Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Using old technology in a new way

One of my favorite lessons is one I do for Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Years ago I made a video of me reading the story in character and basically making a bit of a mess out of it. I then played myself telling the story and talking back and forth to the television. It was for an education class I was taking at the time. The tape went forgotten for about 20 years until I re-discovered it and digitized it. Now I play it on one of my old Predictas which I call my "Long ago and Far Away" machine and pretend to be doing a "teleconference." The kids are amazed to watch me talk to a younger version of myself while I tell the story. Trouble is, I can only do it once!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

TCEA Honor

I just found out this week that I was selected as a finalist for the Texas Computer Education Association Library Media Specialist of the year! I will be going to Austin the first week in February to find out if I won. My wife and I are also presenting at this conference. If you would like to find out more about this conference go to:


Monday, January 5, 2009

Dallas Morning News Article

The Dallas Morning news recently interviewed me for an article they were doing on Teachertube. I thought it was really good and got the word out about using online videos. You can read it here:

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My Predicta Televisions

Among some of the strangest things I am interested in might be my Predicta televisions. These were built by Philco in the late 1950's. I have three of them, two are restored. I think they are beautiful pieces of art that are also functional. I wish that such thought went in to our electronic design today. I use one of them at school as a "teleconference" machine to communicate with characters from "long ago and far away." The kids are fascinated by the look. Here is a shot of my Siesta model. This one has a built in clock:

My favorite is the Pedestal model. This model has a beautiful wooden case and a 21 inch screen. The screens on all models turn. The necks and the brackets around the picture tube are brass. These televisions are difficult to restore because they had a lot of problems and run very hot, but I was fortunate enough to have a couple of real pros restore my electronics. I bought my Pedestal late one night on ebay for about $300. It needed a little cosmetic restoration and the electronics doen but it was a bargain. I repainted the yellow portion, re-did the decals, polished it up and had the brass restored. It really looks great now and works!

If you would like to find out more, try this site: