Making a Makerspace: The Physical Space is (relatively) Finished!

The last time I posted about our Makerspace, I had finished my first month of research and planning. I was just beginning to put together my “pitch” and share it with those who might be interested in supporting the effort. I spent most of November dedicated to that task. After a couple of amazing people chose to donate to the project, I was able to move forward with building the space.

For those of you who may not have read my first post, the space needed a bit of work to look like I imagined:

empty MakerspaceScreen Shot 2014-01-04 at 1.29.46 PMI started by painting the walls. Yes, I did the research that said primer & paint all-in-one is not the best, but I didn’t want to spend any extra time on painting. I went forward with a matte primer/paint in two colors: purple and green. Why? No, it wasn’t a subtle way to get the students to think positive thoughts about Yahoo!. I wanted the space to be accommodating to all students, especially those who wouldn’t normally venture into the room. I also want students to enter without any pre-existing feelings, which is pretty likely if the room looks like the classroom they are in most of the day where they may or may not feel successful. Oh, I also chose green to allow for some easy chromakeying if students ever get interested in video production.

Painting the walls

Painting the walls

Next, I pulled out the carpet and replaced it with foam interlocking tiles, like those you might find in a gym or a preschool. I chose foam tiles because they are easier to install than any other flooring and didn’t require me to strip the floor as I would have had I chosen a different material. Also, it turns out they are easy to wipe off, easy to replace, and feel quite nice. They may lead to the production of additional static electricity,  which could be an issue if it continues.

Tiles to the Ceiling

Tiles to the Ceiling

Laying the tiles

Laying the tiles

And yes, you’ll see I added my own curtains, which is just a fabric I cut at IKEA and put up with their wire curtain hanger. Actually relatively cheap.

Now, if you’re here to see what tools I put into the space, you’ll have to wait until the next post for me to go into detail. I will share about the storage of some of the materials, so you’ll get a sneak peek at some of the tools in the photos.

I wanted to make all of the tools easily accessible to students, so I took some IKEA shelves and mounted them to the wall with the tools placed on them. Above that, are IKEA photo displays which showcase books that are relevant to the tools sitting below.

Electronics tools and books

Electronics tools and books

I got most of the storage for the Makerspace from IKEA, as they offer these rolling carts with three open spaces. Yes, they only come in two colors, grey and light blue, but, with some creative building, I was able to design four different carts. The plastic and wire cart came from Office Depot and is not as portable as the IKEA carts.

Mobile Chromebook cart

Mobile Chromebook cart

I also painted the purple wall behind the carts with Ideapaint, to allow students to write on the wall. It’s only one of the four walls, but it gives the students the opportunity to make the space a little more their own. The lights are Philips Hue lights, which will allow me to control the lighting and change the mood (via the color of the lights) from my phone. Students will eventually have this control too.

Even more storage carts

Even more storage carts

In addition to controlling the lights via mobile device, I also have a Belkin WeMo installed and connected to the Makerbot. This enables me to turn off the Makerbot when it’s done printing, even if I’m not in the room. How will I know the printer is finished? I installed a Dropcam to monitor the Makerspace. That’s not the main purpose of the camera – security is a much higher priority – but it is an added benefit.

Belkin WeMo on the right side

Belkin WeMo on the right side

You might be thinking I just bought everything I wanted to have at home but can’t. While I won’t say you’re wrong (this job feels like a dream come true), I will say that I did a lot of research before purchasing any of these objects. I ensured that if I was purchasing an object that was more expensive than the others in its field, it was because of the benefit it provided to the Makerspace. Nowhere is that more relevant than when discussing the Dropcam.

The Dropcam is $50-$130 more than other webcams, but Dropcam offers the best HD & night cam images, a wide visual field, a microphone for capturing sound, video stored in the cloud for the past 7 to 30 days, and even the ability to speak through the webcam to someone in the space. Most importantly, the Dropcam notifications are fantastic. If there is movement or an unrecognized sound, Dropcam will send an email or iOS notification and I can view it immediately. If someone were to theoretically break in, I could let them know I was calling the cops, turn on the lights via the Hue app, and download the video for the authorities. I hope I never have to do that, but given the investment made for our students to have this space, I definitely want to be prepared.

