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Canastota Central School’s Technology Newsletter




Inside this issue:

What is Phishing? How Do I Recognize Phishing Email Messages? Phishing is an e-mail fraud method in which the sender emails legitimate-looking messages in an attempt to gather personal and financial information from recipients. According to Wikipedia “Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. This is similar to Fishing, where the fisherman puts a bait at the hook, thus, pretending to be a genuine food for fish. But the hook inside it takes the complete fish out of the lake...Phishing is typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messages and it often directs users to enter details at a fake website whose look and feel are almost identical to the legitimate one.”

Phishing Email Messages


Just for Fun Websites


Animation Sites


GroupWise Tip


SMARTBoard Activities


Tech Skills Every Teacher Needs


Common Misconceptions


Word Cloud Tools


Mac Tips


“I believe that not much happens of any significance when we’re in our comfort zone.”

Phishing email messages, websites, and phone calls are mainly designed to steal your identity and/or money. Cybercriminals can do - Bob Parsons, GoDaddy this by installing malicious software on or stealing personal information off your computer. Cybercriminals also use social engineering to convince you to install malicious software or hand over your personal information under false pretenses (you’ve probably seen those pop ups that tell you your computer has a virus - it’s when you click to scan the computer that you might actually be installing the malicious software.) Here is an example of what a phishing scam in an email message might look like, and what you should look for. Spelling and bad grammar: Professional organizations usually have a staff of copy editors that will not allow a mass email like this to go out to its users. If you notice mistakes in an email, it might be a scam. Beware of links in email: If you see a link in a suspicious email message, don't click on it. Hover your mouse over the link to see if the address matches the link that was typed in the message. In this example the link reveals the real web address. The string of numbers and words looks nothing like the company's web address. Links might also lead to the downloading of malicious software. Threats: Have you ever received a threat that your email account would be closed if you didn't respond to an email message? The email message shown above is an example of the same trick. Cybercriminals often use threats that your security has been compromised. Spoofing popular websites or companies: Scam artists use graphics in email that appear to be connected to legitimate websites but actually take you to phony scam sites or legitimate-looking pop-up windows. Read more at


Just for fun… - virtual clearinghouse for rules of thumb - Plan your drive to view the beautiful NY Fall Foliage A game based on Google’s image search. Can you make the connection between search terms and the results?

With Vision Board Builder you drag and drop images to position them on the canvas. The software blends the images together as you move them around. You can configure how the blending works or you can let the software do it automatically.

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Animation projects are a great way to integrate technology, encourage project-based learning and have a lot of fun. Here’s a quick tour of seven Web 2.0 animation sites for your classroom.  For younger students, Kerpoof is a favorite. This site has

a suite of creative tools that are perfect for the elementary classroom. Another great feature is the ability to create free teacher accounts to manage your students. To create animations, choose the Make a Movie tool. Numerous themes, backgrounds, characters, etc. are available for your students to get to work quickly.  ABCYa is a simple animation site for young students

(along with many other activities). It provides 40 frames and a blank canvas - similar to hand drawing frames in a notebook and then flipping the pages. It's easy and kids love bringing their drawings to life.  For students in upper elementary and middle school

there’s Fluxtime. The site includes a library of background templates and objects. Add them to the canvas, move and record the movements. You can email and/or publish completed projects to a gallery.  Moving up in complexity is DigitalFilms. Like Fluxtime,

numerous backgrounds and objects are provided. A character creator is also included so students can make characters that look just like them. You can add actions and text to the characters and then share them online.  GoAnimate is a bit more complicated and is best for mid-

GroupWise Tip: Lost your Sent Folder? Follow these simple steps to re-create it. ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈ ≈

Right click on the top folder, the one showing your name. Choose New Folder. Choose Find results folder. Choose Predefined find results folder. Choose Sent Items. Click Next. Take the default name, or give the folder a name you like better. Click Finish.

dle and high school students. Think of your creation as a comic strip where the characters in each scene can speak and be animated. The quality of the graphics is amazing and the user interface is intuitive.  A powerful, frame-by-frame, animation tool is DoInk. It

features easy-to-use vector drawing tools and one-click frame cloning. After an animation is created you can insert it into another, larger project called a composition. This is great practice before introducing students to Adobe Flash.  For more involved, 3-D looking animations, try Xtranor-

mal. Choose Make Movies and then choose a collection. Collections are sets of characters such as historical figures, robots, etc. Making a movie is as simple as typing your script, choosing a voice and adding actions. You can even add camera angles. The finished product is a video you can share and even load onto YouTube. If you don't want to work online, you can download the client version called State.


