This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

ECO Challenge

ECO Challenge - Make money, while saving the World!

Scholastic.com and Lexus are sponsering an Eco Challenge for Middle School and High School teams. They are giving away up to $1 million dollars, with the largest prize being $50,000.
Part of the incentive to the kids is a large portion of the money they get to keep.

This may present certain clubs or classes with an opportunity to get money for things they are doing, or as part of the school's sustainability initiative.

The flyers are in Casey Asato's classroom.
You can check out the program details at www.scholastic.com/lexus

Saving Paper

Aloha fellow faculty members:

During the Curriculum/Sustainability meeting today one of the hot topics was the amount of paper we use. One thing we talked about was digitizing handouts so that instead of giving students a hard copy we can just post the file online for them to retrieve, and even if ¾ of them eventually print it out, it does save us some paper.

1) One great tool that we have is the Xerox copier in Cooper House. If you have a hard copy of something, instead of making copies, you can easily have the machine scan it into an Adobe PDF format (which it then emails to you) that we can easily distribute to students via the homework web site. We won’t have to make copies.

2) Another option you have is if you have a computer document, you can make it into a PDF files (by choosing File-Print and choosing “Adobe PDF”, you can easily make a PDF that can be put on the web site.

Most internet users have the ability to read PDF files easily.


3) Lastly, you can print double sided on the printers in the lab/library.

When you go to File-Print you need to choose Properties and under the General tab will be the settings for double sided printer, similar to the picture below.









If you have any questions on how to print in PDF format, or on double-sided printing, please contact me.

If you have any questions on using the Xerox, please talk to Bridget who uses the scanning feature every day!

Friday, October 17, 2008

C-SPAN: Free Resources for Social Studies Teachers

C-SPAN classroom is a free service for educators.
Visit c-spanclassroom.org to join.
It has free video clips which you can show in your classroom.

Friday, October 3, 2008

MISO Conference - Podcasting

Okay! For those of you at the conference presentation on Podcasting, here is a PDF file of the Powerpoint presentation and Dr. Kate Ireland's lesson plans.

Thank you for attending.

Open the Slideshow (in pdf format)


Here are the PDF lessons from Dr Kate Ireland.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Calendar Magic

Google Calendar Sync is a neat little program that will allow you to sync your Outlook calendar with your Google Calendar.

This is handy if you need to access the same calendar from your home PC or your school laptop. If you have Outlook on your PC at home you can use Google Calendar Sync to synchronize your calendar on your work laptop to your home PC.

Google Calendar is a cool feature that it allows you to be reminded via email, or text message to your phone, for any appointment.

The downside: it only works with Windows XP/Vista and Outlook 2003/2007 - sorry MAC folks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

SMART training & solutions

At NECC the SMART Technologies people were pushing a couple of web sites I thought anyone using a SMART Board or Sympodium might find useful.

The first site is: http://smarttech.com/trainingcenter/
This is a training center that SMART has up for users to get more knowledge of the SMART Board, Sympodium or Notebook. They have weekly online-live training sessions and there are a lot of materials you can download for free.

The second site is: http://education.smarttech.com/ste/en-us/
This is SMART's Education Solutions Web site. They have resources and contests you might be interested in. It's applicable to the SMART Board and Sympodium. Maybe it'll give you an idea you might find useful in your class.

I have a 48 page instructional booklet "SMART Board Interactive Whiteboards for Dummies".
If you have a SMART Board and want this booklet, just post a comment letting me know and I'll give it to you. Middle or Upper School teachers -whoever uses a SMART Board.

Lulu.com

An interesting site I came across at NECC was LULU.COM.
This is basically a self-publishing book site. You upload your writing, create your cover art and they will 'publish on demand'. No cost to the writer. You can even set the 'profit' you want to make per copy. For $3 profit, if a book costs $7.00 to publish, they'll sell it for $10 and get you the funds. Some schools have even done yearbooks this way.

