Diana Potts: Science & Social Studies Teacher, Edtech Advocate

Who are you and what do you do?

Diana Potts, I teach 4-6th graders, science and social studies, with a 6th grade homeroom. I also provide edtech support to teachers. In my spare time I lurk on twitter, blog, and participate in edchats. My professional interests include edtech, successful PD, classroom design and PBL. 

What hardware are you using?

It depends on the task at hand. My weapon of choice is my MacBook Pro. I went all Mac about a year ago and haven’t looked back. When I want to create in Google Earth or Sketchup, I use my Pro as it can keep up with my squirrel-like attention span to pull from various sources. On the go I use my iPad2 and iPhone.  At work I use a MacBook laptop (with a split OS, using mostly Windows). Working in both Windows and Mac on a daily basis is a plus as it allows me to see pros and cons to both.

When I’m in full work mode, I’ll have my Pro and Work computer open and bounce back and forth using one for research and one for creation.

And what software?

Again, depending on the task at hand.  If I’m at home I use mostly Mac products.  On my “work” computer I use Windows 7 products, I mostly stick to Word and Publisher.  Lately I’ve been using Google Apps more and more as well as Evernote because of their ease of mobile access across devices.  When I want to create a movie or presentation, I go to the Mac products; I find Keynote and iMovie intuitive for my thought process and just cleaner looking in final product.
For work I use SMARTnotebook for visual support for lessons. Our student notebooks have SMARTnotebook on them, giving students a choice to use it for their end product..

What would your dream set up be?

Technologically speaking, my ideal would be to have a cart of MacBook Pros for student use and then 1:1 iPads. I would have Apple TV and a high quality projector.  The iPads would act as my Document camera and connect through the Apple TV for projection (I like to dream rich.)  The wireless would allow for BYOD for student use of personal devices, such as phones.  My students would each have a Google Apps account for collaboration and creation. My classroom would look like a cross between a science lab and a Google thinking/collaboration space.

Mike Ritzius: Science Teacher, Consultant & Edcamper

Who are you and what do you do?

I’m Mike Ritzius – high school science teacher, professional development consultant for NJEA, and Edcamper. I occasionally blog about my professional activities at Ritzi.us

What hardware are you using?

My go to tool is an old school, hard bound lab notebook. That’s right, pen and paper. I never have to worry about charging it up. I could not tell you the brand. I discovered a pile of them back in my lab days and cling to them like my precious.

I also rely heavily on my HTC Inspire 4G Smartphone. It is my auxiliary brain. Don’t ask me to remember anything without it. The Inspire also has a decent camera with flash that I use often for both work and personal things. My Shure SE215 sound isolating headphones are a must have, living in South Philly. For getting real work accomplished, I have a Dell Latitude E6420 running Windows 7 with 4GB of Ram and an Intel Core i5 processor. It is a snappy machine and handles my work load easily. I also have EEE netbook when I just want something for social media and a Kindle Touch for leisure time.

And what software?

Everything Google – Mail, Tasks, Calendar, Drive, Reader, Voice – on a daily basis. I like how all of the services integrate, especially with regards to my phone.There is nothing more dreadful than setting up a new phone. Google Groups, Doodle, and G+ Hangouts are especially important for edcamp planning. I am big fan of SnagIt, Jing, and Skitch for creating presentations. I resort to MS Office when I need something with serious polish.

For sharing, I use WordPress to blog just about everywhere – personal, my local association, and for the planning of the upcoming learning community in my district. Twitter (Tweetdeck on the computer, Twidroyd Pro on my HTC) is my primary means of engaging my learning community and I use posterous for one off projects and less serious things.

For capturing information, Scoop.it is great for archiving around a topic, like edcamp. For project planning, nothing beats Evernote. I will create a notebook for each project and dump items in from everywhere. The fact that I can capture from my phone, the web, or upload offline docs makes it head and shoulders better than anything else out there.

For my own personal “software”, I try to follow GTD. Admittedly, I do not do this well but it helps keep me from being completely disorganized. I find that I need to reboot myself about twice a year.

What would your dream set up be?

I do not have a specific dream setup. For me, it is more about the people around. My edcamp experience made this clear. We are a team of people from a variety of background with a variety of skills but we share drive, passion, and a sense of responsibility towards each other and the movement. Being around such people compels me to do my best work and any frustrations I feel are the result of my own doing. If all professional experiences matched my edcamp one, I would feel guilty accepting a paycheck.