Feb 252011

Hi Clint,  I was wondering if you could give me the name of some iPod apps that you can use as a clicker or keyboard.  I found quite a few, but was wondering if some were better than others before I splurge and buy them.  Thanks!!

There’s a couple of things that you could look at…

Today I’ve tried eClicker, and liked it once I got the hang of it. It’s had some unfavorable reviews, but it seems to be pretty solid for me. You need to have at least 1 iOS device (iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone) with the eClicker Host app, which is $9.99 from the App store. Then on all of your other iPods, you can download the free eClicker app that can access the questions hosted on the main device. The host app will allow you to create questions that will be pushed out to the students for voting, and then once the poll question is closed, a chart of responses is automatically sent out to all of the devices answering the question. 

The good news is that you don’t NEED to have an iPod for each student – each device can be shared with up to 5 students that will record their names, but they all have to agree on their choice. Also, ANY Internet enabled device can access the poll questions – I was answering questions from my laptop and my Android phone along with two iPads that I had on hand. The results are archived so that you can go back and look at past results, plus there are many other features – you can even quickly edit questions in a web browser online if you create a free account. It works over your local wireless network, or with your Mac you can even set up a personal network to use in your classroom for the polls. Overall, it’s a pretty good deal for $10. 

Another option is Poll Everywhere. This is a web-based option that needs no apps to use. You can create a free Educational account, and create as many poll questions as you’d like, with up to 32 responses per question. You display the poll questions in a web browser or PowerPoint presentation on your projector, and then students can vote either through a web page (http://poll4.com), a text message, or email and the website instantly compiles the results. It’s not quite as fast as eClicker, but each vote takes maybe 4 seconds to post, and the charts update dynamically. It’s amazing to see in action.

If you are looking for a ‘keyboard’ or a way to control your computer with the iPad, Air Display is the best thing I’ve seen. There are other apps that will turn your iPod Touch or iPad into a mouse to control your computer (Mobile Mouse is a good one), but Air Display turns your device into either a 2nd monitor for your computer, or as a mirrored version of your display/projector for your computer. This means that (with a drawing or presentation app), I can draw or write on the iOS device and actually see what I’m doing on the device or projector screen. You have complete touch control over your computer for browsing or navigating web pages, or controlling a presentation. 

I’ve only been using it for a few hours, but I can see the potential there since you are basically projecting your iPad wirelessly to your computer and projector. It’s also $9.99, but worth the cost of admission.

Thanks for the question!

Feb 242011

Today, we’ll explore all of the amazing resources available to you and your students, from school AND at home, through Pioneer Library from UEN. We’ll keep the information here very brief. 

Bookmark this page as a quick guide to Pioneer Resources by topic or category. Teachers and students can access Pioneer from home by heading to http://pioneer.uen.org, using pioneer and search as the password to login. The password changes once a year, but you can always head back to the Pioneer main page from school to see what the current password is.

Once we have completed our tour of Pioneer, you may want to partake in the Pioneer Library Scavenger Hunt that you can use or adapt for use in your school or classroom. All that I ask is that instead of doing the last section on the Visual Thesaurus (which is not in Pioneer any longer), that you explore another section of Pioneer NOT already included in the scavenger hunt and write 3 of your own questions of resources or information to find. I’ll compile these questions, and add it back to a MASTER Scavenger Hunt, which I’ll include here for your use later on.
Feb 222011
In our 2-hour session today, we'll show you some new ways to let your students, teachers and parents know about the amazing things that are going on in your library or media center. Knowledge is power, and the more that your stakeholders know about your library, the more likely they will be to use the materials and resources you have to offer.

Here's the handout, complete with step-by-step instructions, links and resources:??http://bit.ly/hDIvAl

Let's go! The first step in this whole process is??transparency??- spread the word about you and your program in any venue open to you. Today, we'll take you through the process of setting up 3 different services to aid you in this, and then we'll tie them all together in the end to make you Masters of your Message!

First off, share everything you can with an easy to maintain web site or blog. Blog about new books, suggested readings, or other great things happening in your library:
  • Blogger.com – For longer entries. Preview stories, discuss new offerings, publicize upcoming events, etc. Quickly create a new site and start writing!
  • Twitter – Twitter is a micro-blog – great for short updates, sharing links to incredible web resources, or as a 'shout-out' to recognize the great things you see everyday. Here's an example from E-Valley.
Share your new, featured or favorite books in different ways:
Let's tie it all together
  • Create a Blogger site to highlight your students or your??recommendations
  • Create a Twitter account for sharing quick bits of information like upcoming events, new books that have been added to the library. Also, search Twitter for other topics or users with your similar interests.
  • Create a Shelfari account, and add some books from Amazon or a selection of your top??recommendations??or what you are reading now
  • Now, add in the Shelfari and Twitter widgets to your new site to make it all work together!
  • Lastly, let your school web master know about your new site so that they can highlight it and link to it from your school site.
Feb 192011

Great advanced authentication tool for when users log in from a new or different computer to GUARANTEE that they are who they say they are by texting a code to the users cell phone – keeping your Google Mail account that much more secure.

Turn this option on for your domain in the ‘Advanced Tools’ tab under Authentication.

Feb 182011
  • Create groups. You can create groups for entire classes or for study groups with smaller subsets of students that allow for easy sharing of information and communication, without students even having to friend each other.
  • Schedule events. From beginning of semester mixers to after-finals celebrations, easily schedule events for the entire class using Facebook.
  • Send messages. From unexpected absences to rescheduling exams, it???s easy to send messages through Facebook.
  • Share multimedia. With the ability to post videos, photos, and more, you can share multimedia content easily with the entire class.
  • Post class notes. Post notes after each class period for students to have access for review or in case they were absent.

Although this list is aimed at college students and professors, there are MANY great ideas here to utilize Facebook for more than just keeping up with friends.

View all 100 tips here.

Feb 182011

History Quilt Square


Let students show what they know on the quilt square. Click to use the template and then save it with a new name for every group. Let students double click each on the words they want to edit. Let them replace the words with their own. Students may replace the pictures by uploading or linking others. For other tools go to: http://sites.google.com/site/uteachwithtechnology/tools-for-teachers/my-examp…


I guess I need to start looking for more educational templates for Google Docs – the last I looked the selection was quite paltry. This site seems to guide you to a wealth of great templates that can be used in your classroom paper-free! See the full article here.