Monday, December 31, 2007

Teaching 'N Technology Ning Network

I'm testing out Ning Network to see how it can be used in the classroom or with professional development. There is a RSS for this blog, but make sure you check out the forum at the bottom of the middle section.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Start Your Own Webcast with

Ever dreamed of having your own TV show? Well with, a webcam, microphone and a few clicks that dream can quickly become reality.

Even if you don't dream of becoming a web tv star, Ustream is a great tool. I've used it for recording staff development sessions. Folks can watch the session from their classroom and send questions via the chat room or view the archived copy that Ustream stores for you.

Now, I hate to see myself on camera so I had to find a way to conduct software training without being seen. I tried videotaping the screen using my webcam during the first session, but it didn't work that well. I needed something to broadcast my desktop through Ustream. I poked around the Ustream site a little and found some of their recommended tools. The one I've started using is WebcamMax.

WebcamMax works with Ustream as well as other programs like AIM and Skype. With this software, you can broadcast your desktop, enable PIP, and add over 1800 special effects to the broadcast image. It's very simple to use and costs less than $30.

Homework for tonight...check out and download the free trial version of WebcamMax.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Revisiting Yugma

While on a tech support call this morning, I started a Yugma session and had the teacher login to the session so I could help with the problem. It wasn't a major issue that warranted me driving 10 miles to the school, but I did need to see what she saw in order to fix it. I gave her control and watched as she tried to do what she needed to do and was able to remedy the issue right away.

Tools like this save lots of time and $$ if we only know they exist. Before my discovering Yugma I would have spent a few frustrating minutes on the phone while the person tried to explain what was happening. Or they would have grown frustrated with me as I tried to explain what to do without seeing exactly what they were doing. With just a few clicks we're connected and can remedy simple distress calls in no time.

I haven't played with Yugma that much in a while. I had basically just used it for demos and tech support, so I was surprised by the features I found in the free version.

1) People can view your desktop as well as allowing you to pass the presentation along to another person so you can view their computer. The paid version allows them to take over your desktop.

2) There is a public and private chat.

3) My favorite feature is the annotation tool. You can draw lines, circle, highlight and write on the computer screen. You can set up a whiteboard for notes, take a snapshot of the screen and even record what you're doing.

All in all it's a nifty little site that can be a tremendous help. If you haven't seen Yugma in action, then check out this 3 minute video.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Are You a Twit(terer)?

Ok, I have to confess that I've had a Twitter account for several months and until recently had only used it once to test it. I decided to pay more attention to it a little over a week ago when a friend of mine was raving about stuff she'd learned.

It was cumbersome to me to have to keep going back to the web page to see what had been posted. I just didn't get it. Then I started noticing the info at the end of some of the posts like "from Snitter", "from Twitterific", etc. So, I launched an investigation. (Technically, I picked one of the first things I saw and decided to try it out.) I found a Firefox extension called Twitbin. Every time I open my browser I can log in to see my twits. I can set it up to see all the "twits in the world" (you just have to love a phrase like that) or just the tweets from the folks in my network.

With that one act, I have discovered the magic of Twitter!

I have at my fingertips a network filled with some of the greatest brains in Educational Technology, some that are famous and some that should be! I can post a question and get assistance. I can see the interesting things they've discovered that day and share things that I find that day.

My network has doubled since last week. I went through the friend list of some of my friends and picked out names that I've been hearing through EdTech Talk and started following them. Some of them, in turn, now follow my tweets. I've even gained a follower or two that has evidently picked my name out of someone's list.

Twitter is such a powerful tool!

I live in a very rural area. I'm lucky to have a few very knowledgeable counterparts close by. But with Twitter, I have an ever increasing network of folks that I learn from and can share info with. I am no longer limited by my location.

The world truly is flat!

If you haven't tried Twitter then, you must go sign up. You can add misstizzy to your network. Just come on board and be a "Twit" like the rest of us!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Coolest Little Laptop Around

Hubby just got an Asus EEE Surf-Galaxy pc. It is one slick little unit! It has 512RAM and 4GB flash hard drive, 3 USB ports, network adapter, card reader, built in speakers, wireless for both b & g, and webcam. With the webcam it runs $399, without it the cost is $350.

To the delight of some and fears of others, it runs completely on open source software, but can run Windows XP. Open Office for productivity, The Tux Apps for fun, several games for learning and just plain fun.

Check out their website for complete details.

The only downside to this that I could find, really is only something that goes with the territory. Because of the size of the unit, the keys are small and seem awkwardly placed, but it doesn't take long to adjust. The other thing I discovered in the built in Dictionary is the "creative" language scattered throughout. If students were going to use it on a regular basis, I may find another tool to use in its place.

Other than that, it's truly an awesome little machine for the cost!

Friday, December 07, 2007


Hubby just bought a new Asus EEE Surf- Galaxy PC. It should be in early next week. I can't wait!
It's 7" and weighs less than 2 pounds. It has a built in web cam and microphone and utilizes a wide array of open source apps. Best of all, it was under $400.

Check out the link to see the demo and full specs. It looks like a slick little machine. I'll post more once it arrives!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Hi all! I'm testing...

Hi all! I'm testing from my telephone. Jott allows you to post messages to your blog through a phone call, it's pretty cool. listen

Powered by Jott


Calling on educators! Have you registered for NCAECT '08? That's the North Carolina Association for Educational Communications and Technology Conference being held March 12-14, 2008 at the Embassy Suites in Concord, NC. The theme this year is "Shift Happens: Gear Up With Technology."

Registration info has been posted at If you're looking for $$, there are grants, awards, and scholarships available for members. Membership is included with conference registration.

Come join the fun!