Friday, February 29, 2008

Fablevision: SmartMoves

Do you have students who like to move? Everywhere? All the time?

Fablevision has come out with a new DVD called SmartMoves™.
This deceptively simple combination of movements and music can change the way we learn and remember. SmartMoves, a DVD, designed for students in grades 3-12, leads students through a series of increasingly complicated body movements that function as a kind of calisthenics for the brain. Forty Body Puzzles at varying levels of difficulty: Simple, Simple Too, Tricky, Challenging, and Formidable, are included in the SmartMoves DVD. A supplemental Teacher's Guide is also included.

I'm excited about this new product. I believe it will work wonders for those students who have trouble sitting at their desks all day long. Let me know what you think!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Google Account FYI

Maybe some of you knew this but when I created my Google account many moons ago there was not the option of using your "real" email address. So I tried to create a name that would be worthy of my esu10 employment. However, it seems that now when anyone invites me to their docs and spreadsheets, etc., they like to use my email address. Which, in the past, has always been a pain because you had to send them a message and say, "can you please send that to my gmail account instead?"

Well, fret no more my friends! You can associate other email addresses with your gmail/google account. How nice! And I suppose you are asking, "Well how might I do that Jason?" Well, I'll tell you!
  1. Log in to your current gmail/google account at
  2. Next to Personal Information, click “Edit”
  3. Add your email address

Photo of actual page here:

That’s it! They will send you a verification email to that account and in about 2 minutes time, you can log in with either account and people can use either your gmail or other email to invite you to google stuff! How cool...

Good luck and have fun!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Info Literacy Workshop

Here are the tools and links we worked on and talked about in our Information Literacy workshop today.

Links to resources from first presentation:

Links to Workshop Outline done in Google Notebook:

Dueling Tools
This is a sharing time for participants to share a tech tool with others. It is time well spent sharing resources others use in the classroom!

  • Grand Central by Google - One phone number for ALL your phones and voice mailboxes
  • - Voice recognition: Call a message in to Jott and Jott will email or text your party.
  • - microblogging - find out what your network of friends are doing.
  • MLA Citation source - Cite several types of sources such as books, website, etc.
  • iGoogle - a dashboard to your online digital life!
  • Atomic Learning - Professional development resources for you to learn all types of software applications.
  • Net Trekker - Great subscription database for student research.
  • Apple Education - Resources on all types of integration ideas.
  • McGraw-Hill - Lessons that use technology.
  • Quia - the Quintessential Instructional Archive.
  • NoodleTools - Research tools for students and teachers.
  • TrackStar - Create collections of annotated websites for your students.
  • Jing Project - Capture your computer screen to share with others.

Others that we talked about during the day:

Monday, February 25, 2008

We need to work more like recipies!

I ran across this and I really like the analogy of our work being a recipe. We need lots of good ingredients but not only that, they need to mix together and cook just right for it to taste right in the end.

So I would argue that Google really does have a better product than the competition -- not because we have more or better ingredients, but because we have better recipes. And we are continuously improving those recipes precisely because we know the competition is only a click away. (Google Blog Article)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Apple Announcments

Recent Apple Announcements and their Impact on Educators.

60 Second Macworld Review

MacBook Air
On top of the list: the new MacBook Air. What does this new notebook computer mean for teachers? Well I think it will be a big hit for those wanting a small, light computer to take with them to do their daily productivity tasks. Teachers and administrators will easily be able to record grades, manage an online class, communicate with peers, write lesson plans, etc. with unmatched portability. I see the only caveat being it's lack of umph for lots of video or other media.

iPod Touch (iPhone) Software Update
The iPod Touch is a product I think will reshape how we think about putting computers in to the hands of students. This is really a minicomputer with the ability to surf the Internet, play podcasts and audio books, and play back other media that would supplement the curriculum. With the software update, users now have the ablility to do mail, maps, notes, weather and stocks. There is also a software development kit available so we'll start to see more third party apps come to the iPod Touch and the iPhone.

Time Capsule
This is a new device that works in conjunction with Leopard's Time Machine software. It's a hardware backup appliance that will back up your computer wirelessly (or wired). It also serves as an access point, remote storage, and will do network printing all at the 802.11n standard which is must faster and will cover a broader area. What does this mean for teachers? All I have to ask is: Do you have a current backup? Would you like your backups to work transparently? Would you be lost if your computer/hard drive died? The Time Capsule comes in 500G and 1T options.

iTunes Movie Rentals - Apple TV
The ability to rent movies online and have them downloaded to our computer or Apple TV box is a change to how we currently obtain our media. Although I don't see this immediately impacting educators, we are seeing a shift in how we obtain our media that is affecting us. More and more content is in digital form. We are using VHS, CD and even DVD less and less. More and more content is online, downloadable or streamed right to our machines. As the Apple TV matures, we will see more and more uses for obtaining our media with this device. We'll start to see more internet media content managers such as iTunes. Just as iTunes has changed how we buy music, it will change the video industry to using this model for delivery.

New Tool - PicLens

PicLens is a new tool I found that I think will really help educators. It is a tool that will save time and give visual learners a boost too. The software is a Firefox plugin that works with many image sites and creates a visual catalog of information.

PicLens instantly transforms your browser into a full-screen 3D experience for viewing images across the web. Our new interactive "3D Wall" lets you effortlessly drag, click, and zoom your way around a wall of pictures for an extraordinary viewing experience. The new search box lets you search the Web in full-screen using Google, Yahoo, SmugMug, Flickr, Photobucket, and DeviantArt. Just type a query and view all the results in the PicLens wall.

Doing a lesson on Martin Luther King, Jr.? Search MLK in PicLens and you have yourself a great visual to introduce the topic and also a great tie in with Information Literacy skills.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tech Showdown

We have recently started using a fun, after lunch, workshop activity. It is a Tech Showdown and everyone participates. The basic idea is that everyone in the workshop has to give a "Show and Tell" of a technology innovation they like and use. It can be ANYTHING! Then, we pair off and each person has 3 minutes to present their technology innovation. It really does become a fun activity and it's so interesting to see what others are using on a day to day basis.

Here were the duals that happened at our Google Tools Part 1 workshop: &
Need to send an email message to someone but you are not at a computer? You can "jott" or call in a message and jott will convert your voice to an email message. This also works for text messaging too!

uStream is an all encompassing video streaming site that allows you to set up a video streaming channel and share it with others. Would be great for schools who want to broadcast sporting events, etc., on the web. is a great place to display photo collections to embed in your website.

Angel PDF SharingVS.Angel Classroom Management
Share scholarship applications, etc. with your students in one central location that both the students and parents can get to. Angel opens up the possibility for communication about the applications also.

Angel is a great tool for "Learning Management". It's in a class with Moodle and Blackboard in terms of online classes and distance learning opportunities.
Ever had a student or faculty member that has a long term illness. There always seems to be rumors floating around. This is a great site to share what is happening and for others to sign a guestbook with their will wishes. is a great meta-search engine that organizes information in several differnet ways that are easy to access. Worth a look if you are just used to using Google.

Digital EthnographyVS.Organizational Tools in Outlook
Thinking differently about technology and Internet use in the 21st Century. There are some great video's here that will stretch your thinking.

The use of categories really helps you organize your events and allows your to create custom views based on how you might work.