Archive for Mobi

Collecting Dust – an overview of my favorite teaching technology, part 1

    It has been over 2 years now since I retired from teaching.  I taught math for 29 years with a passion for utilizing the newest and most effective technology. I bought most of the technology I used in my classrooms (and outside of them) with my own money so I could always be on the forefront, and could use it every day in my classes.  Waiting until my college or district could check out the technology, then approve it for me, took too long for my taste. I actually had a side job to earn money just for this purpose!

Well, my home office is now FULL of that technology.  All of it is in excellent condition, but most of it is not getting used, which is quite sad!   I now do a lot of consulting from my home office, so I use some of it,  but the items that were perfect for inside the classroom are just sitting around collecting dust.  I have decided it is time to “clean house” and try to get those items into the hands of folks who will use them again.  I am going to start a series of blog posts about some of the items I have available and how I used them to help my students. If you are interested, please email me and I will give you more details.

For many years I was an avid user of eInstruction’s mobile interactive white boards – MOBIs (and I still am).  I have a classroom set of 6 Mobis that my students would use to share their group work with the class from.  While they are not brand new, they are still in great condition.  The students really enjoyed being able to participate from their desks.  I placed a color tab on the edge so I could refer to a group by color.  The photo above shows the “purple” Mobi.  Many students admitted that they preferred being able to participate from their desk and not have to go to the board.   The screen I was projecting their work to could be split up so I was able to show one group’s work, or all 6 at once.

These Mobis can also be used to teach from, as well.  I disliked being stuck at the front of the classroom at the board, so instead, I would connect a MOBI to the my computer and then I was free to teach from anywhere in the room.   This was especially helpful when students were in groups, as I could walk around helping and also writing something helpful for all students on the projected board from anywhere.

I did prefer to use an eInstruction MOBIVIEW to teach from, instead.

The main difference between the learner MOBI and the MOBIVIEW is that the MOBIVIEW has a large touchscreen that can be used to run student clickers as well as their learner MOBIs…a little taste of my next blog post.  Stay tuned!!



New Tech to Try!

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.

Stay tuned….


New “Insight” into Teaching with Technology!

Introduction to the Insight 360 system by eInstruction

I have been using eInstruction’s Mobi, MobiView and CPS Pulse clickers, along with their Workspace software now for several years.   At times, having to open different programs to run the clickers with the Mobi was a bit challenging, and sometimes I found it difficult to set up questions ahead of time.   All that has changed with the Insight360 system.

As you can see in the photo, the hardware that has replaced the Mobi and Mobi View looks exactly like the Mobi View (still with the touch screen- yay!), but with new software and menus.   The new software also run the Insight360 clickers and makes it seemless to use them in your classroom!  HUGE improvement!

The old Mobi and Mobi View can still be used with the system as student Mobis, which is great.   The new Insight 360 system makes it very simple to split the screen and allow students with a Mobi (or Mobi View) to write on the virtual whiteboard from their seat, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to use the old hardware!   You can even update your old CPS pulse clickers to the new system easily, rather than having to purchase new clickers!   *I prefer these clickers over other systems I have seen because they work extremely well WITH the Mobi (they are not just stand alone clickers).   From anywhere in the room, I can access live data coming from the clickers (my students) to make immediate decisions about how to change the course of my classroom instruction, and the system works with any software on your computer – like Powerpoint, anything on the internet, or even the Workspace software from the Mobi generation.  So teaching with this system does NOT tie you down to only one application to teach from on your classroom computer.

The best feature (OK, one of the best) is that now you can run the Insight 360 application from an iPad 2!   This frees up all existing Mobis or Mobi Views in your classroom to become student Mobis!   As you can see in the image below, they even went as far as to make a case to house the iPad to give it the look and feel of a Mobi!


I just started this week to use my new Insight360 system, so more information and photos to follow, along with opinions from my students on how they like learning from this new system.

The new  Insight360 is a finalist in the 2012 EdTech Digest Awards Program for the Cool Tool Ward!   EdTech Digest Awards 2012

To learn more about the new Insight360 system from eInstruction, you can visit their website.


Getting Organized


I have heard from several people that they would like to see some of the educational videos I have created.  I realize there was a pull down menu at the top of my blog for it, but I never actually organized the content I have created in the past.

In the past 6 months I have had to wipe both my Mac and my Windows machine (long stories), so some of my videos are now “lost’, but luckily YouTube still has a small collection.

I finally got organized today and separated my videos into categories.  If you look along the top of my blog, you will see a category called “Animations/Videos” :

Most of my videos fall in to four categories of  “How-To” videos, “Educational Teaching Videos”, “Flash Animated Tutorials”, and “Livescribe pencasts”.  I will be adding some Animationish videos after this Fall when I have my students creating some.

