PxPixel
T&L News(149) - Tech Learning

T&L News(149)

Tom's Top Tips to Fight Cyber Bullying; Product: Serif PhotoPlus X2; Leader of the Year Profile; New Multi-Function Learning System; Next Big Thing: Take-Away Cinema
Author:
Publish date:

Week of: October 6, 2008

  • Tom's Top Tips to Fight Cyber Bullying
    1. Awareness—When bullying takes to the 'net, often the bully and bullied don't realize that it is happening. Make sure that students, teacher, administrators and parents all know what cyber bullying is, who to report it to, and that it is not acceptable.

    MARK YOUR CALENDAR: The K12 Online Conference (featuring some T&L Bloggers) starts October 13. It's all about web 2.0 in the classroom, virtual—and free. For complete schedule information, please visit: http://k12onlineconference.org/docs/k12online2008schedule.html
  • Product: Serif PhotoPlus X2

    Description: Image editing software

    How to use in the classroom: PhotoPlus can be used if a class is creating a Web site or newsletter, and they can touch up their own digital images. PhotoPlus has an instant redeye remove, blemish remover, and students can "airbrush" their images. Another unique feature of PhotoPlus is the "Instant Artist." This tool lets students choose from a wide range of photo styles like Impressionist, Van Gogh, Oil, Pencil, Paint and Ink, Watercolor. And, like all features in PhotoPlus, you can always preview it before you change it.
  • Leader of the Year Profile

    Leader: Edward Foote, Special Education Teacher, Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, Fairport Central School District, Fairport, N.Y.

    School Snapshot: K-5 school in a 7263-student district located in a suburb of Rochester, N.Y.
  • New Multi-Function Learning System

    Troxell Communications, in conjuction with Hitachi and Lumens, introduces a new Multi-Function Learning System that includes essential interactive classroom tools in one integrated package.
  • Next Big Thing: Take-Away Cinema

    Epson latest version of its MovieMate device is a media room in a box. It plays photo slideshows from photo CDs and USB flash drives and can connect to a PC or Mac to show computer-based presentations.

Tom's Top Tips to Fight Cyber Bullying

By Tom Newton, Product Manager, SmoothWall

1. Awareness—When bullying takes to the 'net, often the bully and bullied don't realize that it is happening. Make sure that students, teacher, administrators and parents all know what cyber bullying is, who to report it to, and that it is not acceptable.

2. Monitoring—Many online systems including the web, email, IM and social networks can be monitored using the latest security products to examine not just keywords but the context and construction of every web page. When students know they are being monitored, they feel safer, and are less likely to engage in bullying.

3. Blocking—The use of anonymous proxy sites is growing as students look for ways to "shadow surf" and access restricted sites. These proxies are dangerous since they expose your network to outside threats and prevent administrators from keeping students safe. Be sure your security system can block and prevent students from using proxies.

4. Holistic approach—Just like "traditional" bullying, cyber bullies don't hang up their mouse at the school gate. Parents need to understand problems which largely weren't even conceived when they were that age and be aware of their children's online activity.

5. Personal Online Safety—Start young. Students must learn how to protect their identities and accounts on-line. Impersonation is a common form of cyber bullying. Strong passwords, privacy control, and understanding sensitive data are topics which should be covered.

6. Response—Does anyone in your organization know who to contact to take down a video on YouTube? A Facebook profile? Cyber bullying offenders and victims fit subtly different profiles to "traditional" bullying. Appoint an expert to coordinate response, and let others know who it is.

7. Share—Exchange knowledge and information with other Schools. Cyber bullying often happens between schools, so it's important to develop relationships with IT staff in nearby schools to alert them to cross-school cyber bullying problems. Worldwide you can always find someone with the same troubles and helpful advice: www.edugeek.net is a fine place to start!

