Tuesday, May 24, 2011

End of the School Year: File Archiving and Deleting

 One other major thing that you should do to prepare for the end of the school year is to begin to clean up any personal file storage space that the IT department assigns you.  (For EHOVE employees this would include your personal drive (P:) and any Share drive spaces that you may have (S:). You can begin by going through all of your old files and archive or delete the ones you don’t need. If you are unsure if you will need them or would like to archive them, create a separate folder on your drive named “Archive.” Copy the files and folders you don’t need any more to that folder. When you have completed your sorting and organizing, get a blank CD(s), DVD(s), Flash Drive, or Portable Hard Drive and copy the “Archive” folder and anything else you would like backed up to the disc. If you need help doing this, ask your IT department or another colleague and I'm sure they would be happy to help. Be sure that if you use a flash drive or external hard drive, that the device has adequate space. The advantage to either of these two options is that generally they can hold A LOT more files than CD(s) or DVD(s).

Again performing the steps above will not only free up space on the server (again your IT people will be extremely grateful) but it also helps you to become more organized because you'll know what files you have and where they are located.

Enjoy :)

End of the School Year: Email Clean-Up and Notifications

In further preparation for the end of the school year, it's a good idea to go through, organize and delete your old email. If you are like many people, you probably have a full “Inbox” and you may not have realized that your “Sent Items” and “Deleted Items” folders have also gotten very large! There is a simple solution to this! For the email still in your “Inbox”, create folders to help organize the email you need to keep. The rest of the email that you don't need, simply delete! For your “Sent Items” and “Deleted Items” folders simply right-click on
that folder and click “Empty Folder” or “Empty Deleted Items.” This will not only help you get more organized in your email but also free up server space for which the IT department will be grateful. It may take some time at first, but if you stick with your organizational method it will save you a lot of time in the long run!

If you chose to make folders to organize your email, simply right-click on the "Cabinet" within Outlook and select "Create New Folder."  You can then name it appropriately.  Another thing to remember is that you can also set up Rules for these folders that will automatically organize your email as it comes in!
 (If you want to know more about Rule creation check out another EHOVEWire post here.)

Another step to take in preparing your email account for the end of the school year is to set an "out-of-the-office" notification.  This is helpful for those of you who may not check your school email account as much during the summer.  Outlook allows you to create a custom message with a particular date range attached to it.  You may want to include another contact method within that custom message in case something urgent happens and someone needs to get a hold of you quickly.  (If you want to learn more about the Auto Responder feature of Outlook check out another EHOVEWire post here.)

(Note: The instructions above were written with those using Outlook in mind. For those of you with a different email system, the steps should be similar.) 

Enjoy :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

End of the School Year: Moodle Cleanup and Preparation

Well, it's finally that time of year again! Summer is almost upon us and this means that a lot of teachers and school staffers are super-busy preparing for the end of the school year. With all that goes on at the end of the year, many important preparations in the technology world get overlooked. To start this post series about preparing for the End of the School Year, I'm going to give you a few tips for your getting your Moodle courses prepped for summer and in-turn the upcoming school year. (For those who don’t know, Moodle is an online course management system that provides digital content, schedules, and assignments for your students. If you would like to set up a class, go to your schools Moodle website and log in using your usual login credentials. Most sites will have a block for requesting a new course. If that option is not available to you, contact your Moodle administrator or Tech Department.)

Moodle has a nifty feature built-in to assist you in cleaning up your courses. This may mean unenrolling students, removing old assignment data, and much more. When you are logged in as a Teacher in your course, you of course have access to the "Administration" block which is generally located along the left hand side of your course. If you haven't ever noticed, there is a "Reset" button within that block. If you have seen this button you may have just avoided it out of fear and with good reason. This button has a lot of power that can drastically change your site and potentially remove important data. It's definitely a good practice at this point to proceed with caution and read carefully. As potentially dangerous as the "Reset" area is, it is pretty straightforward and easy to use. Simply read through each area of the page and select the areas you would like to reset. Be sure to click the "Show Advanced" buttons in each area for more detail.
 

