Friday, April 29, 2011

W.E.C.D.S.B. Website is Multilingual!

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District school board website is now available in many different languages.  Simply click on the drop-down box at the top of the site and choose a new language.  Google offers a conversion tool that will convert all recognizable words and characters and convert it.




On the left is a copy of the site in French: 













The following languages are available:


The power of this technology does not end there.  Google Translate will you to translate virtually anything!

From the Google Translate website above teachers and students can paste work into the box and choose from over 50 langages to translate.

If you would like an entire website translated just past the link into the window and violla you will have the website translated for you:

Translated WECDSBIT BLOG:

English:

Italian:

Please try out Google Translate and return to this post and comment on the site and how you used it!

Google Translate is also available on theApple iOS and Andriod smartphones.  The app allow you to speak and capture your words and even read your text to you! 





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Ontario Educational Resource Bank




















The OERB is a sharing site established by the Ministry of Education in 2008. It currently contains over 24 000 resources from K-12 contributed by Ontario teachers available for use today in your classroom. As well, the OERB has partnered with Learn 360 to provide access to over 8700 full-length videos and more than 25 000 video clips, all available for free download.

To access the OERB, please visit http://resources.elearningontario.ca/
For Username and Password, please contact Joe Sisco (joe_sisco@wecdsb.on.ca)




The images are available as posters that you may print for your classroom at: OERB Posters












Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Getting Tech Information Just Got Easier!

A new feature is available on the WECDSB IT Blog - Don't Fight Tech, Use the Right Tech.  Viewers can now sign up and receive updates in their email! Simply enter your email address into the box like the one to the right. A confirmation email will appear in your mailbox.  You must click on the link located in the email before this service is active.

Mobile Access:

If you access the WECDSB IT blog on your mobile phone the blog will automatically be reformatted for optimal viewing!


Check out the sample to the left.


Another way to access blogs or other websites is to use RSS. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. This is a group of web feed formats that allow for frequent updating. Most major websites will host RSS feeds and usually use the symbol on the left to advertise that fact.

Rather than visit individual websites that are flush with advertising and other links designed to attract your attention you can reverse the process and have the information from those sites come to you.
RSS content can be read by software called a "RSS reader", "feed reader" or "aggregator". The user can choose what feeds or websites they would like to track and all the newest information will be brought into the reader and notify the user. You can search the latest content of an unlimited amount of websites in one place. Most Browsers incorporate an RSS reader. Google offers an excellent reader called GOOGLE READER


For a FAST SIMPLE Demonstration View the video below:


Election Activities using BitStrips





A Message to Teachers from the Bitstrips for Schools TEAM!

Setting up an account is very easy and free to Ontario Teachers

Log into your account here http://bitstripsforschools.com/login/ with your email and your password.


Election Activities:

Looking for a fun way to introduce the May 2nd Federal Election as a topic in your classroom? Today we've added 2 new activities to the Bitstrips for Schools Library that will help get your students thinking and talking about the issues!

In the first activity, Campaign Promises, students make a comic starring their avatar as a candidate, announcing what they will do for Canada if they're elected on May 2nd. In the other, The Canadian Election, students show their familiarity with the issues by giving voice to each of the party leaders and explaining their campaign message. Both activities include template comics for your students to build from so they don't have to start their comics from scratch.

To assign either activity to your class, just log into your teacher account and look under Shared Activities in the Activities tab. You'll find them both on the first page near the top of the list.

Election Day is less than 2 weeks away, so be sure to assign your election activities in time!




Questions or feedback? Email support@bitstripsforschools.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

Get the Math


Get the Math "is a multimedia project about algebra in the real world. See how professionals working in fashion, videogame design, and music production use algebraic thinking. Then take on interactive challenges related to those careers."

