Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Award Maker Site

I recently came upon a great site on a blog that I follow. It's called MyAwardMaker.com. You can choose from a large variety of certificates. It's as easy as downloading, personalizing, and printing! Plus, it's FREE. :) It does, however, save as a PDF file, so you will not be able to save the certificates. You must print it or lose the changes you've made. Enjoy!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Technology Tidbits

I recently attended STC Level 1 Training at the Schultz Center and wanted to bring back a little about what I learned....

We were given a tour of the "behind-the-scenes" areas that help run the district's data/computer system. It was very interesting to see how all these components work together!

There are a couple of things that they wanted us to remind our faculty...
1. Upon turning on your IBM computers (teacher OR student), you MUST let the Trend scan (black box with all the white writing that pops up) run! This is what helps get your computer its updates and keeps it free of viruses, spyware, etc. Do NOT "x" out of this.

2. Teachers are NOT allowed to be logging students' computers in under their own login information. This is a BIG no-no. The reason being that we just do not know what our students may be doing online when we aren't watching them carefully. (They told us some horror stories, including a student as young as 9-years-old surfing inappropriate sites on a school computer!)

* Students' login information is: Login - "s" followed by their student #. (ex: s12345678). The password is - last 4 digits of the SSN#. If they do not have a SSN# available, it would be the last 4 of their Florida ID#. This is also their new AR login information, so that should be helpful. Students must LOG OFF when they are finished using the computer - before another student uses it.

3. In order to increase the speed of your IBM (black) computers, we can do a couple of simple things...
* Delete Cookies
* Delete Temporary Internet Files
* Run a Disk Cleanup (only the first part - "Free Up Disk Space")

Running these programs at least once a month can help increase your computer's speed, so you're not like this guy! :)

Please contact Alice or Norma with any questions. Thank you!!

Monday, April 13, 2009

SmartBoard Cleaning

A Kindergarten teacher recently asked me how to clean a SmartBoard (A Kindergartener with dirty hands!? Shocking, right?). I didn't know the answer...but my friend, Google, helped me. Here is an article from the SmartTech website that tells how to keep your SmartBoard surface clean as well as how to remove marker, fingerprints, etc.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

SmartBoard Troubleshooting

Woohoo! The SmartBoard technician showed me how to rid ourselves of that pesky yellow notepad that pops up when you're trying to use the SB on a website. If you're using your mac, here's what to do:
1. Go to the little Apple icon at the top left part of your Desktop screen
2. On the Dropdown Menu, click on System Preferences
3. Go to the Ink icon and click on that
4. On the Ink settings, make sure that the box that says "Allow me to ink in any application" is UNCHECKED.

Hopefully, this will fix the problem. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Geek It Up" with Your Own Blog!

For those of you who are interested in creating a blog through Google's Blogger website, Melanie Holtsman, the Instructional Technology Coach at Chets Creek, created a wonderful resource for us. It's called Geek It Up with Google and it gives specific and visual directions for creating a blog. Please let me know what you think by responding to this post in a comment. :) I look forward to adding your blog on our school's website!

Reading Series Resources

There is a school district in California (Santa-Maria Bonita School District) that uses the same Reading series we do. They have compiled a fantastic list of resources that you can find here. If you look on the left side of the page, you'll see all the grade levels - "Kindergarten Teacher Idea Sharing", "First Grade Teacher Idea Sharing," etc. Check it out!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Smartboard Online Course

I subscribe to a blog called Teachers Love SMART Boards in my Google Reader. (This is a central place where all of my blogs are gathered to allow for easy reading). You can find out more about Google Reader here.

Well, there was a post on the Teachers Love SMART Boards blog about an online course available for free. I decided to participate in the course through a website called Teacher Online Training. This is a place where teachers can participate in online "courses" or tutorials for various Smartboard functions and applications. All you have to do is create an account for free and you're set to go! The course I completed is called: Introduction to Tables in SMART Notebook 10. It was free with an "Enrollment Key" that the facilitator provided. Otherwise, the course would've cost $4.95. I highly recommend completing this online course. It only took me 30-45 minutes.

This course is focused on "introducing the teacher to the table object in Smart Notebook Version 10. Participants will create an animal identification application that can be used inside the classroom. The techniques learned in this course will allow participants to utilize the table object efficiently and effectively in other Notebook applications. Participants will learn how to add and move tables, how to add text objects to table cells, how to add images to table cells, how to insert rows and columns, how to merge and delete cells, how to lock tables, and how to add cell shades to table cells."

I am working on getting an Enrollment Key for another course entitled: Notebook Application: Interactive Review Game. The site says that "This course will guide the participant through the process of creating an interactive vocabulary review game using any list of words." and "Participants will learn how to apply special page backgrounds, use flash-based resources from the Gallery, use a table to simplify tasks, and set default shape properties. In addition, participants will learn how to use and apply the infinite clone feature and apply a basic animation to objects to create stimulating user interaction."

I hope you get a chance to participate in the Introduction to Tables course. For those who aren't comfortable with that yet, there's also a course called Introduction to SMART Boards. If you do participate, please write a comment on this post to share your experiences. :)