Saturday, January 30, 2010

Twitter as an Educational Resource

For those of you who know me, I have been "bragging" lately about Twitter not so much as a social networking site, but as an educational resource site. Here are two articles 9 reasons why teachers should use twitter and another article for teachers using twitter, and 100 classroom uses for twitter and another one about more and more teachers using twitter.

My friend Emory Maiden is the main reason for this change in my viewpoint.  Emory tweets hundreds of educational resources, and I look at them and evaluate whether or not they might be valuable to our teachers.  I am thinking about blogging my "top tweets of the week" so that I can share with teachers who are not on twitter.  I know that kinda defeats the point of twitter but I also know for some people they just won't ever get on twitter, but they might look here and find something cool.

Here's a bunch of things I found on twitter this week:

Spelling City ( (For Language Arts/Foreign Language Arts teachers--It might be a fun thing to suggest your students use to practice their spelling words...(Here's a little video of how it works)

More Graphic Organizers (

Diigo ( ) is a on-line way of organizing "favorite links", tagging and sharing sites but has additional features that make networking and organising even better.

Parenting tips for computer use by your kids ( )

10 Mainly Electronic Items NOT TO BUY in the next decade: ( )

For those of you who try and reach me, best way is to text me or facebook me, this is why I hardly ever check my voicemail:

Thinking about Apple's latest innovation, the I-PAD? 5 reasons to wait:

Top Educational blogs (I don't see mine on the list!) I am so disappointed :(


Here is a list of folks on twitter with backgrounds in education and or technology:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Technology Facilitator Meeting Minutes 1/28/10

Jeff Nichols had a baby girl (early)
Susan McBride move to Northwest

Laura Grant is Betty's new—Administrative assistant—started Monday.


Balance of technical/instructional/data management:

Kevin: not a whole lot new…

Trend Micro: red little flags on Office scan client...virus definitional have always been up to date, but office scan client was in need of updating. Office Scan server was overloaded—had 19,000 clients when 10,000 was recommended on the server.

Buddy: This started in October, 3 patches, and the upgrade to client version 10.

Everyone logged in on January 4th and locked up the server. Now it is on 4 servers (Elem, Middle, High, central office)

If you see a little dos screen pop up on the screen, that is the process of office scan updating (can take 2 to ten minutes) So now there will be 5000 clients per server.

If you notice a machine that is not updated, have rebooted, and have done a gpupdate, etc. but if one won’t cooperate, Buddy can send you a command line to force it to update. Put in a HEAT ticket.

Otherwise to reinstall Office Scan:

Office Scan Re-install:

To reinstall go to: https:\\\officescan. No need for a password, click on the link below the password field under where it reads:
For Networked Computers:

How do you now, right click on office scan and choose component version

Louis Newton: "security Malware" has been on the increase lately…shuts down malwarebytes, download on a CD, rename executable, login in a Safe Mode…

To get Malwarebytes to run on an infected machine  sometimes you can rename the Mbam.exe  file, rename it as something else… and it may run… Or run malware bytes with a CD, Run computer in safe mode.

Carla Miller on the Wiring Closets, etc.

In last few weeks, four schools gone down because of power issues…Things have been laid on top of Server keyboards…Please check your server and and make sure there are not things laying on the keyboard, etc.

Closets with switches…make a pathway to the them clear…

SSO Update: Buddy Martin

Client update recently…Monday's problems should be good now.

If curious about whether a machine is updated, go to control panel…should see version 3.5.1—it is the updated version.

New version of SSO allows you to remove printers

If ping pong keeps running, try running a profile sweep on that machine.

Quick way to remedy when drives don't mount, exit out the pong, go to windows applications and click on printer refresh—that will map drives…or re log in…

Kevin will send out more  info in TBT update…

Naming Convention Standards:
Even more important with power off issue…

Standards are Posted on the tech facilitator handbook (it will be back soon on the webportal)

The "A" in  a computer name is important in determining profile sweeps or not

2000-A machines in main office,  or 4000-A machines do not get swept...
3000 are laptop carts

"Description of the machines" listed in the Utility -- they will work on giving us more information on what type of PC or laptop it is....

