Issue 36, Volume 11
Thought for the Week
We can never discover new continents until we have the courage to lose sight of all coasts.
-- Andre Gide
Tech Showcase 2011
A BIG thank you to the faculty, students, administrators and parents at DeQuincy Elementary, DeQuincy Middle, Frasch Elementary, LaGrange High, T. S. Cooley Elementary and Barbe Elementary.
What amazing Technology Showcase Visits we participated in last Thursday and Friday!
Participants from around the district were wowed and continue to comment about the high quality and effective classrooms that they visited. Each school was an impressive showcase of the innovative uses of technology in every grade and subject area. It was evident that all of these schools have a deep commitment to improving student learning.
If you were not able to attend the site visits, you missed a treat!
Again, we are appreciative of the work and effort by these schools and their learning communities.
Sheryl Abshire, Ph.D.
Chief Technology Officer
“Advancing Quality Education with Technology”
Don’t Lean On It, Leverage It!
Are you using Internet tools to engage students in the classroom and improve learning outcomes, or are you just using technology to decrease the time you spend lecturing and interacting with your students? There are many great Internet based tools available to bring new elements of collaboration, interaction, and even a little fun to the instructional process and thereby better engage and motivate your students and enhance learning outcomes. Of course, it is also entirely possible to use technology as a crutch or a “baby sitter,” but this is a rather unfortunate use of these tools and can give education technology a bad name. In this article “Teaching Naked” by teacher Jose’ A. Bowen, he suggests stripping the classroom of technology and focusing class time on discussion and interactive activities. To read all about it, follow this link:
Glogs - Online Multimedia Posters
This site lets educators and students create online multimedia posters with text, photos, videos, graphics, sounds, drawings, data attachments, and more. A “Glog” is created using a drag-and-drop feature. Once projects are complete, a teacher can share students’ work in a variety of educational settings. Glogs can be embedded in a blog, wiki, or website, or shared with others using Glogster EDU’s presentation capabilities. The teacher easily creates a private virtual classroom with students by registering for a teacher-administered account, generating student accounts with safe logins and passwords, and monitoring all activities within the account throughout the learning process. Student accounts can be created without providing email addresses or other contact information. Educators can choose the number of student accounts. It is recommended signing up for the maximum number of free accounts available because you will want to keep all the accounts when you sign up.
There’s also a paid version if you want more. Check it out at http://edu.glogster.com/.
Big Help Grants
The NEA Foundation - Nickelodeon Big Help Grants are available in the form of Student Achievement grants to K-8 public school educators. The Big Help Grants program is dedicated to the development and implementation of ideas, techniques, and approaches for addressing four key concerns – environmental awareness, health and wellness, students’ right to a quality public education, and active community involvement.
The grants target these four concerns as areas of great promise in helping develop a sense of global awareness in 21st century students that will encourage and enable them to make a difference in their world. Both the NEA Foundation and Nickelodeon are strongly committed to supporting the development of these skills and attributes for America’s students. Proposals for work resulting in low-income and minority student success with honors, advanced placement, or other challenging curricula are particularly encouraged. Grant awards average $5,000.00 and are due by June 1, 2011.
For more information or to apply online, go to http://www.neafoundation.org/pages/educators/grant-programs/nea-foundation-green-grants/.
Send an Email Attachment from Anywhere on the Desktop
Here’s a really handy tip. You can send an email attachment from anywhere on the desktop!
1. Locate a file anywhere on your hard drive that you want to email, right-click the file’s icon, click Send To, and then click Mail Recipient. A new mail message will open with the file attached and ready to send. But what’s really speedy about this tip is that your mail program doesn’t open. This action creates only a single new mail message. 2. To send your attachment, type the recipient's email address in the To text field, add any accompanying message, and then click the Send icon. The subject and attachment fields are already set.
Over the next few issues of TechConnect, several iPad tips will be shared. Whether you have an iPad to use in the classroom or at home, these tips will definitely come in handy. If you have a tip you want to share, feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with your iPad tip. For earlier tips, see Tech Connect Issue 32, Volume 11, Tech Connect Issue 33, Volume 11, Tech Connect Issue 34, Volume 11, and Tech Connect Issue 35, Volume 11.
Tip #13 Both the iPhone and iPad default to hold 4 icons/apps in the bottom tray, but the iPad can store more! By clicking and holding on any icon (just as you do to rearrange apps), you'll unlock each app's position. Then just drag any two additional apps into the bottom tray. Tip #14 Check out this spacebar trick! The spacebar will create as many spaces as there are fingers on it, so one finger will produce one space, two fingers two spaces and so on. Tip #15 Did you know that you can pause an application update or install? This works most effectively when you’re trying to update a bunch of applications at once, but you don’t really feel like waiting forever for one of them to finish. Just hit either of the icons to pause the installation. And naturally, you can reverse it by simply hitting each of the icons until the one that you want is installing.
