Skype for iPhone Now with Video Calls

I could remember back to 1964 at the New York's World Fair being transfixed as I spoke to my mother an father and was able to see them on the video phone in the ATT Pavilion. It sure has taken a long time for the idea of video calls to take hold. But if there is one prediction which will really take hold in 2011 it will be how we begin to make more and more video calls on our mobile phones. Apple lead the way this year with their  application FaceTime running on the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch, allowing users to have video conferencing calls on the go when they are within earshot of a Wifi network. Skype today announced the release of Skype for iPhone which is free that will allow users to place video calls over a 3G or Wifi network.

With Skype, you can:
  • Make video calls to people on their computers as well as other iPhones (details below)
  • Make free audio calls to anyone else on Skype
  • Make great value calls to landlines and mobiles around the world
The new app is compatible with the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 4th generation with i0S 4.0 or above. You can also receive video calls on the iPod touch 3rd generation and iPad. Calls can be made between devices using the new Skype for iPhone app and desktops including Skype for Windows 4.2 and above, Skype for Mac 2.8 and above, Skype for Linux and the ASUS videophone.

So enjoy the New Year and reach out and touch someone with Skype for the iPhone!

Documenting Student's Work with Xpaper

I have always been a big fan of the digital pen technology and have witnessed the growth of this market over the past 8 years with the release of such products as the Livescribe Pulse Smartpen and PaperShow for Teachers. Using a digital pen and digital paper makes the solutions come alive and are a ,natural for students and teachers to use since very little training is required. One of the solutions which I believe could have tremendous impact on how teachers and school administrators capture data in the schools could come about by using digital pen and paper solutions.

I have been using a product called Xpaper from a company called Talario, LLC for the past couple of years, which lets me print my documents or forms on ordinary plain paper from a color laser printer. Once the document is printed with Xpaper, it lays down a grid of microdots on the page which makes it ready to write on with your digital pen. In the example above, I used Xpaper to record the errors a student made while reading a text passage. Using the Logitech digital pen I marked up the reading passage and once I was done I docked the pen and a crystal clear PDF file was created for me to archive the document. Using Xpaper, I eliminated the need to scan the document into my computer and I was quickly able to create a workflow with the digital document. Using Xpaper, I can quickly send the PDF document in the cloud and store it on Google Docs if I prefer. Now imagine if teachers and schools administrators used this technology to process all of the forms and data collected in the schools? I think you will find that using this technology one could save time and be able to begin to manage, collect, and archive data that is important to the life of the school. If you are interested in learning more about Xpaper and how you could take advantage of this technology, please feel free to email me. To watch an overview of how Xpaper works click here.

aHa!Visual Web Export for MindManager 9

I find myself spending more times these days creating and putting up more  information on the web for both the classes the I teach and the workshops that I facilitate. As a result, I am always looking for tools that will make it easier for me to accomplish these goals. I spend a lot of time using various mind mapping tools to brainstorm and communicate the ideas and information that I will cover in my sessions. I tend to use MindManager 9 now to create a lot of my materials and have been looking for a way to quickly be able to output  my maps on the web. Several years ago I had reviewed aHa!Visual Web Export and found it to be an easy to use solution for moving my MindManager maps to the web. Since moving to MindManager 9 , I had a chance to take a look at the aHa!Visual Web Export plug-in which was recently updated to work with the latest version of Mindjet MindManager version 9.

Installing aHa!Visual Web Export was extremely simple process. To export your MindManager 9 mind map to the web you Select from the File Menu Export as Web Pages and then you will see an option to Export using the aHa!Visual Web Export plug in. While there are lots of ways to customize how the map will render on the web page- it is easy enough to select the default options and save your outputted files to a folder on your desktop. Once you save the outputted files you can simply upload them to your server to display them. I found the process very easy to do and within minutes I was able to view my map on the web. All of your notes and web page links are live when they are exported. You can click on this link to view the output from aHa!Visual Web Export. I would highly recommend aHa!Visual Web Export if you are looking for fast way to share your MindManager 9 maps to the web.

Rebit’s Holiday Specials Bring “Ridiculously Simple” Discounts on PC Backup

Rebit has to be one of the easiest ways to back up your PC. I have had the opportunity to use Rebit on my laptop and it works as advertised. Rebit not only backs up your files but it also backups your applications and system. This is a great gift for the holidays! Brian

Rebit’s Holiday Specials Bring “Ridiculously Simple” Discounts on PC Backup
All Software, 1TB Drive on Sale through New Year’s Eve

LONGMONT, CO –  December 16, 2010 – Rebit Inc., the company dedicated to making backup and recovery for PC users “ridiculously simple,” today announced that it is offering holiday specials through December 31, 2010 on orders placed through

“Our online holiday specials are a great way for users to save on complete and automatic backup and recovery for themselves and their friends, so all of those holiday memories can be safely stored and  treasured for years to come,” commented Charlene Murphy, executive vice president, sales and marketing, Rebit. 

