Thursday, December 22, 2005

[TIPS] - It's A Wonderful internet

And finally, before we all leave for home, let's watch this little tale of "It's A Wonderful Internet." The arrow to turn the pages is in the bottom right corner of the right hand page. And when you see other red arrows or sliders, see what happens when you pull or slide them.

And a VERY Happy Holidays to you all. See you next year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

[TIPS] - NPR John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story

Yes, it's that time again. Time to give you the link to John Henry' Faulk's telling of his wonderful Christmas story. I've been sending this link to you for what, 6 years? Longer? But, some of you are new, and others may still enjoy hearing it again. It requires Real Player. If you've NOT heard it before, treat yourself and give a listen. Why not play this for your class and ask them to write about the little boy in the story?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Don't want to hear it again? Then maybe this one is for you.
What is it? Well, what if you could go to a website where there was a virtual sketchpad on which you were allowed to add a couple lines. You just draw a couple lines. But, when you're done you're given the opportunity to adjust the opaqueness of some other lines. By making some lighter and others darker, you - and the masses who visit this site - suddenly find yourselves drawing something. Suddenly an image emerges. Granted, it's nothing you'd want to frame, but it's an interesting study, if nothing else. Oh, and you can also click a button and watch a replay of how this thing was made over time. Very cool idea. Non-productive, you say? But of course.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

[TIPS] - ALERT! You need to read this

Got a web cam at home? Do your KIDS have webcams at home? Then read this.

It's a VERY unpleasant tale, but one that we need to be aware of.

[TIPS] - flypentop gift idea?

Whether you end up dropping the $100 on one of these or not, this website is VERY cool.
Imagine - carry around a computer in a pen. Want a calculator? Draw a C with a circle around it. Then draw out your number pad and the + _ * and / signs. Instand calculator.THere's much more, too. Very cool stuff.
Oh, also imagine that the kids being born right now are going to grow up with things like this.

Monday, December 19, 2005

[TIPS] - Office ZOOM tip

How 'bout that - no web site tip today. :-)  Here's a little trick that you SHOULD be able to use with Word and the wheel on your mouse.
Open any ol' Word file containing text. Now, hold down the Control key and slowly scroll your mouse wheel. Presto! Instant Zoom! Works in Excel and Powerpoint, too.
What? Don't HAVE a wheel on your mouse? How on EARTH do you manage to scroll your web pages without it?

Friday, December 16, 2005

[TIPS] - Top Ten Tips for Better Pictures

As we approach the Christmas break when many of us will be taking tons of pictures with our (new?) digital cameras, I thought you might appreciate these pages with tips for taking better pictures. But, even before you look at these sites, READ THE MANUAL! There's a LOT to learn about a digital camera, so KNOW YOUR CAMERA.
So you've taken a bunch of pictures. Now what? Some people take the memory stick to a local Wal-Mart or Costco's or Sams's, etc, and print them themselves. The machines are easy to use (relatively speaking, of course) and they even allow you to do some last minute editing such as cropping, rotating, etc.
Another option, if you have a high speed internet access, is to upload them to one of the many sites out there where you can have FREE UNLIMITED STORAGE, get prints, purchase gifts with your images on them, and even share the albums with friends where they can even choose to get a print made, as well. There are many such sites, including Yahoo (create an account - free), SNAPFISH (especially for Comcast customers), Kodak, Shutterbug, and I'm sure there are others. I know that Snapfish is currently charging $.12 per 4x6" print. Hard to beat, even with shipping costs. I've even ordered mugs and sweatshirts with images printed on them. Very nice. ( - an example of a shared image.
So, if you're going to get getting into the world of digital cameras, be prepared to practice what you preach about being a "life-long learner." :-)  And - ENJOY!!!


