Showing posts from August, 2009

DiigoNotes - Blogs Wikis GDocs Comparison Chart

Blogs Wikis Docs Chart Blogs, Wikis, Docs: Which is right for your lesson?A Comparison Table
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

DiigoNotes - 50 Ways to Use Wikis


Be sure to read this great blog post on 50 ways to use wikis! here are 10 of my favorite selections from the list....50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative and Interactive Classroom | Smart TeachingVirtual field trips Create presentations: Readers’ guides Solving wiki Student portfolios Share notes Multi-author story Literature circles Community FAQ Teacher collaboration
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Psycho Analyze Your Tweets

From the web page sharing about TweetPsych:TweetPsych uses the LIWC and RID to build a psychological profile of a person based on the content of their Tweets. It compares the content of a user’s Tweets to a baseline reading I’ve built by analyzing an ever-expanding group of over 1.5 million random Tweets, then highlighting areas where the user stands out.The service analyzes your last 1000 Tweets; as such, it works best on users who have posted more than 1000 updates. It is also better suited for running analyses on accounts that are operated by a single user and use Twitter in a conversational manner, rather than simply a content distribution platform. It takes a few moments to analyze an account the first time, but subsequent views of a profile will load faster.
Read More
Dan Zarrella (creator of TweetPsych) uses this to analyze your Cognitive Content and your Primordial, Conceptual, and Emotional Content. Does this analysis mean anything? Well, who knows.By way of explanation, Dan sh…

Social Media Desktop Apps - Finding THE Solution?

Looking for a desktop app that will do it all on a Mac for microblogging, socialmedia, whatever, I re-discovered Twhirl, which enables you to connect to various items, such as:Although Twhirl doesn't do, it does do Friendfeed...which in turn does every other network tool. This clinches it for me--Friendfeed and Twhirl together. One post to Friendfeed via Twhirl, and I share with all my networks at once. I just hope Facebook's acquisition of Friendfeed doesn't mess it up.8->

Another one is AlertThingy....Another one to consider, but that never quite covers ALL the tools you want is Posty.

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Best Informed - Blackberry Social Media Apps

By blocking social media apps in schools, are we creating a digital divide between those who can afford smartphones (administrators, superintendents, pr personnel) and those who can't (teachers, assistants, students, etc)? Why should this matter? Simply, blocking social media (twitter,, plurk) mean that you're disempowering your own people. It's not about blocking students' access because of CIPA, but blocking adults who have a real need to share information and ideas, problem-solve with a global community of other educators and find that they can't do it.This idea of an organization using social media to further its own goals online but dis-empowering its employees is worth reflecting on. It was driven home to me when I considered Seth Godin's words:If you want to change what your boss believes, or the strategy your company is following, the first step is to figure out…

Dave Fleet's 14 Key Attributes For New Public Relations Professionals

Nice article on the skills/attributes of new public relations professionals. I have to highlight this blog entry because it reminds me of what is often missing in school district communications. Dave Fleet divides up his blog entry into traditional vs new attributes.

As I review Dave Fleet's list, the one that jumps out at me is the difference between microblogging and social networking/media. I have a better understanding now between what FriendFeed and services like can do, which is essentially, to share your updates about whatever to a variety of services. This is important because you may be developing an audience in multiple spaces...for example, although I usually share ideas via Twitter, it's my Facebook audience that is more likely to respond. I could share updates via Plurk, and they would go to Twitter and Facebook. If I share via, they go to Twitter, Plurk, Facebook...and that includes blog entries, etc.

It's a lot of fun figuring out what goes whe…

Will Ping.FM work? (Updated 08/30/2009)

I didn't realize Twhirl had compatibility with all these tools...sheesh.
This afternoon, I found myself somewhere I couldn't access twitter or plurk. Ohmygosh, how can we practice "connectivism" as educators if the network is inaccessible?I tried a variety of options to connect to Twitter/Plurk, but then remembered the ubiquitous Ping.FM, which allows you to post to various networks. It reminds me a bit of Friendfeed in the way it enables one to post to various networks. However, once I was using Ping.FM, I wondered what would happen if the web site was blocked? How would I get to it from where I was at?Some quick research:PingFire - Ping Fire is a Firefox extension that is used to post messages to, the current version as of this writing doesn't work with Firefox 3.5.x but there's Widget - This widget is an Adobe Air app that you can run on your computer and it connects to, allowing you to post.
Ping on Air - Adobe Air…

Learning from Each Other

Periodically, I'll take some time to look and see who is linking to Around the Corner. Occasionally, I'm surprised to see links coming from web sites that aren't other education bloggers sharing information. One surprise today was Bryan ISD, who has linked to this web site from their district Moodle, as shown in the image above.
Thanks for visiting, Bryan ISD Moodlers!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Recover Lost Software Serial Numbers

My son and daughter have invested a fortune of hard-earned money into games. Unfortunately, I didn't wise up to helping them keep digital copies of their game serial numbers until...well...a few computer room clean-ups down the road.Sigh.

