Thursday, May 31, 2012

Evernote Hello Lauches for Android - helps you remember people you meet

Evernote, one of my favorite resources, has some other products besides its main one. Evernote also has the Evernote Trunk. The Trunk has apps that integrate with Evernote, scanners that scan directly to Evernote, pens that record what you write and send it to Evernote (Livescribe), and much, much more. There's even one that allows you to save things from your Twitter and Facebook streams directly into Evernote. Evernote also has Clearly, a service that allows you to clear out adds and pop-ups on sites so that you can just read the article and Skitch is an app that allows you to annotate and mark up images and save them in Evernote.

Evernote launched Evernote Hello six months ago. It is an app that helps you remember people you meet based on the context of meeting them. They have just released Evernote Hello for Android. It is also available on iOS.

Evernote Hello helps you remember people based on the connections - relating names and faces to events, locations. With Hello, you can enter the person's email address and add a picture of them, location, time, notes, and more. 

You can add new people by entering their information yourself, pulling information from your address book, or letting them enter their contact info into your phone. 

What's nice is the ability to quickly take a picture of the person and add information that will help you remember where you met them and in what context. You can also connect your Hello account to your LinkedIn account and it will try to match the person's email address with a LinkedIn profile. The app will also create an "Encounter" which is the context of the meeting, including a map, street view of location, links to other profiles of people you met in similar context, notes, photos and related Evernote notes that you have. 

Another useful feature is the Mosaic, which is the home screen for Hello, containing faces of the people you have met ordered chronologically to help you find them. 

Evernote Hello is a great way to remember all the people you meet as an educator - other educators at conferences, students, vendors, and more.

Get Evernote Hello for Android from Google Play

Successful College Student's Pyramid - tips and ideas

College students, and high school students for that matter, have a lot of things to organize and prioritize. School work, classes, projects, homework, jobs, sports, relationships, parties, fun, sports all take time and effort. Below is an infographic that gives some information and tips and ideas on helping students manage their time, get organized, and prioritize things to be successful.

Successful College Student’s Pyramid
Presented By: Online Colleges

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Embedit - embed any file in your website or blog - free

Embedit is a cool site that lets you embed files into your website or blog, with some great features. You can mark up or highlight parts of a file to make sure your audience sees certain parts, there are analytics about how viewers are using your documents, and you can enable or disable downloading, printing and embedding of your documents.

(It is owned by now)

It's easy to use, with help available if needed, and you can sign in using your Google, Twitter, Yahoo, AOL, Wordpress, or OpenID accounts.

Documents can be viewed in multiple ways: embed directly, thumbnails that open in overlay, or links that open in overlay.

You can embed lots of different types of files, up to 20MB in size. File types include:

  • Documents: Word (DOC/DOCX), Excel (XLS/XLSX), PowerPoint (PPT/PPTX), WPD, ODT, ODP, ODS, PDF
  • Images: GIF, JPEG, PNG, TIFF, BMP, PSD
  • Vector Graphics: API, EPS, PS
  • Text: TXT, RTF, CSV
  • Code: HTML, SQL, JS
  • Web: Web pages or other URLs

You can customize the size, background color, and other viewing options in the customize screen when creating your embed and any changes you make such as annotation, privacy and print and download permissions are automatically updated.

You can use it with the following browsers: IE 6+, Google Chrome, Firefox 2+, Safari 2+ and Opera. It does use Adobe Flash 9, but works in 98% of browsers. 

This is a great way to add files to your class site or blog so that students can access them and you can make them view only, downloadable, printable, and even annotate them. You can also see how many people are using your files. 

Check it out: 

Here is a file I'm using for a PD session today at another school that I used Embedit to create the embed code and even marked it up pointing to the main link I want them to make note of.

CyQuiz - create your own quizzes and games for free

CyQuiz is a free site that allows you to create quizzes and games. You do not need to signup and it works in your browser (no Flash required). It works on Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

There are existing quizzes you can use or you can create your own quizzes. Quizzes can have pictures and sound in them and you can create multiple skill levels in the games.

There are game templates and the games are great for helping students learn concepts while having fun.

It's free, easy to use, and a great way to create some quizzes and games for your students. You can also have students create games and quizzes as a class project. The site also has tutorials to help you.


EdCamp CT is Aug 10th. I'm going. Are you? You should be!


Edcamp is a great series of free, unconferences for educators. The Edcamp model is unique in that attendees set the agenda the morning of the conference and the sessions are not led by one person, but are rather a collaboration of both the facilitator and attendees. It is a great way to learn, share, and connect with other educators.

