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.

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:
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:
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.

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:

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, or, 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) - 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) - 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 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