Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How to Text Students or Parents from any Email Account

How would you like to send an alert out to parents or students about an up coming event, project deadline or test? You simply need their cell phone number and mobile service provider such as AT&T, Sprint, Altel, etc...

Parents need to know the standard disclaimer "standard text message rates will apply"

Here is the formula you need [10 digit telphone number]@

Example: 8175551234@txt.att.net

Sprint: @messaging.sprintpcs.com
ATT: @txt.att.net
Nextel: @messaging.nextel.com
Alltel: @message.alltel.com
T-mobile: @tmomail.net
Verizon: @vtext.com
Tracfone: @mmst5.tracfone.com
MetroPCS: @mymetropcs.com

More inclusive list even to foriegn countries

How I created a online form for my database using Google Forms

Link to form created in the video

A Webcam for Every Classroom

The paradigm shift has started. This week at ACFT elementary school each teacher received a Logitech Web cam to start making connections across the hall and around the world.

Why did we make the shift?
  • Opportunity: The old system only allows specific content with specific equipment. Web cams allow the teacher to make connections that only limit their imagination to any one with an Internet connection.
  • Money: Connections are not dependant on expensive carts at each end but inexpensive web cams that are available to the masses.
  • Multi- Dimensional: Distance learning carts have one job. Make connections. Web cams do so much more: record movies, take pictures, record spelling list, creative avatars, send video email, make video calls, etc...

Web 2.o makes it all happen.

  • Skype: The work horse behind our whole initiative. Each teacher received a Skype account with instructions on how to use Skype and its built in extras such as whiteboard to make connections more engaging.
  • MeBeam: Keeping it simple. No user names no passwords create a unique room and invite your guest.
  • USTREAM.TV: Broadcast your classroom live and record it for others who cannot be there. Great for after school activities and sports.
  • DimDim: The most features of all the Web 2.0 sites, even has the ability to share the desktop. This is a WebEx clone if you have ever used it.

The vision is that web cams will inspire teachers to make the work more engaging by giving them authentic audience, a clear and compelling product, and novelty & variety according to Schlechty's design qualities.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

YouTube to host the new Fireside Chats

In 1929 as Governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt started using radio broadcast to appeal to his voters to help pass legislation that he was working on in congress. He later continued this practice while president of the USA. These talks were later coined "Fireside chats." FDR used the technology most accepted by his constituents to further his cause.

Fast forward almost 80 years (four score for you history buffs) our new President-Elect has chosen YouTube to host his weekly "radio" talk. No matter what your political affiliations are; we should be encouraged by President-Elect Obama's use of technology. He is using the most pervasive means to distribute his his platform.

In addition, YouTube also allows comments, so we are all free to voice our opinions if we disagree.

Monday, November 10, 2008

IStream, WeStream, We all scream for Ustream.tv

Would you like to broadcast your classroom or at least a part of your classroom? Maybe just stream a lesson for absent students or even archive it for them to review it at home.

USTREAM makes all this possible for the incredible price of FREE! All you need is webcam and you are ready to go.

See how other teachers are using Ustream to help students and broadcast important events.

Critter Cams / Classroom pets


Classroom Teacher Tutorials