Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Teaching and Your Online Presence

Steve Dembo recently posted on his Teach 42 blog about "Teachers Behaving like Middle Schoolers" in regards to stuff educators have freely visible on places like MySpace and Facebook.

It reminds us all about the added weight of responsibility we all carry as role models.

I agree that we as people should be able to have whatever the heck we want on our Facebook page, we aren’t merely people.

We’re educators.

Is that being overly dramatic? Of course it is, and I 100% mean it to be. Pure and simple, we’re more of a role model than Barry Bonds, Britney Spears or Jay Z will ever be. Quite simply, we represent the good guys, the ones who have the best interests of the students in mind, the ones who care enough to stick with them and help them learn whether they like it or not. And that, if for no other reason, means that we need to be careful how we represent ourselves in public. And yes, online is public ;)

If you don't think people are really looking at your Facebook pages or Googling you, think again. Here is a blog post from talk show radio host Kim Komando instructing parents how to find all kinds of information about YOU!

A tv station in Arizona ran a November sweeps piece on what they found on Arizona teachers' social network pages. "Teachers Expose Private Lives" dug up all kinds on new hires across the state, told where and what they teach, and tried to confront many on air.

Unfortunately for some teachers, the damage was done a long time ago. People post stuff or make crazy decisions and end up paying for them every time a perspective employer runs their name through a search engine. That stuff just doesn't go away.

Not only is it important that we protect our own images online, it is crucial we teach our students about the digital tracks they are leaving behind them. Let's try to prevent some of the regret before it happens.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Atomic Learning Shows You How

Are you wondering what all of these new "thingies" on the bottom of your new MacBook Pro are and do? Well, Atomic Learning is an immensely helpful set of video tutorials that take you step by step through just about any application on your computer.

Take the new iMovie '08 for example. It isn't like any version of iMovie you have ever seen. Instead of just playing with it and trying to discover things on your own, let an expert guide you. Stop, rewind, and replay instructions at your own pace. What is very helpful is that Atomic Learning breaks the topic down into specialized sections, with each feature or technique being its own short piece. There is no wading through a bunch of stuff you already know. Just jump to your specific needs. For iMovie 08, there are 80 total videos divided into 9 sections.

Atomic Learning divides its library into Mac, PC, and All.

A final feature that can really help teachers is the way Atomic Learning has linked its videos to state standards. Find the objectives you are looking to accomplish in the classroom and Atomic Learning will offer up "Lesson Accelrator Project Launchers". These not only include lesson plans but tons of how-to videos for making the integration successful. Here is one called "How Big is a Foot?".

Presenting the Official HCS Geektopia Online Store

Let there be no doubt that you have found Geektopia. Nothing says "geek" like a shirt for a website. Be the first at your school to sport the new "Visit the Islands of Geektopia" line of apparel from Cafe Press.

Cafe Press is a great service. It lets anyone set up a free shop and offer many different products.

Demo Great Concepts with Number Nut and More

Thanks to Kevin Jarrett from Northfield, New Jersey who recently posted about from Rader on his blog.

It is a great website for kids to use while exploring and practicing all kinds of math concepts. It also works great as a teacher demo via projector.

Take a look at these other Rader sites.


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Apple Pro Tip: Taming Your Tabs

Tip of the Week from
Tame Your Tabs With Key Commands

If you sometimes find your desktop cluttered with multiple browser windows, try using tabs in Safari.

Tabs let you open multiple web pages in a single Safari window, so you can easily flip between them. They’re one of the best ways to amp up your web-browsing experience — especially once you’ve tamed them via a few simple key commands. This tip covers the basic moves.

First, make sure Safari is configured for tabbed browsing. From the Safari menu, select Preferences and click on the Tabs icon. Select the “Opens a link in a new tab” option, but leave the others unchecked for now. But take a moment to read the fine print, since it covers some of the tricks we’re about to tackle.

Read full article