Monday, January 30, 2012

Iterim: EdDroid

As a follow up to the previous post, I'm beginning to start my quest for a niche in the Instructional / Educational Technology market. I'm going to try to make a name for myself in the Andriod Education world an am starting with a new website / blog, EdDroid.

There is  lot of work to be done... names, logos, linking, networking ... not to mention filling the site and blog with useful content.

My first task is reviewing Web 2.0 and Andriod apps. The testing will be done on Android tablets/phones and will focus on the usability and practicality of actually using them in an educational setting, not a review of the app itself, but how well will this actually work. For example, will Aviary actually work on an Android tablet for image editing? How easy will it be to create a Glogster or an Animoto? Can teachers actually use Engrade on a tablet? Things like this.

After a threshold of reviews are complete, I'll launch and start to reach out and market the site/myself. I hope then to build a community of teachers/schools that use Android tablets.

I also will be including a section on adoption and deployment of Andoid tablets in schools. Hopefully I'll get a few people to notice what I'm doing and that all of this will help me professionally.

  • Twitter @eddroid was already taken by someone a long time ago and has nothing to do with either education or Android. I decided to go with a new Twitter account as me as opposed to drguru - get my name out there. I'll also use my real G+ account as well.
  • When I've got enough content to put the site out there I'll be using #eddroid tags on Twitter (@CPSiegmann) and G+ (Curtis Siegmann).
  • Do I need to do Facebook too? I've been trying to avoid it for as long as I can.
  • is already taken by some software company. The home page doesn't even go to their site but is a mostly vacant site where the menu links don't go anywhere and a thing to click on that says "Make a Free Small Business Website". This link actually takes you to the business site. The real site is actually and seems pretty active and current based on 28,000 Twitter followers. I'll be watching the domain expiry date of to see if it comes available.
Now, to put everything together, Twiiter, G+, LinkedIn and the site/blog.

BONUS POINTS: Be the first to comment if you understand my EdDroid logo.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

CEDO 535: Week 6 - Looking Forward

I've been thinking a bit lately about what I'd like to do. I think I'd like to focus my attention on Andriod tablets in education. This year, 2012, will be the year of Android tablets coming of age. It will take about another year and 1/2 for the software to catch up to Apple but it will come. There are already some nice apps you can use for education and you should be able to get quite a bit of content using web browsers as well. I'd like to get in on the ground floor somewhere with an Android 1:1 program. If nybody is reading this - I'm In!

My SMART goal is as follows: Created using Tagul.
Words on the first 3 will take you to a somewhat relevant link.


Get Adobe Flash player






Wednesday, January 18, 2012

CEDO 535: Week 5

Looking back, I know I've changed my thoughts about social networking. I now find myself checking my feeds more and more. I find that RSS will give you a lot of stuff to look at and think about and investigate and ... Twitter and Google+ on the other hand I now realize are very useful for getting up to the second information as well as using as a search tool. Not everything makes it to G+ & Tweets though. To my utter disappointment, I did not receive My Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade to my new Asus transformer Prime last Thursday as expected. I did a little searching, discovered, investigated and found out that my unit did not have the serial number hard coded into it - "serial number unknown". Without the serial number, the unit would not receive Over The Air updates.

Searched for more information. There were a few posts here and there about it. Almost nothing on Twitter or G+ about unknown serial number. The best source of information I found was on XDA Developer forum. Besides the unknown serial number problem I also found out about WiFi and GPS problems the TF201 was having. Blah Blah Blah to Asus was all over the place. Trash the Transformer Prime people were saying. I did some hard thinking and decided to return mine back to Best Buy before the return grace period ran out. I didn't want to get stuck with a $500 lemon.

After returning it, the guys on the floor were like, "What? You had one and you returned it!?" Yes I did. I might be regretting it a bit now. After a few days of silence from Asus and them not even acknowledging that the problem exists, there was a rep from Asus on the forum trying to help out (too late for me though). A temporary update fix is there and most likely a permanent fix will be forthcoming. Perhaps I jumped the gun. Anyways, I was surprised that I really didn't find much on Twitter or G+ about it since it was affecting quite a few people and this particular tablet has been hot news for a few months and was finally shipped recently. The issue is popping more frequently now on G+ and Twitter. G+ tends to have different sources of information posted whereas Twitter has lots and lots of re-tweets tweets from the same Engadget post. Interesting.

So, I have been using these tools now and feel more comfortable being able to teach how to use them. I think feeds about the elections will be good ones to use in school though it will be worthwhile to find some good hashtags and sources where people are actually informing or giving sane opinions rather than ranting. It just kills me how the Apple haters and the Windows haters and the Linux haters and the Andriod haters just can't stop bickering back and forth on just about any comment section or forum. Perhaps there's a lesson there we can teach about how not to post. How about you set up a imaginary topic and then have kids post, bickering (with appropriate language of course) back and forth. It would probably be fun for them. Then at the end you could look back and reflect on how nothing got done or solved. Nobody was really informed of anything useful and the time wasted writing and reading was just that, time wasted. Then turn it around and try having students give useful constructive posts. Just a thought.

Back to finishing up my work.

Links to sites I have been working on for my assignment if anyone cares to look.

