Holly Clark: Assistant Principal & Technology Change Agent

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Holly Clark, Assistant Principal, Technology Lead and Ga-Ga Pit newbie from San Diego, California. This is my first year as an administrator and was lured to the school by a one to one iPad pilot.  Before admin, I was in the classroom teaching social studies, English and technology to middle school geniuses.  I have been incorporating tech into my curriculum since 1996, so I have done it all! I was a technology curriculum specialist in River Forest, IL before heading to the beach.  I am a National Board Certified Teacher and hold an MA in Ed Tech from Columbia University.  You can connect with me on Twitter and read my blog here.

What hardware are you using?

Wow – right now I am using a MacBook Pro and iPad only.  I always say once you go Mac, you’ll never go back! My new school has very limited and outdated technology resources – outside of a Smartboard for every class -which means I am positioned to make big changes at my school, which is truly exciting.  As the Technology Curriculum Specialist in River Forest, Il I worked only with Macs.  In my San Diego classroom, I worked exclusively with the Windows platform.  I could write a book about how each impacts education.  Thankfully, Google Apps for Education is helping to make it easy to teach between both platforms and Cloud Technology makes expensive programs a thing of the past.

And what software?

Since the concentration is on iPads, I am using a plethora of apps.  I am having the most impact on learning using tools like Evernote, Idea Sketch, Educreations and Edmodo.  However, I am really intrigued by a new online research tool called Surfmark.  I have worked with Photoshop, Premiere, After-effects, Flash, Office Suite, Keynote, Final Cut Pro…the usual suspects.  Online tools I love include Google Apps for Education, Edmodo, Quizlet, Diigo, Twitter and Educlipper.  My personal favorite is Flipboard! I could not live without it.

What would your dream set up be?

My dream setup would be a combo of mostly Apple Products and Chromebooks.  I truly believe in my heart that students need to produce and publish work and it is just easier on a Mac.  I would also like a professional level film studio and Skype equipped stand alone classroom like one I had at Harvard.  There each seat had a microphone and collaboration device which faced a large screen for Skyping.  I want my students to become global learners and contributors.

Jason Markey: Principal at a 1:1 High School

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Jason Markeyand I am entering my first year as principal at East Leyden High School in Franklin Park, IL.  I have spent the previous two years as assistant principal at East Leyden.  Prior to that, I served as assistant principal at Woodstock High School, taught social studies at East Leyden, Iowa City High, and middle school math at Central Middle School in Waterloo, IA.  In my current role as principal at East Leyden I am very excited to be part of new 1:1 initiative which sees all of our 3,500 high school students in district receiving Google Chromebooks.

What hardware are you using?

In my office, I’m typically using my 13” Macbook Pro connected to a 27” ACER LED Display to provide an extended desktop.  The Mac trackpad is a must for me, I’ve really become accustomed to the gesture shortcuts and I feel I have much finer control which comes in especially handy when editing video.  You may also notice the Samsung Chromebook in the lower left hand corner of the picture.  This is our students’ 1:1 device and also goes with me everywhere.  When we were choosing a device for our students my personal test was to use the possible choices with my own workflow.   I figured if I can’t work through creating, writing, and accessing applications and information it should not be what we give our students.  I also have an iPad 2, which after initial testing as a potential 1:1 device has become my go to e-reader primarily.  Last but certainly not least is perhaps my most important piece of hardware, my Droid Razr Maxx running Ice Cream Sandwich.  This has been a lifesaver on many occasions as I can truly access all of my Google applications that really make up my workflow and the battery life is outstanding.

And what software?

For me it’s becoming the cloud or nothing so most of the list will be web-based applications.  My browser of choice is Chrome .  Chrome provides me with a seamless experience across all my devices now which is a really valuable feature.  Primary applications are Google Apps for Education(I rarely have to access any Office application), Tweetdeck to connect with my PLN,  and Diigo for social bookmarking and organization.  Again, I think it is really important valuable to work, as much as possible, in the cloud as the students are.  That being said, I do require a few client based applications for different tasks.  Unfortunately, I have two windows based applications I still have to access, for this I have Parallels loaded on my Macbook which gives me the ultimate flexibility in one computer. Another client based application that is a must for me is Camtasia.  I create a number of tutorials for our staff and to share with my PLN and although there are a number of great free cloud based options Camtasia (Software for screen recording and video editing) still provides a depth of editing options which are really powerful.

What would your dream set up be?

One piece missing from my dream set up now is a stand up/sit down desk which I hope to add this year.  Additionally, I would like to add the new Nexus 7 tablet as it provides a more fluid Google Apps experience than the iPad does at this point.  Other than that, I feel like I’m very fortunate to have the tools at my fingertips to take advantage of what technology affords us and since we have really embraced cloud computing here at Leyden the hardware is less significant than it once was.