Tom Newton—Product Manager, SmoothWall
As SmoothWall's foremost security expert, Tom spends most of his time directing the development of our products in line with customer demands and industry trends. He joined SmoothWall in 2003 and has a BSc in Computing from the University of Leeds and a CIM Diploma in Marketing. Tom is known for his strong views on certain aspects of security! Prior to SmoothWall he worked for a developer of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) where he was responsible for their network security. Tom is also a regular contributor to Edugeek.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR: The K12 Online Conference (featuring some T&L Bloggers) starts October 13. It's all about web 2.0 in the classroom, virtual—and free. For complete schedule information, please visit: http://k12onlineconference.org/docs/k12online2008schedule.html

Product: Serif PhotoPlus X2 (www.Serif.com)

By Joe Huber
Retail Price: $79.99

Description: Image editing software

How to use in the classroom: PhotoPlus can be used if a class is creating a Web site or newsletter, and they can touch up their own digital images. PhotoPlus has an instant redeye remove, blemish remover, and students can "airbrush" their images. Another unique feature of PhotoPlus is the "Instant Artist." This tool lets students choose from a wide range of photo styles like Impressionist, Van Gogh, Oil, Pencil, Paint and Ink, Watercolor. And, like all features in PhotoPlus, you can always preview it before you change it.

Pros: The software was easy to learn and for those familiar with the Ribbon/Tab (Office 2007 like) interface, it's easy to use. The export optimizer and album backup are especially nice. It very good value in that it is more like Photoshop than Photoshop Elements.

Cons: The Ribbon/Tab interface (Office 2007 like) could be a problem for those not familiar to it. Some of the technical terms used might be difficult for users unfamiliar with image editing programs.

Overall Impression: Serif produces very good and easy-to-use software at a very reasonable price. They are not as well known in the K-12 market, which is unfortunate, because often schools are spending more money on other comparable software products.

Leader of the Year Profile

Leader: Edward Foote, Special Education Teacher, Jefferson Avenue Elementary School, Fairport Central School District, Fairport, N.Y.

School Snapshot: K-5 school in a 7263-student district located in a suburb of Rochester, N.Y.

"Once I started working with special needs students, I couldn't leave," says Edward Foote, who teaches fourth and fifth graders at the Jefferson Avenue Elementary School in Fairport, N.Y. "The challenge of creating the right program to get kids excited about school makes it a great field to work in."

Foote's students, who he teaches in a self-contained classroom and also in inclusion classes with the general student population, have disabilities that range from severe physical and emotional needs to autism. Foote also contributes at the district level. He helped craft the district's elementary technology curriculum and teaches a variety of in-service classes.

His results are impressive: Last year the reading levels of his fourth graders increased more than a grade and a half within one year, and behavioral issues have decreased by over one half.

So what's his secret?

Now in his sixth year of teaching, Foote says his "aha" moment came when one of his students, a boy who was having trouble writing his name on assignments every week, thrashed him in a video game. "That was when I dove into learning about how technology can meet students' academic needs," he says.

Foote's teaching approach can be summed up thusly: Support students' learning styles and present information in new ways to find the correct method to increase academic achievement, self-image, and social abilities.

He starts by giving interest surveys to every student he works with. What are their favorite Web sites? What subjects would they like to learn more about? "I use the survey to open discussions about what content the students are viewing, to talk about acceptable use and reliability of information, and to use the topics or Web sites they like as positive reinforcement in behavior plans," he says.

One insight Foote gained from the surveys that he might not have otherwise is that students were very interested in foreign language. With that in mind, Foote formed a partnership with a high school Spanish class in New Jersey. The Spanish students created introductory video lessons and then posted them on Foote's Web site for students to watch. The two-year project, now ended, was mutually beneficial: Foote's students gained linguistic experience, cultural knowledge, and made personal connections with the high school students. The Spanish class able to practice their coursework and learn how to use video and Web technologies.

Foote regularly places students in the role of teachers. One notable instance of this is the Student Technology Group (STG), in which students use their technology skills to improve aspects of school life. STG's Teacher Support Committee, for example, responds to presentation creation and troubleshooting requests, and conducts seminars for teachers on how to use electronic whiteboards, camcorders, and applications like Skype. About 50 members strong, the STG uses Google Groups to communicate with each other and with STG "alumni" who serve as informal advisors.

