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Bruce Mercer
Works at BISD
Attended Penn State
Lives in Bastrop, TX
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Bruce Mercer

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For Educators: Some ideas for you to explore if interested in our playlist of some of the features and techniques used on our new campus site ( There are demonstrations in the 3-clip playlist prepared for a staff inservice overview of the following ideas and techniques:

- embedding Google Docs with images and animations (like our Quick Links document), and links for direct editing the document right from the webpage in every embedded document
- adding a Google Calendar view which parents and students can copy to their own Google Calendars and which automatically posts events to both our Campus Twitter account and our Edlio calendar version
- creating a OneTab list of all collaborative embedded docs for staff to access, edit and/or comment on from one location
- embedding a photo tour slide with hotspots to various photo albums and slideshows
- creating a campus public photos drive for staff to upload images from their classroom projects and campus events for our guests to browse in categorized folders
- embedding a Staff Directory spreadsheet with links to each staff member's Google Site (from last year), Edlio site, classroom site, photo or profile, department, teaching assignments and 'True Color' personality type as well as links to the help guide for creating an Edlio site, our entire staff Picasaweb album, and a True Color calculator, so anyone can find their own
- creating a teachers resources page with help guides, a staff links directory (500+ categorized and searchable links), and video demo links
- adding campus newsletters with week-at-a-glance inputs from all subject areas in both Gdoc letter and Gsheet 'matrix' views along with STAAR vocabulary resources by subject area with preloaded mobile flashcard reviews 
- adding an athletics information page with all schedules (shared with coaches as editors for updates) and links to maps with directions to all opponent's locations available from anywhere on your visitors' phones

I hope you find something useful to you in these ideas :)
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New startup uses artificial intelligence to improve self-diagnosis and may soon eliminate the family doctor.
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Get ready to climb El Capitan, a 3,000 foot rock wall in Yosemite National Park, California. Climbers from all over the world come to climb El Capitan - its one of the most iconic in the world. Join legendary climbers Lynn Hill, Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell in a journey up the Nose.
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Future AI will be able to generate photos we need out of nothing. "IKEA revealed last year that 75% of their catalog photos are not real, but are instead entirely computer generated." "Facebook recently announced that it can generate photos that humans think are real 40% of the time."

"The implications are enormous. Publishing companies would never again need to hire photographers or license photos. Instead, a built-in algorithm would automatically generate photos based on the content of an article, even selecting the best placement and orientation using readership impact studies. E-commerce websites will be able to create thousands of product images, placing them in perfect environments and lighting without ever entering a photo studio."
What will we do with all the data we accumulate from photos? On a daily basis, Internet juggernauts like Google, Yahoo, Facebook or Microsoft use highly so
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Did you know you could IM a doodle of a weiner to your friends? You can!
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This will get you thinking...
Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is trying to answer a big question: Do we experience the world as it really is ... or as we need it to be? In this ever so slightly mind-blowing talk, he ponders how our minds construct reality for us.
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For educators: Some resources from this week's classes to explore if interested :)
This week's student reflection form ( you can see the background) includes a custom background which is intended to be informational as well as entertaining (since we've had some flooding issues recently in our area). Links to other resources of possible interest are included in the form and on our classroom site, which is now updated to an embedded Gdoc format (given the current Windows Live Writer issues):

I hope you'll check these out, find something useful and have a nice weekend!
Week20 Reflections Form - Spring 2015Please use this form to evaluate the applications we're using in class and to tell me how your week went! Rain gif: Thanks and have a great weekend!
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For educators: Just read this story on Quora and thought it would be excellent to share with students, especially those who are struggling. I highlighted the part for my students to show how endearing effort and dedication can be to a faculty (more so than raw talent).
Bruce Mercer's profile photoJokin Lacalle Usabiaga's profile photo
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For educators, food for thought...
Makes you think about what you're teaching...
Soon you won't have to sweat that teacher's website, in fact, not only will your site create itself, but it will probably even create the images you would like to go on it:
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Control which notifications you see under the bell icon - Google+, YouTube, or Google Photos

Three easy steps to select which notifications you want to see - the settings apply everywhere.

1. Click the bell icon
2. Click the gear on the upper left
3. Select which products you would like to see notifications for

Note: if you un-check any of those boxes, you will loose those notifications, and you won't see them listed under "previously read".

Disabling notifications under the bell should not change your email notification settings.

(h/t +Luiz Fernando for spotting this!)
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Google has changed the way in which you can keep on top of your privacy and security settings across its services in a bid to make it easier for users. The new 'My Account' page aims ...
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Our new principal in his first staff meeting with us yesterday offered the quote that "culture eats strategy" ...and that strategy includes technology. Perhaps a positive spin is that technology can empower those drawn to it (students, teachers, anyone), who can then in turn help-others/serve-as-role-models/improve-culture. If you watch students play video games in the same room together, they are very helpful and cooperative toward each other, especially in collaborative games working against a common foe. This is all definitely food for thought! Thanks for the link +Halina Ostankowicz-Bazan 
This exactly what I think.
The real obstacle is student motivation, and no gadget can create that.
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