Thursday, December 30, 2010

Saving Favorites/Bookmarks in the Cloud

I recently got an e-mail from a teacher whose Internet favorites were not carrying over to her laptop as they should according to our school's network policies. Since it was the holidays, and I could not get to her machine for a few days, I suggested the following:

I don't use favorites (I put my most frequently used links on an i-google page, so whenever I log-into any computer regardless of whether or not it is school system machine, I can get to my most frequently used links) i-google also allows me to customize my default home page regardless of the browser so that I see the same gadgets and same favorites anywhere I log in to a computer!  Here's how to set it up:

http://www.wikihow.com/Use-iGoogle

Once you have that set-up, one of the gadgets you can add is "favorites/bookmarks" and then you can add those frequently used favorite links so that they will always be part of your i-google homepage

More information on working with a google homepage:
http://www.wikihow.com/Set-Up-a-Google-Personalized-Homepage

Here's a How to on Social Bookmarking:
http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Social-Bookmarking

And, here is a current list of social bookmarking sites:
http://www.social-bookmarking-sites-list.com/
and another list:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_bookmarking_websites#Social_bookmarking_sites

But anyway, getting back to the specific question of moving bookmarks/favorites from one computer to another,  there is a way to export favorites to a file so we can move them to your new laptop.

What you would do is...from your main desktop computer where you currently have many favorites (at school for example)  navigate through "my computer" to the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\"your user name"\Favorites

Copy that star looking folder called favorites, then go back to your laptop and paste the contents of that favorites folder to the dame location on your laptop:

C:\Documents and Settings\"your user name"\Favorites

Another way to move favorites/bookmarks is to do whats called an "export/import": (again you would have to go back to your desktop computer in your office)

From your Internet explorer menu, You go to:
  • File
  • Import/Export
  • Choose "export to file"
  • Choose "favorites"
  • Choose a location--like your flash drive

Then once that is complete, you would do the same thing essentially, but this time:

You go to:

  • File
  • Import/Export
  • Choose "import from a file"
  • Choose "favorites"
  • Choose the location on your flash drive where you exported earlier


Hope that helps...
:)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2010 Technology Facilitator Meeting

Classroom Solution Demo:

 
Brian Pie:
CPS/Mobi:

 
First message you might get about opening a database on a network server—just click yes to that message.

 
You have one database for the year, and it likes the database on the C drive

 
You can load CPS on your computer at home (from the website), teachers can save files on their thumb drives and then bring them in from home and over-write the one on the C drive.

 
So, best thing is to load the database on the C drive

 
Another setting to check...
  • Go to Settings menu
  • Delivery options
  • Receiver tab
  • Put the check to Power off the clickers…

 
Battery question: heaviest users—take about a year for the batteries to go dead.

 
Prepare tab is “Create”

Lessons are tests

Team activities tab—like Jeopardy type games

 Reports tab: there are tons of different reports you can create…

 
Can you import students? have to get your data manager to export your class files, so probably easier to just enter them manually

 
Research shows that if students get instant feedback, they perform better

 
You can do verbal engagement too, it's not just multiple choice.

 

CTE teachers should already have lessons (tests) made

 
These are generation 2 remotes—pulse—can do text answer up to 140 characters

 
Issue with text answers—they have to be worded exactly to get them right.

 
"FAST GRADE TEST": You can use a paper copy of a test and just use an answer key in CPS and have students take test.

 
You can also print a study guide out.

 
Engage Tab: Now we are going to take a test, teachers have to put a check ?

 
Modes:

 
  • Teacher led test,
  •  student paced (test in front of them and a remote)

 
until teacher ends test, they can change their answer as much as they want

 

  • Student practice mode

 
Many schools have generation 1 clickers

 
Have to use version cps 5.62 to use generation 1 remotes

 
You can create lots of different types of graphs

 
You can add audio or video to a question…

 
Report tab: most recent reports on top:

 
Generate—most common on the top, reports are generated in PDF format

 
Kevin made the point about the sound being one of the most important component of the classroom solution, someone mentioned having the kids come up and speak with the sound enhancement, another person mentioned many students have hearing issues that are not on their IEP.

 
The sound needs to have the instructional cart for the placement of the AMP

 
Using zoomit to zoom and focus in on something on the screen

 
Brian: “Workspace”—google zoomit

 
You can also find zoomit—under teacher applications

 
Cntl -1 will zoom

 
Cntrl-1 takes you back out

 
Menu in workspace for mobi:
  • go to preferences
  • change size of tool bar,
  • tool bar settings
  • check to change to size 40

Also change advanced settings to show more items in the toolbar

 
Pen:

 
Math teachers love the mobi for moving around the room

 
The workscpace program wants to save it to their H drive (if teacher H drive is full—it will crash)

 
Problem: pens need to seat well inside the mobi or it will not charge

 
Icon for the charging battery for the pen on the mobi—make sure that is showing when you “seat the pen”

 
Might need to turn the pen just a little to make sure it is making contact and charging.

 
e-instruction will send you a courtesy pen if you have problems with them

 
Customer service for e-instruction (888) is fantastic –call them if you need anything: 888-333-4988

 
Gallery for –build the gallery database is not accessible sometimes…Chris is working on that problem…

 
Use your camera tool instead and capture any image out there…H drive too full can be a problem too…

 
Make sure teachers H drives are not full…Can you direct to C drive?  Chris may have fixed this default problem

 
But when you are creating files on Mobi, don’t load the interwrite content

 
COMPUTER SKILLS TEST for 8th Graders:

  • Steven and Doreen will give us the list of kids who need computer skills test
  • No proctors but they do have to have mods, they will be entering kids in atomic learning
  • Go into my trainings, my assessments
  • 48 questions randomly assigned, so they may have different questions
  • After all the scores come in…we do not report scores—district will handle all the reporting…Principals do not handle it!!
  • Data is not always accurate, so let Marlo know if there is any issue…District will handle the one big upload.
  • All we have to do is check the list schedule the test, let them know When we are finished—you can test anytime before April…
  • Not part of any gateway, no one is looking at it. Only reason we are doing it is because of federal dollars.
  •  It is a really hard test—indicates teachers are not teaching 21st century skills…but it is an eye opener to what we are not doing in schools.

