Tag Archives: technology

“Who you Gonna Call? Bug Shooter!”

I finally found a Windows version of a screenshot application that is free and allows you to annotate the images from directly within the screenshot application. The application is called “Bug Shooting” and can be downloaded at the bugshooting.com website. While there are a variety of screenshot applications out there, I couldn’t find one that had similar features as that of “Skitch” which is only for Macs, until Bug Shooting.

bug-41With Bug Shooting, you can take a screenshot of a portion of a window or the entire area. You can assign shortcuts to the features of Bug Shooting and edit the screenshot from within the application. As you can see from the image on the right, you can zoom in on a specific part of the screen. You can also upload the screenshots directly to a variety of servers and applications. Besides annotating from within the screenshot program, being able to send directly to my email client or Skype will be a great timesaver!

The only thing I couldn’t do with Bug Shooting is to take a screenshot within Bug Shooting. Bug Shooting is only for PC’s running Windows XP or Vista. Although the Bug Shooting support page indicates that the program can be downloaded for Windows  32-bit operating system, it can be downloaded and used in the 64-bit version of Vista. The text below shows Bug Shooting’s response to a question posed by someone asking about Vista:

The windows x64 is not supported because of the Mail-Server which is implemented by using the MSMAPI. MSMAPI is not available for windows x64. This should be the only issue which not work on x64.

I asked my resident tech guru (my dear hubby) what MSMAPI was or meant and he said that MSMAPI is an acronym for Microsoft MAPI, an mail server like for hotmail or POP email accounts. Since I won’t be using Bug Shooting to take screenshots and have them sent directly to email that won’t be a problem for me. Other than not being able to send screenshots directly to my email client, Bug Shooting works fine on Vista x64 as you can see from the screenshots I took above. I think this is a keeper for me and I will not be needing an exterminator!

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Teacher Uses Webcam to Deliver Lessons

While reading one of my email feeds, I came across a story that I found fascinating about a teacher who is out on medical leave and is using a webcam to conference online with his students. Frank Wilson, government teacher at Bishop Watterson High School in Columbus, Ohio, recently had knee surgery and didn’t want his students to fall behind while recovering. Wilson is a veteran educator of 47 years and teaches his Advanced Placement (AP) government students from the basement of his home.

According to the article in the Columbus, Ohio newspaper titled “Government teacher conducts class from home basement“,

With the support of Watterson administrators, class was in session live from Wilson’s basement.

The Web cam allowed Wilson to see, teach, and carry on discussion with his students from his basement, Winters said. They could see him on the projector screen, and he could see them on his computer.

“My students all have Tablet PCs, and our government classes are almost paperless,” Wilson said.

“We use the computers for everything, including testing online.”

“To be honest, this program has allowed me to continue to teach,” he said, adding the classes went well with minimal disruption.

“I could not have done this without the support of our technology department and individual staff members who were willing to sit in the classroom and take attendance for me.”

For liability purposes Wilson had an adult in the classroom at all times but I can certainly relate to being concerned that your students will not progress or lose direction whenever you out. Twenty years ago when I  first started teaching we were out of the classroom for staff development quite often. It was always difficult to pick up the pieces upon my return and leave meaningful instructional activities while I am out. Several times throughout my career, I have been asked to step in and take over a class while a teacher is ill or on maternity leave. A teacher cannot risk not having students adequately prepared for performance on high stakes tests and trust part of the preparatory work  be done by a substitute teacher. We all know good subs are out there although they are hard to find and keep for an extended period of time. The idea of using webcam to minimize a loss of instruction is a novel idea, although not brand new.

Teachers/trainers have been using webcam/videoconferencing equipment to provide distance education for a number of years. The number of virtual high schools is growing by leaps and bounds and the use of this technology greatly benefits small, rural districts that have limited funding and a lack of teachers specializing in the math/science content areas. I have become a huge fan and proponent of using this medium to enrich instruction and started a wiki to serve as a repository of resources, training and discussions at http://caisefiles.wikispaces.com. I would love the opportunity to teach or facilitate a class online – certification issues and not having a master’s degree have hindered me personally in this area but the opportunities are out there.

While Wilson finishes recuperating at home, his students are benefiting from the interactive technology he is  using to deliver his government lessons online. The success of this venture comes from the support of the administration, network infrastructure to facilitate this endeavor and the dedication of the teacher and students. A deficiency in any one of those areas will severely impact the project but when each piece comes together to provide interactive and quality instruction to students there is no finer instrument to provide distance education.


