Showing posts from February, 2013

Technology Standards

Do you know how to use Boolean identifiers to improve your search results in Google?

As the video illustrates, by using quotes or the minus sign you can streamline searches to find the information you need. This technology standard in the strand of Research and Information Fluency is a requirement for all students in grades 3 - 8.

This is just one example of a technology standard we are required to teach our students. Check out the  ISTE NETS (International Society for Technology Education student standards) for grades K-12 and the State of Texas Technology Applications TEKS for grades K-8.


Technology Applications TEKS
Texas adopted new Technology Applications TEKS for implementation during the 2012-2013 school year. The new standards are less about technology operations and concepts and more about 21st Century Skills. They are closely aligned with the ISTE NETS and can be found here:


Visualead: Colorful QR Code Generator

Visualead is a free and user friendly tool for generating colorful QR codes. A login is required and your Google login can be used.

1. Upload the desired image by browsing to a file on your computer or drag and drop the image 

2. Enter the URL

3. Drag, re-size and place the QR Code on any part of the design

4. Click the download button to download your code

Doceri - A Free Screen Recording App That Saves to the Camera Roll!

Doceri is a free app much like ShowMe, Educreations or Screen Chomp that lets you create a video recording of drawings with narration.  The feature that Doceri has that the others don't is that Doceri lets you save the recording directly to the camera roll.  Once it's on the camera roll you can easily add it to Keynote or iMovie projects or email it.  Plus there's no login required!

Check out this tutorial for recording and sharing a Doceri screencast.  
(Click this link to view the video on the web if you're reading this blog post via email.

Doceri also has a Pinterest board with several other tutorials and ideas for using it in the classroom.

YouTube Video Editor

Did you know that YouTube has a Video Editor that will enable you to edit your own uploaded clips as well as others you find on the site? 
The Video Editor gives you tools to:  Trim clipsCombine multiple clips for to create a new videoAdd musicCustomize clips with options such as rotating, adding text, applying a filter, or changing the To access the Video Editor, you will need to: Log into your YouTube accountSelect Video Manager by clicking on the arrow on the Upload buttonClick Inbox which is located on the left side of your screenChoose Video Editor from the menu bar at the top of the page
Once you're in the Video Editor, you will see all of your clips. Drag/drop to add them to the workspace. Place your arrow on each clip to see the editing tools.
For additional help on these features, check out the following support page on YouTube:

Easy Audio Recording with

Vocaroo is a super easy way to record and share audio files.  Since the recording feature is flash based, you can only record via a web browser on any computer with a microphone.  You can't record on an iPad.  However, playback of the audio files will work on the web and on iDevices like iPads, iPods or iPhones. 

To record a file, simply click the "Click to Record" button.  (Click "Allow" on the message that pops up.)  Once you've recorded, click "Listen" to preview your recording.  You can click "Retry" to start over.  If you like your recording, click the "Click here to save" link.

You will be presented with several sharing options.  You can email, embed into a blog or webpage, download as an MP3, etc.  My favorite is the QR code link to automatically generate a QR Code straight to the audio file!  This would be great for an Open House project.  Parents can scan the code to listen and use the link to download the MP3 file to th…

Simple Transfer

SimpleTransfer is an easy way of transferring photos and videos to a computer or other iOS device via WiFi. Cables or extra software are not necessary.  First, install the app on the iOS device.  After launching the app, the user is prompted with directions to enter an IP address into a web browser on the computer.  Instantly, the camera roll from the iOS device appears on the screen!  From there, users may click the  button to move files from their computer to the device.  Alternately, the user may check the preferred picture or video files, and click the  button. So easy!  Note the limitations of the free version - only the FIRST 50 photos/videos of each album can be transferred and multiple file upload from the computer to the device is limited.
App Developer's Website

Read more and download app

Simple QR Code Generator for Google Chrome

Simple QR Code Generator is an an extension just for Google Chrome. It will generate a scannable QR code of the URL you are currently browsing. Hover your mouse over the generated QR code and you'll be able to change the link to whatever you want and the code will be generated as you type instantly. You can also save the QR code by clicking on it with the mouse.

This extension is very handy on mobile phones to avoid typing long URLs in order to go to a page you found while browsing on your laptop.

Features include: Display the QR-code in the size you preferShare the QR-code through Facebook or TwitterSave QR-code to share through mail, etc.URL shortener ( can be used to simplify the QR-codes generatedDisplay QR-code for a link, text selection or images of choice

Penultimate by Evernote


Penultimate is an easy-to-use handwriting tool (app) for the iPad that combines the experience of pen and paper with the flexibility and syncing of Evernote. Write, scribble, and sketch on a page that is free of clutter and has all the essential tools. Any image can be imported to make your own personalized paperStore your Penultimate notes in NotebooksInsert, delete, duplicate and reorganize pages within and between notebooksSearch through your handwritten text within the app or browse through the pagesSend single page images or full notebooks in PDF format to co-workers and friends for collaboration


Infographics are images containing graphics and text, including statistics about a certain subject. One of the best presentations I attended at TCEA this year was by Debbie Boehm of Clear Creek ISD. Below is a link to the Symbaloo web site she created to share her resources with us. The site includes infographic samples, web sites for creating infographics, web sites for data searches, the slideshare of her TCEA presentation and more:

She also shared how to make an infographic in Powerpoint or Keynote by changing the Page Setup of a slide to create a larger workspace then saving it as a JPG. This would be a great way to focus on the content and processing  rather than the new technology tool for a student's first infographic.

Why teach with infographics? Quickly visualize idea/conceptCompact way to present data and informationHelps students make connections, relationships patternsHelps make sense of complex data setsHOTS Types of infographics Research, resultsPr…

iBooks Author

If you have Macbooks in your classroom, access to a Mac Lab or the ability to check out a set of Macbooks you need to know about iBooks Author. It is a free application for the Mac that allows you or your students to create iBooks.

Watch this 3-minute video for an overview of the program:

Go to our training wiki for many additional resources including our TCEA presentation:

Teacher Spotlight
Sherry David's 6th grade PAP World Cultures students at CMS just completed the iBooks located on her web site. Use your iPad to access the link below. Download the free iBooks App. Go to Sherry's web site and choose an .ibooks file then choose Open in iBooks.

If you have created iBooks please post a link to them in the comments so we can check them out.

Finding Copyright Free Images

As we strive to teach digital citizenship to our students (see ISTE NETS for Students), we want to guide them to legal and appropriate resources.  In the case of images, there are several available options.  Please remember that our GCISD filter is not foolproof, so good monitoring is always a must.
schools.clipart.comFrom GCISD's Teacher/Staff Resources webpage, click Clipart.  This will take you to a site you can access from within the district -

See the GCISD Training Wiki for more information on using

GCISD Techlessons Clipart and Media PageSee the Clipart and Media page of the GCISD Techlessons page for 17 clipart resources
Google ImagesNOTE:  This site may be best for teacher research as some displayed images may not always be appropriate for students.
From Google, enter the search criteria and click the SEARCH buttonClick IMAGESClick the GEAR icon found in the top, right corner