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Showing posts from May, 2012

Revisting Email Part 1

Electronic mail, as defined by Wikipedia is commonly known as email or e-mail.  Email is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks.  Email was created before the internet and was actually a big factor in the creation of the Internet.

The WECDSB uses thee email client program First Class to provide email.  This is similar to MS Outlook, or Thunderbird.  You need the client to access the full features of your email.  Each time you open the client the email is downloaded into your computer.  Gmail, Yahoo mail, or MS Live are examples of web based email.  If you have internet access you can access your email.

Regardless of the form of email the etiquette rules are same.  In this installment I will begin by posting 3 email tips that may be a refresher, completely new, or common knowledge.  Feel free to share these with your students.  All too often adults make the assumption our stu…

What's That I Hear?

Have you ever had one of those days where you needed the sound of a bike bell? Or how about thunder? Well look no further than Soungle.
This is the royalty free search engine for sounds. Just go to their homepage and type in any sound that you are looking for and if it exists, you will have a file you can download right there.
So if its an old 1940's radio play you are producing or maybe just need some sounds for the daily announcements, look no further than Soungle.

St. Gabriel Elementary (GUEST POST)

I like buying the latest and greatest gadgets and can wield a T.V. remote with the best of them, but I'm not tech savvy by any means. My two-year old knows how to unlock my iPad and play Angry Birds, while I struggle to properly use the microwave without burning the house down. I'm a simple man.

Two years ago, Doug Sadler and Joe Sisco took on the arduous task of introducing me to Tools2Go - the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board's version of Google Apps. Keeping in mind that I forget my First Class password on a weekly basis and yell at my laptop when IT makes a mistake, it's easy to say that they had a long road ahead of them. I consider these men the Patron Saints of Software and under their tutelage, I was able to navigate Tools2Go (document creation and collaboration, website development, etc.) and model it for my students within days.
Doug Sadler is the Vice-Principal of St. Joseph's Catholic High School and Online LearningJoe Sisco is the e-Learning …

Document Camera Heaven

I have had a document camera in my classroom for about 2 years now and I love it. I like to use it especially to take up homework where I collect a sample of student work to put under the camera and then annotate using the IWB (you can see how the St. Joseph's Math Dept uses one in their department in the November issue of eNTRY Points).
Up until now the price point has been a little prohibitive. A lot of schools have the Elmo and the one I have in my classroom is made by Aver Media. These cameras can cost in the $500-$700 range. I have seen some cheaper cameras and been consistently disappointed with how they worked in practice. I general I have preached that you get what you pay for with document cameras.
However, my tune is changing a bit with my new portable document camera. It's made by Ipevo and can be purchased in Canada for $110+Shipping. I was introduced to this camera by Marian Small who uses it in her talks about using manipulatives for math. I was skeptical but the…

Blended Learning at Villanova High School

This is my 20th year in teaching.  I have used wikis, blogs, and other technological resources in the past to help present useful information to my students.  This year, I was introduced to the Learning Management System (LMS) as part of the WECDSB’s Blended Learning program.  In English, audio and video files can greatly improve a student’s understanding of and appreciation for any given piece of literature.  I find that the LMS is an extremely sound, easy platform for both the teacher and the student alike.  I do not have to worry about lost files or broken links. 

The benefits to the LMS platform are obvious and impressive to me. Course material is always available to students who are:         away from school for medical reasons        have missed class time for disciplinary reasons (suspension, etc.)        using the material for Credit Recovery purposes        accessing the material for a Blended Learning Unit*  In my case, I would like to focus on the last scenario – Blended Learn…

Creating an ONLINE PORTFOLIO using Google sites

In today's world, applying for employment sometimes requires more than submitting a resume on paper. In many cases, employers require potential canditates to include an electronic version of their credentials. Google sites provides an excellent platform for young people to build to an online, or e-portfiolio that prospective employers may access any time, aynywhere.

In the example below, an aspiring teacher, Jessica M. Eads, of NobleVille, Indiana, USA has used Google sites to create a dynamic, online portfolio that she may update at any time.

Jessica's creativity is evident in both the content she includes about herself, as well the way she has structured the site. In addition to her resume and professional qualifications, Jessica has personalized her e-portfolio to address common items that employers are looking for:
She provides answers to questions like:"How would you address a wide range of skills and abilities in your classroom?""What skills or attributes do…

A New Kind of Classroom in the WECDSB (GUEST POST)

Students in Sonia Jeannotte’s Grade 11 English courses arrive for class in different ways these days.  Her 55 students see her each day in class at FJ Brennan, but they also belong to a community of online learners using the e-Learning Ontario’s learning management system, or the LMS.
Sonia has implemented a blended learning model with her both of her Grade 11 English classes by delivering most of the course in the traditional face-to-face setting and supplementing what she does using the LMS.  When students login to the online classroom, they may read instructions from Sonia, access course content, submit assignments, and collaborate with other students in the class anytime, anywhere. So students have 24/7 access to course content and can participate in 'class discussions' during the school day as well as from home.  Next year, Sonia plans to have students submit work as well.

Sonia regularly posts news items outlining expectations and provides due dates for assignments.  Tea…