EdCamp is coming back to Connecticut this summer. EdCampCT will be held August 10th, 2012. You can register here. (remember, it's FREE!). It will be held at the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, CT again, which is an absolutely beautiful school.

  I attended the first EdCampCT last year and it was awesome. It is so nice to be able to learn about topics you want to learn about in a relaxed, discussion format. It's also nice to know that if you find a session doesn't meet your needs, you can just get up and go to another one and no one's feelings are hurt because that is the model. I learned and shared my knowledge with others. It was a great day.

If you haven't been to an EdCamp yet, you need to get to one! See the related link below for more information about other upcoming EdCamps near you.


Edcamp - teacher run, awesome, free educational conferences

New Chromebook, Chromebox and updated Chrome OS - look awesome, great for education

Google and Samsung have just announced a new Chromebook, the Chromebox and the new version of Google's Chrome OS.

I have been a long time user of Google's Chrome OS and Chromebook (almost two years) on their beta device, the CR-48. I love it! I can do everything I need on it.

Chromebooks run Google's Chrome OS which is based on the Chrome web browser. They are fast, easy to use, secure (not data on device) and run all of Google's apps, along with thousands of third party apps. They are really great for schools because of the long battery life and the fact that nothing is stored on the device and there is no school IT support needed.

The new Chromebook from Samsung is fast, portable and easy to use. The Chromebox is a compact desktop device that is very powerful. They both have Intel Core processors and are 3 times as fast as the first-generation Chromebooks (which are very fast and boot in seconds). They include hardware accelerated graphics, multi-touch trackpad, and boot in less than 7 seconds. The Chromebook allows you to multi-task easily. I've used my beta CR-48 with 20 tabs open running lots of apps without a problem and these new devices are much more powerful.

Old Interface:

New Interface

The new version of Chrome OS also has a new user interface. The old interface looked like the Chrome browser and the new app window. The new interface looks more like a typical desktop OS interface, with a taskbar at the bottom. You can easily find and launch apps, and multi-task with apps and the browser window or use full screen mode.

Chrome OS includes the ability to view MS Office files (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx) and .zip, .rar, .txt, .pdf, .html, and most video, audio and image files. You can access all of your Google apps and your files on Google Drive (along with other cloud storage services),

Google is also rolling out Google Docs OFFLINE support in the next few weeks (yeah!). You can work on your files while offline and they will sync as soon as you connect to the internet. There are also offline capable web apps available in the Chrome Web Store. There are tons of apps for work and play.

Another great new feature is the Chrome Remote Desktop Beta. With this you can connect to your PC or Mac from your Chromebook or Chromebox and use your files and apps just as if you were sitting in front of your computer (similar to SplashTop Remote Desktop.). This can be used with Chrome OS or in the Chrome Browser.

The other major benefit of Chromebooks is that they are constantly, and automatically, being upgraded with new features and improvements.

There was one limitation to the Chromebooks - I could run a couple of Java apps I needed for school. That is no longer a problem with InstallFree Nexus and Rndr - free apps that add a ton of functionality to the Chrombooks. Read my review of them here:

I really love my CR-48 Chromebook and can only imagine the experience this new device will provide. the Chromebook is a great laptop - light, powerful, with a long battery life. The Chromebox would be a great replacement for desktop computers also. 99% of what I do is online, so a device like a Chromebook works great for me. I use Google's apps, Evernote, and Tweetdeck for most of my daily work. My Chromebook is my go to portable device, along with my smartphone. I really believe that a Chromebook is the best device for education. They are lightweight, have long battery lives, and require no support. They are easy to use and fast and there is no data stored on the device. They update automatically and there is no need for software or OS licensing.

If you or your school are looking for a new device, I highly recommend the Chromebooks.

Starting yesterday, you can get the new Chromebook and Chromebox from the online retail partners in the U.S. and U.K., and in other select countries over the coming weeks. The Series 5 Chromebook starts at $449.99 and the Chromebox is $329.99 with Education pricing available.

Here's a great video about Chrome OS and Chromebooks:

I did NOT receive any compensation for this post. I just really like Chrome OS and the Chromebooks.

Source: Official Google Blog


Google Chromebooks and Chrome OS revisited - great for education

Update on InstallFree Nexus and Rndr - work great on a Chromebook!

