NY/NJ Mobile Learning Summit

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger.

I looked back at my recent posts and realized that I am only posting about once a month. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, it’s that work and life is so busy. Lame excuse, right?  You’ve probably said the same thing at some point in time, so let me off the hook, just this once as life really has been hectic.

I’ve been working on many things since I moved over to the SGEI at Kean University 11 months ago. Here’s a few of them:

  1. Designed and launched a new SGEI website
  2. Contracted with new consultants so that we are now a Google Apps EDU Professional Learning Organization
  3. Worked with the SGEI staff to develop this amazing list of PD sessions for the 2012-2013 academic year
  4. Planned several large events at the University including the 2nd annual NY/NJ Google Apps Summit and the Mobile Learning Summit coming up this November (see below)

On November 2, school administrators, teachers and network specialists will gather at the STEM Building at Kean University for the inaugural Mobile Learning Summit

Presenting districts in New Jersey include:

    • West Morris Regional School District
    • Randolph Township School District
    • Parsippany-Troy Hills School District
    • Springfield Public Schools
    • West Orange Public Schools
    • Morris School District

Keynote Speaker,  Lisa Dawley, Ph.D., will be presenting “Creating a Successful Mobile Adoption in the Classroom and Beyond!” in the STEM Auditorium and then attendees will select sessions of their choosing including Mobile Devices for Formative Assessment and a panel presentation: Moving Towards a 1:1 – Policies, Procedures and Legal Landmines.

The Mobile Learning Summit is designed for the K-20 education community to discuss, learn and share best practices in regards to Mobile Learning. Visit the Summit website for more information and to register.
Seating is limited. (Please contact me with any questions.)

Have you tried Google Cloud Print?

Source: http://www.geeky-gadgets.com

So perhaps I’m a little behind, but when I was in Australia a couple of weeks ago at the GTASYD someone mentioned something called Google Cloud Print.

On my home network, I have been having a problem getting my Win7 laptop to print over my wireless network. Not having read the FAQs for Google Cloud Print, I thought it might be an easy solution. The bad news is that after reading a post about it on the Google Mobile Blog, I learned that this application only works on mobile devices, so it will not work from my Win7 laptop.

The good news is that it will work from my:

Who needs the Win7 laptop at this point anyway? Really!

If you have a mobile device such as the ones listed above, or an iPhone, consider adding Google Cloud Print to your list of tools. All you will need to do is alter some settings, in Chrome, on the computer that is attached to your printer. Follow the directions here and you’ll be able to print form the Cloud.

2010 in Review

If you blog at WordPress.com as I do, you received a helpful e-mail informing you of some of the stats for your blog from 2010. I found some of this intriguing as I begin planning some topics for 2011. I typically post on timely information and items that are of interest to me, so it surprises me which were the top visited posts and what searches bring people to ThumannResources.

Image Source http://www.risesmart.com

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were

  • twitter.com
  • Google Reader
  • edcommunity.apple.com
  • cmsce.rutgers.edu
  • delicious.com

Some visitors came searching, mostly for

  • itouch
  • children’s internet protection act 2009
  • njecc
  • lisa thumann
  • you get what you get and you don’t get upset

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Who Owns Your Data? September 2010


10 Steps to a Gmail Makeover March 2010


iTouch the Future…I Teach – Music May 2008


What My Droid Does – Part 3 February 2010


Web 2.0 Smackdown at TechForum October 2010

I have not yet decided if I will continue posting about the Droid and I haven’t blogged about the iPod Touch in about 2 years, but the other popular posts were information that I was interested in and therefor wanted to share. My prediction is that I will mainly post about:

  • 1:1 laptop initiatives
  • Steps towards systemic change in schools
  • Google Apps Education Edition and how it improves teaching and learning

Thanks for reading, subscribing and commenting in 2010. I hope to see your voice here in 2011.

