Tag Archive for eInstruction

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.


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


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: http://www.footdoc.ca/www.FootDoc.ca/Website%20Metatarsalgia.htm

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!


My Activities at ISTE 2010 in Denver

Link to the actual Hyperstudio Stack in HTML5

I had a great time at ISTE!  This is the first time I have ever been to a conference and stayed in the vendor area the entire time!

I worked with several companies while I was there.   Every day I spent some time in the eInstruction booth showing folks how I use the Mobi, CPS Pulse student response clickers, ExamView and Workspace in my own classes.   That was very exciting!  I was so busy that I didn’t get any photos of their booth!

I also presented with Jim Marggraff, CEO and founder of the Livescribe Pulse smartpen at a breakfast on Tuesday morning.   It was amazing to meet the man who invented the Leap Pad and the Livescribe Pulse smartpen!  I presented the next day at their poster session as well.

I spent a lot of time in the FableVision Learning booth as well, with my friends Peter and Paul Reynolds and the FableVision Learning staff!   I finally got to meet Peggy Healy Sterns, who created Stationary Studio and The Graph Club (Tom Snyder Productions).  She is currently working on a new project called fab@school with FableVision and Mackiev Software (and other great folks).  Photos and more information about this project if you click on the photo above!

You can see some photos of my adventure on the link below:  It will take you to my Hyperstudio 5 stack on the web.    If you are using a Mac, you need to use Safari, and on a PC, you need to use Internet Explorer (there is a plug-in for Hyperstudio for Safari and Internet Explorer).  I had fun making it!  Be sure to click on the pictures!  Some will take you to other websites and some open videos!  Pretty neat software created by my great friend Roger Wagner (Mackiev Software sells Hyperstudio 5), who spent some time showing me the ins and outs of Hyperstudio AND a chained Bible from the 1500s!  I wish I had a photo of that


Getting ready for ISTE 2010 in Denver!

Over the next few weeks I will posting about some Educational Technology companies I will be presenting for, and working with, at ISTE 2010 in Denver.

Today I had a chat with some colleagues at eInstruction about my role for them at ISTE.  I was selected to be one of the original cadre of National Certified Instructors for eInstruction, and recently underwent a fantastic 3-day training event in Maryland!   I met some amazing teachers there, and learned more about several educational (and inspirational) products that I am very excited to share with other teachers at ISTE!

I will be working in one of eInstruction’s  “sharing stations” (my terminology, not eInstruction’s)  helping teachers form ideas on how to use the Mobi, the CPS Pulse clickers and Interwrite Workspace, to enhance any classroom activity or lesson.

The Interwrite Workspace software is the “heart” of the collaboration between the Mobi and the Clickers in an interative classroom experience.    This software allows the teacher to present their lesson using any software on their computer or website, and then have students participate with the activity or lesson with both Mobis and CPS Pulse Clickers for immediate feedback.   The Mobi also allows the teacher to walk around the room and engage with their students on a more personal and interactive level.

The Mobi is a mobile interactive whiteboard:

The CPS Pulse clickers work seemlessly to send immediate feedback to the LCD screen on the Mobi, and allows the students to input anything from letters and numbers, to math symbols!

If you plan on being at ISTE 2010 in Denver, please stop by the eInstruction booth and say hi!


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