This afternoon I gave a presentation to a small group at the Oregon SHAPE conference in Bend. If you were there or you’re curious about what I talked about, take a look at the slides embedded below.
I’ve been using Google Slides for as long as it has been available to the public (10+ years). In the early days it was a pretty bare bones product. Today, there are lots of things that you can do with it besides making presentations. Here are five interesting ways to use Google Slides in your classroom.
Create a Jeopardy-style Game
Design a Mobile App
Create Printable and Online Storyboards
Publish Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Stories
Create and Publish Interactive Diagrams
A couple of months ago I started significantly limiting my time on Facebook. I removed the app from my phone and installed the Stay Focusd browser extension to limit myself to ten minutes per day. If it wasn’t for needing to feed the Facebook beast for work, I wouldn’t even need the ten minutes.
One of the benefits of quitting Facebook has been finding more time to read books and in-depth newsletters that I previously just scanned through. Here’s what I’ve been reading over the last two months.
The Joy of Search
The Joy of Search is Dan Russell’s new book about how to do in-depth internet research. Much like his blog, SearchReSearch, the book is written as a series of story-based and image-based search challenges that Dan explains how to solve. I’ve been following Dan’s work for more than a decade. I’ve used his approach to teaching search with my own students and colleagues over the years. It’s nice to see some of Dan’s “greatest hits” in book form.
Like most working professionals, I have a typical mutual fund laden retirement portfolio and a few individual stock holdings. A few years ago I started to learn about options trading as a way to benefit from rapid fluctuations in the stock market. Understanding Options was the first book that read on the topic and I’m revisiting right now.
By the way, I’ve done okay with the few options contracts that I’ve traded, but I’m not going to be a talking head on CNBC anytime soon.
Ready for Rain
Ready for Rain isn’t a book, it’s a weekly newsletter written by Lee LeFever. His weekly newsletter is all about the transition of selling a house in the city (Seattle) and moving to an island with his wife and dogs. Many of the recent installments are about the process of designing and building a house.
What Are You Reading?
I’d love to hear what you’re reading. Please leave a comment.
I love going for long bike rides. Anything less than 50 miles is considered short in my book. But I only get to ride for that long once a week. The rest of the week is made up of some training sessions on an indoor bike or some shorter outdoor workouts. Usually, I don’t mind the trainer, but the last couple of weeks have been a bit boring.
Challenge of the Week
When exercise gets boring or it feels as if you’re stuck in a rut, it might be a good time to mix it up and try something new for a day or two. Avoid that rut by trying some new exercises/ exercise routines this week. For me, that’s going to be going for a trail run a couple of times this week. For you it might mean giving a yoga class, spin class, or body flow class a try. Whatever it is, try something new this week.
Updates on Earlier Challenges
Last week a handful of folks used the 5×20 challenge tracker. I’m going to keep that running for anyone who is using it or for anyone who wants to get started with it.
Earlier this month I shared the challenge of giving up or cutting back on social media use. I’ve been Facebook free (almost) for a month now. Here are five things I’ve learned from the experience. If you’ve tried giving up or cutting back on social media use, I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.
Last month I decided to give up Facebook except for a few minutes each day to post things to the various pages that I maintain for work. I signed out of Facebook on my phone and installed the Stay Focusd Chrome extension to limit myself to ten minutes per day of Facebook time. Here’s what I’ve learned about Facebook and myself over the last month of not using Facebook.
Facebook Makes It Hard to Quit Facebook
As the manager of Facebook business pages I can schedule Facebook posts to appear at later times. I usually schedule Facebook posts on Thursday or Friday to appear over the weekend. So the first weekend that I went without Facebook I didn’t post anything or log into my account. On Monday morning Facebook sent me an email notifying me of 38 updates that I “might have missed.” These weren’t updates from my pages, they were updates from my friends about their dogs, cats, kids, and political rants.
Scrolling Isn’t Reading or Learning
Sure, I can follow some interesting pages about my favorite topics and I might pick up a few tidbits here and there, but that’s not nearly as effective as just Googling a topic of interest, going directly to an informative website, reading a book, or diving into a message board that is dedicated to a topic. I’ve gotten a lot more out of my time by going directly to topics of interest than scrolling through Facebook posts that are loosely associated to topics of interest.
I Can Read More Books
I’ve finished three books in the last month by simply picking them up and reading a page or two at those times that I might have scrolled through Facebook.
Fewer Moments of Melancholy and Annoyance
Those of us who are prone to bouts of being melancholy aren’t helped by scrolling through Facebook. Even if it’s done subconsciously we’re making comparisons to others and to ourselves. That’s not good.
No one has ever been convinced to change his/her mind about politics based on a Facebook meme. Not seeing those has reduced the number of times that I’ve been annoyed about things that I can’t control.
Lots of Other Ways to Waste Time
I’ve found that there are plenty of other ways to waste time. But at least now I’m making a conscious choice to read a book or browse stock charts when I should be completing a work task.
All in all, giving up Facebook has made me think about how I use my time during the day. It’s also let me look at the world around me with the wide eyes that I had before Facebook came along.