Saturday, October 29, 2005
After downloading the software, you will need to acquire an activation key code from Serious Magic. Upon activation the Vlog It! software will run for 16 days. You will also receive a free trial account to a hosting site where your Vlogs will be uploaded.
Below is a Vlog of photos I took in Denver this past week. I am somewhat familiar with the Visual Communicator interface, so this very basic Vlog took only a few minutes to drag and drop the photos, add the text, and then to render and upload the completed project.
Update: Since my free trial has expired I have removed the link to my Vlog.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Teams consist or 3 or 4 students in the same grade, and one advisor. Your team must register at the website by December 12, 2005. Regional and National awards are quite generous! Thousands of dollars in U.S. Savings Bonds for each student on the team!!
Your team will propose a solution to a real problem in your community and compete for regional and national awards. eCYBERMISSION challenges you to explore how science, math and technology work in your world.
Your team will use the Scientific Method to find a solution in one of four Mission Challenges:
- Sports & Recreation
- Arts & Entertainment
- Health & Safety
You can even see winning entries from previous competitions here.
The eCYBERMISSION website URL is: http://www.ecybermission.com
Although I didn't get to hear Gary Stager speak about 21st century literacy, I did attend his session entitled "A Joyful Noise-- Digital Audio Across the Curriculum."
He has posted an EXTENSIVE list of podcasting resources at www.stager.org/nsba
If you've heard about podcasting but aren't really sure about what it is and what it can do, I suggest you check out Gary's website. He's done all the hard work in aggregating the links, we just have to click and read.
Thank you Gary! You're still my hero.
There are lots of great vocabulary words like enucleated and somatic cell. The whole process takes only a few minutes and is based on actual research conducted at the University of Hawaii in 1998.
I then browsed the Michigan Curriculum Framework using MI CLiMB (available online at www.miclimb.net) and discovered this suggested assessment and extension for a lesson on cloning:
With a partner, students will write a story in which a student becomes a nitrogen base. Each pair of students will explain the events, step by step, that happen to the student (nitrogen base) from the beginning to the end of DNA replication. Each pair of students will use their knowledge of this scientific process and appropriate scientific vocabulary in the story.
1. Research cloning and present a speech explaining reasons for or against human cloning.
2. Research gene manipulation and present a speech explaining reasons for or against gene manipulation.)
There are even a few videos on unitedstreaming that could be used to further explain the cloning process.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I'm attending and presenting at the NSBA T+L2 conference in Denver, Colorado. I'm also a member of the NSBA "blog team." I'll be contributing summaries of the conference sessions that I am attending, along with 11 other bloggers from Maine to Alaska. Although I haven't been blogging very long, I thought this would be a great opportunity for professional growth.
I'll be attending a session by Gary Stager tomorrow at 7:30 AM entitled "21st Century Literacy: The Time is NOW". I've read lots of articles and a book or two by Gary but I've never seen him in person before. Should be a great session on a timely topic.
I checked into the Holiday Inn this evening and was treated to this SPECTACULAR view of the conference center and the Rocky Mountains that I thought I'd share with you.
P.S.- Stager didn't present the session this morning, and it wasn't on 21st century literacy! Boy was I disappointed!
Friday, October 14, 2005
Before selling, donating, or disposing of an old computer you need to first destroy your old data files. Using a variety of online resources, including PC World, SmartComputing, and CNET, I have located a highly rated piece of freeware called Eraser 5.7 by Heidi Computer Ltd.
This software allows Windows users to completely delete AND overwrite sensitive data on their computer's hard drive.
The average computer user assumes that emptying the recycle bin eliminates data forever, but those with sinister intentions know how to recover the deleted files. According to data cited in a ZDNet article, 7 out of 10 hard drives purchased on eBay still had readable data on them!
The physical location of the data on the hard drive must be overwritten and rewritten SEVERAL TIMES with a random pattern of zeroes and ones for it to be erased and unrecoverable.
You may download the free software from the Eraser website: http://www.heidi.ie/eraser
Read CNET's review of Eraser here.
If your old computer no longer works, the data on the hard drive is still vulnerable! You can physically destroy the hard drive or use a demagnetizer (known as "degaussing").
Reconnect allows FREE consumer drop-off of unwanted electronic devices that will be responsibly recycled OR refurbished and reused at participating Goodwill stores and drop-off sites.
According to the Reconnect website, you are responsible for removing data from your computer before dropping it off. There are many freeware and shareware programs that will do this. (I'll find a few and share them in a future post)
You will also find a list of participating Michigan Goodwill stores and drop-off locations on the Reconnect website: http://www.reconnectpartnership.com
While there be sure to check out the FAQs to see what may be donated.
In addition to helping our environment, proceeds will assist Goodwill Industries with its many community programs. AND, you may even be able to take a tax deduction!
Saturday, October 08, 2005
You'll find DOZENS of experiments involving common household objects guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of your students. The experiments are sorted into various categories such as magnetism, light and sound, air, electricity, density, forces and motion and more.
He also explains the science behind each experiment so that once you've captured your students attention and imagination you can do a little teaching too.
Steve Spangler has been featured on a Denver television station many times, and you can watch streaming video of several of his experiments before trying it in your own classroom.
Steve has an entire section devoted to Halloween themed experiments. Be sure to check out the exploding pumpkin video!
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
StarOffice is a full featured office suite: word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing and database applications. Files are Microsoft Office compatible.
There's even an online StarOffice tutorial for kids. There are separate tutorials for primary, elementary, junior high and high school students.
Mac users will need to visit www.openoffice.org.
We all know that Microsoft Office is the industry standard for office suites, but at a price point that many schools are finding difficult to afford. Several more affordable office suites promise Microsoft Office compatibility and these are becoming increasingly popular:
You can download the free Open Office here.
NewsForge has a review of Star Office 8 posted on their website. Schools can license Star Office for $25 and this includes allowing students to install the software on their home computers!
For links to several currently available online office suites, see Richard McManus' ZD Net Blog.
UPDATE from the Sun Microsystems website:
(It's the handwriting on the wall! Do you see it too?)
The agreement between Sun and Google also kicks off further collaboration between the companies on projects like OpenOffice.org, the open source productivity suite that is the world's leading suite on the Solaris Operating System (Solaris OS) and Linux--and the leading alternative suite on Microsoft Windows.