Friday, November 20, 2009

Is This the Future...

Google is coming out with their own operating system, it is cloud based and will boot in seven seconds. Google is betting on the fact that most users use the computer to get on the internet so why not make the operating system the browser.

Google OS

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

TimeMe: Classroom Timer for Free

Time me is a very simple timer that can be used in the classroom. Make sure you click on the Time / Stop watch settings to select an alarm sound if not the timer is silent. It is ad supported and therefore free. However, you can purchase the download verision and the ads will be removed. Go check it out at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Google has Changed the Way we Teach

Several weeks ago a friend of mine sent me the Bart Simpson episode that talks about cellphones in the classroom. One of my favorite quotes is from Bart's new teacher, "Are you telling me you memorized that fact when anyone with a cellphone can find that in thirty seconds?" The truth screamed out at me. We can no longer use low level questions in the classroom or for homework. A student does not even need to read or even use his textbook to find the answers they only need keyboarding skills and Google

How do we fix this?
1. Ban Google
2. Google proof questions.

Students must be challenged to use the upper level of Blooms Taxonomy. Questions must make them apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate.

I wish I could take credit for all these thoughts, but I cant please check out the ElectronicEducator's blog.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Classroom Response for the 21st Century.

When I think of a Classroom Response System I think of a remote like device that uses infrared or radio frequency to transport information from the student's device to the teacher computer. I came up with an idea this week for a system that just might work in the classroom. You can take any internet enabled device whether wi-fi or a student cellphone on a data plan and point them at a Google Form (Quiz) created by the teacher. Teachers would create their own content post the link on their website and have students take the quiz from their device. Teachers could even form cohorts and share quiz folders in Google Docs and build the school or districts Quiz / Test database.

Schools could even purchase a classroom set of iTouches for teachers or grade levels to share for almost the same price of a reponse system. In addtion to the "response system" you have 100,000 apps from the Apple Apps Store. Sounds like a much better use of money.
Try it from your device <-- Click here

Screen Shot from iTouch of Google Forms Quiz: (Click on Picture for full size image)
How to Create a Quiz Using Google Forms

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Make Your Own Animated Video with Xtranormal

Have you ever wanted to make your own animated video? Xtranormal make this process easy and free. You can either do your own voice overs or it has a speech-to-text option where your characters have computer generated voices.

How to Video: by YutubeMedia

Google Safe Search

Google has made searching for children just a little bit safer. You can now lock your safe search settings with a password, so your children cannot search for illicit material. Any time you see the Google Colored Balls (See Above Picture ) you know that your searches are locked and safe. I do love the disclaimer at the end of the video. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTION FOR ADULT SUPERVISION when children are on the Internet. This tool does make it a little bit safer.

Google Safe Search: How to Lock

Monday, November 9, 2009

Texas ASCD Hightlights

This years Texas ASCD Conference focused on technology, I gleaned some incredible information from the concurrent sessions and the keynote speakers. I highlighted some of my favorite points in the slideshow below. Like always Alan November challenged educators to unlearn what we know and to try something new. He made the analogy of how we need go back in time and be more like the one room school concept where children teach children. We have to teach less and let the students take ownership of there learning.

Highlights from Texas ASCD

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wallwisher: Brainstroming in the 21st Century

Wellwisher is a great site to post news, ideas and even brainstorm with your class. (Or another class across the hall or across the world.) Wallwisher requires an account to create a wall but people who post notes simply have to point and click. Let me know what you think of Wellwisher on my "wall" . Thank you R. Rodgers for showing me this. Check out his blog at Moss-Free Stone