Welcome to EdListen:
Never Stop Learning

EdListen 37: Think Open & Dojo Training with Dee Lanier

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

This was a great interview with +Dee Lanier a fellow Google Certified Trainer.   We talked about his Think Open letter, to get more cross platform support for applications.  We also spoke about his Classroom Dojo Google training which is based off the Google Ninja training.

Links from the show:

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EdListen 36: UDL with Charles Connelly

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Joined today with Charles Connelly who works with Fred and myself at Fair Haven Union High School, in the SPED department.   This was a great conversation that covered a lot including UDL, differentiated instruction, and new learning styles. 

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EdListen 35: Movenote

YouTube Version (Full Verion)
YouTube Version (Start at Example 12min in)

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Note: This was recorded over Thanksgiving break so I was at home locked in my daughters room (oddly it was the only quite place in the house).  I didn't have my nice mic so the audio is much different than normal, however I am very excited about Movenote and did not want to postpone the interview.

Hanging out with +Sini Hyytiäinen from http://www.movenote.com.  Talking about their really cool presentation tool.  Near the end Sini does a visual demo so I have included the YouTube link.

Twitter: @movenote

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EdListen 34: What's In A Name

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Our original interviewee was unable to make it at the last minute so Fred and I decided to talk about some new approaches to providing professional development.  I also spoke about how I am using http://www.ifttt.com and http://www.hootsuite.com to post our announcements one place and have it distributed out to many different social networks.

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EdListen 33: Hangout with Elizabeth McCarthy

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Joined today with +Elizabeth McCarthy, a fellow Vermonter and Google Certified Trainer.   My Assistant Principal Jason Rasco also joined the conversation.

Some of Elizabeth's resources

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What is Android's new Google Play for Education?

1. It is buying apps from the Google Play store with a PO and then distributing those app using a group: 

2. It is easily setting up multiple Android tablets: 

3. And itis an App store that is organized via the Common Core Standard or grade level:

I am still a Chromebook fan for 1:1 programs but Google is doing a lot more to make Android tablets more manageable in Education than Apple is.

Be Smart On Air, #5: Get One!

I have been podcasting with the International Be Smart On Air Hangout On Air series with +Niilo Alhovaara .

EdListen 32: Marlboro College’s own Caleb Clark

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Talking with Marboro College's own +Caleb Clark about how colleges are providing graduate course work to teachers.

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EdListen 31: 1:1 Leasing

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

This week we talk about the 1 to 1 program that we are developing for our school.  This is a topic we will visit several times as we go through the process.

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VSSNA Fall Conference 2013

Google Docs Rocks 

Google Apps is governed by a detailed Privacy Policy, which ensures we will not inappropriately share or use personal information placed in our systems. Google complies with applicable US privacy law, and the Google Apps Terms of Service can specifically detail our obligations and compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations. Google is registered with the US-EU Safe Harbor agreement, which helps ensure that our data protection compliance meets European Union standards for educational institutions

Get Your Information Out On A Website Of Your Own 

EdListen 30: Hanging Out With Allison Mollica

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

+Allison Mollica  has a background in business & education.  Spent the last 15+ years working in technology in education.  Currently Virtual Instructor at NH’s Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (computer applications/web design) and Google Certified Trainer.  

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Edlisten 29: What a break

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Co-host: Fred Carbine ~ 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

It has been a few months since I have been able to get behind the mic.  This episode is just a fun banter between myself and my new co-host and co-worker Fred Carbine.

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Flippin Tools Open For Registration

Flippin Tools
Currently registering for Fall 2013
(Online, Self-Paced, 1 semester to complete)
3 credits | $800

Flipping your class has become a popular teaching strategy that involves digitizing the lecture part of a lesson, allowing more in-class time for you to work directly with students applying that information. While the power of Flipping is in providing a more efficient class time, to do this you need to learn to use the tools to digitize your lectures.   This class will teach you to use those tools.

