Showing posts from 2013

Friday Find - Technology Integration Matrix

Technology Integration Matrix from - "The Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) illustrates how teachers can use technology to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM incorporates five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed (i.e., reflective), authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). The TIM associates five levels of technology integration (i.e., entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells as illustrated below."

Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,

College of Education, University of South Florida © 2011-2013.

Moodle - Managing the Messaging System

Changing your Messaging SettingsToday we will look at another way to control the number AND type of emails you are getting from your forums and all other activities in Moodle.  This is through your messaging settings.

To get to your messaging settings, go to your settings and look under "My profile settings" for Messaging. 

This will bring you to a window that has a list of all the items you can set your messaging choices for.  This list will change depending on the roles you have on the server -e.g.  if you are a teacher, you will have more choices than someone who is only a student on the server.

For each item that appears in your list, you have two different messaging choices you can enable/disable via checkboxes: Popup notifications - which will appear on the screen when you log in for several secondsEmail - which will send an email from the Moodle system to your accountAdditionally, you can choose whether/if it happens:
When you are logged inWhen you are offlineLooking thro…

iPads in Education - Tellagami App Review

Tellagami Review
Basics: "Tellagami is a mobile app that lets you create and share a quick animated message called a Gami."  Think PSA! The user can set a male or female character's characteristics (including emotion), adds a background then records the message.  Upon playback, the character is animated - with some emotion added to the hand gestures.  It can then be shared.
Drawbacks:  There is a 30 second time limit to your recordings - this could be a drawback or a benefit.

Current Costs:  currently FREE!

Link to iTunes Store:

Google Apps - Contact Groups vs Google Groups Intro

Google Groups vs Contact Groups One of the most confusing items for new Google users is the concept of groups...I say this as I feel I am pretty savvy, but it took a lot more reading and experiencing than normal before I got my head wrapped around it and could explain it to others.  I've decided this is because Google uses the term groups in multiple ways within its products, so just talking about a group is a little misleading as it might not be the group you are thinking about.

So, here's a little rundown of the two types of groups you as a user may be using.

Google Groups
Google Groups are a bit like a listserv. They are a mechanism for you to create a group that is managed by a group owner and shared with others.   Here are some key points about a Google Group: a Google Group has a unique email address - when you mail the group it is using this single email and upon receipt it is dispersed to the group in the manner each user has designatedGroup members only have access to …

Friday Find - "What Can I Still Do with an iPad - First Generation?" collaborative document

One of the questions I am beginning to be asked is "What can I still do on an iPad 1??"  We have several districts that purchased the devices in their first iteration and are unable to update them as they are no longer supported.  But, they are still usable educational tools...

Here is a collaborative document I ran across that may help you out with that -
"What Can I Still Do with An iPad - First Generation" by Naomi Harm
Not only look for ideas, but feel free to add some of the activities you are still able to do

Moodle - How to set forum subscription settings

Controlling Emails from Moodle Today in looking at how to control the number of emails you are getting from your forums in Moodle, I will address subscriptions.

First, you should know how to control your default subscription settings. To get there, log onto your Moodle and click on Administration - > My profile settings -> Edit profile

Once there, look about half way down the information to the "Forum auto-subscribe" option.

You can change that either to "Yes: when I post, subscribe me to that forum" or "No: don't automatically subscribe me to the forums."  Remember, this is a default setting; you can individually change it for each forum you participate in when posting.  So, if you do not want most of the messages you are getting from forums, you should select "No."

Another choice you have is the Email digest type:

You can choose from the following options to control the amount of email: No digest ( single email per forum post)…

iPads in Education - MyScript Memo app Review

MyScript Memo
Basics: Today's app review is a handwriting to text converter! You can now take handwritten notes on your iOS device, and either send the picture of them OR have it convert the writing to text and send the text
Drawbacks:  The screen size on a phone is somewhat a hindrance, but on the iPad it works great.

Current Costs:  currently FREE!

Link to iTunes Store:

Google Apps - New Google Menu bar

New Way of Getting to Apps At some point in the near future you are going to look for that familiar black bar across the top of your Google Apps to switch to a different app....and realize it is gone!  That is because Google is providing a "new way to access your apps."

Instead of this:

You will see this:

To access apps, you will need need to go to the 3x3 grid that is in the upper-right side and click on that:

This grid displays the basic Google apps up front; clicking on the More at the bottom of the window will display additional Google apps, and below that any items that have been installed from the Marketplace.

You might notice a few other changes at the top, as well:
The Google+ is moved from the left to the right.The notification has changed to a bell with a red badge displaying the number of new itemsA share callout that will post to your Google+ from any Google App
Not all of these are going into place at the same time, but eventually we all will see the changes…

Friday Find - Picadilo

Picadilo is a free online photo editor!  Very easy to use, you don't have to create an account to start using it.  Pictures can be uploaded from your computer/device OR pulled in from FaceBook.  Former users of Picnik may feel a familiar flavor...

Moodle - How to track unread forum posts

If participating in forums in Moodle, one of the hard pieces is being able to keep track of which forums have new posts from your last visit there.  There are two options you have - one involves email and the other involves highlight within the Moodle course.  Today I will address the highlighting method - which is called tracking.