I created the “How-To” videos to teach others how to use software or hardware.  Here are the categories I have in that section:

I plan on adding more videos to this section in the near future, so some of the categories do not have any links yet.

The next main category I have been creating videos for is in “Educational Teaching Videos”.  These are short videos I have created for my students to introduce a topic we are studying in the class.

As you can see when you look through the Educational Teaching videos, I was trying out several types of hardware/software to see what worked best.   I used the eInstruction Workspace software for a “whiteboard” in some videos, and recorded and edited with Camtasia studio.  In other videos I used a Lumens HD Ladibug document camera.  I found the document camera to be better for me when I am actually needing to record working with actual objects like base ten blocks and fraction circles.   I will hopefully be making more videos using these this semester. I will try to keep up with posting them here so I don’t lose them again!!

Most of the tutorials/lessons I have created for my students in the past year are Livescribe pencasts, but I find when I need the lesson to be more visual, a video is better.    My livescribe pencasts are organized by topic on THIS PAGE.  I have quite a few pencasts collected there.   When I had to wipe my computers, I lost all the original pencasts, so for now I cannot change any of those pencasts into PDF’s to download.

Lastly, about six years ago I started created Flash animated tutorials to help my students in my Math For Elementary Teachers classes better visualize the math they will be teaching. I strongly believe visualization is key to understanding!

The Flash animated tutorials are housed on a separate area (outside of my blog).   They are organized by arithmetic topic:

For example, clicking on the “1/3” would take you to the fraction tutorials, and the “2” will take you to the multidigit whole number operations.  This type of tutorial takes me a lot longer to create, so I do not have many in some areas (like decimals).   Instead, I am starting to create more interactive tutorials using Hyperstudio.  To see a few of those interactive tutorials, CLICK HERE.

These are still a work in progress, but I promise to continue adding here so check back!



Students Learning -AND having fun!

Today in class I passed out the Mobis!

I have had my students sitting in groups since the first day of class, but today I thought I would add more interaction and have them contribute to the board notes.   There were 8 groups, and I have 4 Mobis.    After putting a problem on the board (computer screen, writing with the Mobi and using software called Interwrite Workspace), I would give 4 groups each a Mobi and have someone from the group post their group’s solution.  At first no one wanted to try it, but after a short time, they were all wanting to have a chance to write with the Mobi!

Some of the students had more fun than others – drawing pictures and fooling around on the screen, but it was OK because they were ENGAGED!

The first four groups would hand off their Mobi to the other four groups and we would work another problem.

I have to admit, some students were able to write using the Mobi better than I can, and I have practiced longer!  You have to look at the screen while writing on the Mobi  – a little challenging at first.   For their first day, they did a great job!

They have really embraced the technology I use in class, starting with having 2 students take notes with Livescribe pens to share with the class on the website.

In a week or two I will introduce the clickers!


Off To A Great Semester With Technology!

A new semester has begun and I have added a few new ways to help my students succeed.

  1. I borrowed my colleague’s idea to have 2 students take notes during every class using a Livescribe smartpen.  I then upload the notes to their class website, and post a link  in the calendar on the day the notes were taken.

I created a webpage to house the daily notes for each chapter, starting with our first chapter:  Chapter 9

2.  I use a Mobi (from eInstruction) to present the lesson from anywhere in the room.   An especially nice feature of the Mobi software, called Workspace, is that I can save the board notes and export them to a PDF file.  I place on link in the calendar to the board lesson on the day the lesson was given.

*to see the actual board notes, you must go to the calendar and click on “board notes”, since they are an attached PDF file, I cannot link to it here.

3.  The students use an online program to do their homework, which sends me a screen shot when they need help on a particular problem.  Instead of trying to type back a response to them, I fully explain their solution using a Livescribe smartpen.  I then send them the link to the pencast, and I also created a webpage to house all solutions to student homework questions.

*here is the link to the page that contains all the homework solutions

Here is one of the solutions I wrote to my students just today:

This is just the first week of class, and the students have shown a positive reaction to these extra support features I have included on my website for them.   I look forward to seeing how the semester progresses!
*To see more of my college website go to:  Glascoe College Website .  I built the website using Dreamweaver.
*All screenshots were taken using TechSmith Snagit


New Opportunities for Growth

I have not blogged much about my own teaching with technology in the past couple months.  Instead, I have tried to write about others who I admire and what they are doing to help move mathematics education into the 21st century……This is because I have been on medical leave for a broken foot.  I was successful for a short while teaching with the Mobi from a stationary spot in each classroom, but I was still having to walk to three different buildings and my foot was not healing.   My doctor advised me to go on medical leave and let it heal.   I have missed my students terribly, and am disappointed not to be able to try the new online projects I had planned for the semester.  It was hard not being able to do any training this past semester as well.    I have been given a doctor’s release to go back to teaching again in the spring, and I am excited to dig my heels back into teaching and learning with technology!