My house got hit by a Flash Flood / Mud Slide (7/9/13)

My family is all safe and I just wanted to share.

(Free Rocks)

I brought my oldest daughter to Gymnastics in town at 5:00, it was bright and sunny where I was.   My wife was supposed to bring my youngest daughter to swimming lessons in town at 6.

During the day:  A friend who owns a mowing business, mowed our lawn and weed whacked our yard as a thank you for lending him some stuff.


5:00pm -  I get a call from my wife saying it is raining hard at the house and was not sure she will be going to bring my daughter to swim lessons.

5:15 - She called again; rain is coming through an unfinished window very hard.   She has never seen rain like this.   It is sunny where I am a few miles away.

5:30 - Lawn started washing away.  We have a culvert which has in the past got plugged and done some damage but not much.

5:45 - Wife called to say she is trapped and that water is hitting the house.  At this point I leave to go and get her.

6:00 - I get to the house and park on the side of the road down the street and walk through the water to get her.  She can't find one of our cats which goes outside a lot.   I walk into the house and my two year old is in the living room telling me that our lawn is gone.

6:30 - My cat that we thought was gone came strolling downstairs and is fine.  We shut off the propane and power. We grabbed some spare cloths and walked through the water to my car.  By this time the fire department is here along with rescue crews, and they have closed down the road I live on.

Night:  My oldest stayed overnight at a friends house and we stayed at the house of my wife's co-workers with my youngest.

Next Day:  I had to go present in the morning (I figured the extra cash would be needed so I chose not to cancel).  My wife took the day off to assess the house, the kids went to daycare.

When we left there was a heavy stream of water was hitting the side of the house, but in the end the house did not appear to have sustained any damage.   My lawn on the other hand is beyond a mess.  The garage has about 2 inches of mud.   I have a shed that the water level appeared to have gotten to about 2 feet of standing water.

My father stopped in while we were gone and apparently was interviewed by WCAX the local tv station. Story Link

We called the insurance company and they have said that our home owners insurance does not cover earth movement.  I called several other agencies and unless their is a FEMA request by the state, they can do nothing.   

We have many friends who we are thankful for who stopped by and offered help.  

When the girls came home and saw the devastation they made the best of it and started sorting the rocks into colors and figuring out a business plan for "selling them for free", to quote my daughter.

All in all everyone is safe, the house has not sustained any damage.

(Before we left)

(Someone who was driving by)


Interactive Whiteboard Apps for Android ~ Great for Flippers

I am a fan of flipping the classroom and while researching for my Flippin Tools Course, I was looking for some Android whiteboard recorders that can compare to Educreations or ShowMe for the iPad.  I found two that allowed you to use a whiteboard an narrate. 

Lensoo Create (Free): 


This was my top choice as I found it easy to use and was able to publish a test video.  It did however only install onto my wife's Nexus 7 and not my Galaxy Nexus Android Phone.  

The website Lensoo.com is much more than a placeholder for their application it is a complete listing of different courses that users have created using their software.  This means teachers can browse through the current course listings to find ones they want to learn or show their students, as well as create full course themselves.

The application itself I found pretty complete and easy to use.  You can change pen color, erase, add pictures, record a narration and have multiple slides per presentation.   One thing I really liked is that they had some built in backgrounds to choose from that included a chalkboard and lined paper.  If you want to learn more it comes with some how-to video's which you can watch.


UTGreat Whiteboard Beta (Free):

I am going to keep a close eye on this application.  It is currently in Beta and does have a few kinks to work out, the most important of which is publishing.  At the time of me writing this post I could not find a way to share the narrated presentation.   UTgreat installed on my Galaxy Nexus phone but was not compatible with my Wife's Nexus 7 tablet, so the opposite of Lensoo Create.  It does have a Windows version that I have yet to tryout, even listing compatibility with Windows 8.