Tracking forum posts is something that is set by each user in their profile.  To get there, log onto your Moodle and click on Administration - > My profile settings -> Edit profile

Once there, look about half way down the information to the "Forum tracking" option.  You can change that to "Yes: highlight new posts for me" in order to enact this feature.  This will turn the feature on, which will put the number of unread posts next to the forum name AND place a colored box around each unread post.

iPads in Education - Getting Used to iOS 7

There are many changes that come with updating to iOS 7 on your iOS devices.  I have found that some take some getting used to (like the brightness of the new icons!), and others are welcome changes.  Here are a few items you might want to look for or know about at first blush:

Updates to the Notification Center - there are some nice additions to this, if it is something you use.  I find it more useful now than I did before because I can "highlight" those need to know items. Updated Siri - Siri's better in many ways: you know if the mic is working by the wave motion; the voice is a little more natural sounding; the interpretations are better; and you can pick a male voice now. Ability to close more than one app at a time - this is a huge plus for me.  I can close 3 apps at a time on my iPad, and 2 on my iPhone (if you don't know how yet, double-click the home button then swipe the windows up to close the app) Appearance - I'm still adjusting to…

Google Apps - Popout Email Reply

Ever frustrated because you were replying to an email, but really needed to see the email while responding?  And clicking the dots to see it in your response, and doing a lot of scrolling just frustrated you?  Never again!  Here is how you can "pop" your reply out so that the original message can be seen in the background!

After you begin your reply to the sender, click on the arrow in the upper left corner of the message, and choose "Pop out reply" - this will move your reply to a pop-out window, allowing you to search & view other email in the background.

Friday Find - Blogs, Wikis & Google Docs Comparison Chart

Here is a great comparison chart for Blogs, Wikis & Google Docs created by Mark Wagner (@markwagner) that was shared via Twitter by the technology consultant team at Jackson County ISD, Michigan.

You might find it useful if you are struggling in deciding which tool to use for an activity or project!

Moodle - Where to Start?

"How do I start using Moodle?"
If you are new to Moodle, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.  This is because Moodle can be used in so many ways that the new user feels lost!  Here are some quick-start suggestions for ways you can quickly begin using it:
share handouts on your course so students can access them anytime (no more running to the copier to get additional copies as they can print it out themselves!) - File Resource post links to online resources (no more running around helping students when they type in the URLs incorrectly) - Website Resource create a weekly poll of one question that can test for general knowledge or gather data -  Choice Activity have a student Q&A forum where students can answer each others' questions - Forum Activity By starting out implementing just one aspect of Moodle, you can gain the familiarity and confidence you need while beginning to move your students into a blended environment.

iPads in Education - Drawp App Review

Drawp by Moondrop Entertainment LLC
Basics: Make drawings, add audio and share them easily Educational Uses: The app is made to use with young children, but could also be easily used with students that have special needs.  A difference with this app - the parent (teacher) sets up how the drawings are shared, and the kid simply swipes the drawing onto a picture to share it. Current Cost: currently free! Link to iTunes Store:

Google Apps - Requesting Email Read Receipts

Did you know that you can request an email read receipt? 

When you are in compose mode, there is a More Options arrow in the lower right corner.  Clicking on this will display some additional options for you - one of is "Request read receipt." Clicking on it enables it (places a check next to it). Clicking on it a second time will disable it.

Here's a quick video showing how to turn it on and off:

This Week's Ed Tech Info - September 16

This edition - Google Timer, iPad Storage management, free Moodle course, organizing with LiveBinders, using interactive whiteboards, MACUL speaker proposals... View this email in your browserSome tips & news you can use.... Need a Timer for your Classroom?  Just Google it! (Thank you to Nicodin Bogdan for sharing this!)

If you need a timer in your classroom, you can simply "Timer for 1 minute" in your Google Search bar, and you have an instant timer!  Go ahead, try it out...

Here's a little video of it:

About Gmail Shortcuts

Some people have expressed frustration to me because "things just happen" while they are in their email.  Typically, as we tend to be short of possessed devices, it is because they have unintentionally used one or more of the built in email shortcuts.

So, how do you know the shortcuts?  And, how can you turn them off (or on)?

Well, to know they are enabled or not, you need to check your email settings.  To do this go to the gear and select Settings:

Once the settings are displayed, make sure you are looking at the General Settings, and scroll down until you see Keyboard shortcuts:.  This will tell you if they are on or off:

Turn them on or off, as desired, and make sure to "Save Changes" at the bottom of the window.  You may go through these steps as often as you wish.
If the shortcuts are on, to see what shortcuts are available to you (and this is true in any of the Google Apps) at any time you can use the question mark to view them (hit Shift + /).  You may noti…

iPads in Education - Dink App Review

Dink - "Become a Master Animator"Basics: Dink is an app for creating animations.  The user creates the animation using stop frame (or stop motion) animation, allowing the user to customize on a frame by frame basis.  Creativity is only limited by the user, as the user creates all the content.