I do have other exciting news to share as well (besides getting to start teaching again in the spring):  AMATYC Project ACCCESS invited me to serve as a Consulting Colleague (mentor) for the 2011-12 Project ACCCESS Fellows!   They even sent me the contact information for the Fellow I will be directly advising on her project so I can get started today!  It will be amazing to be in a cohort of established teachers who will be mentoring, along with Fellows who are new teachers wanting to learn more about the scholarship of teaching at a 2 year college.   The Fellow I am mentoring is working on a project to include technology, like the Livescribe smartpen, into her Hybrid college courses to help her students.   I feel so honored to be chosen to assist in guiding her progress, and help her to evaluate her project.

To learn more about the AMATYC ACCCESS program, go to the link: AMATYC  Project ACCCESS .
to learn more about the American Mathematical Association of Two Year Colleges, go to:  AMATYC

I can’t wait to get started and to share the experiences I have  in working as a Consulting Colleague in this amazing program!


Getting Published!

I wrote an article for Community College Week magazine about how I use technology to enhance teaching and learning both inside and outside of my classes.   I was excited to find out last week that they accepted my article and it was published recently!

To find the article online, you need to click on the Community College Week website, and then click on the green “Technology Update” image to download the PDF.   The article I wrote starts on page 13.

Community College Week’s website

Clip to Evernote


Mobile Whiteboards, Smartpens and Bloom’s Taxonomy

What do mobile whiteboards, smartpens and Bloom’s Taxonomy have in common?   A great all-day workshop teaching high school teachers, and their students who are in a teacher education program, how to use mobile whiteboards and smartpens through the use of a hands-on project that focused on Bloom’s Taxonomy!

We started the day learning about Hybrid versus Blended teaching models, and then I introduced the Mobi, a mobile interactive whiteboard made my eInstruction.

Next up was a discussion about Bloom’s taxonomy.

Then, to get them ready to do their first project, we played “Blooms Taxonomy According to  Pirates of the Caribbean”:

I introduced them to the Livescribe Pulse smartpen and another colleague showed them how to draw stick figures so they could create a cartoon based on the pop culture area of their choice for the Bloom’s Taxonomy level their group was in charge of.

They had a great time creating their first cartoon strip and adding sound with the Livescribe Pulse smartpen!   After lunch I gave them a lesson on using the Mobi, eInsruction’s mobile interactive whiteboard.      Each group got a Mobi to use to recreate their cartoon on the Workspace software installed on their computer.   This time they could add color and crop images for their characters and turn it into a movie.

At the end of the workshop, we shared everyone’s finished products on the different levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy

We had a great time watching each other’s final projects! I had a lot of fun teaching with several of my colleagues for the ATLAST program, which stands for: Achieving Technological Literacy in Arizona Students and Teachers.

ATLAST is a project supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF). The performing unit is the National Center for Teacher Education (NCTE) in the Maricopa County Community College District. To learn more about the ATLAST project click here.

Clip to Evernote


How to Teach with a Broken Foot

image taken from:

Somehow I managed to fracture the 2nd metatarsal (OK the image is NOT my foot, since the arrow is pointing to the 3rd metatarsal)  in my left foot the first day of class!  I wasn’t sure what was wrong with it, so after the first week I went to Urgent Care.  They couldn’t see anything, so I kept walking on it for another 2 weeks.   Finally I went to a podiatrist who saw on both the original x-ray and the new ones he took that I had a fracture that was getting worse.   He put me in a soft boot cast and crutches.

As time went on it became harder to walk and stand, but luckily, once I got into my classroom each hour, teaching was easy and still fun….I was SO glad I had my eInstruction Mobi!    If it wasn’t for my Mobi, I would not have been able to teach my classes these past 5 1/2 weeks!

I had a very difficult time getting to my classes (in three different buildings on campus) but once there, I could sit anywhere in the room (usually right with the students) and teach from my chair with my foot up!  I could interact with any program on the computer, and write all my examples on the board….without having to stand or walk during class!

Picture the teacher in this photo sitting down, with a cast on her foot, resting her foot on a chair….that would be me!

I would have continued teaching this way (and will for sure when I return), but I was forced to go on medical leave, as the walking from class to class (building to building) was just too much for my foot.

I will miss my students, and I KNOW they will miss learning with the help of great technology!


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