Where's the furniture from the plans?

Where’s the furniture from the plans?

But, you might say, where is the furniture? Where will students sit? Are you going to do all your work on the floor? Well, I asked that question too. And wouldn’t you know, our neighbor Facebook answered in a huge way. They brought us some of their lightly-used furniture, enough furniture to make all of our wishes for the room come true. We have stacking chairs (key for making the room more spacious), rolling tables and whiteboards (allowing many configurations of the room), and even a storage cart and a couch.

Ready for students!

Ready for students!

While students might be more excited about the tools than any of the things I’ve shared in this post (and perhaps you are too), I know that building the right inviting atmosphere is important to allow students to be their most creative. And don’t worry, we’ll get to the tools soon too.

Posted in Makerspace, Uncategorized | Tagged | 9 Comments

My year in the Chrome Omnibox

Inspired by Karl Lindgren-Streicher‘s post, which was inspired by Jennie Magiera’s post, I decided to take the easy way out of 2013 blog posts by listing the website that came up with I typed each letter into the Omnibox on Google Chrome and sharing how it relates to my 2013.

A – Frequently visited in the past couple months as I’ve built out our district’s pilot Makerspace. If you haven’t read my first post on it, click here.

B – I had an incredible time at ISTE 2013, including getting to know the Blendspace team better. Harrison and Amy are both a blast to know and I am also impressed by how they keep learning front-and-center in their work.

C – CUE 2013, Fall CUE 2013, SVCUE’s Teach Through Technology, SVCUE Board Meetings, and BrewCUEs. Yep, CUE was definitely a big part of 2013 for me.

D – A great resource on calling out some of the ridiculousness in edtech. EdSurge is my source for most edtech news, but DirtySexyEdtech helps to keep the edtech world in check.

E – This site right here. The way I get feedback on my larger projects and the way I raised funds for Google Glass, which needs an update post, but it hasn’t been used in any useful enough way to get that post started yet. Huge shoutout to Jessy Irwin, who really pushed the Google Glass sponsor project forward!

F – While Jenna (my wife, who joined Twitter in 2013!) has had a FitBit for years, I just got my own in September. I’ve worn it everyday since then and it has really helped me stay moving and conscious of what I’m eating daily.

G – I’m continually using Google, whether it’s Google Drive for work, for SVCUE, or for other collaborative projects (one which may come out in 2014!); GMail for communication (I love the Boomerang extension!); Calendar or any of the many other useful tools, including Google Shopping Express, which has saved me a lot of time.

H – As I said in ‘A’, I’ve been building out our Makerspace, including painting the walls and stripping the floors.

I – As much as I’m not a fan, i-Ready was definitely a big part of 2013, as it consumed a lot of my work for the 2012-2013 school year. So excited to be focused on the heart of STEM this school year.

J – Nothing

K – Travel was definitely a part of 2013. Palm Springs for CUE, San Antonio for ISTE, New York for Teachers College (ok, that was Jenna, but I explored the city during that time), Hawaii with Jenna for a vacation, and Los Angeles for the Rose Bowl (Go Card!).

L – Launch is where I go for all my tech news. You should too.

M – Interested in creating your own Makerspace? Their Makerspace Playbook is key.

N – When I’m not on my iPad using Flipboard, I use Google News for my world news.

O – It’s expensive, but I used the demo of Omnigraffle to make a pretty robust STEM Roadmap for our district.

P – This site was a quick design I made for a tech integration training I gave at one of our schools this year. While I spent 2013 doing quite a bit of edtech training, I’ve come to realize that it’s my work with students that is more exciting and rewarding.

Q – Nothing

R – Reddit, while infamous for the not-so-cool parts that exist within, is actually an incredible community, where I often find out about things before I see them anywhere else (beside Twitter). If you don’t believe how amazing the Reddit community can be, check out the Secret Santa posts from this year.

S – Who does sports right? Yahoo! does. I don’t say that just because a friend works for them. I say that because it’s the best place on the web I’ve found for checking up on sports scores and news without the video ads that plague another sports site out there. And I love their Fantasy Football (and other Fantasy Sports) work. Oh yes, this is where I meant to mention the Packers making the playoffs and the opportunity for another great Niners/Packers game this weekend.