The UT in UTgreat stands for U = You, T = Teach,  great.  When I first turned it on it forced me to log into some some social networks that I am not familiar with or with Facebook.  I am hoping that this will change, so that it can be run standalone.

The application is quite functional allowing for multiple slides, color pens, and audio recording.   It has a Flipped section which sounds like I am able to annotate a video, but I could not get it to work.  It has the ability to insert PDF files, or photos.  While these were very good features the program crashed every time I tried to import a graphic, or pdf.

The application is Beta so I will give them a pass on the few issues I ran into.  Once they work out the kinks I can see this app becoming a strong tool for all educators.

Creating Classroom Websites with Google Sites

There are some powerful things you can do with your Classroom Website. This tutorial should help with starting and maintaining your school website.

Table Of Contents

Section 1: Deciding on Content

Step 1: Decide what you want on your website.

This is best done on a plain old piece of paper.  You can always change things once you get started but this step will help you decide what is important or not.

Things to think about
  1. Who is going to be accessing the site and for what reason?   
    1. Are you going to be asking students to go to the site for the daily activities, like the days assignments?  Consider that you also use an actual LMS application which is a tool specifically designed for posting homework, digital classroom discussion and test building.  
    2. Will you be expecting parents to go to the site regularly and what would they expect to see?
  2. Dynamic vs Static pages.
    1. Dynamic pages are ones that you are going to update on a regular basis.  This may be a homework page, calendar, photos or weekly news page.  Dynamic pages are very important as they will be the reason people come back to the your site regularly.   Once people realize that you have regularly updated information people will get in the habit of checking your site.
    2. Static pages are ones that won't change.  This may include talking about your curriculum or an about the teacher page.
  3. Can the information be public? 
    1. There are some students who's parents have not given permission for their child's photo be posted publicly.  Please make sure you know which students in your class have permission or not.  If you do not already know this information please check with the front offices.

Step 2: Know the type of pages you can post?

Google sites offers several types of pages that you can post.  Knowing the types of pages you can create may help with deciding on what information you want to put out.
  • Web page ~ This is a simple blank page with basic text formatting.   From this type of page you can write text and add photos (Example).   You also have the ability to embed (insert) Google documents, Google Folders or Calendars that you have created (Example).
  • Announcements ~ This is a Blog or News page.   This will give you a "New Post" button that any time you click, it will create a new post on top and push your old posts down.   You can also take those posts and put them as a "gadget" on your homepage, making your homepage more dynamic (Example).
  • File cabinet ~ This type of page allows you to upload files or create links and then organize them into folders (Example).  
  • List page ~ Is a page that you can create lists of items with specific headings (Example).

Step 3: Look At Examples

Section 2: Creating A New Site

Step 1 ~ Log into your GAFE (Google Apps For Education) account. 

  • The simplest way to do this is to go to http://docs.google.com/ and log in with your email address and password.  
  • Once you are in your docs you can use the black bar and select "Sites" or you can go directly to http://sites.google.com/.

Step 2 ~ Create A Site

  • I highly suggest starting with a Blank Template, but you can choose a theme.choosing a theme is encouraged.

Section 3: Adding Content

Editing a Page

  • Editing a page is done by browsing to the page and clicking the Edit button.

  • Once you are in edit mode you will see a format bar, and the edit button bar changed to a save button bar.   Google Sites does not auto-save like docs does so if you are writing a lot I suggest clicking save every once in a while. 

  • You can set the layout of the page so that it handles multiple columns:  
    • Edit mode => Layout => Select your layout option

Inserting Photos, Docs and Calendars

  • While in Edit mode you have the ability to insert Photos, Calendars, Google Documents, YouTube video's and more.   Edit mode => Insert.
    • If you insert Google docs the share permissions must be set to link only or public.

  • When you insert anything besides pictures they will show up as a gray box until you hit save.

Adding a New Page

  • To add a new page click the new page button

Section 4: Publishing

Step 4: Publicize/Share the site

  • You can choose to keep the site private while you build the content, but you will need to set the site settings to public before you want it to be seen by other people.