It's perfect for combining a classes writings (poems and short stories) and publishing them. The thought is the students will actually try to do better work if they know it will be published for anyone to read...similar to publishing writings in a blog for peer review.

(Middle School Teachers Read This)
They have a program for K-8, a teacher can sign up a class to 'publish' a book (individually) and they will ship the student the first printed copy FREE. For details go to:
http://www.lulu.com/en/products/aspiring_authors/

First Contest

My first 'contest' prize give-away. A winner will be drawn randomly from all entries posted by Aug 13th. Winner will be given their prize at our faculty meetings on the 14th. Open to Upper and Middle School Faculty.

Prize: Software "Wheel of Fame For Interactive Whiteboards". Value $29.95 single user license.
Basically it is a Wheel of Fortune type game that you type in the puzzle/answer to and 3 teams compete against each other.
This software will still work even if you don't have a SMART board, but it's not as interactive for the kids.

Leave me a comment on this blog entry letting me know what type of short and quick tech training sessions you would like to see this year. Maybe it's how to use TurnItIn.com, or AtomicLearning.com, or how to do blogging, anything you want technology related. It could be something we can cover in 5-10 minutes at a Divisional Meeting, or a 30-45 minute training session we can do during lunch or after school. I'm looking for ideas of what you want to learn about.

Be sure to leave me your first name on the post so I know who to credit for the drawing :-)
The winner will also receive free tech support from me to get it installed and up and running!!

NECC Conference Notes #1

Over the next couple of week, I'll be posting up information I gathered from the National Education and Computing Conference I attended in San Antonio, TX.

I also got a bunch of 'freebies' that I'll be giving away to interested SH faculty who follow this blog.

Texas was very hot (100+ degrees every day) , but the Convention Center and everywhere I went was air conditioned so I didn't feel the heat too much, except when I walked along the RiverWalk area and went to the Alamo.

First off, two web sites I think some people might be interested in.
1) TeacherTube.com - It's similar in look to YouTube, but videos are posted mostly by teachers for their students or other faculty to learn from. Might be a good resource for some of us to just learn how others are doing things or using video.
Here is one video I like that I think we should show at a Freshman Seminar.
But there are a lot of math and science related videos.
2) SchoolTube.com - This has a lot of videos by kids for kids, but it also has stuff for teachers.

I'm still looking into these site, but seems SchoolTube is a bit more moderated so only 'safe' videos make it online - everything is reviewed before being posted for all to see.

Both are definitely safer than YouTube.

CONTEST ALERT:The first 5 SH employees to visit one of these sites and leave a comment HERE on what they liked/disliked, or found useful will be entered into a drawing to a DVD movie by Discovery Education called "When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions, Landing The Eagle"

Another copy of this video was given to the Library if you want to see it.

When you leave a comment, be sure to put write in your first name so I know who to credit :-)

Follow Blog updates easily with Google Reader

Google Reader is an RSS Feed Agregator. It allows you to be notified (similar to email), when a web site or blog is updated. This way you don't have to go to the web site every few days to see what has been added. You just log into Google Reader (like you would for an email account) and it will display any updates on sites you have asked it to track for you.

Go to http://www.google.com/reader and sign up for a free account.

I've actually found Google Reader, Gmail and Google Docs all very useful.

P.S. - RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Free Wiki for Teachers

Wiki's are a tool that allows everyone to edit and post comments on a web page/site. There is a lot of potential collaboration uses for it.

Wikispaces.com is offering teachers a free wiki's from their "Plus" program. Normally it costs $50/year - which means no advertising and no usage limits. Check it out at:
http://www.wikispaces.com/site/for/teachers100K

Phone - Voicemail doesn't pick up

If voicemail does not pick up, reset “forward no answer/busy” to voicemail:
1) Push the "infinity" button
2) Enter access code: 358
3) Choose "voicemail" from the screen menu

Voice Mail Forwarding

I know Jon talked about it at our last staff meeting, but remember to not use the Do Not Disturb feature on the phones, or you will not get emergency notifications. Here is a clip/reminder from a previous email Jon sent out.
===============================================================
If you do not want your phone to ring, do not use the “Do Not Disturb” button. This will prevent your phone from receiving an emergency notification. Instead, use the “Forward” button to transfer all incoming calls to voicemail.

