TGIF ~ August 28, 2009

This is probably the most commonly uttered phrase across the district in the past three days, but I’ll say it again…Where did the summer go? I had so many plans to get so much done…oops. But the refreshing thing about teaching is that every new school year brings the chance to start over, to reorganize, to “do it better this time”. 

In the interest of modeling some new tools, this year I’m moving the TGIF to my blog rather than sending it as a weekly email. For the first few weeks I’ll send the link as an email to give everyone a chance to figure it out. But then I plan to wean you away from email and get you to subscribe to my blog if you want to continue reading the TGIF. Don’t worry…it will be easy. Next week I’ll give you the directions to subscribe.

But let’s get to this week’s TGIF. For those who are new, TGIF (besides the obvious Friday meaning) stands for Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts. Each Friday I’ll post a “Gem” ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students; an “Idea” ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology; and a “Fact” ~ just a bit of information related to technology. I’m always looking for new things to share, so if you find something that you think everyone could use, please send it to me. I’ll be happy to give you credit!

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts                

Friday, August 28, 2009

Gem ~ a website or application that might work well for you or your students

This week’s gem is really from this summer. After the Outlook session had to be canceled, Dave Shoemaker agreed to create screencasts with narration that will walk you through some of the most useful features of Outlook beyond simply sending and receiving email. These screencasts are posted on Mr. Shoemaker’s blog (click the link to access them). Simply click on the links for each entry to watch a short video explaining various features of Outlook. Big thanks to Dave Shoemaker for doing these! I learned so much about Outlook working with him to create these screencasts. If you’re only using Outlook to check your email, you don’t know what you’re missing!  (

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

Ninjawords is a website designed to display words and definitions quickly. Students can enter a word and within seconds have a complete definition. Or, they can click the “Random” button to learn new words. This could be a great practice activity for vocabulary or spelling or for studying multiple meanings of words. (

Fact ~ just a bit of information

This is a fact I doubt any of you will dispute: this is a crazy time of year. Actually, summer is the busiest time of year in the technology department. Since June they’ve replaced over 550 computers across the district. Please be patient if there is something you need that hasn’t been finished yet. The absolute best way to be sure that your needs will be met is to enter your request into the Help Desk. This system allows requests to be routed to the appropriate staff member and logged to show the time and date of the request. When in doubt, use the Help Desk. It’s always your best bet for any kind of technology problem. (

Feel free to leave a comment below this post. I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend! Rest up and get ready for Monday!



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