Monday, November 17, 2008

Technology I'm Thankful for

 I was talking to my five year old nephew, Caleb this weekend and we started talking about inventions.  What was an invention, why did someone make them, then we started taking turns saying an invention we liked and why we liked them. That conversation inspired this blog:


Technology I’m Thankful for:

1.     Cell Phones: One price for a call to someone down the street as someone in Conneticut or Kansas, fantastic!  I remember when as a college student I got calling cards to call anyone out of the city I was living in.  Now I can call and text to so many people and afford it!  And when I’m at the store, I can call the house and get grocery ideas.

2.     USB: The number of peripherals since the invention of USB has become incredibl.  No longer is it get one type of cable for one device.  USB has introduced us to a whole new world of computing options. Digital cameras, scanners, web cams, all of these fantastic things would not be nearly as widespread as they are today without USB.

3.     Digital Cameras: What a fantastic idea!  Now I can share pictures with my friends and family via email or facebook, or shoot them a cd chuck full of pictures.  When my nieces and nephews are born and I’m not in town, I can see them the same day!!  Remember the days of film camera?  I would never get a great shot, or have film for a year before developing it.  Then if someone wanted copies, another trip to the store and cost.  I love digital cameras!

4.     Inexpensive Internet: I feel like everything is at the tips of my fingers with internet. It’s so much easier to communicate with others, and the ability to find resources is amazing!  What does a word mean? Why is my washing machine leaking? What recipe can I make with bananas, cornflakes and chocolate chips? Being able to find and share resources quickly has opened the doors to so many possibilities.  And even non-geeks can afford it!

5.     Online Travel Agent:  I used to call a travel agent, or would be with my Dad at the airport to book tickets. Now I can go to and put in the days I want to fly and ask for a buzz and everyday I get an email telling me the cost of flights on the days I requested.  Being able to compare prices quickly I think helps keep the prices down (in some ways).



My final invention is not a technology one, but one Caleb and I both agreed on.  Chocolate Cake!  The invention of chocolate cake was actually begun as a catalyst for eating chocolate in 1674 in Europe.  So to all my nephews and nieces; Caleb, Joshua, Evelyn, Julia, Nathan, Amberly and Jacob, I look forward to talking about more inventions (or eating chocolate cake) next week at Thanksgiving! Love you à, Aunt Angie   

To everybody else, Happy Thanksgiving!

Here are the cousins all together.  I talk to each through cell phones, they are all snapped with many digital cameras, have parents that blog about them & do lots of plane rides to see each other!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

More than Just the Facts

Factmonster has been a favorite kid friendly educational site of mine for years!  It has so much information, you can create a webquest about things you find just on this one site. From dictionary, math games, quizzes, world news, people facts and other cool stuff! 

Here’s what I learned in just 4 minutes:

1.       Today  in History, November 13, 1942 they changed the minimum draft age from 21 to 18?

2.       Adeline Whitney invented Alphabet Blocks in 1882

3.       Money around the world: Ethiopia has the birr, Peru the Nuevo sol, Mongolia the tugrik

4.       I didn’t know as much about Turkeys as I thought after taking the “Turkey Day Quiz” at

5.      Raining cats and dogs.” Came from Norse mythology.  The dog is associated with wind and the cat with storms. This expression means it's raining very heavily, nothing to do with pets at all!

What can you learn in 4 minutes?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Online Cool Math Games
Students and teachers are always looking motivating ways to work on math skills. This site has fun and colorful games for a variety of ages. No download needed at school or home! is a great resource for online math materials including a collection of great arithmetic, logic, and spacial awareness games.


These games are not only fun to play, but are mentally stimulating as well. Check out CoolmathGames for online fun with Math!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Did you Know?

Did you Know? – Cool Website viewing tricks: 

  • You can enlarge the text on any Web page. In Windows, hold the Ctrl and the plus or minus keys (for bigger or smaller fonts)

  • You can tap the Space bar to scroll down on a Web page one screenful. Tap Shift and the spacebar key together to scroll back up.

  • You can double-click a word to highlight it in any webpage, document, or e-mail.

  • When you’re searching for something on the Web using a search engine like Google, put quotes around phrases that must be searched together. For example, if you put quotes around “multiplication facts,” you will only get pages containing  both words and not just the word “multiplication” or containing the word “facts.”


    Did you know?  --- Regarding Email: 

      • When someone sends you some shocking e-mail and suggests that you pass it on, don’t. At least not until you’ve first confirmed its truth at, the Internet’s authority on e-mailed myths. This includes get-rich schemes, Microsoft/AOL cash giveaways, or scare-tactic messages about our Presidential candidates.

      • When you get an e-mail message from eBay or your bank, claiming that you have an account problem or a question from a buyer, it’s probably a “phishing scam” intended to trick you into typing your password. Don’t click the link in the message. If in doubt, go into your browser and type “” or your bank’s address manually. 

      • Sorry to tell you, but nobody, is going to give you half of $80 million to help them liberate the funds of a deceased millionaire…from Nigeria or anywhere else.  Do not send them any information about yourself.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Office 2007 Resources

Microsoft Office 2007 is fresh and new.  At first I wasn't to sure, things weren't where I knew they were in the 2003 version.  Once you become familiar with the applications and the infamous “Ribbon” you will learn to love it as I did.  Microsoft has prepared oodles of support and training materials on Office 2007.  Below you will find links to the more tutorials, support and training that I have found most valuable. After leading a training on Office 2007, resources for Access were requested, you will find links to those below.  