Betty Weycker

 
2006 bond construction plan: (plan was developed in 2004)…

 
  • Reagan
  • Parkland
  • Sherwood Forest
  • Rural Hall
  • Sedge Garden
  • Glenn
  • Downtown Elem

 

Plan is ....is, if they finish this summer, then Walkertown HS/MS and other schools coming on…

 
As of today, 2012 plan is to start doing all the classrooms in the district.

 
LCD Monitors are less expensive and less man power to install then the promethium and smartboard systems

 
Issue dealing with teachers who don’t want to leave their classrooms, some will take place after-school. Some issues with construction and nasty conditions behind boards that they take down.

 

Kevin—Technical side issues

 
Chris Corbin

 
Trend micro came up for contract last summer, and they looked at it.—wanted an all inclusive package for scanning malware, etc. Will still have the little blue bubble—"core protection model" now when you hover your mouse over it. Will do real time and manual scans. Still use malwarebytes as a backup.

 
Other benefit, laptops will do pattern/definition updates at home!! Yeah!!

 

 If you ever go into the running processes you will see “BESClient UI.exe”

 
And "BES console"

 
Don’t close out of those processes, still have the regular office scan pccntmon

 
At some point, Teacher laptops will need to come in to be updated to this new version.

 
They now have four office scan servers…

 
May get an e-mail from Chris asking teachers to bring in laptops, or may get an e-mail from Chris asking you to re-image a machine because of difficulty uninstalling and reinstalling the new client

 
New “core protection model” is built in to all current images.

 
AICP utility has been updated:

 
  • Ticker box at the bottom has updates on it, cleaner interface without the tabs. 
  • Images have been watered down somewhat, so may have to use AICP a little more…
  • Check box AICP will be coming so you can install several items at one sweep.

 
T61 new WFU laptops

 
Inter-video playing the sound not the video, solution USE VLC instead…

 
Mobi workspace problem—writing a 95 MB file to teachers H drive, the fix for that is a a registry script fix that now writes “workspace” gallery now to the local C drive

 
It is now set to go to inter-write folder/workspace content, file does not get built until you run the gallery…When teacher builds the gallery, they have to re-build it…registry key is now there that will point to the gallery on the C drive

 
Dell mini—jumping around fix is on the webportal…

 
question:  Exam view with CPS? Chris will look into –Exam view is very weird about their licensing—they are locked down.

 

Profile sweep is coming up –the 13th through the 17th: Use the utility to check your computer. For all class room machines.

 
Anything with an "I" will get swept…

 
Buddy Martin:

 
Many tickets lately about missing machines…need to make sure compu-trace agent is on your machines—especially laptops

 
Go to AICP utility—( CTM web utility) To do a test call (password) is password to test a call…

 
180 day moratorium on missing computers…

 
Kevin: Just a few minutes on ASSIST…

 
  • Process improvement committee update:
  • Now e-mails have more information on them—
    • ticket number at the end…
    • speed improvements
    • simplified categories
    • will be moving data to our data center…to see if it improves speed.
    • Email subject line has ticket number now,
    • Service project has employee name, etc.
    • There will be much more detail in the sub category..
    • Christmas Break –Assist will be down for a few days (around the 29th)  while they update the new categories, etc.

 
Brenda Bourne:/Human Resources Page of our website: —

 
Emplyee User id number is the ten digit number that your principal should have provided you  for use with the on-line evaluation process, (data managers also have this under teacher list (not the six digit payroll number)

 
  • First default password is 123456
  • Refer password problems to Brenda Bourne (MS/HS) or James Lucas (elem)
  • This is for help with teachers who need help with this site…
  • All schools are using this…to evaluate teachers…

 
Every observation can now be seen by the state admins and superintendents. Peer observations can be done on here too.

 
If you go to DPI’s site,  go to:
  • departments,
  • professional development,
  • on-line evaluation system:

 
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/profdev/training/online-evaluation/


 Common Question:—tried to print, will not print—under FAQ—there are suggestions:

 
Here are the FAQ links:

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/profdev/training/online-evaluation/faq.pdf

http://www.ncpublicschools.org/docs/profdev/training/online-evaluation/faq2.pdf


Now signed in…Peggy D. asked about doing a peer evaluation…

 
Betty—teachers and admins are going to come to you with questions—a check box is their electronic signature—remind them they don’t have to print it…

 
Jackie Pierson—they are re-writing our job descriptions once they do that--Media Coordinator or Tech Facilitator will have to use this instrument. (if you are career status then you just use your PDP) Otherwise you could have to use this depending which year you are on your cycle.

 

Marlo Gaddis: School Wires

 
Working on "centricity 2" update:

 
Two Pod-casts from In-touch—weekly off the instructional technology page

 
"Instructional technology unplugged":

 
http://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/22351032313571730/podcasts/browse.asp?a=399&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=86939&22351032313571730Nav=
&NodeID=4407

On intouch blog: Be checking it out for the latest:

 
http://wsfcsintouch.blogspot.com/

Upgrade taking place—mostly on December 29th:

 

As of December 14th at 4:00 will not be able to use Site Manager on School Wires—

 

The upgrade rocks....!!

