Friday, December 3, 2010


Following are links to websites providing internet safety guidelines:

1. Common Sense Media

2. Connect Safely

3. On Guard Online

4. CyberSafety

5. Yahoo Safety

6. Netsmartz

7. Connectsafely

8. Go to BrainPop
The following videos are currently available on Brainpoop:
a. Digital citizenship
b. Digital etiquette
c. Cyberbullying
d. Online safety

9. Google Family Safety

10. Kids and Teens Internet safety

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Safari Montage troubleshooting

Following are some of troubleshooting tips for Safari Montage:

1. The website is wrong. Make sure you go to: and not or org

2. The correct school is not selected. When you go the site, a poplist shows up with a list of all the PAUSD schools, with Addison being the default. Make sure you select the correct school.

3. The media player is not downloaded. Safari Montage requires you to download the media player. Please do that before proceeding. Download the media player. Quit and restart the browser in order for the browser to detect the media player.

4. If using the Safari browser (too many Safaris, confusing sometimes), it needs to be set in the play 32-bit mode in order for Safari Montage to work which is why I suggested that your child use firefox or another browser. Firefox can be downloaded for free from

5. Adobe Flash and/or Shockwave is not installed.

6. While logging in, the password is case sensitive.

7. If using Windows XP, make sure that QuickTime is installed.

Basic SMART Board Troubleshooting

The following are questions that have come up in the initial installation stages.

1. My SMART Board is on but does not allow any touches. The pens do not work. What do I do now?

Check: The light on the right hand side of the SMARTBoard. It should be a steady green, not red, not off, not a blinking green.

2. What do I do if the light is red or blinking green or off?
Check the USB cable that is connected to your computer (from which you are trying to display onto the SMARTBoard). Is the cable disconnected?
Is it a loose connection?
Is there an intermediate connection that is disconnected?

3. All my connections are in place but the interactivity is still not working.
a. Has your computer display timed out? Move the mouse or touch a key to activate it.
b. If a is fine, switch off the SMARTBoard
c. Wait till the blinking amber light stops.
d. Switch it back on. Fine? Proceed
e. Still a problem? Reboot the computer, then switch on the SMARTBoard

4. The projector light seems really dim. Is the light dying?
a. Check the remaining light life - use the projector menu to do so.
b. If the light lifetime shows up to be near complete, ask for a replacement.

5. The computer is displaying my file but the SMART Board is not reflecting the same image.
a. Go to System Preferences on your connected computer (assuming it is an Apple)
b. Select Display
c. You will see three tabs on top. Go to the one that says "Arrangement"
d. To the bottom left will see a checkbox that says "Mirror Display". Check that.

6. All my notebook files were saved here and they are all gone. What do I do?
a. Go to the top left Apple sign. At the bottom see who you are logged in as. Most likely, you are logged into the wrong account.

7. I am writing on the board fine, but the way the board does it, it seems to be moving or not quite where I am writing. What do I do?
a. The most likely explanation is that your board is not aligned.
b. To align your board, first off ensure that you have set the alignment to a fine 20 point and not the default setting.
c. Go to SMART Board Tools. Open Control Panel.
d. Select SMART Hardware settings.
e. From the poplist select the Orientation option
f. Select the 20 point option. Apply, OK.
g. Once you have set your 20 point setup, go to the SMART Board
h. Hit the two left buttons simultaneously.
i. You will get the 20 points displayed with "X"s.
j. Ensure that you are releasing the point from the center of each "X"
k. Mistake? Hit the "?" button to go back to the point where you made a mistake and correct it. Proceed.
PLEASE take your time over this activity and ensure that you are really accurate about the release point in order to ensure correct alignment.

8. My SMART Board does not power off. I pressed the green light twice but nothing happens.
This has only happened once in an extreme situation. No idea why. Remove the plug. Wait a few seconds. Put it back in.

9. My SMART Board does not power up. When I press the orange light to power up, the light starts blinking green and goes right back to orange. Simultaneously, on the projector arm, the light becomes green and then red. The bulb needs replacement in this case.

10. My SMART Board is not projecting on the screen. My VGA connection seems to be connected.
Go to System Preferences -> Display -> Can you see the arrangement tab? If yes, the connection is fine. If not, the display is not being detected. It could be a lose connection or the VGA connection could be defective.

If any of you have other problems you faced in the initial stages, feel free to comment here or send me your thoughts.
Enjoy your new SMART Board!

- Smita

Friday, October 8, 2010

Using Document Cameras in the classroom

Taken from an article on Tech and Learning:

101 Ways K-12 Teachers Use Document Cameras

1. The most important use is to demonstrate new material.

2. Show students how to do assigned work. Things are more easily explained when they can see the problems worked out in front of them.

3. Demonstrating 3 dimensional items. Resulting in less time spent passing an item around to view.

4. Immediate feedback by displaying student work.

5. Enlarging text for students with vision impairments.

6. Showing and scoring student or sample work.

7. Great to look at all the objects with Food Chemistry, MicroWorlds, Ecosystems. Almost like having a projection microscope!

8. Increased effectiveness in communicating to a large group information from a commonly held document. Example: a page from a book can be viewed by entire group to ensure that all students are on the correct page in the correct place.

9. Model what is expected in the steps included in a math concept.

10. Allows up-close and detailed observations of objects, mechanics of movement, manipulatives, etc. by the entire class.

11. I had a scientist lead 42 students in fish dissection. He was able to clearly demonstrate what the students should do, and point out the organs students needed to locate in their own fish. This would not have been possible with an overhead projector.

12. Enlarge all math workbook pages, and worksheets. It is invaluable when reading directions, teaching math games and sharing student work.

13. I will save pictures of a student’s work that is not created in electronic form and add it to the student's portfolio. In this way, I save time in scanning!

14. Use in staff meetings to explain forms.

15. I do the grades and the daily points on the wall projected from the document camera - everyday to show missing assignments, absences.

16. I use it to display lessons, literature books, group activities, group lessons, speeches, demonstrations, hands on teaching etc.

17. Displaying entry tasks.

18. I do daily writing instruction, math lessons, and science activities.

19. Showing student work. They love to show off their work.

20. In Kindergarten, storybooks are projected on an entire wall. Students love reading words they know.

21. Extemporaneous demonstrations.

22. We have used the document camera to zoom in on parts of a thermometer, and ruler, showing the smallest units and degrees.

23. Demonstrate activities so all the children can see.

24. Reading picture books to the class has been so much better when the students can see/discuss illustrations.

25. Looking over drawings and examples in the book, not having to recreate complicated problems.

26. Decreases prep time (don't have to make overheads, etc.) Has quality imagery.

27. On all the lessons, it focuses the students on what I'm pointing out because they can all see it well, whether it's words, letter combinations, coins and their details, or items from our science liquids and solids kit.

28. Music books, sheet music and other teaching materials are used on the document camera. This is a great tool to help teach music reading skills and literacy too.

29. Math tools (rulers, compasses, calculators) show well on the document camera and the fact that it shows color makes color-coding and maps much more significant.

30. Recently we have been able to zoom in the document camera to show the ingredients on packs of gum we were comparing, as the students did a scientific investigation on the mass of gum after it had been chewed.

31. One of the most important things is for phonics instruction. I use the draw feature to focus on specific things.

32. As math students are working on problems I have them share their work with the class. This immediate feedback enables other students to understand how one student solved a problem and allows a class to review a student's work for accuracy and completeness. This really encourages writing detailed solutions to math problems.

33. Showing while we are's much better than trying to hold something up for them to see.

34. Display pictures of historical events that we are discussing. I also use it for political cartoons in Current World Problems discussions.

35. Critique student work for Six-Trait Writing.

36. I have taken still shots with the document camera of isopods, crickets, cloud fish eating snail eggs on the walls of a student-built eco-column, and other live creatures.

37. We've looked closely at fish scales, pennies, salmon eggs (and have seen the embryos moving inside!) since the document camera has a nice "zoom" feature.

38. Interactive lessons with students.

39. Students bring objects for "sharing" and place them on the document camera, zooming in where needed.

40. Kindergarten children learn the direction of reading, sight words, and many other important things.

41. Have students use it as they teach the class.

42. We share the student's published books daily. The children's illustrations improve greatly when they know their peers are going to look at their work.

43. Tremendous asset to enhance group discussion and help challenged learners "keep up with the pack."

44. It enables me to show real assignments and objects so that the assignments and lessons are extremely clear.

45. Ease of displaying: an object, a written paper, a handout, a text..... No more burning transparencies and erasing the writing on them in order to use them again.

46. Placing newspaper articles, magazine topics, student work on the document camera to share with the whole class.

47. I use the document camera to display samples of maps, workbook pages, art projects, etc., so that the kids can follow along. In a class where English is not spoken as the native language this reduces the confusion for the children. They are able to successfully attempt the assignment because the document camera provides an effective filter to the barriers presented by giving oral directions.

48. To display graphs and charts or visual performances of student work.

49. To work with “at risk” students who require a significant amount of direct instruction.

50. Show pictures in color. I used it extensively for my housing project.

51. Provide full class immediate feedback about answers to questions.

52. To show 3-D objects: pattern blocks in math from all sides and science experiments.

53. I have used it to demonstrate how to fold a paper crane.

54. Display a variety of examples, shorten lesson planning time, and display student examples.

55. Show documents immediately and appropriately sized for students to see, read and discuss.

56. Show slides.

57. Displaying relevant pictures from many sources.

58. Display, analyze, and edit student work.

59. The most beneficial thing with the document camera has been the ease of placing examples from the book up on the board or graphs that are needed for solving different problems.

