Showing posts from February, 2013

Using GoogleApps as a Free #LMS

If you had fun with my discussion in this blog entry about Cobbling Together an LMS, you'll just love this next one. 

Paging through the new Google+ Communities, I noticed a group of college professors--working with adult learners, of course, like we are--who are using GoogleApps for Online Courses. Again, this is just something to help you look at PD from another angle.

Video (20 minutes):
Tells a story of how professors (Dr. Judah Thornewill) at University of Louisville in 2012 created and delivered a 3 credit-hour online course with no programmers using free Google Apps technologies - and kept control of the copyright. This includes 12 steps they took.
The 12 Steps are written out here:

There's also a Google+ Community--Using GoogleApps as a Free LMS--that discusses how to accomplish this and offers support -
There's no shortage of alternatives to traditional learning management systems (LMSs) …

#iPads, Multiple Users, and Meddling Student Fingers


I have a question and am not finding an answer so far in the discussions I've gone back through so thought I'd start here. We are in the process of beginning a "take-home" program with iPads for high school sophomores in English (target group for a grant we got).  What have people done as far as how students turn in work electronically to the teacher?  What we'd like is a way for students to turn in work to a teacher account somewhere in the cloud where it is secure from the eyes and possibly "meddling fingers" of other students.   The issue is also that the iPads will be used on different weeks by different classes so there will not be "one student/iPad" but rather an assigned student in each of the sharing classes who will have that iPad.  Setting up dropbox, etc. appears to let you set up each iPad to one account.  That won't work.  We'd like for each student to have their own account somewhere where they can keep their res…

Cobbling Together an LMS: Towards Self-Directed Learning

On several occasions, I've had the opportunity to share my perspective on which learning management system is the one to use. Of course, my response has changed over time and no longer is "Moodle!" my enthusiastic answer to this question. Unfortunately, the persons who have asked that question get a bit perplexed when I encourage them to consider using GoogleApps, Edmodo, video/audio to build an online learning experience...they still want what they consider easy, a SINGLE integrated tool, that albeit clunky, will match their vision of learning online needs to be. GoogleApps offers many phenomenal tools, which are reviewed in this blog entry, The Amazing Power of GoogleApps for Education, on the subject.

Ryan Bretag hits the nail on the head with his post, GoogleApps: Not Your Mom-and-Pop LMS, when he writes about the attitude inherent in those who adhere to a single LMS like Moodle, Instructure's Canvas, Sakai, etc. In his blog entry, he points out that it is...
...a …

Exploring the New AudioNotes #iPad app

Looking for a great note-taking app? At first, I thought that Evernote was the answer, but now I'm finding AudioNotes to be a better contender. While Evernote's ubiquitous access makes it a winner, I've found it to be rife with problems in low wireless access environments. Often, my notes--and audio recordings--are lost.
Enter AudioNotes, an iPad app that records audio and syncs your typed text (notes) with each other. Want to jump to a spot in the audio recording? Tap on a word that jogs your memory. Absolutely wonderful and works on your iPad with or without an Internet connection.

AudioNotes recently made some changes, allowing you to embed photos from your camera roll directly into your AudioNote page. They've also made it easy to export your text+audio notes via WiFi, and work with them on multiple platforms such as Mac and Windows (although, not Linux). This makes it easy to export audio portion of your notes, copy-n-paste, etc.

I can easily save AudioNotes' …

Reflections on BYOT and Feedback

In response to my BYOT webinar on5 Tips on Quizzing Your Way to Success in the BYOT Classroom, which I admittedly cobbled together from other tips on the web, and I want to do a shout-out to Sharon Casadei for the awesome job on this article, Using Edmodo Quizzes for Personalized Learning, I received two comments.

You may recall that I asked for constructive criticism on my video recording. I am planning on doing another one this Thursday, but don't know where to start. Like my old principal who said, "It's like a mosquito in the midst of a nudist colony that doesn't know where to start," I feel like there's so much to discuss relevant to BYOT/BYOD, it's mind-boggling.

I received two helpful remarks, one from within my district and the second as a comment. The first was that if I was going to speak on a subject, I should limit to 10 minutes and focus on the topic at hand rather than go into the Twitter and PLN component. The second echoed those, so I hav…

#Encryption Tool for Mac Improves - #AES Crypt

Update 05/28/2014 - TrueCrypt is now defunct

Chatting with a colleague who works with confidential student data on a daily basis--whom I'd introduced to, a cross-platform (e.g. Windows, Mac, and Linux) encryption tool available at no cost--I was surprised to hear that he'd adopted my suggestion. After all, encryption isn't something people just take to. What a pleasant surprise!

Although I'd obviously pointed him in the direction of encryption built-into (for Windows), or Keka (for Macs), I was surprised to learn he was pleased with . .and that he had tested it successfully on a Mac.
"Wait a sec..." I couldn't help but stop him. "Are you using AESCrypt at the command line on the Mac?" That's what I'd been doing.
"No," he replied with a chuckle. With that response, I realized that the drag-n-drop version of AESCrypt on the Mac might actually be working. Sure enough, on testing it, I realized t…