Monday, December 6, 2010

AppMakr: Make your own Apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touches

Have you ever wanted to make your own iPhone App, but then found out how much programming code you need for even a basic App. Here is a web application that helps you create your own App. There are limitations, but if you are looking for easy, this is a great place to start.

You will have to pay a onetime Apple developer fee of $99 to publish your App to the App store, but it is well worth it.

If you would like to see an App created by a HS principal go check it out.
BHS iPhone App

Go make your own...
AppMakr Website

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

YouTube: Test Tube & Video Editor

Google has Labs for product development, but did you know YouTube also has their own idea incubator? Its called Test Tube. (Those people at Google are so clever)

Here is the list of trial apps YouTube as hidden for your educational enjoyment. I am going to list them in order of educational importance.

Top Six...
Video Editor: I have been saving my pennies to one day afford Final Cut Express so I can edit HD Video. Problem solved... Upload HD Video and edit online. The video editor also comes with a built in music library no more copyright worries.

Caption Editor: Create Captions for your video. This would be great for ELL students.

Lean Back + YouTube Android Remote: subscribe to educational channels and surf the channels just like you would at home with a remote.

Insight: Discover what different audiences like doing on YouTube. This is perfect for a sociology class. Its also great for statistical data.

Music Discovery: YouTube's answer to Pandora. Select songs and artist to stream music into your classroom. Be careful with this one, some songs have explicit lyrics.

Feather: So your school or district does not have quite enough bandwidth, but they really want to use YouTube in the classroom.

Honorable Mention:
Topic Search: Use Topics to visually lead your quest for cool treasures in YouTube's giant video collection.

Comment Search: Discover videos by searching video comments.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Skype in the Classroom: Invite only

In the last few years teachers have really embraced Skype as a free distance learning tool. Teachers in our district have used it to connect with Uganda, Egypt, China, classrooms throughout the state, and experts in the field. The most difficult part about Skyping was the initial contact with another educator who wanted to Skype. We used forums such as: CILC, Classroom 2.0 and Skype in Schools. Skype has seen the need and they building a connection tool for teachers. If you go to the following website you can get a beta invite and one step closer to having the world at your finger tips.

Be one of the first to sign up... <--- Click Here

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Larry Ferlazzo's Website of the Day

Larry Ferlazzo is a Special Education teacher and avid blogger, each year he post his top 20 Web 2.0 sites for eductors. He has recently posted his list for 2010. Go check them out, but dont stop there click on his list for previous years too.

Go Check out his Top 20 List

Larry's Twitter Feed

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shorten Multiple Links/Urls into One

Taking students to the computer lab can often result in students straying from the intended purpose and websites. A good way to manage students is to let them know what sites you would like for them to view. makes that possible and it is easy to use.

Go to, enter all the websites you would like for students to visit, and when finished click on Go. will create a shortened URL that when clicked creates a surf bar at the top of your browser with arrows that will only navigate to your specified links. When you close out the browser the bar closes too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Museum Box: Create a Virtual Shadow Box

Museum Box is a Web 2.o site for educators that was inspired by Thomas Clarkson an Abolitionist during the 1800's who traveled over 30,000 miles with his box filled with artifacts from the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Students and teachers can make their own boxes to display contents of topics of their choice. If you do not want to create your own box you can browse hundreds of boxes that have already been saved.

Text, pictures, audio and video files can be uploaded.

Go see some that students have already created...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What is Issuu? You Publish

Issuu allows you to publish books, newsletters, and magazines to a professional looking page turn interface that is iPad and iPod compatible. Distribute your writing to a world wide audience.

See how it works...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Creative Commons

As digital media becomes more popular in the classroom, I am constantly encouraging teachers and students to stay with in copyright regulations. The best place to find music, pictures, video, and other web artifacts is

Go Try it... Click the link and type in your search phrase and click the tab that references the type of media you are looking for.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Collaborative Note Taking with Todaysmeet.

If you are thinking about using a Web 2.0 tool for collaboration, there is not a better way to get started than with TodaysMeet. It is simple to set up, no user name or password required and students type their name into your meeting room to get started. Thank you to Heidi Hayes Jacobs for showing us this tool.

Go Try it...

