Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tech Tip: Making Software Compatible With Your Computer's Operating System

For some, the thought of installing software on a computer may seem like a daunting task. We are here to assist you! Library members are welcome to stop into the library or call with questions regarding installation of software borrowed from the lending library. We have tested all of our software on the XP and Vista operating systems. Software that has been tested and deemed as not compatible with XP has been removed from our shelves. Very soon we will be starting the next phase of testing on the Windows 7 operating system. It is possible to install older software on newer operating systems by changing the system settings. Again, this may sound like an intimidating task, but we would be happy to show our library members how this can be done. For additional assistance, we have simple one-page installation instruction guides available for operating systems XP, Vista, and 7. If you are a “show me” kind of learner and you have a Windows 7 computer, you may find the video on the following website helpful. Windows 7 Compatibility Video: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/Make-older-programs-run-in-this-version-of-Windows  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Early Childhood Corner: KidSmart

KidSmart is an innitiative by IBM to help leverage technology in helping prepare young learners for a 21st Century world. Kidsmartearlylearning.org is a website containing information about technology for both parents and educators.  When visitors arrive at the site you are greeted with images of happy children interacting with the Little Tikes Young Explorer computer.  Choose from 9 different languages to enter the site.  The site titled KidSmart Guide to Early Learning and Technology for Home and School contains two entry points - one for parents and one for educators.  The information is similar but customized for each audience.
Information is available in the categories of Learning and Playing Together, Integrating Technology and Access for All are introduced using videos, cartoons and information segments.
For parents the information is designed to help  understand what's possible when it comes to young children and computer time. The site contains: KidSmart Comics - comic strips featuring parents discussing learning, computers, and kids; Things You Can Do - a list of useful ideas and suggestions to help you get the most out of the family's PC; and School Link - concrete teacher tips, overviews of classroom issues and other tools that a child's teacher may use. The text and audio features of this site will help you discover that the computer is just one of many rich, varied materials found in a good learning environment.
For many educators, computers are already one among many of the rich, varied materials found in a good learning environment. For others, technology is new territory and you may need to become comfortable with the equipment and familiar with software activities. The site contains: Overviews - introductions to important issues about teaching and learning with technology; Conversations - practical discussions that teachers have about these issues; Teacher Tips - concrete tips on evaluating software and useful aids for classroom management; Promising Practices - real lesson plan ideas submitted by teachers; and Home Link - suggestions for what parents can do to use computers to support early learning at home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

App Corner: Android 4 Schools

You asked and we listened.  We've gotten numerous requests from you regarding information about Android devices and apps appropriate for education.  In our search we came across this blog Android 4 Schools http://www.android4schools.com/ written by educator Richard Byrne.  Additional content is also provided by his brother, fellow educator Stephen Byrnes as well as guest bloggers.  The blog provides reviews of apps that are appropriate for use in k-12 education settings.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

STC Project Highlight: Teens Succeeding with Technology TeST

Carl D. Perkins Federal Grant Helps Kids Achieve Transition Success; A FREE Model for Replication

During the 2010-11 school year PACER, Simon TechnologyCenter specialists completed work for The Teens Succeeding with Technology (TeST) Program, funded through a Carl D. Perkins federal grant. This project worked to create an online, replicable model for transition planning. The Simon Technology Center partnered with 14 schools; including alternative school settings and correctional facilities, across Minnesota to pilot and have students evaluate the program. Based on student’s feedback and suggestions an innovative, dynamic video series was created.

The TeST program is a collection of four video trainings; each training incorporates web-based technologies and resources to help high school students with disabilities transition successfully to post-secondary education and careers. The trainings encompass e-mentoring, resource mapping, creation of a personal transition plan, and a virtual college campus tour. Students explore post-secondary options with an emphasis on technical careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. Students also learn about self-disclosure, differences between high school and college, assistive technology and other accommodations that can help them achieve greater academic and personal success.

The Teens Succeeding with Technology program is available online and for no charge by visiting http://www.pacer.org/stc/teenssucceedtech. The training includes 4 main videos in addition to audio podcasts, an introduction to assistive technology series, and more.