Posts By Betsy Ruffin

  1. Live from TCEA–Tory Belleci

    Embark  Engage  Energize  Empower  Educate That is the theme for this years Texas Computer Education Association conference. The keynote speaker for Wednesday was none other than Mythbusters  co-host Tory Belleci!  Some notes from his talk: He is dyslexic and was not a good student.  So, yes teachers, don’t give up on those different and difficult […]

  2. Going to TCEA?

    If you are heading to Austin for TCEA in February, be sure to watch for the great sessions by Discovery Educator Network speakers. Hall Davidson and Steve Dembo are featured speakers with presentations during the day on Wednesday and Thursday. Then our own Texas LC team is well represented with sessions by Lea Anne Daughrity, […]

  3. DEN Stars shine in TCEA

    Two DEN Stars — and LC members also– are on the finalist list for Educator Awards at Texas Computer Education Assocation 2012 convention.  Andrea Keller, Irving ISD, is one of three finalists for Classroom Teacher of the Year. “This award is presented to a teacher who exhibits exemplary use of technology in the classroom. The teacher […]

  4. Android OS Apps for Education

    Culled from listserv responses, here are some suggested Android OS based apps useful for teachers or students: Spongelab is great for science. Middle School and High School FriendCaster for Facebook use (can’t use it to play games though) For good, free Android apps for children, check out Famigo Sandbox: One App that librarians should […]

  5. Is “Cultural Literacy” still relevant?

    First a link to what is meant by cultural literacy:  See also references to the book Cultural Literacy by E.D. Hirsch After sending out a question to my library listservs on what they thought students should know to be culturally literate these days, one respondent told me that in presenting this concept to a […]

  6. Oldie but Goodie

    An updated post from the past: The Holidays! As the winter break draws nearer, have you found that the students are less attentive than usual?   Discovery Streaming has items to help! First, some holiday title suggestions from the catalog:  What’s New? Christmas Theme Page Hanukkah Theme Page Kwanzaa Theme Page Winter Weather Theme Page Oldies […]

  7. EdCamp El Paso

    Do you live in Region 19, or close by? Ever wanted to go to an EdCamp but thought it was too far? I have a solution for you. On December 3, 2011 El Paso ISD along with Region 19 and other area school districts are organizing this event. You can register on the Region 19 […]

  8. Calling for the Stressbusters….

    Who us?  Dealing with stress?  Well, maybe, just a bit……    I have commented to some folks that I had given up trying to catch up with my to-do list; I am now going for less behind than previously.   If you ever feel like that, here are a few tech tools I use to help: Last Pass […]

  9. Web Surfing

          So, what have I been finding in my web surfing?   Here are a few of the “waves”:       > — add web links, files, videos and more to your own lists or browse the lists saved in various catagories      > — “social networking for schools”      >  — keep up […]

  10. Airplay in iOS 5

    Airplay: One of the “quieter” new features of the new iOS 5 system release is the expansion of its functionality. Watch a youtube video to become familiar with Airplay. It’s the feature on your iPad or iPhone that allows you to wirelessly stream photos, video and music from your iOS device to any external display […]

  11. Tech or Treat in Texas

        Join us for a local DEN event held in Pasadena ISD. The DEN Tech or Treat Virtual Conference will be held on Oct. 22 from 8:00 am-2:00 pm (Central Time). From mashups to digital stories, you are sure to enjoy learning and creating for your classroom. Lunch will be provided and space is […]

  12. What’s GNU?

         What’s GNU? So, I’ve been trying out and hearing about a few new things on the technology scene.  Some of my latest finds and learning more abouts are: — seen the little +1 button by some of the websites in a google search?  Here’s more on that: if this, then that — —  […]

  13. Literacy Technology for the Classroom: “A Story Before Bed”

    “A Story Before Bed lets students, teachers, and even parents record videos of themselves reading from a large collection of online children’s books (currently over 300 books). Unlimited playback of recordings is available on iPad, iPhone, Mac, or PC”  Click on the link:          Watch a youtube video “Classroom Literacy Technology – A Story […]

  14. A Day of Learning

       Simple K12 is offering a FREE day of professional development on Saturday, September 24, 2011. If you have Internet access, you can attend the information packed sessions all about integration and technology in the classroom. With 7 sessions to choose from, you are bound to find something to spark your interest. The keynote session […]

  15. ScreenChomp — New App for Ipad


    ScreenChomp gives you the ability to record on-the-go tutorials, and share them instantly. It’s as easy as uploading your videos to, and sharing them on your blog or webpage. lets you… Serve up a short URL that’s easy to share anywhere. Download your video as an MPEG-4 file. Share on Twitter. Just post […]

  16. DENSI — part 5

    Posted for Kass Bates: I am holding a workshop for K-2 McKinney teachers next Monday titled “Reading Rumble.” It will help to get teachers thinking about projects they can do with their students using some of latest children’s books.  My plan is to create a mash-up from one of the  books. So that’s definitely something […]

  17. DENSI — part 4 — what we learned

    Comments from the Texas team something  learned at DENSI: I learned how to make a green screen (search for “green screen”) video. I also learned about mapalist ( is a site dedicated to creating global connections in education. Music is the common thread that can connect us all Google + was a hot topic at DENSI as […]

  18. DENSI — part 3

    Wednesday brought the Unconference as speakers and listeners proposed and chose sessions of interest.   Topics included Google+, use of blogs and Twitter in the classroom, more on Imovie and mashups, and many more great ideas. Thursday morning’s closing  session speaker was the always good Hall Davidson,  who showed us media clips providing inspiration and ideas […]

  19. DENSI – part 2

    Busy days, tired (but happy) nights Monday’s sessions showed us “WHERE TO”  as we learned how to use Discovery Education Resources to interest, engage, and assess our students . Tuesday’s sessions gave us such session options as learning to: create mashups differentiate learning with digital resources use google earth and google lit trips use of […]

  20. DENSI 2011–part 1

    Saturday at the DEN Summer Institute got off to a great start with special speaker Danny Forster, host of Build It Bigger, on the Discovery Science Channel (   Having covered buildings in 50 countries in his five years as host,  he had plenty of examples as he spoke about design and its relationship to culture, […]

  21. 10. Discovery Streaming and…..

    SUMMERTIME!  WHOO HOO! Summertime can be a great time to think, evaluate, plan your technology use for next year.  My motto for the students is “Thinking is good!”  and that goes for educators also.   A few suggestions for Discovery and summertime: 1. Evaluate what worked and what didn’t.  Make adjustments where needed.  2.  Look for […]

  22. 9. Discovery Streaming and…..

    the last month of the school year. The state testing is done for most; the students — and teachers too actually — are brain-tired; what do we do?   Turn to Discovery, of course! Some suggestions: have HS students explore the world of work and careers with an eye toward future — summer work or college; […]

  23. Texas Tidbits

    A couple of notes for Texas Folks: First, three of our own Texas DEN STARS (and LC members) are among the DEN Guru finalists this year.  They are Kim Caise Global Collaboration Projects using Web Tools and Web Conferences Lea Anne Daughrity Touching 21st Century Science Elaine Plybon Using Media for Student-Centered Assessment They will present […]