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An Innovation and Technology Magazine March 2012 | Vol 1 - Issue 1

In this Issue

• Expr ess your I • Top five mos deas t us • Tech Teacher ed Tools of • Tech News: W the Month i • IT D epartme ndows 8 nt • How has Tec Role in Educat hnolo ion Influen ced Edu gy cation?

American Nicaraguan School www.ans.edu.ni - Managua, Nicaragua - 2012

And no, we don’t know where it will lead. We just know there’s something much bigger than any of us here. - Steve Jobs

March 2012 Content

Resources

Edu Tech

Support

Table of Content Main Article Express your Ideas Pg. 4 Top Five Most used Tools Tools used by ANS teachers and students Pg. 5 Tech News 8 Features that could make Windows 8 Great Pg. 6 Tech Teacher of the Month Integrating Technology into the Classroom Pg. 7 Opinions IT Department’s Role in Education Pg. 8 Students Express How has Technology Influenced Education Pg. 9 Xtra! Xtra! Quotes, Jokes and more... Pg. 10

Tiger Tech Magazine Editing Team

Creativity Team

Contributors

Michael Parrales

Rosselyn Porras

Noel Rios

Xavier Rivas

Carlos Albuquerque Susan Rodinsky Liza Teran Roberto Perezalonso Michael Gardina Ann MartĂ­nez

Director of Innovation & Technology Editor

Educational Technology Coordinator Designer

IDEAS Express your

B

logs have become an important tool in today’s society. People all-around the world use blogs to express their ideas, as personal websites, or to present to the world different types of information. At ANS we are introducing our young students to such technologies, this way they are learning the different types of tools the internet proportions them to enrich their learning and knowledge. Ms. Rodinsky, a fifth grade teacher says: “The fifth grade team has been using Kidblog during the first semester. Kidblog. org is a website designed especially for teachers and students. Both students and teachers are given Blogs on which they can create posts, comment on others’ posts or even reply to other comments. One of the best features of Kidblog is its secure login; each student is given his or her own username and password to login. We have primarily used Kidblog in Social Studies and Science for two functions. First, we have created posts to complement our inclass teaching. In these posts we include links to videos, poems, songs, articles, or sites that enhance the lesson given in the class. Then, the

students are asked to comment about the post, either answering direct questions or reflecting on their learning. The second way we have used Kidblog is by asking the students to find Current Event articles or news clips. The students post their Current Event, with a summary and a reflection about it, and then all of their classmates post a comment about it as well. We find that student comments are often thoughtful and are a meaningful way to begin an in-depth dialogue about new ideas. Students also reply to each other with questions and new ideas. Our team has noticed that through engaging the students with technology, we are able to see their critical thinking in action. Students really enjoy the multimedia components we are able to add to the lessons and in this way we continue to strive to meet the needs of all learners.”

“I can communicate with my students on a daily basis and we have formed a new and advanced way of learnig and “blogging” with our entire seventh grade class and now abroad with an overseas Charter school in Pennsylvania. My students love the idea and grasped it right away. You are free to look us up and check out all the activity that has been going on since January of this year. I totally wish to continue with this method of teaching and chatting with my students in an innovative way.” By Liza Terán 7th Grade Teacher Middle School

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Tiger Tech Magazine | March 2012

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Top five

Most used Tools

Prezi

is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas ...

Mimio

Interactive transforms any whiteboard, or projection surface, into an interactive teaching tool. MimioTeach, MimioVote, MimioView, MimioPad ...

Google Apps

is a service from Google providing independently customizable versions of several Google products under a custom domain name.

Kidblog

K3 Interacts with Technology I have been using Mimio with PreK-3 and have found that at this age they are not only fully capable of using this technology but thoroughly enjoy how interactive it is. It is great tool to use in any classroom to review topics already learned and even to introduce new ones. My kids loved it! I was surprised how quickly they caught on and knew exactly what they needed to do. I highly recommend it for kids of any age. By Ann Martínez K3 Teacher Elementary School

Kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with an individual blog.

Audacity

Audio editor for recording, slicing, and mixing audio.

Robot Model Creation

W

Noel Rios Robotics Teacher

3D

e found My Robot Nation Website and inquired about how to make a robot. This Website has a page where you can select the various components of the robot you wish to create. Once you have completed your selection, the design is fed into the 3D printer, which processes the 2D image and begins to print layer by layer to create the 3D image by applying a 2-D image layer by layer on a 3-D surface. The Website describes this process as follows: “just as an inkjet moves over paper to print a document, it deposits a binder with 24-bit color layer-by-layer into the plaster-like base, literally building your robot millimeter by millimeter

Printing

from the powder.” The method used for this particular robot starts with the material, which is a combination of plaster powder (paper and polymer) applied in layers and a bath of hot sand used to give it a cemented look. This is how My Robot Nation describes its 3D printing technology: 3D printing is cutting-edge technology that takes a digital 3D model and realizes it in the physical world.

technology.ans.edu.ni | Tiger Tech Magazine

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Features that could make Windows 8

Great

Tech News Paul McDougal

Editor At Large, Information Week

Microsoft’s next OS is loaded with features like eight-second boot times and better file management that could make it the best version of Windows since XP--if the company can pull it off.

