What My Droid Does – Part 7

There have been two things that I have wanted my Droid to be able to do in the last month or so that it hasn’t been able to. It’s not really my Droid though. See the cases in point:

  1. ISTE released an app for the iPhone. As I went to the conference this year, I would have liked an app for my Android phone as well. I made due with the mobile app, but I am hoping that next year they play “equal time” as my grandfather used to call it.
  2. I want to be able to tether my Droid to my iPad as I do to my laptop and my netbook for Internet access where there is no wifi. It’s physically impossible as there is no connection that will run from a Droid to an iPad. But I did see while I was at ISTE a link to this resource go by in the Twitter stream. I re-Tweeted How to: WiFi Tether a Motorola Droid to an iPad and was asked by Chris Craft whether I was willing to root my phone. I’ve read up on Rooting quite a bit and have not yet taken the plunge. When and if I do decide to root my Droid, I will then be able to use it as wifi for my iPad.

I looked back at the previous six posts I have written about what my Droid does for me and I have some updates to make on a few of the apps.

What My Droid Does – Part 1

What My Droid Does – Part 2

What My Droid Does – Part 3

What My Droid Does – Part 4

What My Droid Does – Part 5

What My Droid Does – Part 6

First of all, there are so many apps for Twitter. Find one you like and be happy. I have been happy since they updated the Twitter for Android app and then I found TweetCaster.

In addition to the standard Twitter functions, TweetCaster features:

  • Multiple Twitter account support
  • Integrated retweets
  • Integrated Twitter lists
  • Notifications
  • Offline tweet caching
  • URL shortening (and previews)
  • Photo attachment
  • Threaded direct messages
  • Font/Theme customization
  • Landscape support
  • Profile editing
  • Tweet filtering
WordPress for Android

WordPress for Android made some major updates to their app earlier this month.
With the recent version 1.3 you can now:

  • see your page views
  • see your post views
  • see your referrers
  • check out your search terms
  • and view your number of clicks

I have also been happy that I can now moderate multiple comments at once using their new “bulk edit” feature
and should I choose to post from my phone, I can really format my text using their visual editor.

QR Code for Open Spot

There are a few new things that I wanted to mention.

Open Spot – http://openspot.googlelabs.com/

So over time, the concept behind Open Spot is pretty cool. To save time, gas, and to reduce pollution, Google released this app to help users find open parking spaces easily.

It will only find the open spaces of Open Spot users, so until lots of people are using it, the app is not going to be effective, but to make it work, all you so it place a pin on a map within the Android app to share the space you are abandoning. The pins are left color coded as empty to fellow users for 20 minutes until they expire.

Source http://www.slashgear.com

I installed Barnes and Noble’s new Nook app for the Droid today. I received an e-mail from B&N yesterday and was easily able to browse for it in the Android Market and download and install the free app. Once launched, I logged in using the B&N credentials I signed up with for my free iPad books (but that expired a while ago) and there they were on my Droid. Awesome.

I’m waiting for Android 2.2
I’m talking about Froyo – the next update to the Android operating system. If you have one of the newer Droids, you already have it. I have one of the older ones (I bought it waaaaaay back in November 2009) so I have to wait until Verizon pushes the update down to me. I’ll be writing about that and my top 10 apps as well as my experience using my Droid in the UK in my next post.

Reinventing Yourself

Would you want to?

If you could stay exactly who you are in the physical world, but reinvent your digital identity, would you?

As I was sitting is Michael Wesch’s phenomenal keynote yesterday morning, I started thinking some more about my digital identity and jotted down some questions.
  • What would I do if I could go to a new school and reinvent myself?
  • Would I erase everything from the Cloud?
  • Would I include pictures of my children, family and friends online?
  • Would I share all of my lessons, presentations and my blog?
So I was watching the Tweets this morning from #BLC10 and saw the link for a site from MIT fly by. I had been meaning to check it out and when I got to the Keynote, I pulled it up and, unfortunately, got a little nauseous as I watched my life unfold before my eyes. http://personas.media.mit.edu/personasWeb.html
One of the many statements that Michael Wesch said that will stay with me was that we should make our place in the world.  If you aren’t leaving breadcrumbs for your students, your friends, family and followers, why not? If you could reinvent yourself, what would you leave out, if anything? What would you add? Just some things to think about.

BLC10 25 Ed Tech Leaders To Follow

Whether your PLN is overflowing or just starting to grow, this list may help you to refine your network to best suit your learning needs. Today I will be sharing the slidedeck with some folks at BLC10.

