Friday, March 31, 2006

[TIPS] - proof of Einstein's genius

Einstein - Sure, they all SAY he was a genius, but now there's PROOF!
Want to make one of those for yourself? Go here:

Thursday, March 30, 2006

[TIPS] - Educational Fre*ware

No cost is good, right? Here are 5 pages of links to such educational programs that can either be downloaded or run online. From Math to typing, and from Art to Geography.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

[TIPS] - Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Here's a list of no-cost (spam filters don't like the FRE* word) resources for educators. Very nice. From Art to Vocational Ed. Check it out
- - -
And thanks to Victoria P. for reminding me to remind YOU that the Peregrine falcon cam in downtown Harrisburg is back in action and mom has laid two eggs so far. Click the link for Broadband Only on this page: Nice camera action nowadays, too.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Friday, March 24, 2006

[TIPS] - ajaxwrite (too cool to wait until next week)

This one was too cool to wait. Ajax (not the foaming cleanser) is VERY H-O-T stuff. Here is an ajax-based word processing program that looks just like MS Word. It opens in 6 seconds.
Something to think about...
While we were busy playing with your basic web pages (or writing web pages with Frontpage or Dreamweaver, etc), and installing Microsoft Office on out desktop machines, the world has been busy moving things online. I've sent you several sites in the past as examples. But, I want to make sure that you know that this isn't just a passing fad. Watch the web closely and watch as it transforms itself from a Medium to a Platform. You'll be able (actually you can NOW) to access all your files online- whether or not we think it's a good idea. AND, things are being designed to be collaborative by design. (Remember
Why is this a big deal? Remember - we're not in the business of teaching kids how to live in the past.

[TIPS] - juicy geography for Google Earth

Got Google Earth? What a fun way to study geography.
- - - and since I didn't get to send out a tip yesterday, here's a bonus - - -
And here the Sierra Club uses Google Earth to show the land that the Fed government is selling off. (Hmmm.... I wonder if it'll stay protected. Hmmmm)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

[TIPS] - Podcast directory for educators

Looking for some podcasting examples from school aged children? Check this site. I clicked the School podcasts link on the left and then chose "the age of 11" and was given a nice page of links. They play with real player on my machine.
Want to hear some local podcasts? Chris H at WSSD has just started and his classes have two podcasts. Find them here:   I think Chris has plans to have his kids read their stories in their podcast, eventually. (Remember that tip from a while back?)

[The last sub page on the left is "Podcast Page" - the directions are there (all you need is iTunes).]

[TIPS] - the missing link

Thanks to the dozens of people ... OK... it was just one... who wrote back to tell me that I didn't paste my link on the second part of yesterday's tip. I HATE when that happens!
This is the newspaper site that ... well, check it out.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

[TIPS] - Google Earth Basics - and a cool news site

Lots of good stuff here including 3-d buildings, "Tour" mode, using GE offline, and much more. Return to the home page of that site (remove everything after the .com) and you'll be able to subscribe to this blog to be notified when new posts are added.
- - -
Not "into" GE? Try this tip, then. Would you like the read newspapers from around the country? Around the world? This one is quite interesting. Hover over the dots to see a sample image of the newspaper for that location appear on the right. Click the dot top open it in its own window. That window also has links back to the home website for that paper. Zoom in or out, move the map around, and change countries. Very cool!
See if you can find The Patriot News. Hmmm... "A Dry Season" it says....

Monday, March 20, 2006

[TIPS] - the nist global clock - revisited

Ah, March. That time of year when so many of us wake up with a start thinking that we've overslept. :-) Yes, it's getting brighter, earlier. The days are getting longer. Does that put a smile on your face, or what?
Several people have asked me for the website where you can see what parts of the planet are in daylight and what parts are in darkness. Today is a critical day since the equinox occurs today. 
If you've not done this before, check out the map today with your students. Revisit it once a week and print out the screenshots. A nice lesson, to be sure.
And thanks to Larry W for sharing this one:
I havcen't found any mention of it being any sort of spyware, but you should ALWAYS be careful with this sort of thing.

