Basic info – Contact Information Basic info - Reinstalling Backups/Programs 
Basic info - adding printers Tech Tip #1– Inactive SMART Boards
Tech Tip #2 - The Two Outlook Icons Tech Tip #3 - Outlook Folders
Tech Tip #4 - Email Groups Tech Tip #5 - Email Rules
Tech Tip #6 - Outlook To-Do List Tech Tip #7 - Outlook Signatures
Tech Tip #8 - Handling Junk Mail Tech Tip #9 - Outlook Inbox Space Limits
Tech Tip #10 - Displaying Multiple Pages Tech Tip #11 - Student H Drives
Tech Tip #12 - eThemes Tech Tip #13 - Student Account Information
Tech Tip #14 - H drive access Tech Tip #15 - Recording Audio
Tech Tip #16 - Locking your Workstation Tech Tip #17 - Thank You!
Tech Tip #18 - You Input is Wanted Tech Tip #19 - Infinite Campus Parent Portal
Tech Tip #20 - Google Tech Tip #21 - Glogster, an alternative to PowerPoint
Tech Tip #22 - SMART Exchange Tech Tip #23 - Edmodo
Tech Tip #24 - Wordle Word Clouds Tech Tip #25 - Live Binders
Tech Tip #26 - Animoto Tech Tip #27 - Shelfari
Tech Tip #28 - 21st Century Skills Tech Tip #29 - 8 Habits of Highly Effective 21st Century Teachers
Tech Tip #30 - Rewindable Learning  

Basic info: Contact Information


Bruce Rehmer - 349-3451;
Contact Bruce with purchasing issues, system compatibilities for purchasing software/hardware, or building applications (Plato, lunch system, etc.)
Jim Meckel - 349-3452;
Contact Jim with all Infinite Campus questions.
Brian Walter- 349-3418;
Contact Brian with network issues, names changes, passwords, problems with your Groupwise or Novell accounts, or unblocking websites.
Elizabeth Tripses - 349-3437;
Contact Elizabeth with any state reporting questions, School Messenger updates, and Infinite Campus questions.
Chrissy Chandler - 349-3334;
Contact Chrissy with any troubleshooting problem with your computer, printer, speaker, or anything else in your room.
Colleen McLain - 349-3357;
Contact Colleen with SMART Board issues, training needs, or curriculum technology integration.
Basic Info: Reinstalling Backups/Programs

Networked Printers (printers that print to a different room)
Yes, even you can install your own printer! If you are wanting to hook to a networked printer (one that prints in another room) go to http://iprint/ipp and scroll through the list to find your desired printer. Just click the link - everything is done for you! Go to if you need more help with your printer.

Local printers (printers that are sitting on your desk directly connected to your computer)
If you have purchased your own personal printer, we would ask that you bring the disk with the drivers in and set that printer up yourself. Our priority right now is to make sure you can print to a networked printer.

Your backed up My Documents (as we asked you to do last year)
Just open your H Drive, right click your My Documents folder, copy it, then go back to your My Documents and paste. BETTER YET, just get in the habit of ALWAYS saving to your H Drive.

Your backed up Internet Favorites (as we asked you to do last year)
Again, open your H Drive. You should have saved a Favorites folder last year. Right click the Favorites folder, select copy. Then open My Computer, Local Disk (C:), Documents and Settings, your first initial last name folder then right click and paste. Your favorites will now be under your Favorites tool bar in your Internet browser.
Internet shortcuts (for putting a shortcut back to Infinite Campus or United Streaming)
1. Launch your web browser
2. You will need to type in the address of the website. (,
3. Once you have the desired website, go to File, Send, Shortcut to Desktop.
4. Do you need to rename it? Right click the new shortcut, select Rename and rename the shortcut.

H Drives
And while we are discussing H Drives, remember NOT to store downloaded music, videos or pictures to your H Drive. We are starting to limit the amount of space you have on your H Drive.