Each activity has an introductory video that sets the context and then poses a problem to be solve. Students then are walked through an example and then given the opportunity to explore further. Currently there are three activities:
  • Math in Music - Watch the video about two rap performers who call themselves DobleFlo who have a problem mixing music. Then take the challenge and use ratios and proportion to help them mix tracks. You can here me talking about this on CBC Radio's The Bridge here if you wish.
  • Math in Fashion - Watch the video featuring Project Runway's season two winner Chloe Dao talk about her costing dilemma in creating a garment. Then take the challenge to help decide how to design a top but still stay in budget by using percent calculations.
  • Math in Video Games - Watch the video featuring Julia Detar, a videogame designer for the company Arkadium. Then take the challenge that deals with video games and equations of lines.
I have tried the Math in Music activity in a couple of grade 9 applied classes and they loved it (have students bring in their own headphones though)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Great site from OSAPAC

FRAMES is award winning educational software for creating animations, movies, and digital stories! Please click to watch introduction video FRAMES is OSAPAC licensed software available for all classrooms in Ontario - which means it's:

  • free for all Ontario Educator's use in the classroom and home use

  • reliable and comes with lesson resources from Ontario teachers OSAPAC (Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee) provides software titles to support the Ontario Curriculum.

  • For more OSAPAC titles, please visit:

    OSAPAC or contact Doug Sadler (OESS Representative for the WECDSB)

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    The Ultimate Scavenger Hunt ?

    Looking for adventure!

    GEOCACHING may be for you, and your friends and family.


    All you need is a GPS and a sense of adventure !

    (most SmartPhones already have it, or you can find an APP!)



    Learn more by watching this video:







    Friday, April 8, 2011

    Prezi The Online ( Cloud ) Presentation Tool AND PREZI QUEST!

    During our PD sessions today the team used a neat presentation tool called Prezi.  Many staff had questions about how it was done and would like to create there own.  Prezi is free and can be found at www.prezi.com .  All of your presentation created in Prezi would be stored online for access anywhere and can be downloaded for non-interent friendly locations.

    Prezi is unique because there is only one presentation workspace and the viewer manipulates the presentation by viewing it at different zoom levels throughout.  The presenter can move through the presentation in a sequence or can move freely about the presentation.

    Below is a simple example of one of my first Prezis!  It is a little dated now but is an example of simple presentation that was enhanced by the use of Prezi. It took about 2 hours to create.



    The entire presentation can be viewed at the top level:


    The user can decide at what view level and order they want prezi to use when you look at different parts of the presentation.


    Zoom Again


    Here is an very good example of an advanced Pezi!



    Other Applications:

    As you can see above teachers can "embed" or place prezis into web pages for users to view and manipulate on there own.  Prezi applications:


    1. Post Prezis on a website for students to access the information again or for students who were absent.  Prezis can be setup to work in a predisposed sequence so the viewer receives the material the same way it was presented.
    2. Assignments could be outlined using Prezi and Posted.
    3. Students could be encouraged to create their own Prezi on any topic?
    4. Prezi Quests!
    The Prezi Quest

    Give the student a list of questions that can point to a group of answers.  I will use math for this example:


    :
    You can begin your Prezi Quest with a question in the middle.


    Students could then choose their answer and move on to the next question.  Naturally it would take more time if they choose the wrong answer but that is part of the process.



    This is just a very simple example that doesn't have all the answers but it is a starting point,

    I would love for you to comment on PREZI or any of your ideas below!

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Apple offers Training for EPP Participants

    Apple has offered to host two information sessions for WECDSB employees who participated in the EPP and would like to learn more about their purchases.

    One session will focus on the iPad and how teachers can use their iPad to it's full capacity.  There will be an opportunity for questions and participants are asked to bring their iPad with them to follow along

    The second session will focus on the Mac OS that is automatically installed on every new imac, macbook, macbook pro, or mac air.  Often new users are unaware of a host of standard features on the Mac OS that will enhance your computing experience.


    Session 1:  Introduction to the iPad


    Date: Tuesday April 12, 2011


    Time:  4:00pm - 5:30pm


    30 Seats Available:  First Come First Serve


    Session 2:  Introduction to your Mac/ Mac OSX

    Date: Tuesday April 12, 2011

    Time:  5:30pm - 7:00pm

    30 Seats Available:  First Come First Serve



    Sunday, April 3, 2011

    Access your files anywhere!

    Files too big to send through e-mail? Want to have access to your files from any computer? Start living in the cloud.
    One really easy option is DROPBOX.

    Dropbox is online software that syncs online and across your computers. Put files in your Dropbox folder on one computer and they will automatically appear on any other computers that have dropbox installed... and in your Dropbox space online.


    Another simple option is to create a website and store files for easy access at any time. Instead of sending files through e-mail, simply direct requests to your website where people can download anything they want, when they want.


    I have shared my website as an example. please click here to access my website I do not really make this entirely public, but use it more to share files that are too large to send through e-mail.