Until now, I've been unable to find out what the serial numbers are for those installed programs. Thanks to a recent post at, I found out about:
...a neat little piece of freeware called LicenseCrawler.Once you download this little gem you can use it to scan your machine for serials. The program is 100% free – make sure you do not pay for it! Some of the download links ask for money – don’t use them! Use the free links! The author wants the application to be free, so lets keep him happy! After downloading the application you simply run it and it will return all the keys from your computer...You have to manually write them down as there is no copy a…

Trusted Computing Rears Its Ugly Head

You think Sony would learn. First it was the root-kit, now it's the Sony Vaio laptop.Sony's position on it is that Sony engineers were, "concerned that enabling VT would expose our systems to malicious code that could go very deep in the Operating System structure of the PC and completely disable the latter."

Some owners have demanded refunds while others are going further and calling for a class-action lawsuit, alleging the company was not clear on the fact that the VAIO machines were made incapable of using a core feature of the Intel Core 2 Duo chip inside.It's amazing. Back in 2005, I wrote about trusted computing, citing the work of Richard Stallman....He describes treacherous computing in this way: The technical idea underlying treacherous computing is that the computer includes a digital encryption and signature device, and the keys are kept secret from you. Prop…

iPod Touch Passcode Recovery

This afternoon, as I was handling phone calls and working with team members, someone brought me an iPod Touch...apparently, it had been used previously and the previous user had set a passcode. Unfortunately, no one knew the passcode and this was preventing the new user from accessing it.To get past the passcode prompt on the iPod, I followed these steps:Open iTunes on your Mac and connect your iPod Touch via the cable to your Mac
Press the sleep and home button at the same time.Hold both buttons long past the time the iPod Touch turns off.The iPod should turn back on while the buttons are being held down.Let go of the sleep button (the one on top) but keep pushing down on the home button.Keep pushing down on the home button until the iPod Touch shows the iTunes logo with a USB cord...then let go.At this point, you can use iTunes to restore the iPod Touch to factory defaults and/or load new updates to it.
The process wo…

Joomla 1.5 Components

A colleague recently asked the following:Good Morning Miguel! Have you had much experience with Joomla v1.5?I’m looking for some recommendations for ‘tried & true’ components that will add serious functionality to a Joomla-based website.I’ve looked at several online, but you have to install them before you can ‘test drive’…Although I didn't have an answer, I knew who to ask--one of my team. Here is her response:

Hi!Welcome to the Joomla family JWe have plenty of module/components that we’ve installed on our standard Joomla installations to make things a little bit easier for our users and administrators.Joomla componentFunctionCommentJCE EditorBetter editor than the standard TinyMCE. Gives the administrator the ability to add tables, change font type, color, and size.Different versions for the different Joomla generations. If you want the spell check function, be prepared to purchase the full version of JCEDOCManA document management system. Gives the administrator the…

Upcoming Moodle Presentations

Over the next year, I have at least two (actually, it's more but I'm not yet at liberty to share where/when with you) Moodle presentations coming up! I hope to see you there!
The first one is Moodle Habitudes, a hands-on, albeit quick, workshop to be offered at TechForum Southwest 2008. I'm jazzed about finding the right blend of admin and teacher tips for new and old Moodlers!
Take advantage of our early-bird rate
and save $94 off the on-site registration price!More information here.

The second is with the TCEA in May, 2010. You can find a description online at:
Making the Most of Your Moodle ServerLearn how to create rich learning collaborative communities in Moodle. This free web application allows you to create effective online learning sites, custom-built around your subject matter, as a way to deliver content to students and assess learning using assignments or quizzes. Attendees will learn to naviga…

Capturing Hearts with Social Media

This evening, as I sit watching an August 21 school district convocation speaker that has me rolling on the floor laughing so hard (which, if you've attended a school district convocation, you know that just isn't done! (smile)), I ran into Dr. Scott McLeod's (Dangerously Irrelevant) blog post about a video on the Social Media Revolution.The connection between the advice of the speaker in the convocation--Find your story, love your story, tell your story to everyone--and the power of social media to help amplify our voices as educators couldn't be missed.
I sincerely believe that every educator should be called upon, invited, encouraged, welcomed into a world of citizen journalists, becoming digital storytellers who captivate the hearts of our children, profoundly engaging them with the tools they use. Social media can profoundly engage, enliven the work we're about, and we need to move these powerful stories from the television screen online as vidcasts/podcasts.

Essential Understandings

A few days ago, I asked a few of my colleagues, curriculum directors in core content areas a deceptively simple question. The question was worded in this way:
What are the essential understandings in your content area that you think I should be aware of a technology director?Here are some of the responses:

Reading/ELA - Delivered a copy of the new Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills to me.Mathematics - Sent this insightful message I agree with complete:

The main essential understandings that transcend all grade levels would be relevancy of content and connections to real-world experiences.

Social Studies - No responseBilingual/ESL - No responseOf course, if I had to pick, I'd definitely go with the Math Director's response. Kim Cofino's response in the form of a blog entry she wrote long before I asked the question of my colleagues includes:

The goal of 21st century literacy is to move beyond obsessing abo…

3 Videos To Reflect On

Here are 3 YouTube videos worth watching...I like the first because it is a welcome reminder to the work we are about as educators; the second because it highlights the power of social media and that big media/companies/organizations are no longer in control of the message; and the third because we need to value a sense of urgency in how technology can help us change what we believe in.What are your 3 choices? Post them on your blog and link back!Do You Believe in Me? (thanks to Clif Mims for the hint)
United Breaks Guitars (thanks to David Warlick)
A Sense of Urgency

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

10 Moodle Instructional Use Scenarios

Wondering how Moodle can be used to enhance instruction? Well, here's a list that came my way via Ken Task in Texas. It was too good to pass up and if I bookmark it, I'll forget it...but blogging it will keep it fresh.
The following is a list of some of what you can do with Moodle, the free, open source course management system. The list comes from Ken Task, who cites ISTE Moodle Ning and Susan Sedro. I liked the list so I'm re-printing it here with some minor modifications--spelling, grammar, readability corrections--but you can always read the original online.
I've also taken the liberty of adding my own scenarios at the end and welcome feedback via comments or on your own blog/wiki!
Scenario 1:
I want my students to use a blog to record their impressions/reactions/etc. to events/activities presented throughout a semester/year course. The students and the instructor are the only ones that can see the blog entries. In other words, students cannot see other students'…

MyNotes - Podcasts Better Than Lectures

In my district, we're getting ready to follow in the footsteps of others that have launched iPods for use with English Language Learners. We're targeting 2 high schools and 2 middle schools. It is an exciting time. What's neat is that the idea of using iPods with English Language Learners is pretty well-established now. Several school districts are already doing it in the San Antonio area, including Judson ISD. Others are planning to launch, and San Marcos Consolidated ISD--which isn't too far away--has led the way (as shared in this podcast).

Consider this paper on the subject:
Current technology offers new opportunities to increase the effectiveness of language teaching. The purpose of this paper is to outline how one such technological innovation, the iPod, used with the iTunes and iLife software, can serve as a powerful tool for teaching and acquiring languages. With its unique features of portability, ease of use, and file storage capacity combined with its ability…

The Transparent Leader - "Digital Linker"

Of course, I disagree with Clay Shirky. In the end, *I* am going to link to what I write, and if I lead others, they may also.
Secrets have always driven me nuts. Unless you're dealing with strictly confidential information, military secrets, the identities of CIA operatives, there's really no reason why government and education should be keeping secrets about their decision making process.Social media has made it possible for everyone to questions the motivations behind why someone does something...rather, it has heightened the need for increased transparency. Just because a school district or organization web site says, "This is the me" does not mean that inquiry and questionning end there.But isn't that where authority comes from traditionally? If I say it's over as the leader, then the conversation is over. This implies trust that comes from the leader knowing something the others don't. Rather than sharing how s/he arrived at his own or …

Wordle - Safety and Storytelling

Reading this blog entry on how to make Wordle safe in education environments by blocking specific sites, I also saw a tweet about The Digital Narrative site and some of the warm-ups it advocates for in telling digital stories.Jonathan Feinberg's safety tip for using in schools:Simply have your networking administrator block the following base URLs1: your users will not see anything that's not safe for classrooms. You’ll still be able to save your work, bookmark your individual Wordle creations, print them out, and share the URLs of saved Wordles with each other and with families.and using Wordle for more than just fancy images but rather, storytelling:What: Wordle is a wonderful introduction to word clouds - visualising thematic ideas in a text. It highlights the more common words in a text and emphasises them in a word 'cloud'. Allows students to experiment with the empha…

Mobile Devices Within Instruction

In light of my blog entry earlier today, I have to share this:Date: August 19, 2009 at 12:00 PM PDT (3:00 PM EDT) / Duration: One hour
/ Sponsored by: T.H.E Journal and Speak Up

Discover ideas for instruction that innovative districts have developed
to better leverage the increasing number of laptops, cell phones, MP3
players and smart phones that students carry. This webinar explores the
latest findings from Speak Up surveys given to K-12 students, teachers
and administrators regarding their views on mobile devices within

Julie Evans, CEO of Project Tomorrow, the nation's leading education
nonprofit organization that facilitates the annual Speak Up surveys,
will present the data findings and moderate a panel discussion with
students, teachers and administrators from various school districts.

Jeff Billings, Director of Technology, Paradise Valley Unified School District;
Thea Jones, Supervisor, Office of Instructional Technology, Baltimore County Public Schools;
Suzette Kliwe…