Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Web of the Week Wednesday: Visit a Library!

Web Address:

If you have been wanting to get out of the house during these dreary months of winter but haven't made it yet. Now is the time. Pioneer Library features are available all over the state. Two of special interest are Netlibrary and Overdrive the two services for accessing eBooks and AudioBooks. Overdrive recently launched an IOS and an Android App for accessing your audiobooks. You have to contact your public library to get the information to download the books but luckily Pioneer has a great list of all the public libraries and where you can find them on your favorite social networks.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Connect!

Most people in Educational Technology today are going around with their head in the clouds.  Well it is getting even easier to join them.  A few years back GoogleDocs was introduced and it was promoted as "almost" like Microsoft Office but on the Web.  Reality was that it was more than a little clunky, but it had promise.  There are some major things about GoogleDocs that are definitely better than desktop software.  For example revisions, collaboration and no flash drives.  Those make it great. What isn't as good is the fact that your desktop software is much more robust and powerful and just does more.  Wouldn't it be nice if you could somehow get the best of both worlds.

You can!

Google Cloud Connect is a plugin for the Windows version of Microsoft Office that allows a quick and simple interface with GoogleDocs to share and collaborate on documents you edit in Microsoft Office. Google isn't the only one in this game though, Windows also offers an online tool for sharing and collaborating on Office files called Skydrive.  It is already immediately accessible via Office 2011 with Windows Live/Hotmail account.  So, if you are working on a proposal with folks from different locations, or you want students to collaborate on an important project.  Maybe it's time to get your head in the clouds.

Learn more about Windows Live Web Apps in the video below or here:

Learn more about the initial launch here:

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wednesday Web of the Week: BrainPop!

BrainPop LogoWeb Address:

BrainPop advertises itself as Animated Education and it really is.  BrainPop has videos, activities and interactives sites for students to learn about Science, Math, Language Arts and Social Studies plus other stuff to numerous to enumerate.  This site has long been a favorite of educators and many schools or districts purchase accounts.  You can try it out for free in a couple of ways.

There is an iPhone/iPad App for that.  The BrainPop App gives free access to a new video each day and plays right on your device.  It has limited access and many of the fully interactive activities are Flash based so the don't work on the IOS devices, but this app can be a great introduction to what is available.

On the BrainPop website you can get a free trial to test out the whole site for yourself.  You have to create a Username, password and enter some personal information.  Once you have this done you are on your way to your free trial.

Pioneer Library LogoFor Utah Educators there is a 3rd way.  Visit Pioneer: Utah's Online Library , login if you aren't at school and click on the BrainPop Trial and we have put in our information for you.  You can enter the password information provided by UEN and enjoy a free trial until April 14th.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Learn from UCET

The Utah Education Network (UEN) and the Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) have a long history together.  Each year in March UCET has held their annual conference since at least 1993.  This conference provides fantastic hands on training and an opportunity to meet, greet and rub shoulders with other technology minded teachers from all across the state.  If you weren't able to attend, or there was just one session to many, you can find fantastic resources at: and find resources for specific sessions at UEN also has a link for each of our members who presented this year available at:

We'll see you next year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wednesday Web of the Week: VuSafe

Web Address:

Many video sites are blocked and rightly so because of the distracting adds, questionable 'related videos' and inappropriate comments.  VuSafe helps that.  It gives you a way to view videos without the distractions. It allows you to create your own account and gather your own library of educational videos for use in class.  You can then use links to direct your students to the videos.  This service works best when paired with M86 security tools and those need to be set up through the district site, but the site itself can be a help if you want students to view videos in a safer environment at home...without the distractions.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Tech Tip Tuesday: Improve your Presentations

Xerox has excellent tips and hints for improving your Presentations. you can check them out below and if you are needing some help with PowerPoint sign up for a class with UEN. We have three available. Check them out here.

Xerox Speaking Tips and PowerPoint Templates

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Web of the Week Wednesday: Thinkfinity Women in History

Web address:

March is Women's History Month.  Check out resources from UEN's partner Thinkfinity.  You can find lesson plans, student interactives, and worksheets

all for free. One of the clever suggestions was to become a  Constellation maker and create a constellation to commemorate Maria Mitchell the United States first professional female astronomer.

If you are a Utah Educator you can also do a search in eMedia for "Women History" to find some great video resources detailing the contributions of women to the United States.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fundamental File Formats - Part 6


There are lots of types of audio files available for computers.  5 important ones are used frequently for basic computer users.

  • .mid/.midi this is a format used for synthesizers and keyboard and was an early audio type. Occasionally you can still find files in this format used for games and they can be added to PowerPoint presentations.

  • .mp3 format is the most popular format for music files.  .mp3 format is a compressed format that allows for smaller file sizes. It has been around since the 90's and was made widely know by Napster a file sharing tool that made sharing of .mp3 files a common but illegal practice.  This is still widely used and you can purchase .mp3 files from,, and other legitimate sources. This format is convenient because you can transfer the file to other computers and devices and it will play.

  • .wav format is an uncompressed format which means typically larger file size.  The recording features on Windows uses this format to create audio files. These files are often used to add sounds to system events like opening or closing a window. .wav files are also the format used to add sound effects to animation and events in Microsoft's PowerPoint.

  • .aac format is a compressed format that was popularized by iTunes.  Apple uses this format to distribute the songs it sells on iTunes. This format allows for drm or digital rights management which allows Apple to create limits on the number of devices that can play the song and prevents unauthorized users from using it.  The requirement for drm on iTunes was recently changed and songs from iTunes are now drm free.

  • .wma is short for  Windows Media Audio and is similar in nature to .aac. It is a drm format that was developed for Windows.  Like .aac it is a compressed format that uses better compression techniques than .mp3 which means both .aac files and .wma files can maintain a higher fidelity with a smaller file size than .aac

Welcome to Jorgie Learning

I really am learning and this blog is maintained both as a record of some of what I am doing as well as a place for me to train and teach others about creating an online presence. So please don't mind the dust. We aren't remodeling we are learning!

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