These leaders will challenge your assumptions, answer your questions and make you think. If you are not sure where to look for the right people, or you just want to learn about some fresh voices.  These ed-tech leaders write blogs, maintain wikis, UStream their keynotes and publish their podcasts. You can find them all over the cloud. (This list will not include any of the presenters at BLC10 as attendees can meet them face-to-face.)

Web 2.0 Smackdown at EdubloggerCon East

EdubloggerCon East 2010

Yesterday was the 3rd Annual EdubloggerCon East. Among the sessions facilitated during the day, was our Web 2.0 Smackdown which we streamed and archived. Here’s a link to the archive as well as all the links shared. Thank you to all that participated both in-person as well as virtually. Enjoy!

Instapaper http://www.instapaper.com/

Readability https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/46442/

yolink http://yolink.com/education/

SweetSearch http://www.sweetsearch.com/

Read 2 Me (ipad App) http://www.whatsoniphone.com/reviews/read2me-review

isock (ipad App) http://www.commonsensemedia.org/mobile-app-reviews/isock-talking-sock

Access My Library http://www.accessmylibrary.com/

Toondoo  http://www.toondoo.com/

Evernote  http://www.evernote.com/ (specifically for it’s handwriting recognition capabilities)

Delicious  http://delicious.com – (specifically using it to tag copyright-friendly images for student projects)

Packrati.us  http://packrati.us/

TutPup  http://tutpup.com/

Intel Thinking Tools  http://www.intel.com/about/corporateresponsibility/education/k12/tools.htm

IPEVO Point 2 vView usb camera – http://www.ipevo.com/Point-2-View-USB-Camera_p_70.html

Cast.org – The Science Writer – http://sciencewriter.cast.org/welcome;jsessionid=4987B5B2A1837E13741DC957D698372D

Connect The Dots – http://connectthedots.aldoshoes.com/

Voicethread Site License – Specifically for groups to manage accounts on Voicethread.com – using VT to give feedback for 200 students – great idea

Google Squared – http://www.google.com/squared

Paper.li – http://paper.li/

Twitter Tim.es – http://twittertim.es/

Mashpedia – http://mashpedia.com/

Foursquare, More Square, We Square, Your Square

I started using foursquare back in January during Educon when a few friends checked into my car. I didn’t really get it, (if you don’t either watch this video) but I thought it was funny and I wanted to join in. I signed up for an account and found that it was really easy to use from my Droid, so I started creating venues and checking in when I would travel for work and go to different schools in NJ.

I soon realized that I could send my check-ins to Twitter (which I rarely do) and to Facebo0k. Foursquare actually became a great tool for me to add status updates to my Facebook page and I soon realized that many of my ed tech friends were using it there as well. I figured that anyone that didn’t want to see those posts would just hide them.

After using foursquare so much at ISTE10 and even presenting about it in the Social Butterfly Lounge, I decided I might review a few basics as many have an interest in it on their way to BLC10 this week.

Here’s a A How To on foursquare. This one will answer many of the simple questions you might have that you are hesitant to ask an existing foursquare user.

How to pick your Mayorship battles is one that some folks I know (present company included) should take a look at. Chris Craft has coined the phrase “fauxsquaring” based on a recent competition for the Mayorship of a specific venue. This article provides some reasonable guidelines.

As of tonight, Alec Couros is the Mayor of BLC10. There will be some competition as we all arrive tomorrow for pre-conferences and EubloggerCon East.

How to be cool (and not uncool) on Foursquare is something every foursquare user should read after they’ve earned their first few badges. As I’ve already pointed out, there are some guidelines to follow.

So if you can have some fun with it, look at it as a way to track where you’ve been, possibly get a free coffee or a coupon for your troubles, then you’re in for a treat. If you’re look for educational value, look here as I don’t plan on using foursquare in the classroom any time soon.

Another “Unconference” – Edubloggercon East at BLC10

I heard many educators last week at ISTE10 ask what an “unconference” was. Since so many hadn’t attended EdubloggerCon on Saturday, I could understand how they had trouble grasping the concept, especially after going back and looking through the Tweets with the hashtag.

Since Liz Davis and I have spent some time over the last few days making sure that everything is set for EdubloggerCon East in Boston this Monday, I thought I would break down, in simple terms, what my take on an unconference is, since there seems to be some different definitions floating around.

What is an unconference?

Why would you want to attend one?

