Teacherbytes December 24, 2009

TV in your pocket

Qik, a live streaming video application, now has an iPhone app to go along with BlackBerry and Nokia phones. Teachers could use this to live stream special events in their classes or school. However, students can live stream events in your class or what teachers are doing out and about. Tech Crunch

Safer Sexting?

Speaking of iPhone apps with cyberbullying potential, a new app called Safe Sexting promises to tone down those X and R rated pictures to very PG-13. Supposedly the app covers strategic areas but boxes cannot be moved around which makes this app worthwhile. Too bad there’s an app to give teens a false sense of security while they expose themselves online. Mashable

A new tablet that is not from Apple

Just when you thought OLPC receded from memory, they announce a new XO-3 which is a thin tablet design. The $75 device is supposed to come to market in 2012 which remains to be seen, both coming out and selling for $75. I still think this is the device which launched the inexpensive netbook craze that has helped the PC industry weather this recession. Mashable, Engadget

Get your students into books, really into books

Story Something is a web-based app that allows users to make children into the main character of a story. Teachers could use this to inspire children to read if the story is about them. This could also be used for special occasions such as birthdays or an illness. Tech Crunch

Is that what that means?

In the worthless survey deparment, a study shows that students who smoke pot like to listen to music about it’s use. You could ask a lot of teachers about that one. ARS Technica

And another winner is…

Mashable named YouTube the Top Social Media Innovation of the Decade. The reasons given for this honor is a combination of technology innovations, rise of social media, embeddable content, creation of the citizen journalist, instant fame possibilities made YouTube the domineering online media site. Start looking for mobile live streaming (see above) to maybe take it’s place unless YouTube joins in.

Free guide to online safety for teens

My Twitter friend,Sylvia Martinez of Generation Yes, shared a link to a free Federal Government guide to help teens stay safe online. Check this link out and share it to help promote safe Internet use.

Merry Christmas

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! Don’t forget to check Santa’s progress on Norad Track Santa. Following Santa on this website has become a tradition for my son and myself and we are looking forward to all the social media and other innovations NORAD is doing this year.

Odds and Ends December 16, 2009

Evernote for Android

Mashable reports Evernote has released an app for the Android Smartphone platform. I have used Evernote to take notes on my BlackBerry at conferences and it is a great way to take a organize notes on the Internet.

Speaking of Android

An e-reader based on the Android operating system called the Entourage Edge has been released according to Engadget. This device has been billed as a textbook replacement. At $490 and some bugs in the system, this device won’t be lightening backpacks until it stops lightening wallets.

Increasing Community Involvement

All schools are looking for ways to get better community involvement through better communications. Mashable has listed 10 ways for increasing community involvement. Some of the methods recommended include make easy to participate, interact with your community, welcome newcomers, and engage with popular existing communities such as Twitter and Facebook.

Santa 2.0

When I was younger, the only ways to interact with Santa was either a face-to-face meeting at a local store or write a snail mail letter. Mashable describes five ways to connect with Santa on the Internet. There are some tried and true methods such as e-mailing Santa and my favorite Norad Track Santa. However, seeing Santa live on a webcam seems a little weird. I thought he was supposed to be watching us to see if we are naughty or nice.

Excuse me, is that a projector in your pocket?

I have always been interesting in pico projectors since they were first announced. However, current devices still work best projecting an image on a postage stamp in a pitch black room. However, the AAXA M1 micro projector is another step in the right direction. Engadget announce the newest pico projector. A projector that will connect with a computer will cost $359.


As if children’s obesity rates are going up like their weight, McDonalds has a new way to get people sit down and eat more fattening Big Macs and other artery clogging food. Engadget reports McDonalds will offer free WiFi in most of its restaurants starting in January.

NORAD Updates Santa Tracking Technology

It is Christmas Eve and my son and I are doing our annual ritual of tracking Santa's movements with the help of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) on their website noradsanta.org. NORAD started declassified Santa tracking in 1955 when a newspaper erroneously published the phone number to military command. The Air Force personnel on duty gave the children who called the latest radar information on Santa's location and a tradition was born.

This year's version is making use of Google technology. Google Maps is pinpointing Santa's location with updates every 5 minutes. Each spot marked is a link to a Google search page on the particular location Santa has visited. From here you can learn all about the cities Santa has visited. There is also a plug-in for Google Earth for those who want a better look at the terrain Santa and his reindeer are navigating. While it might be easy to criticize Google for finding a way to commercialize Santa, this actually could become a great lesson in geography. Thanks to the United States Air Force and the Canadian Air Force (who jointly run NORAD) and Google for making a fun holiday activity into fun lesson in geography.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.