Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Technology Newsletter - Christmas Shopping Edition 11/15


Stocking Stuffers  $0-$10

Need something small as a stocking stuffer?  Look no further than:

$4.99 - Powerbank for Cellphone (Black Friday Price)
$9.99 - Virtual Reality Headset (Black Friday Price)
$9.99 - Wireless Mouse (Black Friday Price)
“Up on the Roof tops, Reindeer paws. Out jumps good ol’ Santa Claus”..Do you want to know what Santa sees from the roof, show your children how the Vatican Decks the Halls? Virtual Reality devices will be one of the hottest items for this Christmas. There are several low cost items to consider:    Google Cardboard ($14.99) and yes, it is cardboard;  SmartTheater Virtual Reality Headset ($19.99); *View Master VR ($29.99) *Ok, this may belong in the category below, but we’re talking $4.

Merry Christmas!

Keep this Christmas classic by streaming your favorite Christmas movies with devices like Google Chromecast Ultra ($69.99)  and Amazon Fire TV ($89.99)  or by reading your favorite Christmas classics on the Amazon Fire HD 8  ($89.99) or the 2016 Amazon Kindle ($79.99). Also, don’t forget to play your favorite classic games on the new Nintendo Classic NES ($60.00).

Want to get your kids coding in a fun way? Check out the coolest robot around, Dash and Dot! Coming in at $105 on Amazon, this robot will teach kids and adults the process of  how to code so they can build the future!  

Chromebooks! With everything being online, they are a great for any situation. The main thing to look for would be as much RAM as possible. A few of my favorite are:

iPad- The least expensive iPad rolls in at around $250. There are some great deals from Target and Best Buy if you are willing to fight the Black Friday crowds.  

Apple Watch - $198 at Target/$216 at Best Buy on Black Friday
Fitbit - Fitbit is doing amazing things. The Charge HR, around $150, is a great band but you can get all fancy pants and pay more for more features.

Be Careful of Black Friday TV Deals as a rule, but if you can get one of these, good on you!
Walmart will offer a 50-inch Samsung 4K TV for $398, a $230 discount on its sticker price.
A 55-inch curved Samsung 4K TV will be on sale for $698 at Target. The television typically goes for $1,100. Target will also offer a $70 gift card with purchase.

Navdy Mounted Windshield Projector
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Navdy combines popular Head-Up Display technology with your favorite phone apps, projecting your maps, calls, messages, and music directly in front of you, so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. List Price: $799. Click HERE to find out more.

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Samsung 60" Class 1080p Smart LED TV - UN60J620DAFXZA at SAMS Club for $548!

Good through Dec 31st.

Also at Sams Club HP Envy X360 2-in-1 Convertible Touchscreen Full HD 15.6" Notebook 15-w110nr, Intel Core i7-6500U Processor, 8GB Memory, 256GB SSD, Intel HD Graphics 520, Bang & Olufsen Audio, Backlit Keyboard, Windows 10 for  $769

Friday, November 11, 2016

Technology Newsletter GAETC Edition for 11/8

Many teachers are catching on to the cool tricks extensions can help us be more proficient at our work. At the GAETC conference, one speaker, Chris Craft, offered a top 10 list of awesome extensions you can add to your Chrome account. One of my favorites is uBlock Origin which blocks ads from showing up on websites, even YouTube! Check that one out and more by clicking HERE.

Chris Craft (@crafty184) did an excellent session on 10 Advanced Web Apps for Google.  These apps help you harness the full potential of the Google Ecosystem in your classroom.  Google Drive Migration for high school seniors, making data interactive in Awesome Tables, and Gmail analytics are a few of the tools.  A full list of Apps can be found here.

Best piece of advice from GaETC:“Innovate like a turtle.” We all know that technology integration can be overwhelming at times. Vicki Davis (@coolcatteacher), a classroom teacher,  introduced a very practical approach for establishing and maintaining an effective technology toolbox. To be successful, she suggested that you, “innovate like a turtle”, by only adding three new technology tools to your toolbox each year (Ex. 3 years=9 tools). For additional technology integration tips check out, Vicki Davis’ website at Coolcatteacher.com

BreakoutEDU  A great resource for implementing critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Lisa Champlin, a 3rd grade teacher from Oak Grove Elementary School presented this session at GaETC and had the entire group up and working to solve the riddles/clues to be able to open the box. This can be utilized by any subject or grade. *click Get Started; fill in the beta user form and get a code to unlock many of the games that are available.

GAETC is like a box of chocolates in that you never know what you are going to get! This time around my sticking point came from Tony Vincent’s session on building success in the classroom. He referenced a book I am looking to read called Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath. The book references strategies designed to make things you learn stick, which is what teachers want to do.  This was exemplified by a Ted Talk  on how to properly use a paper towel. The process shows how reiterating the topic helps to reinforce learning.  I never knew I’d learn the proper way to wash my hands by attending a tech conference.