Monthly Archives: October 2010

Our SCHOOL NEEDS….. time to VOTE – Contest

You need to start voting even if you’re not one of the lucky one’s, every time you vote (5 x votes / day) you raise money that can be donated through another program that you can enter – raising money for your own projects.  The clock is ticking as you only have 2 weeks to vote – get people signed up to BING Education and voting, get your project on Donorschoose and you can raise some of that money you need.

BING Education

Your School Didn’t Make it to the Finals?

 You can still raise awareness and donation money for your project. Visit DonorsChoose.org to learn more their unique non-profit website. Established in 2000 by a former social studies teacher, DonorsChoose.org enables schools to post their projects and individuals nationwide to donate to them. Click here to read the Teacher Tutorial that explains how the DonorsChoose.org program works.

 

This is the email I recieved today telling me to start voting…..

Hello,

We have our finalists! With so many deserving schools, it was a challenge to narrow down the field of entries, but now it’s your turn to help decide who the winners will be.

Voting for the Our School Needs contest has started and you have from today until November 7th to raise support for your favorite entries by voting for up to five entries each and every day.

Who should win the Our School Needs contest? Vote now and help us decide:

http://Bing.com/PlaceYourVote

In addition to supporting the Our School Needs finalists, the first 30,000 voters each day can get a $3 donation code for DonorsChoose.org — an online charity where teachers post classroom projects in need of funding so people like you can help bring them to life.*

At the conclusion of the contest, up to $900,000 in donation codes will have been given out so voters can help schools across the country in need of resources!

Help decide who the winners will be. Visit the Our School Needs site and log in to vote for your favorites:

http://Bing.com/PlaceYourVote

Vote now!! Vote daily!

Thanks for all your support,

The Bing Education Team

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Technology & Social Media as Educational tools

I am sure many teachers have some boring topics that have to be taught, but they know the kids are off thinking about something else when they are trying to teach it.   Well we also know if you use what the kids are interested in and using daily, they will get involved and the information will stick.  The results can be very surprising!

Found an article today where a teacher used (sort of) MySpace and/or Facebook project to teach a very boring topic of trying to introduce an authors background before moving to reading a book.

Before reading a piece of classic literature, I always like to give background on the author. Before reading “The Tell-Tale Heart” I do a small lesson on the back ground of Edgar Allan Poe that details his tragic life and times. My goal is for the students to tie the author’s personal experiences to the literary term “author’s purpose”, but I didn’t know of a great way to do this. Usually, I would copy off a page of information about the author, we would read it together, and that was that. Students would wander during the reading and zone out, not interested at all in the boring piece I had revamped from the encyclopedia or photo-copied out of our literature book. The students were not retaining and certainly not caring about the author’s background. 
I am sure there are many other lesson plans that could be created using the technology the kids use, you have to be creative and take the time to get involved in today’s technology.   This article with the changes to MySpace that just happened, might be a little out of date – for the above exercise you would today be better served using Facebook.
 
Simple exercise my daughters 6th grade teacher put into place was a BLOG (FREE) for the classroom.  He had a student each day post something on the blog, usually about the days activities.  This exposed the kids to a BLOG, it got them thinking about the day and it also get them writing something that everyone else could see – including their parents.  He also used the blog as a method to communicate home work, projects and special dates that the students or parents could review at home.  I thought this was a great idea! 
 
FREE Blog Services – You’re in one currently called WordPress.com, it takes about 10 minutes to set up the blog, then you start posting.  Another service is Google’s BLOGGER, again very easy and both are FREE.
 

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Filed under Books, Education, Social Media

Microsoft OFFICE365 for EDUCATION!

Its official!

I’m excited about the announcement of Office365 for education, which represents the evolution of Live@edu, and provides a game-changing opportunity for education in cloud computing. Office 365 for education builds off of the great platform we’ve established with Live@edu to provide a better experience for communication, collaboration, and productivity tools for education institutions of all types…while saving costs and delivering a great connected experience for students and educators.

In addition to providing an Exchange Online, Outlook and Office Web Apps solution, we will be expanding the portfolio to include SharePoint Online, Lync Online, and Office Professional Plus. Office 365 for education will include the same services available in Office 365 for enterprises…but specifically tailored to meet the needs of educators, students, and education partners. It will have the same uptime commitment, backed up by a service level agreement, as enterprises. You can learn more about the new offering here.

The cloud without compromise…introducing Office 365 for education

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Filed under Cloud, Education, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Software, WEB

SCHOOL PRIDE – MakeOver Show

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My family has watched the Extreme Makeover show since it started, its a great story of people and communities coming together to help someone else that is in need.  What a wonderful lesson to teach your kids!  Well yet another twist – what better way to get kids motivated to get involved in their schools and a reason to want to come to school and learn.

From executive producers Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”) and Denise Cramsey (“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” and “True Beauty”), “School Pride” is a proactive, alternative series that tells the stories of communities coming together to renovate their aging and broken public schools. While transforming the school, the community also restores its sense of value and school pride.