60. Use for School Board presentation to share assessment data.

61. Demonstrate how to do hands-on projects in science (constructing objects).

62. For writing: being able to edit much easier during instruction.

63. Visuals to enhance the lecture.

64. I put problems on the white board using the document camera. I also use it to put coordinate planes on the white board for students to use.

65. Students are able to visually see what is written - no messy overhead markers.

66. Zoom in on units of measurement to enlarge and demo how to use 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 etc.

67. Having the visual of student work put up immediately is a huge impact for students and the teacher.

68. Demonstrate how to properly and easily use the compass to make circles of all sizes (4th grade Everyday Math).

69. I use the document camera so all students can see examples, pictures in books, zoomed in pictures of objects, etc. from anywhere in the classroom. Visual learners really benefit from the document camera!

70. Gives all students a bird’s eye view.

71. Math problem solving. I freeze the pane and can take the book or materials with me as I walk around the room.

72. Go over tests with students to show correct answers.

73. The document camera enables me to bring a lesson to life with the fact that all students are able to see what is being explained or modeled. Before I would have students gather around me in tiers so students could see the demonstration of math, reading, or science.
74. The most important daily use is for instruction and letting students come to the document camera and “be the teacher.”

75. Being able to show student solutions and discoveries to the rest of the class or allow students to show how they got their answers.

76. I use it almost every day for math. It really lends itself to our math lessons because we use so many different types of "math manipulatives."

77. Modeling note-taking.

78. I can easily show how to do a lesson. It also shows what I need them to do and how. I use it when ever they need direction in a subject. It makes it easy for them to follow along during the lesson.

79. It is important to me to be able to display pictures and maps from texts. This camera gives me the ability to show these maps and pictures in color and I can zoom in to show specific areas of interest. I use this everyday in some form to give my students a visual description.

80. Walking students through the steps of an assignment.

81. Put text books on the screen so I can read them while moving around the room.

82. Use as a microscope.

83. I am able to demonstrate how to fill out forms that are specific to my program; this would be very difficult without this equipment.

84. Just being able to display and discuss student work is very powerful.

85. I have shown students different graphs which they were able to read and compare, zooming in on fine print such as the "source" of the graph data, using the document camera.

86. Show small pictures for all to see.

87. I put reading and writing samples on the screen for discussion. It allows me to use the classroom textbook and student work on short notice.

88. Display books for reading, when class sets are not available.
89. The whole class can do an assignment together when I may not have had time to make individual copies.

90. Displaying student work as they relate to WASL rubrics and individual performance.

91. Showing the illustrations when I read books out loud.

92. Display, analyze and interpret student work with the whole class IMMEDIATELY!

93. Displaying emerging work from students as exemplars raises the standard for production for that group.

94. Use as a reward for students. They are excited to write for the class and participate more enthusiastically when I allow them to take part in the instruction (first grade).

95. Reviewing pages out of the book or previewing questionnaires for videos.

96. Instead of having to redraw Geometry sketches I project them onto the white board and then work out the problem. Some of our Geometry sketches can take a lot of time to draw so this is a real time saver. I also put my notes up every day for the students to follow and copy.

97. I can use examples of student work on the spot instead of having to make a transparency. It eliminates the time and expense of making overhead transparencies.

98. As a Library teacher, sharing a story with the students so that they can see more details in the artwork.

99. Show students how to work a math problem, share 3 x 5 cards of WASL examples, and the use of colors when explaining various games or manipulatives.

100. As a science teacher it allows me to show lab set ups, make electronic boards and components more visible.

101. It's probably the best way to teach how to use context clues to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words. The book goes on the camera and the teacher and student can together look at the words around the subject word to determine meaning. The teacher can wander the room to check that every student is learning context skills.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Using Google to search on the internet

Got this from the article:

The following is the article:

I really hope you enjoy and can use this article from my“The Googal In Google Series” This posting will focus on the art of searching using the basic Google search engine. I have tried to include the obvious and the not so obvious techniques. As you look through, I am almost certain you will learn something new. Please share this article with other educators and students. Just understanding these ten concepts will assist anyone into being a more productive researcher. As always, please feel free to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will do the same. Let’s begin our search. – Mike

The Basic Search – The Google Basic Search is usually the first place most people begin a search and it is also the last place they end. Many times students just type in some words and get lost in millions of results trying to find an answer. Impressed by the number of hits they get, many times they forget that the art of searching is getting fewer results with relevant answers. I would like to share with you ten important concepts to think about in getting optimal searches from the Google basic search engine. Print this off and hand out to others. It really is the very basic in using Google. Please note that the last item includes over twenty basic commands that will really help you and your students be more productive.

