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Archive for May, 2012

Online Safety

May 15, 2012 Leave a comment

Google’s Family Safety Center has the following tips on how to keep your family safe online:

1.    Keep computers in a central place. This will make it easier to keep an eye on your children’s activities.

2.    Know where your children go online. If you have young children, you might use the Internet with them. For older children you could talk about what kinds of sites they like to visit and what isn’t appropriate for your family. You can also check where your kids have been by looking at the history in your browser menu. Another option is to use filtering tools like Google SafeSearch.

3.    Teach Internet safety. It’s impossible to monitor your child’s online activity all the time. As they get older, they need to know how to use the Internet safely and responsibly when they’re on their own.

o    Use privacy settings and sharing controls. Many sites that feature user-generated content, including YouTube, Blogger and social networking sites, have sharing controls that put users in charge of who sees personal blogs, photos, videos, and profiles. Using sharing controls is particularly important when you or your children share personal information such as names, addresses, or phone numbers, on public sites. Teach your children to respect the privacy of friends and family by not identifying people by name in public profiles and pictures.

o    Protect passwords. Remind your children not to give out their passwords. Make sure they make a habit of unclicking “remember me” settings on public computers such as those at school or in the library.

o    Beware of strangers. Teach your children not to arrange in-person meetings with people they “meet” online, and not to share personal information with online strangers because people may not be who they claim to be.

4.    Help prevent viruses. Use antivirus software and update it regularly. Make sure your children avoid downloading from file-sharing websites and don’t accept files or open email attachments from unknown people.

5.    Teach your children to communicate responsibly. Take the following as a good rule of thumb: if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, don’t text it, email it, instant message it, or post it as a comment on someone’s page.

6.    View all content critically. Just because you see it online, there’s no guarantee it’s true. Children should learn how to distinguish reliable sources from unreliable ones, and how to verify information they find online. Make sure kids understand that cutting and pasting content directly from a website may be plagiarism.

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On Teacher Appreciation Week

May 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman of The Mythbusters thank the real teachers in this brief video.

“There is no other job more important than education. It is the foundation of our democracy. By seizing on what’s working, and recreating those successes from one classroom to the next, we can make it better for everyone.”-George Lucas
Full article on Edutopia.

On the flipside, here are great reads (from the same author) on your way back to the real world:
The ironies of Teacher Appreciation Week
Thoughts on teachers — from Socrates to Lady Gaga

Ruined the mood? Okay, this YouTube playlist ought to fix that:
Five-Minute Film Festival: Teacher Appreciation

For everything I know and can do, I have teachers to thank. Take a few moments to thank at least one.

Categories: Uncategorized

On Teacher Appreciation Week

May 10, 2012 Leave a comment

“There is no other job more important than education. It is the foundation of our democracy. By seizing on what’s working, and recreating those successes from one classroom to the next, we can make it better for everyone.”-George Lucas

Full article on http://www.edutopia.org/blog/importance-of-education-george-lucas

On the flipside, here are great reads (from the same author) on your way back to the real world:

The ironies of Teacher Appreciation Week

Thoughts on teachers — from Socrates to Lady Gaga

Categories: Uncategorized

Virtual Field Trips!

May 9, 2012 Leave a comment

While it may not be the prettiest and most "Web 2.0"-looking site out there, TechTrekers is a veritable treasure trove of virtual field trips. They have links to virtual field trips that range from an active volcano to zoo webcams.



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When I first came across Tramline a couple of years ago, I honestly thought it was a tram/trolley transit company — even when I went to their site and seeing that logo. It turns out that they are a software company that developed "TourMaker" back in the mid-’90s. Don’t be fazed, though, it IS a wonderful resource for virtual field trips that were "created and added by educators… developed as a free resource to K-12 educators everywhere."

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The Utah Education Network has a page dedicated to virtual field trips across different subjects:


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Similarly, The Teacher’s Guide has a page on virtual tours of museums and exhibits. While not as long and comprehensive as the other sites, it is an interesting and diverse (if not eclectic) collection.

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So, what are you waiting for? See the world! Enjoy and have a safe trip!

Categories: Uncategorized

Protect Yourself Online

May 3, 2012 Leave a comment

The internet, the last bastion of true freedom, independence, and self-expression, is truly one of the most important inventions in history. However, just like the real world, it can be a dangerous place. It is critical that we all learn how to protect ourselves and our children from malevolent elements lurking on the web. The government has set up “ On Guard Online ” to help in this regard. They have information and resources on avoiding scams, securing your computer, mobile apps, and more for almost everybody. Click on the link above or the image below to go to the site:

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