Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Elusive Delete Key on a Mac

At a recent TILT day, a teacher asked me if there was a delete key on the Mac laptops. You know, on a PC you have a backspace and a delete key. The backspace erases from right to left and the delete key erases from left to right.

After poking around a little bit, I found that you can indeed emulate the PC delete key. If you have a Function button on your keyboard ( the bottom left). Holding this down while hitting your delete key and you will erase from left to right. Also, using control + D will work in most programs.

Great question, glad there was an answer.


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sharing pdf documents using Slideshare

I created a quick tutorial on how to embed your Slideshare documents into your blog...see the previous post for an example document embedded into a blog post.

Visit Desiree's YouTube page to see the video, along with other tutorials:

Use to share curriculum documents

A lot of our curriculum is coming with pdf files you can print out for your students. But...what if you are trying to "Go Green" or be a bit more innovative in your teaching? Slideshare is a solution for publishing these files so that your students can access them online. Slideshare is a web 2.0 tool that lets you publish your powerpoint (and other formats) files to the web. You can even embed your documents into your blog using this site.

Example Document Embedded into this Post:

View more presentations or upload your own. (tags: podcast world_language)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Social Networking...for Teachers!

Many of you have MySpace or Facebook accounts so that you can connect with friends and family around the globe. And through these social networks you have connected with colleagues in the teaching profession. What do you do to keep that line between personal and professional connections solid?

I think the answer is to join a professional social network. While I was doing some research after attending a Webinar through ISTE on School 2.0...which is better left to its own post...I came across a Ning site called Classroom 2.0. Classroom 2.0 was created by Steve Hargadon to connect educators around the world.

The idea behind the site is exactly the same as FaceBook or keep each member informed of what is happening amongst the group. But Classroom 2.0 outshines these others because it provides some amazing opportunities for professional development, collaboration, and well...networking. I have found so much already; there are teachers around the nation looking for collaborative partners, and there are discussions on every topic you can imagine...with great insightful responses from members. I have been checking out some of the other groups formed inside Classroom 2.0 and there is something for everyone:
  • Elementary School 2.0
  • Professional Development
  • Distance Collaborations
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Mac Classroom 2.0
  • Blogging
  • Media Literacy
  • High School Social Studies

If you haven't taken a minute to explore the TILT social network, I recommend you do. It can be a very valuable tool for us. Plus, it is a safe learning environment for those of you that are new to social networks.

Get a Voki now!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Some Very Excited Teachers Say "THANK YOU!!"

Deliveries were made to these creative teachers on Wednesday!

Barb Fettig at Skyview
She screamed when she found out she won the ipod Touch - scaring her students a bit. They were offering advice and consultation on how to use her new ipod Touch before she even had it out of the box!

Julie Betts at Bitterroot
Julie was so excited, she forgot to lecture her students about their poor performance on homework. She also forgot to mention my cool new hairdo until after I left. ;O)

Carol Annin at Washington
Carol was busy with the wireless lab and SRI testing, but not too busy to discuss ideas of how to use the ipod in her classroom.

I am sure these innovative teachers would love to share with you their ideas for using Wordle! Each one of them told me they had more ideas on how to use this easy and cool tool. Please pick their brains for ideas. After all, TILT is about sharing our knowledge and ideas!

Each one of these teachers wanted to make sure that the judges were thanked! They are a very appreciative bunch. I thank the judges for taking the time too. We really appreciated it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

We Have Some Winners!

Congratulations go out to our three winners:
Grand prize goes to Barb Fettig of Skyview. Barb wins an ipod Touch and a color inkjet printer.
Second prize goes to Julie Betts of Bitterroot. Julie wins an all-in-one printer & a Flip Video.
Our third prize winner is Carol Annin of Washington. Carol wins a video ipod.

Thank you all for your ideas and creativity. These winners were picked by a collection of staff members at the Lincoln Center. They were not made aware of the owner of the Wordles. Neither Karen nor myself participated in the judging.

Wordle: Contest

Working with Video Just Got Easier...

I was catching up on my reading and ran across an article in MacWorld I know many of you would be interested in. For those of you that have tried extracting video from a website like YouTube, or use video from the Flip or Aiptek cameras in iMovie...have I got a deal for you! Sounds too good to be true, huh? After all, I have sat with many of you working for hours to get one stupid little video off the web and into a format we can use on our ipods or in a video editing program. Well, here are two free items that will allow you to get what you want.

