8/27/2010: Save The Date! PATINS 2011 Tech Expo Already Scheduled for April 13 2011!

Download the TECH EXPO

Flyer Here:

TECH EXPO 2011 Save The Date

TECH EXPO 2011 Save The Date

Download TECH EXPO Flyer Here:

Don’t Forget To:
Register for the PATINS AT Overview Course:

Have a Great Weekend Image

1/29/10: A Twitter Special This Week!

Twitter Image

Twitter Image

Surely, by now you’ve experienced some of the buzz about Twitter by now.  Many of you probably have an account, but haven’t used it in 9 months.  Others might be daily users!  Most of you are probably somewhere in the middle.  So, I thought I’d do a blog posting this week that deals with some of the educational potential of using Twitter in, with, for and about schools.

So, keep in mind that this week’s posting is a large resource with LOTS of info, resources and ideas on Twitter.  This posting will very likely seem overwhelming and that’s not my intention.  Use a piece of this post now and think about it, then come back and do some more reading and trying.  The great thing about this blog is that this info will be here forever for you to come back and search for and put to use WHEN YOU’RE ready!

A Few Quick Twitter Facts:

  • From 2007-2009 DELL claims to have made $3 million, directly as a result of Twitter posts!!!
  • Twitter on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter; “…a free social networking and microblogging services.”
  • Limited to 140 Characters per “tweet”
  • Created in 2006 originally as a result of a brainstorming session by the ODEO podcasting group as a way to communicate ideas in their small group.
  • Use in Campaigning: “Twitter was used by candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign throughout the race. Democratic Party nominee Barack Obama used it for publicity.[79] The NaderGonzalez campaign updated its ballot access teams in real-time with Twitter and Google Maps.[80] Twitter use increased by 43 percent on the day of the United States’ 2008 election.[81]In 2009, the Republican Party in Connecticut set up fake Twitter accounts in the names of 33 Democratic members of the state legislature.[82] The Republicans used the accounts to send out tweets in the names of the Democrats.[82] When Twitter, Inc. discovered the scheme, it shut down the 33 fake accounts, explaining the applicable company policy: “A person may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse or deceive others.”[82] The Hartford Courant editorialized: “Republicans get an A for innovation but a D for ethics.”[83]”
  • The American Red Cross uses Twitter to exchange minute-by-minute emergency information.
  • US Airways Flight 1549 that landed in the Hudson River was TwitPic’d by someone on a ferry long before any media arrived on the scene.
  • A university in China used Twitter to teach large groups of students English.
  • My point with those Wikipedia statements is that twitter is an extremely fast, relevant, free socially valid and powerful tool, that is a mistake to dismiss as a passing fad or an unsafe tool.  So, here we go with some resources, tools and ideas!

Now Some Great Twitter Tools and Uses:

