Saturday, October 31, 2009

Doc Cam as Web Cam: Bringing the world to us

Happy Halloween AVerAcademy Team!

I was just thinking about the term collaboration. It is such an important aspect of the 21st Century Classroom dynamics. I have to admit that so far I have limited my thinking to implementing collaboration within groups in a classroom. Today, I came to realize that since we are truly a global community with awesome communication tools, how can we extend the collaboration to include resources outside of our classrooms, buildings and districts?

Two words came to mind instantly: Skype and iChat. These two tools allow for chat, audio and video communication anywhere in the world. Skype is free and iChat requires membership. But they are both robust in their ability to bring communication down to a click and connect metaphor. Why not use them? My grand daughter is in an AVerAcademy classroom and was home from school last week with the flu. She found Ms. Downey's Skype address and Skyped into class. Ms. Downey was gracious enough to allow her to participate via video/audio in a portion of the day. That seems rather minor and self effacing, but thinking of the potential opened quite a few ideas.

Why not use these tools for group project research? OK....many schools do not have cameras and microphones on their classroom computers. But then comes the epiphany: your AVerMedia doc cam is also a web cam! Microphones are extremely inexpensive devices that can be purchased at any Best Buy or other electronic stores for $10! Why not start using this part of the solution to bring in other classes, teachers, scientists, doctors, nutritionists, etc. into our projects?

In fact, I have been using Skype to answer questions and offer help to some of you! Using the screen share feature allows me to control your computer to show how to do some things within the AVer+ software. Imagine what we can learn and share with the rest of the world if we use all of the potential of our solutions!!!

I know you are absorbed in learning the new software and how it works with both the doc cam and the pens.....but I am offering up the challenge to push a little further. Who will pick up the gauntlet and share their experience using the doc cam as a web cam?

Can't wait to hear and share in those experiences!!!! Also, I am ready, able and very willing to participate in your trials. Please call on me for help and advice if you need it. But I also know that you all are some of the most creative and technically astute educators in the country, so lets give it a shot!

My Skype name is: tompisano1
My iChat name is:
My email is:

Lets do this thing!


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

AVerPen Q and A

Hi Everyone!

I just had the opportunity of having Tom Pisano visit my classroom and present us with a set of AVerPens yesterday. He did a great little lesson for my first grade class, and got them very excited about using them! He also gave me a rundown of the features of the AVerPens.

I created a lesson yesterday after school which I had the students try today. The only problem I ran into was that the kids had a hard time selecting some of the text boxes to manipulate. I had several text boxes which they had to click and drag to pair rhyming words. I don't know how to snap the frame of the text boxes closely around the letters of the words. The excess space in the text box often overlaps the other text boxes, making it hard to select a word (if it's stuck underneath) without having to move the text box on top of it. Any suggestions? I appreciate any help I can get on this one. (I haven't read any instructions/seen any tutorials.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Google Accounts

Hello all!

Looks like a few of you are having trouble actually getting onto the blog as an author. The best I can, this is what you'll need to do:

* Go to and sign up for a google account using the same email address that I sent the blog invitation to.

* Then follow the directions in the automated email you received from blogger/google. This will make you an 'author' of this blog and allow you to create original postings.

There are still several more teachers that will be joining us here--I believe we should have 9 or 10 at this point, with more to come in the next few months.

Once you've got your account and you are an author, we'd love to hear where you are with your pilot right now and how things are going...the good, the bad and the ugly!

Monday, October 19, 2009


It might help if we get started by introducing ourselves to one another. I will take the liberty of introducing the DE team from AVerMedia. Then if each of you will leave a comment to this post sharing a little about yourselves, that would be great!

Our Education Development Team is made up of three former educators: myself (Tracy Weber), Nancy Sturm, and Tom Pisano. Each of us spent years in the classroom before getting more directly involved with instructional technology and branching out in different directions. Now our purpose is to support teachers and schools as they work to integrate AVerMedia tools (and other technologies!) into the curriculum. We really want to be a resource for you all and are here to help you in this learning adventure. Don't hesitate to ever contact any of us.

I will leave it to each DE to share additional information in the comments to this post. We would also love for all of our teachers to do the same!

Happy blogging!


I want to thank all of our teachers for participating in this pilot program. We are thrilled to be working with you and really appreciate your help in showcasing our tools and in helping us find ways to make them even better.

This Blog site is for the purpose of sharing ideas with one another. All pilot site teachers will be invited to join the blog, as well as all of the Education Development Executives from AVerMedia. We want you to feel free to share your good ideas, success stories, frustrations, and to ask any questions you may have. The purpose is to support one another as we work.

For your first post, please take a moment to introduce yourself to everyone and let us know where you are in piloting your AVerMedia tools. Beyond that, post as you like and interact with others who are participating. This should be a great place to spark some good ideas!