  • Once done send the URL (example: https://sites.google.com/a/askbj.net/plus1youred/) to the webmaster to publicize it on the school website

Tools to Create Your End-Of-Year Presentations

It is the end of the year and many of you have stories and photos to share with your students, parents, and the community.   I thought I would create this blog post to highlight some of the ways you can create those slideshows and share them.  

Before sharing your slideshow on your website or with the public, please check with your office to make sure all student have permission for their photo to be shown.   

~ Photostory (Windows Only)
Photostory3 is probably the easiest way to create a slideshow, it is free but is only available on Windows machines.  It handles only photos so there is no way to in-cooperate videos you might have created.    One trick that I use often for title slides is to upload a solid color photo and add the text on top of that slide.   The ending product of Photostory is a video file that can be uploaded to youtube and shared publicly.

~ Windows Movie Maker (built into Windows)
Windows movie maker will give you similar tools to Photostory, but also allow you to intermix photos and videos.

The YouTube Slideshow creator is built into youtube.   You can access it by logging into youtube with your @school.org account => Clicking Upload => Then clicking slide show.   You can add non-copyrighted music from the application and some nice transitions.   The ending product is already on youtube so all you need to do is share the link.

~ Slidespeech (webbased)
Created largely by +John Graves the way Slidespeech works is that you create a PowerPoint or Google Presentation and in the show notes section write a script.  Slidespeech uses text-to-speech technology to read your script for you.  The script can be edited on SlideSpeech and you also have the option to record your own voice.

Slidespeech is also available for iOS and Android.  There is also a Chrome extension which allows you to use Google Presentations natively.

Here is a Slidespeech video I created on Slidespeech: http://slidespeech.com/s/jh5y4unfen/

~ Prezi (webbased)
This site is like combining a concept map and presentation tool into one.   With this you will be able to group your photos and videos (uploaded to youtube) into different events or sections.

If you have other slideshow software methods that you like please share them as comments below.

Edlisten 28: The Future Of Education with Steve Hargadon

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Show News:
I will not be producing any podcasts throughout the summer as I will be changing jobs and need to move my studio.  I will however be making some blog posts (no audio), so please check back to http://www.edlisten.com weekly.

This was a great interview with +Steve Hargadon, who is the director of the Web 2.0 Labs, host of the Future of Education interview series, chair of the Social Learning Summit and the Learning 2.0 Conference, and co-chair of the annual Global Education and Library 2.0 worldwide conferences.  And many more other things including co-host of the annual Edublog Awards.


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Join me July 8-12 at Castleton's Personalizing Learning Institute in VT

Presentations that I am doing, and there are many more great sessions by other presenters.

Design ePortfolios for Students by Bjorn Behrendt
(Monday July 8th - 8:30-11, 1-4)
This session will cover the components of building and implementing a student ePortfolio initiative in your school. It will cover some of the different techniques for publishing, reflecting and how the student can take their work with them when they graduate. All levels of learners are welcome.

Paperless Classroom by Bjorn Behrendt
(Tuesday July 9th - 1-4) & (Friday July 12th - 8:30-11)
Google Docs is a great way to collaborate with your students. This session will talk about a classroom workflow and a script gClassFolders which will automate the process of creating student folders. If you would like to bring a class list, you can use this time to create the folders and be ready for the upcoming school year. All levels of learners welcome.

Hangout with Google+ by Bjorn Behrendt
(Wednesday July 10th - 8:30-11)
Google plus is Google’s new social network that is a powerful learning tool for the classroom and personal learning. This session will go through the different features of Google+ as well as how it can be used in schools and with students. Some of these features include hangouts which are like skyping with up to 15 people and communities which are great places to collaborate with other educators. All learner levels are welcome.