1) Vanilla-CPS
2) Tech-Infusion:
3) Dr. Brenda Noach Elementary & Secondary School and DBN Connect:

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

CEDO Week 4: Google Sites

When I first started my job at my school several years ago, I was excited to be able to set up Moodle and give it a try. Well ..., it was only used a little at the time and because of various reasons hasn't gone anywhere since. It just happens to be our school website with info on it right now. It happened before and it just happened again, either an intruder hack or code inserted by our webhost, Hostmonster, has caused the rich text editor to disappear. It's a known issue (not just with our hosting provider) and there could be various causes. Perhaps I don't have all the security settings correct or perhaps there isn't much I could do to prevent it. It makes it very difficult to post anything without the editor. Rather than wasting  hours trying to investigate and fix it or recreate the site with the latest Moodle version/installation, I decided to move our school website to Google Sites.

Though I would still love to see how a fully utilized Moodle would work, I've decided to put it onto the back burner and go with Google Sites. I think using it, administering it and maintaining it will be easier to both do and teach others. I think teachers will find it easier using Sites for their classes. Moodle requires you to know it's workings inside and out. Since I have my teachers and students using Google Docs, it's a natural next step to Sites. So for our upcoming assignment I shall display my new school website. It's nice to kill two birds with one code.

One thing about Google Sites that's a pain is the inability to embed objects and widgets like you can in Blogger and Google has no intention of changing this. You are limited to inserting what they let you insert, pre-made gadgets from other coders/vendors or writing your own widgets. Since learning to code widgets is not on my agenda right now I try to find simple hacks if I can.

I was searching for a way to embed a Voki into Sites. <embed> and <iframe> codes won't work because Google strips those kind of codes from your HTML when you save. Thank you RSS & Twitter feeds. I remembered a post about embedding Voki into Glogster and found it again. Basically you need to copy and paste an embed code into a document or note so you can see the whole thing. Then you need to find the part that references the actual URL of the thing you want embedded (minus all the other gunk and formatting information). Once found, paste into a browser and go there to make sure it works. You should see the thing you want embedded on a plain blank page with nothing else. If this is what you get, you are good to go.

Here is an example of the embed code from Voki. The highlighted part is the plain vanilla URL.

<img style="visibility:hidden;width:0px;height:0px;" border=0 width=0 height=0 src="*xJmx*PTEzMjYxNjY2MzY*MjMmcHQ9MTMyNjE2NjY1MTczNyZwPTk3NTA3MiZkPTAwMCUyMC*lMjBWb2tpJTIwV2lkZ2V*Jmc9/MSZvPWM4MjhkMWZmMDVlMTQ2OGY5NGFiOTNjMjZjNjBhNmQwJm9mPTA=.gif" /><object height="267" width="200" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000"codebase=",0,28,0" id="widget_name"><param name="movie" value="" /><param name="quality" value="high" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><param name="width" value="200" /><param name="height" value="267" /><param name="allowNetworking" value="all"/><param name="wmode" value="transparent" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><embed height="267" width="200" src="" quality="high" allowScriptAccess="always" allowNetworking="all" wmode="transparent" allowFullScreen="true" pluginspage="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" name="widget_name"></object>

Try pasting the highlighted URL into your browser and you will see what I mean.

In Google Sites, you need to insert a "more gadgets..." widget/gadget. Search for iFrame. IFrames let you embed a whole web page into a Google Site. Thus, if you can find the plain vanilla URL of the object you want embedded, you can put it into a Google Site using an iFrame gadget.

It works with Voki and I'll be trying out some more such as Animoto ... and others I've already created. Cross my fingers.

Here is my sample.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

CEDO 535 Week 3: Connected Minds

Feeding My Twits:

I signed up for a Twitter account about a year or so ago but never used it. I never investigated the uses of it. I just thought people used it to exclaim about how good the coffee is at ... (which they do) or to post the location of the insurgents during a revolution.

Since learning more about it and using it I can see the benefits. I like to search and skim the #edchat and #edtech tags more than following certain people because sometimes you get a lot of tweets that you just don't care about. I also have started using Google+ and follow the same tags there. I haven't started using tags yet mostly because I forget. As I get more comfortable I'll probably start joining the conversations so I'll be heard and found.

Just as important as learning how to use these services for professional work is seeking out and finding the right tools to use them with for all your devices and getting widgets on your sites and such.

As for the RSS, it's pretty much the same as Twitter (for finding new or important things) except you get the whole story instead of a link to it. My problem with both of these is you just get too much information and then I spend more time exploring, trying out new things ... instead of getting any real work done.

Photo Sharing & Licensing:

I started using Picasa a while back when I was looking for a good photo program for my Linux box and was pleased that I could use Picasa Web with it. I never really thought about licensing my photos at the time (and in fact I only have  handfull posted and shared, some for friends/family and some for use with other Web 2.0 apps so I'd have a URL for an image).

Here is a slide show of my submitted photos for the assignment this week.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Picasa Web Albums (Google) offers a blanket CC license for all images in your account which now applies to Google+ Photos as well since the two are now intertwined. Here is the sticky part. if you go here: Picassa Web / Goggle+ : Links to the album Fashion
, both link to the same album on the respective sites but the Picasa Web link redirects to Google+. When I work in Picasa Web logged in, I can see my license but Picasa redirects to Google+ for anyone else and Google+ does not show any copyright information nor does it show any tags.

Picasa/Google+ Photos are a great way to easily upload and share your vaction or party pics. However, for someone who really cares about their copyright such as a budding photographer or graphic artist, Google is not the site to use. You only get to choose a one license fits all. Additionally, Google reserves a non-exclusive right to any image uploaded to their services. This means a photographer cannot sell exclusive rights to someone else.

Further reading on Google's Copyright information and related issues:

Artists Bill of Rights: