Instructional Technology Blog

Instructional Technology, All things Google, 21st Century Skills, Web 2.0 and beyond . . .

Newsflash! iTechSpec has a NEW BLOG!!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — iTechSpec at 12:54 am on Monday, March 22, 2010

It has come a time for me to move on in the blog world. This blog has served me well but with the fast and changing technology times we are in today, I felt I needed a blog that may offer me more flexibility and less managing. So, visit my new iTechSpec Blog today!

I may still come back to this blog because I have used it as my way of keeping up with all that I am learning in this great and vast world of instructional technology. Thank you for visiting and please come on over to my new blog home!


CRSTE CyberConference Rocks!

Filed under: 21st Century Skills,Conferences — iTechSpec at 12:53 pm on Tuesday, February 23, 2010  Tagged , , , , ,

This week started the CRSTE CyberConference 2010. CRSTE stands for the Capital Region Society for Technology in Education. The CRSTE CyberConference 2010 (C3) is their first online event that is FREE to all educators promoting the exchange of ideas and opportunities for collaboration across the CRSTE region and beyond. Each evening and all-day weekends between February 21 – March 5, 2010, 52 different sessions across seven strands of high interest topics will be presented live by respected leaders and expert practitioners in the field, including Kathy Schrock, Doug Johnson, Dara Feldman, Gail Lovely and Ian Jukes. Ongoing asynchronous blog and wiki activities will be presented throughout the twelve days of the conference by Allison Kipta, Cyndy Woods-Wilson, Dr. Thomas Armstrong, Chris O’Neal, Harry Tetteh and Christina Parsons Bentheim. Each day they have “Walk-In” sessions for those who may have missed out on registering for a session that is now full but for which they have been able to add more participants thanks to Elluminate! You can go to the CRSTE CyberConference site now to see what sessions are still available to attend as well as view the archived sessions and download handouts from the sessions as well. Great professional development that is free, easy and delivered right into your home during times convenient to YOU! Thanks CRSTE!
CRSTE CyberConference Logo

“Computer Engineer Barbie” – New doll chosen by popular vote

Filed under: Miscellaneous,STEM — iTechSpec at 8:19 pm on Sunday, February 14, 2010  Tagged , , , , , ,

Computer Engineer Barbie
Well, the first thing I have to say about this new Barbie doll is how much alike we are! I mean, she is my counterpart right down to the mobile wireless earpiece. I have even created an avatar of her and posted it on all my online networking sites, but had to flip the image because I am lefthanded and I need my counterpart to look a little like me, right? . Why? Because this new “geek chic” doll has a cause: Ignite a National Movement to Inspire Girls which is a movement to inspire girls everywhere to be all they can be. The Whitehouse Project teamed up with Barbie on this initiative because their mission is “supporting women and the values that allow women to succeed—the full range of health options, security platforms that utilize all our resources, economic stability for all—we work to create an equitable culture.”

All of these efforts go right along with the National Engineers Week which kicked off today and is sponsoring the Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day 2010 on Thursday, February 18th. So, get involved!

Note: Here is the info on the new Barbie doll taken from the website:
Barbie designers worked with the Society of Women Engineers and the National Academy of Engineering to ensure that accessories, clothing and packaging were realistic and representative of a real computer engineer. Looking geek chic, Computer Engineer Barbie wears a t-shirt featuring binary code and computer/keyboard icon along with a pair of black knit skinny pants. Computer Engineer carries a Barbie® smart phone, fashionable laptop case, flat watch and Bluetooth earpiece. With stylish pink-frame glasses and a shiny laptop, she is ready to conquer the day’s tasks on the go or from her desk.

Free Online Highlighting Tool

Filed under: Tech Tools,Web 2.0 Tools — iTechSpec at 11:51 pm on Thursday, January 28, 2010  Tagged , ,

highlighter_smile_guyAwesome Highlighter is a web site for a free online highlighting tool. This web site lets you highlight text, pictures or video from a web page and then it gives you a link to your highlighted page. You can email the page to yourself or share it via Twitter, Facebook, Delicious or WordPress. You can add notes to the highlighted pages as well. A record of your highlighted pages is kept for later reference. This is a great research tool. Try it today!

