Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pinger Phone - iPhone App

iPhoneImage by La Ignorancia Mata via FlickrI have discovered one of the coolest iPhone apps since I have had the device. The app is called Pinger Phone and, of course, is free.

The Pinger Phone app allows you to see updates from your friends/contacts no matter what tool you use to follow them. Pinger Phone supports Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger and AIM. Imagine only having to visit one app on your iPhone to see what your friends on Facebook are doing - what your fellow Tweeters are saying and chat with your co-workers on Google Talk??

Here is a link to Pinger Phones site:

Thank you Pinger Phone for providing the coolest and most useful app I have downloaded for my phone.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Articles of Interest and Updated Video Channel

Description unavailableImage by moominsean via FlickrHere are some ed tech articles of interest I came across today:

Also, I have uploaded new videos of the MC Connection (our district's TV and Internet series) to my You Tube channel. Check them out here:

Finally, if you are a School CIO/CTO/Director - please join the Ning Social Network created by Henry Thiele from IL.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Devices 4 Students

iPhone 3G vs HTC TYTN IIImage by Sarah Deforche via FlickrYou hear it more and more these days: One-to-One initiatives, mobile devices, mini devices, etc. - all ideas and ways to put devices in the hands of students. Is there a golden solution out there? I don't think so. But I do believe the industry has adapted and the idea of every student utilizing some sort of device to enhance their educational experience is becoming more of a reality.

I know of districts that have implemented full blown one-to-one initiatives with laptops. Obviously, the big hurdle for these districts was upfront cost and recurring costs. They found a way to clear these obstacles and make it a reality in their district. This is simply not the solution for everyone though. Too many districts will never have the upfront cash (especially in these economic times) and struggle to maintain their existing inventory.

So then the question turns to the "other" devices. Minis, PDAs and (gasp) cell phones.

Are the Mini devices the answer to putting a device in every students hand? I think it is too early to answer that question. It is obvious we have cut the price point by 60% and have a device that is designed for the "cloud computing" concept. Our district is in the final phase of evaluation. We have placed a Dell Mini Inspiron 9 in the hands of nearly 50 students, 20 faculty and several administrators. I have heard nothing but rave reviews and this is encouraging. However, to have the conversation of placing a Mini in the hands of every secondary student (at least for my district) you are still talking near 1 million dollars. Now we could have the argument that placing one in every students hand is wasted computing power and to some extent I do agree with that - so I am not looking to place a device in every students hand - merely make it accessible to them.

So if Mini devices are not quite the solution yet - what is? I have heard rumblings of districts working to find a solution to image iTouch devices. Wow...what a concept. Imagine a high school where every student has an iTouch device. (Obviously the school would need excellent wireless coverage - which fortunately ours does have.) Now your price point is $199. And for a school of 1,500 students that equals just under $300,000. Now we can have a conversation. Would an iTouch serve as a workable, usable device for high school students? Think of the possibilities within the App store!?! There are still some obvious limitations - you would want to somehow monitor/control the use of iTunes and ensure it was being utilized for educational purposes. But imagine if students could take notes, browse the web, post to their blog, communicate with peers and share content from their iTouch.

Is this a far fetched fantasy? I certainly do not believe so. The time is coming when all students will be connected and communicating via a device during the hours of 8am-3pm - and not relying on pencil and paper.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, December 12, 2008

TETC - Nashville, TN

Nashville, TennesseeImage via WikipediaI had the opportunity to attend the TETC event this week in Nashville, TN. I had set the bar high for this event in hopes they would make up for last year's sub-par event. Bravo to the organizers for this year's event, because they met the challenge. While attendance may have plateaued, the variety of sessions and vendors provided for a worthwhile conference. Here is a highlight of what I saw:

So You Want to Implement Small Learning Communities
Newton Roland, Nashville Public School

Mr. Roland spoke about how he had used the concept of an SLC to create an environment for 21st century learning. He provided the steps he took in creating the SLC and how he built relationships with local businesses, parents and community members to ensure the success of his SLC.

Business Continuity Planning for Education
Jim Kennedy, BCDR

Mr. Kennedy spoke of solutions and a road map for creating a business continuity plan to ensure the integrity of a district's data and key technology tools. He spoke to how school districts are completely dependant upon technology and data for our day to day operations that it is imperative we have a plan in place should disaster strike.

Data Collection and Analysis for RTI Reading
Debbie D'Angelo

Web 2.0 or 3.0?
Carrie Thorntwaite

I also saw the latest products and software from the following vendors:

Southern Business Communications
Absolute Software
Oki Printing Solutions

TETC renewed my interest in attending the event next year - and I am planning on bringing more of my team (budget willing) to experience this growing event.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Top 20 Free Web Apps for Teachers

Top 20 Free Web Applications for Teachers

From: scyuen,
10 months ago

A presentation presented at the MECA 2008 Conference, Jackson, MS

SlideShare Link

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Articles of Interest and New Sites

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...Image by via CrunchBaseHere are a few reads I came across today:

5 Steps to cut IT budgets...

iPhone driving smart phone growth...

Ohio school district wants bailout money too...

Doctor performs amputation by text message...

Here a couple of new sites I was introduced to:

People Browsr - keep track of all your Tweets plus You Tube groups, Flickr followers and more. Thanks to ujdmc for sharing.

A new blog I am following -

Finally, here is my You Tube channel, which includes several videos produced in our district.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


This first video link is from the NSBA T+L conference where I received an award. The reception was filmed as is now available to view on Tech and Learning's website. The article will be coming out in their December issue.

The second video is our latest production in the school district - MC Connection. MC Connection is a weekly show where we discuss educational issues within the district and schools.

Click here for the first episode and second episode.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, December 1, 2008

Google Voice Search

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image by via CrunchBaseWhen I first heard of this addition to the Google App on the iPhone, I was ecstatic. I posted multiple times on Twitter about the updates and the forth coming update. I then read the update was delayed and became discouraged we wouldn't see this update before the New Year.

Ahh...but how Google proved me wrong and I am grateful for it. The Google Voice Search is an app that changes the way people use their iPhone. There are not many apps that can make that claim. All along one of the "complaints" against the iPhone has been the keyboard (or lack their of) and having to use the screenboard. While I have adjusted my texting and typing technique on mobile devices, others have not been as lucky. Imagine an app that takes the keyboard out of the equation? An app that allows you to harness the power of Google with your voice? It is real and it is powerful.

I have even tried to "trick" the voice search. Purposefully trying to confuse it with difficult words. While I have tricked the app a couple of times, more often than not - it gives me what I am searching for.

Google got this one right.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]