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A message to my current and former students (from Mr. Yearling)

Dear students and former students,

I needed to make everything official before I passed this on to anyone, but I wanted to let you know that I won't be returning to Fort Atkinson in the fall.  I've accepted a position in the Waukesha School District as an Instructional Technology Coordinator.  Put simply, I'll become a mentor of teachers, encouraging and coaching them to utilize technology to improve the quality of their instruction.  Ultimately, I hope this leads to a meaningful change in the way teachers educate students on a greater scale than I could ever have had in my own classroom.

So, there it is -- my big announcement.

My time in Fort has been nothing but positive and I truly have enjoyed working with all of you.  I want to thank you for allowing me to connect with so many of you in such unique ways. I feel fortunate to have been a part of your lives.  I have learned much from my time spent with you, and I carry those lessons and memories with me.  The hardest part of this change is knowing that I won't have the opportunity to work with students on a daily basis in the same way I worked with so many of you.  That is what makes teaching such a special job.  I will miss that and I will miss so many of you!

Feel free to contact me any time with updates on life, questions about this change or what I'm up to, or just a request for advice.  You know that I am always up for a thoughtful response to even life's toughest challenges. :)  Reach me at brianyearling@gmail.com if you want to be assured of reaching me (I like technology, but this Facebook thing freaks me out a bit...you kids and your zany technology).

Thank you to all of you for being such an important of my life.  It has been an incredible journey.
Mr. Y (or B.Y. depending on your era, or Y-dawg for those less formal students, or The Mighty Lumberjack for Dalton and those he has influenced).

Return of Getting Tech Into Ed

Return of Getting Tech Into Ed: Welcome back to the show!




Well, we were knocked down, but certainly not knocked out. Podango's recent shutdown put a lot of podcasters in a bind, but that is part of the price of depending on a free service. It's a lesson all teachers need to take into consideration, but that will be the topic of the next show.

Just want to welcome everyone back to Getting Tech Into Ed. If you are an old listener, thanks for making the effort to find us here. If you are a new listener, we are glad you could join us. There will be shows with more content coming in the very near future. Getting back up and running online was a big enough challenge to fill my time over the last month. Now, it is time to get back to what I love to do: help you find ways to integrate technology into your classroom instruction.

Look for the next show to appear some time within the next two weeks.

Thanks again for listening.
Brian Yearling

Host and Instructional Technology Enthusiast

Sidenotes: Getting tech into ed on a budget

Side Notes: Technology in education on a budget

 




As a public school teacher, I know there is a permanent storm cloud that hangs over many schools throughout the country.  Discussion of “budget constraints” has this way of working its way into every conversation that may remotely smack of progressive educational practices.  Not only does this add unnecessary doom and gloom to potentially inspirational conversations, but the lack of an adequate budget can stop educational/instructional progress dead in its tracks.

However, as educators, we cannot allow this little hiccough to be seen as anything more than a small hurdle to be jumped.  And as technology moves into a unique age where there are a plethora of open source and free software packages, Web 2.0 applications, and online tools to utilize, it seems that the “budget constraints” storm could be headed south sooner, rather than later, for creative teachers.

What is Open Source?  What is Web 2.0?  Don’t free software packages have viruses?  These questions (and many others) litter the educational world due to an overall lack of understanding of the revolution taking place in the programming world.

Open Source projects are collaborative efforts of individual programmers (often) who donate their time and talent to creating a software program that is free to users, and that can be tweaked by future programmers for the purpose of improving the code/program.

And Web 2.0 is a “new” way of interacting with the Internet.  No longer are users expected to just “read” or “take in” content, but in a Web 2.o world, users are encouraged to create content online.  This interactivity has spawned a multitude of Web 2.0 online application are fantastic teaching and learning tools.

However, none of these free goodies can be tapped into without knowledge and ambition to seek them out.  They are not hard to find on the Internet, but the process of learning more about the tools, learning how to properly utilize them, and learning what it takes to instruct students to use the tools is a time costly venture.  Educators have to donate of their time and talents just to learn more about these emerging technologies.

The beauty of it all is, when teachers/administrators/support staff become more well informed about what is available to them for free (nothing, nada, zilch), that little black rain cloud may begin to fade from the picture.  If educators begin to see budget constraints as a challenge rather than a road block, they will begin find solutions that they did not even realized existed.

So, teachers…get inspired…get creative…get informed…and get in the game by utilizing the technology that is so readily available to us to improve our overall instruction.