Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Creating a Personal Website

This week I created a personal website to act as a quick introduction to myself, digital portfolio, and link to social media sites that I maintain a presence on. It took me a while to do this mostly because I had a hard time figuring out which service to create and host it on. I tried out, but that was more like a visual resume, not an everything-about-me website. Then I tried, but that was too simple and didn't allow me to include everything I wanted to include. Then I found SimpleSite, and felt that I found something simple, yet comprehensive enough to include everything I wanted to include. It wasn't the easiest website builder to use, but it satisfied my criteria.

You can view it here -

On this website you can learn a bit about me, my job, and my family. You can also connect with me on numerous social media sites. I also included links to the assignments and projects that I am most proud of creating from the previous 10 years in education. I hope you find it interesting, and more important, that it inspires you to improve as an educator!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Broadcasting Live Through Facebook!

This evening I did a first - I did a live broadcast within Facebook! In other words, I used my webcam and microphone to record and live stream myself interviewing my son. It was actually a lot easier to do than I thought. Within Facebook, all you have to do to live stream yourself is to click on "Live Video" where you normally post thoughts or links. And then you have the option of choosing whether your live stream is for the public, friends, family, or just yourself. I chose my Facebook friends because a few hours and minutes before the broadcast I let people know what we would be doing. Since I had previously attended a Facebook Live broadcast, I was already familiar with the format and how to interact with the viewers. So, before our broadcast, I asked viewers to submit any questions they might want me to add to the interview with my son. And two of my Facebook friends (both hundreds of miles away) submitted two, which I excitedly added to the questions.

For the interview itself, I brought my microphone and tested it in Garageband to make sure it worked, then did a test run 15min early with my son in Facebook Live to make sure everything worked as hoped. Since we had no problems and were even able to watch our live broadcast seconds after going offline, we knew it was going to work. We started live streaming 5 minutes early to catch any early birds and start getting warmed up with the interview. Then as friends and family started to view, we had fun with the interview and enjoyed adding a bunch of user-submitted questions, which I could view as people typed them. For me, it was a very fun experience seeing people join in and react to Cedar's responses, greet us, and submit questions.

I may do this again just for fun. But if I did, I think it would be more effective to have a more well-thought out topic to address rather than just random questions that don't relate completely with an audience. We usually didn't have more than 3 or 4 viewers at a time, and if I had advertised what was going to happen a day or two in advance that involved a topic near and dear to my Facebook friends, then I think we could have had more participation. But it was a good learning experience that I would definitely recommend to anyone else!

On a side note, we started this Facebook Live session off by saying "Duckett Live Channel 5." That was because I had made a few videos under that heading years ago before my wife and I had kids. If you want to be entertained with some silly "news" clips from years past, check out this video and more...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Attending a Live Webcast

On July 26, I attended a Facebook Live BYOD Discussion with Christina Capiotis. The link for viewing it is -

Here are my thoughts on this event: 

Strengths: Facebook Live is easy to connect to & invite friends because it is all done through Facebook. I'm guessing it is just as easy to broadcast as it is to view a broadcast.
Weaknesses: The only way viewers could communicate or respond to the broadcaster was by clicking a few emojis or typing something. In other words, the viewer can’t speak or use their webcam to participate, like Google Hangouts or Zoom would allow.

I think I will participate in future Facebook Live shows because I’m on Facebook occasionally and if the topic is interesting or relevant to me, I’ll tune in.

One way this type of webcast could be used in my classroom is if I befriend someone on Facebook that is a professional in a field that could educate my students about a particular career or someone who could share an inspirational story. I could then have my students submit questions for me to type to the speaker and/or write thoughts or things learned during the presentation.

To take this idea a bit further, I think it would be really neat to have my students broadcast to a specific audience about something they’re learning in class or present a project they’ve completed. This would give them an authentic audience, which would motivate them to do a better job and practice and prepare to do their best.

Photo-A-Day Challenge Wrap-up

Doing a photo-a-day challenge for 7 days was a unique experience. I appreciated how easy Blogger made it to do so, since all I had to do was take a photo with my phone, then open the Blogger app, type a sentence about the photo and upload it. I could see this as a useful way to document a field trip for parents and students to view as it happens or after the fact. It could also be a supplemental activity for a student to do if taking a vacation during school time. They could use Blogger like an online journal so that the rest of us could view what they were experiencing and learning on their trip.

If I was to do something like this for personal reasons, I would probably just post things to my Facebook page since that is a little bit faster than Blogger, and I would know who would have access to what I'm posting. Plus, I would most likely post pictures or video from family vacations anyways.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017