About Rebit’s “Ridiculously Simple” Software
Rebit is the only backup and complete system recovery solution that starts working the minute it is installed, keeping PCs continuously protected from crashes, viruses or accidental file deletions.  Rebit backup and recovery is available for both Direct Attached Storage (DAS) and Network Attached Storage (NAS), and can be purchased at www.Rebit.comU.S. computer retailers and resellers can purchase through Rebit authorized distributors D&H (, and SED (

About Rebit Inc.

Rebit Inc. is a software company committed to delivering fully-automatic and complete PC backup and recovery, removing the burden of managing backup from users.  Rebit was named a 2009 and 2010 CRN Emerging Vendor by Computer Reseller News, and Rebit products have earned the Editor’s Choice Awards from Computer Times and Dragon Steel Mods. Contact Rebit at  Rebit recommends “following the frog” via Twitter (@Rebit_Inc), Facebook ( and the Frog Blog (

Creating Language Arts Lessons with PaperShow for Teachers

As more and more teachers have begun to use PaperShow for Teachers in the classroom I wanted to share this tip for creating quick grammar and cloze technique activities. Using the interactive paper that comes with PaperShow for Teachers gives you the freedom to create activities for the classroom that your students can interact with. Once you create the activity and print it out on the interactive paper you can then pass the activity out to your students and have them complete it from their desks, so that everyone can see. Likewise you could use it to model how to complete the activity so that everyone can see how it is done. So lets get started!

I have found that the trick to creating these activities is using PowerPoint. So open PowerPoint and create one slide for each of your activities. In the screen shot below you will see that I created a slide that the students could use to correct the grammar.

It is probably a good idea to select a simple PowerPoint style that has a white background for two reasons: one, this will use less ink and two, it will be easier for your student to see the text when it is printed. Likewise, you will want to select a larger font so that it will be easier for your students to write on once it is printed on the interactive paper. For the second activity I created a cloze activity from the first stave of A Christmas Carol. I simply pasted the text into my PowerPoint slide and then removed the text and used an underscore to create the gap. For each of the words, I cut out I then pasted them on the bottom of the slide.

Now that my activity is completed I can save my PowerPoint file and import the slide deck into the PaperShow for Teachers application that is on the USB key and print it on the PaperShow for Teachers interactive paper. PaperShow for Teachers will prompt you print the slides on the interactive paper so make sure that you have the paper loaded in your color printer before clicking the OK button. Just a tip it is good idea to place the Printer Sticker on the printer that you will be using with PaperShow for Teachers that you received when you purchased the PaperShow for Teachers Starter Kit to help remind you how to orient the interactive  paper.

Here is a quick screencast of how to create import your activity into the PaperShow for Teachers application.
Click on this link to see a video on how to import your PowerPoint Slides into PaperShow for Teachers

Sharing Ideas with PaperShow for Teachers in the Classroom

As much as interactive whiteboards pervade the classroom landscape it is amazing what you can do with PaperShow for Teachers to get students involved and engaged in the classroom instruction. PaperShow for Teachers provides a great vehicle for students to actively record their ideas as apart of a classroom discussion. PaperShow for Teachers has a 30 foot range from the computer which is ideal for walking around the classroom and having students make contributions to the lesson. Students will feel right at home using the digital pen and paper notebook to capture their ideas that their classmates can then see. Teachers will find it easy to pass the notebook and pen around the classroom and give students the opportunity to contribute to the classroom discussion. Once students have made their contribution, the notebook file can be saved in a PDF format, emailed or placed on the schools website to share.

PaperShow for Teachers makes for a great tool when students are brainstorming or story-boarding ideas. Consider setting up a learning center with a laptop, a LCD projector and PaperShow for Teachers. Students can then use PaperShow for Teachers to mind map their ideas or brainstorm while working in a small group. There is no need to complete the entire session during one class- just save the the file you are working on the PaperShow for Teachers USB key and you can always revisit it, the next time the class meets.

While many PaperShow for Teachers users-use it to deliver more engaging presentations, PaperShow for Teachers is an ideal tool for actively engaging students when they need to analyze or annotate images, diagrams or pictures. Using the PaperShow for Teachers application that resides on the USB key you can quickly bring in a series of images- print them using a color printer on the 8 1/2 x11 interactive paper and be ready to use them with the digital pen to mark up. Simply place the images you would like to use in a folder and PaperShow for Teachers will dutifully import them and get them ready to print on the interactive paper.Once the images are printed on the paper you can use all of the PaperShow for Teachers tools to annotate and mark up the images. This feature gives teachers the flexibility to bring in whatever pictures they need for a particular lesson. Once you do one time you will see just how easy it is do accomplish and how much fun it is to use in the classroom. So make you lessons more interactive by printing images with PaperShow for Teachers and then pass the binder with the images around the classroom to engage the students. Using images, students can identify certain features on the picture, comment about the picture, add additional ideas and then save them if it so desired.

At just $249 dollars, PaperShow for Teachers gives you tremendous value and a way to engage students in the classroom by providing them more opportunities to participate and interact with ideas and images. Contact me if you would like a free demonstration of PaperShow for Teachers.