Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Joy of Statistics: Hans Rosling's 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

Hans Rosling's famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sports commentator's style to reveal the story of the world's past, present and future development. Now he explores stats in a way he has never done before - using augmented reality animation. In this spectacular section of "The Joy of Stats" he tells the story of the world in 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers - in just four minutes. Plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810, Hans shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Macomb Intermediate School District


Thanks to everyone who attended today's workshop "5 Habits to Help Students Get Their Act Together."

To download the digital version of the handout, complete with clickable links, go to my website and click the Free Resources link. You will see the handout at the top of the right hand column. This link will also download the handout. Remember to use the password we gave you during the workshop.

If you are interested in adding to your iGoogle page some of the same gadgets I have on mine, here is an easy way to get them. As you click each link, you will be taken to a page that describes the gadget and let's you click a button to automatically add it to your iGoogle page.

Google Bookmarks
Google Reader
Yahoo News
Twitter
Facebook 
Dropbox
Bit.ly URL Shortener
Weather
CNN.com
CNN Technology
reQall
People.com
ESPN.com
MapQuest Driving Directions
Area/Zip Code Lookup
Music
YouTube
Document to PDF
Movies
GoogleDocs
GoogleCalendar
Google Map Search
Portfolio Monitor
Calculator
Stopwatch
Flight Status
Wolfram/Alpha

Want to set up a Dropbox account? Here is an easy way for you to set up an account and get an extra 250MB of free storage for both you and me. Click here to sign up.

We mentioned briefly about students being able to take tests on the computer which are instantly graded and item analysis conducted. Here is a post that goes into more depth on that concept.

If you are a first-time visitor at this blog, you will find 6 years of posts here designed to help you organize your life (with technology being a big part of it) and have more fun along the journey.


The right-hand column of this blog gives you the opportunity to subscribe, so that with every time there is a new post, you get the information in your e-mail. You can also sign-up for a free monthly e-mail newsletter, examine free resources on the website, or follow me on Twitter.

What did you think about today's experience? I would love to hear your comments!

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Tech Support Care Package

I couldn't help laughing when a friend shared this site with me. After laughing, however, I added it to my bookmarks, and for a very good reason. When it comes to technology, holes in the knowledge base of a vast number of people occur at fairly low levels. Regardless of where we are on the continuum, we are either needing to plug our own holes or help people we care about get up to speed with technology. Either way, we are going to need good resources that make concepts easy to understand. That's why I bookmarked TeachParentsTech.org

To use the site, you complete a "form" that is guaranteed to make you smile:


Click "Preview," and it you like what you see, e-mail it to your mom, dad, aunt, uncle...well, you get the idea. Here is what they see:

The videos are short and easy to digest. In all, there are 52 videos in the collection. They include "copy and paste," but they also include topics that even fairly tech savvy folks may not know.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Google SafeSearch

Google has a new feature which makes Internet searches safer for students.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Who Sees What on Twitter?



If I reply to a tweet, who sees it? If I start my tweet with "@" and a Twitter name, who sees it? How is that different from if @twittername was to appear in the middle of the tweet.

For answers to these and many more questions, take a look at Mom, This is How Twitter Works.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What Happens to Those Conference Notes?


Many of us just returned from the Alabama Educational Technology Conference. Many will shortly be leaving for ISTE. As you look around during sessions, people are taking notes. In recent years, more and more are taking notes on laptops. This year, tablets were in abundant supply.

Now the conference is over. You have stepped back into "your life." So where are those conference notes right now? What will happen to them over the next few days? The next few months? The next few years?

Whether you attended AETC or any other conference, I am interested in your "system."

What do you you use to take your notes? How and where do you organize them later so that set of notes becomes part of your total package? What's your mechanism for sharing your notes with others? The more detailed you can be, the more it can help other readers with their own systems.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Alabama Educational Technology Conference Recap


Thanks to everyone who came to one of my sessions today at AETC. As promised, all you had to do was sit back and listen. All of the notes you could have taken are in the handouts. To get to them, go to my website and click on the Free Resources link. Or, simply click on the appropriate link below to get the handout for the session you attended. Each handout required a password to open. Use the one we gave you in the session.

Get Organized With Your BlackBerry
Now you can keep your calendar digitally. All of your "to-do" items will be in one place. You can now enter all of the repeating appointments once and let the BlackBerry handle the rest. Plus, you can anything in a flash.