The Death of Worksheets - guest post

The Death of Worksheets

Educational technology has the power to dramatically transform classrooms and enhance learning for students of all ages.  This blog alone contains links to hundreds of amazing apps, websites, and tech tools.  But what is it that those online resources should be replacing in schools?  

I hereby nominate... the worksheet.  “Death by worksheet” has become a common occurrence in schools, so much so that some teachers (and even students) can no longer imagine learning taking place without them.  Yet worksheets are static, unable to adapt to individual students’ answers as they work through a lesson.  Worksheets are also fake: students’ work on them is generally not spent solving real problems or communicating with real audiences.

It’s time for a new vision.  With the help of technology, we can replace the worksheet with the following:

  • Adaptive, differentiated content:  The work we ask students to do should always be in their zone of proximal development.  Adaptive technologies exist that can give students harder or easier math questions, for example, based on their previous answers.  This should be the new norm.
  • Project-based learning:  Turning the whole model of student work on its head, project-based learning allows students to learn through real-life, hands-on, complex projects instead of worksheets.  Which task is more genuine: having a middle school class run a government simulation where they actually take on governmental roles and work to pass laws and govern fairly, or having that same class complete a collection of worksheets covering that same government information?
  • Multimedia content:  Students should given the opportunity to learn content by watching engaging videos, looking at photos, and listening to podcasts instead of simply reading from worksheets.
  • Genuine audiences:  Student work should have real value and be directed to real audiences.  Instead of completing worksheets, students should be doing things like writing blog posts, creating podcasts, and designing artwork for others to actually enjoy.

What if you weren’t allowed to use any worksheets with your students for one week?  Completely banning worksheets from your practice for a set period of time will force you to find other methods of instruction, practice, and assessment for your students.  Who knows?  You might find that a short no-worksheet experiment leads to the end of “death by worksheet” in your class, perhaps even replacing it with the death of worksheets.

About the Author:
Neven Jurkovic’s interest in teaching mathematics with technology developed while pursuing a Master of Science degree at Southwest Texas State University. Apart from publishing a number of papers on the application of artificial intelligence in elementary mathematics problem solving, Neven is the creator of Algebrator, a widely used math tutoring software.  Currently, he lives in San Antonio, TX and is the CEO of Softmath:  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Some great ideas from the Grassroots Education Movement

The Grassroots Education Movement is the group behind the film "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman" that defends public education and teachers, and work to defend public education.

There site has some great resources and links about public education and the education reform movement that is currently sweeping the nation. All teachers should visit the site and read the information.

Below is a quote from their web site detailing more about them (GEMNYC):

The Grassroots Education Movement (GEMNYC) educates, organizes, and mobilizes educators, parents, students and communities to defend public education. Too many current corporate and government policies seek to underfund, undermine and privatize our public school system. GEM advocates around issues dealing with the equality and quality of public educational services as well as the rights of teachers and school workers. These issues include the incessant push for charter schools, the attack on union rights, the focus on high-stakes standardized testing, school closures, and the failure to address the racism and inequality that exists within our schools. As the attacks on public education and teachers grow more vicious, the collective organization of those who directly face these attacks at the grassroots level becomes all the more essential, and in fact constitutes the most effective potential resistance. GEM advocates for a positive vision of education reform by building alliances with other activist groups and organizing and helping coordinate the struggle at the grassroots school and community level, with a focus on school-level organizing. 
Our vision of a fully funded, democratic, public education system that is accountable to the public it is intended to serve includes the following real reforms:
Reform #1: Smaller Class Sizes
Reform #2: Excellent Community Public Schools for ALL Children
Reform #3: More Teaching – Less Testing
Reform #4: Parent and Teacher Empowerment and Leadership
Reform #5: Equitable Funding for ALL Schools
Reform #6: Anti-Racist Education Policies
Reform #7: Culturally Relevant Curriculum
Real Reform #8: Expand Pre Kindergarten and Early Intervention Programs
Real Reform #9: Qualified and Experienced Educators and Educational Leaders
Real Reform #10: Democratic and Social Justice Unionism

I have to agree with their reforms listed above. Smaller class sizes, community based schools, less testing, more empowerment of teachers, equitable funding, and more intervention programs will definitely help our students learn and succeed better. 

What do you think?

CellCraft - learn about cells through interactive game

CellCraft is a free interactive game were students learn about the cell as they play the game. It is free to download (as long as you give credit) in three different formats: SWF for embedding on webpages, EXE to play on a Windows computer, and APP to play on a MAC.

