Things have been crazy busy since I retired last May from teaching at Mesa Community College! I sailed in the Virgin Islands for 3 weeks, then had several projects waiting for me when I returned. Life has been very good. But I have not had time to do any more research on technologies for the classroom.
I am working steadily from home (and the sailboat) now, and love having the time to do more research on technology in education. If you have a product or application you would like me to review, please email me at email@example.com and I will do some research and write a blog post about my findings.
For many years I have had companies wanting to sponsor me and have me, in turn, place a link to their website on my blog. I resisted in the past since I had a full time teaching position and wanted to do the research for my own students. Now that I no longer have students, I have decided to accept sponsors to help fund my research on the best technology for teaching math. If you are a company, or know someone who would like to sponsor my blog, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have been very busy these past few years trying to build up my contract business with textbook companies. I have created videos, PowerPoints, and other types of lessons for several large companies.
I was teaching full time and doing these contract jobs, trying to build up my business enough to retire from teaching in the classroom….well, that time finally came. I retired in May 2015 from teaching at Mesa Community College, and have spent the past few weeks building a new business website so I will be able to share my experience with students, teachers, parents, home school businesses, along with other curriculum creation companies.
I am starting On Demand Curriculum by building up the first area, On Demand Math. My goal is to make personalized math lessons and tutorials for students, based on their learning style, on demand. In my experience, students who asked me a question during office hours tended to forget what they learned more quickly than students who asked me a question through email and receive a tutorial that I built just for them that they can watch as many times as they need to. I want to take that concept and expand it so that more students across the globe can receive help, based on their individual needs.
I also realize that there are many parents out there struggling to help their child with their math homework. I want to be there for them as well. A quick tutorial, based on the question they are trying to help their child with, might make a real difference in the child starting to enjoy math (and the parents).
Please help me spread the word that I am now available to help everyone succeed in all levels of math!
You can follow On Demand Curriculum on the following social media sites:
I am so excited to find out all that this exciting program entails! This past semester I took workshops on Photoshop, InDesign and Adobe Acrobat Pro! I look forward to learning more about using Adobe products to help ignite passion in teaching and learning!
Hopefully I will get back to blogging on a more regular basis!
I apologize for not writing more posts this semester, but I have been swamped with work and play 🙂
I just received the new wi-fi Livescribe smartpen called SKY today and I promise to write a blog post soon about the features and how I plan on using it. Wi-fi opens the potential of the smartpen to be even smarter!! I can’t wait!
I have been using Doceri 2.0 along with the Mobi 360 w/ clickers in my math classes and plan on updating all of you on how well that is going (it is going REALLY well, by the way) and how I have used them with my students.
I got back from ISTE, overwhelmed with all the new and amazing tools and apps I learned about! Luckily the great folks at Doceri let me play with their beta 2.0 version (which should hit iTunes stores soon) and that made for an easy decision for me to start right there.
I get to use the iPad classroom (25 student iPads, 1 teacher iPad, and an Apple TV!!) to teach Intermediate Algebra in the Fall, so my focus at ISTE was to find iPad apps that allow students to create, not just to consume. I hit the jackpot with the new version of Doceri!! Not only can I create lessons, but the students will be able to create animations and videos as well, right from their iPads.
The new version of Doceri (2.0) should hit the iTunes app store soon, and it is a HUGE update!
The new features I am so excited about are 1) it allows you to work directly from the iPad (without needing to connect to a computer), and 2) it now records your pen strokes allowing you to easily create animations and videos directly from the iPad! INCREDIBLE! You can even edit your animations and upload your videos to YouTube!
OK, before I get too far ahead of myself (I am just so excited!), here is the new opening screen on the iPad:
(By the way, I did get permission from Doceri to blog about the new version before it hits the iTunes store!)
**UPDATE! Doceri 2.0 will be in iTunes stores July 24, 2012!!!
As you can see, Doceri 2.0 can now be used from the iPad alone, and even use Airplay if you are presenting (or just use the iPad at home to create a lesson!!!).
Starting a new project gives you a blank screen, which you can change to any color, use one of their backgrounds, or create your own. They have included many helpful math backgrounds, along with maps, as well as colors and textures.
After you choose your background, you can start writing on the screen. What you see at the top of the image below is the new RECORDING menu!!! It records your writing strokes. You can go back and edit them, speed them up, or slow them down. You can even add stops and new slides to your project. The record button on the top left allows you to record voice as well (while writing, or narrate even after you are done writing).