  • They are completely re-building the platform
  •  Now Site Manager, will automatically direct them to the pages that they can edit.
  •  Site Manager: Will require more training…
  • Passport rights: we will now have the ability to unlock your own teacher accounts!!
  •  Users: look under “more” and you can “emulate” user…without having to know their user name and password
  • New version can create your own groups so that roles can be customized for secured pages-- A protected page for example that only a certain group can see.
  • Webmasters will be scheduling for January training
  • Hierarchy will now be drag and drop!!
  • New page types for now "APPS"
  • More than one calendar per section will now be possible, can even have more than one calendar per page
  • APPS are drag and drop…
  • Can change existing page types without starting all over
  • A team can make a calendar that can be shared…Can now have a separate calendar that only a group in your school can see…
  • We have a sandbox site, and they will create accounts for webmasters for the month of December.


AGAIN, Dec 14th after 5:00—No SITE MANAGER…

 
CL there are strawbridge CD’s down stairs

 
MTAC: password matrix—will retrieve it and update it and get it out to you…

 
TAM Upgrade—NCWISE first major upgrade ever—we don’t have much information. Program director for NCWISE is no longer there.:

 
Betty is worried about the impact, there is a link on Technologywebpage:

Dept of technology/ncwise link to the docs that they currently have on the upgrade…

 
http://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/22351032313574277/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=87717&22351032313574277Nav=
&NodeID=4528

Stipends are coming ($1000 is still in effect)

 
Betty has no idea for Theme monies for next year—not had their first meeting yet.

 
Mail box scrooge! Please remind teachers not to send personal greeting e-mails !!

 
Everyone understands that there will be no inotes e-mail on an IPAD—flash issue :(

 
So people that get one for Christmas, no i-notes—flash required pages will not show on IPADS

 
Next meeting...January 27th

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Add Lucy to my tech buddy friends…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Technology Facilitator's Meeting, October 28, 2010

New person--Dianne Phillips—Clemmons MS

Betty Weycker:  "Remember the individual child…"
Bill Park—WinstonNet—Connect your community Grant—a partnership with WS/FCS
  • 1750 families have computers in their home thanks to this Grant
  • CYC:  “Connect Your Community”
  •       Bill Park:  is not a tech person…Cathy Davidson is project supervisor
    • They have roughly a million dollar grant
    • Free computer training starting November 29th
    • call for more information (336) 703-4138
    • He is at 475 Corporate Square Drive  --34512
    • He is wcpark@wsfcs.k12.nc.us

Kevin Sherrill:
Carla Miller:  “End of Life Survey”—One more day to do that—working computers and monitors that you no longer use.  No laptops
  • Surplus:  About 70% finished—should be done by tomorrow…
  • If you have something else that needs to be added, put it on the spreadsheet and let Carla know (especially TV’s)

  • Courier Service:  How process is going with the Courier Service:  Carla is looking at the process.  If an item is not there when they go to pick it up, then they will close the ticket.
Nook/Kobo:  (electronic readers), schools have wanted to buy.  They are looking at them--Nook Barnes and Noble, and Kobo from Borders.
  • They felt like the Nook was a better built machine. 
  •  It is School based decision. 
  • Technology is not supporting them at this point for repair, some can connect to the WI-FI.
Classroom Solution: 
  • Title 1 budget and purchasing has picked up on that. 
  • Make sure you put in an assist ticket to do a survey for the rooms you want done. 
  •  Be aware that pricing is changing all the time. 
  • They need to work with maintenance. 
  • Order through Assist ticket when ready to buy. 
Assist: 
  • What you do with your teachers is up to you..But they encourage you to use it with your teachers.
  • Requester:  anyone who creates a ticket…May simplify the categories in the next couple of weeks
  • Make sure the ticket information from teachers is up-to-date, and complete before assigning to the service desk.Remember there are only FOUR people on the service desk. 
  • Link to software clearning house: http://www.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/22351032313577150/blank/browse.asp?a=383&BMDRN=2000&BCOB=0&c=60922&22351032313577150Nav=|&NodeID=171
  • Before you write a Grant for software, it needs to be approved first.  For example, Just recently, having a problem getting a program to work--the software did not go through the software approval process. 
  • GET a trial copy to Sherry to test it first.
  • Better to look at the tickets to find comments--look for the flags
  • Make sure when you use comments you do NOT check INTERNAL ONLY…otherwise it just stays on the ticket, and does not get corresponded.
  • Do not reply to e-mail for comment notification e-mails--instead Log back into assist and edit comments.
  • Reports section of assist:  share with your principal…if the number of days the ticket was open is wrong, report that to Kevin.
  • ONCE you OPEN a ticket, make sure you ASSIGN IT…Service desk is not looking at the Master Queue list
  • Unapproved software list is still on the technology page, Software Approvals... 
  • Marlo sends e-mail to instructional services first and often have to wait :( —The more information you can give about the software, the better—how are you using it ?  where did you get the software, etc.?
  • Kevin spent a fair amount of time on the flow chat showing the assist ticket flow process.
  • Comments:  go back to whoever submitted the ticket.  Anyway to extend the time…of a closed ticket??
  •  It is five days, and school wires won’t extend it.  You can reference the old ticket number (especially an issue with hardware repairs)
  • Remember, you can only “assign to the service desk” or yourself or another tech facilitator in your school..
  • Can set up e-mail rules to control the flow of your notification.  (Jim will put instructions for doing this on the web-portal)
  • By queue, you can see what tickets are waiting to be assigned.
  • Auto-assigned categories: Data Management, media services

Compu-trace:  https://cc.absolute.com/  Guest Speaker-- "ROYCE"
  • Log-in with your e-mail address and password
  • Part of every new purchase and on every computer
  • Every machine come with  a Bios agent,  and an application agent communicates with compu-trace.
  • Asset tracking Page:  has a call history, is most popular…
  • Computrace is not just a theft recovery tool. Excellent inventory tracking. 
  • Alerts tab:  set them so you can be alert and be notified if anything unusual happens.  You can get a malware notification.  Or notification that their drive is full, etc..
  • "Device freeze" can be locked down at the OS level,  user messaging can be used to correspond to the user.
Jackie Pierson:  Media Services:
  • LSTA(Library Science/technology) Grant—five schools got this grant…it is a “print” grant.  Public libraries gets technology $10,000, and a matching $2500    
  • Mt Tabor,
  • N. Forsyth
  • Sedge garden
  • Sherwood Forest
  • SouthEast Middle
  • MTAC committee should be meeting at your school....MTAC  decided this grant
  • Inside Destiny—There are 65 "e-ready" classic books already.
  • The ones inside destiny—are through adobe reader, 1 reader at a time.  Huckleberry Finn for example…The little @ sign indicates it is in “e” format.

