Archive for September, 2008

It’s in your pocket: teaching spectacularly with cell phones. Great speech by Hall Davidson from Discovery Education Network about using mobile phones in education, the kind of talk many teachers and administrators need to hear. The first thing Hall said was to take out and turn on our cell phones D

There is a large potential for cell phones in education, but current best practices are small. Mobiles have lots of functionality, including:

  • Telephone
  • Text messenger
  • Still camera
  • Video camera
  • Video player
  • GPS device
  • Podcaster
  • Music player

Are we really going to ignore a device this powerful? Can we, when it has all kinds of applications for teaching, learning, school-to-home, administration?

In general, we still take cell phones away, and school districts ban them (e.g. during school hours). However, if this is a tool for adults, we need to teach kids how to use it.

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Web Team Work Gets Easier With Tools Like Wiggio

Are you on a virtual team? Are you amongst the next generation web workers of the world? Then Wiggio is for you!

From Wiggio’s About Page
As seniors at Cornell, we started wiggio out of our own frustrations with unnecessarily clogged inboxes, using five different websites for five different functions, and all the other hassles associated with working in groups. We were tired of sending eleven emails back and forth just to set a meeting time. We were tired of that guy who just never knows where and when to be there. We were tired of list-servs, contact lists, phone-chains and incompatibilities. We wanted everything to be in one place, and we wanted it simple. So we created wiggio.

Wiggio lets you use the following group tools, and it’s all for free!
  • Messages— send mass text messages, voice messages and emails from wiggio
  • Calendar— keep a shared group calendar that will send you text message reminders before all your meetings, practices, rehearsals, games and other events
  • Poll—survey your entire group and get their responses as they answer
  • Folder— dump all your groups’ files into one folder and never send another attachment
  • Meetings— never walk 15 minutes through the snow to get to a 10 minute meeting again… setup free conference calls and web chats on Wiggio
  • Links— keep a shared favorites folder

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At TiER1 we are always looking for great tools that help us do our job better with higher quality. This week I was introduced to four tools that I’ve been testing and expect will be beneficial for me and my colleagues so I wanted to share them with you.

Evernote (http://www.evernote.com) is an note capturing application for your PC, your phone and the web. With this tool you can capture your notes, sync them to your web-based Evernote account and have access to your notes from any computer that has Internet access.  But the best thing abuot Evernote is its search capability. Not only can you attach tags to help you categorize and find your notes, Evernote also indexes your notes, even images, allowing you to find relevent information quickly.
For example, you can make a sketch on a piece of paper, take a photo with your cell phone and sync that image as a note in your Evernote account. For this example, let’s assume the sketch is a map with 3 locations labeled: home, work and Joe’s Pizza. If you search your Evernote notes for the word pizza, the search utiliity will recognize the word pizza in your image and return that image as part of your search results.  
Jott (http://www.jott.com) is another notetaking tool that uses your phone as well. But Jott is entirely different. With Jott, you make a phone call, speak your ideas, thoughts, notes, etc. and Jott will transcribe those for you and leave the text in your Jott account. With the free service you can view, copy, paste your notes from the Jott account into another tool. But with the paid service (inexpensive) you can also tell Jott to email your notes to you or to a group of people after you record them.
For example, after an important meeting you may want to give your project team an update but there’s no time to login to your laptop, find an Internet connection and type the upate before your flight. With a Jott account, simply make a phone call and Jott will transcribe your notes and send the email for you.
It gets better.
Brad Isaac shows you how to integrate Jott and Evernote at http://lifehacker.com/373815/jott-your-way-to-evernote-bliss.
ScheduleWorld (http://www.scheduleworld.com) allows you to share calendar and contact lists with your friends. One of the best features is that as you share contacts with your group, if any one in your group updates the contact information, your list is automatically updated. And you can sync this to your phone or PDA or PC-based application (i.e. Thunderbird, Outlook).
For me the best part of this application is that I can now use my smart phone and Palm-based PDA again. A few months ago my laptop overheated and stopped working. When I purchased a new one I bought one with 64-bit Windows Vista not knowing that Palm would not be providing software to sync my Palm TX to a 64-bit OS. While I was very disappointed but Palm was clear that there would not be an option. I also have a Windows Mobile Smartphone (Blackjack) and while I don’t like the apps as much as the Palm apps, I began using the calendar in the Blackjack. But the Blackjack has to be upgraded in order to sync to Vista and the upgrade can only be installed using Windows XP. But the upgrade also removes all of your information and it has to be reloaded. Which if you can sync before you do an upgrade is not terrible but if you can’t sync you lose all of your data. That was not an option. So until I found ScheduleWorld I was stranded with a PDA, a smartphone and a PC that could not communicate with one another.
By now you’ve probably heard of Google’s new browser called Chrome (http://www.google.com/chrome). But even if you are not typically an early adopter of new technolgy, this browser is worth test driving. It is substantially faster than Microsoft IE. So much faster, you’ll be left wondering what IE is doing that takes so long. After just a couple of days with Chrome, I’ve grown weary of waiting for IE to respond.
This morning while using Chrome on Facebook I did notice that when I clicked the link to clear my status, the link didn’t work. But that’s the only issue I’ve run across so far. I’m sure there will be others, there always are with new technology. But Chrome is worth checking out.

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