Monday, December 12, 2011

Even More Tech Tools

Ever need speaker for your iPad, iPhone, Android tablet or phone, or just some portable speakers for your laptop?  These are two great speakers for portability and with great sound.

 Some Features:

  • Portable stereo sound for your iPad, or any Bluetooth-enabled audio device
  • Unique interlocking tube design; an ultra-portable sound solution for your iPad
  • 6 to 8 hours of audio enjoyment on a full charge; USB-rechargeable battery
  • Rubber spools on each speaker rotate to wind cords for portability and to avoid clutter
  • Lightweight at only 9.5 ounces (270 grams); Dimensions: 2.5 x 5.5 x 2.9” (75 x 140 x 75 mm)
These are one of my favorite items from iPevo.  Blue tooth connection - no wires!  Each half snaps together for easy carrying in your computer case.

Another nice portable speakers with great sound are the portable iHM79 speakers by iHome.  They have to connected to the speaker output on any device, but has great sound and rechargeable through usb port.  These snap together also for easy storage and carrying.

More Tech Tools

Another tool from iPevo is the Wireless Presentation System.  This the device connected to the VGA port on a projector.  Putting out its own WiFi connection, four different laptops can be viewed.  The view options are one showing or multiple views up to four.  This is great for people to share from their laptop without using cabling.

This is the Typi Folio Case and Keyboard for the iPad.  Has a nice brush leather and a blue tooth wireless keyboard attached by a magnet in the case.  Easily removed when the keyboard is not wanted.  The shortfall of this case is the prop-up strap.  Works well with a larger surface by not so well with your lap.

Tech Tools

Alex at iPevo sent me several of their products to try out.  This is the Ziggy.      These are some specs to consider:
·      A variety of high-definition and standard-definition resolutions up to 1600 x 1200
·      Long multi-jointed stand and 270° swivel head allow complete image customization
·      Full screen mode for projections; snapshot mode for taking and reviewing snapshots
·      Feature-rich software for on-the-fly image changes including focus, exposure, and more

Mac IOS and Windows 7 detect this camera easily and can be used with Quicktime on the Mac and Movie Maker in Windows 7 or XP.  Take pictures or live video for document presentation.  New to this camera compared to its sister P2v camera is a exposure adjustment for low light or too much light.  Works great with Skype too.  Best part – only $89.

 Another product that is quite interesting is the Chopstakes Multi-Styli for the iPad.  Not sure if these are the best stylus for portability but are nice to keep at your desk.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Technology Resources

Sat in a great workshop at Campus Technology Forum with John Kuglin. He shared a wealth of knowledge. Check out his site

His style was refreshing from the earlier presentation that was dry, boring, and never got to the point. John's presentation was informal, engaging, used technology to engage the audience with their own technology to be part of the presentation, and his personal approach drew you into the session. 3 hours flew by and we could have done longer.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Quote for the Day

This quote was shared with us tonight.
"There is a window of opportunity for everyone. It's not open all the time. In fact, for most people it's open for a brief moment at various points through their lifetime. However, I am going to do everything that I can to prepare you for your window of opportunity.
-- Matheson Rose St. John

Friday, August 5, 2011

Sidlit 2011 Conference

Had the privilege of spending 2 days with educators at Sidlit 2011.  Learned some great new tools such as Diigo;  many great tools for everyone.  Anibal Pacheco was my favorite presenter from Barton Community College on Fort Riley.  He has a great life story as well as a vast knowledge in technology.  Here are a few other sites that was shared: 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Social Networks and Teachers

Interesting move on the part of the Missouri legislature.

This is the section of MO Senate Bill 54:

SECTION 162.069 - By January 1, 2012, every school district must develop a written policy concerning teacher-student communication and employee-student communications. Each policy must include appropriate oral and nonverbal personal communication, which may be combined with sexual harassment policies, and appropriate use of electronic media as described in the act, including social networking sites. Teachers cannot establish, maintain, or use a work-related website unless it is available to school administrators and the child's legal custodian, physical custodian, or legal guardian. Teachers also cannot have a nonwork-related website that allows exclusive access with a current or former student.

This is not new for most districts that have policies in place. This gives teeth to administrators who suspect inappropriate communications between teachers and students. Big questions to ask:

1. Who is going to police this?
2. Who is going to force teachers to open systems to their administrators?
3. Will teachers take this seriously(especially those who want to be the student's friend)?
4. Will teachers de-friend students already part of their circle of friends?
5. Does this open better us of Google+ circles?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

PodStock Conference

Had a great time at PodStock Conference 2011.  Saw Kevin Honycut, our keynote for KCTechNet this year.  Met wonderful people doing great thing with technology in the classroom.  This conference is worth attending.

Monday, June 27, 2011

ISTE 2011

Day one ISTE is over and two tech tips that were gleaned today:  
  • for the iPad - splashtop white board, is a remote app to your desktop or laptop from your iPad over wifi.  Works nicely even on the portable hotspot from my phone.
  • - check out this site for creating tabbed site.  Can be embedded in your LMS and limits where your students can go.  Good way of organizing sites for a presentation.
Lots of walking in Philadelphia.  Conference is really good.  Looking forward to learning more Tuesday.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blackboard vs. Moodle

If you are looking at using Blackboard or Moodle as your LMS, consider several items I have experienced using Blackboard.  First, students don't like BB because of the multiple clicks to get to places in the course.  Second, BB doesn't play nicely with iPads,especially as an instructor.  Third, file management in BB is far too cumbersome and time consuming in uploading multiple files.  Finally, cost!  BB is expensive whereas Moodle is free with minimal hosting cost.  Does anyone have experience with D2L (Desire to Learn)?  Would love to hear from you about your experience.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