Syncing your BlackBerry with Outlook makes a huge difference. The one-time setup is well worth it! You will also want to grab a copy of Configuring Outlook


Why Your PowerPoints are Awful and What to Do About It
Hopefully, you will never think of PowerPoint presentation the same way again. Now, the text is  in a document, the presentation is in your head, and beautiful pictures that are worth 1,000 words are on the screen. Your audience will not only stay awake, but they will remember what you said. Just don't tell anyone how easy this was to do!

Free Digital Tools That Increase Productivity
Yes, there is a lot of neat stuff out there. But just how much do you have the time to master. With what you learned here, you just put time back in your day, reduced your stress, and remembered why it was you liked technology!

If you are interested in adding to your iGoogle page some of the same gadgets I have on mine, here is an easy way to get them. As you click each link, you will be taken to a page that describes the gadget and let's you click a button to automatically add it to your iGoogle page.

Google Bookmarks
Google Reader
Yahoo News
Twitter
Facebook 
Dropbox
Bit.ly URL Shortener
Weather
CNN.com
CNN Technology
reQall
People.com
ESPN.com
MapQuest Driving Directions
Area/Zip Code Lookup
Music
YouTube
Document to PDF
Movies
GoogleDocs
GoogleCalendar
Google Map Search
Portfolio Monitor
Calculator
Stopwatch
Flight Status
Wolfram/Alpha

Want to set up a Dropbox account? Here is an easy way for you to set up an account and get an extra 250MB of free storage for both you and me. Click here to sign up.

We mentioned briefly about students being able to take tests on the computer which are instantly graded and item analysis conducted. Here is a post that goes into more depth on that concept.

If you are a first-time visitor at this blog, you will find 6 years of posts here designed to help you organize your life (with technology being a big part of it) and have more fun along the journey.


The right-hand column of this blog gives you the opportunity to subscribe, so that with every time there is a new post, you get the information in your e-mail. You can also sign-up for a free monthly e-mail newsletter, examine free resources on the website, or follow me on Twitter.


If your school could benefit by having everyone get what you got today, bringing me to your school can start by simply clicking here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Read a Good Book Lately?

A dear friend and regular reader of this blog left a comment on this post.

At first glance, I thought this was your list written on your pocket size notebook. I enlarged it up to see what you were planning to read.

Well, this was actually not my list of books to read, but I do have one. In my BlackBerry is a task literally entitled "Books to Read." In its note section is my list. The task has a due date, which ensures that list will be in front of my face at a designated future time, so there is no possibility of the whole thing slipping through the cracks. The BlackBerry's ability to search the task list means that if I am near the library and want to drop in, I know exactly what to look for.

Here is what is on that list right now:
  • PresentationZEN (Garr Reynolds)
  • Slide:ology: the Art and Science of creating great presentations
  • Flipping the Switch...: Unleash the Power of Personal Accountability Using the QBQ!
  • 168 Hour
  • Music, My Love (Rampal)
  • Arts With the Brain in Mind (Jenson)
  • Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom
  • Enough: A Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Abundance
  • Executive Coaching for Results (Underhill)
  • New Leaders 100 Day Action Plan
  • The Answer to How is Yes
  • Making Time to Think (Bing)
  • Everything I Need to Know Learned from a Children’s Book
  • Psycho Cybernetics
  • Tyranny of the Urgent
  • Sizzle Substance (Eric Jensen)
  • One Minute Entrepreneur
  • Thinking Course (DeBono)
  • Wisdom of Crowds
  • The Great Gatsby

Anybody read one of them lately and care to share your thoughts?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Red Skelton's Pledge of Allegiance

In school all across America, reciting the "Pledge of Allegiance" is part of the daily routine. In this video, Red Skelton recalls a teacher who took this recitation a step further, and explains the words contained in the pledge.

As we celebrate Flag Day, this is the perfect time to revisit the meaning behind the words we say.

Friday, June 10, 2011

If you are attending the Alabama Educational Technology Conference, here are three sessions I will be conducting:

Get Organized With Your BlackBerry
(June 16, 8:00, East Hall Room N)
Have a BlackBerry, but just use it to make phone calls, get e-mail, and take a few pictures? You don't want to miss this session. Learn how to maintain a complete calendar. Keep all of your "to-dos" at hand where you always know what's next. Learn how easily you can search for any piece of information. We will also preview the new BlackBerry Playbook, Blackberry's entry into the tablet arena.

