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TIS and That There are many free programs on the internet that teachers can use in multiple ways. Links to the software, as well as documents and tutorials, for these programs are provided below. These tools can be used for student projects and to make presentations. All software can be used at home or school. Scratch is a tool created by MIT to develop programming skills through a graphical user interface aimed at beginners. This is a great way to teach logic and reasoning skills. The following TED video is a resource that provides information for using the program. A student driven tutorial that allows you to see how complicated or simple the program can be can be is found at Download link:

Stellarium is software that simulates the night’s sky in real time. When taking a class out at night is not an option, this can be used as a planetarium by projecting on to the ceiling. This can also be used to look at future and past times of the sky. The link is: Blender is an open source 3D modeling program. It can be used to create 3D games or videos similar to today’s animated cartoons. An example of a video created by the Blender Foundation can be seen at: http://bit.lysyapej. Download site: http://bit.lye6Xax Requirements: Tutorials:

Volume 2, Issue 2 September 13, 2013

This Issue’s Publishers •

Jeanne Louk Lewis County SE TIS

Sean Snedden Wetzel County County TIS

Tracey Ward Grant County

County TIS

Table of Contents: Free Software Free Software

1 2

Energy Drinks Continued


Dear Techy Dear Techy Continued

4 5

Web-based link:

Volume 2, Issue 2

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Audacity is an open source sound editing program. It can be used to create audio for video projects with students. It is essential for making sound bites. Audacity can be downloaded at:, and a starting tutorial can be found at XBMC is a media program that was originally designed for a gaming console, but became popular and now is used on a number of operating platforms. A wiki providing user information can be found at: Download site: The basics of these programs can be taught to students. Once they have been taught, students can practice application of these programs through various assignments and presentations. This can be done independently or as group work. By providing students with various programs to utilize, they are able to individualize their projects in a way that is most meaningful for their learning. By: Sean Snedden, Wetzel County

Are Energy Drinks Good or Bad for Adults and Teens? Almost everywhere you look these days it is not a surprise to see someone holding an energy drink. Some people drink them because they feel that they give them energy. Other people drink them because it helps them stay awake while studying late for a test. But do people actually know what kind of danger they may be putting their body and health in? My guess would be no. There is very little evidence that energy drinks may improve physical and mental performance. Therefore, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not support any claims from the companies that produce the drinks. The major concern about energy drinks is the fact that they contain caffeine and herbs. Consuming one energy drink a day is believed to be safe as long as the consumer has no known medical problems. The problem occurs when a person consumes more than one drink and has a medical condition, this combination may cause the person to experience side effects. Most of the drinks contain many herbs also containing caffeine. This means there may be more caffeine in the drink than is stated on the label. A person that has a health condition, such as, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease, t h a t d r i n k s a n e n e r g y d r i n k may end up in the hospital. (Heneman and Zidenberg-Cherr, 2007) *For more facts about energy drinks and their dangers go to Volume 2, Issue 2

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Common Side

More Severe Side Effects


High blood pressure


Heart attack

Energy crashes



Possible death

Racing pulse

Difficulty sleeping

Amounts of Caffeine and Sugar Found in Energy Drinks Serving


8 Fl. Oz.

Serving Per Container



Full Throttle™





Monster Energy XXL™





Red Bull ™





Rock Star™






Food Combining

Stress check by: Azumio

Water Your

Healthy Heroes -

Glycemic Index


Nutrition for Kids *All of the apps can be found on iTunes or at any of the online app stores. All of the apps listed above are free.

Helpful Websites and Resources

Ways to obtain more energy naturally!!! 1. 2. 3. 4.

Get 8 1/2 hrs. of sleep. Drink less than 100mg caffeine a day. Drink more water (caffeine dehydrates) Eat trail mix instead of candy.

Safe and Healthy Alternatives Gatorade™ Powerade™ Water

By: Tracey Ward, Grant County Volume 2, Issue 2

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Dear Techy, I keep hearing about Flipped classrooms. Could you please tell me what is a Flipped classroom? Are there any benefits to this type of classroom? Thank you, Flipped out Dear Flipped Out, A Flipped class is a reversed teaching model that delivers instruction at home through interactive, teacher created videos and moves “homework” to the classroom. This allows the student to work in a collaborative way. Teachers are able to work one on one with students in this type of class. If you visit the following site you can read 15 schools’ testimonials and infographics from Knewton which describe the benefits of a Flipped classroom. The West Virginia Department of Education is also very lucky to have Valerie Wilson, Lori Whitt, and Mark Moore ( who can help you get even more information on Flipped Classrooms.

Dear Techy, I am a new teacher and feel overwhelmed with everything that needs to be completed for the year. Do you have any suggestions that will keep me from going crazy? Sincerely, Miss Nervous Dear Miss Nervous First of all take a deep breath and relax. As a new teacher it is very scary but you will be just fine. I believe organization is the key to being successful in the classroom. There are several different websites that can help you stay organized and on track for a fun successful school year. One way is using Livebinder. A Livebinder ( is a way to keep all your work in one place such as E-portfolios, substitute packages, parent packages, teaching tools, administrative documents and professional development. The best part is that it is free! Volume 2, Issue 2

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Another great way to stay organized is through Symbaloo. ( This is a website that many teachers use to put their favorite curriculum websites in one place. A teacher may search for specific topics or skills. The result will be many different sites for that skill. Resources will be within a click of a button. It is also a free service. Dear Techy, I am very confused and in need of your help. I have a student that is making music with fruit. I see wires and a computer but cannot figure out how he is doing this? Help me! Sincerely, Musically Confused Dear Musically Confused, Your student has discovered Makey Makey. Makey Makey is an invention kit for the 21st century. It helps you to turn everyday objects into touchpads and combine them with the internet. It's a simple invention kit for beginners and experts doing art, engineering, and everything in between. If you would like to see a video on how the Makey Makey was designed, visit

By: Jeane Louk, Lewis County SE TIS

Volume 2, Issue 2

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TIS and That Sept 13 2013 V2 I2