Google Cardboard

July 19th, 2016 by Michael McVey

I meet infrequently with a local software designer, Ian Natzmer, whose company, Odeum Learning, is designing interactive games for students. A year ago, I thought virtual goggles were far too pricey for most schools and may have dampened his enthusiasm a little. Yesterday, an inexpensive alternate to VR Googles, the $10 Google Cardboard,arrived and I was hooked. I spent hours being drawn into the virtual experiences of walking down the streets of London, New York, and rural Japan, standing on the surface of Pluto, then virtually skydiving.

I’m rethinking my position.

Google Certified

July 2nd, 2016 by Michael McVey

This fall, Dr. McVey will invite every teacher candidate in the program to consider working through the online Google Training Center to earn a Google Certified Educator badge for their web site or resume. Already an active user of Calendar, Docs, Sheets, Forms, and more he did not need much review time before taking the online examination. The three-hour exam was a thorough check of the basic skills required to use the Google Apps for Education tools. Cost for the Level 1 test was $10; for Level 2 the cost was $25.

After speaking with several recruiters last spring, he became convinced of the certificates value to teachers. “The examination, itself, is well-constructed and organized. It was a pleasure to work through the activities and I am not a fan of examinations,” said McVey.

ClassFlow

June 15th, 2016 by Michael McVey

Yesterday, I heard back from EDMT grad Bethany Beaudrie. She and her husband, Rich, were true educational technology forces in Michigan before they moved to Georgia. Bethany is now the Global Learning Community Manager for Promethean. She calls it her dream job and says EDMT was key in her development. Thanks, Bethany.

If you are a K-12 teacher, you should really look at her project called ClassFlow and consider becoming a ClassFlow Ambassador. In their words, “As an Ambassador, you lead the charge in spreading the word about #edtech and learning solutions. You know that real-time assessment solutions and interactive delivery make a difference in your classroom, and you can’t wait to share it with others.” Reach out on Twitter to @ClassFlowBeth

CPR/AED Training

June 13th, 2016 by Michael McVey

This is somewhat related to technology in the classroom. In fact, it is about those little AED boxes you may have seen around. You may even have one in your school or workplace. EMU has 91 of them across campus.

I took  the CPR/AED training today and would highly recommend it for anyone who works near or with people. That covers most of us. AED stands for Automated Electonic Defibrillator and will basically send an electric current across the heart to stop it from fibrillating or misfiring. If you see the training offered or look it up through the American Heart Association, I would strongly recommend you take the two-hour course.

Changes at the MACUL Journal

June 3rd, 2016 by Michael McVey

Over the past ten years, I have written several articles for the MACUL Journal. MACUL is the acronym for Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning. It’s an awkward group name but it’s a great group. Teachers from all over Michigan with a penchant for using technology in their classroom are members and their conferences are huge and successful.

Yesterday I received an email from the editor of the Journal who noted with a little sadness that they would no longer be printing a paper copy next year. Instead, the MACUL Journal would be electronic with areas for teachers to add their comments.

MACUL's Logo

While polishing an article about drones in the classroom for the final print edition, I thought about the possibilities of electronic versus print: faster turnaround, more images, networking potential. However, the one that stood out for me was the inclusion of video. Teachers have fewer technical obstacles than ever to stop them from creating their own interactive videos.

I suggested to the editor that perhaps I could be a bit of an early adopter and create a video about drones in the classroom based on my article – just to get the ball rolling. Her reply came back within the hour. Not only was it a good idea, but also, hey, let us make video the theme of the first electronic version of the journal. That is what I like about MACUL. They can be fearless about embracing new ideas and making the most of them. They walk the walk.