Archive for the ‘News & Info’ Category

ISTE 2010: Here We Come!

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Just a few days away from the ISTE 2010 Conference in Denver, CO.  Come see student “Bob” and me present in the TechSmith booth as well as a formal session on Wednesday!

Please come visit us in the TechSmith booth! We don’t work for TechSmith, but they were once again so kind in sponsoring our trip and presentation.  Sadly, our school district and school has never assisted us when we go present our student work.  But thankfully, TechSmith understands.  They paid for us to fly out and stay in Denver to participate in the conference.

Here’s the scoop:

ISTE 2010 Conference, Denver, CO

Wednesday, 06/30/10
1:30PM – 2:30PM
Room 504 (CCC)

Formal Session/Lecture
Sponsored by TechSmith

This session focuses on the positive effects of adopting a collaborative “kids teaching kids” model via student-created screencasts. This collaborative model helped spark student interest and enthusiasm inside and outside of the classroom. Our student-created screencast lessons (also known as mathcasts) have reached a global audience thanks to Alan November, our free Mathtrain.TV web site and our iTunes Podcast.

Actual student-created screencasts will be shown. Attendees will also learn how to create their own screencasts and watch a live student demonstration of the process.
Student, “Bob”, will be co-presenting.


Monday, May 24th, 2010

I really liked the NBC show, Chuck! I hope it returns next season!

iPad and the Pages App

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

I’m liking my iPad. I’m impressed by the iWork’s Apps.

Here is an example I created using my fingers on my iPad and the Pages app.

pages app

pages creation on ipad

Me in Billboard 10 Years Ago!

Friday, January 1st, 2010

Gotta love Google Books.  I just found a copy of an article from 10 years ago from Billboard Magazine that mentioned my new job at Fort Apache Studios (November 6, 1999).


Adopting a “Textbook” Supplement – RED TAPE

Saturday, October 17th, 2009

In addition to teaching 6th grade math, I also teach a tech course this year.  I have been trying to gain permission to use an Alan November book as a supplement to the class.  His book, “Web Literacy for Educators” is a great resource for educators, students and families.  It has many applicable tools and is full of valuable information to help our youngsters validate and evaluate web content.  However, enter the RED TAPEbook-weblitpub

In order to be “allowed” to use this book as a supplement in class, I must have the School Board approve it.  The process sounds simple.  I go to my school librarian, fill-out a form and she forwards it to the school administration.  The administration then probably needs to sign-off on it before forwarding it to the School Board.  No one told me this, but I think the School Board requires or suggests that supplemental books be on display in a public place for at least two weeks.  I only think this is the case because I have seen other books looking for approval go through this display process.

Eventually, the book will be placed onto the Agenda of an upcoming School Board Meeting.  From there, I guess the School Board votes to approve or deny the use of the material.  Once approved, I assume I could finally begin using the resource.

Too bad this process can take the entire time the actual course runs.  It has been about a month and I am getting information that perhaps the book is still in my school on some administrator’s desk – – waiting for a signature.  That puts the book out of my student’s reach for at least another month or so since the book still needs a two-week public display and then approval from a School Board Meeting (which only meets twice per month).

So much for sense of urgency.  I have been patient, but I guess it is almost time to start prodding.  Maybe school officials are fearful of empowering their students?  Obviously, it is not a priority to the school.  But it needs to be a priority for our school and community.  No one is taking the responsibility of teaching and training our students Web/Information Literacy skills.  Many parents/guardians would benefit from this “how to” knowledge of validating and evaluating content from the Internet.  It needs to be a priority for our school to train our students on how to produce better search results and how to deepen their ability for critical thinking.  Using Alan November’s “Web Literacy for Educators” is a great place to start.

Dial2Do – another free voice to text!

Monday, September 7th, 2009

I’m trying out this new service called, Dial2Do.  It’s like Jott and Reqall.  But it is all free for now, at least.

You call a number, speak your message, and it gets transcribed for you and sent out to where you requested it to go.  The recipient gets a transcribed message, along with a link to the actually voice message in case they need to listen to it due to a faulty transcribe or something.

You can e-mail people via your voice, send a text or even add to your Google Calendar.  There are other things you can do too, like post to Twitter and WordPress and much more

When you call Dial2Do, a female voice asks what you want done.  This female voice is not as smooth and grand as Jott’s is.  Jott has a much better female voice greeter.  But Jott costs money!

So far, the transcribing has been quick (minutes) and accurate.  Although, it did spell my last name as “Marcus” instead of “Marcos”.  But you can also spell out words for it if you want.

Convert Your Laptop into a “Tablet PC”

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Apparently, there is this device or software you can buy for around $100 to convert your laptop into a tablet pc sort of experience.

It’s called Duo. The website is .

Here’s an image from their site. You’ll need to go there to watch the video since I couldn’t find an easy way to link that via my iPhone. Tell me if you try this product. I wonder how well it works.

Snaptell App

Friday, August 21st, 2009

I really like this app, Snaptell on my iPhone (it also works on Android).

It recognized my school math textbook and showed me prices to buy it.  I also enabled it to send me a copy to my e-mail.

The app recognizes “books, DVDs, CDs, and video games sold in the US”.   They state they will cover international products at some point too.


Free iPhone App

It’s free.

NECC 2009 Video and Blurb (from Australia)

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

Lois Smethurst, an educator from Australia, wrote the story below.  See 2 video clips & a little blurb about the “Kids Teaching Kids/Mathtrain” presentation I did at the NECC Conference in Washington, DC.

I was invited to present in the TechSmith booth.  It was an amazing experience.  Yeah, I know.  I spoke way too fast.  But hey, I was excited!

Thanks to @loisath New blog post: The Mathtrain @ NECC09

Jen, Eric, Lois at NECC09

Jen, Eric, Lois at NECC09

Use this link to read the story if the above one does not work:

Congratulations Darrel Branson (the ICTGuy)

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Very cool!

Congratulations goes out to one of our favorite Australian techies, Darrel Branson (aka, the ICTGuy and of fame).  He was mentioned in the Washington Post, PC World and MacWorld regarding his Scratch resources!

Google Voice

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

I had a Grand Central account and it just upgraded to Google Voice.

Google Voice

Google Voice

I’m excited about this!  Google Voice will transcribe my voicemails!

I’ll post more once I figure everything out.


Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I am typing this on my iPhone, testing out the new WordPress app.

If you are reading this, then I guess the app worked! :)