EdTech Educators Helping Each Other: edshelf and Miami Device


Watch this Google Hangout with Mike Lee the Co-Founder of edshelf, and Felix Jacomino from Miami Device. During this hangout, we talked about the Miami Device conference and the #SaveEdShelf Kickstarter campaign. There’s surprises in this video you don’t want to miss.

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edshelf announced July 2, 2014 they had to shut down their service at the end of July; in a not so strange turn of events (through the power of social media) educators started using the #saveedshelf hashtag to prevent edshelf from going under. I would personally love to see them succeed. Their service has helped thousands of educators discover apps, software and edtech resources currently being used in their classroom. I know Mike is deeply committed to the use of technology in education and he has a personal connection with educators.


But wait there’s more… my friend Felix surprised both Mike and I during the hangout, by announcing that Miami Device will donate $50 to edshelf if the promo code “edshelf” is used while registering for the conference. Also, don’t forget you still have time to enter the contest. Yes… you too can attend Miami Device for FREE! Please click this link and fill out the Miami Device – Mobile Learning Event Google Form for the opportunity to win a Miami Device Registration and 1 Hotel Night. Time is of the essence here as the contest deadline is August 17, 2014. I would also like to point out that Miami Device is running a gofundme campaign with the goal of raising money to sponsor attendance for 11 educators.

Please watch the video below to learn more about the edshelf Kickstarter and be sure to visit their website before August 24, 2014 when this campaign closes.

I look forward to seeing all of you at Miami Device in the fall… You don’t want to miss it! There’s an awesome lineup of presenters and this will be a great learning opportunity for professional growth. Thanks in advance for your continued support.

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Video Cables and Inputs 101

There are four display ports and cables commonly being used in the audio/video market today. The problem for educators is that unless you work for IT or are frequently doing installations of multimedia equipment in the classroom it is pretty easy to get these confused. That is the reason why the guys over at Techquickie created this video to help anyone understand the differences between each cable in under five minutes.

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A Behind The Scenes Look

Have you ever wondered how ISTE manages the logistics of putting together a conference for 10k+ attendees? I had the privilege of participating in the bagaton last year. This is a pre-conference event where an Army of volunteers fills all the bags for those in attendance. I can tell you they have a well oiled machine and the whole operation was coordinated like an invasion of another country.

I’m heading out to Atlanta next week to meet with educators in my PLN that will be in attendance this year. I am excited at the opportunity to meet those, whom I have never met in person, but have collaborated with through the use of Twitter, Google+ Hangouts On-Air and Voxer. I put together a short time lapse video of my experience, so please join me along in watching it.

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This was a great opportunity to see firsthand how this conference comes alive as a breathing body of knowledge. It was a tremendous networking opportunity to meet other connected educators and to get a workout even before the conference got started. 

If you are attending this year don’t miss the Hack Education event Friday, June 27th, 2014, 8:00am – 4:00pm in Rooms B303/304. This is an unconference event held the day before the official start of ISTE. It is organized like an EdCamp so there are no slides to turn in. This in my opinion is the best way to promote genuine professional development that does not feel like a graded event. If you want to learn more about what an EdCamp is, please watch the video below.

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video via Su Hun Lee on YouTube

I look forward to meeting all of you next week. In the meantime stay tuned here and Follow Me! @AnibalPachecoIT on Twitter. If you would like to get in touch with me sooner… Vox me up! AnibalPachecoIT


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The Most Common Twitter Terms Explained


There are lots of acronyms and shorthand terms thrown around in the Twittersphere. That is why I am publishing this summary of the most common Twitter Terms. You will find these on the stream (feed) or when directly messaged (DM) by another user.

Common Terms

Tweet – A post made on Twitter by a user. 140 characters in length (however analytics reveal the sweet spot is between 71-100 characters)

Follow – If  a user’s tweets appear in your stream then you are following them.

Follower – Someone who is reading your tweets

Unfollow (De-Friend) – This happens when someone stops reading your tweets.

@ (Reply) – The @ symbol is used to reply to a twitter user. i.e. @tomwhitby Thanks for writing thought provoking articles that elicit deep thinking.

# (Hashtag) – A hash symbol is used to comment about a specific topic in a tweet, so users searching twitter can easily find what they are looking for. Searching for #edtech will give you the top tweets using this hashtag. As an alternative you can search all tweets, or use a hashtag tracking service. I currently use Twubs: @twubs because it allows me to scroll through a hashtag stream, pause it, resume and even subscribe to my favorite hashtags for free.

Link – Including a URL in your tweet. Caution should be used here since you only have 140 characters for each message. I recommend that you use a URL shortener service. Bitly is my favorite because its free, allows you to create URL collections, and it let you keep track of who, when and how many times your links are clicked on.

Tweeter (Twitterer) – An individual who uses Twitter

Tweeple – People who use Twitter

Tweeps – Twitter friends, your most frequently contacted friends. Think about ‘Peeps’

Twittersphere – The collective group of people who tweet.