After resetting your course to your preferences, it is also a good idea to look over any material you may have added to your course throughout the year to see if there's anything you don't need or will need to change for the upcoming year. While doing this it is always a good idea to look at the readability and visual appeal of your site as well. See if you can make changes to make it easier to use and read.


If you follow these steps and prepare for summer and the upcoming school year, you'll do yourself a favor and save tons of time and energy when next year rolls around. I hope these tips have been useful to you!

Enjoy :)



Tuesday, May 10, 2011

WatchKnow



Check out WatchKnow! This is an awesome website that has thousands of educational videos that have been categorized by subject, by age and much more.  WatchKnow is an awesome resource for teachers, students and even parents!

There is so much offered on this site that the only way to get a good idea of what there is, is to check it out yourself here!  They are always adding more!

(The side picture shows just a sample of the categories and areas of video offered.)

Enjoy :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Survey Monkey [LNL]

Survey Monkey is an awesome web-based survey creation tool.  This site offers both free and paid-for accounts with features galore.  Survey Monkey allows you to create and serve your own survey with many great customizations and tweaks.

For those of you who are staff at EHOVE, you had the opportunity to attend a Lunch 'N Learn session recently that discussed all of the features that Survey Monkey offers.  This post is a review of the information that was discussed during those sessions.  For those of you who are not EHOVE staff I encourage you to check it out on your own and use the information in this post as a reference tool.

So, first of all, I'm sure for some of you a question comes to mind.  Why would I use Survey Monkey and how is it even beneficial in a school setting?  Well, here a great list of ideas for starters:

  1. Polling students
  2. Student-led projects to collect information
  3. Research
  4. Customer/Faculty/Attendee Insights
  5. Employee feedback
  6. Education and Training
  7. Event Planning
  8. Just for Fun
  9. etc..........
The pictures below will give you a brief tour of Survey Monkey's layout and interface.

The arrows point to where you as a user can sign up for a free account or sign in with an existing account.



This is the page you see when you log in that lists all of your surveys.  The Clear button will remove the results of a particular survey.  The Transfer button will move the survey to another Survey Monkey user.  The Delete button will remove your survey, including all of results that have been collected on that particular survey.


This is the survey creation and customization page where you can add and change different elements of your survey.

This is the question editor.  Depending on what type of question you choose, the page will show different options.  One thing to note is that when you are listing multiple questions or answers, when you input them they must be on separate lines otherwise Survey Monkey will see them as on answer.

This is a list of all of the different question types that Survey Monkey provides.


Survey Monkey allows you to use four different ways to collect responses depending on your need and application.

This is one of the collection options.  This is a link that you can copy/paste and send via email or other method.

Here is an example of the results page.  The information will be populate based on the user's answers.


Be sure to explore the many different options that Survey Monkey allows.  It's a very comprehensive service that could have some great potential for you!  Enjoy :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Math It Up: Online Math Resources (Part 4)

Well it's time to wrap things up in the "Math It Up" post series.  To start today's post let's check out a few cool websites that could be very helpful to your students.  The first is Math Maps.  For all of you Google Earth users, this is a great site to check out!  This site discusses how to use Google Earth to give math lessons while virtually exploring the world!


Math Open Reference is another great site to check out.  This site provides a great resource for those learning/teaching geometry.  This site describes itself as "A free interactive math textbook on the web. Initially covering high-school geometry."  It provides lots of great lessons and ideas!

While this next site, Conceptua Math, provides an excellent online math curriculum with a pricing plan, it does provide some excellent FREE with registration fraction tools that would be remiss not to mention.  Check them out here.

Math Live is a very fun way to learn mathematical concepts.  It takes math concepts and places them in a "TV episode" format.  This is not only entertaining for the student but each concept is explained in a real-world application.  The site also provides worksheets, teacher notes, parent notes and assessment!   



If you are looking for further ideas and resources to add to your mathematical arsenal perhaps you should get plugged into resources like Plus Magazine and MathAndMultimedia for ideas and links to many more great resources! 

FInally, to close things out, check out these following online tools that you can give your students access to if they do not have access to the proper calculating or graphing tools.  You could also use this easily to work problems via your projector or interactive white board!  Check them out below!



Please let us know what you think of the resources we've mentioned or if you have more great math resources to share.  Enjoy and go Math It Up!