Showing posts from August, 2012

Friday Freebie: PowToon - One COOL Presentation Tool

Are you looking for a new way to present material? Tired of the same old presentation tools everyone is using? Then try out today's Friday Freebie: Powtoon! While the site is still in Beta testing, I am really impressed with the tool.

Their website boasts that Powtoon is ...

...the brand new Do-It-Yourself animated presentation tool that supercharges your presentations and videos! Save massive amounts of time and money by creating Presentoons that bring the WOW!-factor to product demos, business presentations, social media clips, and much more.
• User-friendly, Intuitive interface
• Countless style, image, and effect combos
• Professional results, powerful responses And it is impressive. The resulting presentations really have a great look to them - great themes, cool graphics, and stunning animation. They look incredibly professional. Here's a quick example of a PowToon presentation I made  about our district belief statements. (I've only finished three of our seven stat…

We Need Help Getting Dressed!

Our school has been asked to participate in the upcoming CEFPI convention in San Antonio. CEFPI is the Council of Educational Facility Planners International and, according to the conference website, the conference is a "gathering of educational facility planners, architects, designers, educators and suppliers in the K-12 school facility industry" designed to "create energetic conversation and interaction as [attendees] explore ways to connect, share and engage in strategies which impact individuals, companies, schools and communities."

At this year's conference, they will be showcasing three "Classrooms of the Future" on the exhibit hall floor. One of our fabulous teachers, Lori Fuller, and 9 of my student technology interns will act as the teacher and students in the future space. The future classroom is intended to predict what a classroom will look like in 2021. Lori will mock up an interactive project based learning experience for the kids and t…

Friday Freebie: Get Quick Feedback from Your Students!

Ever need some quick feedback from your students? Wanna ask a question "on the fly" and gather data quickly? Then today's Friday Freebie is perfect for you!

Head over to Naiku's Quick Question ( and create a free account. The, you can create a Quick Question session and ask Yes/No questions, True/False, Multiple Choice. Open Text, or Exit Tag responses. There's no need to enter the questions ahead of time, you can simply ask them verbally and get immediate feedback!

The great thing is students can easily respond using any internet capable device - laptop, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc. All they do is go to the student site ( and enter the code that you'll be given for your Quick Question session.

You can start and stop questions easily and choose whether to display results or not. If you want, you can click the correct response to get further analysis. It's so simple!

Now, when I first created my account, the only thing…

Keep Those Meetings (and Classes) on Time with NextUp!

Ever been in a meeting that seems to go nowhere? Wish you had a "task master" to keep everything (and everybody) on task and on time?

Then head over to NextUp and your problems are solved! With this incredibly simple to use web-based tool, you can create a meeting and enter your agenda items. Then, you add the allotted time for each agenda item using a MM:SS format.

After that, click "Create Agenda" and when ready, "Start Meeting." NextUp will begin a countdown timer and when time is up on each agenda item, it disappears from the agenda and timing starts on the next item. It's so simple, yet so effective!

I can see administrators using this for meetings and staff development. I can myself using it during presentations as a "back channel" timer just for me. Teachers could use it to help guide classroom activities or station rotations! It's a great tool.

Okay. I gotta go. Times up. :)

Loving the SAMR Model!

This week, I had the pleasure of presenting at a Schlechty Working on the Work conference in a breakout strand called "Teachers as Guide to Instruction." I teamed with Schlechty tech guru Ron Wright and Ron led teachers on an exploration of designing engaging work for students through seamless technology integration.

Before the teachers started their first technology infused project in the session, Ron gave me a few minutes to introduce the teachers to Dr. Ruben Puentedura's SAMR Model. I ran across this technology integration model late in the school year last year and find it so "simple" yet full of powerful implications.

The SAMR model suggests that, at the most basic level of technology integration, we simply "substitute" technology for another tool with no significant change in it purpose. The easiest example of this is the use of word processor to generate a document rather than hand writing it. (Now I don't advocate that we should ever go b…

Need Real Time Stats? Try World-o-Meters!

With special thanks to Fort Sam Houston Elementary teacher and techno-wizard, Melanie Morgan, I bring you a great statistics website today!

This simple site, Worldometers, offers real time world-wide statistics updated in real-time. According to the website,
"Worldometers is run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world. " Statistics on the site range from population to government to media consumption to food. Many of the live stats can be toggled between numbers "today" or "this year." Some of these stats are mind boggling. At the time I wrote this blog there are 15,094 days left until the end of oil! And, there were 138,463.987,123 emails sent that day (and it was only 8:50 am).

The potential for use in the educational setting are endless! I can easily see use of these statistics in math, scien…