T – 3D printing! Yes, we were able to secure 3D printers in our Makerspace, thanks to some kind donations toward our pilot and the MakerBot Academy push. Thingiverse is full of designs that others have made and want to share with everyone to make themselves. I anticipate that in a few years, I could design a gift, send it via email to family, and they could print it out on their 3D printer. Would save on shipping, lost mail, and much more.

U – Until we have 3D printers everywhere though, we will still use UPS and others to ensure our packages (presents, Makerspaces tools, and more) make it where needed.

V – Our airline of choice. Virgin America actually makes me excited to fly, which is not something that one would normally hear me say.

W – Where I go to make my personal websiteSVCUE website, our wedding website (that was 2012 though), and anything else. Weebly makes it easy.

X – Nothing.

Y – This is where we have been communicating for our iZone work, which is a collaborative project with the San Mateo County Office of Education, the Full Circle Fund, and many of us within the county. Our goal? To improve education for all learners in San Mateo County.

Z – Nothing.

That concludes my final 2013 post, but look out for my first 2014 post, which will update you on our awesome Makerspace work!

Happy New Year,

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Making a Makerspace: Peek Inside My Plans

On October 1st I started on my efforts toward creating a set of Makerspaces in our school district. I immediately jumped into visiting the at Stanford, collecting every book I could on the topic, and applied to attend the FabLearn conference. A Makerspace has been my goal since the first day I started as STEM Coordinator last year, so when I was recently given the flexibility and permission to move forward, I jumped on the opportunity immediately.

Now, what I’m going to lay out here is my vision, supported by numerous individuals, conference sessions, and books. I’ll include a list of resources I’ve referred to at the end. When I’m finished, I’m hoping you’ll have a good idea of what I’m doing and can give me some great feedback – be it the programs we use, companies I should reach out to, or something I need to fully rethink.

First of all, the vision and mission of the Makerspace Collaborative:

All sites will have access to a Makerspace where students can work together in developing STEM familiarity and competency through after-school 2-week Introductory (Level 1) courses and 2-4 week Advanced (Level 2+) courses, along with lunchtime clubs meeting once or twice a week. These courses and clubs will include coding, robotics, and making/design thinking.

Across all sites, at least 700 kindergarten through eighth grade students engage in Introductory (Level 1) courses in coding, robotics, and making/design thinking or lunchtime clubs per year. Engage at least 100 students per year in Advanced (Level 2+) STEM courses.

How do I plan to get there?
Students who complete all three Introductory courses will earn a badge (puzzle piece pin in lower right-hand corner) that will connect with the Advanced badges (puzzle piece pins – R(obotics), M(aking), C(oding). Advanced badges do not need to be earned consecutively or in a particular order.

RMC Pins

RMC Pins

The Makerspace after-school programs will run in approximately 8 week cycles, beginning with an “open house”, followed by 2 week courses in making/design thinking, coding, and robotics. The cycle will conclude with a celebration/reflection the following week.

Instruction for courses will come from:

  • Coding –, Tynker, Kodable, Turtle Art
  • Robotics – Lego WeDo, Lego Mindstorms, Thymio
  • Making/Design Thinking – Institute of Design at Stanford, Make Education Initiative, RAFT, FabLab@School

Lunchtime clubs will be for students in all grades and there will likely be some overlap with nearby grades. Clubs will all be student choice and may include Legos, 3D printing, e-textiles, video production, Scratch, or whatever kind of making they’d like!

Open House – January 7-10th
Making/Design Thinking Level 1 course – Jan 13-24th
Coding Level 1 course – Jan 27th-Feb 7th
Robotics Level 1 course – Feb 11-28th
Celebration/Reflection – Evening in week of March 3rd

2013-2014: Build Makerspace and create pilot introductory and extended STEM opportunities at one site, supporting students from that site and other nearby campuses.

2014-2015: Implement full introductory and extended STEM opportunities at first site. Build Makerspaces and pilot introductory and extended STEM opportunities at two other school sites.