Building Your Classroom Website by Bjorn Behrendt
(Thursday July 11th - 8:30-11, 1-4)
Spend this time building a classroom website using Google Sites with help from a Google Certified Trainer. Add in a class calendar, assignments, and news. See examples and even work on improving the look and feel of a current site. Use the site as a lightweight Learning Management System or just a way to communicate with parents. All learning levels welcome.

EdListen 27: Peter Drescher, Vermont DOE Technology Coordinator

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ Google+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Starting July 1 I will be the IT Coordinator for Fair Haven Union High School in Vermont. I will greatly miss my old positions but this is a good opportunity for me and my family.  The podcast will continue!!

This week I was joined by +Peter Drescher  who is Vermont's Department of Education Technology Coordinator.   As a state Vermont is doing some wonderful things around broadband and 1:1 initiatives.

Peter Drescher

Links from the show:
Then, the speed test…

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EdListen 26: Quick Update on EdListen News

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

I had planned on doing an episode on international teaching, however the person I was going to interview was not able to make it to the show last minute.   I do plan to reschedule as I am very interested in the topic. There has been a lot going on in my life and I have been reorganizing the site so I still wanted to at least record some news.   This is a very short episode and I have sever other interviews lined up through the beginning of June.


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+1 Your Education

This site was created to accompany a presentation that I am doing with +Lucie deLaBruere and +Elizabeth McCarthy at the 2013 Dynamic Landscapes conference.  The concept of plus oneing your education is much larger than this presentation and so I hope that the conversation can continue.

EdListen 25: Using Google Apps as a Free LMS

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

During this episode I was joined by a panel of educators from around the world to talk about how Google Apps can be used as a free Learning Management System.  There was a lot of resources talked about during this episode and +John Graves did a great job of updating the event with different topics we talked about.

Thank you to all who joined me in this hangout:
Shared Circle: Circle
+John Graves
+Niilo Alhovaara
+Benjamin Stewart
+Mats Larsnäs
+Marilina Lonigro
+Niels Askholm
+Judah Thornewill


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EdListen 24: Google Apps Meets Common Core, by Michael J. Graham

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

Upcoming shows that I am looking for people to join me: 

Today I am joined by +Michael J. Graham author of the brand new book Google Apps Meets Common Core.  This was a great conversation about how Google Apps and Common core were a perfect match.  His book includes simple getting started guides as well as Common Core aligned lessons.

Michael's Links: 

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EdListen 23: Education Tech Matters with Scott Fisher

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

EdListen News:
  • May 2nd:  Google Apps as LMS
  • gClassFolders now a featured script
  • Summer courses: 
  • Personal Learning Plans, post to the edlisten community

Talked with +Scott Fisher about everything from his paper.li paper "Education Tech Matters" and other site agitators to student podcasting, to Chromebooks in schools.

Scott Fisher
Director of Technology
Sag Harbor School District
Sag Harbor, Long Island, New York

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EdListen 22: Slidespeech with John Graves

Host & Producer: Bjorn Behrendt ~ g+ | twitter 
Show Website: http://www.edlisten.com/ & Google+ Community

EdListen News:
If you want to visite Vermont, USA or are already in the area I am teaching three 3credit graduate courses this summer. More Information and to Register
  • Personalized Learning Institute: July 8 – 12, 2013
  • Google Tools For Schools: June 5, July 22 - 26. (Free Chromebook)
  • Flippin Tools: August 12-16 2013
  • Technically I am teaching a 4th that is only open to WNWSU teachers: Technology Show & Share

Join us May 2nd at 3:00EST for a EdListen Podcast on using Google Apps as an LMS

This week +John Graves has joined me to talk about SlideSpeech.com.  This is an amazing program that takes presentations and uses the show notes to create narrated online version.   Stay tuned after the show as we ended up speaking for an extra 20 minutes.  

Highlighted quote: "Personalized Lifelong Learning"

Other Links:

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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

I didn't get to record this past week, but I did get some time in my office with my daughter.