August 25, 2016

4 Digitals and an Analog...

I was thinking about the tools I use most each day and realized that I could narrow it down to a few.
That was extremely difficult at first but after much thought, 4 digitals and an analog came to mind.

When people ask me "what does a typical day" look like as a principal, I laugh. Because we all know, there is no such thing! However, the tools I use on a regular basis are pretty consistent and I figured I would share some of those. Granted, I use many, many more but these are the ones I rely on most.

4 Digitals and an you go.

Digital #1 - Twitter
This one I use EVERY day. Whether it is to check relevant articles or participate in a twitter chat (my favorites are #tntechchat, #principallife, #tlap...there are plenty of others), I rely on my daily dose of Twitter.  I do not think people realize how powerful a tool Twitter can be. In one hour of a twitter chat, I can connect with tons of educators from ALL over the world.

By the way, you can follow me @mickshuran

Digital #2 - Google Apps for Education (GAFE) 
I could not pick just ONE! There is no way! I use these apps and extensions on a regular basis and could do a list just on GAFE.  However, I can break it down to what I use the most. First of all, Gmail and Google...obviously. But, I also use Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Classroom, Photos, Hangouts, Calendar...oh and Blogger. This list can go on forever but I really do use this a great deal. 
I also LOVE helping others figure out these tools. As a Google Certified Educator, I am supposed to enjoy this!

Each day I find myself bouncing ideas off of others on how to use the Google Apps for efficiently and to the benefit of the kids and the school. 

Digital Tool #3 - Pocket
I cannot live without my pocket! This extension allows you to save articles and sites in an easy to find location. In addition, you can tag those articles with common themes so that they are easier to locate when looking at specific projects or collecting articles for entertainment.

I highly recommend Pocket! I have a great short video describing how to use Pocket on my videos page, check it out!

Digital Tool #4 - Podcast App
Like them or not, so far Podcasts have stood the test of time. I see them as almost like interactive audio books. You can find a podcast on ANYTHING. The ones I like the best are the shorter ones...mainly because of my attention span. But some of the lengthier ones do still grasp my attention such as Malcolm Gladwell's Revisionist History and Serial. They are like good books or good get HOOKED!

Here are some others that I listen to on a regular basis:

Leadership Technology and Learning - Yes, this is mine, but give it a shot, it is good stuff.
The House of EdTech - Twitter PLN member Chris Nesi puts on a great 30 or so minute on education.
The RobCast - good for the spiritual soul.
EduRoad Trip - great ideas, cool links to places around the world.
Hack Learning - A new one I just started following but well worth the time.
On the Vendor Floor - Melissa Emler takes the time to check out new products and tools.

Not every podcast is for you. Find one you like then follow it. As you get more adept, then find those specific episodes that relate to you and get ready to learn.

The Analog Tool

I am a Journal Junkie. There, I have admitted it. Sometimes I use them but sometimes I get them because they look cool and one day, I plan on using them. There is something rewarding about actually writing something down or drawing a picture. I like to keep one near me at all times in case an idea pops up.

I am also a pen junkie. I like Uniball and Pilot Gels (yes I accept gifts) mostly but I am still on the search for the perfect pen and journal combo...that one may go on forever.

Understand this, I love my digital tools but...

Do not under-estimate the power of writing something down. Sometimes in life analog is exactly what we need.


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