Only because the technical director made an extra backup of the movie files did Toy Story 2 survive. Lesson to learn? Always backup!
Archives for May 2012
This June I will be installing a new instance of WordPress (version 3) and everyone will have the opportunity to create a new blog.
Under testing I conducted this past summer, a simple upgrade to the blogging system is not possible for all users. The upgraded blogging system should provide better security, more opportunities for social interaction and integration with other social tools, new themes, and an easier upgrade path for us. As I work on the server this summer, I will investigate the likelihood of doing individual migrations of old content to the new system – but at this point – I simply can’t rely upon this for every user.
Your old blogs will no longer be available for updates. I will keep the old blogs “live” online for the remainder of 2012. You will be able to still access the old blogs to access them as parents and the world do today.
Some of you might view this change in a positive light, like starting fresh after a crop burn. Others I know will hate to lose old content, and the legacy of excellent portfolio material that you have created over the course of years. While WordPress 3 has further enhancements over the version we currently use, it will be very similar in its layout and conventions to what we have now.
Please know that this is a necessary change for security purposes and I will endeavor to meet your needs as we approach the transition period this summer.
I also plan to share with you more exiting news later this summer about our social presence online, but for now that will have to wait.
- Week of June 11-15: transition current blogs to new directory
- Week of June 11-15: Creation of a fresh WordPress instance
- June 18-onward: open registration to create new blogs
- July 1, 2012: an updated AUP should go into effect (Policy IIBEA)
- August, 2012: New support materials and videos for blogging with WordPress 3
- January 1, 2013: Current blogs will be shut-down.
Any changes to this schedule will be posted here.
VDOE is partnering with the Center for Innovative Technology to develop an application development program – Apps4VA (www.apps4va.org). You may be familiar with the concept of apps competitions or hackathons? It’s a growing trend for organizations, both public and private, to turn to the public for ideas on how their data might be used and for the development of new applications to analyze them. Apps4VA will roll out a series of events and competitions for outreach and to encourage the development of apps to improve education using datasets from the Virginia Longitudinal Data System (VLDS). Here’s a pretty good explanation of VLDS data: http://youtu.be/MAV9pO5ve0c.
How can teachers get involved?
(1) The Apps4VA program will kick off on June 1-3 at the NOVA EDU Startup Weekend event, which will be held in the Microsoft offices in Reston, VA. Startup Weekend EDU events, for the unfamiliar, are 54-hour events where educators, hackers, hustlers, and designers come together to pitch ideas and build products. Ideas are pitched for potential education related businesses and teams are formed. The organizers create an environment where teams can collaborate, inspire and code to their hearts’ content…don’t worry about meals, snacks or energy drinks – it’s all covered. Throughout the weekend expert mentors are on-site to help teams think through challenges. Come Sunday night, teams demo to a panel of judges (think serial entrepreneurs and VCs). Startup Weekends are excellent ways to work with many awesome folks you’ve never met, push your limits, learn new skills, and jumpstart your creativity. Interestingly enough, the stats show 80% of Startup Weekend alumni are still working with their new “company.”
We need teachers with ideas to attend! Registration is open at: www.novaedu.startupweekend.org (teachers have a discount and Virginia teachers may be eligible for a travel stipend). For more information, contact Brooke Bell at (804) 513-2736 / email@example.com.
(2) In late August, Apps4VA will conduct two open competitions – one for the general public and one for Virginia public high school students. The Apps4VA Open Competition will ask participants to build a software application using the VLDS data. The Apps4VA High School Competition will ask high school students to outline an application that would use VLDS data in a presentation. (They also have the option to build a fully working app as well.) All competitors may apply other publicly available data sets to create their apps (this combining of data is known as a “mashup”). We are hoping that teachers will spread the word about the high school competition to their students and encourage them to participate? Students can participate as individuals or form a team and can win money for themselves and their school. Attached is a poster highlighting the competition. More information may be found at: www.apps4va.org.
We want to encourage the very best teachers in Virginia to participate in these exciting programs. Please consider participating or sharing this information with any teachers you think might be interested. The ideal educator is passionate about innovation, technology, entrepreneurship, enhancing education, etc. We encourage participation from teachers from all over Virginia!
Please contact me with any questions.
Brooke Bell Center for Innovative Technology Brooke.firstname.lastname@example.org
I was happy to be honored with fellow technology leaders in the metro area tonight at the Marriott hotel in Richmond.
Congrats go to Cindy Jones of Clover Hill Elementary.
I was honored to receive a cash prize along with all the education winners.