Thursday, March 29, 2012

Use dotEPUB to reduce barriers in BYOD

Many schools are looking at Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to navigate the barrier of traditional education funding for putting digital tools into students' hands. One of the challenges of BYOD is the variety of devices that students may bring and expect to use in their learning. Device compatibility with web based resources is not consistent and complicates the job of teachers to facilitate learning. How will teachers ensure all students are able to access the same digital resources using various tools?

The web tool dotEPUB may offer a solution. dotEPUB is "a push-button, cloud-based e-book maker". Teachers and students can use dotEPUB to easily convert any web page into an e-book file that when be transfered to a mobile device or book reader will remove the barrier of accessing web resources. Web sites converted to EPUB (or MOBI) files can be transfered to mobile devices such as iPods & iPads, and book readers such as Kindles, Nooks, Kobo, and any compatible with EPUB. 

Using dotEPUB will help ensure accessing information is not a barrier to learning in a BYOD environment.

Monday, March 5, 2012


If you are looking for an easy way to record your screen, head to Screencast-o-matic.  SOM is very easy to use.  Go to their website, select "start recording", choose your screen size, record, and you are done.  Files can be saved to your computer, uploaded to screencast-o-matic, or uploaded to YouTube.  You can record up to 15 minutes.

There is a number of ways in which screencasting can be used in the classroom.  The obvious way is to record lessons to have available for students to watch on their own time.  Students can also use SOM to record presentations.  The teacher can also use SOM to record how to use a piece of software or web application.  I have also seen screencasting used to give feedback to students on their projects or papers.  Giving oral feedback is much more beneficial than the dreaded red pen.  Give it a try today.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easy Infographics and Charts
Infographics seem to be the hottest way to communicate information on the web nowadays. Using an infographic can be a great way to present information in a format that is more appealing and memorable than just using text-based documents. Students and teachers can use infographics as discussion starters or tools to evaluate complex information and relationships. The web magazine and news site uses infographics to present information and enhance articles on their web site. even has a section that is dedicated to presenting the infographics that are used on their web site.

What if you want to create your own infographics or charts to present information to students? Or even better, what if you want students to create infographics or charts to synthesize information and demonstrate their evaluation of data and content? In the past, students and teachers have been limited to using markers and paper, or a spreadsheet application, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Docs Spreadsheet, to create posters or charts to display information visually. The activity of using these traditional tools often takes extra class time and can become a barrier to students' learning, because the focus of learning shifts from the evaluation of information to the activity of creating the chart or poster itself. is aiming to change this. is a new web site that allows users to easily create charts and will soon expand to include creating visually appealing infographics. Using to create charts requires three things, a device connected to the Internet, a Facebook or Twitter account for log in access, and data. The data-entry interface is easy to use and the generation of charts is automatic. charts can be embedded into web sites, making it easy for students and teachers to share charts and data visualizations.
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