Recent Posts

Make room for Evernote!

March 27th, 2013

My notes have been all over the place for years. I write on “real” stickie notes with a “real” pen, I use “Notes” onmy iphone, I have stickies on my dashboard and I have the stickies app on my mac…..for a long time Evernote has been a cool tool to take a snapshot on the camera and wow people with the fact I could search my photos and type Schweppes and Evernote would be able to find the photo of the Soda Water can I took a photo of….But….I am really finally getting the power of Evernote and it’s ability to really streamline my life!

Evernote has so many parts to it, and of course at its most basic it is a place for you to write a note and add to it…where it goes from there is it’s cloud based and syncing to all my devices so I can add and delete those notes when necessary. I can add text, photos, sound, files (word docs etc), bookmarks, everything!

I can hear you saying…sure I know that…so? Evernote has a real space to grow in your classroom…..I see it as an amazing tool for portfolios in 4th and 5th grade classes especially. I see it as an amazing tool in High School for teachers to document lessons….screenshots, photos of the board/ smartboard. Middle School could really utilize this…teachers could document lessons, students could contribute to lessons, build and add documents. When making a Notebook Teachers can create links for students to these, allowing easy access. To get you thinking of its use in your classroom checkout how Kevin Buran is using it with his 6th grade classes.

Over the coming weeks prepare to see the power of Evernote and what it can do for you….I’ll look at its use by and for Educators throwing a personal mix in there too.

To get you started get an Evernote account Make sure you have the Web Clipper extension for your browser. Make sure you download the app for your computer and last but not least for your ipad/iphone/droid. Sign in to all of them and have a play this week. Create a few notes, take some photos and clip a webpage (like a bookmark). Let’s see where this can take us once you’re use to Evernote’s layout. Finally, checkout this short teaser to get you totally hooked, and taking it further than just photographs.

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Feedly has changed my life!

March 20th, 2013

Well perhaps not changed my life, but I have to tell you that last weeks announcement from Google,thatReader, their RSS aggregate was joining the scrap heap in a few months, I was extremely worried! With over 100 blogs working away productively on our campus, not to mention all my travel, cooking, technology, education blogs……what was I to do? Three real contenders kept popping their head up….Good ol Netvibes, The Old Reader and Feedly. I never got into Netvibes…..several reasons why, and none of them really valid. It has come a long way from its early days, especially when you see it being used like AISB Budapest. I love it, but to move quickly through blogposts, I liked Google Reader.

I quickly signed up for The Old Reader, but importing my bookmarks, seemed like an extra step…..this is where Feedly is going to really win people over….sign in with your google account and BAM…all your subscriptions are already there.

I am enjoying the suggestions too of other sites I should look at, and I think I have found another reason not to take my laptop home and just use the ipad…..The ipad app is sensational…it comes close to 5 out of 5. The layout is great and the read later/saved items works well. I like the Mark as Read through swiping too……On the web version I find the extra step of having to Mark as Read a little annoying….but I just have to get use to that….and the iphone app is just as good. My only complaint is… I’d love articles to be sent to my Evernote.

Give it a go….If you don’t use a reader…let’s sit down and chat. I think you will find yourself getting through a lot more work..checking kids blogs, and of course finding the latest and greatest recipes to cook for your wife!

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Why it makes sense to go to Spotify

March 16th, 2013

For the last 8 years I’ve torrented and found all my music and built a collection I was proud of. I weeded music out I didn’t want, deleted old stuff, avoided being passed the 1TB hard drive of music, that would sit on my computer and never be listened to. But what I was finding was my taste in music would change monthly…of course I had a list of albums I’d come back to, but stuff I had last year, well that’s last years music. My computer was slowing, and it was time to change.

I signed up for Spotify, which, once you sign up you get a free month of Premium….and this is where it all changed for me. Spotify Premium has no advertisements, and pretty much every song/Artist/Album, you would ever want! Sure, I don’t own the music forever, but I do whilst I keep paying my $10 a month, something I am comfortable doing at the moment, as for the first time in years, I am legit, I am back supporting artists and their music. Let’s take a look at the top 8 things Spotify does really really well for me….

1. I can search for an Artist and drag their Album to my playlist, meaning I have it at my fingertips to play again and again.