  • First, Some Popular Twitter Clients: A Twitter client is a piece of software or an app that acts as a tool for collecting, reading, posting, organizing, searching for, etc., your tweets!  The name of each client below is a link to find out more about it. The key here is trying a couple different ones and finding one that fits YOUR unique needs for twitter.  I’ve indicated the ones I’m currently using and liking!
    • Twirl: The “social software client” that utilizes adobe air.
    • Spaz: Works on palm and desktop. No iPhone or Droid application YET.
    • Destroy Twitter: Great name?  Actually, this client seems to be quite popular! Mac, Win & Linux. 
    • Tweetdeck: Personally, I’ve been using this one for a couple of weeks now and quite like it! Mac & Win both.
    • Tweetie for iPhone: Again, I personally use this one on the iPhone and like it.
    • ubertwitter: For Blackberry only unfortunately,  but I hear BB users LOVE IT!
    • Fring: Free talk, video, live chat, interact, for PC, Mac and many mobile devices.
    • locify: Twitter plus many other mobile apps all in a neat package. 
    • twitterfone: Send tweets by dialing a local number and SPEAKING!
  • twellow.com: The Twitter Yellow Pages!   Search for tweets on certain topics.
  • Liveweb: Use this one to embed a LIVE twitter feed INTO a Powerpoint slide!
  • Tweeterview.com: Conduct an interview via twitter
  • monitter.com to search tweets in a geographical area.  Real time live twitter monitor
  • quiblo: to create twitter quizzes!
  • Twitpic: for tweeting digital images.  Very easy to use.  I use this one myself and like it alot for tweeting pics!
  • filetwit: Share files on twitter to one or many people!
  • twitterspectrum: Allow you to type in a pair of words and search twitter for how those two words compare and provides a visual.
  • twitarcs:  Similar to twitter spectrum.
  • A Few Ideas for Classroom Use:
    • Try GroupTweeting, instead of doing mass email blasts!  Have your staff, your students’ parents, your colleagues, your family, follow you on twitter and receive notifications this way.   For example, there are several school districts in the state of Indiana using twitter to notify the public of school closings and delays.   Frontier School Corporation in Indiana is one of these, which I think is a wonderful use for twitter.
    • Have your students follow you and engage in an asynchronous discussion while you’re teaching.  This is a REAL change in how you look at teaching, but it’s a shift that I’m confident will blow you away if you give it a chance.  The improved student engagement will sell itself if you give this one a try.
    • Direct Tweet:  communicate directly with one of more of your students or colleagues.  Sort of an email replacement, but convenient because it’s tied in with twitter.
    • Require your students to tweet as a sort of micro-blogging/writing activity.  Their tweets are limited to 140 characters, which could force them to really think about what they want to say and then compose it concisely.  They also know that their tweets are public and they are accountable and responsible for what they write.
    • Take A Poll!
    • Brainstorm something with your students allowing them to submit ideas via tweet, allowing many more ideas to flow, much more quickly.
    • Have students collaborate on a project or collaborate on planning or a project with colleagues on the go.
    • Share great web 2.0 resources you come across, as you come across them with colleagues!
    • Practice a foreign language
    • Search for twitter trends, hot topics, pop culture, as writing prompts,
    • More cool examples here

danielgmcnulty twitter

Daniel On Twitter: (danielgmcnulty) If you’re interested in following me on Twitter, you’re certainly welcome!  I don’t tweet a lot, but I am increasing the number of my tweets.  Mostly I tweet when I’m at a conference and am learning things that I want to share quickly.  Just follow  ‘danielgmcnulty’ once you create a twitter account or just click here: http://twitter.com/danielgmcnulty to see my tweetings!

And finally, for those of you (and I’m sure there are still a good number) who might think that these ‘new’ and ‘dangerous’ technologies have no place in our schools, consider Karl Fisch’s video here, “What if…”  It just takes about 6 minutes of your time. www.lps.k12.co.us/schools/arapahoe/fisch/fischbowlpresentations.htm

Don’t Forget About the PATINS Tech Expo:

The PATINS Tech Expo has once again been scheduled for April 20, 2010 from 9am – 4pm at the Jr. Achievement Building in Indianapolis. NO COST to attend! DOOR PRIZES!

1/22/10: Gwendolyn Uses iTouch Video, PATINS Tech Expo, Did You Know 6! National UDL Task Force, Backchanneling, ISTE Top Priorities,

Did You Know 6! Many, if not all, of you have likely seen at least one of the videos in the Did You Know series.  Well, the 6th video in the series, “Now You Know” was just made available this past Sunday afternoon at 3pm!   Definitely worth checking out.  I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Howie DiBlasi last week and spending 4 hours with him learning about the many things that Google and Twitter can do!  Give this video a watch and pass it on to a few colleagues, parents, administrators, students, friends.  Like the previous videos in the series, this one presents some very interesting facts, including alarming drop-out rates and alarming teacher retention stats.  For example, more than 10% of new teachers hired each year by public schools in the US quit by the time that summer rolls around.

You Tube Video Link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRRKiRYzA_o

Embed Here:

(BLIO) eReading App: …for iTouch and iPhone, from the maker of the great kNFB Reader Software:

Cool iTouch Use: Check out this video of a young girl, Gwendolyn, using her iTouch.

National UDL Task Force: Last Winter, I created a Facebook Group (the first one, I believed) for those interested in promoting and discussing Universal Design for Learning.  Recently, the chair of the national UDL task force joined my Facebook group and also informed me of their website where you can find information on federal UDL legislation and policy among other resources.  Worth a long look and certainly a bookmark.

Backchannel User? Have you joined the backchannel revolution as either a presenter or an attendee?  How about as a classroom teacher or administrator?  Check out Today’s Meet as a resource.