Inside the classroom, Foote sees technology as an indispensable tool for facilitating authentic instruction—from students recording and playing back their own reading to using video to assess eye contact, voice projection, and information delivered. "The key here is that the students are using and seeing that the technology is seamless in the lesson and essential to the end result," he say, adding: "They are so used to using technologies outside of school that we are almost missing what they are capable of if we don't use them in school."

No surprise, then, that Foote is experimenting with video gaming. This year he launched a project using the Nintendo Wii. Once logged on to the game environment, students create a digital avatar, or "Mii," and use this identity to practice word play and learn science concepts, among other activities. "Overall, I try to bring in cutting-edge technology and research to engage students, give them control and buy-in in their own school lives, improve student learning, and have fun and encourage play," says Foote.

Learn more at: www.fairport.org; www.mrfoote.com

Last Byte: "My students' mastery of technology positively differentiates them instead of their disabilities negatively separating them from their peers."

New Multi-Function Learning System

Troxell Communications (www.trox.com), in conjuction with Hitachi and Lumens, introduces a new Multi-Function Learning System that includes essential interactive classroom tools in one integrated package. The Multi-Function Learning System (MFLS) includes the Hitachi CP-A100 Short Throw Projector with optional Peerless Wall Arm, Hitachi Starboard FX DUO-77 Interactive Multi-Touch Whiteboard with optional FloorStand, Lumens DC260 Visual Presenter-SXGA resolution output, full-frame video/audio recording, and a 1080p HDMI output. Also included are classroom response systems, speakers, and room control systems.

Next Big Thing: Take-Away Cinema

Epson latest version of its MovieMate device is a media room in a box. It plays photo slideshows from photo CDs and USB flash drives and can connect to a PC or Mac to show computer-based presentations. Projecting a 16:9 widescreen 60-inch image from only six feet away or a 120-inch image from just 12 feet away. Stereo-quality sound comes from two built-in 8 watt 5.1 Dolby Digital DTS(r) speakers.

Price: $699

Epson MovieMate 55, www.epson.com

Featured

Related

T&L News(150)

Put to the Test: T&L Editors test Drive Tom Snyder's TimeLiner XE; How Do You Stream?; WHAT'S NEW ONLINE; The New Rules of Copyright; WHAT'S NEW HARDWARE

News and Trends(31)

Next big thing: Epson MovieMate 55 Open-source reading literacy resources Benefits of virtualization How green are schools really getting? The essential facts about RTI Fighting back against cyber bullies Interactive math Sites we like

T&L News(67)

AZ Maps Out High-Tech Plan Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne asked the legislature to expand the pilot laptop computer program beyond Empire High School to seven other schools across the state. Web News Supplanting Print Educators are increasingly turning to online news sources for classroom

T&L News(130)

Week of: May 27, 2008 The Big Winners --> The Big Winners The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announced last week the winners of its 23rd Annual CODiE Awards—the only peer-reviewed awards within the software and content industries, which includes many companies

T&L News(146)

Leader of the Year Profile; Top Online Degrees Help Top Educators; Buzzterm of the Month: Response to Intervention (RTI). What it is and why you need it; Contest: Technology in Motion 2: Community of the Future; Put to the Test: Joe Huber reviews SAS Curriculum Pathways

T&L News(142)

Put to the Test; Imagination without Borders; Building EPortfolios; Leader of the Year Profile; BACK OFFICE BUSINESS

T&L News(157)

Schools Go Virtual; How concerned are IT pros about Internet safety?; Hunt Institute Discusses Education Standards; A Message to Obama on Top Education Priority from school leaders; Mark Your Calendar

T&L News(18)

If You Build It, Will They Come?Phoenix Union’s new Cyber High School is a virtual school with a twist. Students will come to the $1.2 million building for their virtual classes, allowing them to take advantage of its cutting edge technology without having to own their own computer. UK Committed to School

T&L News(132)

Week of: June 9, 2008 LOY Profile Series Carole Colburn teaches real-world lessons in Michigan. What's New NBC News' iCue is a free, online, collaborative learning community that incorporates gaming, discussion, and video resources. Created by NBC Learn, the educational arm of NBC News,iCue