Why Your PowerPoints are Awful and What to Do About It
(June 16, 10:00, East Hall Room N)
After this session, you will never create a PowerPoint the same way again. Out with all of the bullet points that slide in. Forget reading text from a slide while your auduence sits bored to tears. Lose the handouts that are nothing more than screen shots of the slides. In this session, you will learn how to design slides that are beautiful, memorable, and help you sell your point. You will also learn where to get great images for free and how to plan the entire presentation.

Free Digital Tools That Increase Productivity
(June 16, 3:30, East Hall Room O)
Technology really can make your life easier. You will learn to organize the entire Internet, and that's just one of the topics we will cover using tools that are free for the taking.

Free door prize drawing at each session for your choice of Get Organization!: Time Management for School Leaders or Organization Made Easy!: Tools for Today's Teachers.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

More on Food Safety

In the last post, we talked about Still Tasty. It's hard to find a more user-friendly guide as to what to keep and what to toss than what you find there. If you liked that one, you will probably also like Shelf Life Advice.

At the glance, Shelf Life Advice is more extensive.Still Tasty provides a more instant and concise answer. But that's just after a cursory comparison. I would welcome comments from others who have more expertise than I. What do you think about the two sites? Which do you prefer?

Monday, June 06, 2011

Is It Safe to Eat?

Every wonder just how long those leftovers will keep in the refrigerator? Want to know the best way to store everything in your kitchen? I am glad to have found a little site called Still Tasty. Key in a food item and watch your results appear automatically.

I entered a few of the items that were staples in my refrigerator during my bachelorhood days and was quite surprised. (You mean hot dogs won't keep in the refrigerator for 6 months?) It's a wonder I didn't die from some of the stuff in my refrigerator back then. If it's true what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, I will probably live to be 150!

Friday, June 03, 2011

Going to AETC? Three Sessions You Don't Want to Miss


Are you attending the Alabama Educational Technology Conference? Join me for these three sessions:

Get Organized With Your BlackBerry
(June 16, 8:00, East Hall Room N)
Have a BlackBerry, but just use it to make phone calls, get e-mail, and take a few pictures? You don't want to miss this session. Learn how to maintain a complete calendar. Keep all of your "to-dos" at hand where you always know what's next. Learn how easily you can search for any piece of information. We will also preview the new BlackBerry Playbook, Blackberry's entry into the tablet arena.

Why Your PowerPoints are Awful and What to Do About It
(June 16, 10:00, East Hall Room N)
After this session, you will never create a PowerPoint the same way again. Out with all of the bullet points that slide in. Forget reading text from a slide while your audience sits bored to tears. Lose the handouts that are nothing more than screen shots of the slides. In this session, you will learn how to design slides that are beautiful, memorable, and help you sell your point. You will also learn where to get great images for free and how to plan the entire presentation.

Free Digital Tools That Increase Productivity
(June 16, 3:30, East Hall Room O)
Technology really can make your life easier. You will learn to organize the entire Internet, and that's just one of the topics we will cover using tools that are free for the taking.

Free door prize drawing at each session for your choice of Get Organization!: Time Management for School Leaders or Organization Made Easy!: Tools for Today's Teachers.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Make Your Summer Count


The final bell has rung. Goodbyes have been said. The hallways are empty.

Summer has begun. Whether you are a student, or whether you are an adult whose job is in education, you are beginning the largest block of discretionary time of your year.

In a little more than two months, the bell will sound again. Students all over the country will complete the first writing assignment of the school year, the one entitled, “What I did during my summer vacation.”

What will you do on your summer vacation? How will you make your summer count? What skills have you wanted to learn? What new habits have you wanted to add to your life? If it’s going to happen, now is the time. Without some thought, however, August will be here and you will have little to show for it.

As you think back over your life, what are the summers that are memorable for you?
…The summer you learned to swim?
…The summer you learned to ski?
…The summer you learned a musical instrument?
…The summer you took that great trip? 

Are you ready to build some more memories? Start by taking a blank sheet of paper and writing your own, “What I did during my summer vacation” letter. Write it as if August is already here. Write it from the standpoint of someone who is able to accomplish great things, because you do have the power to do great things.

Now make it happen! Brainstorm the steps that will get you from here to there. Trap them with pencil and paper as you go. Make them as specific and clear as possible. Put the steps in whatever paper or digital planner drives your day so that making progress on your goal is integrated into all else you do.

Hang onto your letter. Re-read it once a week throughout the summer. With the letter as your compass and your paper or digital planner as your roadmap, you can make it happen.

This could be the summer to remember. It’s up to you. What are you waiting for?