Tag Archives: Education

TEXTBOOKS – K12 Electronic Teacher Guides & Students Text

As technology spreads so does the need for the K12 educational system to keep up.  What a better way to use your dollars better and use a new non-profit organization to get FREE electronic textbooks for you kids and Teachers.  Lets face it – a lot of districts are having problems keeping up in all ares’ due to budget cuts.  You have to take a look at this and see if you can make it work in your district, just think – even if you modify one or two classes – how much will you save on text books – either saving the parents money or being able to use that money for other projects.

If it means changing your lesson plan or presentation of those lesson, it just might be worth a look at this new service.

CK12.org – FlexBooks – Electronic Textbooks – FREE 

Key Benefits

Access to free textbooks
High quality educational content created by educators
Content customized to reflect “today” and the different needs of students
Quality ensured by CK-12‘s Community of Educational Practitioners
Increased pedagogic choice for all teachers, aligned to state standards as well as developmentally correct content
Supported by publishing tools that facilitate quick and easy content creation and distribution
Collaborative learning via a community where authors, teachers, and students create, access, share, rate, recommend, and publish
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Filed under Books, E-book, Education, eReader, Green, Internet, IPad, Open Source, Text Books, WEB

Technology used Right! Keep attention – Keep on track – Keep them Alert!

I always like when technology is used and it gives a huge return in kids education.  Yes it means changing the way your lesson plans are presented, yes it means being creative and a little more work in preparation – but doesn’t the end result justify the investment.  It can even make your job of teaching more enjoyable and rewarding when you see more kids staying on track and engaged in the class.  At the end of the day we want the kids to leave school each day with some understanding, some new insight and thinking about and growing in some manner.

I have heard and seen advertising for these clickers for sometime, but never really understood just how valuable these could be.  I thought it was just another technology gimmick!  How could these really be used to keep kids on track and gaining their full attention throughout a lesson.   What a great article that ran today in New York Times, talking about how many Universities are utilizing this technology to do just that!  About half-million students are using them today.

EVANSTON, Ill. — If any of the 70 undergraduates in Prof. Bill White’s “Organizational Behavior” course here at Northwestern University are late for class, or not paying attention, he will know without having to scan the lecture hall.

Many kids don’t really like these clickers, while others believe it helps them keep on track and do what they really should be doing in class. 

Though some Northwestern students say they resent the potential Big Brother aspect of all this, Jasmine Morris, a senior majoring in industrial engineering, is not one of them.

“I actually kind of like it,” Ms. Morris said after a class last week. “It does make you read. It makes you pay attention. It reinforces what you’re supposed to be doing as a student.”

Take a read of the entire article to really get a good understanding – the key is to incorporate the clickers into your lesson plan and get the kids involved throughout the lesson.  This approach I believe can be used for any grade as it puts technology in the hands of the child that is more than a little familiar in using it already.

NEW YORK TIMES – More Professors Give Out Hand-Held Devices to Monitor Students and Engage Them

Technology at it’s best!

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Filed under Education, Kids, Technology

FUND RAISING – Our School NEEDS Contest – Another way of raising money – Just VOTE!

Microsoft BING 100k Contest down to 15 schools and the voting has started.  You get to vote once each day, you also get to raise money for your own cause.  Each vote can be worth $3.00 for your own cause – get your teachers and parents voting!

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!

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. 

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Filed under Contests, Education, Microsoft

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

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

Dead Sea Scrolls – Soon to be available on the WEB – thx to Google, Nasa & Israeli Antiquities Authority!

The Dead See Scrolls which contains original biblical text is coming to the internet.  This is great news for anyone interested in history and wants to see some first hand.  I can see this being used in many history classes, it being  better than viewing them in a text.  It will be sometime before you see them as this was just announced and the details of the project will be fully disclosed and online within months.

At a press briefing in Israel, the IAA’s Pnina Shor talked about how the Google deal will help preserve the scrolls. “From the minute all of this will go online there will be no need to expose the scrolls anymore, and anyone in his office or (on) his couch will be able to see it,” she said—though we do have to wonder how many couch potatoes are really itching to read The War Scroll off its actual parchment.

The 900 biblical and other manuscripts, comprising some 30,000 fragments, were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea and photographed in their entirety with infra-red technology in the 1950s.

READ ENTIRE Press Release

I for one can’t wait to see this online.

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Filed under Education, Google, Information, Technology, WEB

Security – Passwords – Can yours be CRACKED

Many years ago you would have a few passwords and be able to remember them, today your Password list can be huge and how do you remember them. 

Most people make it really simple and use the same password for everything, not the best method for sure.  Someone figures it out and they have access to everything!  Others use simple easy to remember passwords – like birthday dates, anniversaries – again not the best method – one of the first things people try to information that can usually be easy to find!

So what do you do – make it easy to remember or create a strong password that is almost impossible to break!  The most secure method is to make a very strong password each time.  I guess you could use a mix, making sure you use strong passwords for online Banking and other important informational locations and your passwords for online contact, news and others simple to remember.  There are methods to creating a strong password and to remember them – Microsoft has an article you should review.

There are many tools available on the WEB and Smart phones that allow you to keep records of your passwords – some say these work well and secure.  I use the Blackberry password manager for many of my passwords.  This is something you will have to determine for yourself!  They are a number of  these that are free, I have tried some and they work well.

Things you want to make sure you don’t do are:

Common password pitfalls to avoid

Cyber criminals use sophisticated tools that can rapidly decipher passwords.

Avoid creating passwords using:

  • Dictionary words in any language.
    Words in all languages are vulnerable.
  • Words spelled backwards, common misspellings, and abbreviations.
    Words in all languages are vulnerable.
  • Sequences or repeated characters.
    Examples: 12345678, 222222, abcdefg, or adjacent letters on your keyboard (qwerty).
  • Personal information.
    Your name, birthday, driver’s license, passport number, or similar information.

REVIEW ENTIRE Microsoft DOCUMENT – Create strong passwords

Don’t let your password get cracked!Eggshells

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Filed under Education, Information, Security, WEB

E-mail Management

I am sure like everyone I know, they have management issue around e-mails.  We all get too many e-mails and trying to find the time to review, reply and manage them can sometimes be impossible.  We all spend too much time, and for many our personal time trying to keep it somewhat under control.  Just a few years ago it was just work e-mail, today it’s both work and our own personal email accounts!

One of the things I have done for my personal email account is setup a 2nd email address that I only use for REGISTRATIONS, offerings etc.  Anything that you might receive regular emails.  This makes my primary email account just for family and friends – the emails I want to review.  The other account is reviewed when I have time.

Well Microsoft posted this TIP – Though it is titled for Teachers – I am sure anyone can use these idea’s in some shape or form.

How much e-mail do you get every day? I’m guessing the answer is “too much”. What with planning lessons, teaching, grading assignments, reporting to your principal and stuff, email is just another time-consuming task. How about letting your computer so do some of the work? 

Here are seven Outlook tips that will save you time and help you organize your e-mail.  FULL POST

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Filed under E-Mail, Education, Management, Microsoft, Microsoft Office, Software