ISTE’s Top Priorities: The International Society for Technology in Education shares top priorities for Tech in Education for 2010:  www.iste.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Advocacy/Top_Ten_in_10.htm

Plan Now:

The PATINS Tech Expo has once again been scheduled for April 20, 2010 from 9am – 4pm at the Jr. Achievement Building in Indianapolis. NO COST to attend! DOOR PRIZES!

NEXT WEEK: All About Twitter!

Have a Great Weekend Image

1/15/2009: Free Tech Expo! 101 Blog Posts! New Free Wiki Service, Technology Reluctant Teachers, ISTE on Facebook, iPhone Voiceover, #EdChat Tuesdays, Windows 7 Accessibility, Talking Powerpoin

Blog Post #101!

Last week was the 100th blog posting since I started doing this instead of sending out my weekly AT ‘newsletters’ to my contacts and I didn’t even realize it was #100 until now!  Since my 50th blog posting, I had planned to do a “Best Of” Blog post when it got to #100 and I totally forgot!   So, I think I will go through the past 101 blog postings in the next few weeks and do a “best of” at that time.

A New Wiki Service: Last week a comment was left here on the blog about a new wiki that some people may be interested in.  I’ve set up an account here myself and played with it a bit and it seems to be very user friendly, have a very nice interface and is free.  You might check it out if you’ve been thinking about starting a wiki for your school or classroom or if you have a wiki now and have been wanting to move it to an easier interface.  www.intodit.com

What’s The Point? An interesting read from Steve Anderson on something most of has have dealt with at least once.  “There is one in every school. There is one in every district. There is that one teacher, no matter what you do, no matter how much time you take, how slow you go, how much one-on-one time you spend with them, there is that one teacher who is not going to integrate technology into their classroom. They dig in their heals. They bury their heads in the sand. They shut the doors to their classroom, leaving technology (and perhaps ultimately quality learning) out in the cold.”  Read the Article here: www.guide2digitallearning.com/blog_steven_anderson/you_want_me_use_my_classroom_what_s_point

VoiceOver iPhone: Last week I blogged about the iPod Shuffle and voiceover… here’s more info on VoiceOver accessibility of the new iPhone.  This might be of particular interest to those attending my presentation at FETC yesterday.  The topic of accessibility of the iphone/itouch for people who are blind was a topic that came up during discussion at the end.

#EdChat on Twitter: “to accommodate teachers in various time zones we have two edchat discussions which take place usually around 12pm NYT (EST) and 7pm NYT (EST).”  http://teacherbootcamp.edublogs.org/2009/08/18/edchat-join-the-conversation/

Windows 7? Surprisingly enough, I’ve talked to a district in Indiana recently that has already decided to go with Windows 7 district wide.  I’m excited to see how it works out for them and hope it all goes very smoothly.  In the meantime, I thought I’d take a closer look at it myself and at least compare the Accessibility Features of the differing versions of Windows.   Compare the accessibility claims of each windows version for yourself here:

Have Your Powerpoint present itself! Quite a while back, Vicki shared this resource with us and I just have been forgetting to blog about it!   This free tool will read/speak your powerpoint presentations, text as it is typed and even hidden text.  Only works in ppt for Windows though, no Mac version.  You must have ppt 2000 or later and Windows XP.  :  http://fullmeasure.co.uk/powertalk/

ISTE on Facebook: International Society for Technology in Education has been on Facebook for a bit and there is some great info and networking going on, such as this wall posting about Presenters needing to understand backchannelingwww.iste-community.org/forum/topics/backchannelinga-skill-for.  Check out ISTE on Facebook!

Person First Language: I know this technically doesn’t have a lot to do with assistive or accessible technologies, but it just so happens that some people I hear doing this MOST, are folks involved in technology of some sort.  I’m just struggling to understand why so many people are still not using person first language.  For example, today I got an email with a link to a USA Today story entitled: “iPhone applications can help the autistic.” Really?  “the autistic?”   How about, “Children or People with autism can benefit from iPhone Apps.”  It is a good article about a good device (iTouch) and a good piece of AAC software for it (Proloquo2Go).   Assistive and Accessible Technologies help people… they don’t help disabilities.

Plan Now:

The PATINS Tech Expo has once again been scheduled for April 20, 2010 from 9am – 4pm at the Jr. Achievement Building in Indianapolis. NO COST to attend! DOOR PRIZES!

Have a Great Weekend!