Sunday, December 1, 2013

Becoming Part of the #NerdLution

Consumed by the pressure put on me by my wife and daughter, I have decided that I will participate in the #NerdLution.  I have decided to commit to 50 days of the following activities -
1 - Drink 3 large glasses of water (I never get enough, and this might get me in the habit)
2 - Exercise for 30 minutes of some type (walking, riding bike, etc.)

The pressure of my nerd friends and the resolution to do something good for me will hopefully power me through the days when I want to stop.

Admit your "nerdiness" and join the #NerdLution.  It starts tomorrow and goes on for 50 consecutive days.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Lenmar Power Pack

This power pack from Lenmar is outstanding for iPhones and iPads.  The one that we have is the Lenmar Wave 7000.  My daughter took it on her trip to Washington, D.C. and had great success keeping her iPhone 5S charged on the bus.  Her friends all wanted one.  It was easy to charge and easy to use.  If you are looking for an external portable charging source, this could be your answer.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Office2 HD is an Awesome App for the iPad

Office2 HD is an awesome iPad app.  It does cost $7.99, but well worth the money.  It is  like buying Pages, Keynote, and Numbers, but you are getting Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, for one price.  You can edit and save current documents, as well as create new documents from scratch.  Documents can be saved locally on the iPad or saved to a server or cloud.

We have found the Webdav connection allows our teachers and students to create, edit, and save right to their server account.  It is also extremely easy and convenient to disconnect from the server, so that others can use an iPad that is shared in a classroom.  Office2 HD also connects to Dropbox, Google Drive, SkyDrive, as well as other cloud services.  This app is very versatile.

I would recommend this app for you to try.  With wifi access to files and the ability to create and edit documents and presentations, this is quite useful.  It also allows you to save as .DOC, .DOCX, .PPT, .PPTX, .XLS, and .XLSX.  I have found it to also open and view Pages, Keynote, and Numbers files, though you cannot edit.  Give it a try.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference 2013

I have the opportunity to talk to teachers at the Ohio Innovative Learning Environments Conference in Hilliard, Ohio.  It is a week-long conference and I get to participate.  How fun and exciting to get to speak about Using social networks to grow your professional learning network.

I will be talking about using Twitter, Pinterest, Blogs, Google Plus, and other social networks.  Learning together makes it so much more fun and engaging.  How can you use your friends to help gather quality information and make learning a group activity?  Check it out.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Desmos Graphing Calculator for iPad

Desmos is a nice online graphing calculator for a browser.  I posted earlier about it, but they have recently introduced a free iPad app for graphing calculator fans.  You can click here to download the free app for your iPad.

On the iPad, you can graph on cartesian, parametric, and polar graphs.  It has nice slider feature for variable graphs.  You can easily zoom in or out on your graphs.  You can graph inequalities, as well.  You can also use it as a scientific calculator - even if you don't need a graph.

This app is very easy to use and intuitive to figure out.  Give it a try.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dublin Tech Talks

We are currently running the Dublin Tech Talks two-day workshop for teachers in Dublin.  The attendees will spend time listening to Dublin teachers share their experiences with technology in their classrooms.  They will also get to hear from the district technology support teachers, who will share tools that are useful in creating digital learning objects which can be used in classrooms and online.  Part of their day will also be spend creating digital learning objects that can be used for instruction.

I was fortunate enough to present today on how you can work with video resources to optimize them for use in class.  Below are my slides that were shared.  There is also a link to a wiki with my shared resources and some tutorials.  Take a look...

It was an outstanding day today and we are looking forward to more conversations and sharing tomorrow.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Google Calendar Gadget in Gmail

Use the Google Calendar Gadget to put a mini calendar on your gmail page.  You can see your upcoming events while answering emails.  There are a lot of little gadgets you can add to your mail page, but the calendar gadget is really helpful.  Here is a tutorial for how to do that.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Special Interest Calendars for Google Calendar

Google Calendars provides a few special interest calendars that you can subscribe to with your account.  It places those events on your calendar, so you can be aware of what is going on.  I find these quite interesting and helpful.  I especially like that you can add holidays to your calendar without having to look them up.  Being a sports fan, I also like that I can subscribe to the schedules of my favorite teams.  I can turn them off and on, depending on when I want to see them.  Here is a tutorial video showing you how you can subscribe to some special interest calendars.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Cometdocs - Conversion, Storage, and Sharing

Recently, I learned about a website called Cometdocs.  It is an online document management system that allows you store, convert, and share documents.  You get 1 GB of free storage for documents and files.  You can create an account or you can just use the site to share or convert files.  With an account, you can create folders, edit the metadata, convert to PDF or from PDF as well as other formats, and share with others.

My first attempt was with a PDF that I uploaded to the site.  I wondered if I could convert from PDF to Word and if it would really be easy and useable.  I clicked the convert button and the file easily converted to word.  I was amazed at how easily the conversion occurred.  I was able to edit the text and move pictures around.  It supports the change to Excel, Word, Powerpoint, as well as many other formats.

Sharing of a file can easily be completed by sharing the link to email addresses.  The file can also be hosted so that the link can be shared through social media using Facebook, Twitter, or Google links.

I was very pleased with the ease of use and the flexibility of the site.  Upload some files, share some files, convert some files and see how it works for you.  I think it's great.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

QR Codes in Art

At my new office, housed at the Dublin Technology Center, we've hung a lot of art from students and staff from around our district.  We've incorporated QR Codes with the art.  Let me explain what we've done.  First, we've created a Wiki to display art, as well as information about the artist.  So the QR Code attached to the picture takes you to the Wiki on your portable device.  That is illustrated in the picture below.  Two pieces of art with QR Codes about their authors.

