EdTech Musings

I saw a very interesting article on Twitter this morning and it brought up so many of the niggling issues I have when I get all evangelistic about technology in education. It doesn’t make me doubt the usefulness of technology itself, but the implementation of it. I highly suggest reading The Laptops Are Coming by Sarah Heller McFarlane to get a teachers reflection of her first year of teaching with a classroom of laptops – it brings up some interesting issues that I’m currently processing.

And I believe this is important even in the advent of 3D technolgy Check ths BCN3D Sigma review to see what I mean.

The main thing Im taking away from Heller-McFarlanes article is this (one that Ive heard over and over again, especially when I was meeting with a group of ed tech people earlier this month):

Technology does not solve all problems and throwing technology at teachers without working it seamlessly into existing curriculum is NOT the answer.

The solution? Im working on it, I know its out there. Right now, Im going with this:

Before a district spends even one more dollar on technology, they need to spend the money on people. People to make the decisions about the technology, people to train teachers, people to help with the integration.

Before all of that, though, they need to spend the money to make sure there are enough people PERIOD.

A 4th grade classroom of 29 students with one teacher and no TA is positively impacted more by the addition of a TA than by a set of laptops. Do I have numbers on this? No. Do I have experience in 4th grade classrooms with too many kids and not enough teachers? Yes. I want my own children in classrooms with human beings to …

Tech Mommy Move

I just completed my ultra geeky mom certification today, I promise. No, it’s not an actual title, but it SHOULD be! I actually cant believe I didn’t think of this earlier, but you can blame it on my late-start to the ultra tech world.

What did I do? I just bought domain names for my 1- and 2-year-old.

Yup, that’s right. I’m paying $9.95 per year to hold domain names for my kids until they’re ready to use them. And with me for a mom, they’ll be ready to use them sooner than later! I was kind of bummed that they didn’t have .coms left for my kiddos names, but I did end up with .orgs which are good enough.

I’m worried about their safety with the phones. I’ve been reading FlexiSpy reviews 2017 to determine whether it’s the right app to use to track my kids. But that’s a story for another day.

I actually plan to help my kids build their first sites when they get a bit older – I’m not going to use the domains to build them blogs right now where I blog about each kid, but want the domains to be used for sites THEY create eventually. I’m seriously not leaving the tech education of my children up to their schools, well do this as a fun mom-kiddo activity.

They may not use these domain names for a few years, but my kids will be thanking me laterthey WILL, stop doubting me!

 

I’m also excited because my .com name was FINALLY available and I just managed to grab it – yay! Now, if you will excuse me, I’m going to get my nails done at the closest nail salon to me.

And yes, the total of my domain purchases this year …

Going Hunting? Get a Cheap Rifle Scope

My hubby is an avid outdoors person. And I have to admit he has been influencing me and the kids to spend more time outdoors too. Last weekend, he was researching a rifle scopes online and I got to learn a thing of two about them.

Here’s a summary of what I learned.

Most optics from the WWII era are of lower quality than modern optics found here: https://www.legiontactical.co.za/collections/vortex-optics. However, these optics are still very usable.  Often, you will find clear though not perfect parts for the scopes

How to make Sure it’s a Good Purchase

Make sure the Vintage Rifle Scopes you want to buy still function smoothly and have no significant rust on the ranging ring. Apart from this, ensure the scope is in good condition, there are light or no ring marks, and few normal use marks.  Make sure the optics are clean, clearand bright. The lenses should be scratch free.

If everything works as it should, the scope can be a good purchase.  Make sure the external adjustments work fine and that none of the cross hairs is bent or loose.  You can expect to see some exterior signs of use. But again, as long as the optics and crosshairs are clear, you are good to go.

Some old scopes are so simple that they have no crosshairs nor adjustments. Some have what are called “TV views”. These are basically flattened circles that allow you to get a little bit more left and right viewing.

The Weaver Vintage Rifle Scope

Weaver makes some of the best vintage rifle scopes in US history. Although the scopes are simple (fine and simple crosshairs), they sometimes come with variable objectives and power settings.  If youwant to buy a vintage scope, make sure that most  of the wear …

Goats and Ice Cream

We just got back from a trip to the county fair – a trip we’ve been building up for my 2-year-old daughter all week – animals! ice cream! cows! goats! pigs! chickens!

Guess what the favorite animal was? Bees. Yup, that’s right. The hit of the trip was the beekeeper exhibit where we got to see the queen bee in with all of the rest of the bees and got to listen to the hum and buzz of the pack (sorry, forgot my bee terminology!). Cows, pigs, horses – ho hum. All she cared about around those animals were the cool ribbons and balloons that the 4H kids hung on the fences. Seriously, the kids going to be a designer, I swear. I’m saying this after seeing how she tried to be creative with my Lix 3d pen. Oh yeah, and, Can we have ice cream now? was the constant refrain.

What will my husband and I remember from the trip? The goat trying to eat Jakes sleeve – no lie, a goat bit my sons sleeve – only at the county fair, right? What will Maggie remember? Bees and ice cream. What will Jake remember? Nothing.

The trip reminds me so much the most important thing about parenting and teaching – its not about me and what I want to happen, its about what actually DOES happen.

I wanted an idyllic farmyard experience, we got a coveting of sparkly streamers, sticky hands and honeybees. Oh, and dont forget the hungry goat.

My constant need to control often leads to frustration in parenting and was probably my main weakness in the classroom.

I just need to remember: its not about expectations, its about experiences. Maggie will remember the bees, that’s whats important. The test we …

Mommy Market Saturated?

I usually don’t publish my comments to other blog posts here, but this one was long enough that I thought it deserved space here as well. As you know, I’ve entered the world of mommy blogging and I’m a freelance writer (check my last post on a comprehensive guide to stethoscopes), so have quite a few thoughts on the below issue.

Jeremiah Owyang of Forrester wrote an interesting post after attending a BlogHer party – he poses the following questions after commenting about the swag that the BlogHer party attendees received:

When this organic and natural market gets saturated from the many vendors pitching at them (would make Scoble blush) what impacts does this have to: 1) credibility of the women bloggers, 2) Effectiveness of brands trying to reach this inundated market? 3) If credibility and demand is reduced to this market, will it decrease their influence? How will they be able to maintain these levels? I think something has to give.

Of course, me being me, I responded. The comment I left was this:

Very interesting post. I’m a mom, and I blog – making me a mommy blogger, I suppose. I run a group parenting and sleep blog at https://www.sleepdeeper.net and we are often approached by companies about reviewing their products.

You address the issue of swag and tons of free product, but how is this really any different than what has been happening with magazines for years? We all know that magazine beauty editors don’t go out and purchase all of the items they review in their magazines, but it isn’t specifically spelled out – why are mom bloggers different?

When we do reviews on our site, it’s with the understanding that the company has sent us something to review. We don’t get paid to write