Friday, October 15, 2010

If You Can Email, You can have your own Blog, Podcast or Vodcast

Having your own Blog, Podcast, or Vodcast has never been easier. Simply email your content to and it will automatically format the content and post. In fact you don't even have to sign up for an account, email and they will set up everything for you.

Post on-the-go with your mobile device, record audio or video from your phone or iPod and email it to Posterous it will automatically post anytime anywhere.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Wiffiti provides a safe environment to express student ideas and even pictures of student activities.

Check out the Example below...

Should student's cellphones be banned?

How to join Wiffiti
Step 1:
Go to the Wiffiti website and click on the sign up button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

Step 2:
Fill out the username and password form

Step 3:
Wait for confirmation email and click on link to authorize log in and re-log in.

Step 4:
Watch How-to-Video --- (Click to watch)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sweet Search: A Search Engine for Students

Researching on the Internet can be a daunting task especially for students. To simplify try Sweet Search. Do not waste time sifting through irrelevant information get to the information that you need.

Interesting side note they claim that each site has been evaluated by their search experts, I just wonder what the qualifications are to be a search expert?

Give it a try...

Friday, August 27, 2010

140 Example of Using Technology in your classroom

I got this from Free Technology 4 Teachers its a great resource for technology. Click through the slideshow to get some great ideas

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Skype Beta: Adds Multiple Video Connections

One of the major draw backs to Skype is that it only allows you to video chat with one user at a time, you can audio chat with multiple users, but up until now video chat was limited. Skype Beta 5.0 will allow you to connect with up to five users for a true multipoint video conference.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

CircleDoc: Collaborate in Real Time using PowerPoint

Have you ever tried to collaborate in PowerPoint? The conversation usually goes like this... "I will do slides 1-5 and you do slides 6-10 and I will combine them for our presentation" or you would simply log into Google Docs and collaborate in the Google cloud. CircleDoc is an add on to PowerPoint that allows you collaborate with unlimited users of your choosing in real time.

Educational Uses:
  • Collaborate with other teachers on a project
  • Have students collaborate in class without using the same computer
  • Students can collaborate at home as longs as they PowerPoint

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Microsoft Mouse Mischief

Very cool PowerPoint add on that allows all your students with a wireless mouse to interact with the lesson being presented. Here is demo video that you can watch the FREE download in action.

Click to download here

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Read, Write, Think: Web tools for your Classroom

I stumbled upon this site looking for an Web App for a Venn Diagram. I found an excellent Venn Diagram maker along with other cool web tools that teachers can use in there classroom. Web apps are organized by grade level and subjects. Here are the links...
NoteTaker (For younger kids k-5)
Web Maker (Free Inspiration)
Literary Graffiti (Very cool draw your notes for 6-12)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tagxedo: Wordle's new Web App

Wordle the tag generator, recently added a new site / web app called Tagxedo. Tagxedo allows you to create custom pictures from words. The picture to the left is an image of Che Guevara and was created from the text of the Wikipedia article about him.

Go Check out the Tagxedo Gallery

Addendum and correction: Wordle is not affiliated with Tagxedo

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Linking any file Type to your Blog or Website using Google Docs

A few months ago Google announced their long awaited "G-Drive" through Google Docs. You can link almost any type of file to your website or blog in few simple clicks. In the past you would have to buy storage on a web server and link your file, now just upload your file to your Google Docs account and click on share the link. Touch Mouse Instructions .PDF

How-To Video: Upload, Share and Link to Google Docs

Monday, March 29, 2010

Twitter: The beginning of a Personal Learning Network

When Twitter was first introduced in my district I saw it as a little more than a time waste and another Facebook to keep up with. However, this Christmas I got a HTC Hero powered by Google Android I downloaded the Twitter App Twitdroid and gave twitter a try. I subscribed to some people already avid tweeters and I started learning a plethora if information in my field. I was amazed by the quality results and interesting articles that the tweets led me to here are just a few.

