Tabaldo on Tech

Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century

image Flicker (Kevin Jarrett)
image Flicker (Brad Flickinger)

Evernote vs. OneNote

Evernote vs OneNote

Recently I was asked “How different is Evernote from MS OneNote” in a comment to my post How Evernote Changed Me, so here will be my attempt at a feature to feature comparison.

Let me start with an explanation of what these programs are intended to do. Evernote and OneNote are software applications (apps) that allow the user to collect digital information, save and organize it in virtual notebooks. That is the simple explanation. This digital collection is organized by virtual notebooks that can be grouped, labeled or tagged, hold just about any digital data (including; audio files, video files, links, websites, documents, files, pdf and images) and be shared. Continue reading

How Evernote Changed Me


How the Evernote Elephant Changed my Life

EvernoteI am a collector. I collect information….some of it actually useful.

Let me start by saying that information comes in many forms. Information can be newspapers, magazines, television, Internet webpages, pictures, music, books, movies and more. In my line of work as an instructional designer and educational technologist, I come across information that I like and want to share. Continue reading

New Year’s Resolution for 2013

New Year’s Resolution for 2013

PaperlessSo this year I don’t want to make a resolution but a list of goals that I hope to accomplish. If I call this a resolution then I will have to do it for a few days maybe even weeks and then ignore it for the rest of the year. So I like the sound of “GOALS” better.

Go paperless – I have the NEATscanner system and Evernote and these coupled with Dropbox and Cubby, I think I can set out to be completely paperless in 2013! This both personal and professional paperless. I’m tired of the papers on my desk at home and at work I find I can access everything I need on the Internet, so just keep the Internet up and I’ll be fine. Continue reading

Words Every Teacher Wants to Hear

“You inspired me!”

Those are the words every teacher wants to hear. Even if you don’t want to admit it, deep down you know it’s true. Those of us who are currently or who have been teachers, get up early every day and try to figure out ways to inspire our students. Some days are harder than others. We stay up late at night searching the Internet for new lesson plans, new ideas that just might get a concept through to that one student that just can’t grasp it. Teaching is a labor of love that for the most part can be thankless….until it happens.

It happened to me last night. I was sitting at a local high school watching a play, when during intermission a former student, now a Senior, approached me. I asked how school was going and she told me she had decided on a college. I was ecstatic! (I love that fact that most of my former students go on to college.) She named a prestigious film college and told me that her career path in film was because of a project I assigned when she was in the 8th grade. After the 3 minute music video project was over and she had to return my FlipVideo camera, she convinced her mom to buy her a digital video camera and she has been making films ever since. She said that she credits me for helping her find what really inspires her and makes her happy. {whoooosh – that’s my breath being swept away!}

I was stunned! It had just happened. I had inspired a student. Well, I guess it had really happened 5 years earlier and I was just now finding out about it, but I did it! I was on cloud nine. All I could think about is that saying that ends with, “{frivolous things don’t matter} …because I was important in the life of a child” and I really felt like that at that moment. I had made a difference.

This experience means so much to me, more than that student will ever know, but I do know what it’s like to have a teacher that impacts your life so much because I too had that experience. I was in 6th grade and Miss Josephine (imagine petite Filipino with thick accent and perfect posture) was the teacher. She loved to dance and me….well not so much. We had a performance we had to do for something and it was going to be a choreographed dance to Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” (great Catholic school song!) Well I refused and was sent to the principals office. After a long and difficult negotiation we agreed that I could work the cassette player for the performance. THAT was the moment that made the techie I am today. From that one decision that I would NOT dance, I was allowed to do something that I would not have ever been allowed to do. I soon ran all the AV equipment for the entire school and that continued until I graduated 8th grade.

Fast forward 24 years and I’m invited to a wedding of a classmate in my graduate cohort. My heart almost stops as I watch my slightly older but the same perfect postured 6th grade teacher walk down the aisle as a godparent of my friend, the groom! When the wedding was over and we were finding our seats for the reception, I watched as Miss Josephine walked perfectly postured to my table and sat down. I almost died. She recognized me but could not quite place me…I enlightened her, and we laughed. What were the chances that we would not only be at the same wedding but that he would seat us at the same table. I was able to finally tell her that she was the reason I was a techie and proud of it. I was a teacher and I was very proud of that!

I wonder if she felt the way I do about my experience last night?  Humbled. Excited. Proud.

I inspired a student!

Look who I ran into?

Miss Josephine & me

Fun Stuff for Student Engagement


Are you struggling to engage your students? I have found some fun and free (or cheap) sites to create fun content.

XTRANORMAL – Xtranormal helps you create amazing interactive stories with a few clicks and a little imagination. – Below is a video I created for a Desire2Learn conference. There is a free version (but it is really pay per use), I have the Educational account $10/mo. not bad.


VOKI – Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone.  Voki is FREE but also has a classroom subscription for $29.95/yr. VOKI also has lesson plans where you can search by subject matter and/or grade level, and checl out VOKI’s education page some great ideas here.

Below is a VOKI i made for an introduction to a course in out LMS.


BLABBERIZE – This simple and free interactive web-based site allows users to upload a pic and then narrate it so the picture comes to life. See below my feeble attempt to blabberize.

As teachers we need to stick together and share resources. If you have a favorite link,  like one of these please share it with me either via a post or email and I’ll add it to my Teacher Resources page.

Did I create a monster?

The newest addition to our family came 8 years after our others and we have all recognized that he is the most “Digital Native” of our kids. At the age of 18 months he was navigating my iPhone and I was beginning to find myself downloading apps that I thought might be of interest to him. By the time he was 2 years old he was a master of i-products, and our first iPad was soon confiscated by the then 3 year old. When I walked in the door in the evening from work I was greeted with “Mom, can I have your iPad?” I have to admit it was funny at first but then I began to notice that I was secondary to the iPad. The iPad was the first thing he asked for in the morning and the last thing he wanted to play with before bed at night. My older kids bitterly said that the iPad was really his and he was just letting me use it for work. I vehemently denied these accusations, but deep down I know it was true.

With that realization I began to wonder, Did I Create a Monster? Here is a child that will never know what it is like to actually roll down a window by hand, to turn a dial on a TV, he has no idea what a cassette tape is, we have never had a VHS tape or VCR since he’s been born and I wonder about the future that is ahead for him.
His world is LIVE, happening right now, all the time. His world is interactive. He is engaged with it almost all the time. Even as I write this blog post on the MacBook, he is touching the screen trying to “move” it around like on an iPad.
TV shows he can watch “on-demand”, he can find almost everything on YouTube to watch, he can navigate Apps with very little assistance, and I have found that he is not scared to try and fail then try again when he is “playing.” I can not help but notice the ease and comfort he has with the iPad.
No, I did not create a monster, I just have a child that is surrounded by technology because of the fact he was born to me, a technology junkie. He is ahead of most kids when it comes to to the digital world and how to navigate in it. He understands that information is available at our fingertips and often reminds us of that; like when there is a “discussion” among the adults and the kids about the a Footloose movie reference (original vs. remake) the boy will say, “Why don’t we just look it up on the iPad.” Duh! We all whip out the i-products and look up the topic of debate and see who can get it up on the Apple TV the fastest.  Ahhh evening fun at the Tabaldo house. This little exercise in proving the others wrong, teaches Internet searching skills, website validation skills and even debating skills (maybe that is just at our house….)
I maintain that I did not create a monster, I am raising a digital native and nurturing him in his natural habitat.
(photo top: taken by: S.Tabaldo April 2012  photo bottom: taken by: M. Tabaldo May 2012
photos may not be used with out permission.)