Ten Items All Should Know When Using Google Basic Search…. Far From Basic… The Googal In Google!

1. The word And is assumed… Example: red and white and blue is a search for red white blue

2. Compound Words, Phrases, and Names; use a String (in other words put the words in quotes “ “… Example: “George Washington”“Fort Wayne” “to be or not to be” “United States of America” “Star Wars” “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”

3. Want to eliminate a word: use the Not Command which is a – (minus sign)… Example: Looking for the country Turkey, but not the bird… Turkey -bird

4. Capital Letters and articles of speech are ignored unless put in quotes… Example: United States of America is treated as united states america but “United States of America” is treated as United States of America

5. The root form of a word looks for all forms of the word… Example: walk = walks, walker, walking, walked

6. Use a tilde (~) to search with other word of similar meaning… Example ~happy searches for happy and synonyms of happy ~large planet(large could be: big, vast, giant, enormous

7. Putting a plus (+) in front of word to keep it exactly as is. This dismisses adding other options to root word… Example: +walk (only walk: does not inlude walker, walks, walking, walked)

8. Wild Card (*) allows for missing words in a phrase (not missing letters). Forget a word in a title or quote, try a wildcard… Example: “Obama voted on the * on the * bill” Note this is mixed with the string concept.

9. The word OR (in caps) allows two ideas to be reported together… Example: “Indianapolis Colts” 2010 OR 2009

10. Get to know the Google Command Lines. These are useful for quick references in a Basic Google Search. Give them a try and experience the power in narrowing down a search. The list of over twenty starts with some real power suggestions and ends with some everyday useful ideas.

INTITLE – To narrow search by finding web sites that have key word in title you may type the words intitle: followed by word you are searching for (Note no spaces) … Example: intitle:ipad … Return example

INTEXT – Same as above only it narrows search to only keywords found in text (Note no spaces)… Example intext:ipad … Return example

LINK – This command determines who is linking to a site. Great command to determine credibility and popularity of a site. To use the link command there are no spaces. Type word link: and follow with complete URL (Note if you remember to put no space after the colon you will get true account of active hyper-links, if you use a space you will get hyper-links and text mentions which will be a higher number)…Example … Return example

SITE – Found a great site, but you want to then just search in that site. Perhaps you just want to search government sites or you want to see the Race For The Moon in perspective from Russia. Type in site and with no space follow with web address, domain, or country code. After the address, domain, or country code put in a space and the key word. Perhaps you want iPad information only from apple… Site Example: ipad … Return example … Domain Example: site:gov earthquake … Return Example … County Example: site:ru “moon race“… Return Example

FILETYPE – Looking for a great power point, pdf, or word doc. Perhaps a spreadsheet would be helpful. You may need to look up some suffixes to use. Type in the word filetype: and with no spaces put the suffix (in my example I used xls for excel), put in space and follow with a search term. I have a list for suffixes linked here… Example: filetype:xls h1n1 … Return example

RELATED – Ever find a great site and you want to see if there is more like it. Just type in the word related: and follow with no space and then the web address. You will find an assortment of related pages… Example: … Return Example

INFO – Want more information about a site that you like. Interested in cached versions, links to the site, links from the site, other web pages that are simular to, and other places the web site is mentioned on the internet. A great tool for evaluating a web site. All you do is type in the word info: and then follow it with no space, and the web address of the site you wish to know more about… Example: … Return Example

CALCULATOR – To use Google’s built-in calculator function, simply enter the calculation you’d like done into the search box. It even follows the order of operation… Example: 10+9*10 (It multiplies first the adds) … Return Example

SYNONYMS – As mentioned earlier, if you want to search for your search term and also for its synonyms, place the tilde sign (~) immediately in front of your search term (no space)… Example: ~city … Return example

DEFINITIONS – To see a definition for a word or phrase, type the word “define” then a space, then the word(s) you want defined. To see a list of different definitions from various online sources, you can type “define:” followed by a word or phrase. Note that the results will define the entire phrase… Example: define: computer … Return example

SPELL – Google’s spell checking software automatically checks whether your submission uses the most common spelling of a given word. If Google thinks you’re likely to generate better results with an alternative spelling, it will ask “Did you mean: (more common spelling)?”. Click the suggested spelling to launch a Google search for that term. Example: pikture … Return example

MEASUREMENT – To use measurement converter put in the measurement you want to convert followed by word to, and then enter desired unit… Example: convert 5280 ft to mi … Return example.

