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!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Spotify - The soundtrack to your social life! - YouTube

Spotify - The soundtrack to your social life! - YouTube:

Music has now gone social and artists and listeners are constantly changing the ways in which they share and listen to music. Social media has definitely bridged the connection between fans and their favorite artists. Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster, recently was quoted saying that it would be foolish for musicians today to sign with a traditional record label company. He cited the band Foster the People as a prime example of a group that used the Internet and social media to build their fan base and popularity directly with users. The power of sharing with others has now enabled each of us to have the potential to reach the masses without the help of traditional marketers. The same thing could be said about print publishers as well now that authors have access to blogs and other services to publish their own material directly and share it with others.

Check out the video below about how "music has gone social" with the relationship between Spotify and Facebook.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sales of iPhone 4S top 4 million

Sales of iPhone 4S top 4 million
That is a lot of mula$$! Seems ironic when we are in what many economists call the "worst depression since the Great Depression". Regardless, I think it demonstrates the appetite society has for new, more powerful and innovative technology. Life is becoming more intertwined with the Internet each day.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Steve Jobs made the ugly world of technology beautiful"

"Steve Jobs made the ugly world of technology beautiful"; this morning on the national news I heard an anchor on NBC quoting this Tweet he had read last night after the announcement by Apple of the passing of their C0-Founder and leader, Steve Jobs. This tweet really grabbed my attention because I think it elegantly sums up why Steve Jobs impacted our lives so powerfully. Not only did he make computers and technology better looking, but he also made them cool and easy to use. No longer were computers and programs reserved for computer "geeks" and technologically savvy programmers and the like. Mom, Dad, son, daughter and grandma and grandpa could now access the benefits in life by being able, or at least comfortable to try, to use computers and the programs that run them.

Since this death is being called the "End of an era" I thought it was important as a computer teacher to have my students read, discuss, and reflect and blog about this amazing innovator and person and how his visions and work changed their lives. I had them start by reading the following article and highly recommend it.

'End of an era': Apple co-founder Steve Jobs remembered

The students really seemed to understand the significance of the passing of Steve Jobs because of the impact his technology innovations had on their own lives. When I did a quick survey of the class and asked them how many of them had an Apple product, every student raised their hand. The products he helped create at Apple had reached every single student in my class, including myself. Many of them had iPhones but almost every one of them had an iPod or iTouch. Obviously, his business savvy and vision for technology has been extremely effective and by just surveying my one class here in Truckee, CA provides that proof.

For me personally, my first computer (see pictures) was a Macintosh SE SuperDrive which had a 30 mb hard-drive. One of my students commented; "sick, you could almost store 5 songs on that bad boy". Crazy, I know, but I paid about $2,000 for my Mac and wrote every college paper in my four years as a student at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, CA from 1990 to 1994 on that "bad boy". My students were even more shocked when I let them know that not only did I not have the Internet on my Mac but that I did not even see my first web site until 1995 when a good friend showed us AOL on her laptop after dialing in on her phone and attaching it to the computer. I also learned in the article about how Steve Jobs landed an internship with HP before graduating from college. This was powerful because I'm constantly teaching my students about the benefits of networking and finding internships. I also learned that he worked for Atari, the first gaming system I got my hands on as a kid growing up in Urbandale, IA. as I mastered the skills with my favorite games Asteroids, PacMan, and DonkeyKong. I was also amazed to learn that Steve was put up for adoption by his biological parents and adopted by a middle class working couple in Los Altos, CA.

In conclusion, my students recognized the impact and success one person can have by thinking out of the box, being passionate, working hard, and following your dreams like Steve Jobs did. They also understood and commented that they know the future holds many more innovations and changes ahead in regards to how we as humans live our daily lives and use technology to assist us with routine functions as well as creating new opportunities for living and communicating. I hope they translate this into a passion to become life-long learners and to have dreams and goals to be part of the future and where we go.

Rest in Peace Steve, you will be missed but not forgotten!