Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ten Common Challenges Facing Educators

Below you can find the slides for the keynote presentation that I gave this morning at the fall Tech Leadership Symposium on the campus of Bowling Green. I've given this presentation quite a bit over the last eighteen months and each time it's a little different. Please contact me if you're interested in having me deliver this keynote or another one at your school or conference. My Making Learning Collaborative presentation is becoming quite popular too.

(The blank slides are videos that I removed before publishing in order to honor the copyright of people who gave me permission to use their videos in in-person presentations only).

Google Across the Curriculum

This morning I gave a short presentation on some of the key functions and uses for Google products in K-12 schools. The slides with links to practice activities are embedded below.

24/7 Learning - Creating Online Hubs

This afternoon I gave a short talk about tools and practices for creating effective classroom blogs and websites. While you can't see the speak notes on these slides (I rarely use speaker notes, I prefer to memorize and or improvise if needed) you can grab the links to some tutorials and activities that are included in the slides.

Best of the Web 2012 - Updated Again

This morning I had the privilege to give three presentations on the campus of Bowling Green State University. One of the presentations that I gave was an updated version of Best of the Web 2012. Some things in it are the same as the last time I gave it in March, but there are some new things added and old things taken away. Check it out below.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seven Whiteboard Tools for Teachers & Students

Whiteboard apps on tablets and in your web browser can be great for diagraming and explaining concepts. Here are seven good options for creating diagrams and other drawings on your iPad, on your Android tablet, or in your web browser.

Aww App is a super simple browser-based application for creating drawings. To get started just go to and click on "start drawing."  To invite people to collaborate on your drawing just send them the link assigned to your drawing board and they can join in the drawing fun. If you would like to use Aww App on your classroom or school website and you have familiarity with editing the code of your site, you can install Aww App for free.

Draw It Live is a nice little website that offers a free space for you to instantly create a collaborative whiteboard to use with anyone you like. To use Draw It Live just go to the site, click the "collaborative whiteboard" link, enter any nickname you want, then start drawing. You can invite people to draw with you by sending them the url assigned to your whiteboard. Draw It Live provides a chat box that you can use to talk to your collaborators about what each of you is doing on the screen.

FlockDraw is a simple service that allows people to quickly and easily collaborate on the creation of a drawing. To use FlockDraw simply visit the site, click the "start drawing" button, and start drawing. To invite other people to draw with you, just send them the url assigned to your drawing board. What's really neat is that anyone who visits the url after the drawing has started will see all of the drawing motions they missed unfold in front of them. You can embed your FlockDraw drawings into a website.

SyncSpace is a whiteboard app available for iPads and Android tablets. You can get the SyncSpace app for iPad here and the Android app hereSyncSpace can be used to create drawings and documents on your tablet. You can create using free-hand drawing tools, using typing tools, or a combination of the two tool sets. Your drawings and documents can be sent to and synced with other users so that they can comment and edit your drawings and documents.

Educreations is a new iPad app that turns your iPad into a whiteboard. You can use the app to illustrate concepts and narrate what you're doing on the screen. You can draw images from scratch on the Educreations iPad app or you can upload images and draw on them. Your completed lesson can be shared directly to others or made public on the Educreations website.

Knowmia is a website and an iPad app for creating, sharing, and viewing video lessons. The website portion of Knowmia is a collection of videos made by teachers for students. There are roughly 7,000 videos in the Knowmia collection right now. Many of the videos are pulled from YouTube while others are hosted on Knowmia. The videos are arranged by subject and topic. Registered teachers can upload and tag their own videos. The Knowmia iPad app is an app for creating your own whiteboard videos. You can draw free-hand on the whiteboard screen or insert pre-made shapes. You can also use pictures and video clips in your video lesson.

ShowMe is a free iPad app for creating whiteboard videos. You can draw and talk at the same time while being recorded. Your videos can be shared and uploaded to YouTube through the app. There is a public gallery of lessons that you can browse and contribute to. Click here to download the app from iTunes.