One of my presentations at CETPA last week was “1,000 Desktop View” and it was all about how I’ve inherited a 1000 VDI desktop environment running VMWare View. At some point I may write a longer post on the topic but for now here are my slides from the presentation and if you’re a school looking for a way to save money on technology, don’t go VDI in the classroom. Buy your teachers laptops. They’ll thank you for it and you’ll all be a lot happier in the long run.
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Rosie Crossen is discussing. Toggle Comments
I just finished watching the first season of Continuum and man, do I miss good SciFi. Set aside the fact that the basic plot for the show revolves around time travel (paradoxes be damned!) and I’m reminded of how good science fiction can be at exploring the social issues of the day.
Continuum is a canadian produced and aired show (they have those?). No I don’t live in Canada so don’t ask how I actually watched it. The important thing is that I did. And also that SyFy (just typing that name is lame) is picking up Season 2 of Continuum next year. So I would expect to see Season 1 on there sometime soon. Awesomeness. I don’t normally write about my TV/Movie addiction, if I did I’d be writing 24×7 and wouldn’t be able to watch as many shows but the visual effects and future world of 2077 are movie grade and all the usual suspects from the old SciFi channel shows are there (hope to see more in season 2). It’s Good as in serious scifi, not the cheeky stuff the SciFi channel was moving towards when it changed it’s name to SyFy (but I’m not bitter or anything). It makes me miss Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles all over again. Rachel Nichols‘ Kiera Cameron is both Terminator and Connor in this modern time travel story arc.
I’m writing this because I don’t want Continuum to go the way of Firefly. Firefly was another awesome science fiction show making relevant commentary on our modern world today. The difference was that I found Firefly on Netflix after it had been cancelled. Let’s not let Continuum become the next Firefly. SyFy is picking it up so SciFi fans, let’s all watch and support it. We can stand seeing the SyFy bug on our TV for an hour a week, can’t we?
And if you turn your head sideways and squint real hard, it might just look like SciFi again.
This weekend, I’ve been recovering from last week’s CETPA annual conference in Monterey. I made it through my four presentations on Wednesday and managed to spend a good amount of time perusing the vendor floor Thursday. What struck me most was the ever so subtle shift of perspective happening in the community. BYOD and 1:1 is just around the corner. People know it and they also know we can’t manage IT the same way we’ve managed our environments in the past. I heard more talk of opening up access and enabling users than ever before. It’s exciting to see my once far out there perspective starting to become mainstream. (I talk about it more in this week’s rebootED episode)
Sometime during the week I got hands on with the 10″ Acer Windows 8 tablet. All I can say is, “Wow!”. That thing was fast, responsive and nice looking. The device wars are certainly starting to heat up with Windows 8 tablets finally becoming available soon, the $249 ARM based chromebooks arriving along with the rumored iPad mini announcement Tuesday. together with old faithful, ubermix netbooks, it all makes choosing the right classroom device all the more challenging.
But to the main purpose of this post. This year I ran for an open Director at Large position on the CETPA board. No, I did not lose a bet with Vollmert, although he did volunteer to be my campaign manager which surely has a punchline waiting for it somewhere. At first I thought that running would be an opportunity to push outside my comfort zone and try something new (I would also like to help guide CETPA through this changing time and perhaps bring a different perspective to the board from the big District/County Office perspective that appears to dominate at present, but that’s another post). I sent out emails to my friends and associates letting them know about the election and asking them to vote for someone (not necessarily me). I attended the after session receptions that I traditionally haven’t for one reason or other. Along the way I ran into old friends and made new ones and talked to more people than I probably would have had I not been a candidate on the ballot. There were a total of five other experienced technology folks on the ballot. All of them I thought better known and better plugged in than I.
The funny thing is that in the end, I came in second. Second isn’t first, but for me it might as well have been. I honestly had zero expectation of winning (thanks again to all those who took the time to vote for me though). I knew my friends and many of my Colleagues would support me but to everyone else (the vast majority), I’m just one of those “out there” guys from the small district who points out the obvious (by applying common sense) on our organization’s listserv now and again. So second place is pretty awesome to me. Should a position on the board open again, I may or may not apply. It will depend on where I am in my career I suppose. Things are changing so fast. One thing I do know though is that if I do decide to throw my hat into the ring again, next time I’ll have buttons (you taking notes Mike?).
Mike Vollmert is discussing. Toggle Comments
Over the last few years I have presented at pretty much every regional CUE conference in central California; from the SV, CC, CV and Fall CUE events to the CUE Rockstar Teacher Tech Camp, I’ve lead sessions on saving IT costs, how to start a podcast and using Google Apps in the classroom to name just a few. Up until this year however, I had never considered submitting a session for the Annual CUE conference in Palm Springs (the so called “mothership”). Well, for whatever reason I decided to submit two at the last minute. Of course I forgot to save the outlines before submitting, but they go something like this:
The Future of EdTech is Free is an idea that flows from an article I submitted to the November/December issue of the ACSA Leadership Magazine. This presentation will take a hard look at where districts spend their limited technology dollars today and how they might utilize cloud solutions and free and open source alternatives to direct dollars away from the server room and into the classroom. Schools are going to have to get more technology into classrooms to support common core instruction. The idea that dedicated funds are coming to help with this is wishful thinking. Taking a different approach to IT is something districts can start doing now to prepare for the coming common core.
In Chromebooks, Netbooks and iPads, Oh My! my thought is to address the different options school districts have when looking at student technology. The days of the fixed computer labs are numbered but with so many alternatives out there, how is a district to know which is the right device for them? I’m hoping to be able to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the top three devices as well as how each might fit into a classroom environment. Moving from traditional windows labs to non-windows mobile devices requires compromise on how schools are used to doing computing. It is important that the decision makers understand these issues before they commit to one platform or the other (or all of the above).
I know there is always fierce competition for session slots but I think both of these sessions relate well to this year’s theme of “CUE To The Core” and offer important information that district leaders need to hear. Now I wait and see if either (dare I think both?) session is chosen. I don’t have time to lose sleep over it though. I’ve got to prepare myself for four presentations at the CETPA annual conference in a week and then for two more sessions at the Fall CUE conference the week after that.
Why do I present? The same reason I podcast and blog. Because I have experiences to share and if other people happen to find it helpful, awesome.
As I watch my friends and colleagues share out their Google Teacher Academy application submissions, I’m reminded of my first and second applications to the GTA. Both times I didn’t put much effort into my Video and both times I didn’t make the cut. On the third try I focused almost entirely on my video and by some miracle squeaked in.
Being a member of the Google Certified Teacher family has been one of the great experiences of my education career. I wish everyone the best of luck and encourage those who don’t happen to make it this time, to keep trying. As I tell my daughter when she makes one of those faces at the Piano, practice, practice, practice. That’s how you get better. And if at first you don’t succeed…