Thoughts From SCETV Summer Workshop

This past week I had the pleasure of attending South Carolina Educational Television's Summer Technology Workshop for teachers. Donna Thompson and Debbie Jarrett kept me busy by having me conduct sessions on Digital Portfolios, Social Media in the Classroom, and Using Mobile Phones in the Classroom. It was a great time and it seemed everyone got something useful as they had a great time. Here are some of my thoughts of my time in Columbia.

Edmodo: The more I use Edmodo, the more I like it and can't wait to use it in the classroom. Participants who used it signed up with little trouble. Edmodo allowed everyone to share and collaborate during the session at a level I have never seen. Hopefully, this will work for students too and I will keep you posted on how this works out.

MightyMeeting: Although I planned to only use this app in my sessions on Mobile Phones, I quickly uploaded my other two presentations. It was nice to be able to roam around the room and control the presentation from my iPhone. MightyMeeting allows you to do just that. Also, you may invite others to join in by providing your Room ID number. This allows presentations to be given over distances when used with voice communications such as Skype. A chat room provides a place for back channel discussions which can the iPhone app allows participation. 

Using mobile devices such as phones, iPods, and iPads in the classroom is coming sooner than I thought. Augmented Reality and QR Codes have led me to this conclusion. Tongues started wagging when I covered these topics. Guess what? I was only scratching the surface with what I shared on the possibilities of what mobile devices can do.


After giving presentations on using social networks in education there is still a need to promote cybersafety to education professionals.

It is always to gather with friends and professionals who share the same passion I have regarding education technology. A group of us gather for dinner at the Carolina Ale House. During the gathering, Chris Craft proposed we try something I have read about, an unconference. The idea is intriguing and I think it would be worthy of continued study so it can be tried to see how this would work. The gatherings allow educators to gather for unplanned, unstructured discussions on whatever topics individuals wish to lead discussions on. Participants just pick and choose what they want to participate in.

Livescribe: I keep finding more uses for using my Livescribe Pulse smartpen. This time I used the pen to take notes on my research as I prepared for my presentations. All I had to do was sync my pen to my computer and run Myscript for Livescribe to get text that I copied and pasted into PowerPoint. This became a big time saver.

Finally, South Carolina Educational Television is a valuable for teachers. Imagine trying to teach without OnePlace, Streamline, ITV, and other media resources available to enrich your lessons. Also, SCETV is one of the few networks that provide experts to help work with groups on a variety of topics at no cost. Also, SCETV provides teacher technology workshops in March and July each year. These valuable services and more are at risk of being cut due to budget cutting mood of the South Carolina Legislature. Please contact your legislators often to tell them how much you value SCETV. If you do not know who your legislators are you can find out here. Also, consider either becoming a supporter of SCETV with a financial contribution or volunteer your expertise at a technology workshop. 


Concealable Death by PowerPoint

BlackBerry Presentation Device

RIM announced a presenter which allows PowerPoint slides to be shown using a BlackBerry wirelessly. Video is beamed either by VGA or S-Video. A limited number of transitions and annimations are supported and notes can be viewed on the BlackBerry. The $199 device is not compatible with Pearl 8200 or Curve 8300 phones. Looks like I will be getting that Bold 9700 after all. Also, think of students coming into class ready to do their projects via their BlackBerrys. I have not seen an iPhone device that allows wireless presentation yet. For Roadwarrior types, will this mean confiscation by the TSA because of the danger of death by PowerPoint? Source: Engadget

Example of Augmented Reality

In earlier posts I mentioned the concept of Augmented Reality which is taking media such as a photograph and putting some form of data over it. Guess AR works for video too as seen in the video below. 

This is the Parrot AR.Drone which can be controlled by an iPhone over a WiFi connection. Source: TechCrunchEngadgetMashable

Stop that or I will take your iPhone away!

It seems like the iPhone apps overlords at Apple have gone crazy and loosened their morals. First was a "safe" sexting app and now an app that shows people naked as a Jaybird. If you see a group of adolecent males pointing an iPhone at girls in the hallways this is what they may be seeing:

Actually, the app just superimposes a headshot on a body with underwear. iPhones cannot look through clothing yet but you get the message. Reminds me of the adds for X-Ray glasses you used to see in comic books. Should students be referred to the principal? I would. Source: CNET

Teacherbytes January 5, 2009

Hydrogen Fuel Cell in your pocket


Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies has announced a home device which extracts hydrogen from water. This hydrogen can be then used to power small electronic devices such as cell phones, small gaming devices, personal music players, etc.... No word on how safety is guaranteed but it is green since the byproduct is just water vapor. No word on pricing but it should pay for itself eventually. Source: CNET, Engadget

What will rock 2010

TechCruch is predicting what technologies will be hot in 2010. Tablets are supposed to be all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Many experts feel tablets are going to be a niche product but education is one of those niches. What will make tablets successful will be a good interface, easy to read screen for books, good battery life, and good Internet connectivity. Geolocation is where various apps use GPS data from a cellphone and pinpoint your location. Foursquare is one of the most popular apps using geolocation. Whenever someone goes to a restaurant or club, they mark their location on the app and it is saved. Rewards are given to those who frequent an establishment. The problem I have with geolocation is your movements can be tracked. This information can be used against people very easily. HTML5 is a promising version of the programing language of the Web. Video plugins will not be needed because HTML5 is supposed to be video friendly. This should make apps work easier and save me time trying to explain why someone needs a Flash player to run an educational app. Augmented reality could be useful for students working on projects. A picture is taken then information and data can be layered over the photograph. Android and the Chrome OS will be powering mobile devices in the coming years. Both Google products are created for one purpose: access data on in Cloud. Devices running Android and Chrome will be creeping in student book bags so teachers should find a way to make productive use for them.

WoW is how I got caught!

Mashable reported the popular online game led to the arrest of Alfred Hightower after police used information obtained from WoW on his location. More proof to be careful of what you put online.

Putting some muscle behind that program

Microsoft is conducting research on using muscle sensors to interface with computers. Watch the video below:

Source: Mashable and Engadget