After recording a video, you have several options for exporting (on the right) to Facebook, YouTube, email, and to your images folder on the iPad.
You can also open your recordings on your iPad with any app loaded that will play a .mov file, including Dropbox and Evernote, so you can access your recordings from any device! (I also have TechSmith’s Fuse app installed on my iPad, so it found that app and listed it as well.)
The folks at Doceri created quite a few sample projects to help give ideas on how this new product can be used. Here is a screenshot of one of their videos (of course I chose math, but there are many other types as well):
*Once Doceri 2.0 hits the iTunes stores, you can pay for the ability to remove the Doceri watermark, and even add your own watermark.
Like the original Doceri Remote app, Doceri 2.0 can connect to your computer to share screens, but now there is a MUCH easier way to connect:
If you have an iPad2, just point the camera at the QR code and you are automatically connected! I tried it and it worked amazingly well. Once you are connected to your computer, you can use your animations and videos to present a lesson to the class, or create one while you are presenting!
**I am using the term “animation” for those projects that do not contain sound. All writing into the application is recorded and can be shown as animated or as still shots. These can only be played from within Doceri. Once you add sound, then a .mov file is created, so I am using the term “video” for the animations with sound added.
Here is the “official” list of updates for Doceri 2.0 (from Doceri):
What’s new in Doceri 2.0
You can now prepare Doceri Projects on the iPad without being connected to a Doceri Desktop AND you can present without a Doceri Desktop via Airplay. Audio recording has been added to create high quality screencast videos based on Doceri projects. In addition, more sophisticated drawing and authoring tools have been added, as well visual file management, improved placement of project timeline controls for easier presentation, and improved screen update time for remote desktop control.
Screencasting with Doceri
Create a live screencast as you present, or create, edit and perfect your project in advance and add an audio voice over later
Choose to save audio or delete and re-record without impacting your Doceri project
Videos may be shared via YouTube, Facebook or email and/or saved to the Camera Roll and any app that responds to video
New Drawing and Authoring Tools
New line tools (with snapping), geometric shapes (rectangle, ellipse) arrow tool and a new pen tool with realistic ink flow
Easy access to six user-defined favorites from the available drawing tools
Place photos from Camera Roll, Photo Stream or another application at any point in your project
The new lasso tool allows you to cut, copy, move and paste drawing objects
Choose between patterns, colors or create custom backgrounds on any slide in your project
Direct Controls for Keynote and Powerpoint
Launch a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation and use Doceri’s one-touch controls to advance your slides
Annotate over Keynote or Powerpoint (or anything shown on your desktop), creating a multipage Doceri project while keeping your original presentation file intact
Completely Revamped File Management
Doceri files can now be stored on the iPad Duplicate, merge projects, and transfer to and from your desktop
Combine, resize and share screencasts to Facebook, YouTube, Camera Roll or email with a simple drag and drop
Full implementation of cross application file sharing allowing “open in” function to copy files in and out of Doceri
Next week my students in my Math For Elementary Teachers class will be creating a Glog: an interactive, online poster. GlogsterEDU will allow them to create their Glog for free and publish it to their Google Website for the class.
I just finished creating a new Glog to show a few uses of the Livescribe smartpen in the classroom. I plan on using this as an example when I teach them how to use GlogsterEDU.
I downloaded the latest version of Livescribe desktop to try out the NEW connectors. Livescribe just added Microsoft OneNote and Google Sites to their list of connectors! Download the lastest desktop at: http://www.livescribe.com/en-us/starthere
Here is a screenshot of a Google website I created. You can use the launch-line feature and write the words “Google Site” (the pen recognizes the words you want pretty quickly – or you can make a short cut like “sites” for it)
Every time you sync a new pencast to Google Sites, it creates a new webpage on your site and embeds the playable pencast on the page. You can rename and edit the page any way you would like after the pencast is uploaded. What a great way to share a test key or answer student questions so all students have access to it!
The other new Connector is for Microsoft OneNote. I have read a lot of feedback from folks REALLY wanting this connector. Since I use Evernote (a LOT), I haven’t really played with OneNote, but this gave me the perfect excuse to crack it open and start playing!
After syncing your pen using the OneNote Connector, when you open up Microsoft OneNote you see two things:
1) A rough screen shot of your pencast, and
2) An embedded Pencast PDF file that holds the entire pencast (includes both synced audio and animation)
If you double click on the PDF file in the upper right, it opens Adobe (10 or higher) and shows you the actual animated pencast. This pencast is still in your OneNote notebook, but can also be shared with others.
