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Showing posts from September, 2007

Tech Tip 9/24 - preventing spam

Since I have joined the 207 family I receive about 10 emails a week from staff members concerned about the amount of SPAM they receive. I would like to take a moment to explain the reasons why spam gets through, ways you can prevent it, and what we are doing to combat it. What is SPAM? A spicy canned meat...I mean - a Monty Python sketch...I mean - - Electronic SPAM - is defined as mail that is unsolicited and bulk. It can come in many forms and include text, attachments, or photos Up to 80% of all email sent each day is SPAM and spam involving images is on the rise. Up to 50% of all SPAM sent each day is in the form of image files. Spam as pdf's is the new trend with up to 8% of all daily SPAM as pdf files. The #1 type of SPAM is greeting card SPAM. How do they get my email address? The most common way is from posting it on message boards, using it to make purchases, or posting it on websites. The less often you use your school email for these purposes the less

The Two Sides of Tech

It has been an interesting few weeks. We are rolling out our new gradebook program and I have had a great chance to work 1 on 1 with a bunch of teachers of varied abilities. It is interesting how many times I am perceived as a helper and a hindrance. To be more precise - I am helping them through their hindrance. However, most teachers are very happy to work really hard at something difficult, because they care about their kids. What has struck me strangely through this process - is how often one question has come up: "Have you ever been in the classroom?". It usually comes up as we start discussing how the teacher grades. I get the feeling that if I say no that they will give up all hope of me bing able to help them through the sometimes difficult task of setting up the gradebook. I guess in some ways I am lucky that I can say - yes I was in a Science or Music classroom for the last 10 years. It is weird having to say that to people. Where I am coming from I was a

TechTip 9/5 - Quintura

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Good Evening, Busy day today - so here is a short late night tip: Here is a rather cool site that is in the ballpark of tagging, which is the theme we are on this week. www.quintura.com Quintura is a visual search engine. It extracts keywords from search results and builds a word cloud. By clicking words in the cloud, you refine your query. It is really cool to see your search morph and change as you click on words. It is a great tool for visual learners. It is also helpful if you are searching "around" a topic and can't come up with the exact right term. Check out the search for rubrics: I am only showing you 1/2 of the screen. On the right is the listing of sites that changes as you click on terms in the cloud. A real fun thing to search for when using quintura is pictures. The images will show on the right and also change as you maneuver through the cloud. Try it I think you will agree. Quintura is just another search engine - but it does it visually. Kinda cool

TechTip 9/4 - Cool Tag Uses

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I wanted to continue the theme of tagging and the possible uses. One of the neatest uses of tags is to create tag clouds. A tag cloud is a visual representation of the common words in a group of text - words that appear more frequently are larger and bolder. This text can be from any source and can be in any language. Here is one for Act I of Romeo and Juliet (I'll show you how to do this later in this tip) I am sure something like this could be a great discussion starter - or could be excellent in the review of a particular piece of text. One of my favorites is a website that has taken many of the past Presidential speeches and has created clouds for each speech. It is really interesting to see what words (topics) have changed or remained over the years. Here are other good clouds: Tag Clouds from the Democratic Debate Flickr Photos - popular photos del.icio.us - popular bookmarks Technorati - popular blogs The coolest option is to have you