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: