Showing posts from December, 2010

MyNotes - Google Pushes Education Software

Pick your poison...Microsoft or GoogleApps. In the long run, which is the more benevolent?

From: Google Pushes Education Software Through App Store - BusinessWeek Google Pushes Education Software Through App Store Software sales for U.S. schools and colleges this year should surpass the 2009 total of $4.6 billion, according to Parthenon Group LLC. That could provide a new growth stream for Google, which gets... "A teacher logs into a Google Apps account and they can access anything in the marketplace," said Birchfield, who is known by colleagues as the "Google guru." "It gives you a one-stop-shop kind of ... Aviary Education, one of the first education apps offered on the site, is a free Web-based tool that lets students edit images and audio recordings in a private environment that can be monitored by... Using Aviary's software, seventh graders at Harwich Middle School created presentations on women's issues in the Middle East, pairing images with narration…

Embracing Innovation - FOSS in Schools @neisd

Thanks to Ken Task's email for pointing out the following about Josh Beck in NorthEast ISD schools:
At iMAK we presently have 2 computer labs outfitted with dual boot systems running Ubuntu/Gutsy - Windows XP.  We believe the system we've developed is unique and may serve as a model for educators interested in offering students a diverse, in-depth educational experience in their technology classes. We wish to share our ideas with teachers and IT professionals who are interested in offering open-source alternatives without sacrificing the comfort zone many feel is offered by Microsoft's Windows XP.Our goal is to offer students an experience that will allow them to advance in high-school and succeed globally. We are constantly striving to stay on top of current technology trends and find creative ways to teach these trends to 12, 13, and 14-year-old students.  Read more online

You can watch video of Mr. Beck's class online. Students are using Blender to create a catapult.…

Post Apocalypse

Watching The Book of Eli, I was struck by the use of an old iPod powered by a portable battery. It seemed so out of place, which is why it appeared there. As I consider the eReaders, netbooks available to many today, the demise of print is a foregone conclusion.

Since I began reading my Nook a few months ago, I haven't read ANY books--except for maybe the crucial conversations/confrontations books--in print. I find myself accumulating books and articles in digital format and wonder how I read before, stumbling from one island of paper to another. It all seems so inefficient now.

Yet, today, as I drove my kids to Half-Price Books, I allowed myself to be seduced by the magic of print. I held a few books in my hands, hoping the love of a well-told tale would grab me...I must confess that I felt nothing for awhile. Like a lion sated on a fresh kill, I had no desire for a book. Yet, finally, after waiting for an hour as my children visited with old friends in the stacks, a book found i…

Paycheck Leadership

"Remember that piece of paper that comes in the mail at the end of the month?" remarked one big boss to his underlings about their paychecks. "If you don't like what's happening, before you complain, remember that."
Defining "Paycheck leadership" - Althoughothers define it differently, as I see it, this is "paycheck leadership." It's the kind of leadership that people in positions of authority engage in when they have 1) Have their own private agenda and care not a whit for involving stakeholders in decision-making; 2) Fail to communicate their expectations, agenda; 3) Don't even pretend to care about their stakeholders', the job they are about so long as their agenda gets met; 4) Use the paycheck as a whip to crack when performance lags.Those words, the tone they were delivered in, sent chills down the backs of the people present who later related the story to me. I couldn't help but feel their pain. Somehow, we find our…

@EdCampPlano - Texas unConference #edcamp #edcampplano

Edcamp Plano is completely free, with all refreshments and other amenities provide solely through sponsorship and donation. With the possibility of hundreds of attendees, the organizers are looking for local businesses who may be interested in being featured in the conference literature. Those interested in being a sponsor can make donations and/or contact the organizers on the website

Site:Sockwell Center for Professional Development6301 Chapel Hill Blvd
Plano, Texas 75093
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Registration Opens - Friday, April 1, 2011

You can help us spread the word!
If you are on Twitter, please use hashtag #edcamp and #edcampplano to share the message!
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About the unConference

Come enjoy a day with colleagues from North Texas and beyond. Arrive with an idea for a session that you would li…

Transition to #Moodle 2.0 @moodlerific

A colleague recently wrote to ask the following:
Did you upgrade from 1.9 or did you just install 2.0 (or both)?The answer? I've done both. The only way to move a 1.9 site to 2.0--or so I've found--is to upgrade the Moodle instance from 1.9 to 2.0, upgrading all the courses in that Moodle instance. That is, upgrade the PHP/MySQL to meet Moodle 2.0 requirements, convert MySQL databases to INNODB and then do the standard upgrade process.

Melissa at asks some great questions worth considering, and which I'll reflect on at the end of this blog entry:

When to upgrade?How much training will users need?How do I go about telling users about the change that is coming?How do I make the “change” be a good thing to our users and not another hurdle and “another thing to learn”?All themes are new – should I remove all old ones?Make a pilot group for Moodle 2.0?What about modules users currently use that aren’t in Moodle 2.0?I…

21 Points of Lights

A conversation starter....

and while many agreed with Shelly Blake-Plock's points about 21 Things That Will Become Obsolete, I found the list a bit long. I felt like a potential jurist waiting for the opposing lawyer to object to a jurist because of his beliefs, his words, or whatever inspires objections.

One of the responses to Shelly's points included this one, which I've anonymized:
Interesting, not sure our districts will have the funding to support some of these initiatives. Plus I would hate to see us cut back on the number of teachers we have in the classroom. For years, as a board member, I fought for lower class sizes at the Secondary level and now our legislators are going to raise the size of the Elementary classes. What are they thinking? Plus they are going to be making much larger cuts in budgets than anticipated??? Part of training for them to be a legislator should be at least two weeks in a classroom (with no help), let them do the modifications, teach the …

Software GiveAway - Picture Collage Maker Pro

Thanks to Pearl Mountain Software's Shelley for making 20 copies of Picture Collage Maker Pro ($39.90 per copy) available for free! You can read my review (and full disclosure) of Picture Collage Maker Pro (for Windows) online here, and either enter the drawing for the license giveaway by clicking this link or filling out the form embedded in this blog entry.

Here's what will happen:
You fill out the form between now and December 31st.On January 1, 2011, twenty entries will be drawn at random from those submitted prior to midnight 12/31/2010...
<p><br /> The numbers generated by this widget come from RANDOM.ORG's true random number generator.<br /> </p>
...then the list of winners will be shared in a blog entry here at Around the Corner. Winners will also receive an email with the license code and download link.If you want to get started early, Picture Collage Maker Pro has a 15-day trial

Product Review - Picture Collage Maker

More at

Update:Participate in the Software GiveAway of Picture Collage Maker Pro ($39.90) prior to January 1, 2011! 20 license codes will be given away for free!

Right before the holiday break, a colleague asked me, "Do you know of a photo collage maker? I want to gift someone with a program like that." At the time, I really had nothing in mind...I don't often make photo collages...and, if I thought I needed to make a collage, my first instinct would be to find something online forfree, maybe at BigHugeLabs. Fortunately, one software company sent me a free copy of Picture Collage Maker for Windows and offered to do a give-away.

Before reviewing Picture Collage Maker, I thought I might take a quick look at what you can do for free on the Web with photo collage tools. If you are aware of one that I don't mention here, please share it in the comments!

One of the first photo collage makers available for free via …