  • Everyone at an unconference has a voice. Here you would get to hear from educators you might not typically learn or share with at other more formal events.
  • You don’t have to feel obligated to stay in a session. Feel free to apply the “Rule of Two Feet”. If you feel you have joined a discussion that does not meet your needs, let your feet take you to another discussion.
  • There are no requests for proposals (RFP’s) for an unconference. You just put your name and session idea on a wiki or chart paper. These are just conversations and there is no need to have a formal presentation as you and your group should be having a conversations. Perhaps you’d like to start one.
  • You get to meet some of the people that you communicate with on Twitter, Plurk, in Nings out in the Edublogosphere.
  • Unconferences are typically FREE

How can you participate?

  1. Unconferences are usually advertised via Twitter, conference sites, blogs, wikis. (Since they are free to attend, they don’t have any funding for formal advertising.)
  2. You can participate in person, via the backchannel, or they are usually Ustreamed.
  3. Come to the unconference in person. No one is ever turned away.

Having said all this, EdubloggerCon East is scheduled for this Monday, July 12. For the 3rd year, Alan November and the November Learning team have graciously donated space to this free unconference. Liz  and I set up a wiki, communicated with Jennifer Beine with regards to how much space we think we are going to need and the rest is really up to the attendees.

This year session topics include:

  • Unconferences for everybody: edcamp
  • Renaming/Rethinking 21st Century Learning
  • Design Simplicity or “The Beauty of the Widened Vertical Scroll Bar”

There are several others listed on the session grid and I’m hoping additional attendees will come forward and fill in the blanks that morning. We’ll be streaming at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ebce10 and you can follow us on Twitter using the #ebce10 hashtag.

ISTE10: What did you learn about helping students?

Credit: Dean Shareski's Flickr Stream

I like a good edtech conference just as much as the next geeky educator. I’m all about which iPad app is best for Twitter, and becoming the Mayor of the ISTE Mansion. But all that aside, at the end of the conference, I want to be able to look back at what I can share with the educators I work with.

It’s taken me a few days as I divide my time between my family (priority #1) and both preparing for work next week and reflecting on work from last week. I’ve divided my comments on ISTE into two sections. There are some resources I’d like to share as well as some concepts I’d like to highlight as they were the highlight of the conference for me.

Here are some resources I’d like to share:

I presented 3 sessions in the yolink booth on the conference floor this year. I thought I knew about yolink until I saw the resources from the other presenters. They blew me away. Each of their lessons and slidedecks are shared on the site we created for the conference. If you are not familiar with yolink, watch Ken Shelton and Richard Byrne discuss it’s benefits or come see me at BLC10 as I present it again along with some other great, free and useful tools for students and teachers.

Critical thinking and Internet literacies wikihttp://critical-thinking.iste.wikispaces.net/
I believe this wiki is organized by David McGavock and I’m hoping it is going to continue to grow with it’s ideas on how to teach Crap Detection to students. The wiki currently has links to video resources as well as a vocabulary list that I know will be helpful to many educators I work with.  The concepts presented here are based on Howard Rheingold’s teaching of critical thinking and Internet literacies. You can learn more about and from Howard from his vlog at http://vlog.rheingold.com/.

Released in Beta just before the conference, SweetSearch4Me is recommended for students in kindergarten through 8th grade. Similar to SweetSearch, this search engine searches only Web sites that their staff of research experts, librarians and teachers have evaluated and approved as high-quality content appropriate for young users. Only the best sites directed at elementary school students are included, and many of the results on the first page were created exclusively for kids. The final site is anticipated to be released in September.

Here are some concepts I’d like to share:

I’m combining my thoughts on two sessions I attended. The first was a conversation at EduBloggerCon facilitated by Scott McLeod and Sylvia Martinez. The second was a session during ISTE facilitated by Rushton Hurley. Both, for me, had in common the traits of how to work with people effectively.

  • Anyone can use technology; we don’t all have to be gurus
  • Everyone has an expertise; we can all learn something from each other
  • A good teacher doesn’t need to know the indicators, they just need to know the content and how to understand how to get a student to learn it.
  • Communication is key
  • Be compelling
  • Being aware of the culture
  • Get a clear conversation going
  • It’s always about the people, whether it’s students or adults

Most importantly, the discussions reminded me of something that I find myself chanting in the car sometimes late in May when the end of the school year is near. I want to help children learn. I’m passionate about it. I enjoy it. I have fun.

We all can agree that there is a population of educators out there that don’t want to teach, don’t want to use technology effectively, and don’t want to have fun. The question is, how can we get a conversation going with them? We can try. We can only do our best. I didn’t walk away from ISTE with a miracle cure for any of those issues, but I did walk away with a renewed sense of commitment to children and helping them learn.