Thursday, December 15, 2005

[TIPS] - French resources for K-7 (and a bonus)

Want some cool resources for teaching French to K-7 students? Try this site. French flash cards (and their suggestion that you consider playing "Fish" with the cards you print from the site), French word searches, and even French Bingo! You'll have to also teach the how to yell, "Oh RATS!" when someone shouts BINGO! :-)
Don't teach French? Then here's one for you: It's the BBC's Science and Nature site. Very well done.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

[TIPS] - - social spreadsheets

-------------- snip-------------
Getting going is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Register for your free account.
2. Enter values into spreadsheet - nothing to download, no plugins required.
3. Share the URL with colleagues and friends.
Understand? Create a spreadsheet on the web and share the URL with folks so that they can see AND MODIFY IT! Work collaboratively on a spreadsheet. What a neat idea.
And, as a bonus for today, check out this article that cautions about excessive time playing video games. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

[TIPS] -

LAMS is a revolutionary new tool for designing, managing and delivering online collaborative learning activities. It provides teachers with a highly intuitive visual authoring environment for creating sequences of learning activities. These activities can include a range of individual tasks, small group work and whole class activities based on both content and collaboration. Click here for an interactive demonstration of LAMS.

Monday, December 12, 2005

[TIPS] - microscope gallery

At the Microscope Imaging Station facility, museum visitors can use microscopes and other precision instrumentation to observe the activities of living cells and organisms.

When you check out the gallery be sure to watch for the Video button under the pictures. Watch cells divide, or the immune system fight off a virus, etc. Fascinating.
Oh, and for a bonus...
Want to know what some computer designers are conjuring up for the future? Check this out: There are other areas at the top of that page, as well.

Friday, December 09, 2005

[TIPS] - programming 3d for kids


Alice v2.0 is the next major version of the Alice 3D Authoring system, from the Stage3 Research Group at Carnegie Mellon University. It has been completely rewritten from scratch over the past few years.

The focus of the Alice project is now to provide the best possible first exposure to programming for students ranging from middle schoolers to college students.
Still not sure what it is? CHeck out the movies found here:

Thursday, December 08, 2005

[TIPS] - eatsshootsandleaves - ESL quiz

This is a cute activitiy in which kids are given an apostrophe or a comma, etc and are asked to put it in the proper place in a given sentence.  Or, they can click the "No apostrophe" link if one doesn't belong at all.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

[TIPS] - Journey of Mankind

The journey of mankind, from the Bradshaw Foundation. Follow this animated migration of modern man over the last 160,000 years. (And you thought it was tough retracing your steps of yesterday!) :-)
The map will show for the first time the interaction of migration and climate over this period. ....

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

[TIPS] - The world is flat!

The World is Flat!
So says Thomas L Friedman, the author of the book by the same title - a #1 book on the NYT Best Sellers List. This is a video stream of his speech. Why is the world flat? In short, "The global economic playing field is being leveled."
My advice to you is to start this video sometime when you're going to be online for a while, and let it run in the background and listen. This is something that your high school students should hear, too. This is THEIR world and I'll just bet this will enlighten them like NO OTHER speech they've heard to date. You, too. It's amazing how "flat" this world really is, and what events were directly or indirectly responsible for it.

Friday, December 02, 2005

[TIPS] - Nettrekker searches

Once you've done your search, say by the keyword "bridges", you'll see the first eight "hits" listed on the screen, with links at the bottom of the list to go to the next eight, or to skip to a particular page of hits. But, here's how you can filter your results even more.
Let's say that you're interested in only those sites that have learning games about bridges. Do you see the solid colored bar above your search results that has the words "Search results: bridges" in the left edge? Below that are some "shingles" that begin with "Lesson Plans", "Learning Exercises", "Learning Games", etc. Simply click the Learning Games shingle to see only those sites that contain learning games. It's that easy.
Oh, click the little PLUS (+) symbol to the left of those shingles to reveal additional filters. Pretty nice, eh?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

[TIPS] - Nettrekker tip

Have you signed onto Nettrekker, yet? Ask your tech director for details and for your IU's keyword that you'll need to create your account. It's available NOW courtesy of the PA Dept of Education.
How can you learn more about the system? On the page where you create(d) your account ( there is a PA symbol in the top right corner area. Under that symbol is a link. That link takes you to a page full of links to GREAT training resources. For example, you can find a one hour workshop "script" that takes you thorugh many of the key areas of Nettrekker. The three hour script goes into more of the areas. (It won't take three hours, and it really is good. Use this one if you can.) There are scavenger hunts and even links to Atomic Learning videos that show how to use the system.