Issue 28, Volume 11
March 17, 2011
Thought for the Week
Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
-- Albert Einstein
10 Internet Technologies about Which Educators Should Be Informed
There are so many different tools and technologies available on the internet today, and so many associated terms and concepts. What are the most important internet technologies of which educators should be aware and informed about? Read this article from Emerging EdTech to find out about Video and Podcasting, Presentation Tools, Collaboration & Brainstorming Tools, Blogs & Blogging, Wikis, Social Networking, IM, Twitter, Virtual Worlds and RSS Feeds. The full article may be found at http://www.emergingedtech.com/2009/04/10-internet-technologies-that-educators-should-be-informed-about/.
New Blue Sharing Tools in TeachingBooks
If you haven’t been to TeachingBooks in a while, it’s time to go check it out again! TeachingBooks.net is an easy-to-use website that adds a multimedia dimension to the reading experiences of children's and young adult books. This online database is developed and maintained to include thousands of resources about fiction and nonfiction books used in the K–12 environment, with every resource selected to encourage the integration of multimedia author and book materials into reading and library activities.
This past month, a new set of networking tools on TeachingBooks allows you to easily share resources and web pages—a powerful way to help colleagues know of and use relevant resources in this database. You can use these sharing tools to . . .
- Email a collection of ready-to-use resources about a specific book to a colleague.
- Embed resources for relevant reading lists on your webpage.
- Bookmark a resource or webpage that you want to remember.
- And, much more!
Remember, TeachingBooks is a paid resource from the district. If you don’t use it, we may lose it! The site has video demos to help you learn to use the site to best benefit you and your students.
Weather, Seasons and Climate Resources
With spring just around the corner it is a perfect opportunity to bring out your weather and seasons thematic units. Here are some climate, weather, maps and season resources from Discovery Education. There are many resources listed here and are appropriate for all grade levels. Use the links to support your units. For Grades Prek-12: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/weather.html
Jitterbug: Music for Hip Kids
Musicians from around the world distribute their craft, and they provide a safe place to discover new music for parents and kids without resorting to surfing the mass music and video sites. You and your kids can enjoy hours of radio or video as artists, well known and otherwise, provide us with an awesome resource. There are several categories from which to choose: Kindie Music, Cool Classics, Animal Fun, TV Favorites, Movie Music, and more. Check it out at http://www.jitterbug.tv/index.php.
Video Innovation Lesson Plan Contest
How would you like to have Flip Video Cameras in your classroom? Digital Wish and Flip Video are sponsoring the Video Innovation Lesson Plan Contest, which calls for K-12 educators to write and submit their best Flip Video lesson plans. One winner will be selected from each of the following categories: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Winners will receive a classroom set of 10 Flip UltraHD 1 hour video cameras (worth over $1,500). The deadline to enter is March 31, 2011. Find out more about it at http://www.digitalwish.com/dw/digitalwish/flip_lesson_plan_contest.
Computer Running Slowly?
One of the biggest factors that slows down your computer’s performance is fragmentation, a situation that occurs over time, in which files on your hard drive become divided into small pieces. Your computer must read a file to open, save, or close it. So when it reads each piece of a fragmented file separately, the effect is that the file can seem “slow” when you’re working with it.
Defragmenting your hard drive is the process of putting all the scattered pieces of files back together. Microsoft Windows XP includes a tool that will defragment your hard drive for you. To keep your system performing well, it’s a good idea to have Windows XP automatically defragment your hard drive every week.
Computers running Windows Vista or 7 run the defragmenter automatically when needed.
1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel. 2. Click Performance and Maintenance. 3. Under or pick a Control Panel icon, click Scheduled Tasks. 4. In the Scheduled Tasks window, double-click Add Scheduled Task. 5. In the Scheduled Task Wizard, click Next. 6. Click Browse. 7. In the File name box, type %systemroot%\system32\defrag.exe, and then click Open. 8. Under Perform this task, click Weekly. Then, click Next. 9. Set the time and day of the week you would like to defragment your hard drive. For best results, choose a time when your computer will be on but you will be away from it. Click Next. 10. Type your password in both the Enter the password and Confirm password boxes. Then, click Next. 11. Select the Open advanced properties for this task when I click Finish check box, and then click Finish. 12. In the Run box, add C: to the existing command. Make sure you include a space before the “C:”. Then, click OK. It should read C:\Windows\system32\defrag.exe C: 13. In the Set Account Information dialog box, type your password in both the Password and Confirm password boxes. Then, click OK.
For more information visit: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/tips/defrag.mspx
AutoSummarize a Document in Microsoft Office Word 2007
An abstract or summary at the beginning of a document can help a reader quickly understand the scope of a body of information. Here’s how it works:
The AutoSummary Tools in Microsoft Office Word 2007 can highlight and assemble key points of a document. For example, a student could use Word 2007 to create an automatic summary of a number of long science articles or to quickly create an abstract for a finished history report. The student runs AutoSummarize and then edits the summary.
AutoSummarize analyzes a document and then assigns a score to each sentence. You decide the amount of detail you want, and AutoSummarize uses the scoring system to extract the key points and assemble them for you. Choose one of the four types of summaries, and Office Word 2007 displays the extracted text. After AutoSumarize finishes, you can edit the results to fit your needs.
To use AutoSummarize, you must first add the command to the Quick Access toolbar. For complete instructions on adding the AutoSummarize command and using the tool, go to http://www.microsoft.com/Education/autosummarize.aspx?qstr=CR_CC=&CR_ID=
The new iPad 2 is out now (since March 11th), and it has some VERY COOL new features!!! There's more to it, but less of it; it's 33% lighter. With an even thinner and lighter design, the iPad 2 has two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. You’ll see two cameras on iPad — one on the front and one on the back. They may be tiny, but they’re a big deal. They’re designed for FaceTime video calling, and they work together so you can talk to your favorite people and see them smile and laugh back at you. The front camera puts you and your friend face-to-face. Switch to the back camera during your video call to share where you are, who you’re with, or what’s going on around you. When you’re not using FaceTime, let the back camera roll if you see something movie-worthy. It’s HD, so whatever you shoot is a mini-masterpiece. And you can take wacky snapshots in Photo Booth. It also has the same incredible 10-hour battery life.
Whether you have the new iPad2 or the original, you will want to download the new iOS 4.3 update that will add more functionality.
Best on the Net!! -- Visit this site for hundreds of websites for teachers! We would love to hear from you about the best educational sites you have found on the web. Please submit, via email, the sites you feel merit inclusion. Send to email@example.com. Please include the URL and a short sentence about the site.
Featured Sites: (These sites were submitted by teachers in Calcasieu Parish)WebList
WebList is a tool that gathers different resources and aggregates them under one main URL. Users can collect different websites, images, documents, and videos in an editable list. Each resource receives its own URL, but users can send the main URL to colleagues or students and share all resources in one place. It’s a great way to have guided Internet searches for your students.TypeWith.Me
This cool tool lets users collaborate in real time in a chat-like format. One user creates a document and sends the URL to others, and each user types in a different color. Users can import and export text files, websites, and documents for collaborative learning, brainstorming, and editing. Students can collaborate with one another on projects or group study sessions, and revisions are saved. A time slider function lets users and teachers view the chat progression.My StoryMaker
My StoryMaker, from the Carnegie Libraries of Pittsburgh, lets students create their own stories that are archived for 30 days. Once created, a story is saved as a PDF and can be exported to a computer for permanent access. Students can play with characters, shapes, colors, movement, and sentences. Because users can’t edit a story after it is created, it is recommended that students map out their stories before creating them online.
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