March is SMARCH at school – Using your SMARTBoard smarter! Here’s my top share for this week.

My twitter friend Tom Barrett has this fabulous site called Ideas to Inspire.  It’s jam-packed with googledoc presentations he’s become quite famous for organising.  Using a tweet he calls for ideas from educators all around the world to suggest ideas, tips and tricks for any number of topics.  Together, everyone collaborates on a googledoc presentation with title changing with each additional idea.  See if you can guess my contribution for the Pocket Video Cameras.

For SMARCH check out #38 Interesting Ways to Use Your Interactive Whiteboard *and tips. I say #38 because when you look at it, that number quite possibly will have increased!  These documents grow ……. literally!

Ideas to Inspire

But of course, don’t stop there!

Check out all the other amazing topics!

The Power of Skype and your PLN

The Power of Skype and your PLN

The Most Amazing PLN Anyone Could Ever Ask For

This post’s feature image taken by my good friend Rachel; I’m “sitting” on Amanda aka HeyMilly’s “lap” and AllanahK skyped me in! This is the power of skype & your PLN!

My fabulous colleagues back home in New Zealand have been enjoying the Learning@Schools09 Conference held in Rotorua.  When my good friend (and one of the first people in my PLN) AllanahK tweeted that she was organising a “Matt-style” dance at the start of Wes Fryer‘s Keynote presentation, I couldn’t resist the urge to tweet back “Can I skype in?”

Sure enough – at 7.15am Bangkok, Thailand time, and 1.15pm, New Zealand time, she did just that- skyped me in so that I could join in the dance too.  It was brilliant – almost like being there.  I was able listen to Wes’s Keynote until Allanah’s battery finally died.  I wish I could have been there in personal to reconnect with old friends, make new friends, and learn new things from incredibly talented people.

Video Proof!

Unfortunately the background music “Dancing with Matt”, got pinged by YouTube as copyright material.

Putting it Together!

I originally used jing to capture the screen on my laptop (‘cos that’s all I had), then discovered that it saves as .swf. Drat! Because that means it’s not editable (without the Pro version – funny that?).  So here’s the master genius work around I used:

Step 1:  Grab Jeff Utecht on his way out the door – (‘cos he has ScreenFlow)
Step 2:  Replay .swf on his laptop and re-capture using ScreenFlow – saves as a .mov, edit as you go
Step 3:  Import into iMovie – add titles and credits
Step 4:  Play real “Dancing with Matt” video on YouTube to capture the soundtrack using Audio Hijack Pro
Step 5:  Import audio into iMovie – adjust sound levels
Step 6:  Upload to teachingsagittarian’s YouTube channel

(Did I mention that I love my mac laptop?)

No Google for a Week

I’ve just finished reading Michelle Martin‘s latest post, A Week Without Google, on her Bamboo Project Blog.

My heart darn near skipped a beat at the thought of it.  Could you imagine it?  No gmail, gchat, gtalk,  google calendar, google docs, google maps, google search, google earth, google alerts, no blogger, and alas no iGoogle – no google anything!  And this is an actual assignment for Michelle’s daughter to do for her New Media Research class. And her assignment includes no YouTube either!!365/35

Oh my!  Could I do it? Um … NOPE.  Not a chance!  And then it dawned on me just how reliant I’ve become on one company’s products.  I hadn’t meant to, I didn’t do it deliberately and I certainly didn’t realise it – til now.  I can’t think of any other aspect of my life (even financially) where I’ve literally put all my “eggs in one basket.”

How many Google products do you rely on?  All the ones I use religiously (that’s on a day to day basis) are listed in the first paragraph.  I am so dependent on Google. I really need to think seriously about how to manage if Google “went down”  (as she’s frantically touching wood so that doesn’t happen)!  Over the past week our school server has been hit with a virus that no one has the fix for.  Work with the internet in the classroom has all but ground to a halt.  Today my students alternated between reading their books and writing with a pencil while we waited patiently for pages on our blog to load.  At least we had the books and pencils as an alternative.  But that’s my point really.  What alternative do I have for all the google apps I use?

What about you?  Could you go a week without google?  Are all your eggs in one basket too?

Whiteboard Challenge Underway

Are you a smartboard user or any other IWB user for that matter? Looking for a challenge?  Do you feel like you’re getting the most out of your Interactive Whiteboard?   Want to breathe some pizzaz into using an IWB with students in the classroom?  Or do you just want to use your IWB better? Smarter?

Then look no further!

The amazing Jess McCulloch has created the Whiteboard Challenge. She’s also got a stunning line up of Task Masters, (Check out who),  just waiting to bring us our next challenges.


It’s only just started with Challenge #1 – making mp3 recordings and adding them to the gallery.

Not only has Jess created a wikispace, there’s a diigo group, and she’s even provided participants with astep-by-step video on how to complete Challenge #1

I’ve been an Interwrite IWB user for several years now (I miss my Interwrite Board back in NZ). Now I am finding my way around the smartboard and notebook application. This challenge is perfect way to get me up to speed!

Way to go Jess! Fabulous challenge, fabulous resource that will definitely help a lot of IWB users out there!

So what are you waiting for? Let’s begin!