Category Archives: Arizona

Ed-Tech grows – and grows up

It might be shocking that while state education budgets shrink, Education Technology or Ed-Tech is on the upswing. Many of them are free, though the full-blown versions are quite affordable. Here are my favorites:

Padlet_SRE_STEM-Night2014Padlet – a collaboration and aggregation tool that feels like a website. What’s even clever isit lets you export that page as an image file, PDF, csv file; you could email it as well. I’ve written about it before here, since I use it as an events page for STEM, robotics, and even to submit a project for a class at a community college.

LinoIT – a canvas, with sticky notes that is a bit like Padlet, but acts like a bulletin board, rather than a website. Perfect for students! For added convenience, you could add a sticky note to your Lino page by emailing it to the page!

Voki – a way to create an avatar that could speak on your behalf, or tell a story!  You could set up a classroom that uses it, or use it to make an announcement! So many uses for this, especially if you want to open up a discussion about animation.

Story Jumper – a simple way to teach students what e-books are like, and more importantly what publishing involves.

PollEverywhere – I love the way it lets you create pop quizzes, to get class responses on the fly. Few schools allow mobile devices in class (mine too) but that’s easily overcome by pushing a link to all computers and have students click on answer choices.

Suddenly Ed-Tech beginning to look like the 2010 all over again, when ‘social’ was the flavor du jour.

(A bit of good news: The global Ed Tech and Smart Classrooms market is expected to grow from $43.27 Billion in 2015 to USD 93.76 Billion in 2020 –an annual growth rate of 16.7%  from 2015 to 2020.)

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Posted by on September 3, 2015 in Arizona, Ed-Tech, Education


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Great reporters don’t wither (when temperature rises)

I’m not talking of reporters coming under fire on dangerous missions. I’m talking about keeping up the communication when all hell breaks loose in front of you, and you’re on camera.

Take a look at how Phoenix-based Fox 10 News reporter Cory McCloskey handled an arguably hot situation. Cory is a weather reporter on the field. Apparently, in this instance in-studio, the weather map went berserk. The data on the map I mean. I won’t give it away – watch!

By chance I met Cory last week, when he came to my school to do a live weather report, and yes, the man has a great sense of humor. (It involves coffee and solar energy, if you’re interested.)

The above video clip (viewed more than 4 million times as of today) is the stuff that ought to be used in Journalism school. I’m sure my friends in Ahwatukee might not laugh so hard, because we folk in the Chandler area were not subject to his satire.

Mr. McCloskey: I wish there was a sub-category in the Pulitzers (under ‘Explanatory Reporting’ maybe?) that is awarded for humor, and not missing a beat.

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Posted by on April 30, 2015 in Arizona, Journalism, Media


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Visit by US Secretary of Interior to my class

Exciting morning yesterday with the visit of Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell to our school.

Sec. Jewell was kicking off to the Obama administration’s ‘Listening Tour’ in Arizona, visiting Native American schools and communities. She devoted a good part of her talk to stress the importance of science, in the four STEM areas. “I am the ‘E’ in STEM,” she said.

As part of her tour she stopped by my class to hear about the robotics program.

One of my students in robotics, who happens to be the president of the student council, explained our program and research projects.

Some media coverage, below.


Cronkite News, ASU

KJZZ Story – Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Begins Native Youth Listening

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Posted by on February 11, 2015 in Arizona, Education, Robotics


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Win a free copy of Chat Republic. Send your question to @IABCPhoenix

Angelo Fernando - Chat Republic

It’s been just 3 months since my book Chat Republic launched in the U.S., and there are some interesting developments that obviously did not get discussed:

  • The raison d’être and privacy issues over dating games such as Tinder
  • The flurry over crypto-currency‘ (BitCoin)
  • The hashtag ‘noise’ emanating from every possible event (such as the Bieber-crazy #Beliebers)

What burning question do you have about where social media is taking us? I’m speaking at an IABC Phoenix event tomorrow

Post your question to @IABCPhoenix and @heyangelo

If your question is picked, you’ll receive a free copy of Chat Republic. 