Basic Info: Installing Printers

The Technology Department does not reinstall your district networked printers. It's an easy process and when you install, you can determine which printer to be your default. Here's what to do:
Go to http://iprint/ipp, scroll through the list to find your building, then find the printer you want to install.  Click that link and the printer will automatically install. 
For other printer help, go to
If you have your own personal printer in your classroom, you are responsible for reinstalling the software and hooking the printer back up.  Sorry, the Technology Department will only support district purchased equipment.

Tech Tip #1– Inactive SMART Boards
This first tip is what to do with your SMART Board is not responding.  Is the green light on in the lower right hand corner of the SMART Board frame?  Do you have an image?  If so, reorient your SMART Board.  I can guess the orientation screen will most likely appear on your computer monitor.  Push the spacebar to get the orientation screen to your SMART Board and orient like normal. 
Does  the SMART Board have a blue screen?  If so, push the RGB button on your projector remote. 

Does the SMART Board have a black screen?  If so, right click your desktop, select properties, select the Settings tab, click on the 2 in the middle rectangle.  (The 1 and 2 represent your monitors.  Remember 1 is always your computer monitor and 2 is always your SMART Board.)  Make sure “Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor” is checked.  Click OK.

Regardless of how you get your image back, you will need to reorient your SMART Board.

Your SMART Board is not interactive. If the power light is green and you see an image on your SMART Board, but the board is not interactive, reorient your SMART Board.

Does the orientation screen appear on your monitor instead of your SMART Board?  Push the space bar on your keyboard.  The orientation screen will move to the SMART Board for your to reorient like normal.

Tech Tip #2 – The Two Outlook Icons

You might have noticed you have two Outlook icons on your desktop.  One is a gold color that just says Outlook 2007.  The other is more greenish in color and is labeled Outlook Web Access

If you are checking your email at your own computer, you should use the gold Outlook 2007.  This is the client version of our district email.  You will find more features in the client version. 

If you are checking your email anywhere else (the lab, another classroom, student computer, etc.) you will want to use the green Outlook Web Access.  It’s the web version, but you’ll still be able to access your email.

Just a reminder, please DO NOT use the Groupwise icon to send email!  Groupwise is no longer the district supported email system.  Groupwise is on your desktop for you to access any email from previous years that you might still need to access.  You can forward email to yourself from Groupwise, but don’t send out new email from Groupwise.

Start now keeping your email under control!  You have a cap on how much email will  be allowed in your inbox.  Might as well start now in keeping it organized.  Delete anything you do not need!

Tech Tip #3 – Outlook Folders

Now that we are a few weeks into school, I’m sure you have plenty of email that needs to get sorted.  The best way to do this is start making folders to organize the email you want to keep.  To do this, follow these steps:

1.  Right click your Inbox.  Select New Folder. 
2.  Give your folder a logical name. 
3.  Drag email from your inbox and drop it in the folders to organize email.

Since you can make folders within folder, you might consider making one main folder called Saved Email or Cabinet or something along those lines.  Then you can make subfolders to start your organization.  This will allow you to expand or collapse the Cabinet folder for a neater Mail Folder organization.

Start now keeping your email under control!  You have a cap on how much email will  be allowed in your inbox.  Delete any email you do not need.  However, email moved to your cabinet folder is still considered to be in your inbox when looking at overall email space.

Tech Tip #4 – Email Groups

With a few weeks of school behind us, committees and teams are starting to meet in your buildings.  A great way to make sure an entire committee is emailed is to develop an email group with all members.  There are a few steps to this, but in the long run, it’s a great time saver!

Here’s what you need to do:
1. Open Outlook. Go to Tools, Address Book
2.  In the Address Book box, go to File, New Entry, select New Distribution List, then OK.
3.  In the window that opens, select the Select Members icon.
4.  This will open a Select Members window.  Start searching names and select them.  Once selected, they should be displayed in the Members field at the bottom of the window.
5.  Click OK when done and the Address Book window will close. 
6.  Give your new distribution list a name in the Name field.  You will be the only one using this group, so make sure the name makes sense to you.
7.  Finally click the Save and Close icon.