[TIPS] - Google Earth tutorial and a bonus Word tip - Excellent screencast tutorials for Google Earth
Got Google Earth? If not, get it here: Once it's installed, dble click on the attachment to this email. (Not available in the blog)
Watch these tips this week for more on Google Earth.
- - - - Bonus Word Tip - - - 
You've just finished typing this short sentence in Word:
"I konw that the teaxhers have studeid this proceudre for sevreal weeks. "
Ooops. A few typos in there, yes? And, from your experience you know that you often mistype them like that. Don't you wish the computer would just go ahead and fix those typos?
Relax! Now it can! (Does this sound like a commercial?) How, you ask? That's easy. Simply right-click on each word, and choose Autocorrect> then the correctly spelled word from the autocorrect list of choices. You've just added it to the autocorrect list and now it WILL automatically correct those words as you mistype them.
Don't you wish we could do that with things that we SAY, as well?

Friday, March 17, 2006

[TIPS] - Biology and Space Science sites

And now for something... completely different. (Name that show!) For the science teachers - the biology teachers, especially - this site on cells. Cells Alive! Download or watch movies of cells, play with interactive cell animations, and much more. Some will cost you $$. Others are free.
- - -
I don't know what it is, but I'm becoming obsessed with space. This site has several excellent collections of movies from Hubble, complete with music or commentary.
And this one, , is just flat out excellent.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

[TIPS] - Mysterious number 6174

Thanks to Barry S for sharing this one after reading yesterday's tips. This one is about the mysterious number 6174. Mysterious? See for yourself. And while you're there check out the rest of this site. Very nice.
- -
For the non-math people, maybe this one will be of interest:
If you've even CONSIDERED investigating podcasts for the classroom, then you may want to check this site out. This guy podcasts about how to use podcasts. He runs contests, offers suggestions, and much more. Give it a listen (if you can tolerate his incessant use of the word 'like' - GEEZ!!! That's SO annoying - or is it just annoying to me? I think it makes him sound stupid! Don't get me started... :-)   )

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

[TIPS] - three math sites

Three math sites today! Woohoo!!
This one is a very simple math challenge for kids in grades 6 and up, I would guess. The challenge :
You have fifteen seconds. Using standard math notation, English words, or both, name a single whole number-not an infinity-on a blank index card. Be precise enough for any reasonable modern mathematician to determine exactly what number you've named, by consulting only your card and, if necessary, the published literature.
- - -
A repeat (by request) What's Unique about this number?
- - -
And finally, Inner Algebra, or "How to Solve Algebra Problems in Your Head"

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

[TIPS] - Chemistry Freeware

Pass this one along to your favorite Chemistry teacher. Freeware is good stuff, eh?
Also, this site: offers foree software. Register first. Looks good!
Thanks to David L for sharing these.

Monday, March 13, 2006

[TIPS] - Blurb Home

Blurb is a book publishing tool. It's free. Why? You only pay when you
publish your book. What kind of book can you publish? Publish your
pictures with or without text, or your blog (yeah, I know you don't have
one), or lots of things. CHeck out the site to see their exapmles.

The cost is about $30 for a book up to 80 pages. THe more page the more
expensive, of course. But, maybe that's a nice way to capture the
pictures from your year with your students.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

[TIPS] - Bits n Bytes Newsletter now available

That is the link to this month's issue of Bits and Bytes, the Technology Department's quarterly newsletter. It's a pdf file. Some of you are even mentioned in it so you may want to read it. :-)

[TIPS] - security issues and more about mashups

A couple security issues this morning: - this article talks about keyloggers and how it's being used to find out everything you type.
The second is just a warning. An official-looking email is circulating that claims that you've won some lottery and you must furnish some private information to claim it. We're all too smart to fall for that, right? I CAN'T HEAR YOUUUUU... RIGHT?????  :-)
- - - -
I've heard from several people who were asking more about mashups. Here are three sites that you may find useful:
 - "MapBuilder lets you tag locations on a map and publish it on your own site.
Mapping is now easier than ever. It's free."