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The Picture This Page Citation Tic-Tac-Toe is an interactive game that requires students to match citations with their sources.

This site features more than 140 primary source images from the collections of the Oakland Museum of California that cover a 200 year time span. Students can analyze photographs, develop and improve their observational skills and increase their critical thinking skills with such activities as Looking & Telling (Caption Puzzle, etc), Writing (Be the Reporter, Secret History), and Making (Create a Portrait, Picture Change).

Tips for a SMARTer classroom! For precise control of the digital ink, change the pen setting to use the thinnest line width. Then remove that pen from its pen tray slot but write with your finger on the interactive whiteboard. You can also change the eraser setting so you have fine control when you erase digital ink. To change the size of a pen (or eraser): 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Press the SMART Board icon in the system tray. Select Control Panel. Press Pen Tray Settings. Press a Pen button (or the Eraser button). Select the thinnest line thickness and press OK. Close the SMART Board Settings dialog box. Close the SMART Board Control Panel.

You can also add different sized pens to the Floating Tools. For instance, you can customize your Floating Tools by adding a pen with a different width or a Creative pen. To add a customized Floating Tool: 1. Open the Floating Tools. 2. Press the More button and select Customize Floating Tools. 3. In the Customize Floating Tools dialog box, select the Pen or Creative Pen, and press Add. 4. Press Customize. 5. In the Customize Tool dialog box, select the outline color, line properties and transparency


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Imagine hundreds of thousands of great short videos, and other media, explaining every topic taught to school kids. Imagine them rated and sorted into a giant Directory, making them simple to find. WatchKnowLearn is a non-profit online community devoted to this goal.

Review a Word document, fill out a PDF form, mark up an image, and more. Invite others to collaborate in real time, or embed document in your website or blog.

The 20 Technology Skills Every Teacher Should Have 1.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20.

Google Tools Knowledge Google Earth Knowledge Wiki Knowledge Blogging Knowledge Spreadsheets Skills Database Skills Social Bookmarking Knowledge Social Networking Knowledge Web Resources in content area Web Searching skills Web2.0 Tools Interactive White Board skills Website design and management skills Presentation Tools IM knowledge Video and Podcasting RSS feeds Mobile and Handheld Computing Virtual Worlds Collaboration & Communication Tools

The International Children’s Digital Library “The ICDL Foundation's goal is to build a collection of books that represents outstanding historical and contemporary books from throughout the world. Ultimately, the Foundation aspires to have every culture and language represented so that every child can know and appreciate the riches of children's literature from the world community. The ICDL is a rich resource which can be used in a wonderfully wide range of situations by children, parents, teachers, librarians and others from all walks of life. Children can expand upon the stories to create games; parents can extract themes to help explain important lessons; teachers can utilize the multicultural nature of the collection to teach languages; librarians can enrich community outreach programs with tales from around the world and; of course, anyone can just open a book to read for pleasure.”


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Common Misconceptions about Technology Integration by Michael Zimmer from the blog: The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness 1. Technology integration is THE ANSWER to improving test scores. It is not the technology that will improve test

scores. It is the teacher who is integrating the technology. Technology can help make good teaching great teaching. 2. New teachers have a better understanding of how to integrate technology integration in schools. Very few new teachers have had a class on educational technology. Some might know how to use a cell phone, digital camera, etc. They most likely did not use a Document Camera, SMARTBoard, Airliner, etc. They also have little exposure to Web 2.0 tools. 3. Experienced teachers have no desire to learn how to integrate technology in their classrooms. Experienced teachers like technology, they like new toys like anyone does. What they want is to be taught one tool they can use and provide an opportunity to see how it can be a success in their classroom. Information overload can cause a lack of interest. 4. Integrating technology is too expensive for my school to afford. A few years ago this was a valid argument, but the creation of Web 2.0 resources has created ample opportunities for free integration of technology. 5. I don’t have time to learn how to integrate technology in the classroom. Everyone has time. It is not about having time, it’s about making time. 6. There can’t possibly be any technology to integrate in the subject matter that I teach. Once again, this used to be the case a few years ago. Many of the resources now available can be used across the curriculum. 7. I have to know EVERYTHING about the technology before I can integrate it. No one ever knows everything. If you want to have complete understanding you will never get to a point to integrate it in your classroom. Most of the time you won’t learn everything until you start to use it. The best way to learn about a technology resource is to jump in and start using it. 8. My students have a better understanding of the technology, and that is embarrassing. Students may know more about the Web, cell phones, video games, etc. Student do not know how to use technology appropriately with the content you are teaching. They might have a better understanding of how to use it, which is a good thing, because then you have an aide in the classroom to help you and other students.

