2012-10-18 Weekly IT Update

This Week:

Laptop Cart – Presentation Room

Presentation Room – Updates Coming Soon

Gymnasium – Updates Coming Soon

Training for the Week – Voicethread vs. Notability

Google Cultural Institute – Bring History to Life


Laptop Cart – Just an FYI, the upstairs laptop cart, which USED to be stored in the tiny closet upstairs on the 400s side of the building, is now being stored in the Presentation Room. As it was difficult for anyone to maneuver the cart in and out of that tiny closet (and there was damage done to the power strip), the Presentation Room seemed to be the most logical location for access. As usual, if you need to check the cart out, go ahead and schedule it and we have the key to the cabinet down here in the Tech room.

Presentation Room – The Presentation Room should be updated and configured within the next week or two. Building modifications have been approved, materials have been ordered, and sub-contractors have been hired. For those that may be unaware, the work that will be done in the room will complete the work that was started last year. So, in the near future anyone with the code can easily control the Presentation Room including the computer, projector, screen, DVD/VCR, lighting, and a new microphone system which will be installed soon. There will also be an AppleTV installed so that you can project from your iPad. Lots of cool stuff and once it’s done I’ll give a more thorough rundown of the room and the features.

Gymnasium – On another note, the gymnasium should be upgraded next week. While not as exciting as the Presentation Room, the gymnasium will be getting (4) new hard wired network drops (to help with events and future Parent/Teacher conferences) as well as (2) new Wi-Fi hotspots as connectivity has been limited prior to the upgrade. This should be completed within the next week.

Training for the Week – This week will be a comparison of Voicethread and Notability for tools to record and use audio in conjunction with other media. Both are excellent tools and can be very useful in the classroom. Come on by on Thursday at the regularly scheduled training times and I’ll see you in the Project Room!

Google Cultural Institute – For those interested in providing multiple avenues of information to your students, the Google Cultural Institute is a good way of doing so. While it does have heavy leanings towards the Social Studies, I can also see it being used in other types of courses as well. It is a growing site and includes many images and videos relevant to the topics. Right now it covers topics beginning in 1905 and up through 2008. Some ideas of topics that jumped out at me are the Holocaust, D-Day, Nelson Mandela (for some reason there are more topics about Mandela than anything else on the site), and Apartheid. Take a look at: http://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/#!home  and I will add this to the PCHS Technology page as a link under Social Studies as well.

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