2. It has an app for your iphone, ipad, Android…..everything!

3. Spotify gives you the ability to share playlists with friends.

4. All of my favorite blogs and Music sites have apps that sit within Spotify. Before, I would read a review on say Pitchfork or NME or The Guardian or Rolling Stone…then have to search torrents, often not having luck with the obscure or latest, latest release….Now….all the albums Pitchfor review are in Spotify!

5. Whilst on the subject of apps, Tunigo, Fuse (I’ll review the apps next week) and many more will build playlists for you….and you share them, or just listen to some already created….Need a playlist, for your next workout? Need a double black Ski Run playlist?

6. Want to play your favorite playlist when your not connected to the Net…No problem, just click the “Make available offline”…this way all your music can be on your iphone ready to go.

7. Speaking of making offline…the speed it downloads to my iphone is incredible…it may be China messing with me, but I could download 5 times faster to my iphone in Spotify than with iTunes Match.

8. For $10 US a month $12 AUS, I think it’s a good deal.

So download it now! To go premium, you’ll need to use your credit card, but you get a month free…just remember to cancel, as I forgot and for a month or so in the early days, completely forgot I had a subscription…not anymore since fully embracing it.

Check out my Sunday Morning Coffee and Fry Up playlist…..

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Downloading from Vimeo

March 11th, 2013

As an Educator, there is nothing worse than having to rely on streaming a video from the web. We’ve all done it

and regretted it! I make sure these days when showing a clip or video to an audience I have downloaded it and have it stored locally on my machine. For Youtube, we have had Fastesttube sitting under youtube clips to download it…..for as long as I can remember Vimeo was a hit and miss venture. Sure we had Safari and a trick to download, but nothing was simple….tonight I googled download vimeo and to my surprise…et voila! A google Chrome extension that sits nicely in your address bar! Install this baby and you are good to go! Now you will never look the fool, waiting for a video to load!

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Google Forms in Action

February 25th, 2013

Welcome to todays short and sweet Google Forms Workshop. To see the form in action please submit your answer below……

And here are our real time results!

Have a look through Google’s template gallery

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February 5th, 2013

Use the following link to add and experiment with this Google Doc.

There are several different sharing settings you can use on Docs…..There’s Private, Shared but not editable (just view), and Shared and editable.

For example the doc has been set as “Anyone with the link can edit”. The only problem with this method is users may show up as “Anonymous” if not signed in.

I like to share a doc with specific email addresses….keeping it more “in house”…..remember…..every student at SAS has a google account…

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Chinese New Year Google Doc

February 4th, 2013

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Forms and Norms

October 18th, 2012

In a blog post, try and describe the different forms of communication (IM email), and the different norms (how we behave) for these situations.

For all forms of communication, what are the Good ways to communicate and the No, no’s?

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Mac and Me this week

October 9th, 2012

Please complete this Tech Survey for Shanghai American School

Cyberbullying Introduction and blog work.

Please watch the following video, once you have watched it, create a new blog post on your blog, titled “Cyberbullying” Embed the video, by following the instructions from your tech leader, and answer the questions under this video.

Use this link to get the embed code:

Do you know what these 4 words mean?

Write a definition for the following 4 words…

Harassing, Deceiving, Flaming, Hate Speech

Stacey’s Story

1. Why did the girls start to harass and threaten Stacey online in the first place?

2. When do you think the girls’ behavior “crossed the line”?

3. Stacey says, “People talk really big, when there’s, like, miles between you.” What do you think she means by this statement?

4. In what ways might the online context make the situation worse than if the bully had harassed Stacey offline?

5. Stacey’s mom says that Stacey should call the school and report the incidents. Stacey responds that it would “just make it worse.” Do you think this is true? Why or why not?

Once you have completed the 5 questions and definitions, revisit 12 Best Mac Lion tips and complete your previous blog post with your top 2 Lion Tech tips.

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Mac and Me

September 27th, 2012

Setting up your mail account on your Mac. It is very easy to do and will allow you to access

your mail quickly and at all times on your machine, instead of having to visit SASOC site.

Please follow Ms Decardy’s excellent instructions… Because this was created a few years ago, the final steps are much easier when adding the mail account now

Once you have completed the setup for mail please review the following website, 12 Best Mac Lion Tips

Once you have read and discussed these tips in class, complete a blog post describing your top 2 tips, how they work and why you like them. Even try adding a picture!

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