Monday, December 1, 2008

iPod Touch in the Classroom

I have been toying with the idea of iPod touches in the classroom for some time. After meeting my wife's cousin from California at Thanksgiving in Indianapolis I am now even more interested. My wife's cousin works for Apple's education department and she was able to share with me some very exciting applications for the iPod touch.

The two applications that intrigued me most were the graphing/scientific calculator applications and the potential use as a classroom response system. We have been investigating how to replace our aging TI graphing calculators and how we might purchase a classroom response system. Perhaps the iPod touch would satisfy both needs.

I was impressed by the ease in which a 10 year old and even my 18 month old could interact with this device. My wife's Aunt was equally comfortable navigating the applications and using the device. I own a Nokia N810 mobile internet device which has some similar features to the touch, but it is not nearly as user friendly.

Anyone out there using the iPod touch in schools? I've started my quest to explore the potential.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

E-mail directly to blogger

A colleague asked me if you can send an e-mail from a cell phone directly to blogger. Yes you can! And it's relatively easy. Here's a link to the step by step instructions.

In fact that's exactly how I'm posting now. Minus the cell phone.
Kit Hard
Teacher Consultant for Technology Integration
Academic Transional Academy
(810) 455-4199

Frog Guts!!!

Students at the ATA are using technology to practice frog disections before they disect an actual frog at Not all of the content on this website is free, but the free demos are a great way to learn the steps and make mistakes before getting their hands dirty :).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Word 2007 and Universal Design for Learning

I am often asked to read tests aloud to students with I.E.P. and 504 accommodations. I usually find it difficult to find an appropriate pace for a group, and students rarely ask to have questions repeated.

One solution is to use the audio insert feature in Microsoft Word 2007 (the feature is also available in previous versions, but may appear differently). The feature is easy to use once you've set up a shortcut on the "quick access toolbar"

The screencast below walks through the steps for inserting audio in to a document. But why stop at tests? Inserting audio clips into your documents is easy, useful, and a nice alternative to the computer voices used in screen reading programs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


One of my favorite education technology blogs "The Power of Educational Technology" by Liz Davis, recomended the website Quizlet.  This website is chalk full of premade flash cards covering a variety of subject areas, but I was most impressed by the ability for students and teachers to create their own flash cards and to develop study groups around shared flash cards.  There's even an iPhone application.

Check it out and feel free to post classroom uses and examples in the comments section.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lit2Go = Free Audio Books with study guides

Lit2Go and Project Gutenberg are two great resources for human and computer read audio books. Both sites are free to use and make texts more accessible for all of your learners.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Using Google Docs in the Classroom

Howie DiBlassie, the keynote speaker for the November 4th PD day, reminded me of a useful classroom application of Google Docs. In classrooms with limited computer resources a teacher can create a generic classroom gmail account and have individual students contribute to a shared classroom resource such as class notes (Google Docs), research (Google Notebook), blog posting (Blogger). I do recommend changing the password on this account frequently as a security measure. Please watch this video reflection for more information.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 4th PD Day

Wow! It was a whirl wind tour of Google's Greatest hits. I couldn't have asked for a better group of participants. I hope to keep this conversation going and look forward to hearing where this journey goes. Don't forget to check out my Google Site Page for suggestions, tutorial, and resources for creating your own Connected Classoroom.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday morning

Getting my presentation ready for Tuesday. Thanks to Rose for helping me out.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Uploading a video is Easy

I uploaded this video of our students designing a spreadsheet in Google Docs from our summer Jump Start program. Just click the icon of the film strip on the edit tool bar, browse for your video file, give it a title and click upload. Time to put those webcams to work.

For more information click here.

Posting to Blogger from your igoogle page

A great new feature is the igoogle blogger gadget. It allows you to make a quick post from your igoogle homepage.

It also works as a handy reminder to add content to your blog on a frequent basis. This is web publishing at it's easiest! But be careful, the igoogle page refreshes automatically and could cause a long post to be deleted, keep these entries shoort just to be safe.

Greetings St. Clair County Educators!

Blogging can be a very effective means of reaching your learners during and after school. You can upload assignments, create a forum for discussion, link to other web resources, and embed video or audio resources.

Your Google Account makes signing up for and creating a blog for your classroom very easy. Remember, you don't have to share your blog publicly until it's ready.