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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Online Training for Your School's Facilities Department!

As my regular readers know, from time to time I post about online learning and training.  Today's post is about a company called Abhisam Online Learning.  They are a little different than others that I've posted about, because they handle online training and certification for a wide variety of industries.  This includes instrumentation, automation, RFID, process plant safety and more!



Their training is a rich mixture of multimedia videos that include real coursework from real people.  Not just simple slide presentations.  They are well written, professionally produced and serve a market that is seriously lacking in high-quality training materials that are easily accessible to anyone, any time, anywhere! 

Their course catalog includes: 

  • Instrumentation, Automation and Control
  • Electrical Technology
  • Process Safety
  • Process Plant Engineering
  • RFID & Wireless

In addition to their fantastic training materials, they offer one-on-one consulting services to help you get the training you need that leads to the certification you really want!  This is a professional development dream come true!  If you need to brush up on your skills or you are looking to learn a new trade -- Abhisam is the place to go!  And this is perfectly applicable to your school's in-house maintenance/facilities department!

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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Technology in Sports Education: Scorekeeping with GameChanger

Little known fact:  I have also coached baseball at the American Legion, JV and Varsity High School levels... oh yea, and there was that year of T-Ball, too :).  In that time I've watched how the business of youth baseball has morphed and changed over the years.  I recently posted about using Coach's Eye to help elevate your players performance, and that is just one thing that we've come to rely on when we are taking care of business on and off the field.  One of the big elephants in the room is scorekeeping.  Youth sports have become almost as heavily followed as college athletics in some areas, and the GameChanger app for iOS is the industry leader is keeping the score, and telling all the fans about it!  The app currently works for baseball, softball and basketball.



GameChanger is easy for you to get into.  The App itself is free.  This allows you to input your rosters, your opponents, location of game and then you keep score.  It is that easy.  Could it be easier?  Yes -- it could, and GameChanger is all over it.  Because, not only does it allow you to do all the advanced statistical score keeping that every coach really wants and needs, but it takes advantage of the touch interface to do it!  That's right -- you draw on the screen to tell it what happened!  Did Bobby just hit a single to right field?  Draw a line into right field, then draw a line that moves Bobby to first -- that's it!  It records that on a 2-1 count, with 2 outs, Bobby hit a shallow single to right field.  This allows you to project exactly what Bobby's batting average is on 2-1 counts, and with 2 outs... and how often he hits the ball to right field!  Did Bobby steal second on a 2-0 count?  Chart that pitch, and drag Bobby to second -- it will ask if it was a Passed Ball or Stolen Base and that's it!  Same stat keeping depth!  And what's more, anyone can do it!  They don't have to be a baseball expert to keep score!  

Now you are saying, "WOW!  This is too good to be true!  Do you mean my managers can keep accurate score of my game for me -- and it is free?!?"  Yup.  That's it.  But it gets better.  Not only that, but if you are connected to the Internet while scoring the game (and many of us are these days -- plus it does work on iPhone), it will update the score and at-bats in REAL TIME!  Parents who can't be at the game can follow it pitch by pitch, and at-bat by at-bat!  And after the game, it generates a box score for everyone on your fan list to view!

Is this all free?  Well, no... all of that is not free.  The score keeping is.  For the other features there are membership plans on GameChanger.Com that really bring it all together, but the cost is low and the good will you will generate for your athletic program is priceless!  Check out the video below -- and get your Game Changer!





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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Create digital learning platforms with Time to Know

Time is elusive for all of us.  You always have the best intentions to find the time to do that professional development... but then things just kind of come up, don't they?  And what about that digital content that you need for your students?  You have looked high and low for something that fit your curriculum, but it just isn't there!  What if you could build a library of digital classroom tools that you could use over and over?  And then edit when you need to?



Now you can with Time to Know.


Time to Know is an online platform that allows you to create, manage and publish digital classroom material whether it is for History 101 or How to Use Your Interactive Whiteboard!  It doesn't matter -- these tools are powerful enough to illustrate just about ay concept.  

If you want to check it out, take a look at the video below.  If you want to know more -- check out their website and see all the awesome things you can create with Time to Know -- and all the people who are already doing it!





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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Technology in Sports Education: Coach's Eye

In addition to my time working in education technology behind the scenes, I have also coached baseball for several years at two different schools -- plus youth leagues.  This experience has lead me to try and utilize new and cool technology in order to bring the tried, and true lessons of sports to the student-athletes of today.  And quite often, it is awesome.  I will be talking about these tools over the next few weeks.. first up, Coach's Eye.



Coach's Eye is an app for your iPad or Android tablet that allows you to record active video footage of your student-athletes.  Cool, right?  Yea big deal... but that's not all!  Now that you have this video, you can mark it up!  That's right.  You can take the video of your shortstop's swing and draw on it to show where he is doing it right -- or not-so-right.  You can draw the arc of the golf swing to illustrate a tweak or change that need to be made, or how a runner's stride is too short.  You can show them right there -- on the field -- and then file it away.  Record them again mid-season, and at the end of the season to illustrate the great strides they made throughout the season.  The possibilities of such a tool in a dedicated coach's hands are endless.

Add to that the ability to do side-by-side comparison and even import video from another camera to get another angle -- and wow!

You can imagine that with this kind of analysis tool, you can help your young athletes learn, practice and develop the solid mechanics of their sport in ways that only the pros could do just ten years ago.  And it all starts for free.  Coach's Eye uses the freemium model to get you to download and use their tool, and then buy add-ins that make using and sharing your edited videos even more effective.