2015-2016: Full introductory and extended STEM opportunities across first three school sites. Build Makerspaces and pilot introductory and extended STEM opportunities at all remaining school sites.

2016-2017: Full introductory and extended STEM opportunities across all school sites.

While I am going to run the pilot Makerspace this year to work out all the kinks and make it as powerful as possible, my goal is to recruit Maker Corps or some other Americorps organization to staff each Makerspace in future years. Eventually, this funding will come from within the district, though at this point we will rely on outside support, along with all the materials for students to use.

What will the Makerspace look like? Well, I’ve created this mock-up of the room in reset mode and one way it can look while in use.

Room Reset North Room Reset South Room in use South Room in use North

But, to be honest, that’s a huge dream. Right now the room looks like this:

empty Makerspace

I’ll be shopping around for support, that’s for sure, but even without any additional support I’m still going to open up the Makerspace by January. As Sylvia Martinez and Gary Stager say in Invent To Learn, “We owe it to our students to close the digital divide immediately and offer expanded learning opportunities.” I have a box of Legos, a few old MacBooks, and a brand-new Thymio robot (you can find it at I can also pick up a button-making kit easily from a craft store in order to make cheap pins. Just that, along with the right prompts and support for the students, is all that’s really necessary. Everything else will just help make it more powerful and give students multiple entry points and materials for creating.

All of this work has come together after a lot of reading, listening, and observing. Here’s what I’ve done so far and what I plan to do before opening the first space:

Make Space by Scott Doorley & Scott Witthoft
Invent To Learn by Sylvia Martinez & Gary Stager, Ph.D.
Makerspace Playbook: School Edition by
Young Makers Maker Club Playbook by
The Maker Movement Manifesto by Mark Hatch
Creating Innovators by Tony Wagner

Don Orth & Christa Flores – Hillbrook School’s iLab
Heather Allen Pang, Angi Chau, and Diego Fonstad – Castilleja School’s Bourn Idea Lab
Nate Rinaker & David Malpica – Bullis Charter School
Aaron Vanderwerff – Lighthouse Community Charter School
Christine Mytko – Black Pine Circle School
Amy Shelley & Katie Kinnaman – Garner Bullis School

I’ve also talked to or hope to talk to the Maker Education Initiative, RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching), TechShop Menlo Park, Watsonville Science Workshop,, FabLab@School, d.School at Stanford, The Tech Museum, Recology, Menlo School, and as many other teachers/makers/companies/schools/organizations as possible.

Any thoughts? Suggestions? Am I completely missing something?

Posted in Makerspace, Uncategorized | 32 Comments

Allow others to upload to your Google Drive without a Google Account!

I’m super excited right now because I solved a problem that I didn’t think would have an easy answer. No, not running Flash sites on a Raspberry Pi, although I do think that is solvable too.

We wanted to be able to allow teachers in our district to share resources from the TCRWP Homegrown Institute in the Teaching of Reading with everyone else, without making everyone join DropBox or go through the unfortunate hurdles that sometimes appear when logging into their GAFE account.

A little research and tah-dah… EntourageBox to the rescue!

What is EntourageBox? Well, basically they create the ability for anyone to upload to a specific Google Drive, DropBox, or S3 Bucket (don’t yet know what that is) folder via a weblink.




I chose “Google Drive”, which brought up this next prompt after asking me which Google account (I was signed in under two accounts in Chrome) I wanted to use.



I entered a folder name, clicked “I agree to the Terms of Use”, and then generated a free URL. After doing that, I quickly upgraded to a Priority URL (just over $2) in order to make sure the files uploaded in a prompt fashion.

Then I was set! I had a URL I could share with peers that brought them to the following page:


Now all they have to do is click “Add files…”, choose the files, and click “Start upload”. I believe they don’t simply start uploading because they want to make sure you’ve selected all the files and they could be from my folders on your hard drive.

All the uploaded files are then accessible with the same link, or they can go to our district’s Teacher Resources page where I’ve set it up to automatically show all the files within the Google Drive folder I created.



Wow. I was so excited I just stopped eating my dinner for twenty minutes so I could share this with all of you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


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Oh no… wait, phew! (“Undo Send” in Gmail)

Quick post, but one it quickly seems I should share because of the immediate replies and favorites on Twitter…

I was about to send an email. A business email, in fact. A business email to someone at one of the largest companies around my area, someone who I know, but have never talked to about business.

So when I clicked “Send” in Gmail before filling in a line that said “a conference of ____ educators”, a blank I intended to fill in once I confirmed the right number of attendees, I immediately freaked out. Until I saw this:

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 7.52.45 PM

The best thing I possibly could’ve seen. Remember when you wished you hadn’t sent that text, that letter, that email? Well, with Gmail you can fix that last problem, if you catch it in the first few seconds.


  1. Click on the gear (Settings) near the upper right hand corner of your Gmail screen.
  2. Click on the “Labs” tab.
  3. Enable the “Undo Send” lab by Yuzo F.

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 7.43.45 PM

Do I know who Yuzo is? Nope. Probably an awesome Googler who chose to use his 20% time to create this incredibly helpful lab.

Not sure what what 20% time is? Check out the #20time or #geniushour hashtags on Twitter!

Screen Shot 2013-07-26 at 7.40.39 PMPhew!

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The EduGlass Saga Continues… (Thank You to EduGlass Supporters!)

As some of you know, I went to bed on Friday with $69 left to raise in my quest to get to two-thirds of the total cost (with tax) of Glass sponsored rather than shipping Glass back to Google. I woke up the next morning with this tweet in my stream:

Not only did I reach my goal, but I did so with help from an educator, Mark Hall (@mhall209), who has chosen to work at a school that many would avoid, much like our district has been in the past. But now that we have a set of Google Glass…

I really hope you didn’t expect me to take that somewhere. While Google Glass is an exciting experiment, I don’t expect it to be more than that right now. I’m sure a few of our teachers and students will have novel ways of using Glass to support their educational experience, but please don’t blow this out of proportion, as student learning is far more important than the latest technology tool or toy.

That said, I want to send out thanks to the amazing people and companies who have chosen to support Glass. I also want to let out a sigh of relief that no company chose to sponsor me that I don’t believe in, as I definitely was worried I was going to have to write up reviews on products I don’t believe in with a disclaimer that they were a Glass sponsor.

Jessy Irwin (@jessysaurusrex), was the lead voice on moving the Glass project forward. In fact, before she jumped in and supported Glass, I figured the project was dead on arrival. Then she jumped in, sent news of my project to everyone she could, and the money started piling in. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t that easy, but she did kickstart (see what I did there?) me into believing this was more than just a way to make sending back Glass seem not as difficult.

Nolan Amy (@nolanamy), founder of Plickers (@Plickers), was the next to kick in. Which actually fit very well, as his product was my inspiration for trying Google Glass in the classroom. We also spent some good time together at ISTE, bonding over educational practices and 90s/00s rap.

Lisa Butler (@srtalisa) was the next contributor and perhaps the one I’m most excited about. Why? Because she asked me (ok, told me) to be the Google Glass Genie for her middle school tech club. That means I get to meet them, hear their “wishes”, try them out and then report back. How much fun is that?

Karl Lindgren-Streicher (@LS_Karl …and yes, this is going to look a lot like if I made a list of #eduawesome people, because there is major overlap) gave and asked for me to come to his classroom to share about Glass. Major win for me, because I’ve been dying to visit his classroom all year.

Amber Teamann (@8amber8) gave and asked for me to do a Skype session with her teachers about Glass possibilities. Again, a win for me, as I would’ve done this without any sort of contribution.

Erin Klein (@KleinErin) and Jen Wagner (@JenWagner) both gave, with Jen leaving these requests:

  • Document the journey.
  • Be honest with pros/cons.
  • Stick to a “no-Glass” time!

Again, a win for me… I now have to document my Glass experience honestly (note to all future sponsors who want me to put a rosy spin on Glass) and commit to non-Glass time, which I feel strongly about already.

