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Archive for the ‘Teaching Technologies’ Category

Save now, read later.

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Pocket is a freely available App for iPad and iPhone. Similar to bookmarking a web page, but you don’t need an Internet connection to view the contents. Use Pocket when you discover an interesting article, video or web page, but don’t have time to view it. Once it’s in Pocket, it’s on your phone, tablet, or computer. You can read an article during a flight, see a web page while you wait in line, or watch a video while relaxing at home; all without an Internet connection.

Online Infographics Tools

Friday, May 11th, 2012

“Infographics” or “information graphics” represent data, information, or knowledge in a visually appealing format.  Infographics include attractive images to represent ideas, and may also include data visualizations.  Two free online tools can help create infographics: and (currently in beta). also lets users share their infographics, so you can explore the visualizations that others have created. has a number of pre-made themes and pre-made design elements, so you don’t have to start from scratch to build an infographic.

SlideDog: Multimedia Presentation Player

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Do you give presentations using PowerPoint, Word and PDFs? Do you sometimes need to show multiple file types during one particular presentation? If you answered yes to these questions, then SlideDog may work for you. SlideDog lets you add your presentation files to a “playlist” where you can just click on the file name to move between files. When you click, the file changes and the audience will not see the behind-the-scenes change between programs.

SlideDog is currently in Beta and it requires a (free) download.

Follow this link to read more about SlideDog and to give it a try:

Ideas for Interactive Activities

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Recently, I attended a webinar led by the “train the trainer” company Bob Pike. The topic of the webinar was “Dealing with Difficult Participants,” but also included some information about training in general. Over the next few blog posts I’ll report on interesting ideas discussed in the webinar.

The webinar leader listed a number of interactive activities to help keep students engaged and encourage participation.  A few that caught my attention were:

  1. Fill in the blanks:  provide a handout with course notes, but leave some important words blank.  The students fill those in during the presentation.  Students don’t have to try to scribble notes of every word you are saying, but filling in the blanks will help them retain what they learn because they are writing something down.
  2. “Teach backs”:  students teach what they have just learned to another student.
  3. Top 10 Lists
  4. Card sorting
  5. “Gallery walks”:   students review posters on a wall; see this page from Central Michigan University for a description.

SmartPhone as a Recording Device

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Save meeting

This app allows you to record the audio of your meetings or classes, transcribe the audio, and share the recordings and transcriptions with others.

Currently available for iPhone & Android.

The app is free to download. There are both free and premium service options.

Many Eyes

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Do you have data that you want to make more visually appealing to the audience? IBM has a free site that helps you transform columns of numbers into interactive charts and graphs. Free to register and use.


Windows on your iPad

Friday, February 24th, 2012

OMG! A free App that allows you to view and edit your Microsoft files (PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and more) on your iPad. First, go to on your desktop/laptop computer and sign up for a free account (there is also a paid version). Second, download the App to your iPad. Third, upload desired files from your desktop/laptop computer to the OnLive server. Fourth, sign into your OnLive account on your iPad. Fifth, access your uploaded files from your Documents folder that will appear on your OnLive desktop.

The company is also working on bringing OnLive to Android tablets, iPhones and iPod Touches, Macs and PCs, and even to TV sets.

Timelines with Pizzaz

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

I have given several presentations where I want to include some historical context and make the information more than just a list of events. I recently found some PowerPoint timeline templates on Microsoft’s website that add some action to the information.

3-D timeline that spans across three slides

Pictures that move along a curved path onto the slide

Dynamic timeline

My Weekend with Sketch/Video Apps

Monday, January 30th, 2012

The old saying: A picture is worth a 1000 words. In this 21st century, a video is worth a 1000 words.

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard (free)
Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard. Creating a video tutorial is as simple as touching, tapping and talking.

ScreenChomp by TechSmith (free)
Record It. Sketch It. Share It. – to create a sharable, replay-able video that tells your story clearly.

Both apps are only for iPad and are easy to use. The apps both provide multiple ways to share the video: email, Facebook, Twitter. Click on the links to view a short example made with each of the apps. I used my finger to draw on the screen.

Handwriting Recognition Apps

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

I recently came across an app category that I am very excited about; Handwriting recognition. Just picture yourself swiping your finger across your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire or Android phone screen. Now picture yourself forming letters while swiping your finger across the screen (You can also use a stylus). That’s how easy it is. The apps can be used in meetings, brainstorming sessions, or [your idea here]. Both of the sites below have short demonstration videos to get you started.

7 Notes (Free and a paid version)

WritePad ($9.99)