Sunday, October 10, 2010

October Staff Meeting Tech Time

Paul and I would like to talk about two items today. The first one is more personal in nature and the second one is more for classroom use. Here we go!

Paul told me about Google Voice earlier in the year and how his son Luke uses it. It sounded like a pretty cool feature for those of us that have to juggle multiple phones and answering machines. Oh, by the way, did I mention that you can also use your new Google number to call anywhere in the US or Canada for free. Here is a quick video about it:

If you think that Google Voice might be helpful to you, give it a try. Here is some additional information if you would like to read more on the subject. Remember, as with all things Google, all you need is a Gmail account to get started.

Next up is a quick review. Paul has talked before about ZoomIt, his favorite computer presentation tool. Here is a quick review on how it works and how you can start using it tomorrow in your classroom. Yes, another video. (Why should I type when you can watch and listen?)

Remember, it is located on the high school's Shared drive in the Staff folder. Give it a try.

We hope you find this info helpful, thanks.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Google's App Inventor for Android

I usually don't talk a lot of programming on this blog, but I do actually teach it, so what the heh. Google has done it again. Try App Inventor for Android in your programming or math class! Watch obligatory YouTube video below:

Now, for some of the facts. This is still just a Beta version. But, if you are a teacher (or student) interested in programming or programming smart phone apps, this is a great place to start. You need to sign up to receive information on how to get started with App Inventor for Android. I signed up, downloaded/installed Android, set up the Android Extras, and I was soon completing the first tutorial shown in the video. Don't worry if you don't actually have an Android phone, the Android Extras download includes a phone emulator (fancy jargon for a fake digital version of a phone) to test your apps on.

Like I said, I just finished the first tutorial and am starting on the next one. I teach Computer Programming in the Spring and this could be a great tool to use with students. There is a wealth of information at the App Inventor Site and if you are a visual learner try searching YouTube for tutorial videos. There are a ton!

I will follow-up in a few months after I have more time to work with App Inventor.