Continue adding groups for other committees  in this same manner. 

The first time you send an email to this group, the name will not automatically populate.  So with a blank email open, you’ll need to either search for the group or enter the first few letters of the group name and click the Check Names icon in the Message tab at the top of your blank email.

Tech Tip #5 - Email Rules

There are times you will get email that you want to automatically send to a folder.  This might be the case with my Tech Tips, a listserv you belong to, or professional email newsletters.  You can organize you incoming email so that it will do just that.  Here’s what you need to do.

First, I’m going to assume you want the incoming email filtered to a cabinet folder.  So the first step is to make the folder in your folder list.  Right click your inbox, select New Folder, and name it.  Now to create the rule.
1.  In your inbox, right click on the email you want the rule applied to and select Create Rule.
2.  A Create Rule window opens offering several options for incoming mail organization.  Select if you want all email from a certain person, a subject or who the email is sent to.
3.  Then in the bottom half of the Create Rule box, select the option you want to happen – display an alert, play a sound or move the item to folder.  If you select move to folder, a pop up window will appear.  Select the folder you just made or wherever you want the email to go.  This should automatically move the email to your folder rather than them all appearing in your inbox.
4.  Click OK.

Just be aware that this will be the rule that is applied to all incoming containing your selected individual, subject or group the email was sent to.  The only visual you will have that new mail has been delivered to the folder is a colored number in brackets next to the folder indicating new mail.  Be on the lookout for that number or the number to change.

Tech Tip #6 - Outlook To-Do Lists

In addition to email, Outlook offers several features that help you be more productive.  One of these is a To-Do Bar listing your tasks for the day. First of all, if your To-Do Bar is not showing, go to View, To-Do Bar, Normal. 

Assigning tasks:
Then there are several ways to post a new task.  Using the “Type a new task” field on the To-Do Bar, you can quickly enter a task.  Once you push enter on your keyboard, the task will appear in your task list with a due date of the current date.  Double clicking that task in the task list will open the task for further editing – changing the date, adding notes to the task, marking the task as complete, assigning the task or sending a status report.  Make any changes and click Save and Close.

The other way to post a new task is use the drop down arrow next to the New icon on the top tool bar and select Task.  This will open a new task with all features available.  Now you can determine a start and due date, give the task priority, or assign the task to committee members.  Notice that once you select Assign Task, you will need to enter members to send the task to.  There is even an option for an automatic status report to be emailed back to you when the task is complete.  Either Send the task or click Save and Close for the task to be posted to your To-Do list.

Task completion:
Once a task has been completed, you can double click the task and either Delete the task or Send Status Report if it is a task that requires a follow-up.

Tech Tip #7 - Outlook Signatures

Your email signature is a great way to attach your contact information, position and even classroom number to your email.  Outlook allows for multiple signature options in the event you want one signature that goes out to family and friends with home contact, one for professional contacts, etc.

Signature set up
1.  In Outlook, go to Tools, Options
2.  Select the Mail Format tab, then the Signature button
3.  Click the New button and give your signature a name.  The name will be used to select which signature you want attached to your email (home versus professional).
4.  Enter your signature information in the large text box.  Change the formatting if you would like.
5.  Click Save then OK.

Adding your signature to individual email
1.  Develop your email like normal.
2.  In the Include box on the email ribbon, click Signature and choose the signature you want to add.

By default, adding signatures to all email
1.  Back in the box to set up your signature (Tools, Options, Mail Format tab, Signature button), you’ll notice default options in the upper right area.  These default settings will automatically attach your signature to each email you develop or respond to.
2.  Look at two options of New Messages and Replies/Forwards.  Decide which sort of email (new or reply) you want to an address applied to. 
3.  In the drop down menu, select the signature you would like to add automatically to those emails. 
Now when you initially open an email, your signature will be there.  Just type your message above your signature and send it.  This way you don’t need to worry about remembering to attach your signature.