Principals are very "in-tune" with the e-books  

Marlo Gaddis:
Update, a corruption took place on Learning Village Update. 
  • No data was lost, have had to re-build the framework…
  • will not be upgraded since they are just trying to get it back to the way it was. 
  • There will be a new hosted version that should facilitate upgrading in the future.
  • Career start teachers have been calling…so it has been being used—hopefully will be in the TBT tomorrow.
On-Line staff development—on-line courses ending for October.  May want to remind teachers.
Staff Development:  they are down one instructional technologist, demand for training is outstanding.  If you schedule open labs, make sure you have a list of teachers who will attend. 


NCEEF:  Teacher evaluation on-line.  Marlo has been getting Tickets about log-ins.  DOT does not have anything to do with that internally at this time.  First check with principals—they re being trained.  Don’t think user names and passwords have been sent yet.
TEACHSCAPE:  company we use for classroom walk-through—Marlo is “pulling numbers” tomorrow for this quarter.
  • PLC model and using this tool--"Teachscape Reflect":
  • Could be used as a reflective tool for teachers to use and help one another. 
  • There are linking the NC evaluation instrument with this device..you can tape your lesson and tag the different pieces of evidence.
  • Can also take still photos—evidence in the classroom—activity sheet vs. a worksheet, classroom environment, etc..
  • Cost: ~$4800 for the camera…the video is only viewable on the website. 
  • National Boards should work with this product.
  • There is an OPT out policy for video—parents would have to say they don’t want there children to be filmed…
  • Go to here to find the resources that Marlo is sharing from her conference
  • "Teacher works academy resources"
  • Look under the conferences folder on the right.
  • Talked to lots of important people in education circles.
 Betty Weycker:  Race to the Top”—"NC education cloud". 
  • Federal Initiative to give schools money—what will be technology’s role? 
  • From Governor Purdue…MCNC is one of the groups who is involved with this…Program Director—Phil Emer (used to be a director of MCNC)
  • Friday Institute:  center near NCSTATE.  MCNC is a partner with e-rate
  • One of the major things coming with all of this is:  on-line assessments…on a regular basis—and we have to be prepared to implement.  Learning Management systems—like success maker or compass.  Now, the state might mandate it. 
  • The “CLOUD”—off-site management for all of this—they will provide, but we have to be able to access it.  Huge thing for Betty is the infrastructure to support it.
  • Cloud—hosted services…
  • We already have the band-width in place, other districts don't
  • State can own some of these resources and our job to use them and give information back
  • Every child will have to be tested…on-line
  • Other devices?  IPADS?  Whatever the devices are remains to be seen…IPADS don’t have flash (major draw back of them)
  • Dell and other are out there trying to satisfy the needs for the "Race to the Top"…
  • No one has any real answers right now as to what will be the best devices for online assessments
  • State will update our e-mail system (though the Microsoft e-mail—MS Live)
  • Voice over Ip phones/State will take care of some of these resources.
  • Cloud enabled LEA (servers will be hosted throughout the state)
  • Jackie Pierson—We may see  a new form of Learn 360/Discovery Streaming soon as part of Race to the Top
  • Betty will post this on the web portal and we should read it…
  • Some schools will be dramatically more affected than others. 
Another technology piece is coming along…2006 school bonds
Reagan, Parkland, Sherwood forest, Rural Hall, Sedge Garden, Glenn, Downtown—all these schools will get complete classroom solutions. 
Reagan had 20 and now 60 additional will be done soon.
 General Reminders:
  • Make sure teachers are checking the box to "Post to Parent Assist"
  • MTAC will be discussing a better (hopefully on-line solution) for the Purple Acceptable Use Policy Forms that students must sign.
  • Alert Now--Message retrieval link can be put back on home pages
  • "E-Docs" is coming...where teachers can retrieve their pay stubs on-line.
    • Employees will log in using their Employee ID number (found on your pay stub, or ask Media person to look up on Destiny or through the district website)
    • e-docs will be alive starting next wednesday nov 3
  • Next Meeting is December 2nd








Thursday, October 14, 2010

Edmodo --Social Learning in the Classroom


In a recent  discussion with a teacher the question was raised:   "Why can't we have a platform like Facebook for teachers?" to be able to interact with students? My Friend, Jennifer Lagarde highly recommends this educational version of Facebook:  http://www.edmodo.com/home/   She says her teachers love it.  I signed up for a generic tjmswsnc account with my "usual" password, if anyone at school wants to try it before signing up yourself

What is edmodo video:
http://www.edmodo.com/?language=en&auto_selected_lang=true#

Guide to edmodo:
http://www.edmodo.com/guide/

Edmodo blog:
http://blog.edmodo.com/

Here are some testimonies from teachers with ideas:

edmodo in L/Arts:
http://projects.minot.k12.nd.us/groups/chris/weblog/6dae5/

http://usgovteducatorsblog.blogspot.com/2010/06/edmodo-new-tool-for-connecting-in.html

http://blog.edmodo.com/2010/02/02/teachers-corner-robert-millers-edmodo-experience/

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2009/01/edmodo-microblogging-for-students.html

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/mediainfusion/2010/07/edmodo-a-great-and-interesting-new-opportunity.html

http://www.appappeal.com/app/edmodo/

Check out how another school is using social networking:
http://www.northjersey.com/news/111909_New_Milford_teachers_using_Twitter_social_media_sites_to_engage_students.html


School Policies on Social Networking with Students:

http://tjmstechtips.blogspot.com/search/label/Facebook

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Interference with Wireless signal? Check out some of these possible sources of problems


I was researching why the wireless signal in our two trailers here at Jefferson Middle School seems to go down everyday around the same time.  I was wondering if it had anything to do with the sun, or perhaps or some human cause?

