Teaching for Modern Times

Tech Teaching Tools

Teaching students to be prepared for the modern world is a hard task. Teaching using technology can be default because it is ever changing. Adapting to those changes can be a challenge. But as you can see from the picture above many great tools have been created for us to use in our lessons. I try to adopt at least one new tool a year to help with education. You also have to have a good clear vision when adopting new tech tools. You never want to have your students feel that they are on tech overload.

I like to see a blend of online learning with a mixture of book and classroom instruction. This way we can reach all types of learners. Some students will learn better at a self-pace while others strive to keep pace in the classroom. Using a good mixture of both will keep all of the students engaged on the subject matter.

I do believe in digital notes. How many times have you wanted to refer to a note to find you left it in the office or classroom? With digital notes and using a tool such as Evernote or Google Keep, I can always have my notes on every device I carry. Besides, it is easier to carry my phone in my pocket then carry around my paper notebook.


Magic Jack Update

Well I recevied my Magic Jack a few days ago and it did install just as they said it would. I had it up and running in about 10 minutes, it takes just a little while to download the software to the computer. After the install you select a area code where you live and then it assigns you a number.

My first call out was to my cell phone and it rang as expected. Next I called my new number from my cell phone and my home phone rang just as it did on Ma Bell.

Now for the down side I found so far.

1st: There is sometimes a delay, you can really notice it when talking with someone in your house that you can hear through the walls, they talk and a second or so later you here it on the phone.

2nd: As you are talking sometimes you may miss what the other person is saying, they keep talking and you hear nothing on your end, SOMETIMES! I did talk with my father the last night for about an hour and no trouble at all. I did try to call my sister where I think they may not have good phones lines and I got disconnected twice.

So is there some bugs, I would have to say yes. I have also been trying the Skype out service for only $3.00 a month call anyone and talk as long as you like. I have been doing this from my computer and it just works, no drops or delays.

Will I keep the Magic Jack? If you are asking me today I have to say no. I think I will request a return and try another route to save on my phone bills.

Should you try Magic Jack? I would say YES, just use a credit card I understand that if you use a debit card they will charge you the day you order it. This is due to some kind of banking issue not them.

I will report back and let you know how the return process goes.


Trying to cut monthly home phone bills


Have you ever really looked at your monthly home phone bill? I have been going over and over my home phone bill and found that I am paying $49.00 a month for a home phone that we really hardly ever use any more. You do on occasions want to call maybe your parents or family members and sit and talk without running up your cell phone bills or using all your minutes.

With this in mind I started looking at ways to use my Internet connection to make phone calls to normal phones. I first have found Skype which has been working well. You only pay $3.00 a month and call anywhere in the US and Mexico. If you would like a phone number that people can call you on it would be another $30.00 per year. Still not $49.00 a month so I am already saving money. But without a special box you have to be at your computer to make a phone call.

While this is good my wife said the olny way I could cut our local phone is to find a way to connect our home desktop or cordless phones to the Internet to make and receive calls.

I found this product MagicJack. If you order it now you can try it out for 30 days with no charge to you. The way this device works is you connect it to your computer using a USB plug and then you connect you home cordless or any phone to it. When you pick up the phone there is a dial tone and you can call anyone just as you normally would. OKay there is the cost, how about $20.00 a YEAR! That’s it $20.00 a year and I can call anyone and talk as long as I want to.

I just ordered a demo and I will let you know how it works after I install it and get it working.

My next thing is to call the local phone company and see if I can keep my DSL without having to have a phone in my house? Well I will follow up with you later.


Listen to this man!

I never posted a YouTube video on my blog before, but sometimes you just run into something so great and moving that you have to spread the word. I was poking around YouTube and found this great man Kanye West playing the piano and it just lifted my mood and makes you pay close attention to him and his playing. To Kanye I hope to see your face on a CD cover one day, keep playing with the passion you have and I see it coming.