Tech Tip #8 - Handling Junk Mail
  This tip is going to outline two important Outlook features for handling junk mail.  Let me make clear that it is very important for you to check both these places when you think you are not getting email from any senders.
  Mail Summary – the daily summary email
This daily email is automatically sent summarizing the outside email that was sent to your account.  It will detail spam messages, viruses blocked and good messages.  
  • If you notice an email identified as spam that should not be spam, be sure to click one of the action links to either deliver once or always allow. 
  • Likewise, if you had an email that was indicated as a good message that you feel is spam, select the action links to always block.
  • It’s important that you check your Mail Summary daily.  It is the one and only summary of your daily email.  If you don’t check this daily, you are going to think Outlook is not delivering all your wanted email.  It only takes a couple of seconds to see if you had any spam or virus emails, if you had none you can just quickly delete the message and move on, or take time to view what Lightspeed thought were good messages

Junk E-Mail folder
There are also times when an email will come into your inbox, but Outlook thinks it’s junk.  These emails will be directly routed to your Junk E-Mail folder.  You will know when you have email that has been marked as junk when you see a green number in brackets next to the Junk E-Mail folder.  For example [6]. 


We recommend 2 courses of action:
1. If it is indeed junk then delete the message
2. If it is a good message then proceed with training Outlook by doing one of the following:

  • When Looking at the list of the messages use this:
    • Right click on the Message and you will see a pop up window appear
    • Next choose the JUNK EMAIL option(4th from bottom)
    • then choose MARK AS NOT JUNK
    • a pop up window will appear that will tell you the message will move to your inbox and that Outlook will treat all new mail coming from that recipient to go to your inbox instead of treating it as Junk Mail
  • If you have the Message actually opened then:  
    • On the top of the message in the Top Ribbon area click on the NOT JUNK icon.
    • a pop up window will appear that will tell you the message will move to your inbox and that Outlook will treat all new mail coming from that recipient to go to your inbox instead of treating it as Junk Mail
Tech Tip #9 - Outlook Inbox Space Limits

In several tech tips, I have mentioned that your Outlook inbox is limited in size.  For that reason it is important for you to stay on top of your email.  Get in the habit now of deleting email you do not need because eventually you will run out of room in your inbox.  When your inbox is close to filling up, you will get warnings from the Outlook system (  You will not be able to send email when you reach the cap.  Then you will not be able to send or receive email when it gets beyond the maximum amount of space.

Email organized in cabinet folders WILL NOT clear your inbox space.  Only deleted email will clear inbox space. 

Tech Tip #10 - Outlook Inbox Space Limits

One of the benefits of your wide screen monitor is to work in multiple windows and programs.  Sometimes it's nice to display multiple pages to view either in the same document or in two different documents.  Try this out next time you want to see more than just one page on your monitor.

Viewing multiple pages in the SAME document
1.  Open your Word document like normal.  Maximize the document to fit the entire screen. 
2.  Click the View tab in Word and select the Zoom icon
3.  To start with, select 75%.  This will zoom out just enough to fit two pages of your document on the monitor. 
Want to try displaying three pages at a time?  (Are your eyes still young enough to see that?  :)) 
4.  Click the Zoom icon again, but this time manually enter a percentage of 55%.  Now you should see three pages at once on your monitor.  Very handy for long documents or finding certain places in the document to edit or continue working from.

Viewing a page in TWO DIFFERENT documents
Sometimes it's nice to put two documents side by side to compare the content. 
1.  Open both documents. 
2.  Make sure everything except for the two needed documents are minimized
3.  Right click the bottom task bar and select Tile Windows Vertically.  This will now display the two documents side by side for you to compare or display information from the separate documents.

Tech Tip #11 - Outlook Inbox Space Limits

Did you know you have access to student H drives?  Before we look at where they are stored, I would like to remind you to use caution when navigating through them.  Just like your own H drive, folders can inadvertently be moved or deleted.  I only remind you of this so that you’ll be careful – not to dissuade you from accessing the folder.

