Friday, June 30, 2017

San Antonio Day 3

By day three I was finally starting to feel like my old self.  My asthma was calming down from the change between Arizona's dry heat and the hot, muggy air of San Antonio.  I was also adjusting to the time zone difference.

Tuesday started off with a panel discussion on how to choose the right technology to meet instructional goals. This was a great panel discussion talking about picking the right hardware and software dependent upon what the school district wanted to achieve and how much funding they have to meet these needs.  I did make one comment/question at the end of the presentation regarding the lack of speaking of infrastructure with regards to any of this.  Without the infrastructure (starting with the building, the electrical being able to handle the hardware all the way to plugging a projector into a wall socket to the wireless involved in making the magic happen in the classroom), you don't have the ability to make any of the rest of the technology work at all.  You're dead in the water.

The next was my first of the official Google classes, An Impact Portait:  Measuring Impact of G Suite & Chromebooks Across The District.  This wasn't bad, I did take a few notes, but you were rushed into a room in 5 minutes, sat down on plastic, multi-colored chairs, covered a school district's rollout of Chromebooks without much of a mention of web filtering, and then we were rushed out for the next 5 minute break.  It was good and I did get a copy of the presentation so I can look back on the notes.

After having lunch with some of the other people from my school district - chicken salad sandwich - I went to another really fun, interactive session called Don't Laminate Your Lesson Plans!  Basically a lesson about keeping your lessons up to date with new ways of engaging the students.  Very good, taught by Anne Truger.

The next session I attended was called What Does It Take To Become Future Ready?  It was advertised as a panel discussion but instead became a lecture infomercial from a non profit.  I got a few good links to go to for information.

By the time I got done with the "panel" discussion, the line was too long for the next class, so I skipped it.

I was invited to go with a group from my district to go to the Bier Garten (German restaurant) before going with the group to the Ed Tech Karaoke.  I had heard about this and wasn't sure about it, but, hey, why not, right?

The Bier Garten was right on the River Walk, so it was really beautiful, with a light breeze to make the heat bearable.  I ate a cheeseburger with a pretzel roll bun.  Very, very good.  I had a non-alcohol strawberry slushie and then water for the rest of the time.

Then we walked on the streets above the River Walk to the Aztec Theater, which is an old theatrical house in adobe.  It's an amazing place, the music was loud, there were drinks, free popcorn and free pictures.  The main stage had the more professional level of karaoke, while those who just wanted to sign up and do a song had a stage in the lobby.  It was a lot of fun!

The other funny part of the whole thing, started while we were in line around the back of the theater before the whole thing started.  There was an ice cream truck brought in for anyone who wanted an ice cream (I was too full), but talking to the ice cream truck and the security guard was a man who looked exactly like, no lie, Christian Slater.  Then, throughout the evening, I was up on the balcony of the lobby watching the Karaoke, and the Christian Slater doppelganger was walking around, going into rooms that were for employees only, so he apparently works for the theater.

As I type this, I'm watching the favorite movie I've seen with Christian Slater - Bed of Roses.

It was a late walk back to the hotel with the group and right to bed.

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