Educational Uses:  If you are looking for an app for animation that is easy for students to pick up and learn very quickly, this app may be the one.  I was able to create a simple 15 frame animation - with layers - in under 15 minutes.  That was without looking at any tutorials or examples.  Very easy to learn and use.  Overall, very powerful....however, you might want to read the drawbacks before purchasing for your classroom set of devices.

Drawbacks in Education:  The link to within the app is a serious concern - not the site itself, but that it connects to animations created by others and many of these are not appropriate for students (one of them even embarrassed me!).  B…

Enabling Mobile Secure Browser Using Configurator

How to Enable Mobile Secure Browser Using Configurator
The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium provides directions for how to access the secure testing environment on individual devices. They even provide a pdf document specifically "About the Secure Browsers for iPad and Android Tablets."  
But what about if you manage your devices using Apple Configurator? Here are the directions for setting it up using Configurator - and the beauty is you don't have to touch each device individually!
First, the device must be supervised for this to work.  If it isn’t, you will first need to supervise it.  Please remember - that when you supervise a device it is completely wiped to factory settings.
Setting up: Download AIRSecure Test Add AIRSecure Test to your apps list in Configurator Select the device(s) or the group(s) of devices Add AIRSecure Test as one of the apps on the device Apply
When you want to go into Secure Browse…

Interpreting the iTunes Terms & Conditions for Education

Let me begin by saying I am not a lawyer, nor am I speaking as a representative of Apple.  However, in my job I am consistently having to educate teachers on the how the terms and conditions apply in these situations:

how their personal Apple Accounts work with devices they own versus how their personal Apple Accounts work with devices supplied by a schoolhow a device is used personally versus how it is used in a school settingthe different rules concerning where apps can be downloaded, and how many devices a singly purchased app can be used on I've color coded the information so that green text is a direct copy/paste from the Terms and Conditions.  That is followed by my interpretation of the it, why it is important and how it might impact a teacher.
If you see any inaccuracies, please feel free to let me know as this is certainly a work in progress.

(Terms & Conditions Version - updated December 3, 2012)
APP STORE PRODUCT USAGE RULES: “(iii) You shall be able to store App Stor…

Moodle 2 for Teachers & Admin - Drag & Drop into Text Question Type

Unbeknownst to many, there are various question types that can be added to Moodle to make quizzes more flexible - and more like some of the question types students may see elsewhere (read that - national testing...).  I'm going to demonstrate various question types over the next several weeks.

Open University has created a whole host of question types.  Today we are looking at the "Drag and Drop Into Text" question.  
Here is a video overview of how to set it up and use it:

(This question types working on Moodle 2.1 forward; I am showing it running on Moodle 2.4. This addition must be added to your Moodle server by a Moodle Administrator.)
Moodle Plugins - Drag & Drop into Text Drag & Drop into TextDocumentation

Rubrics & Google Forms

This past week a thread went through the K12 Google Apps listserv about using rubrics within Google.  One post shared how Kevin Bookhouser - an English teacher - uses them to grade his students essays.

He has created a great video explaining how he does this:

This method could be used for any rubric you wanted to use, so if you have been contemplating this I would check it out!

iPads in Education - Haiku Deck App Review

Haiku Deck App - "Set Your Story Free"Basics: Haiku Deck is a FREE app for creating presentations very quickly and easily.   While only 5 of the themes are provided (others can be in-app purchased), they are very modern looking.  The app is very intuitive to use, offering easy to change layouts.  There are fewer choices than many other presentation creators, meaning the user stays more focused on the content.  Also, text space is limited forcing the user to focus in on the main ideas of their presentation.

You can either add your own photos or use the app to search a photo service where you can select a word/phrase from your slide and have it find  pictures that are tagged as such.  Some of the built in messages are quirky, funny or annoying depending on your sense of humor (such as: "Patience grasshopper downloading a large file").

Educational Uses:  This is a great free alternative to other paid presentation apps (such as Keynote).

Link to Websitehttp://www.haik…

Moodle 2 for Teachers - Some Updates with 2.4

Moodle 2.4 was just released, with several updates that teachers might find useful.  Some of the latest features include:

Ability to stream in outside calendars - my calendar of choice is my Google calendar for a variety of reasons; the ability to use this within a Moodle course instead of maintaining a separate calendar is a huge time-saver!Ability to view student submissions on the page I am grading and providing comments - in 2.3 this was broken; I'm glad to say the restored it so now I can be writing my comments in the same window where I am reading the student's assignment, allowing me to provide more specific feedback.Blind marking of assignments - teachers can now turn on blind marking of assignments so they do not see student names while grading, a great way to help ensure you are providing objective feedback and grades.Group assignments - if you use groups, you can now assign an activity to a specific group, even requiring all group members to have submitted prior to …

REMC Connected Educator Series

If you haven't checked these out yet, you really should!   The "Connected Educator Series" is a REMC project that "brings the ideas and practices of exceptional technology using Michigan educators right to teachers and administrators in an easy to access, easy to use, cost effective manner." There are multiple ways to access these short videos:

The REMC Connected Educator Project page: MI Learning within iTunes U or the iTunes Store: REMC MI Streamnet: REMC MI Streamnet Another resource that is free to all.