March 30, 2019

2019 House of #EdTech Final Four - HoET130

2019 House of #EdTech Final Four - HoET130

The OG #edtech tool tournament is back! It's Year SIX! Enjoy...

Feedback, Shoutouts, and Links

#EdTech Thought

Do we need gurus and experts?

  • I’ve seen a lot of push back on social media lately about those many of us see as experts in the world of education. You know many of the names. You follow them on Twitter, you participate in their chats, you’ve bought their books and read their blogs.
  • The push back I’m seeing and reading has to do with so many of these people not currently working in classrooms anymore. They taught for X years and now they’ve moved into training and consulting roles. Many own their own businesses or have moved into the private sector of education.
  • I’m not convinced that this is entirely a bad thing. I will say I get annoyed by the constant barrage of social media posts that have been crafted to be shared endlessly. The difference now is that people are calling people out on it. I guess in a sense I am doing that right now.
  • There is a part of me that is jealous too. Before I started this podcast I was just another teacher. I didn’t choose this profession for fame and fortune. Do more people know me now than a few years ago? 100%. I haven’t leveraged anything I’m doing for anything other than learning from others and sharing my perspective.
  • Some people see me as an education podcasting go to. Many more don’t even know I exist. That’s fine. I value those that know me and I value you as a listener. But I wouldn’t poopoo having 100k followers on Twitter and also get 10s of 1000s downloads on each episode of the podcast.
  • I guess that the gurus are doing what makes them happy. Who knows why people truly leave the classroom? Obviously, the original plan wasn’t to teach for 5 years, write a book, and develop a product to sell. That’s the kind of thing that might come to a person over time.
  • Have some experts shifted towards sell, sell, sell? Yeah, they have. But that’s their job. We shouldn’t begrudge someone for making a living, supporting their family, and being successful.
  • I say God bless the future-ready, the pirates, ditchers, cult leaders, casters, hackers, and other branded consultants and gurus of the education world. Do I agree with everything these people do and say? No. I question a lot of what’s said and how it’s said. Not because I’m jealous or envious but because it’s important to ask questions. Not everything an Edu celebrity touches turns to gold and should not be taken as Gospel. Have you’re own thought and learn what you can from as many people as you can.
  • Each of us needs to focus on what’s important to each of us. Maybe it’s your students. Your school or your district. Maybe it’s booking that next keynote speech or the next manuscript for your next book. Do what you love and love what you do.
  • If you’re not doing what you love, change what you’re doing. If you are doing what you love then make it count.
  • Connect with people who truly provide you with value and make sure you’re putting value into the world.

Featured Content

2019 HOET Final Four!

  • GetVokl
    • What is GetVokl?
    • GetVokl is a live-video community platform. According to their website, they are dedicated to bringing back the human element to social media by connecting real people around real conversations and inspiring content.
    • GetVokl was built for Creators, Bloggers, Podcasters, Influencers, Advocates, Fans, Conversationalists, Writers, Artists, Publishers, Journalists to create interactive talk content and engage live with their fans. It’s all about creating a community around the content you love. 
    • Host a conversation with up to 4 people. Broadcast solo content. Run a participant-driven broadcast.
    • You can stream your broadcast to Facebook, Periscope, and YT at the same time
    • You can record your broadcast and download the video or just the audio.
    • I’ve done one broadcast as of this recording but I do want to find time to create relevant broadcasts and streams.
    • I’ve written a blog post that I will link to in the show notes and I’ve embedded the video I did in the post so I invite you to check it out.
    • Cost – FREE!
  • StreamYard
    • Another streaming tool that allows you to live stream to your Facebook profile, a Facebook group, or a YouTube channel.
    • If you use StreamYard for free you’re limited to streaming to one destination. If you pay for either of their paid plans you can connect your stream to a site like and push your broadcast out to multiple sites at the same time.
    • SY allows you to invite people to join your broadcast like GetVokl. Right now though SY does have a screen sharing feature that you can use to share your screen into your stream. I recently used SY for a live broadcast and taping of Central City Underground, which is a Flash TV Show Fan Podcast that I co-host.
  • Discord
    • All-in-one voice and text chat for gamers that’s free, secure, and works on both your desktop and phone. 
    • The wonder child of Skype and TeamSpeak
    • Hugely popular in the world of gaming and streaming.
    • But also useful for the education I think.
    • A free discord server could be set-up for the faculty of the school to communicate and collaborate and get messages out.
    • A discord server could also be used to connect a class with its ability to have channels and roles for participants. While this wouldn’t be possible for younger students I think this technology could be leveraged in grades 7-12.
    • This could be the next platform that we as adults invade and make valuable.
    • A discord server could also be set-up for your PLN.
    • I’ve created a House of #EdTech discord server that I’ve been sitting on. Listen to the episode to find out more!
  • OBS
    • The main theme of this edition of the HOET FF has been streaming and building community. This last tool will simply help you look good.
    • Open Broadcast Software (OBS) is a free program (W/M) that lets you build more into the video you record or live stream.
    • Paid programs would be Wirecast or XSplit.
    • With OBS you get High-performance real-time video/audio capturing and mixing. Create scenes made up of multiple sources including window captures, images, text, browser windows, webcams, capture cards, and more.
    • Set up an unlimited number of scenes you can switch between seamlessly via custom transitions.
    • Streamlined Settings panel gives you access to a wide array of configuration options to tweak every aspect of your broadcast or recording.
    • Set hotkeys for nearly every sort of action, such as switching between scenes, starting/stopping streams or recordings, muting audio sources, push to talk, and more.
    • Studio Mode lets you preview your scenes and sources before pushing them live. Adjust your scenes and sources or create new ones and ensure they’re perfect before your viewers ever see them.


House of #EdTech VIP

COURTNEY WATSON – Campus Instructional Technologist – Conroe Independent School District, Conroe, TX where she creates and presents training sessions using instructional technology tools that support learning goals. Courtney provides technology instruction and support for teachers and students.

She also manages the technology orientation of new campus staff and maintains campus equipment. Courtney also collaborates with the campus administration and the technology team for the planning, acquisition, and implementation of all campus technology resources.

Courtney also maintains the campus website and serves as a campus communicator for the district.







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