Kevin's rule:  If a student touches it, then it should be an "I"

Teachers in order not to be sweep, they have to be in admin folder…you can put in a HEAT ticket to request that, but really teacher computers need to swept too...

The A2000 and A4000 are the ones that are not getting swept.

Buddy again…

FYI, If you Uninstall Office Scan, Password is v......

Side note from Kevin...They don’t see refreshing machines anytime soon, so we are going to have to deal with the old computers for awhile.

They are looking at the tech handbook, submit a heat ticket if you see changes need to be made. Maybe print out a copy and keep in a binder.

MS Office 2007, to 2003 converters—they will push out the converters through group policy. Maybe issue with excel…some issue with the number of rows, and getting a corrupt file when you go from 2007 to 2003.

Standard with district is 2003…Question came up as to why there would be machines in the building with 2007?

CTE is ordering 2007 on their new machines?

Request to put a link to Tech Facilitator handbook on the first page of the web portal on the right…

Computer Shutdown initiative…

"Power On" audit is now running each night.

Starting Monday, script will run at 8:00 PM each night to shut down your machines, exclusion utility will be offered if there are machines you don’t want to be included. We are still to tell your teacher to TURN OFF their machines EVERYDAY. Only ones really that might need to be left on are the technology carts that are charging devices, you can add them to the exclude list. Ambassador is not on the domain so they are not monitoring  those machines.

CHRIS Corbin::

"Shutdown service is not perfect"

Does not see machines that are not on the domain... (Cafeteria, Ambassador)

Someone still working at 8:00?  It will give a person a 2 minute warning…They could restart afterwards, and the audits for machines left on will run at 11:00

There are circumstances where a machine will not shutdown. If a program is running. Certain viruses, spyware that prevent shutdown.

They will try and make a “cancel button” on the two minute warning…so a person still working could tell it not to shut down...

Nightly audits still just seeing the first Monday of each Month for now…Will become a "monthly bill".

THE UTILITY to exclude computers from SHUTDOWN:

The new application is in AICP under global applications, install it.


Take a machine you want excluded, ADD to list, then "Build" list…

Bottom line from Betty--we are in a single school district culture…teachers simply need to shutdown everything at night.

Parent Assist:

All middle and HS letters went out Thursday of last week—taken to the post office.

Letter contains their user name and password.

Parents are excited…Teachers are going along fine.

Elementary still waiting on user names and passwords.

First screen on PA shows cumulative average. Parents drill down to see quarter average.

Parent call on use of Parent assist, goes to Data Manager. First person to talk with about your student’s grade is the STUDENT.

Result of all this has been to force much clean-up of information…

In every assessment, check box "post to parent assist", populates the date (today’s date)

If they save and go out and go back in, the check is gone, the date is what determines whether the assessment is viewable.

If you put one single student’s grade in an assessment, the results for the other students are shown if teacher does not exempt the other students who don’t have grades yet. (If they are counting blank marks as zeros in their gradebook preferences)

Sharon from West sees no point in Post dating assessments…

Betty will be taking to the board a request to remove the policy of three week progress report schedule.

AUP grape colored acceptable use policy forms for students new to the system. Submit a HEAT ticket to Laura. Dr. Symington said they should be on the cumulative folder list.

Carol Grandy: retiring…Well deserved party this afternoon. Her last day is Friday, and Melissa Edwards is the new person replacing Carol.

Carol is the “girl” behind Learning Village…Carol managed it and made it happen and look professional. Had been a math teacher at Parkland, and then tech Facilitator at Kimberly Park. Started with VIP program—her and Betty.

Post Break:


Destiny—all schools have it!—Jackie Peirson,

With adding all the schools, the size of the destiny database is HUGE! Working thru some issue…Data issues contact CL or Shirley Bidernia.

