43 episodes

A weekly chat with a K-12 Public School Technology Director about the trials, tribulations, and insider secrets of your school's technology department. The chats are unscripted, and meant to make the inner workings of an IT department less opaque.logo image - Tom Taker "Technology"

Tech Director Chat Ben Rimes

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

A weekly chat with a K-12 Public School Technology Director about the trials, tribulations, and insider secrets of your school's technology department. The chats are unscripted, and meant to make the inner workings of an IT department less opaque.logo image - Tom Taker "Technology"

    Lessons Learned at the Pentagon

    Lessons Learned at the Pentagon

    This episode is short, sweet, and to the point. We had some excellent tech questions about one of the most essential elements of making technology work in schools; keeping it charged up! And we dove a bit into Tony's background at the Pentagon, lessons learned early in life, and we had our technological knowledge tested with details about the release of the very first iPhone from Apple.
    Timestamps for this week's questions:
    1:20 What has Tony been up to?
    3:22 What was the best thing that Tony learned from working in the Pentagon?
    5:31 Someone wants to know why the laptop carts don’t charge all of the laptops at the same time.
    7:37 Are student computers able to Airplay to the Apple TVs in the classroom?
    9:58 Stump Us!
    11:24 What year did the first iPhone debut?
    You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) on Twitter. Our professional Twitter accounts are Mattawan Learns and MCS Technology.

    • 15 min
    Making Technology Work...Kind Of

    Making Technology Work...Kind Of

    Does technology work in the classroom? What's the deal with Chromebooks? Why does the Slack App hate Ben so much? Pete and I scratch the surface of how technology affects our daily habits and routines, or fails to affect it in some cases. We address questions about our older machines, getting teacher laptops updated, and wrap our brains around a tough "Stump Pete!" question about NHL arenas!
    Timestamps for this week's questions:
    0:58 What has Pete been up to?
    2:05 It’s time for teachers to update the OS on their laptops.
    3:07 Apple has now made all iLife and iWork apps free?!
    3:59 Do we ever sell the old Apple laptops or desktops?
    5:20 Our laptops are HOW old and still in service?
    6:15 Does the Technology Department need to be made aware of a laptop that’s extremely hot coming out of a cart?
    8:38 Ben wants to know, what’s the deal with Chromebooks?
    11:20 Why doesn’t the Tech Department use the Slack App anymore for inter-office communications?
    15:31 Pete wants to know, why can’t we make technology work in the classroom?
    18:16 Stump Pete!
    19:52 Erik wants to know, now that the Red Wings are moving to Little Ceasar’s Arena, how many NHL arenas are NOT named or sponsored after a company?
    You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter. Our professional Twitter accounts are Mattawan Learns and MCS Technology.

    • 1 sec
    Prognostications & Tetrachords

    Prognostications & Tetrachords

    Interested in listening to Ben and Pete ramble on for far too long about what the future of technology looks like? No? Well then, this episode isn't for you :)
    We tackle a few questions about speakers, feedback, apps on student devices, tricky 1:1 scenarios, and a lengthy birdwalk into the future of technology. Halloween costumes and tetrachords round out this episode.
    Timestamps for this week's questions:
    1:36 What has Pete been up to?
    3:05 Chris wants to know, how do I lower the high-pitched sound coming from my classroom speakers?
    5:27 Can teachers change settings or add apps on student laptops?
    8:55 A listener wants to know, what technology should I be learning about to keep up with students?
    12:30 Ben is still rambling on about predicting technology five years in the future.
    15:00 Seriously, this is a REALLY long birdwalk of a question.
    15:48 Jeremy from Twitter wants to know, what’s the best 1:1 computing program for a High School where “take home” is NOT an option.
    19:21 Someone wants to know where Ben got his Captain America Halloween costume.
    21:02 Stump Pete!
    22:26 Can you give the definition of a tetrachord, and can you name a piece of music that uses one?
    You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter. Our professional Twitter accounts are Mattawan Learns and MCS Technology.
     

    • 1 sec
    Pedagogy Vs Technology

    Pedagogy Vs Technology

    This week Pete and Ben explore a growing question in the realm of educational technology; the role of pedagogy, and how it relates to technological change. Special thanks to Todd from Twitter for asking us the great question about trying to stay current with technology that prompted the discussion, and for the thoughtful educators that I get to work with everyday that understand the importance of balancing the needs of students and the classroom with the abilities of technology. We also address a number of district questions including how we're moving beyond our "Wifi Bus" pilot to expand Internet access to other busses, document camera compatibility for the new Mattawan Instructional Technology Stations the High School and Middle School will be receiving next year, and Pete gets another shot at answering some stump-worthy questions.
    Timestamps for this week's questions:
    1:15 How awesome is Pete’s day so far?
    2:50 Will teachers be able to easily connect document cameras to the new technology workstations for the high school and middle school next year?
    5:40 Todd from Twitter wants to know, how do you keep current with the ever changing nature of technology?
    8:53 Ben admits that he doesn’t keep current with all technology.
    11:30 Ben ponders if keeping current on pedagogy is better than keeping current on technology.
    12:19 Is there any news on the busses with wifi?
    13:43 We ran across some issues with internet miscreants bringing the school’s internet to its knees, unintentionally.
    15:42 Future plans for bus purchases with wifi.
    18:22 Stump Pete!
    19:24 JW wants to know, what is Pete’s home improvement project for the new home?
    You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter.