WEATHER – To see the weather for many U.S. and worldwide cities, type “weather” followed by the city and state, U.S. zip code, or city and country… Example: weather “fort wayne” in or weather 46814 or weather “fort wayne” usa … Return Example

STOCKS – To see current market data for a given company or fund, type the ticker symbol into the search box. On the results page, you can click the link to see more data from Google Finance… Example: aapl … Return Example

TIME – To see the time in many cities around the world, type in “time” and the name of the city(Note also sunrise/sunset)… Example: time “fort wayne” … Return Example

SPORTS – To see scores and schedules for sports teams type the team name or league name into the search box. This is enabled for many leagues including the National Basketball Association, National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball… Example: national basketball association … Return Example

LOCAL – When looking for a store, restaurant, or other local business search for the category of business and the location and Google will return results right on that page, along with a map, reviews, and contact information. You may have to scroll down to find the local listings in the search returns… Example walmart… Return example

MOVIES – To find reviews and showtimes for movies playing near you, type “movies” or the name of a current film into the Google search box. If you’ve already saved your location on previous search, the top search result will display showtimes for nearby theaters for the movie you’ve chosen, if not enter new location… Example: movie: “diary of a wimpy kid” … Return example

DISEASE – To see information about a common disease or symptom, enter it into the search box and Google will return the beginning of an expert summary. Click through and read the entire article in Google Health… Example: measles… Return example

FLIGHTS – To see flight status for arriving and departing U.S. flights, type in the name of the airline (abrv work) and the flight number into the search box. You can also see delays at a specific airport by typing in the name of the city or three-letter airport code followed by the word “airport”… Example: austin airport … Return example

PATENTS To get information on patents – enter the word “patent” followed by the patent number into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button… Example: patent 1773980 … Return example

AREA CODE LOCATION – to see the geographical location for any U.S. telephone area code, just type the three-digit area code into the Google search box and hit the Enter key or click the Google Search button… Example 260… Return example

In the future I will provide information you may want to know more about when using the advanced search. Please share with others. You are always welcome to follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans) and visit my 21centuryedtech Blog. Thanks for taking a moment to learn more about “The Googal in Google”! Have a great week. – Mike

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Research related websites

1. A user friendly place to being a research project. The Library of Congress

2. Google Scholar : A website to search through online articles and research.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Learning and the Brain

1. Brain Rules: Great website for various tips related to learning and the brain.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Free links for audio/video/websites/blogging

The following links are spreadsheets in Google docs with a list under each. Each of the resources listed is free. You may want to use the one that suits you best

1. Student Blogs

2. Video and Animation

3. Audio

4. Websites

5. Animoto: Create and upload videos

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reading and Writing related links

The following sites have information related to connecting the read-write process.

1. ReadWriteThink: This is a government site; it has a ton of free materials like graphic organizers, story map, note taking, parent ed resources, and more. ReadWriteThink

2. Scholastic: Check out the free graphic organizers. Scholastic

3. Google Lit trips: Using Google Earth, students discover where in the world the greatest road trip stories of all time took place Google Lit Trips

4. PicLits: Inspired Picture Writing; great for ESL students. PicLits

5. Creating Bibliographies

6. A great place for students to use images in a presentation about a book, a project, a concept. It does require you to register though. Photopeach/

7. A list of graphic organizers for various uses. Graphic organizers

8. The Visual Thesaurus

9. A guide to grammar and punctuation. Grammar and Punctuation

10. Tech and Learning article containing several online writing tool websites. Writing online

11. Create a digital story - Myths and Legends

12. A great place for students to use images in a presentation about a book, a project, a concept. It does require you to register though.

13. A list of graphic organizers for various uses. Graphic organizers

14. The Visual Thesaurus

15. A guide to grammar and punctuation. Grammar and Punctuation

16. Tech and Learning article containing several online writing tool websites. Writing online

17. Story Jump: Publish children's stories

Friday, March 5, 2010


1. The Library of Congress has maps from historical to modern maps. Maps

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oceans Links

1. Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute: Research and activities related to ocean life. MBARI

2. 2. Monterey Bay Aquarium: Information and activities.