SWPSCHad two great  days in Sublette, KS at the Southwest Plains Regional Service Center doing teacher training.  Day one was learning all the possibilities with Google Apps for the classroom and school.  Two of the administrators got into Google Forms and the all the possibilities with the calendar.  Special thank you to Tom for his assistant others and giving of good suggestions.  His district is fortunate to have him.  The SPRSC for hosting and taking good care of us.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sun Valley Indian School Trip

It's has been a great week at Sun Valley Indian School in AZ working with the kids and adults.  The school is very blessed with some wonderful teachers who incorporate technology in the curriculum and have great support from Ray, the IT guy.  Ray has brought the technology along ways with projectors and SmartBoards received from the Holbrook School District.  The SV School is a unique situation serving Native American children (

Friday, May 20, 2011

Free Tools for Schools and Classroom

Worked with Olathe Christian School yesterday on finding a system for attendance, grades, and common assessments. Found 2 sites that are very helpful to small schools or even for classroom teachers with limited district resources. Engrade has a plethora of tools for school wide and classroom. The other site that is very helpful is Classmarker. This site has multiple assessment tools. Did I mention that these sites are free!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Internet Speed

Students are gone, just the faculty and staff. You would think our Internet speed would be better.

Time for IT to find a new service or fix their network.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Faculty Workshop

Mike Ramirez, Kim Humerickhouse, and I presented to the faculty on web 2.0 resources. We had fun and the faculty was engaged trying out the new sites. These were some the resources we shared - Internet Resources.  Check out these resources to add to your toolbox.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Conference Friday April 15

Went to a wonderful conference Friday, KAPCOTE. Dr. Marlysue Holmquist and Marla Elmquist from Bethany College did a nice job of presenting innovative ideas they are doing in their education department partnering with K-12 teachers.  Some was confirmation of things we are doing and some new ideas to investigate.  Mike Rameriz and I presented as a fill for a presenter who was sick.  We had fun.  Mike is fun to present with.

Monday, April 4, 2011


The process of purchasing equipment for a district or university can be complicated or simple.  I have found that some vendors play games bashing their competitor and try to tell you what you want instead of listening to what you have specified is needed.  One such company new to the area is CSS.  Their sales person is a prime example of treating you like you are an idiot and he is smarter than you and needs to tell you what you need.  In the end, it is what the customer wants that is important.  Some vendors are great at consulting and supplying information without being condescending.  These are the vendors that one should deal with.  Companies such as CSS aren't interested in what is best for the organization but merely looking to sell you items you don't need.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

iPevo Follow-Up

Yes!  Got my iPevo today!  Awesome!  Works great with Windows 7 and Mac.  Easy to set up and the controls are easy.  Used it with Skype and took pictures.  Very clear picture on documents and small enough to take.   Well worth the cost.

Monday, March 28, 2011


LMS (Learning Management Systems)

The question for many institutes is what is the best LMS?  There are many popular systems being used such as Blackboard, Angel (now owned by Blackboard and phasing out in the next few years), Desire to Learn, Moodle, and many more not to mention the proprietary systems developed by individual institutions.  My personal experience has been with three of these.  Blackboard, Moodle, and the institutes own system. 

Currently I am an doctoral student with NorthCentral Unversity out of Arizona.  Their own online system is not the best and is often hard to find information.  Compared to Blackboard, it is as good with fewer clicks than Blackboard.  Capella uses a modified version of Blackboard and it is one of the worse systems I have ever used.  I teach with Blackboard at the community college.  Blackboard over the years has not changed much and is one of the most cumbersome systems I have used.  Students have too many clicks to get the information they need and the limitations are many.  I have been using Moodle for the past 10 years and found it to be the most logical and sequential systems.  The capabilities are many as well as the ability to customize the look and feel of the site. 

So what system is best?  This is what my research will be on from the perspective of the instructor, student, and the IT people.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


I have ordered one of these new inexpensive document cameras, iPevo, $69.  The Apple guy at the Mace conference said it was great.  Will let everyone know how it works after I get it.


If you think people are confused about wireless - think of the birds.


Technology Departments

This year I have had the pleasure to attend some wonderful conferences. FETC, MACE, and our very own KCTechNet.

FETC was one of the best technology conferences I have attended, and in my opinion it rivals the ISTE conference. The FETC had wonderful workshops on iPads in the classroom, new gadgets, and Web 2.0 tools. Leslie Fisher ( was a delight and had a lot of great ideas. One particular device that I would highly recommend is a PogoPlug. The PogoPlug plugs into your home router and up to 5 external hard drives can be attached. This allows access to files securely anywhere there is Internet access. This has come in handy more than once. I paid $45 for mine through Amazon.

MACE and KCTechnet were local conference with practitioners presenting. Mike Ramirez and I presented on 10 Reasons for Google in the Classroom. Many good ideas were presented at both of these conferences with the theme to enhance instruction with the integration of technology.

The time for change is in the leadership of technology departments in education. Many teachers at the conferences were excited with the possibilities but were quickly deflated with any further idea of using what they had learned because, "the technology department won't let us". The question I post for all in educational leadership is, "why should technology be driving what teachers use?" Most technology people are not educators and have no clue about what is needed in the classroom. Isn't it time for a paradigm shift in who makes these decisions? Technology department's role is to provide a secure network, filter inappropriate material, and provide support to users, teachers and staff, so they can do their jobs with every possible tool available to them.