Student H drives are located in your My Computer, Vol1 on Center6, Students folder, your building folder, then lists the student H drives.  You will need to search the folders according to the first initial of the student’s first name.

Want to organize shortcuts for easier and faster access?  Follow these steps:
1.  Make and name a folder on your desktop to store shortcuts to student H drives.
2.  Go to My Computer, Vol1 on Center6, Students folder, your building folder, and display student folders.
3.  Arrange the screen so you have the list of student H drives displayed and so you can also see the folder where you’re going to store them.

4.  Hold the control (ctrl) key down on your keyboard.  Select all students in your class/block/hour.  Lift the control key.
5.  Left click ON one of the selected students, hold the left click down and drag it ON TOP of the folder.

6.  This is where you need to be very careful!  Select Create Shortcuts Here.  ***This will not work if you select Copy Here or Move Here.***  Selecting Move Here will completely move the student H drive where they will no longer have access to the folder.  Creating a shortcut will allow you to see current, updated documents in the student’s H drive.

Tech Tip #12 - eThemes

This tech tip is just going to have one resource on it, but it’s a great one!  Are you familiar with eThemes?  “eThemes is your source for content-rich, kid-safe online resources that will help enhance your teaching and save you time. eThemes provides free, fast access to over 2,500 collections of websites, on topics ranging from Aerodynamics to Zebras and everything in between!”
The idea with eThemes is someone has already done the searching, wading though the hits on Google.  The hotlists that are compiled are ready for you to use with your students.  As with all websites used during instruction, please test the sites first to make sure the link is still good and that your students have access to the site if they will be using them.
Like the idea but aren’t finding what you need?  An eMINTS or METS teacher in your building can request other eThemes.  Just email your colleague what you are looking for, but be sure to give at least two weeks for the request to be completed.  I can complete this request for you as well.

Tech Tip #13 - Student Account Information

You have access to the way we develop student account information.  This can be beneficial to you when new students transfer in your class mid-year.

The easiest way for you to look up new student accounts is in Infinite Campus.  There are other district programs with student account information, but Infinite Campus will have the most current information.  Here’s what to do:
1.  Log into Infinite Campus.
2.  Click the Search tab and select Student from the drop down menu.
3.  Search for the student by last name.

Here’s where you’ll need to do some piecing of information to get account information. 
4.  Username will be the student’s first initial last name, BUT only up to 7 letters of the last name, and the PersonID.  In the example below, Adrian Williamson’s username becomes awilliam12369.  (A student with the name of Adrian Wilson would only be awilson12369.)
5.  The password can be found searching  by last name in the Account from the drop down menu.  You either need to expand the Index/Search column or scroll to the right to see all the numbers.  You will see the student’s 9 digit MOSIS number, birthdate and finally the 6 digit lunch code/password.


Tech Tip #14 - H drive access

WIth the network issues we've been experiences, just a reminder of how you can access your H drive through the Internet from home or when you don't have network access at school.

Tech Tip #15 - Recording Audio

Audacity is a very easy program for recording audio.  Audacity literally makes it as easy as clicking the record button, speaking your audio, clicking the end button and saving.  Each building has a microphone in your media center available for checkout.  You will need to install Audacity from the Application Explorer folder.  After installing the program and checking out a mic, you will be ready to record audio for podcasts, embedding audio into PowerPoint or Notebook, or even just reading to record a story or book for students to listen to.

This document explains how to install Audacity, record the audio, save and export it to a usable format.

If you have been interested in experimenting with podcasting, recording stories, or embedding audio into your curriculum, this is the easiest way.  Give it a try!  As always, let me know how I can help.

Tech Tip #16 - Locking Your Workstation

This tip is going to explain how to lock your computer so no one can get on it when you aren’t there.  When walking away from your computer leaving it logged in, day or night, you run the risk of someone sitting down at your computer sending an unapproved email, deleting your files, or closing out of current, unsaved work.  I’ll explain how to lock and unlock your computer by using your password without logging out.