I found this interesting article on how some everyday items can interfere with a wireless network
http://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/bc/bcs6p3B.html

Some electric devices known to clash with your wireless signals are:
  • Digital phones
  • A Baby's cot monitor
  • Blue tooth gadgets
  • Other wireless router
Other issues can be caused by objects getting in the way. If a signal is sent to your computer then it may get bounced off walls, windows, glass mirrors, carpeted floors, and many other objects, before it reaches your computer. At the PC end, this can mean a slow connection. The radio waves are travelling at the same rate but, due to signal bounce, it's taken longer to reach its destination. Things that can cause problems for your wireless router are:  
  • Glass doors, glass mirrors, glass in windows
  • Shiny metallic surfaces
  • Fish tanks (it's the water)
  • Internal walls made of brick
  • Stud partitioning in walls
  • Carpets
The sun produces electromagnetic waves too, and I was wondering if perhaps they could be interfering with the waves of the wireless network?  Here's an interesting article on solar outages:

http://www.radio-electronics.com/info/satellite/solar-effects/sun-solar-outages-basics-tutorial.php

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sweet Search


Sometimes the most difficult part of students doing research is sorting through the mass of internet information some of which can be unreliable. Consider having your students try:

 " Sweet Search"
http://www.sweetsearch.com/

 or

 FindingDulcinea

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/


Here's more about it on the WSFCS In touch blog:


http://wsfcsintouch.blogspot.com/2010/09/your-search-has-never-been-sweeter.html

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Help Jefferson Middle School move from the 19th to 21st Century!


Brent Atkinson, our School Improvement Team leader and 8th science teacher is a guest writer on the blog this week.  Brent does a fantastic job describing the challenging technology situation we are in at Jefferson Middle School:  Brent:

"You may have noticed walking around our school, we are quite technologically defunct compared to nearly all other middle schools. Our teachers (according to the working conditions survey) feel they do not have access to the technology they need to foster 21st century learning. The district student to computer ratio is 2.36 while ours is 4.03!  Nearly twice the number of students for every computer!


Mr. Martin left our school with a great "gift" in that we have a large reserve of cash from previous year's magazine sales. Apparently, the district may take the money to fill gaps in the budget for next school year.

We have been meeting to discuss how this money could be best spent for our students, and  we agreed on the following proposal:


  • The staff at TJMS has set a GOAL,  with the PTA and corporate sponsors, to acquire 30 laptops per grade level and encore (120 total: Dell minis) and fit 20 classrooms using Department of technology's "classroom solution."

  • We propose to use the money available now to plant a seed of excitement for staff, students ,parents and our community by purchasing 20 Dell minis per grade level/encore (80 total at a cost of ~ $40,000) and completing 5 classroom transformations under the "classroom solution" guidelines (one per grade level/encore and one open space, such as the media center at a cost of ~$30,000).

The district will be installing their 1000th classroom solution by the end of the school year. Jefferson currently has none."


Thanks Brent for being a leader in this movement! 
 
 This is a tenative outline of our ACTION PLAN
  1. Downs and Atkinson  presented our need to the PTA Board on October 7th:
    • Downs and Atkinosn presented an Overview of the Classroom Solution and a short video outlining the needs here at Jefferson and also showed what life could be like under the "classroom solution".
    • We will also outline the costs of the classroom solution and suggest we outfit rooms with pretty much everything except the response systems for now--instead purchasing a set or two to be shared for the time being.

  2. Jennifer Holland, Cindy Dietrich and Mark Schnably are working on a flyer/brochure outlining our needs and goals.

  3. Elizabeth Hobson and Mike McDowell will be working with Dan Kornelis (Vice President of our PTA) to act as liaisons with corporate sponsors to help us raise funds to achieve our overall goal of 20 classroom solutions and 30 laptops per grade level and encore.

  4. A PTA grant sub-committee will also be creating a "grant proposal" type of document that we can use to apply for larger grants and other documentation for corporate sponsorship.
If you would like to help us, please e-mail me at:  jdowns@wsfcs.k12.nc.us or contact our school at 336-774-4630 and we will happy to discuss our plans with you.

Resources on the Classroom Solution:

The following are the main components of the "Classroom Solution" with links to more information on each of them:
  1. 55" LCD TV (The standard for Middle and High School in WS/FCS is the LCD TV as opposed to Smart Boards)
  2. Document Camera --Lumens from CSI
  3. Mobi-Pro Teacher Pad from E-instruction
  4. Sound System for the classroom from Light Speed Technologies 
  5. AV Cart (looking for links)
  6.  Response System:
    • (We are looking at purhcasing a few of these for the school to share among the classrooms that Are equipped with the Classroom Solution).

Links to Research on Classroom Solution Components:

Sound System
Classroom Response Systems:
Document Cameras:

Mobi Tablet Research:

What the research says...

