Thursday, December 15, 2011

6232: Selection and Integration of Instructional Technologies Extra Credit Post

I had great experiences at the 2011 ITEC conference in Des Moines, IA in October. One of the most enlightening sessions I went to, happened by accident. I actually got lost in the conference center and meandered through the main meeting room, stumbling upon a very energetic presenter- Steve Dembo. His presentation entitled, Extreme Makeover Education Edition, showcased different Web 2.0 tools currently available to teachers.

Though he considered this a beginner course, I still learned a lot about mixing technologies in this session. Steve talked about the ease at which you can integrate technology into a classroom and showcase what students do.  He said that teachers must be aware of how they are using the technology and how others view it. His “what is it?” questions made me more aware of this.
“What is it?” questions:
Is the technology web-based?
Is it interactive?
Can it play well with others? (Is it portable? Does it work with other sites?)
This idea of integrating technology tools sounded a little redundant until he showed the group several awesome examples.

Steve introduced me to, which is a type of photo blog. All you have to do to sign up is to email the website and they create an instant blog for you.  It’s so easy to use. Using your phone (if you have email on it), simply take a photo of your classroom and send it to It will instantly be uploaded as a blog post with whatever caption you included with it. This would be great for parents to view throughout the day to see instant progress from their kids.   

Another technology twist he threw at us was Wordle. Yes, I know everyone has used Wordle before, but has everyone mixed it with Picnik? Steve suggested using Wordle for class projects (let’s use Jane Austen and her works for this example), and then manipulating the Wordle within Picnik to create a visual story. By taking a screenshot of the Wordle you created and saving it as a jpg, you can easily upload it into Picnik. Once in Picnik, it is easy to manipulate and saves directly to your desktop as a jpg. Cool! These tools are free and available to anyone with internet access. Check out my creation:



The third intriguing tool Steve showed was This is a website allowing you to create postcasts or phonecasts using your phone. The podcasts can load directly to itunes so your students can hear their presentations or lessons. If you want a separate phone number, Steve suggested using Google Voice (which offers users a phone number for their own use) and using that with
Watch this tutorial here!

While some of these types of technology may take some time to set up, they show different ways to present or share information. If students prefer to give an oral presentation instead of writing a paper, they have options. If they work better with visuals, these tools would work as well. Use them as study tools or art projects. They can be done within minutes so they’re user-friendly!

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you learned a lot.

    Tagxedo is a Wordle look alike.