If you coach any sport at the high school level, you owe it to yourself and your student-athletes to check out this wonderful tool for yourself!




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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scheduling E-Mails in GMail


In education today, technology is seen as being more essential than ever.  This is a good thing.  This means that your business office is more likely to fund essential technology projects than they were ten years ago.  But (yes, there is always a but!) money is still tight for most schools, and squeezing every technology dollar for all it is worth is still as important as ever!  That is one reason that I have spent time researching and comparing different solutions for schools that help them do just that.  And one of the things that I recommend to schools more often than not is to make the big move to Google Apps for Education -- it is free, after all, and offers many great features.  This post is not about the many wonders of Google Apps for Education, I can do that at some other time, but it is about one of the things that is missing out of their venerable G-Mail application that people often complain about:  the inability to schedule messages!  One thing I hear about over and over is how much they loved being able to write an e-mail while they are at work at schedule it to go out in the evening when they are using Outlook with Microsoft Exchange.  It is a nice feature.

So, this is a glaring omission -- but you can work around it and schedule your e-mails!  I want to be up front and let you know that I did not develop this method, and the links contained in these instructions go back to the originator of this because the spreadsheets he uses are perfect but my instructions differ slightly.

Creating A Scheduled E-Mail in Google Mail

  1. Write the draft message(s) that you wish to schedule and save them in GMail.
  2. Make a copy of the GMail Scheduler Spreadsheet (Courtesy of ctrlq.org) - this will also open the spreadsheet.
  3. Change the default TimeZone in the spreadsheet to yours by clicking File --> Spreadsheet Settings
  4. Inside the Sheet choose the authorized sender: under the GMail Scheduler Menu select Authorize and grant the necessary permissions.  Note that the script runs on your Google Drive and none of your data is every accessible to the outside!
  5. Choose GMail Scheduler --> Fetch Messages to import those draft messages you created in step 1.
  6. Select the date/time to send the message in Column D in the mm/dd/yyyyy hh:mm:ss format.
  7. Go to GMail Scheduler --> Schedule Messages to run the scheduler and schedule your messages.  It will then send your messages at the time you specified.
Like videos better?  The creator of this method has one on YouTube -- here it is!




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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Introduce kids to robotics with ROMO: Your Personal Smartphone Robot!

One of the things I love the most about working in educational technology is coming across something neat, fun and educational to share with students.  While surfing on Niftyreads.com I came across a couple of things, but this one really caught my eye.




It's called Romo: the Smartphone Robot!  


While Romo was largely designed to entertain you, if you look at what it is and what it does there are a number of educational opportunities here.  Romo is a fully motorized, durable plastic base with tracks and gears that enable its movement.  The base is controlled by an app that runs on your iPhone (sorry Android, that support it supposed to be in the works).  The iPhone is connected via the headphone jack (which may be a little awkward given that they are on the bottom now - this picture is using an iPhone 3G) and delivers its commands through this interface.  Simple plug-and-play!   You can also control it via your iPad with your iPhone plugged in -- very cool stuff!

But the fun is in the missions that are included in the app.  The missions allow students an entry-level method to get into robotics and how robots work that is different from LEGO MindStorms.  The programming is simple, yet allows for a great deal of complexity in what you ask Romo to do.  I think that this product has direct implications for grades 4-8, and maybe even some introduction to robotics courses in high school that might move on into LEGO MindStorms.  Check it out!




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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

College Prep for Math and the SAT Online Course

Because I have spent so much time working one-on-one with students who have their eyes on the college prize, I know how important standardized tests are in their world.  A hundred points either way on the SAT can easily mean the difference between getting into the college they have their heart set on, and getting that thin rejection letter in the mail.  That is why taking prep courses can be so important to high school sophomores and juniors getting ready for the application season.  Heck, even I benefitted from such a program.  My scores improved 20% between my first SAT and second thanks to a college test prep course of study.

So today, I want to tell you about Caddell Prep Online.  Caddell Prep was founded by Glyn Caddell, who has been doing this since 2006.  Glyn's vision was to create an easily accessible course of study for students that would pinpoint the areas that they need to work on and enable them to improve those areas as they pertain to their math testing.  And with Caddell Prep Online he has created one of the top mathematics prep courses on the Internet.

The courses center around geometry and algebra skills and not only allow students to work through lessons based on specific skills, but record their sessions so they can go back over them at any time.  One of the great things about the way Caddell Prep Online works is that not only do they address the higher level skills, but they offer reinforcement of lower level skills such as fractions, percents and rational numbers if the student needs to review those.

Caddell Prep is a great resource for that student who needs some math help at just about any level.  And to help show you just how effective it can be, they offer free SAT flashcards and quizzes to help you get your feet on the ground.  Check them out!

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Bruce has worked in educational technology for over 18 years and has implemented several 1:1/BYOD programs.  He also has served as a classroom teacher in Computer Science, History and English classes.  Bruce is the author of five books: Sands of TimeTowering Pines Volume One:Room 509The Star of ChristmasPhiladelphia Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel and 
The Insider's Story: A Lance Carter Detective Novel.  Follow Bruce's Novel releases by subscribing to his FREE newsletter!

Be sure to check out Bruce's Allentown Education Examiner Page, his Twitter and his Facebook!