General research on the Use of technology in Classrooms:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tech Meeting 9/23/2010

Meeting notes: Betty Weycker:

Betty Showed a Star-fish video,  an inspirational story on YouTube.
It was the summer from "you know what",  but they pulled it together

New tech Facilitators:
Courtney Talor, Kimberly Park Elem
Forest Sturgess Mineral Springs
Randy Shearer Petree Elem?
Crystal Joyce Walkertown Elem
Brian Smith Hanes MS
Mike Nesser Carter Voc
Ryan Crater Brunson Elem
Scott Armstrong, North Forsyth
Becca ?, Reagan

Overview:  General Information:
  • Marlo Gaddis, director of Instructional technology
  • Jackie Pierson, Media
  • Carla Miller, Technical Support manager
  • Kevin Sherril,  Mr. IT
  • Debbie Harmon, NCwise Coordinator

475 Corporate Square is for NCwise training, and instructional technology training

This Educational Building, 4801 Bethania Church Rd.
  • we are in room 219
  • There is an auditorium
  • a large conference room
  • IRC is down-stairs, a wireless computer lab, and another computer lab down there too
  • Other building, there are 12 conference rooms
 New students - district wide
  • elem 208
  • MS 263
  • HS -49
  • Non-traditional 54
  • total WS/FCS: +476

 Bond monies: this summer
  • Speas--20 new classrooms, with classroom solution
  • 32 classrooms at Glenn
  • Carter HS - 20
  • Downtown - 12
  • Diggs - 28
  • Piney Grove - 62 Ip phones
  • Kingswood--new location
  • Miller Street closes next Friday... 
  
Personal Losses:
Many people in the tech department lost close family members. 
Chippy fell down 13 steps
  
Assist Tickets:
  • Taking five days sometimes to get to tickets...
  • Things are not getting done in 24 hours.  
  • Betty knows this People just have to understand what has happened this summer with all the moves, and how proud she is of the staff considering everything.
 Classroom Designs for WS/FCS K-12
  • Why price list not on the web--people need to understand what they are ordering.
  • Classroom design: 
    • She will post spreadsheet with the "standard" for the different levels
    • 714 classrooms in 2 years that have the complete classroom solution along with the training that goes along with that--there is a huge commitment...commissioners and board are still supporting the model.
    •  Middle and HS  standard is 55" flat screen
    • Elementary is smart Board and Promethium Board.
    •  They have to do 300 more classroom solutions before next summer as part of the 2006 Bond. 
Laptops:
  • Budget is approved to purchase wake forest laptops.
  • Think of the list as a slide-rule
  • all designed in how many she gets from Wake Forest.
  • until Tuesday she could not tell anyone anything
  • There is an order by year.
  • She will be letting us know she will be contacting the schools soon--T-61 Lenovo
  • Will definitely be in TBT updates next week (probably not this week)
Role of Technology Facilitator:
  • At least 20% of time should be in the Role of facilitator
  • Supplement has doubled in two years (from $1000 to $2000)
  • We can continue monthly (2-4) or go to every other month (supplement with webbinars, etc.)
  • Maybe 5 times a year? 
    • First suggestion: Idea for open labs on the day of the meeting?
    • Maybe one month technical and one month instructional?
    • Maybe sometimes a K-5, 6-12 split
    • Sandy--maybe send in suggestions week before--Betty introduced the MTAC advisory
    • Sam Walker, Susan Mcbride--NW MS, Jackie Pierson--IRC, Jean White-Reynolds, Erin Mulhurn-Old Richmond, Pat Glover-Flatrock, (Sharon Creasy--West is leaving--going to be the AP Career Center.
    • Delayne Harley: New administrative assistant for Betty

Marlo Gaddis:

  • Webportal linked off the Quick Links on the main WS/FCS Page
  • Archived has all the old TBT's
  • April 17, 2009 Betty had posted the signature requirment for teacher e-mails.  Remind staff:
  • The revisions add a new Section III.10., which reads as follows:

All WS/FCS employees with a WS/FCS e-mail account shall adopt and use a uniform e-mail signature which consists of only the following information and none other:

  • a. Employee’s name;
  • b. Employee’s title;
  • c. Employee’s school or location;
  • d. Address of the school or location;
  • e. Employee’s school or office and/or cellular telephone number;
  • f. Employee’s school or office facsimile number.
  • Employees are not permitted to add a quotation, graphics or other language or item beyond those set forth hereinabove.  
Instructional Technology Department:
  • Under departments/instructional technology on the website
  • (Lost Emory Maiden, April Patterson and Thelma Anderson)
  • filled with: Doreen Bates, Steven Anderson)
  • Roles is under the contact information page at the bottom...
  •  In-Touch Blog--be sure to check out...
  • New teacher Tips blog (linked on the top right of the In-Touch blog)
  • google translate at the bottom of every district page.
  • CIPA (children's Internet Protection Act)  restrictions make the web filter change almost on a daily basis.  Web filter request changes are not a priority at this time.
Staff Development:

  •  Will be posted on the Tech facilitator portal soon (all face to face and on-line)
  • Moodle--runs from the first of the month to the last day of the month.
  • get credit after the month is complete.
  • Can not go to the moodle site to register, you register in staff development and registration, and then they will be contacted
  • Workshop list is also on the calendar page of their websites.

Media Cast--is a media retrieval system 15 schools have it.
Dibels: (elementary) Curriculum coordinators have install information

Elementary report cards--are available--
  • Sherry and Colleen worked on this,
  • On teacher's webportal..now on the left under "schools specific reporting"...
    • teacher will only see their school...all the templates are there.  EVERY YEAR there is a NEW report--Please make sure they use the correct YEAR!!
  • They can save to the H drive, but they must follow the elementary school directions (posted on the webportal) so that principals can see...
  • Notes from Colleen:Type only on the English worksheets, don't delete Spanish worksheets, don't move them around
  • No more R drive
Email,  another issue
  • Parent trying to e-mail a teacher and it's not getting through
    • In most cases...go to website, they find the teacher's name and they click on the name and it opens the default e-mail client for the computer (like outlook express)
    • It's not a School wires issue, it is the way e-mail links work on websites
    • Best Practice--Parents basically need to copy the e-mail address and paste it into whatever e-mail they use--need to educate the community on that front.
Essential Skills:

All new standards are posted uner ACRE Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort:
http://www.ncpublicschools.org/acre/

These standards should be taught be every classroom teacher.  DPI is developing tool kits for all the different subject areas to incorporate technology--start talking to teachers about the fact that they have the responsibility to teach these standards.

