Wednesday, January 28, 2009

PD Session - Technology Gadgets

The PowerPoint file from the January 30th, 2009 PD session on Technology Gadgets can be found here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

making a password protected website with Google sites

If you find that you need to have information available on the Internet to a limited number of people, perhaps your students, you can create a website using Google Sites. Google Sites can be used with a regular Google (Gmail) account, or with a Google Apps account (as I've discussed before.

When creating your site, you can specify if you want it viewable by the whole world, anyone from your domain, or specific users. You can also invite users to be collaborators, meaning that they can edit the pages on the site.

One thing to be careful of, however, is that it seems the option "Anyone at may this site." is not the default option. If you don't want your students to edit your site, you'll want to change that.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Importance of backups

I was reminded today, again, that it is a good idea to have copies of any important digital documents in at least two locations. Those little USB flash drives occasionally stop working or get misplaced, so I wouldn’t recommend keeping your only copy of a file on there.

Likely your school-provided network storage location is backed up automatically, so that’s the best place to store things. I’ve also written previously about online (Internet) storage options for your files.

That reminds me, I need to backup my photos at home.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


I'm often asked about antivirus for home PCs, and I always recommend Avast Home Edition.  It is a free program with free updates, but it requires (free) registration.

It works as well or better than other paid products, which is why I recommend it.

I also only recommend free software.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

digital marking

There are a few different ways I have students hand in digital assignments. For larger projects (video and audio files mostly) the students can just save them in their profile folders or on our school media server. However if you don't have this set up, or if you want to be able to do marking at home, there are a few other ways.

USB flash drives: either student or school provided, students can save their work to individual flash drives, or have multiple students save their files on a single flash drive.

Email: I usually have students email their completed assignments to me, since we have gmail accounts set up for students and teachers with about 7 GB of storage space each. I can then mark the assignments on any computer with Internet access. our district subscribes to this website which provides originality checking and online marking, as well as opportunities for peer review.

Learning Management Systems: online systems can be set up for assignment submission as well as peer interaction et ceteras using something like Moodle or Ning.

I'm sure there are other ways that teachers are marking digital assignments, but these are just a few I've experimented with. Feel free to comment on some of the systems you've used or seen in use.