RESA Technology Blog…

Technology_BlogDavid Rogers of Heart of Georgia RESA has just started a new TECHNOLOGY BLOG aimed at teachers.    “My ultimate intention is to help people become more proficient technology users.” says David.   “I currently have five posts published. My plans are to post at least one entry per month (more if time permits).”

http://hgresatech.blogspot.com/

Check it out.   Information is always a good thing!

Shelly

Do NOT upgrade your smartboard software….

To All Teachers:

​This is a reminder of an email that I sent out on August 5th, 2014

If you get a message asking you if you would like to UPGRADE or UPDATE your SMART software, Please do NOT do so.  If you do, it will install a newer version that we do not have a license for and it will not function.

We will then have to uninstall the newer version and re-install the former version.  Probably a 2 hour process.   And your board WILL NOT WORK until we can get to you to accomplish this downgrade.

Thanks,

Shelly​

Evernote: A Great Tool for Organizing Teachers & Students!

GUEST POST:  Posted on June 26, 2013by 

This has been reblogged from my post at PLPVoices 

evernote-logo-300x298If you are not familiar with Evernote, now is the time. Evernote is a free web tool and application that helps you to organize your notes, emails, images, and, well…. everything. It’s hard to describe, but this 50-second video highlights some of the key features and abilities.

Evernote can be a great application for teachers, both to keep yourself coordinated and to facilitate student learning. I want to highlight a few ways that I have employed Evernote not only to make my life a little easier as a teacher, but to help my students and my classroom stay more focused and organized.

First, if you need to familiarize yourself with a quick tutorial, try out the “Getting Started Guide For Teachers.” This will help you with the basics of setting up an account, creating notes, and syncing across platforms. Trust me, it’s very easy and you’ll be up and running in just a few minutes. If you are already a more advanced user, then make sure that you set aside some time to browse their blog and YouTube channel for more advanced tips and tricks!

Organizing myself

Teachers have tons of “stuff” on our plates. Most of it is in the form of emails, calendar events, notes, homework, and to-do lists. If you’re like me, you probably have this scattered across more places than you would care to admit. The great thing about Evernote is that you can use it as the repository for all of that “stuff.”

JENC-EVERNOTE-Screen

The key to Evernote success is that you set up some basic parameters first. Begin by coming up with some categories — don’t worry about being all inclusive, you can always add more later. I started with a notebook for each class that I taught (above). In these various class-related notebooks I stored links to articles, primary source material, books, and more. I also added notes on my lesson plans. This is a great way to organize all of that additional content that I find on the go, as I scan my personal learning network feeds. I’ve also created notebooks for my side projects (my blog, the clubs I organize, my favorite recipes, you name it).

What’s great about keeping a digital notebook of material is that it’s paperless (more green, less clutter), it’s portable (I have My notes on my cell, computer at home, and computer at work – really, anywhere I can access the internet), and it’s readily searchable! Have you ever misplaced that article you wanted to distribute in a large stack of papers? Not anymore!

Using Evernote with students

Evernote is also a great tool for students to organize all of their own content. I encourage all of my students who bring a smartphone, tablet, or laptop to my class to download the application. They can organize all of their notes and handouts in an Evernote notebook – it’s portable, searchable, indestructible (even if you they lose their phone, their data is safe in the Cloud).  In addition to systematizing notes for class, it’s a great tool to use for research activities – students can store images, PDFs, and even hand-written notes (using their device’s digital camera or a free add-on app like Penultimate). Did I mention that hand-written notes are also searchable?!

EvernoteForStudentCollaborationIf a teacher distributes PowerPoints or handouts electronically (I like to do this via PDF — I highlighted my approach in an earlier PLP Voices article about DropBox), these can also be opened and stored in Evernote notebooks. It’s a great way for students to keep all of this material at hand and in one place. When they prepare for a quiz or a test, all of that content is in one location. Likewise, as they prep for a paper or presentation, they have all of their research at their fingertips. Literally. (Evernote can also be a cool collaboration tool — check out the Nerdy Teacher webinar by clicking on the image.)

Another great feature that enhances the student-teacher relationship is that Evernote notebooks are shareable. I like to examine students’ notebooks from time to time (for a grade or just to ensure they are on task). Students with an Evernote notebook simply share it with me. This eliminates the need to collect 85 sloppy, hand-written spirals or three ring binders. Instead, you can access all of their files (whenever you choose) from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Maximum portability.

Should you go Premium?

While the basics of Evernote are free to all users, there is a premium service that costs $45/year. In all honesty, the basic features meet most users’ needs. I was a basic user for over a year before I upgraded. I found that the more I used it, the more I needed the higher upload rates, faster customer service, and, my favorite feature, searchable PDF documents. The upgrade became worth it. My advice here: play with the service for a while and decide whether or not you need the extra features.

Concluding thoughts

What I really love about Evernote is that it is inherently flexible. I find new ways to use it almost every day. I love it that — other than my initial investment of time — I don’t have to put a lot of thought or energy into organizing the digital pieces of my teaching (or personal) life. The search features make everything so readily accessible (whether or not I remember to put it in the right binder or give it the appropriate “tag”). Best yet, it’s free!

Software Recommendation: Soluto

SOLUTO:  FREE for home use     Techlevel: 5   FOR HOME USE

*** This post is for your HOME computer ***
Please do NOT install this software at school as it would tend to slow down our network if many of you installed it.

I found a new software solution that I really like.   Have you ever noticed that over time your computer bootup gets slower and slower?    Well, go to http://www.soluto.com/ and download their software.    It is very easy to install and very easy to use.    It basically analyzes all the files that run in startup and tells you which ones you can safely remove.     The really neat part is that it utilizes the social power of the “cloud” – the world of internet users.   It keeps track of what changes you make and uses that information to help determine what others should do when dealing with that same startup application.

I really like it.   (okay, now for the disclaimers.   I like it.  I am a software guy.   I pretty much know what I am doing.  SOOOO…  DON’T call me if you don’t know what you are doing, if this does not work for you, or if you don’t like it.  I can’t help you at home PHYSICALLY, but hopefully some of my posts here will help you).

 

 

Bring your drawings to life…..

colarapp

Recently I had the opportunity to show the PCES afterschool program a neat website/app that I thought I would share with all of you.    You can go to http://www.colarapp.com and download coloring sheets.   Once colored, you can then use an app on your smartphone (COLARAPP) to bring the images to life.   It is really cool and kids (and adults) get a big kick out of watching their artwork come alive.  Check it out.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10202569941349016&set=vb.595965147084354&type=2&theater

http://www.colarapp.com

YouTube Videos are not all working

11/12/13:

Recently YouTube completed a major maintenance upgrade.   As a result of this upgrade, they have added many new domains.   In order for videos that are located on these new domains to display correctly in our system, the new domains have to be manually entered into our firewall system.

We are in the process of trying to get this completed.   Please be patient and try any particular YouTube Videos that will not play again next week.

My websites show up in the middle of the browser window rather than the top.

ie8_compatibilityWith some of the new Microsoft IE Browser versions, you must click the COMPATIBILITY VIEW Button to make some websites appear right.  If you are having an issue where you are having to scroll down in order to see the content on the page, press the COMPATIBILITY VIEW Button (as shown) and that should correct the issue.