State is doing their new technology plan this Jan,  district will be Nov 2011, and that's when we will develop a new plan for schools.

Computer Skills Testing:
not just a 1 year deal :(,  if you received any federal monies (all schools have) then have to comply.
Plan is to do the exact same thing we did last year--If they took computer test before and passed a CTE class and passed, then they will not have to take but if not, then they will take the Atomic learning test.

Queen of learning Village/  Melissa Edwards:
  • https://learningvillage.wsfcs.k12.nc.us/_layouts/LearningVillage/login.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f
  • to navigate there:  go to ws/fcs website go to employees/resources/planning
  • Sign on is their active directory user name and password...
  • Curriculum warehouse
  • You can find all the Updated pacing guides for all of the subjects--some with links to lessons
  • Professional Learning Community section is coming
  • Single school Culture resources are coming
  • help document for school wires are also there
  • On-demand writing prompts can be found on LV
  • Career start information can be found there too
  • If you have questions on things under instructional resources, like nettrekker, ask Melissa
  • LV will be down next week for an upgrade this Friday (5:00 PM) through October 4th (hopefully will be up sooner)
  • You can find the bookmark with all the log-in information for LV, net trekker, atomic learning, learn 360 and others) tech facilitator web portal/information for technology facilitators/ instructional technology/learning village (the path will be in the TBT)
Atomic learning
  • In process of updating accounts
  • Let staff know of this resource
  • try and get teachers to be self sufficient
  • user name is your full e-mail address, and pw:  wsfcs (unless they changed it)

Learn 360:
  • Teacher Account is their full e-mail address  @wsfcs.k12.nc.us,  old default password is wsfcs360
  •  Students;  user name:  wsfcs and lunch number, pw:  lunch number  (not all students are in there yet, they are up to Hanes alphabetically)
  • Do not delete a teacher who has moved to another school
  • They upgraded last week, and have added much content (including reading rainbow)
Parent Assistant:
  • Up and running...
School Wires:
  • There was some Confusion. (parents/teachers)..the grades drop down now says NCWISE under user options
  • In October, you will have the ability to put a banner across the bottom of your page--directions are inon the webportal under the school wires folder also on the school wires wiki..
  • Ability to put a title in that banner below the slide show
  • Do not delete pages of teachers who move!
  • Can make section inactive to hide from the public
    • Upgrade to Cyntricity is coming in December hopefully over the holidays with a huge amount of increased capability.
    • Synergy upgrade is coming
Betty:  Pricelist
Jackie Pierson: 
  • Make sure Media is a Quick link on your web page
  • All students and teachers have log-ins to destiny...
  • click on home base school
  • Students: log in with ncwise number and their last name is their pw (as it is in ncwise)
  • Webpath express is an instructional resource on Destiny
  • Teachers log in with an "f" in front of it: using their  payroll number  and their last name (all lower case) is their password (and the number that goes on your strawbridge photo...(nothing to do with their social security password)
  • teachers can create resource lists and webpages that are topic related.
  • IRC destiny resource are under teacher resources and learning village
  • IRC is a destiny school and teachers can reserve videos and books through school mail and equipment like headphones and microphones for pod casting
  • Laminates no longer repaired as a central office expense, now a school expense
  • No longer TV's that qualify for repair,  have to look at classroom solution from here on...
Carla Miller:
  • Surplus pickup,  is under web portal
  • info for tech facilitators/request for information/choose your school
  • do not use the SPRING spreadsheet
  • when items are compiled, they need the following info:
    • must be non functional equipment
    • type
    • model
    • serial number
    • fixed asset
    • machine name (if possible)
    • ESIN if available
  • found a company (Scott's Recycling out of TN)
    • They will take everything INCLUDING BROKEN TV"S!!
  • Schedule pickup will be coming out in the next couple of weeks
  • Still taking old laptop batteries
  • old copy machines
  • overhead projectors as well
  • hold off on data projector lamps (waiting on confirmation, mercury issues)
  • will be a survey of older equipment that you have that still works to get out of your way, and use for parts here at the new central office.

New Technical Support Model:
  • Assigned darlene (level 1) anderson zones 1 and 2, Tim Frizzell (level 2)
  • Tayron zones 3/4, Justin Ritchey (level2)
  • Zones 5/6  Garnett Hill (level1) Jennifer Ellington (level2)
  • Corey McLeod--Zones 7/8 (only one right now-advertised second position)
  • Jeff Taylor is central office support
  • Gloria Padgett--CTE technician
  • Calvin Raynor--pickup repair and delivery
  • Mike Cox, good fixit man
  • Courier Services:
    • zone 1/2 Monday
    • zone 3/4 Tuesday
    • zone 5/6 Wednesday
    • zone 7/8 Thursday
  • If it is an administrators machine put in a ticket for a site visit!
Kevin Sherrill/technical
  • Sherry--sharepoint
  • Buddy, Chris, Chrintine, Jim M etc.
  • wsadmin password is changing once a year, try and keep as secure as possible.
  • Will activate on Monday, when you log-in, you were be prompted to accept , another box will pop up and give you the password..not distributing a paper copy
    • new password will be pushed out on Monday
    • will need to recall your old password for machines that do not get it
  • New password is tied to the new images.
  • All installs to go through the AICP from now on...will keep core images the same
  • Buddy Martin and Chris Corbin
    • drives:
    • K drive / Media Storage
      • file://340data01/xxxmedia$
      • is mapped for everyone in your school including students (they can delete--if it's gone it's gone, you need to back it up locally)
      • folders are labeled by year, and they will inform you when a folder has to be deleted because of space restrictions.
    • N drive  newspaper/ Y Drive yearbook
    • I drive--CTE storage
User accounts:
  • Generic account user and school number...
  • Had been for subs....parent volunteers, etc.
  • Can be used to check access to websites for teachers wanting to test certain sites.
  • Major issue with usb drives and an auto run feature--that locks out all administrator accounts.
  • They will disable the auto run feature, so when they plug in a window will not pop up asking them what they want to open. They will have to navigate to mp computer.
  • Map drive issues replacing network drives, reset that under disk management and rename the drive like X or Z
  • Buddy will get those directions for us...
  • Sheet on different images on the web portal...
  • Images will be coming out next weekend..'