    • 1 sec
    Transforming Classrooms

    Transforming Classrooms

    We had a tremendous amount of excellent questions this week, and we tried to work through as many as we could, balancing out questions from within district and those coming from Twitter. We touched on upgrades to laptops, installation of new interactive projectors, and Pete got to actually work with students!
    We also had a thoughtful response to our discussion about cell phones in the classroom that we had in a previous episode. One of our high school teachers is taking a much more practical approach to student devices in the classroom and wanted to share his experiences. Realizing that not all learning activities will require the use of devices, but that students still wanted to have access to their music or phones while they work in groups or independently, he's devised a simple check at the end of each class to ensure that the students hit their learning targets and the devices didn't interfere with them being successful. It's an interesting take on the issue, as often many want to focus solely on the direct use of the device in as many lessons as possible, or completely restrict it as it can be too tempting. This teacher uses student devices as an incentive to work productively in a comfortable environment, and it's paid off very well for him!
    It would seem those asking questions are telepathic as we had a similar question from Twitter about using personal devices in the classroom, and another question dealing with creating transformative learning experiences with technology to empower students. While we didn't quite have the time to address this fully, it's right up our alley! Both Pete and Ben completed their Master's of Education through a program that required us to design, implement, and reflect on a large project that had global reach. We could have spent hours talking about how to go about creating learning environments with technology to help students see a "bigger" picture than just the four walls of the classroom, but we focused on advising any teacher to bring their passion into the classroom first. People can recognize when you're passionate about something, and doggedly pursuing an interest that fully engages students in the learning process that amplifies your passion for teaching will have a far greater impact on learning than trying to be "innovative" with a wide range of technologies. In short, be your best self and find a way for technology to amplify that; it will serve as the best possible model for students to see how they can in turn use technology to amplify their voices and efforts for learning.
    Timestamps for this week's questions:
    1:02 What has Pete been up to?
    1:10 Pete left his laptop at home!
    3:12 Pete got to work with students!
    3:40 A teacher in the district wants to know, should I upgrade to Mac OS X El Capitan?
    4:52 Brian wants to know, when will the Epson interactive projectors be installed in the Middle and High School?
    5:58 Nancy from Twitter wants to know, why can’t I use the device(s) I’m most comfortable with in my classroom?
    10:30 @kttasch from Twitter wants to know, what have you seen that transforms classroom instruction and enhances student voice, empowerment, and global citizenship?
    15:10 We revisit the conversation about cell phones in the classroom thanks to an email from one of our high school teachers.
    19:38 Stump Pete!
    20:56 Brian wants to know, solid state or tube amplifiers?
    You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter.

    • 1 sec
    Cells Phones in the Classroom?

    Cells Phones in the Classroom?

    Pete is back! And he's ready to tackle the hard questions about policy review, what makes him tick as a tech administrator, and cell phones in the classroom! Well, maybe only one of this is truly a difficult question to grapple with, but Ben enjoys the banter none the less. We finish up our list of questions from our high school that were compiled at the start of the school year, and talk about the advantages...and disadvantages of the use of cell phones in the classroom for learning. In fact, Ben highly recommends checking out an interesting piece from NPR about the rampant use, or rather misuse, of cell phones in college courses. We finish up the episode with Pete's philosophy on being a tech admin, and a question from JW that proves Pete truly has no regrets in life.
    Timestamps for this week's questions:
    2:25 What has Pete been up to?
    3:17 Ben is curious how much time a Tech Director spends reviewing policy.
    4:46 JW asks, has the final decision been made on the “teacher tech control stations”?
    10:04 What are the best methods of handling cell phone use in the classroom?
    15:15 Chris from Twitter wants to know, what’s important to you as an admin?
    16:34 Stump Pete!
    17:00 JW wants to know, what do you wish you had learned when you were younger?
    You can talk about the show or continue the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #TechDirectorChat or chatting up Ben (@techsavvyed) or Pete (@ppoggione) on Twitter.

    • 1 sec

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

SchoolTVmadeEasy ,

Fabulous Podcast for Educators and Admins!

As a middle school teacher in Amherst NY, I’ve been listening since episode 1 and look forward to each week’s new episode. Recently I’ve taken the jump into Administration and as a new Tech Director myself I appreciate this podcast even more, and hope to replicate this idea in our district too! Keep up the great work Pete and Ben, and please don’t take the summer off from podcasting!
—Rob Zdrojewski

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