and allowed me to prioritize the many things I do. The lack of tech gave me permission to prune. So, upon my return, I’ve been “unsubscribing” to many email lists. I subscribe to too many lists that I simply do not read or care about.

During this holiday season think about having a TOTAL vacation, then filter out the things you need to delete, then be thankful for the things you truly enjoy. Happy Holidays!

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The Final Piece of COBS: SHARE!

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cobS (1) copyThis is always my stumbling block with young techies. Once you have a body of work, share, share, share. This means creating websites or blogs. It also means present your material at a variety of conferences, face to face.Put yourself out there for others to comment and see.

Still many administrators want the works to be only within the school, within their walled boundaries. The Common Core pushes an educator and their students to share outside the walls of the school. It states that students must share and have an authentic audience.

Writing goal 6: “Use technology, including the internet to produce and publish as well as to interact and collaborate with others…”

Each one of the COBS is as important as the rest. If you only live in the world of create and do not organize, it will stunt your creativity. If you organize and do not backup, you loose everything. If you don’t share to the global community you are missing the total creative process of authentic assessment and connection.

TIME.

You give time to create. PLEASE, give time to file management, backup, and share. LET your students organize their files upon completion of a project. Many teachers did not see that was part of the process. Teachers allow students to organize their trappers, clean out their desks and lockers, so students are organized.  But, the digital files were not part of the picture. Give yourself and your students time to organize. Do not create a standardize way to organize and demand a specific color for folders or tags. This will not connect the student to the files. You and your students have to FIND a way that works. Once you demand folders, let the individual organization method be created by the student.

What I Did for Share:

The k12online conference is an amazing conference run by teachers, for teachers. I have the  pleasure to present this year: T3: Become a Triple Threat in Tech: Art, Music, and Media.

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Backup, backup, backup: the B in COBS

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coBs (1)Of course, external hard drive the complete computer at least once or week OR when you have competed an important project and want to make sure you have backed it up.

Dropbox and dropittome

I love the dropbox feature of all my screen shots immediately going to the screenshot folder in my dropbox. I also love the dropittome service, where people can drop files to me, without an email address. Plus, it’s password-protected. Only in Safari, you can have your students dropittome 

Dropbox and GarageBand

Box.com does not not read GarageBand files and turns them into mp3. (Great if you like that feature) it will link fine on the computer you created it in, but the synced computer will see mp3. A GarageBand file in dropittome it automatically zips the large file. So, students can create GB files at home and drop the files to you. You also receive an email upon the file being dropped. I had a contest to see how fast the service was, and each and every time it out performed the local dropbox at the school. Of course, you have discussed file management and naming of files before you push out this service. That is file management.

 I recently asked one of attendees at a class I was teaching, how do you backup your computer.  He answered, “I put my music on a jump drive.” I asked about a complete backup, he looked at me with crunched eyes, “You can do that?” Then, others in the class piped in, “You don’t backup?” That’s peer pressure. Ask your students specifically have they backed up, either important files from the server, or at home.

What I am doing in COBS, on backing up.

  • I backed up both computers using time machine.
  • I went into the preferences of both my iPhone and iPad to make sure that is is backing up to iCloud. Ironically, the iPad said it hadn’t been backed up in two weeks. I manually backed it up to icloud. I thought it was backed up. Glad I took the time to LOOK to make sure the backup was working.
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