Week of 1-27-14

· Tech Tips, Uncategorized

It’s amazing how the Texas weather changes so drastically over a two week period.  The fortunate part, we’re teachers, we know how to adjust to pretty much any type of interruption.  The weather has certainly messed with our schedules and it might take a few days to get ourselves back to normal.  As we move forward, take advantage of what mother nature has thrown to us.  Think of ways to use the recent weather as a learning matter.  The students can calculate the weather through averages, highs and lows, probability, and statistics.  We can explain or better yet have the students use scientific exploration to figure out why we had frozen rain and not snow by better understanding air flow and layers of the atmosphere.  Students can write proposals and persuasive letters on how the school district should handle the two missed days of school (the superintendent and school board would love student input).  Do a quick historical look back at Fort Bend county to discuss how often the area sees this type of weather and some of worst recorded weather happenings for the area.  The students already want to talk about it, let’s make it a learning opportunity.

Just a quick reminder, the Intent to Apply for INTERACT is due today (January 31).  If your Intent is not filed by today, you will not be eligible to complete the application process.  The Intent only needs the names and e-mail addresses of your team members.  The remainder of the application is not due until the end of February.  Additional information can be found below.

The week of February 3-7, I will not be on campus.  The CITS team will be attending the annual TCEA conference in Austin.  We will be learning new ideas and sharing ideas with educators from around the state and country.  As a presenter at this conference, I love being able to share with other districts that great things that are happening in LCISD.  During this time, I will have limited access to my e-mail, but will be checking when time and connectivity permits.  I will be back to my campus schedule starting February 10.

At a Glance:

The End of Windows XPwebsite – It’s hard to believe that Windows XP has been out for over 12 years.  This is very old age for a computer operating system.  If you are still using Windows XP on your home computer, it’s time for an upgrade.  Effective April 8, 2014, Windows XP will go out of support with Microsoft.  What does this mean?  As of this date, updates will no longer be available and if you are using Microsoft Security Essentials to protect your computer, you will lose virus and malware protection shortly after the 8th.  You can continue to use your computer after this date, but be aware, you will become more vulnerable to security risks and viruses.  Also, new technologies from software and hardware manufacturers will likely not work with Windows XP.  Many people found this out when they tried to install Office 2013 on a Windows XP or Windows Vista computer.  Looking for more information, check the link above.

Scamswebsite – There are a variety of scams floating around.  Some we are familiar, others are new.  One that seems to have been gaining steam lately is done over the phone.  Most people have wised up to the old e-mail form of this scam.  The old version would send you an e-mail stating your computer is infected and please download and run the attached program or download it from the site provided.  A more recent version has moved this e-mail to the phone system through real people.  A phone call comes through telling you “Hello. I am calling from Windows support” or “I’m calling on behalf of Microsoft’s Certified Technician Team”.  The goal of these scammers is to get you to download a program that will infect your computer and then steal various types of information (passwords, financial information, etc.).  You can read additional information about this scam here.  Simply put, don’t ever provide your passwords to anyone whom you did not initiate communication.  In the words of Microsoft, “You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.”

5 Tips For Making Your Class As Addictive As A Gamewebsite – “Game designers have mastered certain tricks that make games so addictive that people can’t stop playing them.  Here are the top five secrets that game designers know, and some tips on how you can use these same game dynamics to make learning in your classroom as addictive as gaming.”  This article has a few great tips to extend learning outside this classroom and make students want to be part of your learning environment.  The article takes concepts that make people keep coming back to a game and discusses ways to incorporate these concepts into the classroom.

INTERACT 2014 website – It is hard to believe, but we are in the beginning phase of INTERACT 2014 already!  It is time to start thinking about forming a team so you can apply from your campus.  The rules will be similar as last year.  All information you need to know right now is posted on the iCafe.

We are just giving you plenty of notice to get you thinking about applying and allowing you time to form your team.  Once your team is formed be sure to follow this link and complete the Intent to Apply Form by January 31.  If you have any questions, please let me know.  I hope to see you there!.

Entertainment – When you are having one of those days when things do not go as planned or you cannot make everyone happy or you are feeling low or … just click on this video.  Thanks for the share Randy.

Technology Staff Development Opportunities – Log into ASCEND to register


ASCEND Section#

Training Location
February 11 98006 Promethean  ActivInspire Intermediate iCafe
February 13 98007 INTERACT Video Assistance Open Lab iCafe
February 18 98008 INTERACT Video Assistance Open Lab iCafe
February 20 98015 Dive in Deeper with Edmodo iCafe
February 25 98014 Engaging Minds with QR Codes and Augmented Reality iCafe
March 18 98016 App Smashing 101 iCafe
March 27 98009 Tips and Tricks for Office 2013 iCafe
April 8 98010 Become a Skydrive Pro iCafe
April 24 98005 Introduction to  Microsoft OneNote iCafe
February 3 98018 Webinar 2 – Knowledge Construction Online
February 10 98019 Webinar 3 – Collaboration Online
February 24 98020 Webinar 4 – Use of ICT for Learning Online
March 3 98021 Webinar 5 – Real-World Problem-Solving and Innovation Online
March 17 98022 Webinar 6 – Self-Regulation Online
March 24 98023 Webinar 7 – Skilled Communication Online
March 31 98024 Webinar 8 – Certification Presentations Online