To lock: push Ctrl+Alt+Delete on your keyboard.  In addition to an option for changing your password, there is a Lock Workstation button.  Click it to lock your workstation. 

To unlock:  push Ctrl+Alt+Delete again - there is a screen when your workstation is locked that will prompt you to do this.  Enter your password and your workstation will unlock.  Pretty secure, huh?  Because no one else knows your password, right? :)

This is a good idea to do during the day with kids in the room, during lunch, while after school activities are going on and even at night if you don’t log off.

Tech Tip #17 - Thank You!

As the time of year rolls around when students are bringing in small gifts of their appreciation, I would like to thank you for 30  things you probably haven’t been thanked for in the past.  The list can be found at So not exactly “my list”, but thank you anyway! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas!

Tech Tip #18 - Your Input is Wanted

In an effort to send out Tech Tips that meet your needs, I’ve put together a very short, 7 questioned survey.  If you get a few minutes to complete it with your thoughts and ideas, I would appreciate it!  The survey can be accessed at

Tech Tip #19 - Infinite Campus Parent Portal

With a new semester starting, now might be a good time to remind parents of the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  Parent Portal is a great way for keeping parents informed of student attendance and class progress, ensuring no surprises when mid-terms and quarterly reports roll around.

All parents can easily access their Parent Portal account, once the account is set up.  If you have parents who have not accessed their account, you can send them the document found at  Parents will need to contact your building secretary who will generate the 32 digit activation code needed to set up their account.  Once they have this number, they can follow the steps outlined in the document above to set their account up.  This document also outlines for the parents how to use the Parent Portal – just pass it on to them!

It’s another way to keep parents informed with little effort on your part.  All you need to do is keep your gradebook updated, which most of you do on a daily, or at least semi-weekly, basis!  Please let your building secretary or Jim Meckel know if you have any questions about this. 

Tech Tip #20 - Google Reading Level Search

Did you know you can apply a reading level to your Google searches?  Go to Google’s home page and click the Advanced Search to the right of the search field.  Half way down the page is a Need more tools? label.  Click the drop down menu next to the Reading Level for searches at various levels. 

Tech Tip #21 - Glogster, an alternative to PowerPoint

Glogster is a dynamic alternative to PowerPoint from both a student and instructional perspective.  Instructionally, you can easily link outside websites that enhance a lecture and embed videos or audio clips for your students to watch and listen to.  From a student perspective, it’s a way to incorporate text, audio and video into one presentation with a creative outlet.  In other words, it’s a great change of pace to PowerPoint with some of the same features. 

A few samples of both instructional and student produced Glogs:
Landforms -
Plant reproduction -
Reptiles -
The cell - (one YouTube video that you may not have access to)
Favorite Science Glogs -
The Stamp Act -
See more at

You can view a tutorial at  Or here’s a tutorial of Glogster in 90 seconds -

Tech Tip #22 - SMART Exchange

Looking for something interactive to enhance your Notebook lessons or lectures?  Or just need a change of pace?  The SMART Exchange has just the thing for you!  Go to and search for pre-developed interactive Notebook lessons by subject or grade level.  There is something here for everyone, at every grade level, teaching any content! 

In addition to Notebook files, you’ll also find SMART Response question sets.  (SMART changed the Senteo name to SMART Response about a year ago.)  Might be a cool way to try out the Responders without you developing the quiz yourself.

Tech Tip #23 - Edmodo

Edmodo is social learning for classrooms.  Teachers can share files, ideas and assignments with their students in real time.  Teachers can post alerts, due dates and poll students as well.  Dates get posted to a calendar; assignments can be uploaded by students to the teacher; grades can be recorded in Edmodo.  And, what might be best for all users, you the teacher included, is it has the look of Facebook, a platform you might already be familiar with!  Edmodo even works with your students’ phones so they can view alerts, updates and assignments from home.

