Friday, September 30, 2005

GradeQuicking at Home

Taking Gradequick home for grading involves several high-stakes steps. Print or bookmark the following to ensure you don't miss any!
  • Get the GradeQuick install CD from Chris Eagan or Joshua Farber.

  • CHECK-OUT your class gradebook files on to a disk or removable media:
    a) Insert disk or card into computer.
    b) Open GradeQuick.
    c) Go to File: File Management: Check Out File to Disk
    d) Move ALL your files from the left column to the right column by hitting the >> button.
    e) Use the "browse" button to select the A drive (or your removable media) as your Check Out directory.
    f) Click OK.

  • Go home! (Don't forget your disk!)

  • When you get home, install the software with the CD.

  • CHECK-IN your gradebooks from your disk:
    a) Open GradeQuick.
    b) Go to File: File Management: Check In GBK File.
    c) In the pop-up box, use the "browse" button to select the A drive (or your removable media).
    d) Select all files by hitting the >> , and then hit the OK button.

  • Grade with impunity!

  • Before you return to school, CHECK-OUT your changes to your DISK or removable media.

  • When you return to school, CHECK-IN your changed gradebooks BEFORE you open any files.

Once you've followed this process, you should not need the gradequick software CD anymore, but file the CD away at home just in case. However, always Check files out of your school computer before making changes to grades at home, and check them back in when you return!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Tip 1: Think Smart!

This week's teaching with technology tip comes to us via Cindy Zielenski, who recently attended a full day conference on teaching with Smart Technologies smart boards. Read below for links, tips, and more!

Many of our experienced teachers have used smart boards in their teaching. The ability to project, stand alongside, and manipulate your computer desktop while standing at the front of a classroom for presentation and full-class collaborative work changes the relationships between teacher, students, and information in so many wonderful ways, I'd hardly know where to begin!
Incidentally -- have you seen Julie LeClair's class in the library editing their papers collaboratively on the smart board? Talk about a great use of the technology! But I digress...
But what truly makes a smart board "smart" isn't just the touch-sensitivity of the interactive whiteboard. Smart board software continues to build on this public collaboration between the elements of the learning process, which is a fancy way of saying that there's a new version of the smart board software out there, and as time goes by, the software which runs the smart board gets better and better.

Even our veteran smartboard users might be surprised by the new developments in the latest release of this software! Image-mapping, image capturing, and increasingly smoother and intuitive interfaces -- all the little things that turn technology invisible, so we can focus on the learning and the content -- it just keeps getting better and better! Galleries included in this software download include graph paper, music writing paper, fraction shapes, language arts movies about the parts of speech, maps and much much more!

Even better, you can download the newly improved smartboard software directly from the Smart Technologies website and use it at home, where (I assume) you have no smartboard. Play, plan, and develop from the comfort of your own house, chuck your lesson on a storage disk or removable media, and you can show up in school ready to go!

Want to learn more about using smart boards in your teaching? Email Joshua or Cindy to schedule time for a demo and discussion! For self-starters, the site also includes free training materials (I like the 2 minute tutorials!) and an unbelievable lesson plan archive. And, as always, please remember to sign up a week in advance for smartboard use wherever possible -- we expect this technology to be ever more popular!