Dan Callahan: Instructional Technology Specialist & Edcamper

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Dan Callahan, an Instructional Technology Specialist at Pine Glen Elementary School in Burlington, MA. I’m also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Edcamp Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to spreading and supporting free, participant-driven professional development for teachers. I tweet as @dancallahan and I blog at Remix Teaching.

What hardware are you using?

I’m pretty much exclusively Apple hardware these days, although I certainly didn’t intend to turn out that way. I was a pretty hardcore PC guy, but when Apple released the Intel-based polycarbonate MacBooks, I decided to give it a shot, since I’d always be able to run Windows if I didn’t like it. That was six years ago, and I haven’t looked back since. I have a work-supplied MacBook Pro to get stuff done there, and at home I have a 5 year old iMac that I’m hoping to upgrade soon. Between both, I have my iPhone 4S (64GB, black) and 3rd-generation iPad (32GB, black). I also run a computer lab with several N-computing setups, and my school currently has 60 iPad 2s that I use with my students.

And what software?

When the speaker before me at a conference left his coffee on the table and it spilled into the back of my MacBook Pro, I was really glad that I’d switched almost completely over to cloud-based software. Thanks to the Mac App Store, I was able to redeploy almost all of my software very quickly. Thanks to Evernote, DropBox, and Google Drive, I had all of my must-have files back after a quick download. Across all my devices, I use Reeder to keep up with my RSS feeds and Echofon to keep up with Twitter. Skitch is an essential screenshot annotation tool for me when I need to explain how to fix an issue to a teacher. For photo management I use iPhoto, but I do serious editing work in Adobe Lightroom. For video editing I use iMovie, but I’m planning on dabbling in Final Cut Pro X this summer. If I need to make a document or presentation that looks nicer than what Google Docs can handle, I revert to Pages and Keynote. Finally, one of my most essential apps is Sparrow, which I use for all of my email on the Mac.
On the iPad, some favorite apps for workflow include GoodReader for PDF annotation, and Agenda for calendar management. I’m really enjoying using Paper these days for note-taking. With the kids, I love Toontastic, Book Creator, iMovie, and Drawing Pad.

What would your dream set up be?

Those new MacBook Pros with Retina screen look incredible. I’d want one of those plus an additional 27” Thunderbolt display at home and at work. I’d gladly carry the machine between the two locations. I’d also upgrade my iPad to 64gb with 4G service.

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