Thursday, November 27, 2008


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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Document Camera Integration Tips

I'd like to welcome everyone back after the summer. Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable break. I know I did!

I read an article today that had simple integration tips for those of you that have access to a document camera and LCD projector.

Integration Tip

Here are five ways you can integrate a document camera into your school’s elementary school lesson plans.

  • Have students draw background scenery for their play, then project the image behind them when they perform.
  • Teach math by putting a protractor and ruler under the camera for all to see clearly.
  • Use the camera to have the class read and follow along from the same book.
  • Quickly call up maps for social studies and history assignments.
  • Project a piece of lined paper on your whiteboard. Now students writing on the board can keep their work straight.
You can read the entire article at If you have any questions or want to share your ideas, email me.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Choosing a classroom projector ...

If you are choosing a projector for your classroom, or making recommendations at your school site for this purchase, here is an article by Jeffrey Branzburg at Technology & Learning magazine that gives you information on specifications to look at.
There are a variety of factors to consider when finding the perfect projector. Pick your priorities:

A projector connected to your computer gives you the ability to share your screen with a classroom. You can display Web sites, show students' computerized presentations, provide large-group modeling of skills and techniques, brainstorm concept maps, play a video, or mark up the screen and save your notes.
Here are features to consider when choosing a projector, whether it's a liquid crystal display or digital light processing model.


A projector's brightness is measured in lumens. The least expensive projectors are usually the lowest in lumens (fewer than 1,000) and are designed for small rooms with the lights lowered. In general, more than 3,000 lumens are needed for auditoriums and other similarly large rooms, under normal light conditions... (article continues...)
Read the complete article at Technology & Learning Digital Edition with additional information on other factors such as resolution, size and weight, lamp life, zooming and keystoning.

Friday, May 23, 2008

HM Support on YAHOO! Groups

Here are links for some Yahoo User groups that support HM for grades K-3. You will have to have a (free) Yahoo email address to join the groups. Joining the groups will allow you to read and write messages, as well as download user files.

1st Grade:
2nd Grade:
2nd Grade powerpoints:
3rd Grade:
5th Grade:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Rash of "Phishing" emails

Please beware that a number of teachers have reported receiving emails stating that user needs to "update account information". These emails are referred to as “phishing” and are not legitimate emails. The author of these emails is hoping you will click the link, go to THEIR site, and enter your SSN, credit card, and/or account passwords. DO NOT CLICK THE LINK IN THESE EMAILS!! If the information appears to be from a site that you have an account with, exit the email and log-on through the normal website and check for messages there.

The information below is from the Microsoft website:

How to tell if an e-mail message is fraudulent

Here are a few phrases to look for if you think an e-mail message is a phishing scam.

"Verify your account."
Businesses should not ask you to send passwords, login names, Social Security numbers, or other personal information through e-mail.

If you receive an e-mail from Microsoft asking you to update your credit card information, do not respond: this is a phishing scam. To learn more, read Fraudulent e-mail that requests credit card information sent to Microsoft customers.

"If you don't respond within 48 hours, your account will be closed."
These messages convey a sense of urgency so that you'll respond immediately without thinking. Phishing e-mail message might even claim that your response is required because your account might have been compromised.

"Dear Valued Customer."
Phishing e-mail messages are usually sent out in bulk and often do not contain your first or last name.

"Click the link below to gain access to your account."
HTML-formatted messages can contain links or forms that you can fill out just as you'd fill out a form on a Web site.
The links that you are urged to click may contain all or part of a real company's name and are usually "masked," meaning that the link you see does not take you to that address but somewhere different, usually a phony Web site.
Notice in the following example that resting (but not clicking) the mouse pointer on the link reveals the real Web address, as shown in the box with the yellow background. The string of cryptic numbers looks nothing like the company's Web address, which is a suspicious sign.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Adobe launches free web version of Photoshop

"The maker of the popular photo-editing software Photoshop on March 27 launched a basic version of the program available free of charge online.

Photoshop Express will be completely web-based, so consumers can use it with any type of computer, operating system, and browser. And, once they register, users can get to their accounts from different computers.

