Sunday, April 28, 2013

Live View of a Robin's Nest

Bursley Elementary has a guest and that guest number will grow very soon.

A mother Robin has built her nest on the window ledge outside of one of the rooms. At the request of Principal Rané Garcia, I have configured a livestream of the nest. Below is the "live" video. It actually has about a 40 second delay, but we will call it "live". Here is a link to the livestream in case it is not showing below.

Because this setup utilizes a free Ustream account, you will see occasional ads pop up. Such is the price of FREE. Be aware, I don't have any control over the ads that appear, so use with caution when viewing with younger kids. I encourage you to mute your computer when viewing.



Live streaming by Upstream

I had not set up a livestream system before, so I used this as a teaching/learning moment for me and my son, Matt.  We worked together to figure this out.  Here is what we used for the livestream setup.

1 digital camcorder
1 tripod
1 MacBook
Ustream Producer software

Using a firewire cable, we connected the camera to the computer. We have the camera running on camera mode, plugged into electrical power.

I downloaded and installed Ustream Producer. Producer is software that is necessary to broadcast the video.  A Ustream account is required to stream the video.

When you launch Ustream Producer, you are prompted to log in to your account. Once you do, you choose a few settings and click on Broadcast.  I chose not to record this event as it will be running over the next several weeks, but it is possible to record your event for future viewing.

Since JPS teachers have access to Discovery Education, here is an added resource for you to enhance the Robin viewing and learning experience.

  • Login to your Discovery Education account.
  • Click on this Discovery Education link. This will take you to a specific page within Discovery that has materials for Robins as well as other birds.
  • Click on the "More To Explore" tab. Here you will find more images, videos, reading passages (with audio support) and quizzes.
  • Add any/all of these resources to YOUR Discovery "My Content" and assign to your students for school and at home viewing.

Spring is alive in Michigan!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Hey, hey! 

I've been nominated for a Bammy Award! in the category of School Technology Support.  I am humbled and honored to have been nominated by Lori Barr, a 6th Grade Teacher at Pinewood Elementary. Thank you Lori.






From the Bammy website: 

Presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International, the Bammy award is a cross-discipline award recognizing the contributions of  educators from across the education field.

While this feels totally odd, the Bammy folks really encourage nominees to self-promote their nomination.  So, here it is; incredibly awkward self-promotion. If you care to "Vote for Dave", just click on the link provided, sign up for an account, and cast your vote.

Click here to vote for Dave for a Bammy Award!

You will have to create an account in order to cast your vote. Click on the Vote Now link and then choose to Register. It is a bit clunky, but it is necessary for the process.

The Bammy voting system requires that you actually provide some comments regarding the nominee, so if you are short of words, send me an email. I have a file full of self-promotion statements you can use. Just kidding. This is sooo uncomfortable. 

Thanks for your support, not just for a Bammy, but your every day ongoing support!

Chirp.io Makes Picture Sharing Easy

Transferring pictures from a student iPad to a teacher iPad just got easier. Chirp.io, a free app available in the iTunes Store, makes file transfer simple. While this app is designed for an iPhone, it works just as well on an iPad.

I recently demonstrated Chirp.io at the Michigan Association of Computer Users in Learning (MACUL) Conference. With this app, I was able to "send" a photo from my iPad to over 75 people instantly.

While there are other apps that can accomplish the same task (Bump, PhotoSynch), Chirp.io does it in a way that others do not. Chirp.io uses sound waves to transfer the files.

Imagine this scenario: you want all of your iPad/iPod Touch/iPhone holding students to visit a website that you have selected. You can have them launch Safari and enter the URL, or, you can send them all the link via Chirp.io.

The process is easy. Your have a sending device and one or more receiving devices. All devices launch Chirp.io. The sender takes a new picture using the device camera, selects a photo from the camera roll, adds a note, or adds a link and transmits an audio signal. The receiver launches Chirp.io and simply waits for the application to "hear" the senders signal. Once the signal is heard, the file magically is received.