To do this:
1) Press the “Forward” button (upper right side)
2) Choose “Voice Mail” from the LCD screen
3) The “Forward” button will have a red indicator light.

To turn off forwarding:
1) Press the “Forward” button
2) Press the “Speaker” button (above the number 1)

Please note: I have reprogrammed the “Do Not Disturb” button on your phones to do the exact same thing as the “Forward” button in case you press it by mistake.

Later, we can assign some other function to this button and change the label on the face plate.
If you do need the “Do Not Disturb” function for some reason, let me know and I’ll tell you how to set it.
Please see me if you have any questions.

Jon Toda

Email Autoresponder

When you are going out of town, or won't be able to access your email for awhile, please remember to set an email autoresponder so that people will know you are not checking your email.

Jon has set up everything you need (with instructions) at:

http://seaburyhall.org/tech/facultyresources.html


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

FlashMyBrain.com - Online Flash Card

Here is a web site that Makalani bought to my attention: FlashMyBrain.com

She has purchased a license so please ask her about this program if you find it interesting/useful.
She is having students use it to create flashcards and study. It sound very good and seems like it will keep their attention.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Kukulu Kaiaulu 2.0 - KS-Oahu EdTech Conference

The Kukulu Kaiaulu 2.0 conference was June9-10 at the Blaisdell Center.
If you can go next year, you should. Lehn organized this year's trip and it was amazing.
The facilities were nice, the food was almost as good as Gus', but most importantly the speakers were really good, especially the Keynote speakers who were national renowned.

Their web site is: http://blogs.ksbe.edu/edtechconference

The theme was Web 2.0, which is what some people are calling the transition of the web from just a place you can read information from, to a place where you can read AND write information to build connectivity between users.

################################################################
The first General Session Speaker was Will Richardson (http://weblogg-ed.com/).
He has a great blog/website you should check out at weblogg-ed.com.
He also has another page you might want to check out:
http://willrichardson.wikispaces.com/

I'm sure it's alot of the stuff you already heard, but here goes anyway.....

He basically talked about how teachers can(and should) use emerging technologies to 1) Connect with their students and 2) to get their students more involved in the learning process. He thinks we really need to show them how to learn and find information and not just memorize facts for memorization sake. If students are vested in the learning process they will learn more....sort of along the lines of the book Lou gave us to read, "Mindsets".

He talked about the students taking ownership in what they were learning. He talked about teachers using technology to stay more connected with students and generating interest in their students.

He gave a lot of web sites, but here are a few I think you'll find of interest:
* http://www.ted.com - this is the site for the videos that Joe showed during one of the leap days. A lot of educators or people talking about education. Some good videos to watch.
* http://www.fanfiction.net/ - this is a site for writers. Basically people write stories to add books or chapters to their favorite stories. If you look at http://www.fanfiction.net/book/Odyssey/ , it is basically a bunch of related stories based off of the Odyssey and a good majority of students who posted their work for a class project. It gets the students published and the theory is they'll do a better job because their peers can read and review it (from around the world and not just from their class).
* http://ocw.mit.edu - this web site is free lecture notes, exams, and videos from MIT, taken from courses that they have offered. So you can 'take' a course at MIT that the lectures and notes are on-line for or you can get ideas for your class also. There is over 1800 courses online.

################################################################
The first breakout session I attended was called Personal Learning Networks, by David Warlick. Despite technical difficulties with the internet, the talk was good.
His website is DavidWarlick.com

A Personal Learning Environment is your connections to help you learn how to better do your job, and increase your understanding of how use technology to make you more effective. It dealt with ways to stay connected with people in your field to increase your knowledge.

