New Challenges > Old Successes

It doesn’t matter anymore.¬†
It just doesn’t.
In the words of James Ingram, “I did my best, but I guess my best wasn’t good enough.”

Earlier this summer, I decided to respond to regular, repeated, and seemingly desperate requests to improve Google Slides so that it would have the functionality that Powerpoint users were accustomed to. In particular, they wanted a Slide Sorter panel and the ability to Hide Slides in a presentation. I set out to find a way to #MakeItReal for them.

In the words of Robert Van Winkle, “if there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.”

So I did. I created the Slides Sorter extension, which now has hundreds of users, and the Hide Slides extension, which has over a hundred users after only a month.

But it doesn’t matter anymore. It just doesn’t.

Yesterday, Google announced new features for Slides, including proprietary add-ons now available and, are you ready, a Grid View for slide sorting and a Skip Slides feature from the right click menu.

See?

 

And the Skip Slides feature

I find it interesting that the icon Google used to display their skipped slides is pretty much the same as the icon I used for the hide slides extension…but who’s bitter, right? Definitely not me ūüôā

 

 

So here’s my real point. I’m not upset at all that Google has finally added these features. It means that they’re listening to and acting on the needs of their users. What could be better than that? I’m excited that these features are now native to the Google Slides environment and am looking forward to what request they’ll respond to next.

Am I a little hurt that the fame and social media fortune that comes with being the Google Sides Extension Hero (it’s a thing) will no longer be mine? Actually, no.¬†

I put time and effort into creating something I thought would be helpful, and it was, for a time. But now that there’s something more effective, I’ve got to be ready to let go. It’s like that one project that you love having your students complete, but doesn’t belong in your curriculum anymore. It’s the one piece of literature that you love to read with your students, which has been replaced by a different piece. It’s “The way you’ve always done it,” but now it’s time to let go.

 

But fear not!! Let go of that project, that book, and quit doing things the way you’ve always done them. Your creativity, desire to help students learn, and reputation as an educator and a problem solver now precedes you!

In my opinion, new challenges are better than old successes.

Challenge Accepted!

Challenge yourself today. 

Remember to use the #MakeItReal Hashtag for sharing ideas!

Connect with Denis Sheeran at Denissheeran.com

Twitter: @MathDenisNJ and

#MakeItReal Chat Every Wednesday 9:30 pm EST for 30 Minutes.

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Just Joy

Just Joy

 

 

 

 

That’s Danny. He’s six. We went fishing tonight for the first time this summer. We’d been meaning to go sooner, but his Disney Cars fishing pole was broken. Yesterday my wife picked up the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles one, so nothing was holding us back. We left the house and walked the quarter mile from our front door to the lakefront. While we walked, Danny wondered what would would happen if it rained as we fished, or maybe if we got hit by lightning, and why there was so much gravel on the road. He even talked about how our hair is like an umbrella, and that his sisters have HUGE umbrellas!

When we got to the beach, Danny pointed out where we should set up. I reminded him how to cast the line and baited his hook for him with a little piece of hot dog (local fish favorite). After two failed attempts to cast the bait anywhere near the water, he got it out there on the third. It only took a couple seconds for his line to go under. We reeled and reeled (TMNT fishing poles have limited effectiveness) and hauled in the first catch of the day. He kept casting and kept catching, fish after fish. Every now and then he let me have a turn, too. During my turns, he ran back and forth on the grass behind us, jumping in the air making Super Mario “WooHoo!” sounds and forgetting to notice that I wasn’t catching anything.

Then, as I reeled in my first catch of the day, he said:

“Dad. I think I have just joy in my head. Not anger or sadness or fear or…what’s the green one from the movie…disgust. They’re not up there. Just joy.”

“Me too, Danny.” I said. “I have just joy, too.”

I can’t help but think about all the students coming to school soon. Do they have anger? Do they have sadness or fear or the green one? Can students who come into my classroom leave it thinking “I have just joy in my head.” Learning is joyful, happy, and exciting. Wherever I am this year, I’m going to try to spread goodness, happiness…just joy.

Wherever I am this year, I’m going to try to spread goodness, happiness…just joy.

Danny caught 10 fish tonight. He wanted to catch 11, but it did start to rain and we decided to head home. I shouldn’t have waited this long to go fishing with him, but I’m glad we went tonight. I go back to school in two days. Even so, we’re going to go fishing whenever we can, because he deserves to have Just Joy.

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