Ali deGuia (@AlideGuia) asked for a 10 minute Google Hangout to answer staff questions, which sounds like a lot of fun, but not as much fun as Robanne Stading’s (@tchlrn_ak) request for me to make a video postcard with Glass for her class, which I could become the educational version of this Google Glass video:

Amy Lin (@heyamylin) and the Edcanvas (@Edcanvas) team contributed, asking me to work with them to develop awesome apps for Glass. Again… being on the forefront of Glassware and working with a company whose product I use for our district’s Teacher Resources website because it makes everything more visually accessible? Woohoo!

Finally, other awesome people including Jennifer Kloczko (@jkloczko), Ruth Hook, Karen Alden, and Gary Arcudi (of SP Controls and @TeamDoceri) signed up to support as well, with nothing asked for in return. And no, that doesn’t mean new favorable reviews of Doceri, although those who know me know I’ve loved using it for at least a couple years now.

Yes, technically I haven’t collected the money from these sponsors, as I wanted to share my thanks first, which means they could back out from their support… but given the #eduawesome people on this list I don’t expect that to happen.

P.S. I think I’ve made it in the EdTech world… DirtySexyEdTech wrote a whole post about me and the EduGlass saga!  😛

P.P.S. No, I haven’t raised the full amount, but am hoping to. If you would still like to contribute, please click here.

Posted in EduGlass | 4 Comments

Into the box or… (The final Glass post?)

You can tell it doesn't want to go into that box, can't you?

You can tell it doesn’t want to go into that box, can’t you?

I’m off to bed (after catching up on The Daily Show), with $69 left until I reach the goal I’ve set of 66% funding by the end of the week. Since there is technically 54 mins left until the end of the day, I’m waiting until tomorrow morning to drop Glass into the box. If I wake up and haven’t made it there, then I guess it’ll be going back to Google.

But I’ve secured over $1000 from a total of 12 supporters, so I really don’t want to have to stop so short. So, know anyone who has some ideas for what we could do with Glass in education and wants to support? Or someone who wants me to wear their company’s shirt in Glass pictures?

Please share if you’d like.

Google Form (also embedded above)

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24 hours… Glass or No Glass?

Five days ago, I thought up the idea of getting sponsors to allow me to keep Glass for use in classrooms across East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. Unfortunately, I had already made the request to get the box to return Glass, as it was approaching the 30 day mark. I’d also promised Jenna I wouldn’t be paying for Glass, as I needed a new computer and committed to only making one large purchase.

Since then, I posted my request on my site through the post “Glass in the Classroom?” and have received commitments from ten people/companies totaling $795.

The amazing thing? The requests include going to a nearby high school to show and share Glass, being completely honest about the pros/cons of Glass in the Classroom in regular posts, and granting wishes for a tech club as the Google Glass Genie. And I would’ve done those things anyway… except for the fact that Glass didn’t work for me as a day-to-day purchase so I couldn’t justify spending that kind of money for a classroom experiment. If teachers made a bit more, maybe I’d have that kind of excess income.

Wouldn't you like to see kids as excited as these two?

Wouldn’t you like to see kids as excited as these two?

So now I’m nearing the 24 hour mark, as I have promised to box up Glass tomorrow night and drop it in the mail Saturday morning if the funds haven’t been raised, which with ~$700 left to raise in one day seems likely, unless this somehow makes its way to some people/companies who are passionate about expanding the limits of edtech in the classroom.

Google Form (also embedded above)

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Expanding the Use of Tech in the Classroom

As I began to think about my attempt to gain sponsors for Glass, it made me think about an infographic (at the bottom of this post) that came my way a few months ago. I especially started to think about this when reflecting on something Jessy Irwin (@jessysaurusrex) said in response to my last post, Glass in the Classroom?. She said it’s important to get a tool like Glass into the hands of students who might never have access to it.

While I do not want to pretend that I was the first person to embrace technology in my district (far from it), I was one of the most highlighted, in terms of news stories and such. It was 2009 when I began to use the eBeam interactive whiteboard in my classroom and at the time there were just a few other teachers using any sort of interactive whiteboard. In fact, it was difficult to even secure an overhead projector (yes, with transparencies and the pens that dyed your hand for the rest of the day) in our school.