The first is an extension for Firefox called Video DownloadHelper which installs a little tool to the left of your Firefox address box. When you are on a site with a video, you simply click this little tool and it downloads the video into a flash format (.flv)

Now, if you are a PC user, there are all kinds of free tools that will let you convert that .flv file into a format that is editable (like .wmv, .avi or .mov). However, if you are a Mac user, this is the first program I have found that will QUICKLY & EASILY & FREELY convert that .flv file into something editable.

QTAmateur is a small program you install onto your Mac. You can open the .flv file in it and export it out as practically any file format you want! I think I saw over 20 different choices!

I tried a little experiment to see how easy it would be to install both applications and capture one video clip (3 minutes in length) off of YouTube, then convert it to a format that would work with my ipod. I also imported the finished video clip into iMovie just for fun. It took me less than 10 minutes from start to finish. If you are using a lot of videos in your teaching and want to extract them off the web, archive them for future use, or store them on your video MUST HAVE THESE TOOLS! I would be happy to help you if you run into a snag.

If you try one or both of these, comment on your experience; tell us how easy/hard it was for you, any hurdles, or any other information you think is important for folks to know.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Wordle in my classroom

Wordle: Tech in my classroom

I thought that I would try to actually post my Wordle for you.
I have used this program many times in my classroom and with all grade levels.
The students love it and it certainly engages them in the activity. I like to
use it when I introduce the vocabulary for a new area of study and when the
lab is available I have the students create their own "poster" of the vocabulary.
We then print them out and the students feel a sense of ownership with their creation
and they seem to have a better handle on the vocabulary.

New Year, New Colors, New Resolutions...?

Welcome to the new look of the BPS TILT blog! I thought I would go with the latest fashion color schemes - freezing!

I know many of you have already announced your New Year's resolutions, but for those of you that have not...or those of you that might want to switch, I thought you could use some help. One of my favorite magazines has put together a listing of websites that are designed to help us improve our lives...whether physically, mentally, I thought I could share a collection of them with you - you know - to help you start off the New Year on a good note. Some of these sites are valuable and some are probably not. You be the judge.

Cool Sites:
Helps you keep up on the latest news and goings-on around your area.

Be Jackson Pollock
Wow! This site is so cool. Double-click once you get tired of one color. ANYONE can be an artist.

5 Minute Tutorials
This site has a collection of short videos to teach you how to do all kinds of stuff...all kinds!

This site will make a champion trivial pursuit player out of you yet!

Procrastinate Smarter! Thanks to Susan Veit, this is one of my favorite past-times and web sites.

Upload a phoe, drag N drop speech bubbles onto it...when you are done, email it.

Visit this eo-blog for instant greenspiration.

What's For dinner
Plan a week's worth of meals with this site. Get a recipe for each day of the week.

Put in your zip and find restaurants and stores that sell locally produced eats.

This blog is great.

Another great food blog.

All Recipes
I used this site for two different recipes just yesterday. You can get a nice printable form.

Search for running routes throughout the world. Now you can run safely wherever you are.

Find a new fitness tool (or toy). Choose a goal and the site will recommend the gear.

Bike & Hike
Find bike routes and hiking trails at your vacation spots - or in your own back yard.

This site tells you the essentials for ski resorts. Just click on the state to get your information.

Just Great Sites:
This is a site that enables you to convert anything that can be converted!

This is a fabulous site if your New Year's resolution is to be a better person. Lend money to people in developing countries trying to start a business. Lend as little or as much as you can. You will see how your money is put to use and you generally get your money back within a year.

Keep an inventory of your household in case of theft or fire. Be prepared to have detailed information for each item you want to catalog.

Rotten or Rad Neighbor
Put in the zip code and read user complaints or compliments on people in your neighborhood.

Find a Book
Enter the title or author of a book you love and this site will give you suggestions on what to read next. Cool!

Great crafts - all are one-of-a-kind!

Craig's List
Shopping for something bizzar? Wanting to find a great deal? Go to Craig's List.

Avoid Bad Technology by reading the negative posts.

Tweak your pictures online.

One of the most highly rated sites, this is the place to track the most talked about topics.

Whew! If you can't find some great site to help you with your New Year's resolution, you might as well go back to bed for 2009! Happy exploring. Let me know what site you find the most entertaining, helpful, bogus...worth adjusting your resolution.