After signing up for the free service, users can upload their photos and then edit them with Adobe’s simplified set of point-and-click controls for removing “red eye,” cropping, adjusting the brightness and color saturation, and other functions. Users can group photos into online albums and can post them to popular social-networking sites, all from within the web-based program."

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recent Finds on the Internet

Each day, I get emails about websites and/or read about them in articles and blogs. I thought I would start trying to share my finds at least once a week. This week's discoveries:

  1. - a site with FREE clipart, fonts, and worksheets for teachers
  2. - more FREE clipart
  3. -"The Newspaper Clipping Generator" ... very cool site that takes your headline and text and makes a .jpg of a newspaper clipping
  4. - Technology Resources for Adopted Materials (TRAM) to support our reading and math series. If you attended the RCOE technology workshop on 4/28 or 5/5, this is the site they were using.

I hope these sites are useful for you. If you have a particular need for any type of sites, please comment below and I'll see what I can find for you.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I was recently reading an article on a website called "DIGITAL LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS " that I wanted to share with you:

The Need for Change

Not only has the world changed but students are not as they were in our day, the old days, or anytime within recent memory. Because they are different, teaching and learning must also be different.

The Pew Research Center released “A Portrait of Generation Next.” In it, they conclude, “A new generation has come of age, shaped by an unprecedented revolution in technology and dramatic events both at home and abroad. They are more comfortable with globalization and new ways of doing work. They are the most likely of any age group to say that automation, the outsourcing of jobs, and the growing number of immigrants have helped and not hurt American workers. Asked about the life goals of those in their age group, most Gen Nexters say their generation's top goals are “fortune and fame.”

In their report “Teens and Technology: Youth are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation,” Pew researchers state, “The number of teenagers using the Internet has grown 24% in the past four years and 87% of those between the ages of 12 and 17 are online, and more than half (55%) of all online American youths ages 12-17 use online social networking.” See more data in the sidebar below.

Teens and the Internet

The vast majority of teens in the United States, 87% of those aged 12 to 17, now use the Internet. That amounts to about 21 million youth who use the internet, up from roughly 17 million when we surveyed this age cohort in late 2000. Not only has the wired share of the teenage population grown, but teens’ use of the internet has intensified. Teenagers now use the internet more often and in a greater variety of ways than they did in 2000. There are now approximately 11 million teens who go online daily, compared to about 7 million in 2000.

• 87% of U.S. teens aged 12-17 use the internet, up from 73% in 2000. By contrast,
• 66% of adults use the internet, up from 56% in 2000.
• 51% of teenage internet users say they go online on a daily basis, up from 42% in
• 2000.

At the same time, the scope of teens’ online lives has also broadened. One out of every two teens who use the internet lives in a home with a broadband connection. Wired teens are more frequent users of instant messaging. And they are now more likely to play games online, make purchases, get news, and seek health information.
• 81% of teen Internet users play games online. That represents about 17 million people and signifies growth of 52% in the number of online gamers since 2000.
• 76% get news online. That represents about 16 million people and signifies growth of 38% in the number of teens getting news online since 2000.
• 43% have made purchases online. That represents about 9 million people and signifies growth of 71% in teen online shoppers since 2000.
• 31% use the Internet to get health information. That represents about 6 million people and signifies growth of 47% in the number of teens using the internet this way since 2000. - From Teens and Technology: Youth are Leading the Transition to a Fully Wired and Mobile Nation -

This article helps reinforce what many of us already know - the way we learned to teach ten (or more) years ago is not the way most students learn today. We are not going to change the way they learn, so we will have to take articles like this one, digest the facts, and adjust our teaching methods accordingly.

Food for thought ....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Office 2003 and opening .DOCX files

If you have MS Office 2003 installed on your computer, like most of us do, you may run into the problem that I did when I was emailed a file with the ".docx" extension. When I tried to open it, MS Word 2003 did not know how to open it.

It turns out that this file extension (with the trailing 'x') is a new format that is part of MS Office 2007. To open files in MS Office 2003 with the "x" (.docx, .xlsx, and .pptx), you will need to download and install the program FileFormatConverters.exe from the Microsoft website. This download will add the capability to open MS Office 2007 files from Office 2003. You might not get the full impact of some of Office 2007's new features, but you will be able to open, edit, and/or print the document.