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Archive for the ‘Teaching Technologies’ Category

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)

The National Library of Medicine Training Center Needs Your Input!

Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) will be creating web based self-paced tutorials related to PubMed®, TOXNET®, and NCBI databases.

We need your input in order to inform topics, length, and format of the tutorials we will develop.  Please visit to complete a short questionnaire.  The questionnaire should take 10-15 minutes to complete.

Please complete the questionnaire by close of business on Friday, February 17, 2012.

Questions may be directed to Sharon Dennis, Assistant Director of the NTC, at


Monday Morning Hodge Podge

Monday, January 23rd, 2012
  1. Do you Tweet? Whittling away at a post can be frustrating while we try to figure out how much of a sentence can be removed and still retain its meaning. Try these two text reduction sites designed for Twitter posts. The first site uses special characters that look like letters.
  2. Let’s remember to abide by copyright. Creative Commons has an easy search interface to find photos with the permissions you need.

  3. Mr. Purrington taught evolutionary biology for 14 years at Hudson University. He has some good tips on creating and presenting an academic poster. You will also find a template and links to poster examples.

Online Teaching Tools for Discovery, Discussion and Demonstration

Friday, January 20th, 2012

Richard Byrne posted a slideshow on the Free Technology for Teachers blog called, “Discovery, Discussion and Demonstration.” If you page through the slideshow you’ll find references to a number of online tools for teaching, including a few that you may not have heard of before: Wevideo, a collaborative online video editor; and Socrative, a free student response system.

Phoning it In

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

A recent blog post by Dr. Ramsey Musallam about the flipped classroom and the digital divide provides a creative answer for students who don’t have Internet access at home.  First, for students who need it, he sends them home with content on a DVD or a flash drive which they can use at the public library for example. Second, and this is the creative part, he has these same students phone in their answers. Dr. Musallam uses Google Voice, which is free. He created a form [] which provides a general format for the students to follow when they call in their assignment. Google Voice translates their voice to text and then Dr. Musallam catalogs their responses along with all the other student responses.  Digital divide or not, Google Voice offers another way for students to interact and respond to class materials. To learn about Google Voice go to:

The Whole World in your Hands

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Smartphones can be transformative; transforming the way you do your work. Recently, I was practicing a PowerPoint presentation that I was scheduled to give. While working on it, I found some changes I wanted to make, so I opened up the voice memo app that came with my phone and recorded a short note to make such and such a change on slide number 12. I then touched the Share button within the voice memo app and emailed the recording to myself (I only had to type the first letter of my email address, auto-complete did the rest). Later, I listened to the message that arrived in my email and I made the changes to my presentation. I am in love.

Getting Started with Prezi: Import PowerPoints

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

You’ve probably heard of Prezi, an online presentation tool that lets you create a “zoomable canvas” to describe connections between ideas. Good Prezi presentations are visually engaging and allow audiences to see both the “big picture” and the details of each idea. (However, if you overdo the zooming effects, some in your audience may find the presentation “dizzying”!) Prezi offers a free version as well as various paid subscriptions with varying features.

I’ve tried Prezi at various times and found it to be a difficult learning curve. Recently I found an easier way to get started with Prezi: try importing an existing PowerPoint presentation into Prezi and then build your the Prezi from your existing content. This tutorial gives the details (scroll half way down the page to view the tutorial “Prezify Your PowerPoint or KeyNote slides”).

If you’ve developed or viewed a Prezi presentation you think is a particularly stellar example, e-mail us at We’ll publish a list in a future blog entry.

100 Top Tools for Learning in 2011

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies (C4LPT) has published a list of 100 top tools for learning in 2011. While many of these tools look familiar and are used everyday by trainers, there are others that may be new to you. Use this list to try out a few new tools.

LaDonna Coy from the Learning Chi blog analyzes the tool list in an interesting post: she discusses how the tools focus not just on learning but also on relationships and connections.