Saturday, August 30, 2008

tt4t_052 Happy Anniversary Episode

It’s Saturday, August 30th, 2008 and welcome to episode 52 of TechTalk4Teachers, I’m Tom Grissom. We survived the first week back-to-school and this week has been a whirlwind of activity. The first week back to school is always extremely busy as everyone hits the doors at the same time and many need a little extra help with getting started. There are always new things to adjust to and new things to learn as summer has led to updates in both hardware and software in many classrooms.

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Yesterday we had our all college back-to-school meeting and I shared many of these updates with faculty. For those EIU faculty interested in the PowerPoint and other resources I shared please visit the ITC website at

Today is the one year anniversary of TechTalk4Teachers. As I reflect back over the past episodes we have built up quite a resource for teachers wanting to learn more about educational technologies. There are now over four hours of audio in the TechTalk4Teachers archives. To access past shows go to the TechTalk4Teachers blog at and look on the right hand side of the webpage, scroll down until you see the Blog archive. If you click on the triangle symbols next to the month you will expand the choices to see all episodes for that particular month. Some episodes are time sensitive but most are still valuable to listen to (or read) particularly the Technology Pick of the Week section.

In looking at the statistics for webpage visits we have had visits from all states in the union with the exception of Montana, so if you know anyone in Montana please have them visit the TechTalk4Teachers website so we can mark Montana off the list. In addition, TechTalk4Teachers has had visitors from 66 countries all around the world. On this anniversary I would like to thank all the TechTalk4Teachers listeners out there. Please tell others about our podcast and help spread the word as you help keep me motivated to continue this podcast.

It has been so busy this week that I have not had time to do this podcast until today. Many teachers including myself are exhausted after the first week of school and could use a little pick-me-up. If you visit my blog you will find an embedded video from Teacher Tube that is going around the blogosphere about 5th grader Dalton Sherman of Dallas, Texas. Dalton gave an inspirational back-to-school message to teachers in his district and is definitely worth watching. This is why we teach, the video clip runs about nine minutes.

Yesterday I offered Smart Board training for faculty and many took advantage of the opportunity. As always there were a few faculty that could not make it to the training sessions because their schedules would not allow it. I put together a little screencast as a sort of quickstart video tutorial to help faculty in using the new Smart Board Notebook Version 10 software whether they could attend the training or not and that leads to my Technology Pick of the Week.

Tom’s Technology Pick of the Week
My technology pick of the week this week is a Web 2.0 service that allows teachers to easily make screencasts and post them to the Internet. A screencast is a short video recording of the computer screen and is often accompanied with a voice over. We have all heard the expression that a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is true then a video must be worth a million words. No matter how hard I try I can never get to all the faculty I need to and show them everything I would like to about a new piece of software. So I decided to use Jing, Jing is a screencapture tool that allows you to record a video of the computer screen and if you have a microphone plugged into your computer you can also narrate at the same time to produce a very quick video tutorial. A link to the Jing Project is available in the shownotes.

The Jing Project

Jing is from TechSmith, the makers of the popular screen capture programs Snagit and Camtasia. What is great about Jing is that it is currently free for educators as long as you do not go over the 2GB storage limit and 2 GB of bandwidth limit per month.

What is really powerful with Jing is that it can be used in combination with is a service that offers a place to upload and share your screencasts. A complimentary 2GB account is currently provided with the Jing Project but there are also a paid subscription models based upon selected usage plans.

One of the most common questions I received from faculty this past week about the new Version 10 Smart Notebook was about the floating toolbar. When you click on a pen in the floating toolbar a digital ink layer is overlaid on top of the computer screen. You cannot do anything but annotate while in this mode and this can cause some confusion. So I made a quick screencast to illustrate this common problem and how to solve it. Here is what I did with Jing yesterday. A video of the screencast is available at the TechTalk4Teachers blog.

FloatingToolbar Screencast

This most likely will be temporarily available because of the 2 GB bandwidth limit so if you would like to see this Jing screencast it should be available for the next two weeks as long as the bandwidth caps are not reached.

That wraps it up for this anniversary episode 52 of TechTalk4Teachers. Show notes for this episode and archived episodes are available on the web at the EIU Instructional Technology Center website at just click on the Techtalk4Teachers Podcast link. To leave a comment or suggestion please send an email to or leave a comment on the TechTalk4Teachers blog. Until next time, this is Tom Grissom, keep on learning.

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