Symbols that will help you navigate the Twitterverse:
@: When someone mentions another user they attach the @
#: When reference a particular subject include a # mark. Popular #'s #education, #edtech, #edchat,

Popular Twitter Apps for Desktop and Mobile Devices:
TweetDeck: for the Desktop works on all platforms PC, Mac, Linux and iPhone.
Echofon: Works with Mac, iPhone and Firefox extension.
Twitdroid: Twitter for Android mobile devices

What I have learned from twitter in the last two weeks...
Dual Language Blog Post

20 + Ways to use Flip Video Cameras in the classroom

Great iPhone Apps for Developing Mathematical Concepts

iPod touch. Touching student lives in the classroom

Using movies to teach curriclulum

Changing Roll of Tech Support

Video game about the Norman Conquest

Screencasting on iPhone or iTouch

Using Moodle in the Classroom

Games for Elementary Students

Fun Theory and Student Engagement

Philip Schlechty has probably made a great deal of money and even created a buzz word in education "Student Engagement" with a theory I deciphered my first couple of years as classroom teacher. I realized that if students were tricked into having fun while they learned it made it much easier on everyone involved. I taught seventh graders and I rarely had one come up to me after class and tell me what a great lesson I had taught, but I did have students tell me "that class went by so fast." This supported the old adage "Time flys when your are having fun." That's when I knew I had succeeded in making a lesson fun/engaging.

Schlechty switched fun with engagement and the rest is history.

Here is the video that inspired the post...

Friday, March 26, 2010

Free Books: Listen or Read

The University of South Florida has an incredible database of online and audio books for the incredible price of FREE. There is a plethora of classic novels and children's books and stories. Here is the link to the University South of Florida website however if you have an iPod or iTunes installed on your computer they have an incredible storefront in iTunes U.

There are also free books available on the Kindle, but did you know that you do not have to have a Kindle to read ebooks? You can get the Kindle software on your Mac, Pc, or iPhone/iPod Touch. You might also want to try Stanza book reader from the iTunes App store where you can access the Gutenberg database.

Out of the 1000's of Audio books from USF here are a few of my favorites.
Educational Uses:
  • Available for students 24/7
  • Low level readers can listen and read along
  • Visually impaired students or other special needs.
  • Great for ESL/ELL students

Thursday, March 25, 2010

TxDla Wrap Up: Cool Sessions and Cool Ideas

Video Game that Teaches History:
Florida Virtual School is pioneering online education with the development of a series of complete digital game-based courses to teach American History. Go check out the game... Conspiracy Code Programmers worked at Electronic Arts before branching off to form 360ed.

Twitter Goes to School, Telling Stories Through Digital Threads:
Incredible presentation on piecing together history using twitter during the Iranian Elections
Here is the link to a prior presentation. Chris Bigenho's blog.

Web 2.0 Applications:
Great resource of Web 2.0 Apps for classroom use. Here is a link to Dr. Mark E. Workman's Wiki

Web 2.0 Applications: Alternatives to the Same, Old PowerPoint.
Not only did Randy Rodgers talk about Web 2.0 Apps he used them in his presentation. Incredible repository of Web 2.0 Apps and projects. Go check them out on his blog.

Evidence-based Instructional Design:
All their online instructions is based on these four "Brilliant Concepts"

  • Build on a Concrete Concept...
    There is no way I can learn what you want me to learn if I don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • Reflective Observation...
    If I can carry on a conversation with others about what you want me to know it helps all of us understand it better.
  • If I can take what it is you want me to know from the classroom and convert it into ideas, plans, and actions for the "real-world,” I've got a pretty good handle on it.
  • The best way I can show you that I learned something is to use it in a creative way. (This was my favorite point of the session)

Student-developed Video Projects-- You Can Too:

Tommy Beardon from ESC Region 14 showed project after project that students developed to teach other students across the United States. My personal favorite was the the Rattle Snake presentation. Here are the links he gave us to review..

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ManyCam: Free Webcam Software that makes your Cam come Alive

ManyCam allows your webcam to come alive. It allows you to add effects to your video stream, use your cam with more that one program at a time, add text to your video feed, and also allows green screen effect with downloadable backgrounds. You students will love the avatars. It is available for both Windows and Mac OS's

Educational uses:
  • Read stories as an character in the book
  • Watermark your lectures for your website
  • Let students create video reviews of books or movies

Go try it... ManyCam Webcam Software

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Webresizer: When Your Picture has to be Just the Right Size

This web based tool allows you to upload pictures and resize them to the optimal size to post on your website, blog or document. You can resize them, shrink the file size and keep the shape, or do very simple edits.
Go Try it... Web Resizer

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Convert .PDF files to Word or .RTF

This is the easiest and best site I have found to convert .pdf to word files. One of the things I like best is that it does not ask for your personal information.

