Friday, January 27, 2012

Top 10 Free Online Tutoring Tools for 2012

This article from Edudemic provides a list of Free tools to help you interact with your student(s) sans the confines of the classroom. The Internet provides a wealth of resources for teachers, tutors, and students to go well beyond classroom learning. Whether you’re a teacher preparing for tomorrow’s lecture, a professional tutor working with one or two students, or you just want to help your cousin in Alabama with some trig homework, these free tools will help you interact with your student(s) sans the confines of the classroom. Top 10 Free Online Tutoring Tools for 2012

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Complete Educator’s Guide to Using Google Reader

This post from The Edublogger titled The Complete Educator’s Guide to Using Google Reader offers step by step resources to help you and your students successfully use Google reader in your day to day lives.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The New Version of Google Presentations

Check out some of the new features in the latest version of Google presentations:
  • Character-by-character collaboration: See updates in realtime as you edit presentations with other people.
  • Drawing on canvas: Draw organizational charts, flowcharts, design diagrams and much more right within Google presentations.
  • Transitions: Enhance your presentation with new ways to transition between slides.
  • Shape linking: Turn shapes within your presentation into hyperlinks to other slides, presentations, or external webpages.
  • Better animations: We’ve added new themes to make it easy to create show-stopping presentations.
Here's how to enable the new version of Google presentations:
  1. Click the gear icon in your Documents List and select Documents settings.
  2. select the "editing" tab.
  3. On your settings page, check the box next to "Create new presentations using the latest version of the presentation editor."
  4. Click Save.

Call for Presenters: 2nd Technology Conference

Our 2nd Technology Conference is just a few months away (Saturday April 21, 2012 at Niles West).For this conference to be a success we need your participation. Please consider presenting a session or two about your best practices which are helping to make our AAL plan a success and a model for other districts. 

We are gathering a pool of presenters and building the day's schedule. Please complete this form if you'd like to be included:

If you do not wish to present, please make plans to attend. Feedback from last year's conference showed that attendees were eager to network with D219 faculty and staff. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Overhead Projectors: End of Life

Many of you are still using transparencies and over-head projectors in your classrooms. Available inventory of these devices are dwindling. We have spoke with our main supplier, 3M, who stated that they are closing their over-head projector division. They will continue to support any devices that are under warranty, but once the warranty expires - over-head projectors are DONE.

In light of this information, the Tech Dept has been investigating document cameras. Document cameras have been in use around the District for years. Several models were recently tested for usability, portability, and features. The IPEVO document camera was the device of choice and will be available in the PDC for check-out.

If you have an over-head projector, please continue to use it for the remainder of the school year. In the event that the device fails and is out of warranty, it may be replaced with the IPEVO document camera.

Doubling Internet Bandwidth for 2012

Over the break, we installed another 100Mg of internet bandwidth from RCN. We have also installed a web caching device that will load frequently visited websites to a local server that will essentially appear to increase the access speed of those cached websites. (Note: you can speed your classes access to websites and videos by visiting them the day before) We hope that this will help to alleviate some of the frustration that you have expressed to us, when using some of the webs resources wth your classes.

We want to be responsive to the needs of teacher instruction and are pleased to be able increase the bandwidith in the District to accomodate these needs. That said, please remind your students to limit internet use directly related to instruction during the school day.   

Open-Office Found a Fork in the Road

Some of you savvy Open Office users are beginning to ask when we might follow the fork in the road that leads us to Libre Office. We are planning to install Libre office on all the computers next year. Libre Office and Open Office are identical, but all future development of the office product is now focused on Libre Office.

Tomato/tomahto they're both Office, but if you want to know all the details follow this link.