Twitterati – A-list Twitter users; the Twitter élite. These usually have a big number of followers, are somewhat famous and considered thought leaders (change agents) inside the Education Twittersphere.

Here are some of my favorites: @adambellow • @cybraryman1 • @tomwhitby • @web20classroom 

Action Terms

RT (ReTweet) – Reposting something that has already been posted on the Twitter stream. RT usually precedes the original post to give credit to the user who published it first.

i.e. RT : Remember FAIL = First Attempt In Learning. Failure should be embraced as an authentic learning opportunity.  #NT2T

*Although twitter has an automatic RT button you can go old school by using a browser extension such as Classic Retweet for Chrome. A similar add-on is also are available for Firefox.

DM – This is a Direct Message sent to a twitter user. However you must follow that user before you can DM message them. DMs don’t appear in the public twitter stream. They instead go directly to your Twitter inbox. *Think of this as a hybrid between e-mail, instant messaging or SMS.

Via – This one is often used in place of RT, once again to give credit to the publisher. *Think of this as citing your sources on Twitter.

i.e. Learning Technology Is About Relationships – via @TeachThought #edcampusa #learnbetter

MT – The act of modifying another user’s tweet. It is considered bad etiquette to do this, unless the modification is needed to make a correction, or to add relevant information to the original tweet.

HT (Heard Through) – This one is used to add credit to the source from which you originally gathered the idea for your tweet.

Please feel free to add other common terms I might have missed. I look forward to your comments and insights on this topic.

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Web Content Filtering in the Classroom? It can be done!


I have attended several conferences this summer and most teachers expressed their frustration at having internet content blocked in their schools. In these talks, I listened as they told me about an everything blocked approach or their inability to decide what is appropriate content for their students. The truth is that what works for one teacher might not work for the next one when it comes to web content filtering.

I am not a fan of blocking websites that could be used for educational purposes on the Internet. I believe that managed content filtering is the right approach to let teachers decide what content is best for their students. I recently sat down with Bharath Madhusudan, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder for Securly. During our discussion, we talked about web content filtering for education and the benefits of using Secur.ly over other products in the market. Please watch this video of our Google+ hangout below.

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The fact that many schools are blocking social media networks and YouTube does not surprise me. I believe there is a fine line between what is appropriate and inappropriate content for our students, but feel that we are doing a disservice to our students by blocking content they would otherwise have access to at home, or when they leave school. Securly is not a free service but it is being offered at a very reasonable price in my opinion. A great feature of this service is the integration of Google Apps for education into the management workflow for both admins and teachers. Securly also has a unique advantage over other products in the market because it does not require any hardware or software, and it also works on mobile devices.

There are many solutions in the market today that claim to manage content filtering. The problem is many of these products are not geared towards education and are primarily targeted towards corporate environments. I am of the opinion teachers should have more control over what they are allowed to show their students. In the real world, students will make those decisions for themselves. We need to enable them to make good choices now by modeling what are accepted behaviors and appropriate content on the internet. This needs to be part of their learning experience and it is a more realistic approach than simply blocking everything at your school. Teachers after all are the ones who spent most of the time with them and should know as responsible adults what students need to succeed. What do you think?

To learn more about Securly and their unique approach to web content filtering please visit their website at http://www.securly.com

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The Future of EdTech with Students as Teachers


Interview with the Oak Hill Elementary eLeaders at ISTE 2013. This amazing group of future EdTech professionals is under the tutelage of coach and mentor Mrs. DeLyn Beard. What originally started as a Tech Club has now grown into a learning platform where these students have become the teachers.

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Their mission is to teach teachers how to use Web 2.0 tools, create videos and Podcasts. I was impressed at all of their knowledge of technology and kudos go out to Mrs. Beard for leading this innovative program. My sincere thanks go out the eLearders Kara, Matthew, Tanner, Christina, Katelyn, Sophie, Sydney and Shoel for the opportunity to talk with me. Keep sharing the knowledge and best of success in the future. To learn more about the Oak Hill eLeaders and this innovative program visit their website at; http://oakhilleleaders.weebly.com

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Finally! YouTube Subscribe Button

I have been publishing videos to my YouTube channel for a while now, but up until today there wasn’t a way to embed a subscribe button on your website without having to code it yourself. YouTube is pretty good about supporting the efforts of content providers, and today on their Google Developers page they released a tool that allows you to create script code for a widget, albeit with no coding required on your part.

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The steps for creating the script code are straightforward and all you have to do is enter the username for your channel. You can then select whether your channel is Standard or Paid; mine is Free as in Gratis! There are three options to customize the look of your button by choosing between Default button, Full layout with avatar or Full layout, dark theme. I chose the last one because it suits the theme of my website the best.

This is a great way to help help visitors find your YouTube channel and it also helps to promote your videos for Free. You can head over to the Google Developers page for more information and to generate the script for your blog or website widget. I would also appreciate if you visit my YouTube channel and Subscribe. I welcome your comments and questions about this and any EdTech topic you might want to learn about. Thanks for your continued support.

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Helping Educators understand Technology in plain English!