Tag Archives: edtech

Creating a Podcast is an #eduwin for 2013!!!




Who doesn’t love a Winter Break? Give us all time to relax and pause for a moment and energize for the second half of the year.  In my family, we just stayed in Austin and maxed and relaxed.  We didn’t go and visit anyone, no one came to visit us, just did what we wanted to do.  I wanted to get some things done that I couldn’t normally do while school was going on so I decided to start a podcast.  I had been shaping what I would say in my podcast, names, hosting sites, all that jazz before break started.  With the help of @classroom_tech and @marniemoose, we decided on the title of Techlandia.  My partner in crime would be @tedrosececi, who, I am sure, didn’t know what she was getting herself into.  We decided on a format and just decided to keep it simple. Three apps, three people we love on Twitter, and things we enjoy at the time.  We also leave ourselves room to vent a little at the end, and there you go!  Podcast!  It has been so much more fun than I thought it would be.  We are on even on New & Noteworthy in the iTunes store! (you have to dig, education-scroll down on the bottom right-click educational technology- but we are there)  We even got permission from Washed Out to use the Portlandia theme song as our music for the rest of our episodes this year.  So if you have a chance, start a podcast, it isn’t as hard as you think.  Once things are set up, you are golden! If you have any of the technical questions, I am happy to answer to the best of my limited abilities.

You can find the Podcast in iTunes, or at my NEW, UPDATED website ipadsammy.com the Official Techlandia Podcast page is here.  

We also feature a Zeen magazine that has ALL THE LINKS to what we talk about on that page.  You don’t even need to jot stuff down, we have that covered for you.  If you have any suggestions we even use the app Answer Underground for a question and answer forum.  Just download the app and search for Techlandia Podcast Question Group.  We may even have in the works a LIVE podcast from the Answer Underground booth at FETC on January 29!! 

First #eduwin of hopefully MANY to come in 2013!!


2012 Edublog Award Nominations

I have four kids under eight years old, so I really don’t have a ton of extra time.  The people below do amazing work and really inspire me to blog and keep going when energy is at a minimum.  I have seen the work that the people below have put in, and am truly amazed at their dedication to educational technology as a whole.  I am happy to say that I have met all of the people I am nominating below this year.  Yes, @mrhooker, I am name dropping…BOOM! 

Best Individual Blog – Moving At The Speed Of Creativity – Wes Fryer  I am in awe of Wes Fryer.  He comes up with so many great ideas, and shares them out with the world on his blog.  I saw him present at Mobile 2012, one of my highlights of the year. 


Best EdTech/Resource Sharing Blog – TechChef4u – Lisa Johnson I now get to say I work along side Lisa Johnson in my school district.  I have seen create blogs on just simple things that we have done at conferences, and turn them into gold.  She constantly talks about how behind she is on her blogging…..and she has done THREE in the last four days. 


Best Administrator Blog – Hooked On Innovation – Carl Hooker He IS a big deal….and he will tell you so.  More importantly Carl not only blogs about technology innovation, he fights for it every day in our district.


Best Group Blog – Teachercast – Jeffery Bradbury I have met Jeff through a Skype call and he is up at all hours trying to make Teachercast better.  He tweaks the website constantly and has an impressive team of educators blogs that he pulls from. (including yours truly)


Best Teacher Blog – My Hullabaloo – Matt Gomez  I can safely say that Matt Gomez is a legend in his own mind.  Seriously, the guy comes up with incredible ideas for his Kindergarten students all the time and shares them on his blog.  He co-organizes #kinderchat and #edcampdallas in his spare time.


Most Influential Post – It’s Time To Disrupt The System – Alison Anderson  It IS time to disrupt the system.  Alison wrote this post after attending the ISTE conference in 2012.  She hit the nail on the head.


Best Individual Tweeter – @ipadsammy – Jon Samuelson  I am pretty confident as to the amount of time I put in curating content on Twitter.  It takes a lot of time…and as Lisa Johnson is to blogging…I am to Twitter. 


Best Twitter Hashtag – #iosedapp  Great educators share apps there daily, you should check it out!


Best Mobile App – Haiku Deck  This is always tough…people always ask what is the best app? It totally depends on the situation.  I think this app could be used K-12 and beyond and it’s new, and the developers listen.  I like all those qualities in an app.


I think if you add these blogs/people/items to your personal learning network, you will be a winner in your classroom.  Good luck to all the people above, you are all great educators!