Make Learning Fun with JeopardyLabs!
Are you looking for a way to make reviewing for a test fun? JeopardyLabs allows you to create a customized jeopardy template without PowerPoint. The games you make can be played online from anywhere in the world or downloaded to your own computer. Any number from 1 to 12 teams can play. Building your own jeopardy template is a piece of cake. Just use the simple editor to get your game up and running.
Not interested in building your own jeopardy templates? Did you know you can browse other jeopardy templates created by other people. Then, you can either use the jeopardy game as is or edit it to fit your needs. It doesn't get any better than this! Plus, there's no fee and no registration! The best way to learn about JeopardyLabs is to mess around! Make sure you read everything on each page, and click all the links. This isn't an antiques store, you won't break anything. If you still need help, there is a FAQ page available. The URL: http://jeopardylabs.com/
Automatically Change Your Default Printer Based on Location
Windows 7 has a ton of great features, most of which are really obvious—but there’s also some great features hidden away that you might not know even exist. One of these is that Windows 7 can automatically switch your laptop's default printer when it detects that you have moved form one network to another. This does not work for Home edition of Windows 7, and obviously it only applies to laptop PCs, since nobody carries a desktop around with them from location to location.
The normal use case, of course, is to switch printers depending on whether you are at home or at work, but this feature is especially useful if you use one of the many print-to-PDF solutions—you can continue to print things even while you aren’t connected to any network.
So, here’s how to switch your default printer automatically: 1. Head into the Devices and Printers panel, and then just click on one of the printers, which will enable more buttons on the toolbar. 2. Now you can select the Manage default printers button. Once that dialog box opens, you can change the radio button to Change my default printer when I change networks. 3. And now you can select a network in the first drop-down, and then select the printer you want to assign to that network in the drop-down box. The neat trick is to select the No network item in the drop-down box for anytime you aren’t connected.
If you don't want Windows to change your default printer settings when you move from place to place, click Always use the same printer as my default printer in the Manage Default Printers dialog box, and then click OK.
If you want a wireless network to appear in the Manage Default Printers dialog box, you need to have successfully connected to that wireless network at least once.
Record Podcasts with Vodburner
Looking for a tool to record podcast interview sessions? How about recording shared desktop sessions using Skype? Record Skype Video Calls and Edit for Free with Vodburner. Check it out at www.vodburner.com.
What can I do with the free version of Vodburner?
- Recording Skype-to-Skype chats with other VodBurner users is completely free of charge. There are no time limits or other limitations.
- Recording calls with non-VodBurner users is also free, but recordings have a VodBurner watermark added to them. Basic video editing (add/remove transitions, skip segments, add basic captions) is completely free of charge.
- Advanced video editing (add text, pictures, audio) is free for calls with other VodBurner users. To produce videos without the watermark, or to use
- Advanced video editing for calls to non-VodBurner users, you can purchase a VodBurner subscription.
- Record both sides of any Skype video conversation, directly to your hard disk.
- Captures at full frame rate and maximum resolution for the best quality possible.
- Once the call is complete, generate a single complete video, incorporating both sides of the call, with just a couple of clicks.
- Edit the video prior to publishing, using the built in Post-Production Console.
- Alter which camera is used at any point (this side, other side or both sides).
- Trim portions of the call so they do not appear in the final production.
- Add text captions to the final production, with the ability to alter font, color and background.
- Add pictures to the final production.
- Add background audio to the final production, with professional fading options and volume control.
"What-if" Scenarios in Microsoft Excel 2007
A scenario is a set of values that Microsoft Office Excel 2007 saves and can substitute automatically in your worksheet so that you can perform “what-if” analyses on a set of data. You can use scenarios to predict the outcome of different situations in your spreadsheet. "What if I skip this one assignment?" Use 'what if' scenarios in Office Excel 2007 to show students how one score can affect their overall grade.
You could use scenarios to take snapshots of data as you change certain variables or conditions, such as what would happen to the temperature of a material if you gradually increased the temperature of the environment. You can create and save different groups of values on a worksheet and then switch to any of those scenarios to view different results. Students can use scenarios to explore “what-if” possibilities for many types of school projects, such as materials testing, environmental studies, trend analysis, and genetic predictions. After a number of scenarios have been saved, you can create a summary, the results of which can be used to build charts or graphs.
To do this in your classroom, just use the following link for online step-by-step instructions: http://www.microsoft.com/Education/excelscenario.aspx
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)French Conjugation, Verb Synonyms and Definitions - Conjugator
Submitted by one of our own French teachers, here you will find a useful website for French students. It has a verb conjugator, bilingual dictionary, dictionary of definitions, as well as explanations and self quizzes of grammar points in French.Kerpoof
This site allows students K-8 to create pictures, movies, cards, drawings, and practice spelling. Teachers get free student accounts.Classmate Awards
You don't need to come up with all of the awards for each and every student; let your students do the work for you!
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