What My Droid Does – Part 8

With the upgrade to Froyo (Android 2.2) there are many new features available on Android phones. There’s a complete list at the Verizon website, but here are some of the highlights:

Source: Gizmodo.com
  • Easily switch between the eight most recent applications.
  • Text Message Widget.  You can scroll up and down
  • through the list of all your text conversations in one screen.
    Also, you can call a number back immediately from text messages.)
  • Automatic app updates including an “Update All” feature.
  • Instantly know the strength of your signal with improved
    signal display.
  • Updated People application to accommodate contacts with
    Facebook accounts.

Updates to the Android operating system seem to be coming pretty quickly with the next version, Gingerbread, due out in the fourth quarter of 2010. All the android versions are named after food. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_%28operating_system%29

  • 1.5 is Cupcake
  • 1.6 is Donut
  • 2.0/2.1 is Eclair
  • 2.2 is Froyo
  • 2.6 will be gingerbread
  • After that…Honeycomb??

So, where is a good place to go if you need answers to some of your Droid questions?  My favorite forum is at http://androidforums.com. Here seems to be where I can get the answers to my questions about the operating system.  But Mashable has been a great source for learning about the different apps that are available in the Marketplace. Check out some of these resource lists that they have compiled:

So, that’s a lot of apps to review, so I wanted to bring your attention to one that I think is fantastic.

QR Code for Congress


I like the ease in which you can contact via the phone your local district reps, keep up-to-date on what laws are bring introduced to Congress and search by “just introduced” as well as by the legislature name, state or zip code. The app developers list:

  • Read the latest bills, laws, and see what bills were recently voted on.
  • Find members of Congress by using your phone’s location, a zipcode, a last name, or a state.
  • Read tweets and watch videos from members’ Twitter and YouTube accounts.
  • Reply to a member of Congress on Twitter from within the app, using your own account.

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.

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.

What MY Droid Does – Part 6

QR Code for this post

One of the fantastic features of the Android phones is the ability to scan QR Codes. So, what’s a QR Code, you ask? My way of explaining it is that a QR Code is a symbol that stores a URL. When your camera phone scans it using a barcode scanner (link), it automatically launches its browser and goes to that web page. This is really convenient when shopping, viewing a website (this is the QR Code for this post is to the left), or even Geocaching.

You can make your own QR Codes easily. SO EASILY.

1. Copy and paste the following URL into your browser (don’t hit ENTER yet…)
2. At the end of the URL (after the “=” sign), paste or type in the URL that you want your QR Code to link to – my QR Code linked to http://thumannresources.com/2010/04/22/what-my-droid-does-part-6/
3. Hit the ENTER button
4. Save the QR Code image to your hard drive (or some other location)
5. Once someone scans this QR Code, it will take them to your specified URL. (Go ahead. Try it. Scan my QR Code.)

For more information on QR Codes see:

Source: http://googlemobile.blogspot.com/

Then there’s the recent release of Google Earth for the Android phone. It works really well on my Droid. I will say, though, that I would only use it in an areawith 3G. Of course I wanted to see my house, so I went to the menu and selected my location and went to my house – and then pinched my fingers to zoom in. I then went back to the menu and clicked on the Search menu and used the voice feature to search for Disney Land. Once there I tapped the “Look Around” button and changed my view so that I could get a good look around. I also went back to the main menu and explored the different layers to see what types of information were available.

You can visit the Google Earth for your Mobile phone on the web at http://www.google.com/mobile/earth/ or directly on your phone at http://m.google.com/earth.

Oh, and here’s the QR Code for Google Earth in the Android Apps Market:

QR Code for Google Earth

Lastly, I’ve been using Seesmic on my Droid. I had been noticing that many were Tweeting from it, so I thought I would give it a try. The mobile version of Seesmic seems to be a full featured application. It has:

  • Easy access to Twitter Lists that I’ve created and that follow me
  • A tutorial built right into the application
  • You can manage your profile from within the app
  • Varied selection of external services (photos, URL shorteners, video hosts)
  • Options for notifications

Here’s the QR Code for Seesmic in the Android Apps Market:

QR Code for Seesmic