Memory Lane



There are so many things I love about technology.  If you know me, this is obvious.  Today I was breezing through my daily emails, as per my daily routine, when something hit me.  It was an email I signed up for to use with my fourth graders called Finding Dulcinea.  Normally over the summer I give it a quick glance and trash it.  The site gives you important things that happened on this day in history.  Some of them are lame, some of them are great conversation starters with your students.  Today they told the story from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and the bombing in Centennial Park.  I remember this very well, it was the day I finally moved away from Chicago for good.  I pulled in to my friend’s house in Las Vegas, home of my new teaching job, and watched the coverage.  We all couldn’t believe that this could happen in the United States.  I think that these types of emails can really help put things into perspective.  If you want one that delivers on a personal and social networking level, Memolane is great for telling you what you posted on Facebook and Twitter a few years ago. So I thought I would reflect a little on my teaching career and what the sixteen years have brought me.

1996- I started teaching a fourth grade with 37 students.  It was a year round school, and I learned how different teaching in Las Vegas was than teaching in Chicago.  I remember being very excited that there was going to be a computer lab with…..(gasp) internet service available soon.  We talked about buying Reader Rabbit floppy discs in the meantime.

1998- Hands down my worst year of teaching.  Switched schools and taught in North Las Vegas.  The reason you don’t hear to much about North Las Vegas is….because they don’t want you to know it’s there.  Used a program reading program called Success For All.  I had fifth grade resource students in with first and second graders to read on THEIR level.  The fifth graders found being in a class with little kids….degrading and acted out to set them off constantly. 

1999- Redemption!!  I was so ticked that my principal told me I would be moving with my class from second to third grade.  I had just almost quit with these kids the year before.  We now knew each other, I was shocked at well we did.  I also took a class in Positive Classroom Discipline at the end of the school year, which was a lifesaver.  I now had control. 

2000- My life changer….I opened a school in North Las Vegas.  I saw everything that went in to building from the ground up.  Our staff was tight, and focused.  It was a lot of fun that year.  A young teacher caught my eye that year…she would be the future Ms. Samuelson, but for now she was just Ms. Owens.

2003-2007- The Alaska Years.  Marnie and I decided to get out of Las Vegas and head to Anchorage, Alaska.  We worked there for four years.  Marnie worked at a different school every year, and I worked at a school called Willow Crest, but they changed my grade level every year on Labor Day.  I rolled with the punches and learned how to teach split grade level classes.  I even had a student, THREE YEARS IN A ROW.  I wonder where Jeff is now…he was an awesome kid.  Coached basketball and had some terrific athletes.  One of my fifth graders, Ronnie Baker, has been a Gatorade Kentucky Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year for the last two years. 

2007-and beyond – Finally finding a place to settle in Austin, Texas has been a blessing.  We will be a family of six as we start my seventeenth year of teaching.  I will also be able to teach to my true passion which is helping students and teachers use technology.  I am looking forward the challenge.

Take time every now and then to read your email.  A trip down memory lane may be waiting for you.  I am truly thankful for all the experiences good and bad. 

ISTE 12 – David Warlick – Cracking The Native Information Experience


It was great to start off my ISTE conference with David Warlick.  A good friend of mine, Janice Friesen, introduced David to me at my first ISTE five years ago.  Janice was trying to get me to use David’s site for blogging with students Classblogmeister.  He has been integrating technology for a long time now, and is an innovator in the field of edtech.  David gave a bunch of resources which I had not used before, and had stories to go along with every resource.  If you ever get the chance, you have to see him present.  

One story he told really stuck with me about a school from Canada collaborating together in an interesting way.  There was a field trip that second graders from Westglen School took to Fort Edmonton.  Fort Edmonton is a historical site that tries to keep with the time period of the era when it was relevant.  The second graders returned and were going to research the modes of transportation from that time period.  The created an image in MS Paint of the mode of transportation.  The fourth graders visited next, and they were to draw two different backdrops for the second grade drawings, using MS Paint.  To finish off the project the second graders wrote to some tenth graders in a hypermedia class, so they could illustrate the drawings.  The high schoolers finished, and the projects were shown at the elementary school at an assembly.  I think that is terrific collaboration and I wish we could do projects like that all the time.

Here are the other links to check out that David mentioned in his session.


Colearners Cracking The Native Code – Warlick’s website that links to presentation

Colearners – The website for Warlick’s other presentations

Knitterchats – The backchannel used during the session with transcript

Social Media Counts App – Links to iTunes App that counts how much social media is used

Doodlebuzz – Very interesting search engine that you just have to try

Scratch – MIT site that helps kids create games with basic programming