TGIF ~ September 11, 2009

Technology Gems, Ideas, and Facts            

Friday, Sept. 11, 2009

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

I hope last week’s directions for setting up an RSS reader were clear. I did get a few questions and was able to help those people out. It seems that setting up a Google account using the school network is not easy. If you’re trying to create a Google account and get a message saying “We’re sorry…” try creating the account outside of school. Once the account is created you’ll be able to access it here. Google just doesn’t like the idea that so many requests are coming from the same IP address. I guess it thinks we’re spam.

Now, many of you might be wondering why in the world you should go to all the trouble of creating an account, setting up a reader, and then subscribing to my blog. Wouldn’t it just be easier to keep getting it via email each week? Well, if the TGIF were the only thing out there that you want to read, then the answer to that question might be “yes”. But there are hundreds of blogs and news sites out there that you can subscribe to using your reader. 

The vast majority of the links I post in these TGIFs have come to me through my RSS reader. Like you, I don’t have time to go out scouring the web for the latest and greatest on all facets of education. But there are plenty of people out there who do take the time to write about such things. So I subscribe to their blogs and let them do the work for me. Since I try to keep the TGIFs relevant to all our district teachers, I try to avoid posting links for things that are subject or grade level specific. From now on, when I find things like that, I’ll post them here under categories such as “Elementary” or “Science”. When your reader shows new posts from my blog, you can quickly scan the category to see if it’s of interest to you.

Today I want to get you started on finding some blogs in your own area of interest (educationally, anyway…there are also lots of blogs out there to address most personal interests…but you can find those on your own). Moving Forward is a wiki that lists subject-specific blogs. A quick scroll down the page will help you find your area of expertise. Click on a few links and see if you can find a blog that offers you some good ideas or new points of view. Add a comment to a blog and join the conversation. If you find one you like and would like to read again, subscribe to the blog’s RSS feed and add it to your RSS reader. Then every time that blogger adds something new, it will show up in your reader. (Just a disclaimer…I have not read every blog listed on the wiki. Some may be better than others. I offer this as a resource for you to find some professional reading, but your own judgement will tell you whether or not it’s worth your time.)

Idea ~ a way to enhance your LFS lessons with technology

Recipes4Success is a website that allows you to make customized graphic organizers. There are 15 different formats to choose from. Add your own instructions or use their default instructions. Organizers can then be saved or printed.

(http://myt4l.com/index.php?v=pl&page_ac=view&type=tools&tool=graphicorganizers

Fact ~ just a bit of information

Fact: There’s lots of great educational software out there. 

Fact: It is a violation of the MASD Acceptable Use Policy to install that software on a District computer unless it was purchased with District funds.

Please don’t put yourself in the position of violating the AUP. If you find software that you would like to use, please go through the appropriate budget process to request that it be purchased with District funds. This includes educational games, management programs, fonts, clipart, etc. Also, be sure to consult with the Technology Dept. prior to ordering the software so that we can be sure the software is compatible with our equipment and can keep all the licensing information on file.

 

Woo! That ended up being a lot longer than I intended! I promise, next week I’ll go back to the compact version of the TGIF. If you have any questions or comments feel free to reply below this post by clicking where it says, “Have Your Say”. I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great weekend!

Anne

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