Update for NEW Google Sites –> you can now embed HTML & JavaScript!

Exciting times!

As the new Google Sites app catches up with Classic Sites, in terms of features and plugins, I’m keeping my ear to the ground for new updates for G Suite, particularly for the new Google Sites, because it looks better, and includes responsive design features… but it is missing some key elements that many teachers have build into their classic sites for Courses.

Today, Google released an exciting new feature: You can now embed HTML & JavaScript in the new Google Sites. Click HERE to learn more, and give it a try!

What might Personalized Learning look like at *your* school?

I recently came across this survey by EdWeek.org that asked various folks in education what Personalized Learning should and shouldn’t look like. It’s a concept that still intrigues me, whether it is mediated with technology or not. I know that it is gaining momentum in many education circles, and is not necessarily a new topic. Click below to read the responses…

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What do YOU think?


The 6 (no wait, 15) Laws of Technology Everyone Should Know

A contributor to the Wall Street Journal published an article about 6 Laws of Technology written by an MIT Professor during the cold war, that he believes can apply to today’s climate of Tech Giants and Social Media. You can check out the article HERE for more details, but here are the 6 Laws in list form:

  1.  ‘Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral’
  2. ‘Invention is the mother of necessity.’
  3. ‘Technology comes in packages, big and small.
  4. ‘Although technology might be a prime element in many public issues, nontechnical factors take precedence in technology-policy decisions.’
  5. ‘All history is relevant, but the history of technology is the most relevant.’
  6.  ‘Technology is a very human activity.’

In response a writer an Inc.com wrote an article in response that listed 9 Laws the WSJ had missed. Here is a large excerpt from this article below: (Warning: snarky slopes ahead.)

Law #1: Big brother is watching, along with 273 of his siblings and an unemployed college dropout living in his parent’s basement in Parma, Ohio.

Law #2: The actual battery life of your phone is always less than one half what the manufacturer claims it to be.

Law #3: As technology firms grow larger they either become cable providers or start behaving like them.

Law #4: Each new feature added to a product adds diminishing value and increasing complexity. Corollary 1: After release 5.0 that complexity creates a steady state where fixing one bug creates another bug. Corollary 2: After release 10.0 fixing one bug creates at least two additional bugs. (E.g. Windows, iOS, Mac OS)

Law #5: Engineers inevitably design technology that is easy for engineers to use. Corollary: if you are not an engineer, all technology will eventually make you mutter “WTF?” under your breath.

Law #6: Your IT support person thinks you’re an idiot.

Law #7: “Labor saving” device are designed to foist labor onto the customer. Corollary: “Time saving” devices are designed to eliminate your free time.

Law #8: Technical support lines play irritating music and obnoxious up-sell ads because they’re hoping you’ll hang up and self-service using their website which contains a useless FAQ, an indecipherable user manual, and a hopelessly impenetrable customer-run forum.

Law #9: The intellectual and social value of a blog post is inversely proportional to the ‘clickability’ of its title.


What do you YOU think?

Can we improve the world’s food system with Tech?


I came across an interesting article called, “Rebuilding the World’s Food System Using Technology: Here’s How” that talks about how we can use our latest IoT sensors to improve the human condition through this process.

From the article:

” What if we could capture and analyze data that would enable us to predict consumer demand and adjust our food production for better yields? What if we could track the location and temperature of our products across the food supply chain to prevent food spoilage? What about monitoring the health of our livestock to prevent a contagious disease from spreading in herds? 

We can now. Sensor and auditing technology has become more sophisticated over the past decade, not only capturing data points but also communicating with other systems to automate solutions. The internet of things is revolutionizing the food industry. “


Google’s Brain & Deep Dream: “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams”

Team Magenta at Google has been exploring a lot of interesting mediated generative data through it’s AI division. Recently WIRED published an article about some sound explorations going on at Google. NSynth feeds a “massive database of sounds” into a neural network, and generates never before heard sounds that fuse qualities of sound with data of other sounds to make some interesting audio. From the Google Magenta website:

“Unlike a traditional synthesizer which generates audio from hand-designed components like oscillators and wavetables, NSynth uses deep neural networks to generate sounds at the level of individual samples. Learning directly from data, NSynth provides artists with intuitive control over timbre and dynamics and the ability to explore new sounds that would be difficult or impossible to produce with a hand-tuned synthesizer.”

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Check out Wired’s SoundCloud playlist to hear examples (in the linked article above).



And then there is Deep Dream, google’s dreaming AI art bot.

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Ah the future is fun!

Why Does Coding Matter?

In December 2014, I wrote a special edition article for the “Teaching & Learning” blog at Head-Royce. It was a reflection on why Coding & CS are so important for the next generation. I think it is still very relevant one year later. Check it out by clicking below:

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