From Daniel Christian: Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes.

From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did for the Title II Conference at Calvin College back on August 11, 2011
It is aimed at K-12 audiences.


Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a K-12 audience)


From DSC:
Immediately below is a presentation that I did today for the Calvin College Fall 2011 Conference.
It is aimed at higher education audiences.


 Daniel S. Christian presentation -- Fasten your seatbelts! An accelerated ride through some ed-tech landscapes (for a higher ed audience)


Note from DSC:

There is a great deal of overlap here, as many of the same technologies are (or will be) hitting the K-12 and higher ed spaces at the same time. However, there are some differences in the two presentations and what I stressed depended upon my audience.

Pending time, I may put some audio to accompany these presentations so that folks can hear a bit more about what I was trying to relay within these two presentations.

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Steve Jobs has resigned as Apple CEO "effective immediately"


From DSC:
I want to post a thank you note to Mr. Steven P. Jobs, whom you most likely have heard has resigned as Apple’s CEO. Some articles are listed below, but I want to say thank you to Steve and to the employees of Apple who worked at Apple while he was CEO:

  • Thank you for working hard to enhance the world and to make positive impacts to our world!
  • Thank you for painstakingly pursuing perfection, usability, and excellence!
  • Thank you for getting back up on the horse again when you came out of a meeting with Steve, Tim and others and you just got reamed for an idea or implementation that wasn’t quite there yet.
  • Thanks go out to all of the families who were missing a dad or mom for long periods of time as they were still at work cranking out the next version of ____ or ____.
  • Thanks for modeling what a vocation looks like — i.e. pursuing your God-given gifts/calling/passions; and from my economics training for modeling that everyone wins when you do what you do best!

Thanks again all!



From DSC:
Yesterday, one of the organizations within our college hosted a conference call using Wimba Classroom.  For those of you unfamiliar with Wimba Classroom, it’s really a set of web-based collaboration tools that offer such functionality as:

  • Videoconferencing
  • Audio-conferencing
  • Interactive whiteboard space
  • Chat
  • Application sharing capabilities

(Last summer, Blackboard purchased both Elluminate and Wimba Classroom and have since created Bb Collaborate 11 from these two product lines.)

What I’ve learned about Wimba Classroom is that it’s best used as a Skype-on-steroids type of setup. That is, when one remote person is communicating with other remote persons — and all parties use headphones with attached microphones on them for their audio outputs/inputs. It is best when none of the participants are a group of people sitting in one room.  I say this because when you have a group of people in one location and you want to use VOIP-related technologies (i.e. for “free” communications), then you need to have a set of speakers powerful enough to cover the room.  However, the audio output from the speakers can present some seriously-frustrating issues with the microphone in that room — especially if any participant has the Lock Talk feature turned on (feedback/echoing occur here).

I’m very disappointed with Wimba for not having innovated more here over the last 1-2 decades — they’ve been in the business quite a while before it was known as Wimba.  Perhaps Blackboard Collaborate 11 will address some of these problems and introduce some noise-cancelling software to eliminate these sorts of communication frustrations.

Now, I’ve lost another internal customer and I’m forced into the “Have you driven a Ford lately?” mode with these folks; as any experienced Instructional Technologist or ID will tell you, this is a veeeeryyy frustrating and disappointing place to be in.

The bright side to this situation is our Implementations Consultant — who has been in my shoes before and knows what that’s like to be there.  He’s been a big help through the last 2-3 years. He recommended some different microphones that may help better address some of these issues and I thought that I would pass this information along in case it’s helpful to someone else out there:


The Snowball microphone -- for when you have a group of people in one location and want to use Wimba Classroom


Good microphone for working with Wimba Classroom when one GROUP of people are sitting in one location talking to others remotely


I must be honest though — I’m seriously considering a lobbying effort to move our college away from using Wimba/Bb Collaborate 11 and towards WebEx Meeting Center or Adobe Connect.  (Big Blue button and some others may be on the table as well, but my initial-but-not-completely-up-to-date guess is that other products don’t offer the same level of quality as WebEx or Connect.)

In retrospect (hindsight’s always 20-20, right?), I should have not been pursuaded by Wimba’s pitch that they focus solely on the education space — as that perspective may not be worth bragging rights these days (I’m constantly reminded that the education space doesn’t innovate as well as some other sectors/industries do).

Anyway…hopefully, this posting will help someone out there.  Also, it is highly possible that my relevant skillsets need further enhancements here! So feel free to give me some further education — I’m always up for expanding my learning ecosystem! 🙂



Plagiarism and the web -- from - August 2011

Translate between languages with SpeechTrans Ultimate for iPhone, iPad — from by Leanna Lofte


SpeechTrans Ultimate is a translating app powered by Nuance. It knows 13 different languages and has speech recognition for many of them. One of the new features is Facebook chat with Speech Input and Voice Translation Output.

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Blurb mobile -- stories are everywhere

Also see:

‘Narrate, curate, share’: How blogging can catalyze learning — from by W. Gardner Campbell


What is blogging? Is it like an online journal? If so, how is a public journal of academic value? Should I give my students prompts? Will they think this is merely busy work? Should their blogs be about work done in specific classes, work done in several classes, work done outside of class, or all of the above?

SunGard HE and Datatel: ‘An arranged marriage’ — from


Two of the biggest players in the education space have gone all in with their chips in a game not of their making. SunGard Higher Education, which became one of the largest companies in the segment, is being acquired from SunGard Data Systems in a $1.775 billion dollar deal by the same private equity firm that owns Datatel, another major education behemoth. According to a statement, the two companies will operate as a single entity under Hellman & Friedman, which bought Datatel in 2009. The combined business will acquire a new name and will continue to focus on serving educational institutions.

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Create Khan Academy style video tutorials with ScreenChomp — from the digital inspiration blog by Amit Agarwal

Some of the products that Amit mentioned in the posting include:



*  Also see
Drawing on the iPad: 12 touchscreen styluses reviewed
— from


Update / addendum on 4-17-2012 from posting w/ same date:

Sal uses a PC with:

Camtasia Recorder ($200)
Wacom Bamboo Tablet ($80)

Prior to that, he used:

Microsoft Paint (Free)

Mac users: In lieu of SmoothDraw, Autodesk Sketchbook Express works (free with a Wacom)


JVC Shipping UX-VJ3B System for iPad, iPhone, iPod — from by Roberto

JVC announced earlier this month its UX-VJ3 simultaneous iPad and iPhone dock.


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iSheetMusic for iPhone and iPad now available [Lofte]

iSheetMusic for iPhone and iPad now available — from by Leanna Lofte


iSheetMusic, an app that allows you to download sheet music to your iPhone or iPad, is now available.

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