Have You Tried these Sites for Creating Word Clouds? Wordle – Probably the oldest and most popular of the word cloud creators. Word clouds can then be edited w/ different fonts, colors, and layouts, and even shared w/ others online. Tagxedo – Great way to make word clouds from sites and then change the shape. Tagul – Similar to Tagxedo, a very easy to use site to create different shaped word clouds. Worditout – Nice site for making word clouds by just copying and pasting text. Tag Crowd – Simple to use site for creating word clouds by pasting in text or a web page URL


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The Top 7 PC-to-Mac Switching Problems (from 1. My brand-new Mac came without a right-click mouse, so now I have to buy an external two-button mouse. Every Mac comes out of the box with the ability to right-click, but Apple made it especially confusing for switchers because right-clicking is always turned off by default. You have to make a trip to the Keyboard & Mouse System Preference to turn it on. If your Mac came with an Apple-branded mouse, you might not realize that you have right-clicking ability because the right-click button is not a visible button separate from the left-click button--it’s touch-sensitive. Plus, all Mac laptops have touch-sensitive right-clicking on their track pads as well. 2. Every time I launch Skype or Firefox, a white disk icon appears on my Desktop and disappears after a restart. You actually never installed those apps properly. To install many Mac applications, simply drag the application’s icon (located on that temporary white disk image, which has the file extension .DMG) to your Applications folder. Then you can eject the white disk image by dragging it to the trash, and it won’t come back again. 3. All my keyboard shortcuts are different on the Mac! And these Function keys at the top don’t work! And I miss the “Print Screen” button on my PC’s keyboard. How can I remember this confusing Shift-Command-4 keyboard shortcut to take a screenshot? Most keyboard shortcuts are the same on PC and Mac, but on the Mac you use the Command key instead of the Control key. So, if you used Control-P to print on the PC, you would now use command-P to print on the Mac. Even better, you can customize almost every keyboard shortcut on your entire Mac to whatever is easiest for you to remember. Just go into your Keyboard & Mouse System Preference and choose Keyboard Shortcuts. For even more keyboard control over your entire Mac experience, install a keyboard shortcut program (Keyboard Maestro or Quicksilver.) As for the function keys at the top of your keyboard, they all serve double-duty. Click on them normally and they control the hardware functions of your Mac, but hold down the “fn” key on your keyboard and they act like normal function keys. You can reverse this behavior in your Keyboard & Mouse System Preference. 4. I keep clicking on the green Maximize button, but the window still doesn’t fill my screen. The green button is actually called the “Zoom Button”. In some applications it actually does maximize the window. Then, in some like iTunes, it changes the interface from the full iTunes layout to the mini-player. In other apps, it just resizes the window to what Apple thinks is the best ‘fit’. To fix this problem try installing Right Zoom 5. I love my Blackberry, but it won’t sync to my Mac. Don’t tell me to get an iPhone! Blackberry has released the OS X Blackberry Desktop software. You can get it here. ( desktop_mac.jsp) 6. There’s not a lot of Mac software for what I want to do. There‘s outstanding Mac software available in every category that you could possibly imagine. Some websites like and are even dedicated to tracking all the Mac software that you can get for your Mac. And, if you really want to use an app that’s PC-only, you can always run Windows on your Mac at full speed using Boot Camp (free, built into Mac OS X Leopard) or VMWare Fusion. 7. I just bought a MacBook Pro. Are you seriously telling me that there’s no forward-delete key on this keyboard? Hold down the “fn” key while pressing the delete key and it becomes a forward delete.

an re’s r e h T Fo App t! T ha

Office² Plus, the most intuitive and straightforward office document tool available on the iPhone, makes it easy to open, view, create and edit Word (DOC & DOCX), Excel (XLS), and now PowerPoint (PPT) files right from your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch! Dragon Dictation features very accurate voice transcription and the ability to share messages via email, Facebook, and Twitter. Best of all - they’re both free!

Well Connected! Canastota Sept 2011  

Canastota's technology newsletter