“Change Happens at the Speed of Trust” – #STEAMConf14

March 29, 2014 Leave a comment


One of the more profound quotes I have heard in quite awhile. Not only did I have the pleasure of attending the first ASCEND Conference at Qualcomm yesterday, I was honored to guest tweet for the hosting organization @steamconnect. As the social media guest for the day, I tried to capture events as they were happening and quotes that were meaningful for me. The one message that stood out for me was brought up by Denise Grande who quoted an employee of Boeing in her presentation, “Change happens at the speed of trust.

There were an array of presentations yesterday representing policy makers, educators, industry, non-profits, research, and even students. In my opinion, the students of EastLake High School dance team were definitely one of the big successes in the entire conference. While I won’t go into all the details of each speaker (you can check my @steamconnect tweets), the overall message was to continue to challenge all of us to work together in defining, advocating, researching and implementing STEAM education. A noble cause that aligns with my belief in intersecting the Arts with STEM education.

The positive energy was palpable with the many different STEAM stakeholders, and you left the day with plenty of hope. It was inspiring yet also left me asking more questions. For me, this often happens at conferences where we bring “like minds” together and, for the most part, we are preaching to the choir. Replete with inspiration, we then go back to our separate worlds and face immediate challenges that stray us from what inspired us in the first place. For some, it pushes us to work even harder; for others, it is deflating. Yet the quote above leaves me with hope that change can happen despite the challenges. We just have to adjust the lens and begin with something more simple. Building and maintaining trust is the prerequisite to change.

Post for another day, but keeping my thoughts on this subject of change: F3 (Find the Found First)

The funny part is that it brings me back to the conference where I have met all the found. Now the challenge is to connect the found with everyone else. There was a great quote from Ed Hidalgo from Qualcomm: “How do you aspire for something that you don’t know exists?” I thank @steamconnect again for the opportunity and will continue to collaborate with the many innovative and creative people who attended the ASCEND Conference yesterday. Change takes time and it all begins with building relationships with each other. I look forward to connecting with many of you.

My other favorite quote from yesterday: “We can teach our workforce to write code, what we need is employees to imagine what we need to write code for.” -Grande

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I Am Going to Like School…

November 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I Am Going to Like School… by Howard Chan

I am going to like school…when I can bring my own tool, like my mobile device which will make my learning twice as nice!

I am going to learn better…when I am not lectured forever, PowerPoint included…which often leaves me convoluted.

I am going to write deeper…when my audience is more than just a teacher, like blogging on the web, which is more widespread.

I am going to understand math…once I follow a personalized path, where playing a manipulative, creating a video and interactive game are part of the aim.

I am going to like my class…when web 2.0 will surpass, where old ways of passive learning is overturning.

I am going to like my teacher…when he is much more than a preacher, where being a guide on the side give us more pride and makes me feel more alive.

I am going to complete my homework…when it evolves from just paperwork, where projects are the norm and worksheets are old form.

I am going to read with more passion…when traditional textbooks are no longer in fashion, where wikis, tweets, and rss feeds are considered quality reads.

I am going to pass this state test, even though I contest, wondering when all this political nonsense will finally be put to rest.

I am going to experience science…when we go beyond standards compliance, where projects, inquiry, and a real experiment makes our class filled with merriment.

I am going to relive history…when scripted lessons are no longer a mystery, where theatre, field trips, and debates create an environment that stimulates.

I am going to ask more questions and collaborate with suggestions, be an active learner developing 21st century skills and leaving behind all those boring rote drills.

I dream of an education, where I am not bounded by location, when students, teachers, and classes all over the world are connected as one learning nation!

I am going to like school…

Creative Commons License
Socratech Seminars by Howard Chan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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EdJoin: Educational Technology Specialist

Educational Technology Specialist

Apply Here: bit.ly/14V6GP8 

Job Description


  • Support and nurture a culture of learning, collaboration, and love.
  • Increase educational technology capacity through sharing of instructional best-practices, developing curriculum, professional development, coaching, and co-teaching in order to support 21st century learning.
  • Design and build frameworks, plans, and programs to infuse 21st century learning into the Common Core curriculum and produce 3rd level outcomes: strategies to include cross-curricular STEaM and Humanities, blended learning, online learning, and project-based strategies.
  • Develop and share expertise in the following technology tools: Google Apps for Education, PowerTeacher, Data Director, Edmodo, Scientific Learning Fast ForWord, Study Island, Accelerated Reader, Haiku LMS, iPads/iPods, Promethean IWB’s and other relevant digital tools as needed.
  • Create and manage content via a learning management system and/or other sharing platforms to develop lessons, courses and assignments for students.
  • Actively participate in ongoing professional development and research in educational technology strategies, tools, and frameworks.
  • Execute administrative tasks around documentation, data reports, organization, and project management on various technology initiatives.
  • Provide customer service and tech support for end users. Troubleshoot software and hardware and all related components and peripherals.
  • All other duties assigned by the Director of Technology.

