Showing posts from November, 2012

Friday Freebie: Become a ClassDojo!

Let me start today's blog by saying I've never claimed to be "so far ahead of the curve" that in every Friday Freebie I offer you a website you've never heard of before. I say that because there's a good chance you've heard of this week's offering. I hadn't and when I found out about it, I got really excited. It's a behavior management system called ClassDojo.

ClassDojo allows you to keep track of student behavior by giving them positive points for positive behavior and negative points for undesirable behavior. Setting up a class is extremely easy and when you add students into your class each student receives a unique avatar - a cute little creature that represent each student.

Then, to start keeping track of their behavior you simply open the class and click on the student to give them either positive points or negative points. You can also assign points to multiple students at once. The behaviors are all customizable so you can enter your …

Friday Freebie: Easily Create Multimedia Collages with Edcanvas

If you ever want to pull together a variety of media to create a multimedia collage, then today's Friday Freebie is for you. Edcanvas (at lets you easily pull together YouTube videos, websites, documents, pictures, files, and more into one simple and good-looking digital collage.

Rather than write about it, I decided to just show you. So, watch the following quick introduction and have fun with Edcanvas!

The Curse of Knowledge Revisited

In a blog post many moons ago, I wrote about The Curse of Knowledge - the idea that the more we know about a particular subject, the more difficult it becomes to share that knowledge. This is due largely to the fact that we can't place ourselves in the mindset of those receiving the information and we make assumptions into what they know - simply because we know it already.
When I first became a math teacher- many, many years ago - the best advice I got about teaching was to break down every problem to the simplest step I could possibly think of - and then break it downone more step. That advice helped me succeed in the math class.
Now, as I try to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom, I need to keep that in mind. Don't get me wrong, I am not contending that teachers have the same mental capacity of a ninth grade Algebra student. It's just that I have to remember that the knowledge I have as a Technology Director puts me in a different mindset than that of t…

Changing Email Addresses is Tougher Than Moving!

Over the weekend, I decided it was time to consolidate my two personal emails accounts into one. Why I had two personal accounts in this first place is a mystery to me, but I did. I used one for this blog and few other online subscriptions and  was using the other for my Twitter and Facebook account and for the Knights of Columbus website I maintain for my church. It was getting too tough switching back and forth so I knew it was time to pare down.

Another reason for the switch is that I wanted a full-fledged real-deal Gmail account. As big a proponent as I am for Google Apps, I have to admit I really didn't use Gmail that much. I wanted to start using it on a regular basis to get better acquainted with all its great features. So, I created a new Google account ( and started the migration.

That's when I began to realize the enormity of the move. I had to transfer this blog to my new identity. First, by inviting myself to contribute. Then accepting the invit…

Friday Freebie: Great Google Resources!

On Saturday, October 27th I hosted an Area "Google Apps for Education" Summit in San Antonio. The workshop was attended by over 100 teachers, administrators, and technology directors from around San Antonio and beyond!

We started the day with a candid panel discussion with students about their use of technology and their views on how well teachers integrate it into their classrooms. Fantastic breakout sessions followed and we ended the day by designing our own learning in two "un-conference" sessions.

In my "unbiased" opinion, the day was a huge hit. We all walked away with some incredible knowledge about using Google Apps in the classroom. So, today I want to share some of that knowledge with you.

The website we built for the conference is still up an active. You can visit it at: The page you really want to focus on is the "Schedule and Breakout Sessions" page. There, you'll find an audio recording of th…