The PDF pencast comes with a player that allows you to play, stop and scrub through the pencasts as you want.
You do not have to use launch-lines to use the connectors – they also show up in a menu on the left side of your Livescribe desktop:
All you need to do is sync your pen and then drag any “page” from your notebook onto one of the connectors – and you are done!
I already use the other connectors all the time, now I have even more choices to make my life easier.
I am looking forward to being able to create a Google Website that houses all the pencasts I upload for my students, so I can just post the link to the website for my students, rather than having to embed each new pencast I make manually. This update for Connect is extremely helpful for me and will save me a LOT of time this semester!!
Loving all the new updates from Livescribe as they listen in on what their users really need “now”. I can’t wait to see what is next!
Last year I used a mindmap of my course syllabus to show them an example of mapping out something. They will be mapping out at least one unit and bringing in new resources to share with the rest of the class this semester, so I decided to update my MindMeister mindmap to go with the new syllabus
When I was at ISTE this past June, I had the good fortune to visit the Explorelearning booth. I have seen some of their online math and science interactive simulations (called Gizmos) on their website before, but this time I really wanted to dig deeper.
I obtained a teacher subscription to their full site where I can create classes, and then add the Gizmos I want to each class. The Gizmos even come with lesson plans and teacher created activities! You can add your own classroom ideas to a Gizmo as well.
I set up my first class: Math For Elementary Teachers. I then started adding some Gizmos for my students to view.
On the Explorelearning website the Gizmos are sorted by grade level and topic. The first one I chose was an interactive lesson on factoring numbers.
A student can start with any number on the board they want, and then start factoring it by dragging the circles that are factors to the board. There are great “how-to” videos that go with every Gizmo, in case the student (or the teacher) does not understand how to use the simulation.
When a student has run through the simulation as many times as they want, they can take the assessment at the end. Some questions are visual, based on the Gizmo (like the example below), and some are numerical to see if they can go beyond using the Gizmo.
I will have my pre-service students evaluating and choosing their favorite Gizmos for different areas of Elementary mathematics this Fall semester. I can’t wait to see their reactions to these amazing math and science simulations!
Livescribe’s newest application CONNECT came out today: Monday May 23, 2011. A few weeks ago I was part of a media event where Livescribe, Evernote and Google were present to help talk about the new application.
connect (click here to see the pencast on the Livescribe website)
brought to you by Livescribe
*click on the arrow in the upper right hand corner to make the pencast full-screen. The pencast is best viewed with the preview turned OFF:
If the pencast above does not show up on your browser (Firefox seems to work the best) , then click on the link below to open up the actual pencast PDF:
You have to click on the link and then it opens another window with only the link in it. Click on the link again to open the actual PDF pencast.
You must have Adobe PDF Reader X (10 or higher) to see the actual pencast above completely contained in a PDF!
THE BIG DEAL ABOUT CONNECT:
I believe the most important aspect about Connect is the fact that a pencast can now be completely self-contained in a PDF. This means that we can finally “own” our pencasts! This will allow us to house them inside closed systems online or on DVD’s, rather than having to use a link to the actual pencast or embedding what looks like the pencast, while it is still housed on Livescribe’s servers. This is HUGE!
I think it is amazing that I can now directly email a student from the dot paper, as soon as I connect my pen to the computer! No more “uploading” the file and then finding it and sending it. This will save a lot of time when answering student questions. When the student opens the email, they will get an attached PDF, rather than a link to the Livescribe website. The attached PDF will contain the entire pencast, sound and animation, with a play/pause/stop bar!
I also love the fact that I can directly upload a pencast PDF to GoogleDocs. I can share a file easily with students or colleagues using GoogleDocs! At my college, students have access to GoogleApps, so this will be a great new feature to use.
Sending to Evernote will be fantastic as well. I host my ideas and notes from conferences on Evernote to keep them all in one place. Although Livescribe was “connected” to Evernote before, the file was split into a static PDF and the sound file. Now, with Connect, you can send the entire pencast PDF directly to Evernote when you dock your smartpen.
Connect will also send a pencast PDF directly to Facebook, which will be a great way to post your status – with sound and animation!
*To quickly get the pencast from the paper to all of these new applications you will need to learn about LAUNCH LINES. My next blog post will teach you how to use this feature of the Livescribe smartpen.