Edmodo is very safe.  When teachers generate a class, you are given a code for your students to use in registering with your account.  No one can get in to your classroom without the code. 

Those familiar with Moodle, Edmodo is very similar to Moodle but a bit simplier.  Moodle still has more classroom applications, as it is the true online class platform.

Tech Tip #24 - Wordle Word Clouds is a site for generating word clouds.  Word clouds are a collection of words where larger words with more prominence appear more frequently in an original text source.  In this example, I entered text where Center and building mascots were entered more frequently than other words in the cloud.

Or, instead of developing your own, you can also copy and paste text into the Wordle generator.   Here is an example of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech and President Obama’s Inaugural Speech.  Notice again how the words used most frequently are the words that appear largest in the cloud.


Interested in trying it out?  Simply go to, click the Create link, and enter or paste text in the text field.  Remember, the more often a word is used, the larger it will appear in your word cloud.  Click Go to generate your word cloud.  Once the cloud has been generated, you can change the font, layout and color by using the file menus.  You also will be able to print from the generated word cloud as well.  If you want to electronically save your word cloud, you will need to capture the image.  The easiest way to do this is use the capturing tool in Notebook.

There are several classroom applications Wordle could have.  A few include an “All About Me”; pasting a student written report to verify the most important topics are the ones that are getting addressed most frequently; summarizing exercises where students generate the word cloud after/before reading a selection; or even comparing and contrasting in literature where two word clouds of two different texts are side by side.  Other ideas can be found at

Tech Tip #25 - Live Binders

Live Binders is a cool site that allows you to create online binders to organize webpages, images and documents.  It will display your collected content in an online tabbed, book-like format.  Each tab can then contain a list of additional resources.  So in this case, the tab acts as a main category where additional resources can be listed under the tab.  Adding content is done by typing in the URL, uploading files or adding content through the Live Binder bookmark for Firefox or Internet Explorer.

What do these look like?  Here are a few samples:
Here’s a math binder -
Or a history binder -

Need a tutorial to get started?

What about applications for your classroom?  Live Binder would be a great tools for students to create online binders of resources they find combined with content they’ve created.  Live Binder could become the showcase of the work they’ve done.  Or it could even be a great way for you to organize your web resources as well as instructional documents for upcoming units.

Tech Tip #26 - Animoto

Animoto is a free web tool for making videos from your images and music.  Making an Animoto video is a simple two to three step process.  Upload your images, add some text then select your music.  Animoto does the hard part – it builds the video for you, transitions and all!

Here a sample I did on the Dust Bowl -  This video is only one minute long.  Note how the image use tells the story; specific text (caption) characters are limited so words and phrases must be carefully and effectively communicated; and music selection sets the tone.  They all tell their part of the video story.

Simply go to and sign up for an account.  For trial access to the Animoto Plus account, on the account creation page, click the link for a promo/referral code and enter a4emcla882c87.  Otherwise, just sign up entering all the needed information.  Click the Get Started button and Animoto will walk you through the process of uploading images, adding text, rearranging the images, and adding audio to develop your first Animoto video.

Interested in using Animoto with your students?  Check out to apply for your own Animoto Plus account.  Be sure to check out the Civil Rights Presentation at the bottom of this page.

Tech Tip #27 - Shelfari

Shelfari ( is a virtual bookshelf where you can share books you’ve read, are reading or want to read.  Connect with friends or other teachers to see their favorites and discover new books.  If you have a website or blog, you can embed your Shelfari to encourage reading.

Shelfari would be a great way for you to recommend books, start an online book discussion or even be the go-to place for parents seeking reading for their children this summer.  Start building your own Shelfari now and get your students use to referring to it.  By the time summer rolls around, they will know right where to go to find recommended books.

Want to start your own group for book discussions?  Once you register, a group option will be available to you.  Just give it a name and tell your students.  This would be the place for discussions over recommended readings with students, their parents, other teachers, and so on.