2008 – A Year in Review

mwsnap01012

Starting Saturday, January 10, 2009, my career will take will venture into uncharted waters. As part of Classroom 2.0, founded by Steve Hargadon, I will be co-hosting a weekly show with Peggy George featuring issues, events and leaders of the educational technology field. This past summer I participated in the Webcast Academy with Jeff Lebow and Doug Symington. Jeff and Doug are expert webcasters and host live shows on EdTechTalk. Participating in the academy lit a fire within me to learn as much as possible about webcasting, streaming, online tools and software applications so I created a wiki to serve as a repository of information about webcasting (commonly referred to as videoconferencing) called the ‘Caise Files‘.

Through the academy, I expanded my personal learning network (PLN) and made some great contacts. Steve Hargadon and Dr. Peggy George are two of those contacts. I joined the Classroom 2.0 Ning and collaborated a great deal with Peggy George who has become a mentor, friend and fellow blogger. I am so honored to be asked to co-host with Peggy and appreciate the opportunity to be a part of this collaborative effort to further educational technology  initiatives and learning about tech tools for all levels of users. All ed tech newbies are welcome and encouraged to join us each week!

A brief show introduction and invite is featured on the main page of the Classroom 2.0 Ning and is pasted below:

Friday, January 2nd, at 10:00am Pacific / 1:00pm Eastern (link to other time zones), Peggy George, Kim Caise, and I will host the live Classroom 2.0 year-end webcast meeting and show: “What We Learned in 2008.”

If you’ve never been to a “webmeeting,” they are a lot of fun and this is a good place to come and get your feet wet! We hope you will come and tell us all about the new ideas, techniques, tools, books, and conversations around educational technology that made 2008 special for you. (Send your 2008 top-ten lists to live@classroom20.com–we’ll post all of them, and even ask some of you to present them on air!) We’ll also virtually celebrate the growth of Classroom 2.0 this past year, our great hosts, the winning of the 2008 Edublog Award for “best use of a social networking service in education,” and more. We’ll also get your ideas for what 2009 should bring!

More information and a link to the live show. Hope you’ll join us! (And if you can’t, don’t worry, we’ll be recording it…)

mwsnap01013This Friday after all or your new year celebrations are over and one, please join us as we review and celebrate the extensive list of things we learned in 2008 in a year-end live broadcast in Elluminate.  Bring your top 10 list and be sure to share your list in the Classroom 2.0 wiki. Happy new year and see you Friday!

Four **FREE** Must See Sites that Won’t Want to Miss – Part # 4

Alas, I have finally written the last part of this four part mini-series on awesome technology tools that you can use in the classroom or create instructional materials for use with your students. This blog post features the recently discovered website, http://www.jogtheweb.com. A few weeks ago as I was reading the plurks of my professional learning network at plurk.com, someone plurked about a track created at jogtheweb.com so I decided to venture to the site and see what jogtheweb was all about.

jogtheweb.com

Source: jogtheweb.com

Jogtheweb started in 2007 and allows users to create a ‘track’ at the website. Details and comments about the websites featured in a track are displayed as the user jogs along the track of websites. Tracks are generally created around a theme, skill or features of a specific website. Two tracks are featured below:

Exploring New Worlds by ProfB

Web 2.0 by Yennyg

View of a track at Jogtheweb.com

Source: View of a track at Jogtheweb.com

The image to the right shows a basic track. Viewers ‘jog’ along the track from website to website with a description of each part of the track displayed. At jogtheweb.com a variety of tracks have been created. Many have been created for educational purposes so you may want to look the tracks in case one has already been created on your topic. One user in my PLN created one about the features of her district intranet and where to find district resources. I created one on technology tools that can be used in the classroom and once finished I will send the link out via Twitter and Plurk. Next time you are searching for a creative way to display content or technical information, consider creating a track at Jogtheweb.com. I think you will find this a great resource to add to your technology toolbox.

GustavTracker via Twitter

Requesting help for assistance or aid from Hurricane Gustav just went high tech. If you know of someone that may be in the path of Gustav, please text or forward this information to them.

According to the GustavTracker page, tweets may be sent to request assistance or rescue and report if someone has safely escaped the destructive forces of Gustav.

All messages received at the “gustavhelp” or “gustavsafeTwitter accounts will be re-posted for public viewing here. PLEASE follow this public page if you are in a position to help. An RSS feed is forthcoming as we bring the site online.

Those affected by Gustav must first add “gustavhelp” or “gustavsafe” to their Twitter profile. This can be done using the internet or a cell phone if power or outages are in effect. The GustavTracker page continues with,

Due to Twitter’s limitations, there is no way for the public to personally respond to these messages. If a message does not have contact info, please email marina@marinamartin (dot) com and she will send a direct message back to that person.

The above may need to be explained to someone as well as how to use Twitter if the person is not familiar with the social networking tool. With the evacuation efforts and the use of Twitter, hopefully many lives will be saved. Additionally, if you are trying to locate the whereabouts of someone affected by Gustav, make sure to search the Red Cross Safe & Well site.