Destiny--Version 9.5 moving to 10.0 this summer, can load pod casts up there, teacher resource lists, etc. A PANTHER—are portable handheld devices you can use when Destiny is offline, can still circulate. Also used for inventory—it’s live wireless...Fairly expensive. Can do remote circulation.

Also a $400.00 wireless scanner is now available…

Repairs laminators, TV’s, overheads, all AV problems should be handled thru a HEAT ticket

Bogen problems—Electrical work order thru your secretary

Computers at circulation desks should be A’s, all OPAC stations should be I’s.

Computer Skills/Atomic Learning—MARLO

NCLB act and EETT funding education through technology act…since 2002 been using test data from 8th grade test….Still required by federal law to report competency for 8th grade. 1) Option students who already took the 8th grade test. Other options passing grade in CTE class, collection of online work samples.

This is a one year solution for now…Plan developed: Passed by Board:

Check list:

If you are a school that piloted test…that immediately counts

Passing grade in a computer class. In 6th or 7th grade

Test Skills using Atomic Learning (student assessment 48 question test—have students take it) tells you the result by CTE net standard

Portfolio of work sample for EC students.

If 7th grade students want to take the atomic learning so they can be marked proficient you can do that—it is for reporting to DPI for the grant.

How do we report the results on Atomic Learning—In February we will have administrative accounts, and you will assign students to take it, and receive a report and give that to your data manager to report proficient or not—Just a pass fail.

Data Manager will get us the names of the students who do not have scores.

Atomic Learning:

We want staff to know they have this information at their finger tips; there will be access for parents too…

Log in: We will have administrative building level access to Tech Facilitator and Principals.

For now, temporary user name is available (see Marlo)

You can add things to Favorites on Atomic

You can assign them to watch them, and give a due date

Browse available training and projects…

Workshops, they will work out credit issues with Cyndi Conger…

Students will have log-ins as well...

Ti Calculator, Voice Thread, Movie Maker (suggest to Debbie Etheridge's sub)

Waiting engineers to manage accounts from AD…

21st Century Skills section, projects, teacher assessments, etc.

If you assign training, click on “my Training” and will see what you have assigned.

If you decide you want to do a workshop, do a regular proposal on workshop registration system, and include a list of the names of the videos you will have them watch. You can as administrator have participants upload files to be assessed.

For teachers needing tech credits--MOODLE courses are on-going…go into staff development registration search by location, and find all the ones on-line, and they change every month.

Atomic Learning accounts—your login will be your e-mail address, and generic password for everyone at first will be generic until you change it


Theme money is on the table…talk about reducing theme money is on the table. Talk to your administrators.

Dell Mini’s will be collecting data on use—it was a Grant.

Discovery Streaming/Learn 360??

360 never going to be the same as Discovery Streaming…

Was a lot of tunnel vision on the videos on Learn 360....people didn't find what they had on DE streaming and got quickly discouraged...slowness of last fall was also a factor She needs some real numbers for Learn 360…Does she keep Learn 360. Does she ask for 60% more and get DT, or does she eliminate it all?

Poll teachers…what content do they feel they are missing?

Learn 360—$27,000 DE STREAMING: $107,000…

They are at the end of the contract for School Center…

Strategic Plan how to show how computer skills for being integrated into the curriculum.

Bond money: proposal (not formal) to piggy back with library bond to provide technology in all of our classes—“computer solution” in all classes…from 12 school now to 80 schools in a very quick time. Dr. Martin very much behind this. All teachers using the tools they have and the proper training.

Questions for the classroom set-up:

Did we choose the right package?

Look in documents/information for technology  on the webportal for the following questions...

We worked in the Middle School Group to discuss the affect of the "classroom solution".

How many of the Schools in your group have a t least one classroom with the complete classroom solution (for example the teacher cart, etc.)? 
Two schools fully (Hill and Flatrock, two schools partial (maybe missing one component like CPS ( East Forsyth, Clemmons )

East Middle (13 increasing to 16) and Clemmons have (6) with all but CPS (3 CTE are now fully equipped) ,

What strengths and weaknesses do each of the components have?

