Showing posts from September, 2011

Why I Still Heart Pandora Radio

Article first published as Why I Still Heart Pandora Radio on Blogcritics. It's funny - I have been a Pandora user for years now, and was even considering purchasing some stock in the Internet radio company.  I had been monitoring the share price for a few weeks, but then noticed one day the price drop over 10%. A quick Google news search found the reason: an announcement of iHeart Radio's improved web application that included what was deemed by many as a "Pandora killer", the ability to create customized radio stations based on one's musical tastes.  So, how does the beta release stand up to one of my favorite apps? Will Pandora indeed be doomed? Find out after the jump.

Three Things I Learned About Microsoft SharePoint Today

This week, I had a few epiphanies with regards to using Microsoft SharePoint.  Although I have been training the majority of new teacher website requests using Google Sites, we continue to have a large contingent of teachers using SharePoint for their site construction and we continue to use the platform for many department Intranet and special project sites.  Forced to tool around the admin site of things, I made a few interesting discoveries that will help many of our teachers and add functionality to several sites. These features may not be anything new to you, so feel free to bypass this post. Otherwise, read on for the eye-opening discoveries.

How Google Docs Really Sells Itself to Students (and to you as well?)

As I wrap up another introduction training of Google Apps to students, I wanted to pause and reflect on how much good can come out of increased usage of Docs alone by our students.  Thanks to an updated campaign to encourage our incoming freshmen to log in and check their email, we've gotten a large spike in users testing out the Google Apps waters. After the jump are a few items I make sure to bring up during my presentations. If you're not using Docs yet, educationally or personally, perhaps, you'll try it out after reading the following.

Google Sites Gadgets for Education - Limiting What's Available, Adding What's Useful

As more teachers create their websites and more students set up portfolios using Google Apps, it becomes increasingly likely that both parties will stumble upon "more gadgets" and the bounty of gadgets that come with a potentially unfiltered part of the application. I wrote in an earlier post  how to setup DGDM , a gadget management feature that easily limited what was either shown (whitelist) or not shown (blacklist) when site creators went searching for gadgets. Later, I created a video tutorial that demonstrated the process from start to finish. Recently, a fellow GCT (Google Certified Teacher) created a site that included his own tutorials as well as a category listing for specific gadgets useful for educators.  Check it out here: Gadgets4schools  and read more after the jump for a few of our teachers' favorites gadgets.

Hardware Review: VStream - PC to HDTV Streaming Content

"The USB dongle" Article first published as Hardware Review: VStream - PC to HDTV Streaming Content on Blogcritics.   I still remember the day when my school's Tech Staff Developer came and delivered a Tablet PC to my classroom.  "You're a Tableteer, now!" he said, and sure enough that day changed a lot of how I taught Chemistry to my students.  One of the keys to effectively using a Tablet PC is taking advantage of the inking capabilities of the Tablet along with the mobility of the laptop computer. Thus, a wireless connection to the projector is highly desirable and therein lies an interesting conundrum, especially since our school did not have its projectors placed on our network, nor did we have a wireless environment. Instead, we used third party peripherals to address the issue, and for the most part, they've done the job.  Today, we take a look at a similar device ( the VStream Wireless PC to TV Audio Video Streamer ) designed to take that