Issue 25, Volume 9
March 12, 2009
Thought for the Week
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one's own sunshine. --- - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Administrators Access Effectiveness Of Technology
Today district and building level administrators are busier than ever. As districts continue to invest in new more advanced technologies, administrators are being charged with the added responsibility of overseeing and managing their local technology program and few are prepared to do so. Here are a few things to help you get started to make sure you are prepared as an administrator:
1. Have an awareness of instructional technology tools and trends. 2. Establish metrics for assessing technology integration. 3. Build your own proficiency with appropriate technologies for your work. 4. Gain an awareness of the impact of data driven decision-making. 5. Develop an understanding of the relationship between hardware acquisition and staff development. 6. Learn about the unique facets surrounding financing technology including the importance of equipment replacement cycles. 7. Create the best practices of common technology frameworks to empower teachers and schools at the building level.
As the instructional leader in the building, technology is no different from the other programs you oversee. Technology can and should be part of good pedagogy and not an additional isolated program or tool. Read about this and more from SchoolCIO: Strategies for K-12 Technology Leaders at http://www.schoolcio.com/ShowArticle.aspx.
The new free ISTE Classroom Observation Tool (COT) assists administrators in the evaluation of classroom lessons that infuse technology. Using a notebook computer, an evaluator can record multiple measures of student engagement and share this data with the teacher. The system can produce analytical reports. Your data can be downloaded into other programs for statistical analysis. In addition, evaluations can be stored and shared in a single database. http://icot.craftyspace.com/
Featured Blackboard Site
The featured Blackboard site was created by Regina Smart, an Agriculture teacher from Starks High. Mrs. Smart created the site to serve as a resource for all teachers and parents at the school. Visit Mrs. Smarts's site.
Interactive Human Anatomy
Science teachers, do you and your students need free, interactive practice with human anatomy? Where do various body parts (muscles, organs, skeleton, and nervous system) belong? And what are their biological functions? The British Broadcasting Company has developed a reliable, educational website called BBC Science Interactive Body where the various body parts must be rotated and placed in correct right location. Check it out at http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/body/interactives/3djigsaw_02/main.shtml?organs
Changing The Startup Folder In Outlook
Most people use Outlook primarily for email and are happy that the program starts up in the Inbox folder. But if you want to change what is displayed when you start Outlook, for example, you can have the Calendar open instead of the Inbox. Here's how:
1. Select Options from the Tools menu. 2. Click on the Other tab. 3. Click the Advanced Options button. 4. Click the Browse button next to the Startup in this folder box. 5. Select the folder you want to display when you start Outlook. 6. Click the OK button to close all remaining open dialog boxes.
Middle School Math Mission
Uh-oh; Dr. Wick has hatched some evil plans from Villainy, Inc. Your middle school students' mission is to unravel them, using their brilliant math skills. Animated stories provide the backdrop, with mathematical challenges in algebra, problem solving, data analysis, and geometry to determine the outcome. Check it out at http://villainyinc.thinkport.org/. For a Teacher's Guide, go to http://villainyinc.thinkport.org/teachers/teachers_ed.asp. And, for related student worksheets, complete with answer keys, go to http://villainyinc.thinkport.org/teachers/worksheets.asp.
Read All About It!!!
The New York Times is not only one of the world's best news services, but the online web site also has a "Learning Network" for teachers, students, and parents. Available individually or via a FREE email subscription are hundreds of lesson plans (current and archived) that use NY Times articles as the data source upon which each lesson is built. Lesson plans, developed in partnership with the Bank Street College of Education of NYC, are available for grades 3-12. Many lessons are interdisciplinary and utilize student-engaging technology. Also available at the Learning Network are the NY Times crosswords, news quizzes, science Q&A, and other wonderful resources written by top-notch professionals. The URL: http://www.nytimes.com/learning/index.html
Where Is Spell Check In Office 2007?
If you are new to Office 2007, you know it is quite different. The use of the ribbon is handy, but you have to know what kind of tool is under which heading. You would think that Spell Check is under the References tab, but it is not. To access Spelling & Grammar Check, as well as Research, Thesaurus, Translation, and Word Count, click on the Review tab and click a button in the Proofing group. If you want to make it even easier to find, right-click the Spelling & Grammar button and select Add to Quick Access toolbar from the resulting menu.
Sending Messages Via Cell Phone
Outlook can call your cell phone! Now, you might wonder why you’d bother, but it’s a convenient way to send phone numbers, short messages, reminders, and other important stuff to your cell phone so you can store it or share it. For instance, you might send a new client’s phone number and address to your cell phone, just in case you get lost or stuck in traffic.
You can send e-mail to anybody, as long as their cell phone supports Short Message Service (SMS). Fortunately, it’s a truly simple process:
1. Create a new email message. 2. In the To text box, enter the cell phone number using the following syntax:
3. Create a message of 160 characters or less. Or attach a .jpg file, if the cell phone is also a camera phone. 4. Send the e-mail.
Below is a list of the major carrier domains:
Alltel @message.alltel.com Cingular/AT&T @txt.att.net Nextel @messaging.nextel.com Sprint @messaging.sprintpcs.com SunCom @tms.suncom.com T-mobile @tmomail.net VoiceStream @voicestream.net Verizon @vtext.com
If you don’t know the cell phone’s service carrier, visit whitepages.com or phonenumber.com/reverse-phone, and enter the 10-digit cell phone number using the reverse lookup feature. If you’re lucky, it’ll list the carrier. If the carrier’s domain isn’t listed above, check its Web site. Keep in mind that text messages aren’t always free. The recipient might be charged for the message.
Technology Resources For Struggling Students
Are you looking for ways to use technology resources to meet the needs of struggling learners or students with disabilities? Then you might be interested in this resource document published by the Florida Department of Education and Student Services. Some of the topics discussed in the document are digital text tools, memory/information management tools, graphics/video tools, graphic organizers, online books, and much more. To access the resource guide, go to: http://www.paec.org/fdlrstech/Handouts/FDLRS%20Booklet%2009%20color.pdf 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the URL and a short sentence about the site.
Featured Sites: (These sites were submitted by teachers in Calcasieu Parish)Make A Talking Book
Students can follow the instructions here to use PowerPoint and create a clickable talking book. Try this project for any creative writing assignment, or for social studies or science reports.
Fairy Tale News Stories
What a cool idea for understanding how a newspaper is organized, and becoming familiar with each section. Students will be creating both headlines and news stories - using familiar fairy tales and children's stories in this lesson plan. An example is given.
Here's a great exercise for high school students, who will have to learn to budget their expenses soon enough. Give them a head start, offering each one a blank check record book, and this lesson plan, where they will have to plan a budget for all expenses and using a newspaper to determine costs. Find further instructions here.
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