The creators are also developing a downloadable teacher's packet with more information about the game and lab for students to use as they play the game.

They also have a blog and forum on the site for users to share and get information and tips. There is a separate category in the forum for teachers too.

This is a fun way for students to learn about the cell.

Water Safety for Kids Resources and Tips

American Red Cross

With the warm weather here, kids will be swimming in pools, lakes, ponds, rivers, and the ocean. Now would be a great time to share some water safety information with the students, and parents, in your school.

Stew Leonard's is a grocery store chain in Connecticut and New York. Stew Leonard Jr. lost his son, Stewie the III, to a drowning many years ago and created a charity and website to help spread the word on water safety to others.

On the site,, you can find water safety tips and links to other water safety resources. The charity helps provide water safety programs, education, and swimming lessons for kids. They also have a free iOS app about water safety.

Learn more at the Red Cross site also:

Share these resources and tips with your students and their families so that we can help make sure all of our students come back safe next year.

Source of inspiration and link: CT Post Newspaper

NASA PlanetQuest - The Search for Another Earth - great for science classes

NASA PlanetQuest is a very interesting site from NASA that has links and resources about NASA's search for new planets outside of our solar system. There are multimedia resources, links, videos, photos, news, blogs from scientists, and much more.

The site also has six very cool interactives that would be great in the classroom: Extreme Planet Makeover (create your own planet), PlanetQuest timeline (history of exoplanet speculation and exploration), Alien Safari (learn about bizarre and extreme organisms found on Earth), Interstellar Trip Planner (plan a trip to outer space), Alien Fact or Fiction quiz, and 3D Guide to the Galaxy, which lets you explore our galaxy in 3D. These are fun and educational and can be used in a variety of classrooms as projects.

There is also a page on Education that includes more resources and links to learn more about space exploration and the search for planets.

This is another excellent resource from NASA.

Check it out:


NASA Speakers Bureau

NASA - Find lots of great educational resources from NASA here

BioLogica - interactive Biology lessons and learning resources

BioLogica is a site that has interactive labs and learning activities on biology that help students learn concepts. Students work through the activities, get feedback and hints and create a portfolio of their work.

BioLogica runs on Windows and Mac's. It doesn't just help students learn concepts in Biology, it also helps them make connections between different concepts and ideas. It focuses on genetics, including helping students to learn the parts, processes, and mechanisms of genetics.

The activities pose a problem for the students and then lets them solve it. The software will have the students explain their reasoning, help them with hints and eve suggest additional resources and material to help them. Teachers can monitor student performance and collect the student work into electronic portfolios.

There are also 3D interactive models of the cell on the site. These are great for helping students learn about the cell.

There are demos of the activities on the site and you can download a free copy of the prototype version of the software.

ClassTools - create interactive tools and games for Education

ClassTools is a free site that allows you to create free educational games, activities, quizzes, and more. You can host them on your own website or blog and there is no sign up required.

They also have some great templates, including Fakebook (create fake Facebook pages), Arcade game generator, QR code game generator and even have classroom timers, and a random name picker.

There are video tutorials on how to use the available tools also.

There are some great tools here for teachers to use to make some great activities for students. You could also have students use the tools to create projects for class.

NOTE: They are Flash based.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Most Read Posts from past week on Ed Tech Guy

The rocket launches went great this week and senior finals start next Tuesday. I can't believe the school year is almost over.

As we enjoy this long Memorial Day Weekend in the United States, take a moment to remember the brave men and women who have given their lives to defend our freedom.


Here are the most read posts from the past week: And don't forget to check the posts on Friday.They don't always have time to become the most read, but there are usually some good ones there (and of course  check out all of the articles on the site). Peruse some of the older ones also.

1. NearPod - create and share lessons on iPads in classroom - free
2. Livescribe SmartPen - 5 years of smartpen use and my review

3. 100 Ways You Should Be Using Facebook in Your Classroom

4. InstallFree Nexus - us MS Office or LibreOffice on any device through the cloud and

Update on InstallFree Nexus and Rndr - work great on a Chromebook!

5. Game On - Increasing Learning through Online Games

6. Giza 3D - great, interactive 3D recreation of the Great Pyramids

7. Google Doodle Honors Bob Moog - inventor of Moog Synthesizer

8. Rockets Project a Success! Fun day launching today

Don't forget to check out the permanent pages at the top of the site too!

I am also available to speak at your school or conference and to facilitate professional development sessions.  I will work with you and your staff to tailor a training plan that works for you.

Please visit the advertisers on this site. 

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Friday, May 25, 2012

EngineerGuy - great videos and resources on how things work

EngineerGuy is a very cool site by Bill Hammack. He explores and explains technology and the human side of technology, in videos and radio pieces, along with some books.

He teaches at the University of Illinois, was a US Diplomat (Senior Science Adviser at the Department of State), and has received awards for his work.

The videos and radio shows have explored nanotechnology, smart phones, mood rings, new inventions, light bulbs, smoke detectors, the accelerometer in a smart phone and much more. The videos are well done, explain the technology in an easy to understand way, and are very interesting.

The videos are a great way to learn about technology and different topics, as well as to share with your students. The videos can be viewed on his site (they are hosted on YouTube) and you can also listen to his radio shows and read different white papers he has written.

I will be using some of the videos as introductions to topics or to get my students engaged and excited about some topics.

Check it out:

More great STEM Resources.

Chalkable - educational apps and classroom management system

Chalkable is a site that lists the best education apps in one place and lets you buy it through the Chalkable site. You can search apps by keyword, or browse by categories like Math, Science, History and more.

It is also a learning platform, providing a calendar, messaging, grade book, and attendance for teachers and students to use.

Teacher and Administrator versions are in Beta and free. The student version is in beta, is $10 per year, and includes $5 towards apps.

It could be a nice way to have classroom management system and apps all in one place.


EDU 2.0 - free course management system for schools

Binder Clips - lots of great uses for these little guys

Our Favorite Office Objects: The Endlessly Versatile Binder Clip

I love binder clips. They are a great resource for organizing paper. But, since I've gone very close to paperless, I have tons of them around with nothing to use them on. Or so I thought.

Lifehacker is one of my favorite sites. They have tips, tricks, information, news and more on pretty much everything. They also have tons of ideas on how to use binder clips. 

Use Binder Clips as Photo Displays or Note Stands

Nine Great Uses for Binder Clips

I use them to hold and organize cables all the time. Clip the binder clip to a table or desk and use the handles to hold the cables in place. 

Our Favorite Office Objects: The Endlessly Versatile Binder Clip

As more and more people go paperless, we are going to have more and more orphaned binder clips. Lets give them homes and uses.

What other ways to you use binder clips?


Some more tips for going paperless

Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program - should be taught to all students

The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program is a program from the NRA (National Rifle Association) that teaches children in Pre-K through 3rd grade four important steps to take if they find a gun. It's a simple, easy to remember format:

If you see a gun: STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult. 

Eddie Eagle

It was recently in the news when a young child who had been taught the program found a gun and followed the program.

I am a member of the NRA and I own a firearm. I have been shooting since I was a Boy Scout. I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I also believe in enforcing gun laws and firearm safety. I don't have any children, but my pistol is safely secured at home and I follow all safety rules.

Unfortunately, not everyone in this world follows gun safety rules and there are many illegal guns in our world. As educators, we should be teaching our students more than our curriculum and content and teach them important life skills and safety information.

Anyone can teach the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program and is easily integrated into school curriculum. There are materials available, including workbooks, videos, instructor guides and more. There is a nominal fee for the program, but schools can apply for grant funding for it. It was developed in cooperation with firearms experts and educators.

The purpose of the Eddie Eagle Program isn't to teach whether guns are good or bad, but rather to promote the protection and safety of children. The program makes no value judgments about firearms, and no firearms are ever used in the program. Like swimming pools, electrical outlets, matchbooks and household poison, they're treated simply as a fact of everyday life. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it's a stance that makes sense.Eddie Eagle is never shown touching a firearm, and he does not promote firearm ownership or use. The program prohibits the use of Eddie Eagle mascots anywhere that guns are present. The Eddie Eagle Program has no agenda other than accident prevention -- ensuring that children stay safe should they encounter a gun. The program never mentions the NRA. Nor does it encourage children to buy guns or to become NRA members. The NRA does not receive any appropriations from Congress, nor is it a trade organization. It is not affiliated with any firearm or ammunition manufacturers or with any businesses that deal in guns and ammunition.

eduClipper - clip anything, share everything

eduClipper is a new app coming from EduTecher Adam Bellow. eduClipper is in sign up mode now and promises to provide a way to clip anything from the web and then share it with anyone.

Knowing Adam, this will be a great resource for educators and students.

Sign up to be notified when it's ready to go.


EduTecher - explore and share educational web tools


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