Author Archives: alcornopeas

Avatars in Education


My first encounter with an avatar was in a technology class where I had to create one in SecondLife.  I have heard talk of using avatars in training for the military but have not seen any.  I googled avatars in education and found a blog that addressed 10 ways to use avatars in education. 

The one I was most interested in was bringing historical figures to life.  Teachers are designing avatars to look like historical figures such as Mark Twain or Albert Einstein to bring their lessons to life.  Students are more actively engaged with the material with an avatar presenting the information.  It is a hook to keep the students involved in their learning.   Great idea with a lot of payback for students.


Text-Message Parents


I found an article from the ClickPress, dated Aug 16, 2006, about a unique service for schools, teachers, and parents using TeacherWeb, Inc. (a leading educational website provider).   Teachers can send automatic text messages to parents’ cell phones as a News Flash.  This is another means to keep the lines of communication open between parents and teachers.  It also provides a means to notify parents of emergencies as well school closings, changes in test schedules, etc.  The possibilities for this text-messaging capability to parents is endless…. I had never heard of this capability before.  Maybe,  we do not have this website provider in this county.

Museum Box


I was searching for new technology to use in the classroom and found the Museum Box.  This is a great tool to use “to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box.”  Students can use text file to movies.  Students can also view and add comments on museum boxes created by others. 

Teachers can create student accounts or request that students create  an account.  Once they are created, the teacher can  review and approve student’s work for publication.

Great  option for history projects, book reports, or documenting research for writing a paper.

Start your own Museum Box at


Track Student Nutrition


The more I research the more I find technology everywhere.  I found a Facebook application called that allows parents to monitor what their children are purchasing and eating at school.   Parents can  view the selected purchases, pre-pay for lunches, and access the planned menus.  This new application will allow parents to have better control over the junk food purchases. 

This application should also impact the student’s ability to function in class after lunch. Teachers can verify that a student’s lunch determines their ability to function in class in the afternoon.  With the Facebook application, teachers and parent could work together to assist specific students with hyper or sluggish behavior.  Some students may only eat junk for lunch while other may be overeating.  Lunchprepay provides a trackable nutrition plan for students and could be utilized to improve their learning ability in the classroom.


Lecture Capture


I was listening to a co-worker, who is taking a math class at a junior college, tell me that students were video taping their class.  It was a three-hour class and the instructor provided reviews for each test so the students wanted to be able to review of the material.  I thought that the capability for students to be able to view the class presentation would be an invaluable tool. 

I googled it and discovered the Lecture Capture.  It is any technology that allows an instructor to record their classroom instruction and allow students to access digitally. “Lecture capture systems offer three important benefits: an alternative when students miss class; an opportunity for content review; and content for online course development.”(

I remember calling my math teacher at 2 am in the morning to clarify math problems before a test.  It would have been so helpful to have a recording of the class to review the information.  College students are no longer the youngster that just graduated from high school but  also older students that work full-time jobs or are active duty military.  These students cannot always be in attendance of a class and would be able to utilize the lecture capture.

Omni Touch


Chris Harrison has developed a tiny projector that senses your every move called the OmniTouch.  It is a wearable multitouch interactive for everywhere. You can read or write an email on the wall, table, your palm, or your pants let.  Students would be actively engaged without being at or on a computer.  Teachers would be more mobile and be able to grade/access information without being tied to a specific location.  However, the biggest positive would hopefully be the reduction of cost for computer equipment.  With increasing budget cuts each year, schools need a means to bring technology into the classrooms with minimum costs. 

Harrison, C., Benko, H., and Wilson, A. D. 2011. OmniTouch: Wearable Multitouch Interaction Everywhere. In Proceedings of the 24th Annual ACM Symposium on User interface Software and Technology (Santa Barbara, California, October 16 – 19, 2011). UIST ’11. ACM, New York, .NY

4 Twitter Apps for the Classroom


I am a new comer to Twitter.  I created an account as a class requirement.  I had no idea that Twitter had apps that were geared to teachers and their classrooms.  I found an article on the EmergingEdTech site  written by K. Walsh on October 30, 2011 ( ,  The article is about 4 Twitter apps for teachers using Twitter in the classroom.  I watched the video and was excited about the capabilities that these Twitter apps provide for free.  Yes, you can purchase apps with more capabilities but the basics are free. 

Twitpic- Load pics and share to Twitter

Twtpoll-Poll and survey tools for the teacher to use with students as a quiz

GroupTweet-Teacher can create a classroom Twitter group to share about subjects or projects

FollowerWonk-Analysis tool of Twitter users and followers to compare data

The GroupTweet would be a valuable tool for teachers, parents, and students to use for projects. The project rubric and guidelines could be posted as well as questions by students or parents.  The Twtpoll could be utilized to assess student’s understanding of the project or to determine if timelines for are being met for the project.

For those interested in more ways to use Twitter in the classroom, go to 100 Ways to Teach with Twitter .