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Showing posts from 2011

New iPad app lets teachers post online lessons

Educreations has launched a new app for the iPad, as a free download in the App Store, that transforms the iPad into an interactive whiteboard that records a teacher’s voice and handwriting as they explain a concept or work through an example problem. Teachers can add photos to their lessons from the iPad’s Photo Library or camera, or a Dropbox account, and they can animate the photos by tapping and dragging. Finished lessons are hosted on, where they can be shared privately with a class of students or publicly with everyone.

How It’s Different
It’s not the first recordable whiteboard application that’s been developed for the iPad. Other similar apps include ShowMe and ScreenChomp. However, Educreations stands apart from the other apps in terms of features, design and ease of use. Handwriting in the Educreations app is smooth and fluid, and looks and feels just like using a real whiteboard marker. It’s the only app out of the three that allows you to move and resize pho…

eNTRY POINTS - December newsletter

Please take a few moments to veiw the latest edition of eNTRY POINTS - a newsletter providing support for Digital Learning in the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

More from the Google

Just announced Monday on their official blog, Google has created a site called Memories for the Future (or Build the Memories depending on where you look).

It works like the normal Google Streetview. When you drag the little Streetview icon over to one of the blue roads you will see the original (Before) Google Streetview image of that area. The difference is that once you have an image up, you can now click on the After tab and a picture will pop up of that area now.

It is interesting to see how some areas were almost identical and others almost unrecognizable.

Google Loves Math

Up until now, Google was pretty good at math. You could type in an expression and it would try to evaluate it (sine of 30 degrees, 35^2 -450). Now Google has taken that a step further by integrating graphing into their search.

By simply typing in the function (sans the "y=") the graph shows up. You can rescale the axis with the zoom (the default is both axes but you can scale them individually as well). You can drag the position of the graph around. There is a point which can be dragged to show coordinates and you can put more than one function on at the same time by separating them by commas (they will come up in different colours)

The only limitation that comes to mind right now is that trig functions are limited to radian. I don't see a way to change the x scale to degrees. Let me know if anyone figures out how to do this. In the mean time, happy graphing.

Some help from above? ...

In a previous post, Doug Sadler discussed a few options for storage of your important files in the cloud. Whichever service you may be already using, or would like to start using, it may be worth your time to investigate some of the other features that these sites offer beyond just storage for your files.

I would like to share a couple of great appliactions of using the CLOUD.

First, the CLOUD definitely helped me out yesterday.

I am a dedicated user of DROPBOX and I had a presentation that was synced with a couple of computers. I tried to drag the contents of my DROPBOX folder to a different location and somehow this caused everything to be deleted. Needless to say, I was a bit stressed.
(*note to users - leave well enough alone and keep your DROPBOX folder where it is!)

I asked a colleague if he had any suggestions... his comment was, "You pretty much have to try really hard to delete anything permanently". How true!
I logged into DROPBOX and chose "SHOW DELETED ITEMS"…

How Secure Are You?

Ask yourself:
How easy would it be for someone to guess my password?How many sites to I frequent? Do I use the same password for each site?How important is the information that I have online?What would I do if I lost it all? There are a whole load of questions that you can add to this list about online security. Often many of us don't really think about this until after the fact. That is, after we may have been compromised. Recently in an article in The Atlantic Monthly, James Fallows recounted how his wife's Gmail account was hacked and the ensuing fall out that came of it (including deletion of 6 years and over 4 Gb of emails - they were eventually recovered but only, it seems, due to the author's connections with some big players at Google and the relatively new Undeletion Project). You can read the lengthy and detailed account here.

In the end, however, we are left with three suggestions about network security:
Use Gmail's new 2-step verification- As stated, this is…

Easter Eggs for Christmas

An Easter Egg in the computer world is a hidden feature found in software. Here are a few examples that are brought to you by the Google (Youtube is owned by Google now too)
1. Do a Google search for "let it snow" (no quotations) and it begins to snow. Don't forget to click on Defrost!
2. This one was recently circulating in the interwebs. Do a Google search "do a barrel roll" (no quotations). Try not to get nauseous.
3. A simpler version of #2 is to search for "tilt" (no quotations).

4. And just so I don't waste too much more of your free time, in Youtube when you are watching a video, while in Play or Pause mode, simultaneously hit the left and up arrow keys and play the classic game of centipede using the arrow keys.

Note, however, that these particular features do not seem to work within our board's Internet. So they won't work at school but they should be fine at home. Happy Easter Egg hunting.

Another Great Resource from OSAPAC

Click on the video above narrated by Dianne Krause which introduces Comic Life and thoroughly describes all of its features.

Comic Life is OSAPAC (Ontario Softwared Acquisition Program Advisory Committee) licensed software and as such is free for all Ontario teachers to use in the classroom and at home. This tech resource allows students of all ages (Grades 2-12) to create extremely creative comics. If you are interested in a tool to hook reluctant readers, this may very well be the one. The finished product can be and often is very impressive. Go to and you will find software details, curriculum connections, and resources for Comic Life and so much more.

FREE IS GOOD!! Take advantage of an ONLINE storage solution!

Free online storage is available but limited.  Online storage services like DropBox will give you 2GB of data for free.  Dropbox will allow your data to be synced onto the web and on all of your devices.  I would say DropBox is clearly the leader in this category.

This is a great solution for file sharing between work and home (Ex. Markbook), quick access to documents and backing up important documents.

This type of service will eventually replace USB sticks once free reliable wireless internet is widely accessible.  There are a number of competitors of Dropbox such as BoxNet and the new icloud.  
Boxnet offers 5GB of storage space with a free account.  However, for a limited time if you activate your free Boxnet account on an idevice you will be upgraded to a lifetime 50GB storage limit.  50GB would normally cost you $19.95 a month but for a very limited time you can get it for free.
Even if you don't use an idevice  you can download boxnet from the App store on someone's id…

WECDSB e-Learning Newsletter

Please take a look at the October issue of eNTRY POINTS,
a newsletter serving the community of the
Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

e-Learning at the WECDSB

Using is a website that has a number of customizable applets for use in the classroom. Many can be used to "DI" your environment. Here is a list of just a few.

A neat exercise to do with kids is to create social networking profiles for famous people (present, past and fictional). The site Fakebook allows teachers and students the opportunity to do just that. 
Teachers and students can create fake profiles and then create interactions between other related fake profiles. Click here for a listing of the ones created so far. For example: Ernest Rutherford, Joseph Stalin, Henry Ford.

How about create an interactive jigsaw diagram. Here are some examples: Fractions, Water Cycle, Industrial Revolution.

Use a fishbone diagram to organize information. Here are some examples: Hamlet, Forces, Farming Impact on Environment.

How about create a venn diagram? Here are some examples: Geography, Bacteria, Virus & Fungus.

Create a timeline. You can create it correctly or mix it up an…

Adventure Time with YouTube

Do you remember those "Choose your own Adventure" books? You know, "If Josie a) goes into the library turn to page 42 b) stabs the griffin with a fork turn to page 46 ....". Well those were the precursor to computer based adventure games (starting with text based games like Zork and then evolving into MMORPGs like WoW). Well now you can create these types of games as tutorials for courses using YouTube and their Spotlight tool.

You can find a tutorial here where they use the example of preparing for the GMAT.

Here's what the finished product might look like:
Happy adventuring....