Thursday, August 31, 2006

[TIPS] - wikis and moodles in classrooms plus Google Earth visual guides

I can't help it! There's SO MUCH to tell you about. :-)
This first one is a link to a couple of audio recordings that you may find interesting. They're on the EdTech LIVE's wikispaces site and they are recordings of SKYPE ( conversations about using wikis and Moodle in the classroom. Actually, I'm not real impressed with the discussion on Moodle, but I did like the one on wikis, even though the audio is poor in a couple of spots. The teacher being interviewed uses wikispaces for her class wiki found here: Remember, the CAIU offers wikis to districts, too, so if you're interested, tell your tech director.
Finally, Google Earth has a new version out, version 4. Very nice. Last year I sent you a link to some Visual Guides for version 3. Here is a link to the Visual Guides for version 4:
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Remember, you can find the archive of my tips at And don't forget, you users, that I'd LOVE for you to share your bookmarks with me by using for:jgates513 as one of your tags. (Don't understand that? Maybe you can search my blog for tips on    :-)

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

[TIPS] - Jimmy Wales and StandUp

This is another two-parter.

First, regarding wikipedia of yesterday's tip. This link: is a video of Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikipedia, at the TED Conference in 2006. (Would anyone care to sponsor me to go to the next one? It's only $4400. Let me know. :-) ) This short movie is EXCELLENT in telling you how Wikipedia works, straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. No matter what your opinion of Wikipedia, you should give this a listen. DOWNLOAD it, rather than stream it. With over 1000 people getting these tips (and dozens actually READING them :-) ), streaming this video could bring the network to a halt in no time. Thank you!
Second, I don't think many would argue that America is in the midst of a crisis in education, and there is no shortage of reasons nor opinions why that is. This site, however, will give you some insight into the problem. Be sure to click the "I Want to Know More" link at the top and explore that area for a bit.
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STAND UP is a community-based response to America's education crisis.

We will STAND UP for great high schools that educate all students well.

We will STAND UP for America's future.

STAND UP is a national campaign to:

  • Give parents the tools they need to get their kids the education they deserve.
  • Mobilize all Americans to engage in the solution and demand policies that help all students succeed.
  • Ensure students receive the support they need to graduate from high school ready for college, work, and citizenship.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

[TIPS] - Welcome Back! (plus wikipedia article and a delicious tip)

OK... who among us can tell the rest of us what happened to summer? Anyone? ... No-one? :-(   In any case, welcome back.
I've been collecting articles, sites, and movies for you over the summer, and I can't wait to share them. Where to start? I'm tempted to put four or five in each email, but then I'm afraid I'll exhaust my supply. So, slow and steady wins the race. One at a time. But, if you know someone who isn't getting these tips who WANTS to get the tips, have that person send me an email to that effect and that name will be added immediately. An email asking to be removed from the list will be processed immediately, as well.
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Now, on with today's tip...
A LOT has happened since last we "spoke", yes? We ended last year with nine planets, for example. The Encarta site still says we've got nine, Britannica Online (the first 75 words of an article appear to be free) says 8, as does wikipedia, which had its change done within minutes after the announcement. Hmmm...
Second, (See? I TOLD you I was tempted to put more than one in each tip!) many of you have said how much you enjoy your accounts at after hearing about it from either me or someone else. There is a relatively new feature that I'm going to ask you to consider using. It's the for: tag. Here's how it works. When you bookmark a site for yourself and tag it, include for:jgates513 as one of the tags. That will also add it to MY collection of bookmarks. What a GREAT way to share the sites that YOU find, too, is it not? If your students know your delicious account name then they, too, could tag things for you as they find them. Like it? I sure do.
So, when you bookmark sites for yourself, please consider using the -  for:jgates513 - tag to share it with me, as well. It just may end up as a tip one day.
I hope you and your students have a WONDERFUL year.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Zombie alert!
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Big Boost in Zombie PCs Seen From Latest Windows Exploit
By Antone Gonsalves, TechWeb Technology News

The virus exploiting a bug disclosed in Microsoft's latest security bulletin has commandeered nearly 50,000 Widows PCs each day in the last week, a security firm said Tuesday.
Have YOU been keeping your windows program updated? Just choose Start>Windows update to run it manually. Oh, and did you keep your antivirus program updated, too?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Patience pays off

I enjoy trying to catch these little guys on the perch, but it's not easy. They're fast. I'd LOVE to get a really good one of them fighting, but that's even harder to do. The delay on the camera makes it difficult to catch action that happens so quickly.

I've got enough of these now to be able to print out a calendar to give to my wifes' aunt who just loves hummingbirds.

Anyway... I hope you enjoy this one. Posted by Picasa