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Showing posts from January, 2010

Internet Safety

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Internet Safety and responsible use of technology will always be a hot topic in schools. Internet predators are not going away, and it seems that "stranger danger" is not the only dark side of technology. Kids are commonly the perpetrators of harm, against others as well as themselves, thanks to Cyberbullying and Sexting.
One in five U.S. teenagers received unwanted sexual solicitations online (Crimes Against Children Research Center). Cyberbullying has touched three-fourths of American teenagers according to a 2008 UCLA survey. 20% of teenagers have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures or videos of themselves and 39% of teens had sent or posted sexually suggestive messages (The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy). 
It's unfortunate, but as with so many things in life, we must take the good with the bad., but we don't have to take it lying down. So this week, as I kick off my Internet safety lessons with my students, I thought I'd shar…

Screen Recording Software

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My latest teaching goal is to create short video tutorials for my students on the various skills I'm teaching in class. That way, if they're absent or need a reminder of what to do, they can just watch one of my little videos. So this week, I researched free screen recording software looking for something that works well and is easy to use. I'm hoping to be able to install this software on all the computers in my lab, so I can also use it as an assessment tool and perhaps even have my more advanced students create the various tutorials I need.

Below is a list of five free screen recording program that I tested with a short review of each. Each program was highly rated on CNET or referenced on many of the websites I visited while looking for these programs.

Sub Friendly Lesson Plans

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This week has been a tough week for me. My grandmother, who I'm extremely close to, passed away on Wednesday. Her health had been declining for quite some time, however, after having a wonderful visit with her on Saturday, I never expected that the next day she would slip into unconsciousness and remain that way until finally passing away on Wednesday. I learned of her condition after school on Monday and immediately rushed over to her nursing home to be with her. I took the rest of the week off to keep her company and then to be with my family after she passed.

As I had not anticipated being out from work for so long (or at all really), I was not at a good point in my projects for a sub to step in and take over. Of course, most of my classes finished their work my first day out. As I did not know what type of computer skills my sub would have, or even if I would get the same one each day, I needed to write lesson plans that were simple enough for a non tech-savvy person to lead, …

Disposable Emails

One of my biggest challenges this year has involved email. My school district does not currently give students access to email. They can't access webmail sites like Yahoo, Google, etc., and the district does not provide district email for the students. This has proven problematic for a couple of reasons.

The biggest one is that 4 of my teaching standards involve students using email. Alas, I have not found a way around this. It'll be tough to teach kids how to email without email!

A byproduct of not having email access has also been that it's difficult for me to use Web 2.0 sites with my students, as many of them require that new accounts be created with existing email addresses. Luckily, I found a solution to this second problem.