EAST: Strengths: flat screen much clearer, easier to use…document cameras, they purchased the wrong ones..They are working with the vendor. Sound system is strong, weakness when teacher wearing the mic—if they do not face the bubble in the ceiling, then they cut out. Two mics on (A&B frequency) Fix open where the battery is and change the channel.

East:  Department of technology been very supportive with the cart.

Betty--Moving to a seven port USB, they are changing how you open the back of the cart will be easier in the new carts.

Clemmons: where the ports are in the rooms are an issue with "incomplete solution".

55 inch on the new orders?

Issue: desk space for document camera documents

Did the installation meet your needs?

Mostly, and exceeded in some cases. Improvement over the moving around of data projectors, etc.

Issue of where the flat screen has to be mounted –would like to see a swivel mount

Did teachers receive the support they needed to use the equipment?

Receiving it now…Instructional technologist is conduction classes every other week, one week the CPS, one week the MOBI, Flatrock had two days in the summer, and then monthly refreshers…

Did training meet your needs?

YES, and YES…Flat Rock had training early, and did not have some log-in’s—issues there but that was a unique situation

Does the technology classroom solution have instructional value?

YES, and YES…Teachers love the quick response of CPS, Flat Rock said --50-75% of response system use in two to three day period.

Some issue with teachers wanting to be right behind the computer.

Marlo, if they are at least using the equipment, website, interactive, etc. then that is a good thing

Other discussion items:

Who gets the classroom solutions first...? Give it to the teachers who are the most enthusiastic about using technology? Hughes, let teachers at grade levels to decide who would get the classroom solution first. Kernersville set up a proposal system and then they will be awarded.

Tamra:  If we get one system, then CTE, will outfit the CTE classrooms for free.

Betty Weycker: They need to be ready to go with what is working best with the classroom solutions if they get the money.


Peggy Dessatales: We should Survey the students.

Sam at Bolton said how excited students react to getting a SMART Board. Get students to show how to use the equipment.

Cost on “back end” can be prohibitive

10,000 hour warantee on the TV screens verses 2000 hours on the bulb...that says a lot...

What do you do with the schools that “piece-mealed” and have a lot of equipment and then the bond gets passed?  Betty says that issue will be "on the table"


One last thing…Webportal

To be able to post documents for your teachers on the webportal

(side note: Dell touchpad utility--don't forget about that, after you intstall it, then under mouse pad setting you then can change it)

Document share for your school

Under links

Tech notes (teacher webportal)

Teacher will have a link on the left that says tech

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's My User name and Password??

I am sure most of you have forgotten at least one of your user names or passwords within the last year. Here are some general guidelines on passwords:

First thing, it might be  good idea to save all your passwords on a document or spreadsheet and save it on your server drive. If you can get on the server and get to that "senior moments" file, you might save yourself a lot of trouble. Here are some good suggestions on passwords from CommonCraft

Windows Log-in:
Your "windows login"-- should be your email user name (e.g. jdowns). Recall that the third box of the windows log-in screen must say:   WSFCSNET in order for you to log in correctly. If the third box says "M406...(this computer)" , you have to click on the drop down arrow and change it to wsfcsnet)

If you absolutely can not recall one of your passwords, here is who you should contact :

E-mail (I-notes): Tech Facilitator (Downs ) (I have to submit a KACE ticket to have it reset and it will take anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of days.  default reset password is the last four digits of your social security number.

School Wires :  Tech Facilitator ( Downs ) (There is a button on the school wires login page for changing lost/forgotten passwords, but it should be your active directory user name and password)

Windows/Active Directory ("logging onto your computer"): Tech Facilitator (Tech Facilitator can reset locally) (default reset password will be 123456)

Webportal : User name is your Active directory (Windows login) name.
NCWISE: Data Manager is the only one wo can reset NCWISE passwords, and provides new passwords at back to school time) NCWISE password guidelines

Blue Diamond:  Your user name is your last name space your first name.  Curriculum coordinator has to reset forgotten passwords.

