Tag Archives: TCEA 2015

Google Recipe Filters

This week (except for Wednesday) I am dedicating my posts to sharing resources I learned about at TCEA in Austin last week.  I think packing too much info into a blog post is overwhelming, so if you are craving more, feel free to check out my notes (which are not finished yet!) here.

So it turns out that finding a Phun Phriday post based on your notes from a conference about technology in education is a little bit harder than I anticipated.  Because…  education.  And Phun Phriday posts are supposed to be (according to the rules I established for such posts) decidedly not educational.

I did find a note from the very first TCEA session I attended this year that could qualify as not really educational – unless you happen to teach at Le Cordon Bleu.  Unfortunately, since I don’t really like to cook, it doesn’t quite qualify as Phun, either.  But maybe you would disagree.

I learned from Richard Lombardo (@Rich_Lombardo) and Jerrad Barczyszyn (@rpdpjerrad) that the Google Search Tools aren’t always the same.  I usually use them when I’m looking for an image to determine copyright.  But I had no idea they would be helpful on the nights my husband works late and I’m stuck cooking dinner.

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 7.53.45 PM

For example, go to Google and do a search for fried chicken.  Then click on the Search Tools underneath.  Now, you can filter the recipe results by anything from calories to cook time!  By choosing “under 15 minutes” and “under 100 calories” I changed the number of results from over 50 million to just 1 recipe.

I’ll be only slightly more impressed when I can type in, “Make me some fried chicken,” and Google completes the task for me.  But then I’ll probably just complain about how Google always leaves the kitchen so messy…

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Challenge Boxes

This week (except for yesterday when I was feeling a little too imprisoned by my self-imposed commitment) I am going to dedicate my posts to sharing resources I learned about at TCEA in Austin last week.  I think packing too much info into a blog post is overwhelming, so if you are craving more, feel free to check out my notes (which are not finished yet!) here.

There were multiple sessions on Maker Spaces at TCEA this year.  If you go to the notes I linked to above, you can find even more info on Maker Space sessions I attended. (It has a special tab on the spreadsheet.)

One of the sessions was presented by Katie Hollis, Marisa Vickery, and Lindsey Mahany who have seriously The. Best. Job titles. Ever. They are “Facilitators for Learning and Innovation” in Dripping Springs ISD.  Cool, right?

The trio presented several sessions, and you can find the links to all of them here.  In the interest of brevity, I’m going to limit this post to one idea out of the many that I loved: Challenge Boxes.

Not every school has a “space” for making.  Even when a school does have extra room, not every child necessarily has the luxury of time to spend in that space.  So, one way to tackle this is to have Challenge Boxes available for checkout.  These plastic boxes (which Lindsey bought at Ikea, I believe) are each packed with low-cost or recycled materials and contain Challenge Cards with assignments that range from making a door opener to designing a spool racer.

The F.L.I. girls (even cooler, right?!!!) were kind enough to provide a link to a folder with all of the necessary paperwork – labels for the boxes, response cards, and 20 different Challenge Cards.

Teachers could check out these boxes for individuals or small groups in their classroom.  They could be a center – or several different centers.

If you have any questions about Challenge Boxes, head on over to the F.L.I. girls’ site where you can find their contact info and much more!

Also, I have a Pinterest Board about Maker Spaces here.

Challenge Box Card example from the F.L.I. Girls
Challenge Box Card example from the F.L.I. Girls

I Forgot How to Count to Two

So I am currently at TCEA in Austin.  TechNinjaTodd graciously asked me to join his team of Ninjas on Thursday morning as we share a couple of apps and/or webtools with the crowd.

“Sure!” I said.  As you can tell from my blog or Twitter account, I have no problem sharing – though I’m not so good in front of a crowd.

“Anything you’re excited about,” he said when I asked what I should present.

No problem.

Wait.  Just a couple of things I’m excited about?  Hold on.  Let me look up “couple” real quick.

Hmm. That might be a problem.

I started a list.

It got long.  “Long” does not appear in the dictionary definition of “couple.”

This is me trying to decide what to share.  Okay.  It's not really me.  It's just what I would like to look like while I'm trying to make a decision.  Calm and thoughtful.
This is me trying to decide what to share. Okay. It’s not really me. It’s just what I would like to look like while I’m trying to make a decision. Calm and thoughtful. And young.

I don’t want to be one of those people.

You know – the one who has 5 minutes and takes 30.

I also don’t want to be one of those people.

You know – the one who promises to tell you about something new and bends your ear about something you’ve known about for two years and you’re sitting in the front of the room so you can’t politely leave the session but you are dying inside because it’s a total waste of time and so you start surreptitiously paging through your conference program so you can make sure you choose your next session a bit more judiciously.

Kind of like the way you’re probably feeling about this blog post right now.  Except no one but you and the CIA will know that you ditched it before you got to the end.

So, I should get to the point.

Help!!!!

If you were going to this session, what would you want to hear more about?  (Choose all of the topics that interest you.  You can even come back and vote again.  I figure if you’re that passionate, then who am I to stop you?)