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TTT

TTT

Tuesday’s Technology Tip..
(little bits of information to hopefully make your computing life easier)

Web tip: A term you hear regularly related to the internet is “blog.” A blog is short for web log. Blogs are websites or web pages that act as an online diary, where the person who maintains it regularly posts thoughts, comments, pictures, files, or whatever. Blogs can be on any topic as decided by its author. People have personal blogs to share regular family news, teachers have students keep blogs of daily writing, and much more. Blogs are usually formatted so the most recent entry is at the top of the page, and previous entries are listed in reverse chronological order below.

PS Yes, you are reading this in a blog!

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Content Area Focus

Ethnomathematics

I was introduced to a cool new conept in an online professional development chat – Ethnomathematics. Simply put, it is the study of math through world cultures. The chat I was in revolved around art and its relation to math.

The Ethnomath Digital Library contains links to many sites with world connections to math. Click here to see it

Oriental Rugs and Symmetry – very cool! Check them out here

Math is everywhere – not just the US, but the world – Ethnomathematics brings math and the world together.

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Russo's Ramblings

So it took awhile…

You may notice a distinct lapse in entries (the last one being Oct. 24th). It may come as not suprise that our daughter, Anna, was born November 5th. Its been a whirlwind since then, and now its “back to business.” When she is old enough, she’ll probably be saying “Blogs – what old fashioned technology!”

Speaking of Anna, here she is…

smileyanna.JPG

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Russo's Ramblings

Making the Connection

Kids today are connected. When they go home, they do not pick up the phone anymore. They get on the computer and IM eachother. This way, they can have group conversations and keep up with more people and more events at once. If one friend IMs 4 of his buddies about going to the mall, each can ask mom or dad at the same time, and within 2-3 minutes, everyone knows who is going and what time they can go.

We have the same connected enviornment for our classrooms. By using the WITS Notes pages, students and parents can stay connected to what is going on in the classroom. When teachers post assignments and events to WITS, everyone who needs to see them does automatically.

There is no IM section in WITS, but if the need arises, that can be created as well…

The Internet has broken down the walls of the classroom forever.

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Russo's Ramblings

Opportunities Abound

Friday was a really wild day – we had many teachers trying new technologies at the same time, and keeping up was tough, but fun. The day started with a straight forward class – Mrs. Downey came into the lab to use the textbook software, Intrigas y Avenduras. Because of our move to OS X, we had an updated version of the software that runs off the server. A few minor hitches, but otherwise it went just fine.

Mrs. Merlino came in next and wanted to use the new portable Interwrite tablets in class. These tablets allow the teacher to move around the class and write on the handheld tablet, with everything appearing on the projected image at the front of the room. We hooked up Mrs. Krieger at the same time with a tablet, and during the course of the next hour, they both found some awesome features of the tablets, and devised some neat ways to incorporate them into instruction.

A little while later, we needed to test out a Pocket PC handheld computer for the PE folks, so they will be able to do attendance on the handheld in the gym. It is important for them to be mobile and wireless, as their classes are all over the place at any given time. So far the testing has gone well for them.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trombley is ready to incorporate the SMARTBoard into his teaching, so we set him up with the portable SMARTBoard in his classroom. Look for him to be getting into its many uses over the next couple of weeks. His Friday afternoon mods 24-26 class got a brief taste of what is to come.

So…a wild day it was, but an awesome one at that.

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Content Area Focus

Start Small

Integrating technology into the classroom does not mean that you have to totally redo what or how you teach. There is no need to use the “latest and greatest” tech tool just because it is there. Rather, the best way to integrate is by starting small – find one little piece that will fit nicely into what you already do. If it is successful and useful, that may lead to a little more or a little different technology integration. This gradual “snowball” effect is what helps to transform the teaching and learning process, and is a very potent way to make a difference with students.

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Russo's Ramblings

Whew!

Just about everyone’s password is now changed, all systems are up & running, and we’re back into the swing of things. The start of the school year has gone quite smoothly, and our new initiatives appear to be going well (OS X, wireless access, etc.). The computer lab is already humming with activity – I’m looking forward to some terrific projects.

Categories
Digital Citizenship

Password Changes

This September it is time for students to change passwords. IT has begun a rotating schedule where students must change passwords at the beginning of the school year, and staff must do so halfway through the school year.

Why change passwords? Not to drive you crazy in trying to remember the new password, but for security. With the ever growing amount of information stored in personal folders and on the Internet, security of these environments becomes more and more important.

Categories
Learning

“WITS for Kids”

We are going to be rolling out a new web interface for students this fall in the form of WITS. It is the same WITS that staff has used for a few years now, but focused on information that students need. When a student logs into WITS (using the same web address – wits.williamsvillek12.org), he/she will see teacher class notes, an event calendar, schedule and grade information, and more.

This access for students will provide a very consistent look & feel for everyone in the district, and everyone will see the same information (dates, schedules, etc.)

The site will also have a parent information area and student showcase, so we can show off work created by students. Once in full use, WITS will provide some excellent resources and communication tools for our learning community.

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Russo's Ramblings

Happy New Year

We are about to embark on a new school year, and are full of new and exciting technologies. From the SMARTRoom to outside phone lines in each classroom, teachers, students, and parents are more connected than ever. Great things are going to happen this year, and the winners will be the learners.