Go try it... BCL Techonlogy

Monday, March 8, 2010 is a great resource for K-12 Science teachers for interactive Science lessons and learning tools. Learingscience is a repository for tested website and organized by grade level and cirruculum standard.

Educational Applications:

  • Self-passed learning

  • Practice after teaching concept

Thursday, March 4, 2010

iTunes U: Learning Anything, Anywhere, Anytime

John Couch the VP of Applc Education visited Birdville ISD on Tuesday and enlightened us on the incredible resource of iTunes U. Hundreds of accredited universities such as Oxford, Stanford, and Yale have uploaded professor's lectures so you can take the courses for free over the Internet. Unfortunately they do not come with a degree, but the courses are free. Maybe you are interested in Quantum Physics or World War II... There is a class for that. Take courses from around the world from your computer, iPod, iTouch, or iPhone. "Learning Anything, Anytime, Anywhere." Turn off the TV and turn on iTunes U.

Another interesting site he showed us was the Khan Academy a great place for instructional videos from an expert in the field.

Overview of iTunes U:

Roll The Dice: Teaching Probablility in the 21st Century

If you ever need a pair of dice to teach probability on the projector, this is a great tool to have around. Choose the number of dice you would like and click roll.

Go Check it out...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Collaborative Web Sites: Draw and Analyze with Others

Several months ago I shared Flockdraw a simple collaboration tool that enabled teachers or students to share content across the classrooms. One of Flockdraw's strength was its simplicity, so you might be ready to move on to a full featured collaboration tool. I am going to share two more that are powerful collaboration tools for the classroom.
Dabbleboard & CoSketch are Web 2.0 collaboration sites, unlike Flockdraw you can import your own images to modify, manipulate and share.

Educational Examples:

  • Upload a battle map and have students draw troop movements
  • Upload a picture and separate into quadrants for a "History Alive" type of analysis
  • Challenge another class down the hall or across the globe to a game of Vocabulary "Pictionary"

Tag Galaxy

Tag Galaxy is a fun and interactive way to find tagged images on the internet. It takes you through the "solar system" of the web until you reach your final destination a world full of pictures. Go try it... TagGalaxy

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reading 2.0: Bluebonnet Books + Moodle + Video Conferencing

Presenter:  Roxanne Glaser

Partnered with Baylor University

Overview:  Baylor students partner with local elementary students using Bluebonnet Books.  Baylor students act as reading mentors for children and final project is a seven minute dramatization of the book.

The Big Picture:
  • Teachers select books (Bluebonnet Books)
  • Baylor students meet their partner classes via video conference
  • Each class and their Baylor partners Moodle
  • Each class creates 7 minute presentation to sell their books

The First Meeting:
  • Quick intro from Baylor students and elementary kids using VC  if you dont have a cart use Skype
  • The Balyor students were reading mentors to the students
  • From the face to face virtual meeting they moved straight into the Moodle course
Student Presentations:
  • Students do a dramatization of the book
  • They write a script
  • Preform for their Baylor mentor

Where is the learning:
  • Classroom students
  • Baylor Students
  • Classroom Teachers
  • Project Coordinators
Helpful hints...
  • Ease students in

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Google Transliterate: Type with an English Keyboard in any Language

Schools have to serve a growing number of diverse populations and have to communicate with everyone. Here is great tool to type letters up to send home. With any translator there is going to be errors but trying to communicate is better than not communicating at all.

Go Check it out... Google Transliterate

Note: This does not translate it transliterates word for word what you type. It will not correct the grammar or sentence structure. For example in the Spanish language adjectives come after the noun and in English the adjectives come before the noun it does not correct for inconsistencies between languages.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Logitech Touchmouse: My new favorite iPhone / iTouch App

I actually read about this on a listserv. (Yes I said listserv) Schools are having a problem with students using this application to "control" teachers computers. This would be annoying in the hands of a student, however what a great way to remotely control your computer during a presentation. It not only works as a mouse but click on the keyboard icon inside the app and you can actually type from your iPhone/iTouch.

I cant wait to woo my next audience. It also makes a very inexpensive write tablet plus you get an iTouch for free.