Video Tutorials

The following are Video Tutorials for individual Office Applications.  Each is less than eight minutes long!  This is a fantastic way to start using each application! 

Self-Paced Courses on Office ’07

The following are also provided by Microsoft.  In this section you can select which content area you would like to view the self-paced lesson for. Each lesson includes audio demonstration, some with an option for visual as well.  At the end is a short test and a quick reference card.     

Converting from Office 2003 to Office 2007 

So many times I have wanted to do something quick that I know just how to do in Office 2003 and then can’t find how to do it in Office 2007.  These conversion flash files have been a lifesaver!  Just open them up, do the steps you would have done in Office 2003 and it will tell you what steps to take in Office 2007!   Currently one does not exist for Publisher.       









Saturday, June 7, 2008

Web 2.0 Video Tutorial

Web 2.0 Tutorial  An explanation of what Web 2.0 is, a look at how it benefits students, a closer look at blogs and wikis and tips on how to get started.
Can be found at teachertube at:

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


Examples of Podcasts by Students and Educators:

Elementary Examples

 New Teacher Hotline

Ideas on Podcasting use in Education

This is not meant to be a definitive list!

  • Record lessons for students (and parents!) to access in their own time.

  • Enable students to do a presentation about themselves rather than only sticking to PowerPoint!

  • Create a short introduction to your school, or the course you run, for potential to access, and to let parents know what they can expect their children to be doing -- get student contributions too!

  • Create a class radio station.

  • Enable students to submit work in the form of a podcast.

  • Create audio resources for use by sight-impaired students.

  • Find and use podcasts as part of project research materials.

  • Use foreign language podcasts to improve linguistic skills.

  • Use podcasts to get an insight into another country's culture, or another person's daily lifestyle.

  • Enable students to create dynamic presentations without the complexity of digital video.

  • Subscribe to various podcasts in different subjects in order to provide extra curriculum resources at virtually no cost.

  • Provide students with a different way of carrying out surveys in the local area.

  • Create an audio blog of a school field trip.

  • Create an enhanced podcast entitled "My summer holiday".

  • Subscribe or listen to different podcasts in order to help students develop their critical faculties.

  • Ask students to create a podcast to meet a real need, as part of a coursework project, for example for a local business.  


Podcasting Tutorial:
Audacity Tutorial:
Download Audacity:

Free Music for Podcasting:

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is a term  that was introduced in 2004 to describe a new generation of Web applications which provides dynamic user participation, social interaction and collaboration.  In a nutshell, the next step of the www.

In an article written in 2005, Tim O'Reilly lists on O'reillyNet a sampling of an initial brainstorming of applications that are Web 1.0 vs. Web 2.0 at that time:

Web 1.0 Web 2.0
DoubleClick-->Google AdSense
Britannica Online-->Wikipedia
personal websites-->blogging
evite--> and EVDB
domain name speculation-->search engine optimization
page views-->cost per click
screen scraping-->web services
content management systems-->wikis
directories (taxonomy)-->tagging ("folksonomy")

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Blogging Teachers! What, Why, Who, How?

What is it? Definition of a Blog:

Wikipedia Definition: A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. As of December 2007, blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs.
Blogs Defined by others:

  • PBS Teachers on Blogs - by Andy Carvin Internet activist, author, Edtech expert

  • Blogs in Plain English Video Created by "leelefever" on TeacherTube

  • 6 & 7 Year Olds Define Blogs– A TeacherTube video titled, "What's a Blog, Described by 6 & 7 Year Olds". Students from Nelson, New Zealand educate you about what they think a blog is, how they use them and what they love about them.
    [flashvideo width="425" height="350" filename="" /]

Why should Teachers have a Blog:

A blog is a web page that's easy to publish and interactive way to communicate. It can be a reflective practice for the author and readers. It’s an accessible way to share ideas, explore them and take part in a larger community. It allows others to add input to the blog in a discussion or comment form. As you think about your reasons for having a blog, decide on your audience. Are you a classroom teacher trying to reach your parents? Are you a leader wanting more collaborative communication with your peers or other proffessionals? Are you planning to build a blog for your students to contribute to and interact with each other? In essence, the reason for having a blog is communication. In the words of James Humes, “The art of communication is the language of leadership.”

Who's Blogging? Examples of Blogs in Education: wiki that contains links to multiple educational blogs. Categories include: Teacher blogs, Administrator blogs, Principal blogs, Librarian blogs and more.

How to get Started: Edublog Guides & Tutorials:


What will I say? Get Inspired Reading:

a. PDF File Strategies for Educational Blogging by Dr. Soo Wai Man, Temasek Polytechnic. Very insightful.
b. - a wiki that lists hundreds of edublogs, teacher blogs and student blogs.
c. Edublog Insights. A blog by Anne Davis, Georgia State University. Lots of reflective thinking, links to educational blogs and ideas on blog use. In her words, "This EduBlog is a place to reflect, discuss, and explore possibilities for the use of weblogs in education."