Crucial Thought Rss

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Chris selected as K12OnlineConference keynote speaker Each year the K12OnlineConference provides tremendous professional development for free, and entirely online. This year, they have selected me as one of their keynote speakers. I am thrilled to have been chosen and look forward to participating in the conversation. Read the full post announcing all the keynote speakers here.

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Two quick links on Cognitive Load Theory I've been fielding lots of questions lately about Cognitive Load Theory. Here are two quick links that may be useful. First is an article talking about the practical implications of CLT on the design of learning. The second are some "recent" (as of 2003) developments regarding CLT. Happy reading! Update: I clarified the second...

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Practical advice on kids and Android app development After hearing about my students' success developing an Android app, I've gotten several emails asking for more details as to how I practically worked with my kids. Here are some pointers that I offered to the first person that emailed me, perhaps they are of some use to you. Please note that your mileage may vary. It's ok to not be...

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Publishing an App Inventor app to the Android Market As I mentioned earlier, my students and I published an Android app to the Android Market. See those links for more information on the background. This post is decidedly technical. First, once we finished the coding process, we packaged the app for to download to the computer. This is an option in App Inventor. This downloaded an .apk file....

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Designing and publishing an Android app with kids This post is designed to provide some context around how/why we decided to build this app. The more technical details of the code and how we published it will come in a future post. My students and I recently completed and published an Android app, and here's how we did it. First, the genesis for this goes back to a question I asked...

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InFocus posts moving

Category : InFocus

I don’t want this blog to become solely related to InFocus, so I will post those on my company website. Feel free to drop by there to check out anything related to my work with InFocus.

If you’re curious why I don’t blog more, here’s a quick update to my life…

  • Wife and girls are well
  • Should be defending for my PhD in October or early November
  • Building my little company
  • Spending time with family
  • Serving in church

Thanks for sticking around. I will be revamping this blog (in terms of design) on the heels of the PhD.

Chris

My future in focus

Category : InFocus

Over the summer I attended ISTE 2010 as many of you did. After arriving in Denver, I happened to see a tweet from the newly-created InFocusEDU account. The tweet said that the mayor of the InFocus room on Foursquare would win a projector! As someone who likes Foursquare, and who arrived in Denver a bit early, I sought out the room. For the record, I had just been at the same conference center in April for AERA, so I was already a bit familiar with the location.

I found the InFocus room and checked in. I went back the next day and checked in again, standing in front of the doors. By the third day, I was Mayor.

This all led to conversations with the InFocus folks. Since I had to stop by daily to check in (to keep my mayorship and win a projector) I had lots of chances to talk with the folks there. They turned out to be really nice and a lot of fun.

So over the next few days I would stop by and hang out for a bit, listening to them talk about their new Interactive Projectors. New technologies always pique my interest, and the InFocus guys were interested in teacher feedback. I gave them some prima facie feedback and went on about my business. This scene repeated itself for a few days and then the conference ended and I had won a projector.

It turns out I had won them over. A few weeks later they contacted me about having me do a little consutling for them. I agonized over whether to do this, and whether it was selling out, etc. The decision came down to several factors..

  1. Was it the right thing to do for my family?
  2. Was it the right fit for me to work with them?
  3. Would I have to blindly support a product I didn’t fully agree with?
  4. Would InFocus actually listen to my feedback?

After many discussions with InFocus, I found them receptive to my feedback and willing to allow me to form my own opinions. After many hours reading, researching, and talking with them, I think they have a hit with the new interactive projector. So, I agreed to consult for them.

This post is in the interest of full disclosure. Ultimately, this came down to being the right thing to do for my family.

I do not have an Interactive Projector, but am excited about the possibilities. It is new to market, so you will be hearing more about it. What I like about it, among other things, is the possibility to put interactivity in kids’ hands. Additionally, the projector itself can handle up to 32 machines wirelessly (on some models) which would be glorious in a 1:1 environment.

So I tentatively support it, and will promise to offer genuine unbiased feedback once I get the projector in hand. In the meantime, you will see my name associated with InFocus more and more, as we work together to reduce the teacher-in-the-front-of-the-classroom troubles so often associated with IWB’s.

If you’re curious about the product, there’s a good video here.

Thank you for your time, support and understanding. I welcome your thoughts in the comments.

Chris