Showing posts from October, 2011

Trying Out Ubuntu 11.10

Once Ubuntu started with its Unity thing, I decided to switch to something else (e.g. Peppermint ICE/Two) and, for the most part, I've been pretty happy except for little things. Today, though, helping out a friend with an infested Dell d520, I found none of my USB flash drives running Peppermint or SystemRescue would work on it. . .that is, until I tried my UbuntuLinux 11.10 USB drive.

I'd made the Ubuntu 11.10 bootable USB flash drive for fun, to experiment with the new version of one of my favorite Linux distros, and wow, I wasn't prepared for how nice it was. Sure enough, it booted on the d520 and I managed to save my friend's phD research (no backups...none whatsoever anywhere else), which totalled about 375 megs of MS Word documents, Powerpoint presentations, and other critical stuff (tears in the eyes when she was able to pull up the stuff she'd been slaving over).
Since Ubuntu 11.10 had worked where other distros had failed, I've created a persistent U…

Sending Bulk SMS (Txt Messages) at No Cost

Ever wanted to send txt messages to people's phone en masse? You are not alone:
I run a few list serves but I am looking for a way to take the concept over to texting?  I would prefer free (Open Source) but would look at a pay for service.  
I would like to be able to have a site that people can go to and register their cell phone to receive txt messages.  I could then send messages, "This is a reminder that all servers will be offline for maintenance starting at 6PM tonight." Anyone using such a system or know of one?Here's one possible solution that is no-cost if you have your own web/mail server:
Howdy! Have you considered this approach? I just tested it's what the txt message looks like:

Web server is offline until 10pm for maintenance  / . -- _
Here's how to do it....
PHPLIST BULK EMAILING 1) Have end users fill out an online form (e.g. Googleform) that includes their firstname,lastname,email address, and phone email address.
The phone nu…

#iPad Document Sharing with #ourpad #dropcopy

Update: The colleague below posted a solution they prefer to the one outlined in this blog entry. It appears at the end and is well worth-reading if you have some money to spend!

A colleague recently shared the following scenario:
We have purchased an iPad cart for the high school. Different students throughout the day use the iPads for research and projects. The problem becomes when students want to share documents or projects.  Dropbox, gamil, bump and actually apps all want the email account to be set up on the ipad.  With 8 or more students using a single iPad how are others handling this?   Does anyone know of an app or work around so that students can collaborate without having to establish an email account on the iPad?My response to the scenario was as follows.... 1) Have students login with a "" account (or whatever username you choose to create). That login would be used across different iPads because it's "app" specific not an i…

MyNotes - Networked Science

This is an article I enjoyed, sharing the story of Tim Gowers to run an experiment in a way that his PLN could help him solve. Although the article states that "most such wikis have failed," the idea of solving problems completely in the open is appealing!

What do you think of the "open sharing of knowledge?" Good or bad? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Michael Nielsen on Networked Science -
The New Einsteins Will Be Scientists Who Share From cancer to cosmology, researchers could race ahead by working together—online and in the open In January 2009, a mathematician at Cambridge University named Tim Gowers decided to use his blog to run an unusual social experiment. He picked out a difficult mathematical problem and tried to solve it completely in the open, using his blog to post ideas and partial progress. The discussion ignited, and in just six weeks, the mathematical problem had been solved. they have pioneered a new approach to problem-s…

Image Curation with EverNote (Updated)

Image curation with serious, doesn't it? Well, it's not. For fun, you may want to read something more serious on curating digital content from the famous Joyce Valenza:

The stuff I personally need most–the stuff I am passionate about–is published in the most diverse sources, across all sorts of platforms and formats.  Much of it is dynamic, and feedy.  Much of it is a moving target.
I’ve been playing a bit with the notion of curating–for myself and my personal practice, for the librarians in our District, for my practicum students, and perhaps for a broader audience, for synchronizing our community  So here is a beta version of my curation effort–Guide for Teacher Librarians.
Or, check out this entry where students are working on sharing content with

That seriousness aside, does the idea of curating also apply to images you stumble across everywhere?
Like a lot of other folks, I'm starting to turn into a Facebook and Google+ image junkie.…

Podcasting Tool for K-3 Students with the Easi-Speak Microphone @learninghandson

Over the last week or so--thanks to a review version provided--my kids and I have been playing around with the $69 Learning Resources (@learninghandson via Twitter) Easi-Speak digital audio recorder. For a real test, I gave it to my 5 year old niece to try out as well as my other kids. They immediately started recording with it! Wow, what an easy digital audio recorder to work with!

Here's a quick video overview of the device:

As you can see from the image above, the Easi-Speak is a handheld digital audio recorder in the shape of a microphone that kids just are dying to pick up and use, as my children and niece did! Some of the neat features of the Easi-Speak that separate it from other digital audio recorders: Has 4 hours of "battery" power stored up by connecting to USB.You have 128 megabytes of storage space on the onboard USB driveRecords directly to MP3 instead of WMA like other digital audio recorders, eliminating the need for audio conversion.The microphone comes …

#Moodle for Dummies @moodler_radana

Over the last few weeks, I've been mentoring a colleague in a school district Human Resources department focused on Risk Management and Compliance Training. The tutorial sessions focus on the use of Moodle as a tool to facilitate self-paced training and certification. The courses being developed are fairly straightforward and simple, but plans are for more in-depth development. Through it all, I kept wondering, Which book would be good to share with her so she could get comfortable with basic Moodle functions? And, of course, this is already after she's gone through a brief 1-week introduction to Moodle in an online course.

Like an onion, Moodle's course management features can be slowly peeled back a bit at a time as they are needed. You don't have to start at the top level of complexity, instead starting simple and then adding on as you or your students need to. Radana Dvorak's Moodle for Dummies--which has taken some time to find itself into my hands since the …

Survey Says - Wikis in Schools

Recently, I asked people to share their insights into using wikis. I would certainly welcome more feedback on that since the survey provides valuable information for school districts who are using wikis. For fun, some of that information is shared in this blog entry.

Wondering what wiki solution is the best to use in K-12? Having explored various solutions, I feel comfortable in advising folks what wiki is the best one for K-12 schools. However, there are various solutions in actual use in K-12. 

I'm sure this summary data will change as others get a chance to contribute, especially given the number of Wikispaces users and GoogleSites users.
For many, wikis have become the easiest way to throw up a web site without the frequent commitment of updates, as expected in blogs. This makes wikis the collaboration tool for teachers and students. Of course, it can be a tool for district departments as well!

Some of the comments folks shared about wikis included the following:
Great for co…