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

[TIPS] - suprglu, the good earth, and a space elevator

Today's tip is actually a "three-fer."
This first site is a suprglu site. It's an aggregator site for RSS feeds. (Don't Panic!) It's just a way to pull into one page all of the new articles that I subscribe to, such as blogs of various educators, news feeds, etc. It's free. A teacher could set one up and just point his/her students to that site and the students would be able to read (or at least SEE) everything the teacher reads. News feeds from NASA or Discover or USAToday, etc.
- - - -
This second site  -  - is a movie of a series of photographs taken of the earth that shows... well... a number of things. Be sure to read the notes in the bottom right corner of the movie that describe what it is you're seeing. For example, there may be two pictures back to back that are identical except for the colors. It turns out that the first shows the rivers as they SHOULD be, and the second shows the rivers after being heavily silted due to over logging upstream. The music alone is haunting - I think it's the same music used in the Hubble movie from a previous tip.
- - -
This third tip is just for fun - sort of.  Some people are taking it VERY seriously.  This article talks about a space elevator that some believe to be possible. Here's a clip:
"Earth is constantly spinning. So if you attach a counterweight to it with a cable, and put it far enough away-62,000 miles-the cable will be held taut by the force of the planet's rotation, just as if you spun around while holding a ball on a string. And if you've got a taut cable, you've got the makings of an elevator." Amazing, eh?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

[TIPS] - math worksheets, and a success story

Thanks to Flo C for sharing this one
- - - snip - - -
Homeschool Math has several worksheet generators that can create a variety of worksheets for you. You can customize the worksheets with many varied options, so can make them easy or difficult according to the student's level, with lots or less problems, with big or small fonts, etc. Each time you get a different worksheet since they are generated randomly. Choose a topic from the menu below.
- - -
One of last year's tips mentioned a Math program being offered by the Carnegie Institute to a limited number of schools. Miss Dawn Lamarca from East Pennsboro was forwarded that tip and she decided to investigate. Here's her summary of the results. Congratulations to Ms Lamarca and especially to her two students, Stefani and Michael.
WHO:     Miss Dawn Lamarca the 8th grade algebra teacher and
               two 8th grade algebra students, Stefani ****** and
               Michael ******.
WHAT:   Your referral of a web site, to one of the teachers here at the
                middle school who then referred it to me, from Carnegie University
                about a 4 week algebra challenge.  I applied and was choosen
                as one of 500 teachers from across the United States to have my
                30 algebra students try and complete the Challenge.
WHEN:     fall of 2005.
WHERE:  East Pennsboro Area Middle School;  Enola, PA
WHY:       These 2 students completed the Carnegie Challenge by finishing the WHOLE algebra course,
                of lesson problems, in 4 weeks.  They used Carnegie's web site and special CD.  
                They were the ONLY 2  out of 2,500 students  to complete
                the whole algebra course in 4 weeks from across the United States
HOW:      By utilizing our 30 Computers from our Lab Room and 30 Mobile
                Wireless Laptops thoughout the 4 weeks, as well as the students
                personal computers at each of their homes,

Monday, March 06, 2006

[TIPS] -Springdoo - talk your emails with our voice email solution

Thanks to Cheryl C. for sharing this one.
- - - - snip - - -
 Springdoo is a free service that lets you talk your emails. Anyone can now easily send talking emails in their own voice, without typing. You can Springdoo using your computer and a microphone, or any telephone.
- - -
And on other matters. Do YOUR kids have MySpace or Xanga or LiveJournal accounts? Are you sure? Over the weekend I read an article about a school district refusing to allow some student teachers to practice in the district when it read the material that was on those student teacher's MySPace blogs. If YOUR kids are blogging you'd better talk to them about the potential consequences.,2933,186711,00.html - kids suspended for remarks made in MySpace site