Keep Getting 25GB Free Storage Space in Skydrive now!

When our district transitioned to Windows Live last year for email, calendars, web apps, etc., we were excited about having 25GB of free storage in SkyDrive.

Microsoft has been making some pretty significant changes (including mobile apps and SkyDrive for Windows.) Recently, Microsoft reduced the size of most SkyDrives from 25GB to 7GB. Chances are, you were NOWHERE near reaching capacity, but if you act now, you can keep getting the 25GB free space by manually upgrading it. (If you already had more than 4GB of data in your SkyDrive, Microsoft already upgraded you to the 25GB plan.)

Upgrade from 7GB to 25GB Free Storage
  1. Log in to SkyDrive (You can also get there by going to live.com, More > SkyDrive)
  2. Click the link that says SkyDrive's free storage is changing - claim your free 25 GB
    If you do not see this link, look for the Manage storage link on the left


  3. Click the Free upgrade! button for the SkyDrive Free option.


No Poster Printer? No Problem!

We've been preparing for our upcoming Technology Academy and have been looking for an economical way to print posters advertising our sessions. (Let me start by saying that we have a budget of $0.00 ... yes, seriously.)

I called a local printer who would be oh-so-happy to print the posters for a mere $115 each. One hundred fifteen dollars each! After I regained consciousness, I started looking around for other options! We can have them printed at a variety of office supply or photo stores, but those posters still range $15-25 each. Since we need 25 posters printed, this is quite a bit over our budget (of zero).

I was thrilled to read about Block Posters on Free Technology for Teachers this morning. This free, web-based tool allows you to upload a high quality image and then determine how large you want the final poster. It then "slices" your images into full-page size chunks and you can immediately download a PDF version of your poster. You can then print them out on a regular printer, trim edges, and tape them together to make a poster.

Remember the What About Me? infographic I created a few weeks ago? Here's how Block Posters has sliced it to print on individual pages:

Try it out ... see what you think!


Guest Post: A Few BrainPop Features I Forgot About

I'm excited to share a post from Becky Burnett's Tech Tips and Such blog today. Be sure to check it out. If you'd like to receive emails when her blog is updated, sign up for her mailling list here!

From Tech Tips and Such:

I was in a session earlier today about BrainPop at my local education service center, and decided that there are "A Few BrainPop Features I Forgot About". Since I forgot about them, I thought some of you might have too. Our district is fortunate enough to have a BrainPop subscription, but if your district is not, have no fear, there's some wonderful free features too!

If you have ever seen a BrainPop video you know that they are short and sweet, as well as very informative (if you haven't, click here to view one). I think they are a great way to intro a concept or reinforce. They can be class activities or individual student activities. Also, BrainPop is adding to the collection of activities that support their videos and the concepts that they deliver. Read on to learn (or be reminded) of a few.

FREE STUFF! That's right, I said free =)
You can get free stuff from all of the BrainPop sites (BrainPop, BrainPop Jr., BrainPop EspaƱol, BrainPop ESL), but it's best to go from the main BrainPop site so that you can see ALL of the free stuff from ALL of the sites! Just go to the main BrainPop page (brainpop.com) and click the button for free stuff. 

Search By Standards
I think this comes in particularly handy when you have a student or students that are struggling with a particular skill but it's also good for many more reasons. Just click the Standards button, select your state/subject/grade, and then click the link for the proper video or resource. It's not just videos listed here, but also games, which leads me to...

These games are ALL FREE and intended to be reinforcement for skills that are demonstrated in the videos. This being said, they work well after a video has been watched, and also for reinforcing a concept that has been covered in class in a different way. The games can be accessed by clicking the GameUp button on the main page, or after a video has been watched.

That's just a few, but there's lots of other great things on their site too. I definitely suggest that you go check it out or revisit if you haven't been there in a while. Enjoy and Happy Friday!!

Thanks Becky! That's good stuff!

Draw a Stickman

Thank you Larry Ferlazzo for sharing a link to Draw a Stickman. If you're looking for a way to encourage your students to read and follow instructions, check it out!

Follow the simple directions (#1 is draw a stick man!) to go on an exciting and creative adventure. There are currently two episodes available. I'm looking forward to the next!

Your students are sure to enjoy this. You will too! =)


A Few of My Favorite Tips and Tricks

One of my favorite trainings to present is "Tech Tips." Today I will share a few of my favorite tips. There's nothing earth-shattering here, folks, but there might be something here you haven't used before!
  • F11 (top of your keyboard) will maximize your web browser to full screen, eliminating all of the menu text, URL bar, toolbars, etc. Go ahead, try it now! Hit F11 again to return to the standard browser view.
  • F6 (or ALT+D) will highlight the URL of a webpage. To enter a new address, simply type over it (you don't even need to erase the highlighted address!)
  • Need help in an application or in your browser? F1 will bring up the Help menu for your current application.
  • When completing online forms, use the tab key to move between fields instead of clicking them with your mouse.
  • Just for TEXANS ... When filling in address information in an online form, type TT in the state field to bring up Texas. (One T brings up Tennessee, TT is for Texas!)
  • On a webpage, hitting the Space bar will scroll down one screenful. This might be helpful for those wonderfully wordy blog posts full of tips and tricks! To move back up a screenful, try Shift+Space. Go ahead, try this one now too.
  • CTRL+F will open a "Find" option in all web browsers (and many applications like Word, Excel, etc.) Looking for a specific word or name? Just type it in and it will highlight every place on the page where that term occurs. (In Office applications, the Find tool can also be accessed from the Editing group of the Home tab in the ribbon.)
  • There's also a "Replace" feature in many applications (Office Applications for sure!). Enter the text you would like to find in the first field and enter the replacement text in the second field. Choose either Replace or Replace All. This is an easy way to update dates, names, etc. in previously used documents without having to retype the entire thing!

Of course, these old standby's may be the most important keyboard shortcuts of all ...
  • CTRL+C = copy
  • CTRL+X = cut
  • CTRL+V = paste
  • CTRL+Z = undo (oh, if only LIFE could have a CTRL+Z!)
If you're not exactly sure how to use Cut, Copy, and Paste, check out this thorough explanation from Simple K12:

These are just a few of my favorite tech tips ... leave a comment or email me back with your favorite tip!


DrawSomething - Facts & Figures

Are you as obsessed with DrawSomething as everyone else is these days? If so, you might be interested in flipping through this infographic. (Wow ... what a clever way to display these mind-boggling numbers and facts!) Just use the arrows below to learn about the Metoric Rise of DrawSomething!

Created by MBAOnline.com

I realize this post wasn't about technology integration in the classroom, but we all need a little R&R every now and then, right?


Ok, so I may have seen Titanic in the movie theater 6 times. I may own two DVD copies (and one VHS, just for kicks!) of the movie. I may have downloaded and printed the entire movie script. I may have a framed movie poster in my bedroom. I may still cry out, "Rose, move over ... there's room for Jack on that door!" each time I watch the movie.
{Perhaps I've admitted too much!}

That being said, the story of the actual Titanic is still fascinating to me. As we approach the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, your students may be interested to learn a little about it. Be sure to check these out ...
  • Unseen Titanic - From National Geographic, this site includes a photo gallery of pictures of the Titanic today, a "Then and Now" photo gallery, an interactive map of the crash site, and an impressive zoomable view of the shipwreck today (a mosaic of 1500 high-resolution photos put together that allows you to see lots of detail).
  • BrainPOP's Titanic - you will need to sign in to view the video, but I'm guessing that they will have this video available for free around the anniversary date.
  • The Sinking of the Titanic - read Survivor Elizabeth Shute's account of what happened on the Titanic.
  • Watch, Know, Learn (a site I'll be blogging about soon!) has an impressive group of videos related to the Titanic's fateful voyage.
I've been planning this post for a while, but was pleasantly surprised to find this post from one of my favorite blogs, Free Technology 4 Teachers in my Google reader this morning. If you're looking for more Titanic resources, don't miss it!


10 Tech Skills Every Student Should Have

I just came across a GREAT article that I hope every one of you will read! The only thing I would change is the title. I would call it "10 Tech Skills Everyone Should Have" ... not just students!

Be sure to check it out here. It's a great blog, Educational Technology Guy. I especially like this post because he doesn't just list the things for you. I've listed the ten skills below, but be sure to click the link to read more because he explains why he believes students should have these skills and even provides additional resources for further information.

10 Tech Skills Every Student Should Have (from Educational Technology Guy)
  1. Internet Search
  2. Office Suite Skills
  3. Self learning of tech and where to go for help
  4. Typing - yes, typing
  5. Social Media
  6. Netiquette - Internet/Email/Social media etiquette
  7. Security and Safety
  8. Hardware basics and troubleshooting
  9. Backup data
10. Finding apps and software

Click here to read the full blog post!

What do you think?


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