3. Oceans Jigsaw Puzzles.

4. PBS Ocean Adventures.

5. National Geographic: Pictures, videos and activities National Geographic

6. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: NASA GSFC

7. NOAA Kids and Parents resources: NOAA Kids and Parents

8. Google Earth Ocean: Download Google Earth Ocean and explore the oceans. Google Earth Ocean

9. Sea World. Has information and activities on marine animals. Sea World

10. Oceans. Anything and everything related to the ocean and conservation. Oceans

11. NOAA Fish information

12. The World Ocean

13. The Smithsonian Ocean Portal

Ted Talks on Oceans:
1. Sylvia Earle's award winning talk on the Oceans. Sylvia's Ted Talk

2. David Gallo David Gallo Talk

3. Stephen Palumbi: Following the mercury trail

4. Mike Degruy: Hooked by an octopus

5. Brian Skerry reveals ocean's glory -- and horror


Friday, February 12, 2010

Cool Stuff

1. Animations: Download animations that you can use either in Notebook or in any document. Gif Animations

Friday, February 5, 2010

Free Translation Tools

1. Google Translation tool: It will translate text, a website; check the website for more tools and details. Google Translator

2. The Mac Dashboard. FnF12 will open up the dashboard on a Mac. The default opens up the default widgets. You can add more by clicking on the + sign on the bottom left. The translation widget is not there by default. You will explicitly have to add it. Once added, it stays on the dashboard. You can translate text from one language to another using this widget.

Friday, January 29, 2010

SmartTech Useful Websites

Create a login and get started. There is no cost to access the Learning Space

Smart Training Center features downloadable, complimentary quick reference guides and step-by-step practice activities for the SMART Board interactive whiteboard, SMART Notebook software and other SMART products, as well as video tutorials, and access to trainer led online training sessions: SMART Training Center

The Education Solutions website is an online community for educators using SMART products, featuring hundreds of free learning resources, including lesson activities, image collections, educational software and web resources. Educators can also exchange ideas, share exemplary teaching practices, and receive news and offers through a monthly newsletter: Educational Link

To download the most current versions of SMART software, please visit: Software Download Site

Use our product support page to find answers to frequently asked questions, download user’s guides and specifications, and access a wealth of information about the SMART Board interactive whiteboard and SMART Board software. Product Resources Site

SmartBoard Lamps: Source for ordering new projector lamps - Pureland Supply

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Science Links

1. Foss Web

2. Science and Literacy

3. Science Notebooks
On this website, the following pages are useful:
a. Go to Student Work Search Submissions---Excellent notebook examples
b. Go to Classroom Tools, introductory Lessons, Assessments, Templates
c. Go to Teacher Resources, Templates
d. Go to Frequently Asked Questions, Elementary

4. Google Science learning: This website has links to Google Earth, Google MARS, Google Flu trends, Google Earth Oceans and Google Sky. Google Tools and Science Education

5. Learning Science Org: Links to Science tools, online stopwatch, Links to several national Science websites: Learning Science

6. Science Net Links: Free teacher materials and interactive tools Science Net Links/

7. Labelling diagrams for various Science Units

Friday, January 8, 2010

Tech Tuesday Jan. 5th; Delicious, dashboard, wiki, speech on Word

Hi everybody,

Following are the topics that were presented.
Thank you to Diana A. for typing up notes.


- Smita

*Website that bookmarks bookmarks on the web.
* You can use your Yahoo! Login to login to delicious. Alternatively, you can create a login.
*You can make your bookmarks public.
* You can search for other public bookmarks for example if you want to search for a SmartBoard lesson, you could search here instead of Google.
* You can add Delicious to your browser toolbar

Wiki Ideas
* Wiki Walkthrough
*Shows ways that you can use wiki for different purposes.
* It gives you different free wiki websites that you can setup wikis

Instructional Technology, Wichita Public Schools
*Smartboard Lessons can be downloaded

You can use photobooth to capture a photo of something you want to show to your class (if you don't have a document camera). I took pictures of these rock salt crystals in the evaporating dish.
Bring up the photo in Finder.
Open the file (it will open the jpeg file in Preview).
Use the standard Notebook capture feature to capture the image into Notebook.
You can then use this in a lesson. So for instance we compared two different evaporating dishes of rock salt crystals - their similarities and differences, etc.

Mac Dashboard
*Push fn plus F12 or Click on icon on toolbar
* You can add/subtract as many widgets as available.
* You can get more widgets by clicking on the more widgets button or going to Dashboard Widgets downloads
*To disable widget, click the x symbol on the widget.
*The translation tool is a really useful widget. This can be used to translate from several languages to English and vice-versa. Very useful for ELD students to use.
* The concept is similar to the iPhone apps.

Microsoft Word
1. To get computer to speak something written:
*Type Sentence
*Highlight Sentence
Note: To use with ESL student who cannot read, cut and paste translation from dashboard into word and computer will speak in another language.

On 1/4/10 7:33 PM, "Smita Kolhatkar" wrote:

Hello everybody,

Following is the agenda:

1. Delicious

2. Wiki walkthrough

3. SmartBoard EDM website reminder; Tech tips and tricks reminder

4. Photobooth

5. Mac Dashboard

I will present the above.

