Remote Controls

Smartphones, technology and our hidden human app

smartphone kid

I am a Black Mirror newbie. I just discovered it over the recent New Years’ weekend, binge watching season 4 practically in one sitting, my inefficient human need for sleep being the only thing keeping me from making it through the final episode.

After watching, I totally get its popularity and binge-worthiness—the integration, intrusion and even collision of technology into our lives eerily reflected in parallel realities or near future settings. Continue reading

When Game Over is a Good Thing


Picture this scene:

A room abuzz with learners fully focused and engaged in the task at hand, persisting, collaborating, sharing, challenging—themselves and others. In theory, this is what every classroom would look like every day, in some shape or form.

Speaking just from my own experiences, this scenario is not always the norm, even when adding choice, novelty, and technology into the instructional mix. But this is what I witnessed firsthand when facilitating Breakout EDU games recently for students and colleagues. Continue reading



Resolutions are a funny thing. Normally brought on by the beginning of something “new”…like a new year, a new month, a new week, a new day…or a new job, home, relationship, family member, school year, season…you can make a resolution for just about anything.

Whatever “newness” it may be, it brings some kind of change—and with it a potential effect on our own desire to make changes in what we are doing, or should be doing, to embrace that change around us and make it our own somehow. Hopefully for the better. At least that’s what it seems. Continue reading

Ask & Listen


Edgar Fischel & Me ~ February 14, 2016

A StoryCorps Experience

 UPDATE: “Be Friendly and Helpful” – Excerpt from our Interview for StoryCorps South Texas on, April 1, 2016

A few summers ago, I moved into a different yet centrally-located neighborhood—quiet, tree-lined, established. The houses were built in the 60’s-70’s, but the residents vary in age, from young families to middle-age types to seniors who take their daily constitutions up and down the streets. One day while outside unloading my trunk, a smartly-dressed elderly gentleman who was out walking his handsome tan chihuahua paused at the end of my driveway and asked, “Do you live here?” Continue reading

Why we (and our students) should become Power Searchers

How good of a searcher are you?

Why is searching online such an essential but under-taught skill among students today?

An exploration-strand post in an ongoing 2-strand series about Information Literacy

Would you consider yourself a “power searcher” when it comes to using Google?

How might a student (say, from 4th grade through college) respond to this same question?

Even though Google has become a tool and verb intrinsically connected to how we connect to the digital world today, our perceived expertise can be deceptive. We are all very familiar and seemingly fluent in speaking “Google”; however, if our use of it remains shallow compared to how we could be leveraging its power to really work for us, then we are likewise missing out on leveraging our own power to think and grow as searchers. Continue reading