(You don’t need to be atending the event to win!)


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Upcoming Event with IABC – Making Social Media More Human

With so much wrap-around social media in our lives (in cars, at work, while dining, and every space in-between) I often wonder if what we are doing is really “communicating.”

You tell me!

Between the ‘Likes’ (yes, the controversy seems to have grown bigger) re-tweets, text chats, instant messages, video responses and check-ins, are we adding more noise than knowledge?

In February, I will be speaking to members of IABC-Phoenix, at their monthly lunch meeting. Specifically about some issues featured in my book, Chat Republic:

  • How do we deal with this new Web 2.0 world in our organizations? How do we accept the loss of control of our messaging, even as we have more channels through which to transmit and manage them?
  •  How might one put this thing we call social media into perspective –looking at history, including those quaint exchanges we once called ‘chats,’ at diplomacy and even street activism, at patient communities and some forms of asymmetric communication?
  • Why we need more antennas than amplifiers in this noisy world
  • What curation, podcasting, crowd sourcing, “media snacking” and civic journalism are all about, and where they might be headed
  • How to be Human 1.0 in a Web 2.0 world and why there’s a need for a new breed of storytellers, content curators and community managers

When: Feb 20th, 2014
Time: 11:30 am
Where: University Club of Phoenix, 39 E. Monte Vista, Phoenix, AZ 85004

Registration details here.

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Posted by on January 16, 2014 in Arizona, Book, Chat Republic


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Launching Chat Republic – Today in the US

Angelo Fernando - Chat RepublicIt’s finally happening. My book, Chat Republic, launches today at an event in Arizona.

Venue: Gangplank, Chandler

Time:   6 – 8 pm

A panel discussion on social media.

Chat Republic - Panel Discussion at Launch - Gangplank, Chandler ArizonaWe will be live streaming the event here:

Updated: Panel discussion on privacy and over-sharing in a social media era.
Panel:    Dan Wool, Len Gutman, and on my left, Derrick Mains

Live streaming video by Ustream


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Robotics Club kicks off at Salt River Elementary

A few months ago I never thought I’d be taking on the mantle of coach of a Robotics club.

Well, that day has come!

Today, we kicked off the first meeting of the Robotics Club at Salt River Elementary School. I’m honored to be working with Dr. Bill Johnson, who could probably build one of these amazing bots (to call it a toy is an insult!) in the dark, with one arm tied behind his back.

For all those who despair about kids today being more taken up by computer games than reading and writing, I have news for you.

Salt River Elementary School, Team TitansLast year’s school team, ‘The Titans,’ (students between the ages of 9 and 11) researched the basic conditions and consequence of diabetes, then proceeded to build a robot using mathematical calculations to send it off on a ‘mission’ to solve the problem. They were so good at it and their mission was so well thought out, that they went on to represent the school at the world championships in St. Louis, Missouri.

Care to know more about this? Check out this story.  ASU also featured it here.

Today, we showed parents what humans could do to robots. I talked of the several robots we have taken for granted. Yes, you may have heard of HAL and Roomba.

But not many people have heard of Jason (doing oceanographic studies) DaVinci (performing robotic heart surgery, left), Predator (the drone, of course), Hobo (the fearless robots that disarms explosives),  Dante II (the 990 pound, eight-legged robot built to monitor volcanoes), Kurt (the sewer inspector in Germany).

But more importantly than what humans do to robots is what robots do to humans -the interdisciplinary field of robotics helps us step outside our boundaries, and rethink what seemed impossible.

Here’s one of the smart robots that Dr. Johnson has created. It responds to sound and touch. But, as he notes, that’s only scratching the surface of what these kids are capable of doing.



Posted by on September 1, 2011 in Arizona, Education, Robotics, Social Media


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