The Ed Tech Pro Tool Belt is a series I am starting with the hopes of sharing the cool tools, tips and apps various Ed Tech pros use on a daily basis. I was inspired to do this after seeing similar series on various sites, such as the Lifehacker “how I work”. I have found it inspirational to read what professionals in various technology related fields use to accomplish their tasks. Not only do these posts offer a chance to learn techniques from colleagues, but can also serve as a archive of the skills that make the Ed Tech community so great. I will be tweaking and improving these posts as I go along, and I am always looking for feedback. If you are ever interested in being the “Ed Tech Pro Tool Belt” subject, please contact me!
The first Ed Tech Pro is not only a long time friend/colleague, but was also very helpful fine tuning this post. Thanks for everything, Guy!
Name: Guy Larcom
Position: eLearning Designer – Davenport University
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Twitter Handle: GuyCLarcom
Personal Blog/Website: guyclarcom.wordpress.com
Mobile Device: Apple iPhone 4
Tablet: iPad & Kindle Fire
Main Computer: Macbook Pro
What apps/tools/software could you not live without?
-Google Docs (I use all its features)
-Adobe Media Encoder
–Camtasia (Mac & PC)
What apps/tools/software have you repurposed from its original goal or end product? iPad, which we use as a teleprompter for creating instructional videos. Also Camtasia, which I use as a basic video editor and I love it (despite what many pros in video production say).
Share an Ed Tech tip! Learn Photoshop and learn HTML and CSS (the basics).
Favorite blogs, twitter handles or other resources from your Personal Learning Network: I enjoy reading the graphic (/r/graphic_design) and web design (/r/web_design) forums on Reddit to see what people are doing and using, and also for inspiration in my own work. Code School and Hack Design are two more resources I have begun to experiment with. I am hoping to start using them more for learning about design. Udacity is another great, free learning resource for the basics of computer science.
Best advice you have ever received: Not a specific quote, but I always try to learn something new everyday. I feel that in life we should never stop learning. If you find a passion later in life than others, it does not mean you cannot develop an understanding and even ability in the area. My mentor in college told me to learn Photoshop. It has been a god send and made it so I more easily learn other pieces of software. Photoshop truly is a crucial tool to know how to use (despite its price).
Is there anything else you would like to add that you think the Ed Tech community would enjoy/find useful? I do not think being a “techie” simply means using apps and tools. I think everyone who seeks to use technology as a medium for facilitating learning should try and get at least a basic knowledge of the backend of what they are using (the processes and work that goes into building them, coding, the existence of many programming languages) so that they can further maximize the potential of each tool and see where there are shortfalls. Knowing what you can do with the tool will help to critique its use and make it easier to see where it can be improved or does not fill its role.