Thursday, June 9, 2011

How to connect your Facebook and Twitter in 5 Easy Steps

I the world of Social Media most companies and schools have a Facebook and Twitter account, do not update each individually, link the accounts together.  Here is how to do so...

Step 1:  Sign in to your Facebook account

Step 2:  Go to  Click the Link Facebook to Twitter button

Step 3:  Choose the Fanpage you would like to link to Twitter

Step 4:  Put in your Twitter account username and password for authorization

Step 5:  Update your status on Facebook to see if it automatically post to Twitter

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

CoolText: Create Cool Banners with Little Effort

I am not the most gifted artist, but I do like things to look good.  One of the easiest sites I have found to make custom text or banners is CoolText.  Its easy to use and only takes seconds to have a working banner.

Here is an example... I know its a little over the top

Go Check it out...

Zapd: Create Mobile websites directly from your iPhone

Zapd allows you to create mobile websites from your iPhone or iPod Touch.  This FREE app will enable you to create mobile content anytime anywhere.  Create a mobile classroom website or let students create projects directly from their iOS device.

Go check it out...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Distance Learning Solution on the Cheap (FREE if you have a Mac)

We have been looking for a cost effective solution for Distance Learning equipment in our district.  @jdbells60 recommended XMeeting.  I downloaded the Open Source software and after about five minutes on the phone with our network engineer setting it up on our gateway we called a cart  on the network and it worked like a charm.  The video quality was good, but not as crisp or clear as a unit, but I was connected via wireless.  

The coolest feature of XMeeting  is that it can format the video screen at an angle, so it give it the feel that you are talking face to face instead of picture in picture.

If there is a school out there that does not have the money to buy a unit or would like to experiment I would highly recommend XMeeting for the Mac.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Creating Self Grading Quizzes Using Google Forms & Flubaroo

Google makes it easy to build and grade quizzes using Google Forms and an add-on script called Flubaroo. Flubaroo will also graph your scores for easy analysis, itemize questions, and email students with their scores.  Watch the videos below to create a quiz and insert the Flubaroo script to auto-grading your quizzes.  For additional information go to the Flubaroo website.

Step 1: Create a Quiz Using Google Forms

Step 2:  Insert Auto-Grading Script Flubaroo

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Apple makes a Statement: but not with iPad2

"This is worth repeating. It's in Apple's DNA that technology is not enough. It's tech married with the liberal arts and the humanities. Nowhere is that more true than in the post-PC products. ...easier to use than a PC, more intuitive."

--Steve Jobs (ipad 2 release)

Educators can no longer be techy or non-techy we have to prepare kids for their future.  I am not techy can no longer be an excuse.  We must erase our fears and make technology as ubiquitous as a pencil.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Google Translate App for Mobile Devices

My school district has a class for new students coming into the district from foreign countries that speak little or no English.  These students speak languages from French to Arabic to Swahili.  Yesterday I showed the teachers Google Translate on my iPhone.  Teachers or Students select the language spoken or written and the language they would like to have it translated to.  They hit the microphone button and speak... Google Translate does the rest of the work for you.  Several languages will be translated verbally but all languages will be translated into the written language.  This app was like handing the teachers a magic wand.  Imagine what it would be like to speak Swahili and going through the entire day not being able to communicate with fellow classmates or teachers.  Then a device was handed to you where you could suddenly be able to communicate with everyone in the room.  I love what technology can do for us and our students.

For iphone / iPod Touch:

For Android:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I Have Been Chromed: Google Chrome

A couple of weeks ago I downloaded Chrome because I was building a  mobile website and needed a browser built with webkit to see how the format would look.  The more I used it the more I liked it. One of the benefits I notice right from the beginning was when I right clicked and viewed the source code all other browsers left a lot of code out, but Google Chrome allowed you to see all of it.

As I used it I started to like the minimalistic view, but I really like to keep my favorite sites on the toolbar I eventually figured out how to do this in the settings.  I also liked the twitter integration that I had in FireFox.  I found everything I was looking for in the Chromed Bird extension.  I also liked the fact that it was multi-platform and open source.

The last feature was the deal breaker for all the other browsers.  The Chrome App store.  As an educator I started to look through the educational apps.  Here are the ones that I recommend:  PBSKids, Google Books (3 million books), Kid Mode for Chrome, Cramberry (make your own flashcards), and many more...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

TCEA Conference 2011: No Limits

Last week I had the privilege of attending and the TCEA No Limits conference in Austin.  There were approximately 12,000 teachers, administrators, and educational technologist in attendance.  This is where the power of the TCEA conference lies... THE PEOPLE.  There were hundreds of concurrent sessions presented by educators showing off what works in their district. These presentations cannot help but to spur on the imagination of the attendees on how these same ideas can make a difference in the lives of students all over Texas. 
Knowledge Bank from TCEA

Birdville ITS Twitter and Blog Posts
Birdville Conference Blog
Birdville ITS Tweets

Birdville ISD ITS Presentations:
Twitter at TCEA:
Want to know more about what went on at TCEA.  Do a search on Twitter 

Monday, January 3, 2011

10 Technolgy Tools to Start off Your New Year.

 Just in case one of your New Year's Resolutions was to use more technology in your classroom here is a list of ideas you can use in your classroom.

10.  Skype:   Now Skype from your computer or iPhone.  Join Skype for educators and connect with classrooms all over the world.

9.  Animoto:  Create videos using photos or video.  Animoto will compile all your footage and  build a professional looking video in minutes.

8.  Xtranormal:  Create animated videos with a few simple clicks.  You students will love it and you will be a hero.

7.  Today's Meet:  Easy collaborative note taking.

6.  Google Docs:  Do you feel limited by today's meet? Take the next step and try collaborative office suite.  Students can collaborate on Documents, Presentations, Spreadsheets, Drawings, or create a Survey

5.  YouTube:  Create online tutorial videos for your class.  Or take it to the next step and let you students create online tutorials.

4.  Posterous:  Create a blog that is as simple as an email.  Document your class with text, audio or video.

3.  Mobile Phones / Devices:  Try one of these sites and watch engagement happen before your eyes.
2. Twitter:  Join twitter and create a personal learning network to glean new ideas for yourself and your classroom.

1.  Download a free Audio or eBook from one of these sites...