6. If we have time Adriene will present use of HyperStudio

We will meet in my room (Rm. 13) as we will need the SmartBoard for all of the above.

thanks and see you all at 3:00 tomorrow,

- Smita


1. This website has a ton of free online puzzles of various types.

Brain Bashers

2. Create online jigsaw puzzles

3. Crossword puzzles on various themes and events through the year: Crosswords

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Math Links

1. Several Math activities and games:

Math Playground

2. Math Manipulatives

3. Illuminations

4. National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

5. NCTM Web Links

6. Online Games

7. You Tube Mathademics

SmartBoard Links

1. The link for the Hays Wiki where you will find several useful SmartBoard lessons and websites: Hays SmartBoard Wiki

2. SmartBoard TypePad

3. Teaching with the SmartBoard

4. Smart Technologies

5. SmartBoards and Everyday Math

6. Goodrich Elementary

7. Harvey's

8. SmartBoard Wiki Spaces

9. Primary and Secondary Lessons

10. Longwood Central School District

11. Smart Exchange

12. Rockingham County Public Schools - super site for several SmartBoard Maintenance and lesson tips

13. TechSmart - you need a free login but it has several resources including some great game templates

14. A SmartBoard Blog: Useful site for tips. The Whiteboard Blog

15. A Delicious bookmark with various lessons and activities for the SmartBoard. Delicious Bookmarks

16. SmartBoard Tips

Links from Nixon website

Go to

Nixon Website

There are a bunch of useful links by grade level.


- Smita

City of Palo Alto websites

City Of Palo Alto Kids Book Lists

They also have a great list of websites on a myraid of subjects.

Kids Websites

Homework help

Homework Help

Tech Tuesday links 2008 - Math and Science

Links for the October Tech Tuesday

From Ann

Smilebox for Teachers

Math Wire for Teachers
– standards-based math activities

Aunty Math – I am planning to send this link home to parents for enrichment.

Science Notebooks - On this site you will find examples of student work from science notebooks - many from common used commercially developed science instructional materials, information to support the use of science notebooks, and strategies to use notebooks to integrate reading, writing, mathematics, and science.

Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard – click on Teacher Book Wizard Tour

Wiki Walkthrough

Wiki walk through
Smita Kolhatkar
Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 12:06 PM

I know you don’t want to see this today but I will forget. Came across this website – extremely useful abcs of wikis.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

Wiki WalkThrough


- Smita

A few tips - working with students

Tried methods using technology in the classroom:
1. I like to use brainpop when introducing a topic. This works great in writing, like with the main idea or showing not telling. I think it puts it in perspective for them to understand. And who doesn't like Toby!

2. To log on to laptops, it takes a while for them to connect to the server. Students HAVE TO BE PATIENT while waiting for it to load. Also, clicking several times won't speed up the process.

3. When I introduce a new program, I show them the basics then I challenge them to teach me something new. For example, if we are doing a hyperstudio or powerpoint (although this year I will teach them keynote), I give them a simple project. Then I tell them that they have to explore the program and find "something cool" (i.e. - adding transition, inserting graphics, fonts, sounds, etc). I spend some time at the end in class with the smart board showing off these cool tricks. That way they don't get too excited when they figure something out and have to show the rest of the pod what they just did.

4. Shutting down laptops: Please ensure that the children have first logged out, then shutdown the machines using the Apple - shutdown and not the power down button. They *must* wait for the screen to turn black before closing the laptop.

5. Before using the laptops the children *must* wash their hands.

6. Using Brainpop as an introduction to a topic in upper grades: I have them first view the video; they then bring out their notebooks and write notes the second time that they view the video. They raise their hands if they want me to pause the video while finish taking down a particular set of notes (so as not to disturb the class).

Teaching in the information age

Very thought provoking in the information age for a teacher
Smita Kolhatkar
Sent: Friday, November 20, 2009 5:18 AM


Teaching in the Information Age


- Smita

Tech and Learning online magazine

Tech and Learning magazine for free online
Smita Kolhatkar
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 2:17 PM
Hi everybody,

The magazine Tech and Learning contains some useful information and links. If you are interested, the online magazine edition is available for free. Following is the link to register free and get your subscription:
Tech and Learning Online Magazine


- Smita

Apple keyboard shortcuts

Apple keyboard shortcuts
Smita Kolhatkar
Sent: Thursday, October 01, 2009 3:00 PM

One of the tips I got at today's training. Enjoy!

- Smita

Apple Keyboard Shortcuts

Tech Tuesday Sept 11th 2009 - pdf, iCal, Wiki, Screen Capture

Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 3:41 PM
To: :

Thank you all for a great turnout on Tech Tuesday.
The synopsis of what was covered (in case you were not able to make it as some people have requested)

1. Converting a Word Document to a pdf file:
1. Multiple ways of doing it:
2. Go to File Print, click on the pdf link on the bottom left.
3. Go to File -> Save As -> save as a pdf file.
4. Why is this required? One because when you send docs out to parents you don’t want anyone modifying them and two because pdf’s are compatible across all platforms.
2. If you are using the new Office version, please save it as an older version of the document before sending it to everyone.
3. iCal: Ruta sent the master calendar. Use the import feature in your ical to import the calendar in a new calendar of your iCal setup.
4. 20 point orientation for the Smartboard: Go to the Welcome Center -> Smartboard Hardware setup-> Select the 20 point orientation instead of the default 9 point. If using an LCD, you must set it up with the 20 point to avoid frequent misalignment problems.
5. Wiki: Please add your links to the wiki as you find them.
6. Some useful links are in Gale’s original email.
7. Screen Capture on the smartboard: Use this to capture the screen from a document to a Notebook file – for example from the EDM pdf files. Other places you can use the capture: The grammar book, the MARS tasks, the foss website instructions in pdf.


- Smita

Games Links

1. Sheppard Software

2. National Geographic: This site has online games. National Geographic Online games

3. Interactive games: Thinkfinity

Google Earth

Sent: Tuesday, March 03, 2009 4:08 PM
Hello everybody,

Here's a link which has loads of ocean information.
You do need to download the software.
Google Earth


- Smita

Compressing URLs

When sending a URL to people, if the web link is long - sometimes it can
wind around to several lines, you can shorten it by the following easy
1. Go to Tiny URL or IS GD or Bit LY
2. Type in the long link
3. The website will give you a really tiny URL
You are ready to use this tiny link.



- Smita

Oct 9th 2009 - SmartBoard Tips

Sent: Friday, October 09, 2009 7:22 AM

Hi everybody,

Following are the notes:
1. I informed everyone on the tech update from last week's meeting. The attached powerpoint is the presentation.
2. Joe Young's presentation: The attached Word document contains my notes - it is just bullet points, some of which may be applicable, a lot of which may be what you already know. If anybody wants to add to the notes, please feel free to do so.

Cruncher training: I sent out an email yesterday regarding a district level hour long cruncher training if anyone is interested.

The next Tech Tuesday will be on November 3rd. We will follow the agenda that Gale had sent out earlier this week. If someone has a pressing need for a topic other than what's on the following list, please let me know.


- Smita

Smartboard presentation notes:

Using Garageband for multiple purposes – reader’s theater , DRA, etc.

The three buttons below the eraser:
Left most – keyboard.
Middle – like the right mouse click.
? button – Help

Calibrating the Board – the point where you let go matters, not so much where you point at.
If by chance you use an expo on the SmartBoard, use the regular whiteboard cleaner.

Closing/clearing ink layer from another application – if you close you have five seconds to undo.

Ink layer can be used with videos – play, pause, use the ink layer.
It can be used over any application.

The notebook toolbar can be moved to the bottom.
The dock can be moved to the left/right so that it doesn’t come in the way.

Dual page display – use for an activity where you need to show items side by side. While moving things from one side to another, remember to tap on the window for active display before moving the state.

Pinning a page during dual page display – you can pin a page to keep it static while moving through the second page on display.

You can lock a window/items in place – for example the capture window.

If you have multiple objects on display, you can layer those objects – select the object and have it be the next layer or all the way to the back.

You can link an image with a URL – put the image; select Insert -> Link; enter the link you want to navigate to.

Alternative to document camera – use Photo Booth to take a picture of the document and transfer it to the nothebook (flip it in the Preview window first).

Use the different interactive tools from the gallery – grids, coins, coordinate grids.

Use the table icon to create a table. Use the mouse on the computer to play with the heights/widths of the cells.

Getting lessons from

You can contact Smarttech with your suggestions.

Use iChat for online buddies? Could use Skype as well.

Kid by Kid Update

Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:55 PM
Smita Kolhatkar; haysstaff
UpdatedStudentProfileTempl~1.xls‎ (37 KB‎)[Open as Web Page]
Hello everybody,

Thank you to everybody who attended as well as everyone for their feedback on the spreadsheet.

Today's update:
1. We went through Cruncher, showed how to input DRA data, how to download to excel spreadsheets and view different testing data.
2. The Kid-by-Kid spreadsheet. Apologies for the multiple messages - like I said earlier, this was a working document and all suggestions are welcome.
So with all the changes, Version 3 is the current one. I am attaching it with this email as well.


- Smita

Hays Tech Blog

The idea of this blog is to share the following:
1. Tech Tuesday meeting minutes and discussions.
2. Tech tips and tricks (looking for everyone to contribute)
3. Useful links and websites.