Welcome to Modern Educator

Here on this blog I hope to get a conversation going amongst students, teachers, administrators, and parents about who, what, when, why, and where we should teach technology skills for the 21st century. I am technology teacher at Truckee High School in Truckee, CA and currently teach classes like digital media, e-learning, applications, and keyboarding -- yes...still important! :) Please Join the Conversation!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Your Pictures and Geotagging May Map Out Your Every Move

You need to be aware that your GPS enabled cameras and smartphones record the exact location (within 15 feet) of where you took your photos.  Now, if you post/share those photos online you may be giving someone a "roadmap" of where you are at and/or your daily travel routines.  This web site, http://icanstalku.com/ , is trying to bring awareness to this issue by surfing twitter pics with GPS coordinates and then posting the users whereabouts online on their web site for the world to see.  Remember, sharing photos online with Twitter is sharing them with the WORLD (very few people keep twitter private) versus Facebook or other picture sharing services where you can choose who is allowed to see them (on Facebook you should really have your picture privacy settings set to "friends only" and use friend "lists" to manage more specifically who can and can not see what).
Watch this news clip.

I wonder if Sting and the Police would have ever thought their song "Every Breath you Make" would have ever become such an easy to do reality like it is today since so many of us post our "every steps".
Listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEnJDaqT3-0 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Twitter - Purely Social or a Way to Get a Job?

Goday in class we discussed http://www.twitter.com/ and reviewed the security settings available to its users.  Students learned that they can "protect" their tweets so that only users who they approve to follow them can have access to their profile and tweets.  Students saw this as a good way to use Twitter if they were going to use it for purely social reasons with friends and family.  Watch this video about using Twitter to connect socially with followers.

However, we then discussed how many people are using sites like Twitter and Facebook to network with other professionals in similar careers or with those whom share similar interests in order to build up a network of connections.  These connections might prove to be beneficial to people when they are looking for jobs or other opportunities.  To develop these connections however with sites like Twitter, users must begin to follow others whom tweet and share similar interests or job skills.  They also need to start allowing other users whom they do not know personally to follow them so that these people have access to their tweets and can begin to share information, ideas, news, reflections, or other insights with their online community.  Once they do this, they may come upon jobs or other opportunities being tweeted by people or companies they follow.  They could also just put out their own tweet - "I need a job!"  Read this article for more detailed information about how people are using social media to get a job they need or want. 

I found my job on Twitter

Sunday, February 6, 2011

20 Tech Skills Every Teacher Should Have....Do you?


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Google Docs in Plain English

Today in Web 2.0 class I took my students on an exploration of Google Docs to see the power they have at their fingertips to create, edit, and save files online....in the "cloud". We discussed the benefits to moving our files to the cloud - access from any Internet connected device...including mobile phones, secure file backup, intuitive organizing tools, as well as other things the students thought of. But the most powerful and important feature that we discussed was the ability that Google Docs gives its users to collaborate and share with others. Students saw the benefits of this when working with other peers on group projects and for sharing study guides and reflections when preparing for exams.

The video below is a great short explanation of what Google Docs is and how it can make its users more efficient and effective with their work. Most interesting is the brilliance the developers had when they switched the thinking around in regards to email attachments. Rather than sending email attachments back and forth with others when collaborating on a project, why not create one document in the cloud and give everyone you wish access to it. Now you can work simultaneously or at different times and see everyones edits immediately. I am now reconfiguring my class curriculum to incorporate the use of more Google Docs versus having students email me their work. With over 100 students per day emailing me I think I may be able to save at least an hour per day by moving to this format. Just go to my Google Doc "home" and check all the work right their one single document versus say.....34 student emails. Even if I just spend 1 minute per email this is a time costly practice so it is exciting to explore how this can better serve my classes while at the same time teach my students extremely relevant 21st century technology skills!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Music Students at Truckee High Doing Great Things

Students at Truckee High School who have a passion and talent with music are passing it on to our younger students at Truckee Elementary by teaching students who can not afford music lessons for free.  On Tuesday evening, these young students at Truckee Elementary had an opportunity to show their parents and friends all that they had learned in a music recital.  It was truly awesome to see how much they had learned and how much they had progressed with their instruments.  Then, these students and their parents had a special treat and were able to hear their student teachers play their own instruments and see what a love for music and a lot of practice will do.  These high school kids are truly doing "great things" for this community.  Thank you!
Zoe, a student at THS plays for her students and the recital audience.