While I might debate some of the numbers in this infographic when comparing it to our district (though perhaps not when also comparing it to the district across the creek), I can completely agree with the last line, stating that 2 out of 3 teachers want more technology in their classroom. Although what they don’t say is that most teachers want it to be effective technology, not just any technology.

If we put enough Glass in a classroom for every student and the teacher, that might currently be a little overwhelming. In fact, even a class set of laptops can be overwhelming without the right training. Yes, I know the lines about “No student has ever said I can’t use this technology because I don’t have the training”, but how about the reaction you have once you learn how to use a program effectively and realize “I could have been using my time and this technology in a much more efficient way”?

All this to say… Yes, we need to put more technology into the hands of the students and teachers in the most struggling schools. But we also need to provide the coaching and technical support that will allow them to use the tools in more effective ways.

(By the way, small side note… after 2 out of 5 days of my Glass sponsorship campaign I’m at $510 with 5 donors. I have about $1000 to go before Friday afternoon if I’m going to be able to hold onto it.)

What do we Know Infographic

via and Allison Morris

Posted in Classroom Excitement, EduGlass | 2 Comments

Glass in the Classroom?

Before I receive my box from Google to return Glass, I wanted to put out this request to the Interwebs: Is there anyone willing to sponsor my continued ownership of Glass for educational purposes?

Google NYC as captured by Glass.

Google NYC as captured by Glass.

First, the reason for returning. I wore Google Glass for three weeks, in my normal day-to-day life, at ISTE in San Antonio, and walking around the streets of New York City. I found it useful at times, but more often was very interesting for the perspectives other people saw when they tried on Glass. It was far too bothersome for me to enjoy using in my day-to-day, I often placed them atop of my head in San Antonio, and kept watching my back in NYC as I was very obviously wearing an expensive device on my head (mostly using them to protect my eyes from the sun). My laptop is on its way out of being useful and there is no way I can justify purchasing a new computer and Google Glass within the same two or three year period. Finally, as the educational use of Glass hasn’t even been begun to be determined, there is no way I could ask within our district community to support with Glass, as we have far more pressing issues, like having enough quality books for students in our classroom libraries.

Awesome line I captured while walking the streets of NYC.

Awesome line I captured while walking the streets of NYC.

Now, where you come in. And by “you”, I mean anyone who is interested and is reading this post, be it a lone member of my PLN or a head of a Fortune 500 company (okay… awesome person who works for a Fortune 1,000,000 company?)

I would like to try Glass in the classroom to determine how this new technology can support student achievement. Ideas that have been floated my way include having your lowest student and highest student each wear Glass during a lesson and seeing where their focus was and what interactions they had (via @SrtaLisa), using it as an easy way as a coach to video and give feedback without dealing with setting up a video camera, one of the hundreds of ideas students might come up with when the device is put in their hands, or even just my original idea from the #ifihadglass contest.

The tweet that afforded me the opportunity to give Google $1650.

The tweet that afforded me the opportunity to give Google $1650.

Glass costs a hefty sum (~$1650) and I am expected to return Glass once I receive the return box this week, so here is my plan. I’ve created a Google Form that you can fill out with your name, email, amount of Glass you’d sponsor, and any special requests. Special requests will be fulfilled as much as possible, but need to keep a few things in mind: 1) I will happily wear clothing with your company’s name/Twitter handle/etc when wearing Glass, but no other teacher or student will; 2) I will not do or post anything that might embarrass or harm anyone, especially in the context of school; 3) I’m happy to do a Google Hangout or create a video for you, but unless I’m already planning to attend the event, likely will be not able to fly myself outside of the Bay Area on my own dime.

(This video was captured by an awesome Massive Multiplayer Thumb War teammate at ISTE 2013.)

Finally, rather than just collecting money through PayPal, I want to collect information from interested parties because I’m running this like a Kickstarter campaign.  If I don’t receive at least 2/3 of the funding, I will be returning Glass and will not be collecting any sponsorships. But if somehow I’m able to raise enough sponsors in the next week, I will be holding onto Glass for use in the classroom, allowing so many new perspectives to be seen and heard.

Google Form (also embedded above)

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