Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Document Cameras and SMART Notebook...A Perfect Match

Many of the teachers I work with have been using document cameras for the past year. The two prevailing models are Avermedia and IPEVO . Each model has its advantages. The Avermedia cameras are feature filled while the IPEVO is nicely priced...$70!

My teachers love using them for a variety of purposes.

  • showcasing student work
  • demonstrating with manipulatives
  • reading a book and showcasing the pictures
  • using it as a QR code reader
All of this is great but my teachers still have issues while using their document cameras. Each camera has its own software. My teachers use SMART Notebook for just about everything, but they are forced to use the document camera software when it is in use. It would just be great if SMART Notebook would allow you to show the document camera image within Notebook.Now you can and this has been great news for my teachers.

Avermedia has a flash based app that allows you to insert your live document camera image directly in SMART Notebook. Now you can use your Avermedia document camera without having to use their software. 

This is great for the teachers with Avermedia document cameras but what about those with IPEVO document cameras? Well, IPEVO users still need use the P2V software. After opening the P2V software, teachers will open SMART Notebook. With SMART Notebook open, select the Transparency icon. Now the document camera image will show within SMART Notebook and all the SMART Notebook tools are at your disposal.

No matter which of these camera types you have, both can opened and manipulated in SMART Notebook. 

This is technology that actually works!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

PD On Your Own Part 2: Twitter

Twitter is more than celebrities, athletes, and political staff spouting off about anything and everything. Twitter is one part of the PD On Your Own Tool belt that educators can use to grow as professionals. So why should educators use Twitter?
1. networking with like minded professionals
2. a wealth of resources is shared daily
3. a place to seek affirmation with others like themselves
4. a place to contribute.

So where do you start?
1. Sign up for a free twitter account
2. Install Tweetdeck.
3. Do a hashtag search and use this to find some educators to follow.
4. Start slow and then start to contribute.

Some Twitter Tips:
1. Be a smart don't win a prize for following the most people. Doing so could make Twitter too much to follow, leading to non-usage.
2. Search the hashtags to find Twitter users who share the same passion, interests, etc.
3. No fear...the Twitter world in education circles is a good place. People will help you if needed.
4. Contribute...the more people contribute, the better pool of resources that are available to all.

Nothing in this post is ground breaking tech, but it is technology that actually works.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

PD on Your Own: Part One - Blogs

On Monday, October 10th, I will be doing a presentation at the MOREnet Instructional Technology Conference (MITC) entitled "PD On Your Own". In preparation for my presentation, I will be blogging about different pieces of my presentation. Today, we will take a look at how to use blogs for your own professional development.

I am an avid blog reader and I collect many of my ideas, resources, and technology integration strategies from the blogs I read. To keep up with the 20 or so blogs I read daily, I enlist the help of Google Reader. With my Google Reader, I always have an up to date look at what blog posts are new to me. Instead of visiting all these different web sites, their content is aggregated for me. Not sure what I am talking about, check out "Google Reader in Plain English".

For iPad users, you can view all your blogs in one place with the FlipBoard app. Flipboard allows you to customize the news feeds (blogs, Twitter, Facebook) you want to view. It puts them into a book format that you can flip through. Click HERE to see Flipboard in action. I have only been using Flipboard for a few weeks but I really like it. It allows be to peruse through a bunch of information and then pick the content that I want to investigate further. I especially enjoy Flipboard for Twitter...but I will talk about that at a later time.

You may be asking: "How do I even start"?
1. Sign up for a free Google Reader account.
2. Find one blog to follow by doing a Google search or visit my website for a list of the blogs I read.
3. Start small and then expand your blogging horizons as you take your journey of PD on your own.

This is technology that actually works!