Career Start:  username: careerstart and password: hint: "c.......s"

EVASS:  User name: first name.last name  (that's a period between your first name and last name)  Your password was orginally set by the Principal and he would have to reset lost or forgotten passwords for EVASS...

ENCORE: EC department:

Other Passwords You might Need but have forgotten...

Learn 360 :
The default user name: is your entire school system email address (i.e.; ) generic password originally was: (hint school district followed by a circle angle)

Learning Village: 

Is your windows active directory user name and password...

Other Windows Login Issues:

Every Summer....all Student accounts are reset and server files purged. Students log on to active directory with their student number as their user name and their first time password will be 123456. They will be prompted to change their password and they should change it to their last name. There is also a generic student user account called:

 user name:  "user516"
 password:   "set by Tech Facilitator"

That will allow a student on the computer with limited access in the event their account is locked or they are brand new to the district. It basically allows for internet access.  Students who become locked out after three tries will have to have their user account reset by Downs.

Parents who come to the school for example to access parent assist can log in with:
user name:  Parent
Pw: Parent

FAQ Space Issues?

Does your server space look like this?

Many time I get calls from people saying that the "S drive was full", and they could not save anything there.  I replied: "The S drive is not full--You are full"!  I did not mean they were full of you know what...but meant that the amount of space assigned to their individual user account is full.

The Department of Technology assigns the amount of space an individual can take up on the server based on district wide policies.  For example, students are allowed to save up to 100 MB of files, teachers-- 300 MB, Lead Secretaries, administrators & Tech facilitators--1 Giga byte. 

The amount of space you take up is determined by login.  So if you login to your computer and save a large file to the server (for example a Learn 360 video that might be 30 MB) that amount of space gets deducted from your user name's allotted total of 300 MB.  So with one save of a video you are using ~10% of your allocated server space!  Another important thing to remember is that the amount of your allotted space gets deducted whether you save it to your H drive (the drive with  your user name on it) or the Staff Shared drive.  Even though you are being nice and saving it for others, it still counts against your individual account!

That is why I suggest people save large files (such as music, pictures or videos) to the K drive/Archives folder.  The Archives folder is a special place on the K drive that students DO NOT have Access to--which is important because the K drive is not backed up on a daily basis like the other drives (S & H), and saving to the K Drive does not count against your allotted space!  Woo Hoo!  The K drive also gives users full rights, so it is "vulnerable" in the sense that other people could accidentally delete your files (in the case of the archives folder other teachers could delete your files, but not students).  That's why it is always "safer" to save backups of important files or folders to at least 1 other location.

Where might you save backups ?  Your local hard drive on your computer (the C drive) is a fine place to save.  You might make a folder on your C drive (right click over the C drive and choose new and folder) and perhaps call it something like DOWNS FILES.  This is a better place to save than say your desktop which on occasion may get "swept" by the school district, and might cause you to loose everything saved there.  So,  the C drive is a good backup place, however the C drive is "vulnerable" too.  If your computer ever crashes or needs re-imaged because of a virus, then those local files would be lost.  Another place to save backup files would be a large flash drive--realizing that they too can be lost or damaged in transit.  Finally consider backing up most of your really important files to google docs.  Those files are saved on google servers and can be accessed anytime (assuming you have Internet access) and from any computer with Internet access :)

Also,  sometimes there is confusion between the amount of space you can take up on the server (Your H drive and S Drive) and the amount of space you have on your E-mail account.  At this time, email only allows 100 MB, (your H drive allows 300 MB) but they are separate allotments.  So, just because your e-mail account is giving you warning messages about being full, does not mean your local "server" space is filled as well.

So,  getting back to the teachers whose "S drives" were "full" message, what should they do?  CLEAN UP,  but before you do,  MAKE BACKUPS  as discussed earlier.

