Category Archives: Ed Tech

Demo of 7 free tools for teachers

Simplifying a Teacher’s Life: Free Technology Tools for Assessment is a video presentation on YouTube by Erica Speaks. This is a very good demo of 7 free tools that most teachers/instructors could use in their classes to enhance learning and save time doing admin/teacher tasks.

Three of the tools, I have already discovered and use regularly: Kahoot!, Socrative and Flubaroo. These three are free, easy to use and work great.

The three of the other tools: Plickers, ForAllRubrics and ClassCharts look very useful and I am exploring how I would use them in my classes. Although some of these are more for K-12 teachers, but I can see how I could use them with my university classes.

The seven tool: MasteryConnect, looks like it would be very useful for K-12 teachers but I don’t see how I could use it.

Check this out. The tools are great, free and Erica does a great job reviewing them.

Video: Prezi 2014 NEW Full Tutorial has been around for a few years now but if you haven’t tried it for making class presentations or invited your students to make their presentations with it, you may want to view this video. It is almost 24 minutes but it is very comprehensive and does a great job demonstrating the new features that have been added over the year.

I find that has the following advantages for teaching:

  • It is not slideshow based but works on a single large canvas that you zoom and pan on. This is great for timelines, complex illustrations, process charts and idea maps.
  • It is free for teachers and students. Look for the education licenses
  • It is cloud based so your presentations are available from anywhere.

The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation

The Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence and Educational Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University  has some excellent resources up on their website at

Explore the links on the menu of the left to find faculty development resources about the following topics:

Some of the materials are special to the Carnegie Mellon University context but most of it is very applicable to any faculty teaching context.  I especially found the 7 principles of learning and 7 principles of effective teaching very useful. There are very few documented and researched based lists of principles available.

Wonderful resource page to support the SAMR model by Kathy Schrock

Kathy Schrock has compiled a wonderful page of resources that describe and support the learning and employment of the SAMR model in educational technology integration into teaching.

Go to to access the site.  Some of the valuable resources include videos from various experts, including Dr. Ruben Puentedura, who developed this model. She also includes a brilliant chart comparing the SAMR to Bloom’s cognitive skill levels.

Here is one of the videos from this source to introduces the SAMR model in 120 seconds.

Teachers and technology

“Teachers trained in one technology and mind-set sometimes find themselves gridlocked into old patterns and perceptions. Thrust into a world of new technologies, they persist in seeing them in terms of the familiar; the wordprocessor , for example, is viewed as a glorified typewriter with powerful editing features rather than as the idea processor it can be. To understand the computer’s power for idea processing and improved composition, one must take a computer home, live with it, and write with it. Only by embracing the technology can one experience the kind of immersion that breaks through the surface understandings to a deeper level of involvement.”

Jamieson McKenzie, (1991), Designing Staff Development for the Information Age, FromNowOn.Org-The Educational Technology Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4, April, 1991,

TCC 2014 Regional Keynote: Redesign of the Education Landscape by Dr. Charles Miller

This regional keynote from the 2014 TTC Online Conference is available to all and worth viewing. In this presentation Dr. Charles Miller does a great job of explaining how he is working to redesign the education landscape in his work. This includes using the very innovative strategies and technologies.
The link to the page about the presentation and presenter is at

Or you can go directly to the recording of this 56 minute   presentation here

One of the key take aways for me if that educators need to focus on designing learning experiences.

Industrial Age thinking and teaching…

“Shifting from Industrial Age thinking and teaching to Informational Age thinking and teaching is as dramatic an adjustment as shifting from teaching in a classroom to teaching underwater. The training agenda is no simple list of skills; everybody must learn an entirely new approach. Actions that worked on the surface, such as running, jumping and yelling, create different effects underwater. Adaptation requires major readjustments and realignment. It requires immersion.”

Jamieson McKenzie, (1991), Designing Staff Development for the Information Age, FromNowOn.Org-The Educational Technology Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4, April, 1991,