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Just a Few Minutes

As part of the #CompelledTribe my charge this week was to share some form of technology that I use at work. But, as I rack my brain I can not think of anything to contribute that hasn’t already been written about by other members of my amazing PLN.

While at school I attempt to take as many photos as I can with my iPhone, but some days I only snap one or two. I often do many loops around the building and when I sit down in my office for a brief minute I may check my Twitter notifications. I rarely send tweets out during the day because I feel like my time is best spent on other tasks.

This is not to imply that those that do tweet out during the school day are doing something wrong. I simply don’t have the attention span and to be quite honest, the wireless connection in my school is very poor and sending out tweets from my phone or iPad is not possible in most places. What I will often do is email the photos that I have taken on my phone to myself and then I can tweet them out after the students leave for the day.

Staff at my school are starting to dip their toes in the technology pool and this has been exciting. Many staff members are using the Remind app to better communicate with parents and guardians. Our principal is using this app as a way to get messages to staff before and after school hours.

Also, in the last few weeks about 10-15 staff members have joined Twitter. One staff member (@scotfeld62) has even been so ambitious as to take the 30 day blogging challenge. He has told me that he is currently addicted and he can’t wait to get home each day to blog and check his Twitter feed. His mentor, a fellow 5th grade teacher, has actually signed up for @EdCampBmore. I haven’t even attended an Edcamp yet! I must point out that I will be attending @EdCampUNY in October and I can’t wait!

So you have learned about how my staff and I are trying to become more connected, but I doubt that I have given you anything that you didn’t already have. And I still might not. But here goes nothing.

Voxer is so cool.

“Totally awesome!”

I apologize, but Fast Times at Ridgemont High is one of my favorite movies of all time and Sean Penn’s Spicoli, well, brilliant is all I can say.

My technology tip has to do with how you use this free app. I have found that when I am heading to the store to pick up milk, waiting at a red light or maybe on my one minute commute to school, I am able to vox several members of my PLN.

I can ramble.

I can say the same thing several times.

“It just doesn’t matter.” (words made famous by Bill Murray’s legendary Meatballs speech)

Here’s the cool part.

I have no idea when the person I voxed will respond. Sometimes it may be that day. Other times it may be a week later. Either way it is like an unexpected gift!

Just to get a quick vox from a member of your PLN can make your day.

Well one morning last week I received three voxes in the span of an hour. From folks that I respect and admire very much. My wife and kids had left for school and I was eating breakfast and mentally preparing for the day. I was actually feeling a little tired and wasn’t as psyched as I should have been for the day that I was about to face.

But when those voxes came.

One right after the other.

Positive energy!

I could hear it in the tone of their voice!

These folks love what they do!

And so do I!

I was now ready for the day!

Thanks to three short voxes from folks I have never even been in the same room with.

Sign up tonight!

It’s free!

It’s fun!

And you can do it anytime during the day that you have an extra minute or two.

You wait.

I promise you when you get those voxes it will be like unwrapping a gift that you weren’t expecting.

Once you do, look me up.

I can be found at jharpe3658 .










4 comments on “Just a Few Minutes

  1. I feel very lucky to work where we have a good wifi connection throughout most all of our building. It makes it easy to tweet the great things teachers and students are doing while visiting a classroom. Voxer is new for a lot of people, and for some they see it as “one more thing.” I’m like you – I see value in hearing the enthusiasm, concern, and passion in others’ voices. Love the point about getting a “surprise gift’ via Voxer. It’s sort of like getting a care package! 🙂

  2. Lisa Meade says:

    Jon, You are most certainly one of my most favorite voxes. You make me smile. This post does too.

  3. We’re on the same wavelength this week, Jon. It’s so important to be able to connect with other leaders because it can sometimes feel like we are floating on our own little island, a comparison that I hear often. Voxer gets us off that island, and it’s so much more personal than texting and tweeting. I’m with you – getting a Vox is like a little professional gift that I look forward to each day. Great post!

  4. Keith Howell says:

    Jon, thanks for the post. I will need to check Voxer out one of these days. I always like your movie references too. So many cool things out there to support educators. Thanks!

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