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 (lesliefisher.com) 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.