The Questions in the Middle

In my new position as Instructional Technology Coach, I am still trying to decide what needs teachers have and how to best fill those needs.

In my own professional development, I know that when I learn something new I walk away excited and when I try to attempt my new skill I have a glitch, come up with a question or sometimes it just isn't as easy as I thought! Not being able to go back to the training facilitator or friend who taught me something new makes it easy to give up.

The questions in between the learning can sometimes BE the learning for me. So, keeping that in mind, I decided that I wanted to have one morning before school each week where I will be completely free to be ready for "drop-in" help.
It was from this idea that BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) was born. I have the wiring set up for teachers to drop by with their laptop and plug in show me what they need help doing on their computer.

Just as I thought, the needs varied at our first BYOL session:

#1 Google Reader - A week ago, I delivered a short inservice on how to start with Google Reader
so a few people needed help with setting theirs up as well as how to toggle back and forth from the list to the reader to copy and paste the subscriptions.

#2 Setting up a Distribution List - My principal demonstrated this at a faculty meeting recently, so one person needed more help with how to get started setting hers up.

#3 Changing emails and passwords associate with accounts - A task that may seem simple can be tedious if you've never done it before and don't know about toggling back and forth with your email to verify changes before moving forward.

#4 Downloading Flash Player - Many of those updates that are necessary for seamless use of technology in the classroom can't be updated by anyone but school technology contacts.

I'll be continuing BYOL sessions Tuesday mornings every week as long as I feel they are needed. Hopefully answering the questions in between the learning will help move the learning forward in our building.


Hey Blogger - What's up?!?

I have used blogger as my blog service for over a year now. I have never had a problem I couldn't quickly figure out. Over six months ago, my leadership team members and I ventured into the world of team blogging when we began our professional development blog. We had great success sending back instant professional development from whatever conference we were attending as we all sat in our separate break out sessions.

This year, I developed two new blogs to be used as team blogs. One blog is being used to highlight faculty members innovatively using technology and the other blog is being used to document the travels of a special ambassador for our school. The problem is....these are meant to be team blogs and blogger invites are not working!

Adding team members is supposed to be a simple process, you enter the email address of those who you would like to invite to author on the blog and it sends out a message requesting acceptance from that person. I have sent multiple invites (even to myself to see if it is working) and the invites won't work!!! When you click "help" on blogger it suggests you leave a message at their help center, which I have done. In frequently asked questions, it suggests that you log in on different computers or browsers. I have done that. FOR TWO WEEKS, OVER AND OVER!

I don't know what else to do. I would like to keep all of my blogs with blogger, but the lack of support is unacceptable. I'm hoping someone from Blogger will see this post and help. If not, I guess I need to figure out how to switch over to another service without losing anything. Ugh! What an aggravation! If you have any solutions to relieve my pain - please help!


Help Me Rebuild My Laptop

I work in a Windows environment, so when my shiny new Macbook Pro arrived 6 months ago I wasn't quite sure where to start. I fiddled with it for about a month and ended up putting it away a lot and getting out my trusty IBM. I just wanted to get my work done and was frustrated with how to do similar tasks on my Mac. So, I signed up for Apple's One-to-One classes.

Slowly but surely, I began to only use my Mac. I ended up taking my Macbook Pro to NECC and leaving my IBM at home! Then one day, about two weeks ago, my Mac crashes. I mean...dead, gone, black screen...nothing. I take it to my local Apple store and the Genius tells me, "Your hard drive crashed, you'll have to get a new one. I hope you didn't save anything on it." I smugly replied, "Oh, I never save anything on my hard drive, so I'll be fine." Then I realized...I'll have to remember all of the applications people told me to download over the last six months. Some of which I'm not sure what they did, but maybe they were essential? Oh boy!


I got my computer back this week. I've re-downloaded Second Life and Flip4Mac, but please help me by telling me must-have applications I need to download to get my Mac back in fine working order. I'm writing them down somewhere this time as I download them!