How you can use Google Calendar for collaboration

Filed under: 21st Century Skills,All things Google!,Tech Tools,Web 2.0 Tools — iTechSpec at 5:09 pm on Wednesday, January 6, 2010  Tagged , , ,

Google calendar can be a great tool for learning. I have been using it professionaly for a couple of years now to keep track of meetings and events. A new feature of Google calendar is the ability to attach a Google Doc to a calendar event. This makes using Google Calendar for lesson planning a powerful tool. After you create a lesson or unit, you can share your calendar and relevant documents with other educators in your building, district or beyond and therefore have the opportunity to collaborate with others. This will generate new ideas for your own lesson plan, plus provide you with more resources and support. What a great way to display 21st Century skills! All you have to do is enable this feature within Google Calendar by clicking on the Settings tab and then Labs tab. Scroll down and Enable the Attach Google Docs option and Save. Voila!

Just a reminder: If you share a calendar that has attached documents, you must give those people permission to view/edit your shared documents. Sharing the calendar does NOT automatically give them permission to view/edit the attached documents.

Check out the video below that I just found (2/1/10) on how to use this feature:

Wiffiti – Great site for all your tweets!

Filed under: 21st Century Skills,Open-Source,Tech Tools — iTechSpec at 8:40 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2009

I attended the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (VSTE) conference the past 3 days. One new cool tool I learned about was Wiffiti. Wiffiti is a site that allows you to use the hash tags from Twitter to “aggregate” them in one place. It takes the hash tags (up to 5) and creates an interactive screen. As the tweets are tweeted, the most recent pops up and then it rotates all tweets around. It also provides you the option to list them in a timeline format. I created one from the VSTE conference but after some time it may change if others use the “vste” hash tag in their tweets, so beware! ;-)

Xtranormal – Make Free Movies

Filed under: Open-Source,Web 2.0 Tools — iTechSpec at 5:49 pm on Monday, November 9, 2009  Tagged , ,

Xtranormal is a website where anyone can create free movies very easily. “If you can type, you can make movies.” Just text or type and voila! A movie is made! It is really that easy. Try it and see for yourself. You’ll be glad you did!

Xtranormal: Text-to-Movie

The Complete Guide to Google Wave

Filed under: All things Google!,Open-Source,Tech Tools,Web 2.0 Tools — iTechSpec at 9:04 am on Monday, November 2, 2009  Tagged , , ,

Have you caught the Google Wave yet? Well, if you haven’t, you owe it to yourself to check it out. I love using Google Docs and the new Google Wave has been designed to help groups of people collaborate on documents on the web. To me, Google Wave is your email on steriods with all the cool Google collaboration tools built in. I truly loathe sending emails back and forth, back and forth, till their size gets so large and the true reason for the email is lost in all the many emails in my inbox! Then, when trying to figure out exactly what everyone is trying to say, that gets lost in the shuffle too. Google Wave takes care of all that as long as you understand it is like using your email but without all the tons of emails you have to sort through to get your job done. I have to work smarter and not harder and this cool tool will help me do just that. Try it and share how it works for you! Here is a great guide to help you in catching the Google Wave! Checkout this video that helps to explain Google Wave better. Enjoy!

Comic Strip About Google

Filed under: All things Google!,Miscellaneous — iTechSpec at 5:54 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009  Tagged

This comic strip was shared with me at the Virginia Educational Technology Conference this week. Its kinda cute and about Google, of which I have been ‘google-eyed’ for a long time. Enjoy!

Pearls Before Swine

The “Tech Commandments” – A Guide to Proper Integration

Filed under: Miscellaneous — iTechSpec at 2:24 am on Friday, October 2, 2009  Tagged

The “Tech Commandments” are all an educator, leader, administrator or even a Tech Director needs to help us make the right choices in our tech decisions and not just “buy” stuff just because you can! How will you support it? Who gets what training? This presentation really makes you think!

The Tech Commandments

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