Second, we have created actual art using the QR Code, which takes you to a digital piece of art.  Those pieces live in the Wiki Art Gallery, but the actual pieces don't live in the Technology Center.  This way we can link to videos, that couldn't be displayed on the wall.

Lastly, we've created book trailers and can rotate which books are highlighted.  We can change the book that lives on the page that is asssociated with the QR Code.

Here are some awesome ways to use QR Codes.  Most of our QR Codes are made with QR Stuff.  It allows you to change colors of the code.  Really nice.  Give them a try.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Oh, no! Google Reader is Going Away!

Really, this is quite annoying.  Not that Google Reader is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it does perform it's function very efficiently for me.  So, what do I do?  I think I have found a functional replacement.  Feedly is a nice replacement, and it currently brings in all of your current Google Reader feeds automatically.  I like that it brings the pictures in with the article, and has a nice clean interface.  It just may take getting used to.

Feedly currently has formats for browsers and portable devices.  I am using the Chrome version of feedly and on my portable devices, I have been playing with Flipboard, but am testing out Feedly, as well.  There are versions of Feedly for Safari and Firefox, too.  Try it out and let me know what you think?  Have you found something better?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Dublin Literacy Conference 2013

Wow.  Today I am fortunate to be able to share Web 2.0 Tools for Literacy with teachers at the Dublin Literacy Conference.  I love showing some of the free resources that are out there.  Here is the slideshare that guides the presentation.

Friday, February 22, 2013


Create an online magazine just for you.  Sound great, well it is.  With Flipboard, you can bring all of your online accounts into one application right on your iPad or iPhone.  It also works on other devices, as well. Flipboard allows me to set up one app and read my Twitter feed, Facebook, Google Reader, and many other accounts.  I get to choose what comes in.  It even brings in the photos that go with the article, so I can decide if I want to read more or just skip over it.  It's awesome.

I can also reply to articles by re-tweeting, sharing, and emailing.  It really does bring all of your social networks together in one easy location.  Check out all of the the things you can add.  It has different subject materials, so you can add topics that Flipboard collects based on that topic.  I add some tech topics as well as sports topics.  It even allows you to add hashtag searches, so you can bring in those Twitter topics you are keeping close tabs on.

The nice thing is that you can control it all.  I really think that anyone that owns an iPad should take advantage of Flipboard.  It is one powerful app.  Download the app here and give it a look.  I think you'll love it.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


 Bring your pictures to life with Narrable. Narrable is a website that allows you to upload your own pictures, then add sound to each picture to bring it to life. Narrable is very easy to use on an iPad, as well.  You can add sound in three ways. First, you can have the Narrable website call a phone number that you give them and ask you to record your thoughts.That is one nice option, especially if the person you want to record is somewhere other than where you are. The other ways are to record from your computer or to upload a sound recording that you had previously saved. 

This makes it very easy to "tell the story" of the picture that is on the screen. Next, it is very easy to share your narrable. You can click a button that shares with your Facebook account. You can click a link that allows you to email the link to the recording. And like the example below, you can grab the embed code and embed the narrable right on your webpage.

Check out Narrable and see how your students could use it in the classroom to add life to pictures they've taken. I think it has great potential.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Twubs - Moderated Display of Twitter Hashtag

We've been looking for a way to display a twitter feed at a conference.  We would like to moderate it so that the feed doesn't get spammed. is a site that allows you to register your hashtag and register your event.  You can then control how fast your feed displays - so people can read it - and you can alter the screen - so that your hashtag is displayed for people to participate.  We are getting ready for our conference this weekend, so this will be our first live event.  All of our tests have worked great. will help us display our hashtag for the Dublin Literacy Conference - #dublit13.  I hope by displaying the pre-conference tweets, it will generate some excitement and lead into some continued backchannel discussions.  Check it out on Saturday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Tagul - A Word Cloud

A lot of people have made word clouds to help illustrate important words in a group of words, whether it's from a story or "brainstorm."  I have looked at and to create in the past, but recently came across  I liked the fact that you could embed the cloud on your webpage with words being interactive links.  Here is a quick cloud I made using text from this blog, and a little bit of tweaking.

Get Adobe Flash player

I don't know which you like the most, but Tagul does do some neat stuff.  Give it a try.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Just Beam It

Have you ever been in a meeting with a group of people and needed to get a file to all of them?  What are your solutions??  E-mail them??  Pass around a USB device??  Well, I have found a great solution for that quick sharing of a file.  I stumbled upon this website that creates a link to your file.

Just Beam It allows you to drag a file onto the open window of your browser.  It creates a link to the file and displays it right in the browser so that others can access through their browser and download the file.  Easy and simple.  When they have all received the file, you can do another.

This would be awesome in a meeting, at a conference, in a computer lab, or anywhere you need to get a file to many people quickly and easily.  Give it a try.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Doug Unplugged

I was recently shown a picture book, and told I should read it.  It was about "technology."  So I read, Doug Unplugged, by Dan Yaccarino.  It was a cute little story about a robot that got plugged in to the network to learn all about what he needed to know.  One day, he "unplugged" and learned a lot about being a friend, having fun, and being part of a family.   He reminds us that sometimes we have to just "unplug" from what we do and have fun with our family and friends.  Spend a few minutes with Doug Unplugged.