Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gmail's New Call Phone Feature

Well...Google has added another interesting feature to Gmail. It is the Call Phone feature. You may have seen a message pop up yesterday (Aug. 27th) about this option. It then actually appears over in the Chat area and simply says "Call Phone". If you are first time user, you may have to install the Voice and Video Chat download first.

Unfortunately the PC I was on at home does not have a built in microphone, so I hooked up my external Mic. Then...I gave it a try. I went ahead and called Noah on his dad's phone. Worked beautifully! Gotta love Google, as they are expected to be innovative and continue to make improvements to their tools.

Click here for the Call Phone info.

Click here for additional info relating to Call Phone option.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Google Enterprise

Many of the schools are switching over to Google for their Gmail, Calendar, Docs, & Sites. This summer, I've really enjoyed teaching a variety of Google Classes. I am also working on getting these developed for online courses. Let me know if you have any training needs...I'm a Google Nut!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Google Classes Being Offered!

I'm offering some fun and productive Google Classes during the 2010 Summer! These classes will be held at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Billings, MT. If you've joined workshops of mine will know that I believe in hands-on learning AND not to mention the need for good snacks and drinks while doing so! :-)
If you need at home learning, I am also doing an online "Writing and Technology" workshop! Go to the iTeach website for more info! Here you will learn about the cost and credit information.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Poll Everywhere

I recently learned about a new Web 2.0 tool called Poll Everywhere. I'm planning on integrating it into one of my online started playing with it a bit! Teachers could actually have their students answer a question via text messaging with their cell phone. Instantly, a bar graph will appear to show the results. This could also be a great way to engage adult learners and high school students.

Could you help me test this out? Basically you will text a message to 99503. Then in the message, you will type the number that correlates with the response you want to choose. Please help me out by answering this question via your phone!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Creating Your Own Blog

Blogger is Google’s tool for creating blogs. The word blog comes from web + log = blog. A blog is a website that is usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. (Wiki-pedia).

Creating your own blog using Blogger is something you can me! Click on the links below for video tutorials and resources.

Great info on creating a Blog. You will need to scroll down a bit for Blogger directions.

Blogs in Plain English--YouTube Tutorial

What is a blog? Why do people have blogs?

Creating a Blog Using Blogger-YouTube Tutorial

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Google Story by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed

For the past 3 days, I've been absorbed in "The Google Story", by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed. Learning the details of how these two Stanford doctoral students met, found one another obnoxious at first, and then developed a friendship based on common interests and the desire to debate. Being a Google nut, there were a few things I already knew about Google, Inc. However, what was not evident to me previously was the strong commitment Sergey Brin and Larry Page had to develop a powerful search engine. It was not about the money or becoming a public company on the Stock Exchange. Sergey and Larry believed that first you develop something that of high quality, such as the most powerful search engine and money and opportunities will follow. Money was not their number one concern.

Brin and Page were dedicated to a mission and would not let anything or anyone stop them. A major part of the Google development concept initially took place on the Standford Campus, Gates 360. Yes, the concept of Google actually evolved in a beautiful building funded by Microsoft's Bill Gates, with hope of winning over some of the bright computer science and math students at Standford.

Many of you many choose to read this story yourself, so I don't want to give away all of the interesting surprises I learned about Google. However, if you've been amazed with Google's accomplishments these past 10 years, I think you will be AMAZED to learn where they are headed involving biological and genetic research.

As I read this story, I kept thinking about our own young boys and how I want them to know "The Google Story", as it teaches many valuable lessons relating to perseverance, intelligence, solving problems, and fully committing oneself to something you are passionate about. As an educator, I think our high school and college students are lacking motivation as a result of not having long term goals or vision. Which in turn, makes me look at our education system and what we need to change.

In the Fall of 2008, Boise State University had their freshman read the book "3 Cups of Tea", by Greg Mortenson, as this book is also one of vision and perseverance. In the future, when I receive high school graduation announcements, it is my plan to give them a copy of "The Google Story", with hopes that it will inspire them to accomplish great things!

Click here to view an Interview with the author, David A. Vise.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Exciting News from Google--Video Chat

The Life of all Googlers has just gotten even better! This past week, Google added a Video Chat option to Gmail (free email service). Now, right within your Gmail you can choose to have a video chat with a friend or colleague. Just yesterday, a friend of ours that recently moved to Duluth, Minnesoate invited me to a Gmail Video Chat. The video chat came across great without any delays or feedback.
To get started with Gmail's Video Chat feature, you must first have a Gmail account. To sign up for a Gmail account, go to and click on the Sign up for Gmail link. Take the time to go through the tour if you want to know a bit more about how to use Gmail.
In order to use the Video Chat feature you need to download the video chat plugin. The plug-in is compatible with both PCs and Macs and is simple to install.

Installing the Video Chat Plug-In

To add the Video Chat feature to your Gmail account:
  1. Go to
  2. Then, click on the Install Voice and Video Chat button and go through the installation process.
  3. You will then be prompted to restart your browser. After doing so, you need to log into your Gmail account.
  4. You will now have the option to do a video chat.
  5. View the following video about the Video Chat by clicking on the play button.

What equipment will I need?
In order to do a Video Chat you need a webcam. This webcam can be internal or external. Most laptops come with a built in webcam that you can see above the monitor of the laptop. If you do not have a built in webcam, you can purchase an external webcam to hook up to your computer.

Basics of Video Chatting
Once you've installed the plug-in and have your webcam and/or microphone hooked up, it's time to contact a friend or colleague and start communicating! In the Chat section of your Gmail, you need to select the contact you want to call. If they have a camera icon next to their contact name, you can make a voice or video call to them by clicking on Video and more.

If you aren't ready to enter the video chat world, perhaps you want to simply do a "voice chat" using Video Chat. If so, you simply need to have a built in microphone or an external microphone that plugs into your microphone jack.

Let's say that you and I have a Video Chat. I have a webcam and you have a microphone. I would be able to hear you, and you would see the video of me on your end! Make Sense? (I think voice chat is a fabulous option as sometimes, quite honestly, I'd rather not be SEEN...early morning, no makeup, hair amuss!)

Alrighty, so now I'm hoping all my friends and family get signed up for Video Chat. It would be a great way for our families to catch up with one another!