For more information go to the Logitech website

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tux4Kids: A Great Educational Suite for Home or School

You never know how great something is until you become an avid user. I have installed several of the Tux programs at schools, but this last week I installed Tux Paint at my house. My kids love it. There is nothing better than seeing a three year old turn on the computer click on the Penguin and start "painting." Not only is this allowing kids to be creative but its teaching them fine motor skills to use the mouse. It is available on all three major OS's Linux, Mac OS and Windows. Like all open source programs its Free!

Tux Paint: Computer drawing program much like KidPix without a price tag. Make sure you download the Rubber Stamp collection too. It gives you ten times more options for students to use.

Tux Math:
Did you ever play Missile Command as a kid back in the 80's. Tux Math takes that game concept and combines math skills for a entertaining and engaging game.

Tux Typing: The penguin is hungry and has to eat but the only way he can eat is if you type the correct letters as the fall from the sky.

As with all Open Source programs the only way they can survive and pay for server space is for you to donate.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

YouTube Direct: Another Brilliant Creation by Google

As we become a multimedia society we must teach and train our students to have and use 21st Century skills. However technology changes and evolves so quickly its hard to keep up with standards and infrastructure to support our students learning. What formats should we use: wma, mp3, mwv, mov, mp4, or avi. Once a multimedia creation is made how do we publish it. How can we make sure our audience as the proper codecs to view it?

Google and YouTube have once again created an outside the box idea. Free outsourcing of video content. YouTube Direct lets corporations / educational institutions create their own multimedia hub where they can control their content. It also put a know user interface in the hands of teachers, administrators, and staff so training is minimum. Don't work harder work smarter.

Uses for Education:
  • Record extra-curricular events
  • Outsource video content and storage needs
  • Every teacher and student have the capability to upload content that is monitored then published
YouTube Direct's Official Promo Video

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Broadcast in HD using Skype Beta for Windows

Skype has released their Beta for Windows only and you can now broadcast in HD. I tested it this morning and the quality is phenomenal. I was using a Logitech 9000 webcam that broadcast in 720p.

Click here to download the beta:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Five Reasons to Celebrate the New Year

I’m really not into making New Year’s resolutions but this is a good time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future or make changes, so here are some ideas for your classroom along that line…

1. Take a picture of your class once a week engaged in some type of learning activity; post it to a blog and describe. Solicit comments from students about what they liked/disliked or what else they would like to know about the topic.
2. Have one student each week record an audio podcast of something that was learned, an announcement of upcoming events, or even a public service type of announcement and post to your website.
3. Create a USTREAM account and broadcast one lesson per week.
4. Expand your teaching resources by setting up a SKYPE account and contacting one outside source per week.
5. Pick the top 5 challenges on TAKS. Divided you class into small groups, and then have each group make a TAKS review video and present to the class. Videos can be posted online and shared with other classes.

If you have more ideas please share in the comments, and let me know if you need help with any of the New Year’s Celebration events above!

Thank-you for letting me share this.

Creative Commons Music

Have you ever created a multimedia project and wanted to add music to it but did not want to infringe on copyright regulations? Jamendo is your one stop shop. Just make sure you give the artist credit and you can use most of the music on their site for free. This is the best site I have found to find good music for your projects.

If You Can Email, You Can Blog

Did you know that you are one email away from blogging from anywhere in the world even your phone? We live in a mobile world and if we cant do it on the go then it does not get done. Example, I love to eat breakfast, but if I am running out of time I grab a pop tart and coffee and I eat it in the car. Now with a few simple steps you can blog from anywhere you can log into your email or a mobile device.
Here is a simple idea for a new classroom blog. Take a picture of classwork or students working and write a few sentences telling about what you covered in class that day. You could do that from the stoplight on your way home from school. Its just a couple clicks away.

Step 1: Open a blogger account.

Step 2: Click on the Settings Tab

Step 3: In the settings sub menu click on Email & Mobile

Step 4: Select one of the two ways you would like to upload to your blog.

  • Email Posting Address... type in your secret word and send and email to that address and blogger will convert and post it for you. You can also attach pictures that will automatically post.
  • Mobile Device... Click on the add mobile device. Text your key code to 256447 . You will receive a text notification that it is set up. Now when you text from your phone to 256447 it will automatically post to your blog

How to Video: