May 312011

In a surprise move, Apple has just announced that its iWork suite is now available for iPhone and iPod touch. The iWork suite, including Keynote, Pages and Numbers, were previously available on the iPad and, of course, the Mac.

The apps are available individually for $9.99 each for new users and are free upgrades for owners of the iPad versions, making them universal apps. The Keynote Remote app is available as a separate $0.99 download.


Keynote, Apple’s presentation tool, has been scaled down nicely and retains the ability to present in full screen while connected to a projector or HDTV. The Keynote Remote app allows your iPhone or iPod to control another iOS device or Mac running Keynote during presentations.


Pages is Apple’s word processor for iOS. To make the iPhone version of Pages more friendly to a smaller screen size, Apple has included a Smart Zoom feature that automatically follows your cursor when you’re editing and zooms back out when you’re done.


Numbers, the spreadsheet editor for iOS, has also been ported to the iPhone. Smart Zoom is also mentioned as a feature of the iPhone and iPod version of Numbers. All of the functions, charts and table options from the iPad version of Numbers are included here as well.

You can download Pages here, Keynote here and Numbers here from the App Store.

We will update this story with the details, please refresh.

This is great for schools and classrooms that already have iPod Touch labs and want to give their students great tools for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations.

When does the version for the iPod Nano come out?

May 262011

Looks like the Mac virus/malware that has been infecting machines has 'improved' and gotten one step easier for an unassuming user to fall prey and to become infected (see this article). This new version can bypass the step where a user must give his/her administrator password to continue the infection process.

Here's the one easy thing you can do to assure that you will not infect your machine – you may??inadvertently or unintentionally??download the virus package but, if it is not installed, you can delete the downloaded file from your download folder. Here's how to protect yourself:

In Safari, head to the Preferences under the Safari menu item:


Now, under the General settings, make sure that the 'Open "safe" files…' option at the bottom of the window is NOT checked. Uncheck it if it is:


If you had this box checked in the past, when you downloaded a program, the computer would automatically open it and begin the installation process. Now, you just have to take the extra step of heading to the downloaded file and starting the installation process yourself.??

This is easy to do by double-clicking on the installer file in the Downloads window that opens up when you click a web site link to begin a download – no need to navigate to the Downloads folder, or your Desktop if that's where your downloaded files are saved.

It also looks like this option acts as a system-wide option for web browsers. If you are using Google Chrome, for example, this setting in Safari will be inherited by Chrome. So, even if you are not using Safari on a regular basis, make sure that you make this change in Safari to ensure that none of the other browsers you are using (like Firefox, Chrome, Opera, RockMelt, etc.) will automatically open downloaded files.
May 252011

twitter, education, GOOD, learning, k-12, college
Teachers are increasingly bringing the real-time communication power of Twitter into the classroom to help students learn. But I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s great for helping teachers learn as well. Twitter has simply become one of the best places for teachers to collaborate, share solutions to common classroom problems, and discuss education policy. In fact, it might just be the best forum teachers have ever had.

As a classroom teacher I remember going across the hall to ask Mr. Sally for tips on getting kids to learn their times tables. His ideas were fine, but what if I’d been able to crowdsource my question to the global community of educators on Twitter? A teacher who engages with other educators on Twitter essentially has a 24/7 open door policy. Type the hashtag #edchat in the search box, and you’ll see a real-time stream of discussion about an unlimited number of educational topics. It’s pretty clear teachers are collaborating with each other by sharing solutions to their challenges???links to articles, resources and practical ideas:

Educators can also use Twitter to keep up with education policy. Before Twitter, educators often had no idea what the big players, like the Department of Education and the Secretary of Education, were up to on a daily basis. Now one can just scan the Twitter timelines of the DOE and the department’s press secretary, Justin Hamilton. And it’s not just a that teachers are able to stay up-to-date; there’s also more conversation between educators and the DOE. In the wake of Arne Duncan’s recent open letter to teachers expressing his appreciation for their hard work, which was not well received by many educators, teachers took to Twitter to let Hamilton know their displeasure. And, because of the nature of Twitter, he had to respond.

Not all teachers have totally embraced Twitter. Some are a little tech-phobic. Those that aren’t are sometimes concerned about sharing information in public when their colleagues are getting fired for what they write on personal blogs and Facebook pages. If a teacher is honest about the challenges at her school???say she tweets about possible cheating on standardized tests???a vindictive administrator could make her life miserable for ???airing dirty laundry.??? But many avoid the pitfalls of public information-sharing by simply using anonymous identities on Twitter. And good for them. America’s students deserve teachers who’ve been taught well themselves, and right now, Twitter is the best way for educators to get a continuing professional education.

photo (cc) via Flickr user Creative Tools

Twitter CAN be a great teacher resource for 24/7 PD and collaboration with other teachers from around the globe – you just need to jump in and start interacting. As stated in the article, a great place to get your feet wet is by checking out the discussions using the #edchat hashtag.

GOOD ideas in this article from

May 182011

vickyStriving Readers’ technology grant allowed Bate Middle School (BMS) to step-up their instructional rigor and the motivational level of many students.  Due to the financing we could not purchase iPod Touches, Response Systems or Interactive White Boards for every room.  I was researching innovative 21st century best practices.  I found several articles, and the book “Toys to Tools,”  was mentioned in several articles.  I ordered the book and it was everything the articles claimed.  It was a very practical resource that contained many lessons for a variety of subjects.  The goal of the book was to encourage educators to introduce cell phones to students as potential learning tools and lifelong professional tool, rather than viewing them solely as a social toy. Here’s the Top Ten List of “take-aways” from the book, plus the cell phone user agreement and letter sent home to parents:

  • Cell phones are not just toys; rather, they’re essential tools students use to communicate with the world around them.
  • Using a multiple literacy approach to classroom instruction enables students to understand, use, and critically evaluate the multi-modal tests of the 21st century.
  • In the 21st Century, part of an educator’s job is to help students navigate and stay safe in a world overflowing with technology and information.
  • For students to be successful in the future they must learn how to use different literacy tools in various knowledge-building communities.
  • The M-generation has the ability to multitask with a variety of media devices at one time.
  • Students enjoy using their cell phones and they are highly motivated to interact with their cell phones during class.
  • Most students have their cell phone with them.
  • Students are growing up in a technology-enhanced community outside of school.  If students develop their own communication and community through their media “toys,” educators need to bring those toys into educational activities so students can learn to use them as “tools of knowledge.”
  • An educator’s job includes helping the students navigate and stay safe in their media world.  It is of utmost importance for the teachers to have a routine and take control of the procedures of usage.  This can be done through teaching them cell phone etiquette, social agreement signed by student and parent, informing parents, and consistent policies through put the school.
  • For those students who do not have a phone or permission from their parents you will need alternative method or assignment.

Bate Middle School cell phone User Agreement

Cell phone letter home

vicky cell phone agreement


vicky cell phone agreement 2