0pen labs start in October...

 Work order system:

  • Saved 20,000 with assist
  • A little bumpy
  • Demo last year
  • Jim Mendoza to demo again
  • Roll out to teachers
  • Assist 5 times of failed log-in and u are locked out.
  • They need to have them log in to set up their accounts...
  • Users will choose a building and location
  • User name and pw is active directory user name and pw

Ticket flow;

  •  Everyone goes into a queue
  • Only see tickets that in ur building
  • Either look by technition or by queue...
  • They made all assignments for u, and now we need to assign
  • By technition--just see those assigned to u
  • Assist edit tickets in "BY Queue"
  • DOT does authorize u to assign tickets to:
  • You or service desk
  • Can Not edit a ticket assigned to anyone else
  • Use find command--powerful. Does not let u edit from that view...
  • My tickets view--requester view
  • Find ticket view--only way to see closed tickets...
  • Currently don't use assets--long way off
  • Encourage u to get users to sign in at least once
  • Do not alter the priority unless major event/ fire!
  • Technitions have all these extra features...

Service tickets

  •  Users need to know how to find tickets
  • Comments vs history:
  • Two way conversation between requester and technition
  • They should not reply, but should click on the comment link in the email notification.
  • Email Replies stop today.
  • Slight exception: data manager request might go directly to an auto-decline...
  • Hit finish ticket more than one time, will get more than one ticket...gotta watch the complete bar.
  • Internal only comment check means requester will not see
  • I have closed, then tell user to use find command to see old ticket...
  • Do not set up an email flag for closed tickets.
  • Check on expiration for link to closed tickets




  

Wiki-How to, a decent source for computer trouble-shooting



When it comes to basic computer trouble-shooting and maintenance and repair, I have used "Wiki-How to" to help me explain some basic step by step directions in troubleshooting computers.  Look at all these categories of how-to!

http://www.wikihow.com/Category:System-Maintenance-and-Repair

Here is just a sample, there are a ton more: 

  • How to:
  • Permanently Erase Data Off a Hard Drive
  • Remove Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications
  • Access the Bios, Grub Boot Menu and Bash Shell of a Data Domain Appliance
  • Backup Files on a Laptop
  • Change Computer BIOS Settings
  • Change Your Keyboard from American to English
  • Change a Windows XP Product Key
  • Clean Your Computer System
  • Clean the Windows Registry by Hand
  • Clean up a Slow Performing Computer
  • Clear up Unnecessary Files on Your Linux PC
  • Clone a Partition
  • Close Several Programs and Pages by One Click Using a Batch File

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Podcasting using Audacity and uploading MP3's


Recently, our French Teacher asked me about uploading an MP3 file that she had created using a sound recording program called Audacity--which did pose some problems for us...
(http://forum.audacityteam.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=9869_)

But, I was able to upload an Mp3 to our schoolwires website with now problem and copy the url and open it in a new window.  From that link it simply opened up windows media player, so our school wires website should be capable of playing uploaded mp3's.

Generally, the process would be to upload a sound file either on a  file page or simply as a link on a flex page. There is also a "Podcasting Page" on School wires that you can choose when you create a new page. Here is a link to the PODCASTING page Help manual on school wires:
http://help.schoolwires.com/36651082412593930/lib/36651082412593930/_files/CenUnit5Ch9.pdf

Our staff will receive training on working with a "podcasting page" on November 16th--Here is the schedule of technology training for this year:

https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0ApexppJsFByqdGVVak1YTklrTUkwZmdDUWtzZ0xmT0E&hl=en#gid=0

Finally, if you figure out school wires is not the best place for podasting, there are alternatives... Here is an article with a suggestion for a site where you can upload podcasts:

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-11293_7-6246557-7.html

The school district has also written about Podcasting on their "in-touch" technology blog:

http://wsfcsintouch.blogspot.com/search/label/podcast

Finally, Mr. Cardarelli completed a project this week using Photo-Story.  Photo-Story is an easy program to use and make a pod-cast.  If it's your first time making one, and you don't want the problems of Audacity, give Photo-story a try.  Here is the free download site for Photo-story 3:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/digitalphotography/photostory/default.mspx

Here is a link to some more resources on Podcasting/digital story-telling:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

How to buy a laptop? Or which laptop is best?

I have already had these questions several times in just the last month.  I found this Wiki How to:  and there actually is quite a bit of good advice in there:

http://www.wikihow.com/Buy-a-Laptop

I also normally recommend that folks check out consumer reports ratings:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/index.htm

I have an on-line account, and can go on-line and help you decipher the most highly recommended models.
Here is a list of the top rated laptops by consumer reports:

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/computers-internet/computers/computer-recommendations/laptop.htm

If you don't have an account, I can log-in with you and go over them :)