You might try organizing your files on your H Drive "by size" to see which ones are taking up the most space.  For example, if you right click on your main server drive and choose "ARRANGE BY" and choose SIZE, the largest files will be at the end of your list.  If you don't need those files, delete them first since they will "free up" the most space.  To delete files. simply click on them and either right click on choose delete or hit the delete button on your keyboard.  You can select multiple files at one time, by holding down your CNTL key and randomly clicking on several files.  Holding down the Shift key allows you to select a "range" of files  (everything between your first click and your next click.

With your email, if you go to your "all documents" view, then click at the top where it says "size" you will sort all your email by size.  It will show the largest emails (most likely with attachments) at the top.  Delete those first to "get the most bang for your buck" in deleting.  Don't forget that your percent full message will not change until the next time the district "compacts" your file--which ordinarily takes place ~  only once per week.  Also, keep in mind that when you are in "all documents" view that any item you delete completely deletes it from your mail file including those saved in folders.  Email saved in folders does count against your alotted space :(

Happy Deleting!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Trying to Retrieve Data from a Computer that will not boot

Today, a teacher brought a hard-drive to me. The computer had "crashed" and would not boot in any mode, safe mode, repair mode, nothing. She was desperate to try and get all her pictures and files that were never backed up. I came across this website, and we were actually able to retrieve the data. Tho, it was a slow process, and especially interesting when I downloaded the German version of the boot-up CD. I was literally on trying to translate the menu items so I could figure out what to do. But in the end it did work :)

There are a lot of steps, but it may be worth it if you don't have backups of your treasured files.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Viruses/ Spyware on your computer?? Try these steps

Just in the last two weeks, I have had more than 5 people bring in computers/laptops from home that have been infected with Malware/Virus or serious spyware. The following are some specific things you might try.

A quick way you can get your computer to start up without tons of pop up and interference from SPYWARE is to do the following:

Start your computer in SAFE MODE...Depending on your operating system and manufacter, if you hit F7 or F8 as your computer is starting, and choose to start in "SAFE Mode with Networking".  Once you get to a desktop try the following:

A) Go to your START Menu, click on RUN , in the open box that comes up, type: msconfig
A window will pop up, click on the START-UP tab , and remove the checks off anything that looks suspicious, (In fact, it is safe to remove all the checks from this window, and often your computer will start up more quickly even when you don't have a virus)

After you remove all the checks you will have to click on APPLY and OK , and then restart. The next time you restart a window will pop up letting you know that you changed the system start-up utility, simply check the box to never show that message again, and hit ok.

B) If you don't have anti-virus or anti-spyware utilities on your computer , at least download the following free installs and save them to a Flash Drive (from another computer if you can't get them to download on your computer because of an infection) Be careful and read everything when downloading and installing--Some will try and get you to click on the paid for versions...or try to add toolbars when you do the install.--if you are careful and read you can uncheck those add ons...

(review of CCCLEANER) (Using CCCleaner)


(Review of Malwarebytes)

(Review of AVG Free)

Now, these are some basic steps you can take to try and remove viruses or malware:

BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING MAJOR....If you are able to get onto your computer, MAKE BACKUPS of any files you will want to keep (your "my documents" folder, pictures, music, etc. Get yourself a large flash drive (4 GB or better cost in the area of 20$ or less) and move files to it as a backup. You should do this on a regular basis anyway!

Step 1 )

Disable the System Restore feature on your computer. If this is still turned on, the system will restore any infected files that were deleted, including those infected by the Trojan horse. Here's how: Right-click the My Computer icon on the desktop and click Properties.
Click the System Restore tab.
Select Turn off System Restore.
Click Apply > Yes > OK.
Continue with step 2. infected files under the _Restore folder can now be deleted.
After you complete the steps below you can Re-enable System Restore by clearing Turn off System Restore.

Step 2)

Turn on the computer and run it in safe mode . Restart the computer and when the words begin appearing on the screen, press the F8 key. This takes you to a new screen, where you'll select the safe mode option . Let the computer start as it regularly would before you continue. While in safe mode, Run the ANTI-Virus/Spyware programs that I suggested you download above.

Step 3)

Go into the Control Panel by clicking on the "Start" button at the bottom left-hand side of the screen and looking for the Control Panel. Select the Add or Remove Programs icon. The computer should then show a list of all programs existing on your system.

Look for programs that look suspicious --Such as Spyware or adware on your computer and select the Remove program option . Many users have found it helpful to look for programs that they didn't install and those that were installed when they downloaded a game or other program onto their computer.


Sometimes, Viruses or Spyware will disable your internet connection. After completing all the scans above, and you still can't get on the internet...

Try going to START, RUN,
type cmd in the box that comes up.
A black box will appear. Type ipconfig/release and then enter
Then after that is completed,
Type: ipconfig/renew and hit enter.

You might also try going to control panel and internet options, and under the ADVANCED Tab choose to RESET under reset internet explorer settings...

Sometimes viruses or spyware will disable your wireless connection. Try going to your control panel and right clicking on your wireless network connection, and choosing REPAIR...


Lastly, continue to be very careful surfing the net...if a pop up comes on your computer saying it has found a virus or you need to take immediate action (it is probably part of the spyware/trojan trying to get you to click on it and install it), Instead of clicking on it, immediately unplug your computer and restart and see if it returns. If it does, follow the steps above...


Brent Atkinson sent some good advice about making sure your computer is doing updates...Just for the record, We are talking about your home computers here...However, this could be the reason why many people are getting "attacked" with Trojan's...Here's an article about it.

and another...

This article suggests using an alternative browser may not be a bad idea. Also, The article talks about the steps for updating Internet Explorer. Firefox and Google Chrome are two alternative browsers among several others...

Microsoft's Update site:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Blogging Tips

I saw this link about tips for starting bloggers...

Some of them are general tips, and other things are pretty technical, but I was able to use tip #8 about Feedburner which allows readers of your blog to subscribe via e-mail and get an update anytime you update (recall only allows us to signup up to 10 readers to subscribe to your blog-- If everyone subscribes, then there is no reason to have to send out an e-mail to remind folks when you update your blog. It will also automatically send out an e-mail when you make a change to your blog--Woo Hoo!

So, with Feedburner I was able to add what's called a widget to my blog. This gives you a form on your blog that allows readers to sign up to receive an e-mail whenever you publish new content--with an unlimited number of subscibers. Feedburner is part of google so it is legitimate and not dangerous in terms of SPAM!

MS Office 2007 conversion Problems

I am seeing more and more office 2007 issues --students bring in flash drive, file won't open because student completed it at home with a newer version of Office (2007). I don't see the school system updating anytime soon especially with the current budget crunch. But you can do a one time install on your computer by following the directions below , and in the future your computer will recognize those files. I have also seen this problem when teachers receive an e-mail from someone who has attached an Office 2007 (usually word) document. This install will solve that problem too :) See below...

At home, you go to the Microsoft conversion download site:

But, here at school, I have placed the converter install file on the staff shared drive:

Here is what you do:

From your desktop, Go to " my computer ":

Go to the data on 406 dc01 (S) drive (double click on it)

Then, Find the Staff Share folder (double click on it)

Then find the Installs Folder (double click on it)

Find the item that says: (And double click on it)
File Format converters for MS Office 2007
(it may take several seconds to come up, once it does....)

Choose RUN
place a check in the box to accept the terms
then click on continue

That should be it. Once it is completed on a computer, you should not have to run the converters again and that particular computer :)

You might also mention to students if they are working at home, they can " SAVE as" and choose to Save as a word 97-2003 document. That also will eliminate the conversion issue.

Some Video Editing Tips

Since we recently had training in MS Movie Maker before the holidays, I thought I would share this entry in the WS/FCS tech blog about movie maker:

If you happen to have received a Flip Video Camera for Christmas, and were trying to use Movie Maker to edit it, then this article may be relevant. I made a comment on the article, and I also recommend a program called "Any Video Converter" that is a free download-able program you can use to convert file formats:

Finally, some might want to convert from a Windows Media File to actually make a DVD: