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In this technological age we start to see eWhiteboards everywhere. But what if you don’t have one? Here is a suggestion about how to use a VGA splitter

 

If you use blogger (blogspot.com) for your classroom you may not want to have the navigation bar at the top of the window which takes visitors to the “next” site. That next site could be rather dubious. Here is how to get rid of the navbar in blogger.

 

Just looking to work faster –> go for some shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts are worth learning, and teaching to children. They can be found here at Microsoft’s site or this pdf version of their page.

 

If you have a Smartboard eWhiteboard you really should get into the supplied screencapture software. Smart recorder can let you record the whole of the screen (or parts) together with your audio commentary. It compresses very tightly yet still produces a large full screen image for students to review after a class. Here is a PDF explaining how to set up the recording.

 

Another nice low tech solution that is now available is Mouse Mischief which Microsoft has made available for free. It is a poor man’s response unit (clicker) working with surplus mice and an add on to PowerPoint.  PowerPoint gets its wings clipped a bit in the multi-mouse mode but it is still a interesting prospect. More about this on the blog.

 

WiiMote plus IRpen & Bluetooth = cheap effective interactive whiteboard. This is definitely worth the minor cost involved. See wiiteachers.com


Technology solutions

How could I teach handwriting with a computer? Well a lovely project would be doing it with a set of tablet or slate PC’s but that is out of the budget range of most of us :-(  In New Zealand they have a specified handwriting style that has a particular stroke order. To teach it I found it really helpful to have it on the screen in front of the children, so they didn’t have to rubber neck to see the board. So with a set of computer all around the room and a few extra borrowed laptops I could have everyone in close proximity to the handwriting of the day. I made a font to match the NZ curriculum and prepared a year’s worth of handwriting. The sentences that they copied out featured a lot of words relating to NZ and the local townships so it isn’t going to be too helpful to you directly but you might like to try it out yourself. NB you must install the font that is given at the site AND for some reason Macs don’t like the font one little bit. So sorry Macs but you’ll probably have to bypass this one.

If you are reading this in NZ, then Kia Ora and feel free to use it as is in your classroom.