Now, for the students.  Likewise for the students, Shelfari will be a great way for them to display some of their favorite books, check out what others are reading and even give a review of books they’ve read.  They too can connect with friends, get book recommendations and check out their reviews.  While Shelfari does not have a minimum age for members, students  will need an email account for the registration.  Even if they opt not to set their own shelf, they will need to register with Shalfari to be a part of a group to take part in the discussions. 

Check it out!  It might be a great way to recommend reading this summer if nothing else!

Tech Tip #28 - 21st Century Skills

Have you heard reference to our students and the need for developing 21st century skills?  Preparing our kids for the work force they will be a part of gets into a notion of interdisciplinary themes into core subjects of global awareness; financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy; health literacy; and environmental literacy.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills continues to outlines skills in this manner:
Learning and Innovation Skills
- Creativity and innovation
- Critical thinking and problem solving
- Communication and collaboration
Information, Media and Technology Skills
- Information literacy
- Media literacy
- Technology literacy
Life and Career Skills
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Initiative and self-direction
- Social and cross-cultural skills
- Productivity and accountability
- Leadership and responsibility

If you are interested in seeing these very briefly defined, the two page attachment does just that.  This document is expanded on and used in the online summer courses  – Assessment in the 21st Century Classroom and Project Based Approaches.  We also look at how technology supports these skills in the 21st Century Tools for the 21st Century Learner, also being offered this summer.  To enroll for summer classes, go to this page and fill out the form with your information and indicate the classes you want to take.

Tech Tip #29 - Eight Habits of Highly Effective 21st Century Teachers

Last week, I sent out a description of the 21st century skills that will help today’s learner be competitive in their work force.  As you think back to that list of skills, I want to present you this week with an article of a few habits of effective 21st century teachers.  The article can be found at

In a nutshell, these are the eight habits the article outlines:
1.  Adapting
2.  Being visionary
3.  Collaborating
4.  Taking risks
5.  Learning
6.  Communicating
7.  Modeling behavior
8.  Leading

Several classes this summer focus on the importance of 21st century skills, in particular the online courses and 21st Century Tools for 21st Century Learners.

Tech Tip #30 - Rewindable Learning

In this age where a video  can be found on just about anything, I want to present an idea of how we can work that to our benefit:  a notion of “rewindable learning” with educational tutorials, class projects and explanations.  Think how this could benefit us if we would collect various effective videos and make them easy for kids to access just by organizing a Moodle page of resources, linking them up on a classroom website or organizing through some other online tool you might currently be using.  Today’s student can easily access videos such as these through computers, portable devices and their smart phones – learning at their fingertips! 

An extension of this could be for you (or your students) to develop tutorials around classroom lessons and curriculum.  You very easily can do this with the SMART Recorder which will capture anything you do on your computer and, with a microphone plugged in, will record your voice as well.  Once the video is recorded, post to your Moodle or classroom website for students and parents to have access to your classroom resources.  Ideas around this:
- student led/developed tutorials;
- teacher tutorials to be saved or emailed to sick or home-bound students;
- teacher recorded instruction for a sub to play to class;
- teacher recorded end of chapter or other test prep review;
- teacher recorded steps in a process for editing or problem solving;
- student explained outcomes of a project or experiment; or
- files to add to an electronic student portfolio from recognizing/identifying letters, fluency samples, or explanations of processes.

Here’s a sample from Brian Phillip’s AP Calculus class.  Students are explaining how to solve a problem and realize half way through they’ve made a mistake.  In addition to students thinking through explanations to develop a tutorial for others to use, this also illustrates is the power behind students talking through a problem in the development of a tutorial, or otherwise, in working through the steps of problem solving.  Thanks to Brian for sharing this!




Center School District

This website is maintained by Colleen McLain
original page created March 22, 2004
updated May 4, 2011
© Colleen McLain, 2010

This page contains links to outside sources.  The Center School District is not responsible for any content housed/published on those sites.

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