Friday, January 31, 2014

Air Sketch: Wirelessly Display iPad on Computer

I usually don't share paid apps on my blog, but Air Sketch is one that I can make the exception for. This is a great tool that will allow a teacher to be mobile in the classroom. It is easy to use, and stable. Air Sketch is a wireless whiteboard that allows may key elements that a teacher uses. Projecting to your computer is easy, stable, and real time.

Here is a list of what Air Sketch can do from the vender's site:


  • Wirelessly project PDF documents, images and live drawings over WiFi (3G is not supported).
  • Fast and fluid sketching on the iPad using your finger or 3rd party stylus (such as the Pogo Sketch).
  • Open PDF documents from Mail or other Apps in Air Sketch to wirelessly annotate and project them. Email the full annotated versions afterwards.
  • Real-time sketching to your browser: Strokes show up as you draw, network speeds permitting.
  • You can record them using any desktop recording tool, such as QuickTime's Screen Recording feature.
  • Or share your sketches with remote colleagues using any desktop sharing app such as iChat.
  • 5 drawing tools: Pencil, pen, marker, brush, and highligher.
  • A fully customizable color palette (tap on the selected color to edit it).
  • Fluidly zoom and pan using 2 fingers to edit your sketches in minute detail.
  • Instantly save and restore snapshots of your sketches using the camera tool.
  • Multi-step undo and redo.
  • Secure your web connection with a username and password.
  • You can even use Air Sketch peer-to-peer with a computer via an ad-hoc network when a WiFi hotspot is unavailable.
  • Air Sketch supports any HTML5-capable browser, which include the latest versions of:
    [Safari] [Firefox] [Google Chrome]
  • Note: Internet Explorer versions 8 and earlier do not support HTML-5, but Internet Explorer 9 will.

Like I said, Air Sketch is not free, but is well worth the $9.99. It allows teachers to step away form their desk and pass around an iPad for students to share their work with the class. Student can write on PDF documents and save screen shots for later use. It is like a mobile document camera!

Go to and take a look.  

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tech Chat Episode 4: Padlet

We all like interactive and collaborative learning. There are many ways to do this from online Google documents to paper pencil group projects. One of the easiest collaborative planning tools is Padlet. This is a web based collaborative bulletin board. It can be used in may ways ranging in posting/sharing links, images, ideas, concepts, and others. It can also be set up for classroom team-building and other activities. The ways to use this live tagboard are limitless. The best part is that others do not necessarily have to have accounts to participate. This makes it great for elementary teachers and students. Below is a short video how Mr. Hawkins at Thomas M. Ryan Intermediate uses Padlet with his 5th graders. Head over to and give it a shot!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Calendly: An Easy Scheduling Addition to Google Calendar

I am an Instructional Technology Coach in my district. This means that help teachers use technology (and the 2700 devices we now have) within their classrooms. I help teachers out during their planning time, before school, after school, or whenever they can fit me in their schedules. My days are extremely busy and involve a lot of running around the 2 main buildings I am assigned (K-2 and 3-5) as well as helping in the 3 other buildings (another elementary, Middle School, and High School) in the district when needed. We have about 185 teachers in the district so you can image that scheduling me can be difficult! I found a great way to help me help them. Instead of having all the crazy emails and phone calls trying to find times to schedule appointments to help, they pick time slots that are available through a great online service called Calendly

Here is how it works:
  • Teachers click a link that I set up and choose the duration they need me (15, 30, or 60 minute sessions). 

  • They Choose the Date that they can meet with me.

  • The choose the time period they have available (and only those that are available show up for them to choose from. This is connected through my Google Calendar so any of my events I have made automatically close those blocks of time form anyone scheduling).

They will get an email confirming this appointment as well as a reminder a day before the session. They (or I) can cancel and reschedule if needed). In addition, after scheduling the session they have the option to have it added to their Google Calendar as well. 

Here is how it looks from "my side":

  • Here is what the "calendar" feature looks like. The events are also automatically imported into your Google Calendar.

  • Here are the different "sessions" I set up for teachers to choose from.

  • You can select any calendars you have to block times in Calendly. 

This service eliminates the back and forth emails/call, allows teacher to pick the best time for them, and puts set events right into my Google Calendar so my phone and iPad reminders let me know when I need to be somewhere. This has been a great time saver for me and every teacher who has used it has loved it. Check it out and give it a shot if you are someone who needs to schedule events with others on a daily basis!

Go to to get started!