To learn more about this session click below for his:
- Outline notes
- Personal Learning Network Strategies

He also talked about social networking and there is a good wikispace page just for teachers on the topic: http://socialnetworking4teachers.wikispaces.com/

Here are some web videos by Will Richardson on Personal Learning Networks: http://www.plpnetwork.com/videos.html

Here is a video web stream of a later Session of Personal Learning Networks by David, and put live online by Will Richardson.
Live Video streamed by Ustream


Broadcast powered by Ustream.TV

###############################################################
Next session: Sprout Builder Widgets

This is a local company that started out as a web site to collect on-line donations. They realized the schools and non-profits they worked with were missing tools to build a creative and fun interface. They decided to build their own product and started another business just for this program they call SproutBuilder. It is currently a free program.

It is a web site that you can use to build flash content for your class web page. It is hosted on their web site. You can do videos, quizes, polls, etc. It is a pretty neat tool, and I'll probably teach it for a week or two in my Computer Graphics class as well as Beginning Programming class.

View their presentation (as flash content from their web site):
http://sproutbuilder.com/blog/2008/06/08/edtechconference
It has 'clickable' links in it.
###############################################################
Next Session: Social Media Survival Guide
This presentation was about a bunch of various web sites and their uses. I'm working my way through the list and will share any good ideas with you, such as the jott.com web site I already talked about.

Here is their slideshow:

###############################################################
Next Session: General Session 2 - David Warlick
http://landmark-project.com/

Here is the video of the second morning General session:
Video clips hosted by Ustream
###############################################################

How to start your own blog

A blog lets you easily get information out to your students and allows them to post comments about what you wrote. For instance you could publish a students poem and classmates could come in and comment on the poem, telling them one thing they like or dislike about the writing.

Two places you can create a blog that is safe for students would be blogger.com and edublogs.org - both seem to be ad free. You have a 100MB limit, but I don't think that will be a problem for most of us.

Another good web site for blogging is wordpress.com

At this web site is a quick little overview of what a blog can be: http://www.blogger.com/tour_start.g

If you use blogger.com you'll need a Google account. You can easily create one and then use the Google Reader application to keep notified of when comments are made to your blog so you can go and check it out.

Edublogs.org is a nice site and it is designed specifically for educators. This may be a better place to start off initially, but it doesn't have as many features as blogger.com. Both are really good places to start.

Click here to go to Edublogs.org (make sure to type in the correct address, or you'll be sent to other companies who offer blogging, but it's not as good)

Click here to go to Blogger.com (also know as blogspot.com, so don't be confused when your web site is called blogspot.com, blogger.com is the content creator site and blogspot is the content publishing site.)

Click here to go to Wordpress.com

Friday, June 13, 2008

Check email in Web Browser

Watch this video to see how you can check your email via the web.

Normally you just go to SeaburyHall.org and on the left side you will see a link for WebMail.
Your username must include the "@seaburyhall.org"

You can use this web client to check your email from anywhere, on any computer, as long as you have web access and a browser.

I created this tutorial video with Freez Screen Video Capture. Not sure if I like it, but let me know what you think of the video quality, and if it made sense.


video

Jott - Voice to Text web site


Jott.com is a neat web site that allows you to call a number with your cell phone and send a text message anywhere. You can send yourself a quick reminder email just by placing a call with your phone. You are limited to 30 seconds, but it is surprisingly good at converting text.

You must use your cell phone when you sign up for an account, do not use the school's phone number. You could also use a home phone, but you must have one main phone number associated with the site. It uses caller ID to identify who you are, so you'll need to set up each phone number separately if you want more than just your cell phone.

If you set up Jon's or my email address into Jott, you could send us quick little emails when you are on the road or do not have access to your laptop at the moment.

Go to Jott.com and sign up.