Qwiki – Great Presentation Tool for Teachers


Qwiki is a fairly new web tool that allows creators to make short, 2- minute presentations, incorporating many different types of web media along with a video, audio or text narration you create.

“Qwiki is very simple to use. Sign up for an account (it will be by invitation only for the next two weeks), decide what topic you want to make a Qwiki about, and then add up to six pieces of media — images, video, a Google map, etc. You can also add text to those image-heavy assets and then record a video narration to string together a visual, multimedia story.”

I found out about Qwiki in May and started using it in some of my classes. It’s an interesting and quick way to present information. When I have used QWIKIS, students have told me they enjoyed them because they were fast and got the message across using a lot of media formats they were used to seeing online.

In the post I’ve included a three part tutorial on how to create a Qwiki. I’ve also embedded a few Qwikis I have created and how I used them in my class.

QWIKI Tutorial




My Qwiki Channel

Play the Qwiki: Kevin’s Qwiki Channel

How Other Media Outlets Use Qwikis


How I’ve Used it in My Class


Fantastic Google Drive Resource









As usual, Richard Byrne over at freetech4teachers.com has put together a fantastic resource for how to setup and use Google Drive. This is a great free ebook that would help teachers and educators alike.

Here is the doc embedded, but you can also see more over here.

Pocket – What is it?








Pocket is a great little app/website that allows you to capture entire webpages/articles and even videos, that you can then read later even without internet access. It’s an interesting visual way to bookmark articles that you want to read later, whether its a few hours when you know you won’t have wifi access, or a year later as a reference. Take a look at the videos below to learn more about it.



Pocket on the desktop



Pocket on the iPad

KickStarter for Students



KickStarter.comis one of those sites that you may not have heard of but once you do you’ll think, wow, that’s a great idea.

KickStarter combines social networking and fundraising, allowing you to pitch your project to the masses. It’s not easy though, it’s a lot of work, but getting someone to give you money for your great idea never is.

So how does it work? I’ll use filmmaking as an example. Let’s say you want to make a documentary about your home town. Before you even think about going to KickStarter you need to have all your ducks in a row. You need your shot outline, script, shooting schedule, expenses, etc. You then right a proposal to KickStarter as to why you think your project should be on their site. If you get approved your next steps are to setup your KickStarter.com page, think of incentives for people who are going to give you money, make a video telling people what your project is, and then do a lot of social marketing. Like I said, it’s not easy, but it’s pretty powerful.

How does the money part work? You ask for a certain amount, the funds you receive stay in an escrow account until you hit your funding target. If you don’t hit your target in the allotted time, you don’t get any of the funds. Sounds harsh, but think of it, if you don’t have all the funds you ask for, you don’t have enough for the project.

There was a great post on Edudemic about students using KickStarter.com, check it out. And visit Kickstarter to see and maybe fund some amazing projects by passionate people.

Google Drive Is Here


Google Drive has finally be released. Didn’t know it was even coming, that could be because you aren’t glued to your computer like I am. 🙂

So what is Google Drive. It’s Goggle getting into cloud storage. With Google Drive you get 5 gig of space in the Googlesphere (is that a word) and can upload whatever you want using it as a hardrive in space, then share it and work collaboratively if you choose. Drive is also tied to your Google Docs account, in fact, it  actually replaces Google Docs. All your files will remain but now instead of being stored in Google Docs, its called Google Drive.

But the cool thing is, like with DropBox, you can syn all your Google Drive content on multiple machine by loading the Google Drive Application to your computer. This is great news. Say you need to edit a paper but do not have internet access…just head over to your Google Drive folder on your computer, and all your files are right there. Edit away, and then when you have internet access again, Google Drive will sync all versions of the file automatically.

So why use Drive and not just stick with DropBox or whoever you are using for cloud storage? One really powerful feature of Google Drive is that it employs Google Search when you are looking for something in your Google Drive. So you could search for a name and it will look through the files, the text in the files, or the names of the files. Very cool. Another reason I am thinking of migrating to Google Drive is that its a Google product. I work in what was Google Docs a lot, so this would allow me to move even more towards all my work and much of my personal content being in the cloud. Extra space is also cheap. For 30 bucks a year you can bump your account to 25gig, and in doing so Google gives you an additional 25gig for your mail account. As someone who gets a lot of large emails and is now using 30% of there Gmail storage, that’s another big draw. Lastly, this is Google. When someone with that much power enters a market things change, storage gets cheaper, more functions are delivered, and Google has the juice to do it.

The people over at Edumedic have one of the best how-to posts I’ve seen about Google Drive so far. Take a look for more info. 

Are you planning to use Google Drive, or switch from DropBox to Drive?

Prometheus, Social Marketing At Its Best- SUNYIT TECH TUESDAYS


I’ve always been interested in marketing and have worked in several marketing departments in my career as a graphic designer. But mix marketing with social media and I’m all over it.

I’ve been following how FOX is marketing Ridley Scott’s new, and visually stunning film, Prometheus. I first became aware of the project from the tech site Mashable, when they posted a TED Talk video that was being delivered by the owner of Weyland Corporation in the year 2023. The viral video shows the lead actor, Guy Pierce, laying out his plans to make the world a better place, maybe. What does Weyland Corporation produce, just check out their site. It’s all part or the marketing campaign.

Using the backdrop of a TED Talk works on a couple levels, it shows that FOX definitely understands how the film’s demographic thinks and what they are into. I say they, but I could easily say me. We get the understanding that Prometheus is not just about technology, but how it affects us as people, because that is what TED is about. The viral video is backed up by a Weyland Corporation website that is crisp and futuristic.

Viral Ted Talk Video

Today Mashable posted a new video that gives us a glimpse at one of Weyland Corporation’s “products”. It is not delivered as a trailer, but as an ad from the Weyland Corporation for their David8 android. It’s creepy, and makes you want more. In addition to the new “commercial” for David8, FOX has taken out a full-page ad in The Wall Street Journal for the fictitious product. Again, not as an ad for the film, but as an ad for the product Weyland Corporation sells.

David8 Commercial

The Wall Street Journal Ad

I’ve never watched a trailer for this film, although I plan to after I post this, and I want to see it. I’ve tweeted about it, posted it on my Facebook page and pinned it on Pinterest. It’s a viral campaign that works. It doesn’t talk down to its market, but uses social media in a smart way.

The film’s social network reach includes a Facebook page, as well as official Twitter and YouTube accounts.

Sherry Turkle: Connected, but alone?


I have to say, I’ve heard this type of talk before. That technology is encroaching on our lives to the extent we aren’t actually communicating anymore. But I thought that Sherry Turkle some how brought the point home on an intellectual and emotional level better than most. Great talk.

From Ted.com
As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.

“The feeling that ‘no one is listening to me’ make us want to spend time with machines that seem to care about us.” (Sherry Turkle)