The cameras follow students, teachers and parents as they roll up their sleeves and rebuild their own schools, concluding with the unveiling of a brand new, completely transformed school. They are motivated by a quartet of community organizers and personalities – SWAT Commander Tom Stroup; interior designer Susie Castillo (“House of Payne”); comedian and former substitute teacher Kym Whitley (“‘Til Death”); and journalist Jacob Soboroff (“AMC News”). Together, the team of experts will lead the community through the makeover process.
The schools and communities highlighted in the series include Enterprise Middle School in Compton, California; Lanier Elementary School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Kingston Springs Elementary in Nashville, Tennessee; Communication and Media Arts School in Detroit, Michigan; Needles High School in Needles, California; Hollenbeck Middle School in Los Angeles, California; and Los Angeles Center for Enrichment Studies in Los Angeles, California.

“School Pride” is produced by Horizon Alternative Television.

SCHOOL PRIDE WEB

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School PRIDE & Windows 7 – WIN a Computer LAB for your school

No time to waste, just found this today and sorry to say the closing date for submissions in November 1st @ 3PM….

Hopefully you have some talented students and teachers that can put a video clip together quickly for the opportunity to WIN a LAB for you school.

Could your school really use a new computer lab? Tell us about it and then enter the School Pride Web Competition brought to you by Windows 7 for your opportunity to win a state-of-the-art computer lab for your school. Tell us your story, complete with text, photos, or video and submit it no later than 3P.M. ET November 1st (see official rules).

SCHOOL PRIDE – WEB COMPETITION 

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Filed under Contests, Education, Microsoft

Microsoft in the CLOUD – OFFICE Web Based & Hosted – OFFICE 365

Being that Office is huge portion of Microsoft revenue – this is something that is a bit of surprise, but really they had no choice in the matter.  This is where the market and competition is taking everyone….

OFFICE 365 is the new name.

Educators – Watch out as there is an educational version of this coming out as well – Same product, just with educational pricing.  You should see this coming earlier next year.

What is Office 365, beyond the new release of BPOS, Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite? 

Office 365 includes a new SMB version of what’s currently called BPOS; an enterprise version of BPOS v2; a new government version of BPOS (which is currently known as BPOS Federal); and a refresh of the student/education-focused Live@Edu offering. All of these are supposed to be out by next year.

 Some great information from someone’s opinion I have always trusted – ZCNet – Mary-Jo Foley

Ten more tidbits on Microsoft’s new Office 365 cloud play

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Filed under Internet, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Software, Technology, WEB

Eating HEALTHLY – a key to better choices – What can you do!

I read an article from the New York Times today and was surprised that just making simple changes to the layout of the food with little to no expense could make such a dramatic change in choices kids make when buying their lunch.

Take a look at the ARTICLE  / Picture

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Filed under Education, Kids

DVR – Good for Consumer & Possibly Cable Guys – Bad for Networks and Advertisers!

Again – not specific to the K12 Tech community, but for sure it will affect you moving forword.

I am sure my family and I are very similar to anyone else that currently has a DVR!  These things are great, who has time to watch shows when they are on the networks….  Not sure about you but we are busy and not that I watch too many shows, but without the DVR I would not be able to watch most!

Something else that I am sure we all do is fast forward through the commercials just like we did with the VCR – though a little slower.  Well when you think about – the commercials are paying for those shows and anyone with a DVR are not watching them and it’s a lot of us.  Both the networks and advertisers know this and want to change this behaviour if they can.

I have heard from a few people including my daughter that a GLEE episode was scheduled to record, but ended up not being recorded – which made no sense till I heard it from a few other people??  Makes you wonder if they have that control over the DVR?

Ultimately the Networks want to push you to ON-Demand and take fast forward control away from you so you cannot skip the commercials and I am sure over time that is what will happen.

 FULL ARTICLE – TV networks want to get rid of the DVR

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Filed under Advertising, Entertainment

Windows Phone 7 REVIEWS – Something to watch!

Though this is not specific to the K12 arena – I thought alot of Tech people might find value in this information.

I believe this review was done wonderfully, he touched on almost everything and seemed to be very open.

I loved this piece about iPhone and kids –

Notifications — that is, alerts that pop up to tell you whats going on in various places around the device, such as when you get a text or an IM — are something that everyone in the mobile world does differently. Android does it quite gloriously, with a pull down drawer that hangs out on top of the screen, storing all of your recent notifications for one-click access to their respective applications.

The iPhone, on the other hand, alerts you much in the way a child would: it runs into the room, shouts what it has to say (by throwing an alert window at you, thereby interrupting whatever you’re doing), and then runs off to do something else and pretty much forgets it ever said anything.

Windows Phone 7′s notification system is somewhere between the two. Notifications pop up at the top of the screen, appearing where the status bar usually sits. Tap the notification, and you’ll jump to the app that pushed it. It won’t pause or otherwise interrupt what you’re doing — but it also doesn’t let you manage recent notifications that you didn’t address as they came in. It’s cleaner than the iPhone’s seemingly tacked-on system, but not nearly as handy as Android’s drawer.  MobileCrunch Full Article

If you have the time you should review the comments, you learn almost as much from those as you do the article itself. As I was reading I thought the same as many of the people making the comments – the NEGATIVE items are either coming or really just doesn’t matter to the typical smartphone user.

Another review that is not bad, but he forgets to mention that the things missing either will be coming very soon, or for most users it just doesn’t matter just like above…. CIO REVIEW

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Filed under Microsoft, Microsoft Phone 7, Phone 7, Smartphone

Apple MACBook AIR POST#2 – the day after!

 

Yesterday Apple announced some new product and the press has not been too kind with the 2nd edition of the MACBOOK AIR release.

Negative PRESS a day after

 

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Filed under Apple, NEW Product, Notebook