Monday, August 29, 2011


Jing is a great way to take a picture or capture a video and either download to your hardrive or upload to the cloud. I use it for the later. Every upload has its own URL which you can easily paste into your assignment or blog or- anything! You can purchase the Pro edition or stick with the free version which should work for most educators. Once you install jing you will see a yellow 'orb' on the top corner of your screen. Mouse over it and you have the option of taking a picture, recording a video, or going to your 'cloud' data bank of screenshots and videos. One of the classes I teach includes videos I created using Jing. I uploaded the classes to my learning platform (I use Edmodo ) as URL. All the students have to do is click on the URL and the video comes straight to their screen. I highly recommend this tool!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Badges and Game Based Learning

After hearing a fabulous presentation on GBL (Game based Learning) and rewards badges from Mr. Hyle Daley at the recent Edmodocon 2011 I began to take a second look at badges. I have heard arguments for and against GBL and Badges. Those against say it doesn't really promote student learning and creates unhealthy competition. Those in favor say having students earn badges to further their learning is no different than companies like Starbucks who offer Starbucks rewards to encourage customers to keep buying fraps and lattes. Until recently I was on the former side of the fence but now I am on the other side- not because I necessarily agree with the way companies help nudge customers to buy their products. No, my philosophy is quite simple- I believe there is nothing wrong with a student feeling good for something he/she has earned. If that is through the medium of a badge or sticker than so be it. Reward systems in schools have been in place for decades. Just because they are 'Rewards 2.0' doesn't make them bad. You can see some of the badges I created for my Edmodo classes here.

Besides think of the powerful culture you could create through badges. I recently created a 'Champion of No-Bullying' badge, awarded to students who promote anti-bullying in their school.  We always talk about no-bullying campaigns but imagine if a student starts receiving badges for his/her actions and really begins to internalize their actions and words and feel good about what they are doing through the badges they earn- now that is powerful stuff! Now I understand you can make the case there is a fundamental difference between badges earned for learning and badges earned for good behavior- to which I would respond let's agree to disagree.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Unleashing the Potential of Technology in Education

 Here is a report that was just issued which researched and presented  findings on the future of education technology integration using a closed-loop instructional system. Assuming this framework of ed. tech. integration is effective do you think a closed loop instructional system can realistically be implemented within the next 10 years for the majority of U.S. educational institutions? 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Digging Diigo

Diigo may be an oldie yet a goodie, however Diigo has been continually rediscovering its purpose and has developed into an excellent evolving tool. And now Diigo it is taking a serious look at how it can be paired with education.

Here a short video on how Diigo works:

Now imagine every student using their own Diigo accounts to share and collaborate on projects, work with students around the world, and have access to their Diigo accounts through an iPad, smart phone not to mention a regular old computer! Check it out.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

5 Ways to Listen Better

This video by Julian Treasure on how to listen properly reminds us we must maintain a healthy balance of technology integration in our lives and not tip too far to one side of the tech scale. How can we teach listening skills in our schools so students can truly connect with each other to collaborate, inspire, and build an incredible society?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Where Good Ideas Come From

I was working on a presentation on teamwork and creativity when I saw this video and had to share it.