Skills and Qualifications:

Candidate must:

  • Have experience researching, using, and monitoring the effectiveness of Educational Technology software programs.
  • Have extensive knowledge on how to successfully integrate educational technology tools into the learning environment, as well as analyze data and communicate results.
  • Demonstrate an aptitude for facilitating engaging EdTech professional development trainings using a wide variety of multimedia tools.
  • Understand the connections between various information data systems utilized in an education environment and how each impacts student learning.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manage students in a blended learning/project-based environment that utilizes different technological modalities.
  • Have experience troubleshooting basic computer operations.
  • CA Clear Teaching Credential and Google Apps certification are a plus.
  • 3+ years as a K-12 classroom teacher is a plus.
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Google Apps Summit at SDCOE

January 26, 2013 Leave a comment

ImageOur team is very excited to present at the next Google Apps Summit at the San Diego County Office for Education. We will be presenting at 10am on Google Scripts on Monday, January 28th. It has been an endeavor we have been working over the last few months. Leveraging the power of Google Scripting, we have developed or in the process of developing applications that support academic, operations, and administration systems in our Google Apps for Edu domain. Hope to see you there!

iPad, iPad Mini, iPod Touch Pricing Challenge

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

When I first heard rumors of the iPad mini, I immediately asked myself how much this device will cost. I definitely see schools jumping at the opportunity to bring iOS devices at a lower price point than the $499 and up regular iPad. However, when I read rumors on the suggested pricing on the new iPad mini ($249), it lead to another question, what will happen to the price of the iPod Touch. Currently, the new iPod touch starts at $299 (32GB) and can go up to $399 (64GB). Yes, the new iPod Touch will have the retina display and the supposed iPad mini will not, but does that justify pricing the iPod Touch more than the iPad mini. With the release of the iPad Mini, they will really be releasing an in the middle version of the iPad and iPod Touch. I just hope Apple strategically prices it as such…what I really want is the iPod Touch to go down in pricing to about $100-150. My elementary students and teachers would love that pricing entry point. Maybe Apple will make an 8GB or 16GB version of iPod Touch to retail lower. We shall see…

Checkout TeachSupport Blog

September 4, 2012 Leave a comment

It has been awhile since I last posted an entry on my blog. It is one of those peaks in my workload where I am in full operations mode and have very little time for reflection. In lieu of my lack of effort, I would like to highlight a new blog that is providing valuable insight in education called TeachSupport. I highly recommend visiting the site. Happy Reading!

From the About page of TeachSupport:

TeachSupport facilitates reflection and collaboration around practical issues in pedagogy.  Our mission is to support teacher development, particularly that of educators new to the profession, by supporting continuous improvement. We believe that the most meaningful professional development happens when teachers are (1) empowered to explore aspects of their own practice, (2) acquire new knowledge and resources, and (3) actively apply best practices within a supportive community of educators.  Based out of a charter network in San Diego, TeachSupport delivers quality professional development to support teachers and students alike.

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Thoughts on Social Media back in 2003: My Friendster Experience

I had a case of nostalgia last night after watching Slumdog Millionaire, and I decided to revisit my original blog that I started in 2003. It is striking to read not only my rudimentary writing skills, but also my naive view of life and technology. Below was an interesting take on social media back in 2003.

Friday, May 30, 2003

Friendster: This is my topic of the day. I was invited to join this new concept by a friend of mine, hence the name friendster. At first I thought it was just some chat room similar to AOL instant messenger, so I really didn’t want to bother with it. However, with some idle time at work these days, I took the time and registered an account with this website. Instantly I was connected to my good friend and her friends. Wow, what a novel idea, a way to connect with friends and their friends. But during that same epiphany, I also realized this is kind of hoke, and that this application was just another concoction to display in a non-personal method, how cool and popular an individual can be? Is it really a public forum to show how many friends you have under your “friend’s box”? How superficial can this be? I will be the first to admit, that I was enamored and caught up with the idea of trying to claim as many friends. It almost sounds kind of surreal, as if your friends are possessions that belong in this so called “friend’s box”. I mean, this application really is not that new, we all have AOL and email accounts. Just email your friends if you want to talk to them, why use their “send a message” feature. Once again, I’ll be the first to admit that I was a victim of all this too. Does anyone really ask to hook them up with their friend’s friend using this application? That is what the real world is for, go out and meet up with your friends. Your friend will know if you are right for one of their other friends. You don’t need this hoke application to do that. Well, maybe I am just jealous because I only have 16 friends in my box, where some people have 50-500 friends. Maybe people are correct, they are cooler because they have more friends in their “friend’s box”. For me, it is not the number of friends, but rather the quality of that friendship.

But hey, I am just a critic, and probably will still check out the site once in awhile. Okay maybe a few times a week. One thing is for certain; I will view this site in a different light. I will no longer be caught up in this race of asking people to be my friend. If they are truly my friend, I certainly will not need friendster to tell me that.


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