W

indows 8 represents the biggest redesign of the Windows operating system since Microsoft gave the OS a big overhaul with Windows 95. That effort introduced the Start button, Taskbar, and other now standard icons. Windows 8 goes even further. Users will have the option to ditch the long familiar Explorer interface and work in Metro mode, which effectively turns a PC into a tablet or big smartphone. There are lots of other big changes in store--here’s a look at some of the more significant ones that Microsoft has confirmed to date.

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Live Tiles. The most notable change in Windows 8 is the addition of Live Tiles, the cornerstone of the Metro interface. Borrowed directly from Windows Phone, Live Tiles are blocks of screen real estate that display real-time information, such as the number of new messages, from content sources like social networks, e-mail, and news feeds. Metro was built with touch in mind, and it’s an indication of how serious Microsoft is about making Windows 8 as at home on tablets as it is on the desktop. Faster, Prettier Boot Ups. Microsoft knows that Metro and Live Tiles alone won’t be enough to make Windows 8 a player in tablets. It needs to be a lot faster than its predecessors when it comes to booting up. Microsoft promises that Windows 8 systems will fully boot in just eight seconds or less. To display more advanced graphics during the boot cycle, Windows 8 relies on new technology called the unified extensible firmware interface (UEFI) for BIOS. UEFI lets Windows work in concert with PC makers’ firmware to render visually consistent graphics, such as artwork or vendor logos, through the entire boot cycle. Gone are the DOS characters that appeared during the boot cycle of earlier Windows versions.

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Fewer Restarts. Windows 7 gave users a number of options for update notifications and installation. Users could elect to have updates installed automatically or opt for notification when an update was available and choose to be notified only before installation. Those who chose to have updates installed automatically could elect to have the update occur at a predetermined time, or installed as soon as it was available. Secure Boot. In the age of highly organized attacks by hackers and privacy thieves, booting doesn’t only need to be fast, it must be secure. With that in mind, Microsoft developed a boot process called Secure Boot, which is designed to prevent malware from infecting computers during startup, before Windows and all of its built-in security features are launched. Secure Boot works by confirming that all components contain the appropriate security certificates before they are allowed to launch. To meet Microsoft’s Windows Certification requirements, PCs and tablets must ship with Secure Boot enabled. It can be turned off by the end user in PCs, but not in tablets.

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Better Wi-Fi. Microsoft says it’s building technologies into Windows 8 that will get users onto a Wi-Fi network in as little as one second. By contrast, it takes Windows 7 about 12 seconds on average to get users online. Windows 8 accomplishes speedy reconnections in part by more efficiently storing users’ preferences for certain networks, security, and speed settings, and feeding that data to connectivity hardware. When a PC resumes from standby, its Wi-Fi adapter already has all the information it needs to connect to preferred networks.

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Tiger Tech Magazine | March 2012

Tech News

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Factory Reset Button. With the consumerization of IT trend in full swing, Microsoft wants PCs to behave more like electronic appliances like TVs. Such products often feature a factory reset button that can be used if things go haywire--Windows 8 will have that too. Hitting the new Reset button will remove all personal data, apps, and settings from a PC, and will reinstall Windows from scratch. Activating the new Refresh mode also reinstalls Windows, but preserves the user’s personal data, most settings, and Metro-style apps. Both the Reset and Refresh modes rely on Windows Recovery Environment to get users back up and running. But unlike with previous versions, Windows 8 makes the recovery process simple and uniform across all types of systems.

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Copy Shop. Windows 8 will feature several new tools designed for easier file management, especially when copying numerous files. A new user interface box gives users a combined view of all concurrently running copy jobs. The box shows which jobs are running, lists the file source and destination for each job, and shows what percentage of each is complete. Another new tool provides the ability to manage each job separately. Any copy job underway can be paused, resumed, or canceled independently of the others

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Perhaps Windows 8’s best feature is that it won’t require individuals or businesses to run out and buy an expensive new system just to run it. According to Microsoft, Windows 8’s relatively light footprint, a byproduct of the fact that it’s designed to run on tablets, means that modern PCs that have enough horsepower to run the decade old Windows XP OS should do just fine with Windows 8.

Tech Teacher of the Month Roberto Perezalonso

Earth & Space Science Teacher Middle School

E

ffectively integrating technology to my teaching has been a challenge since the beginning of my teaching experience almost 15 years ago, when technology usage was limited in the classroom; I have realized that the acceptance of change is what has allowed me to incorporate as much technology as possible to my classroom added to endless reading and inquiry as well as wonderful professional development opportunities I have participated in thanks to many people who believed in me. Technology demands continuous learning I constantly try to expand my knowledge about education and technology and the relation between them to better serve my students; providing them with the tools for success in the 21st century. I strongly believe technology extends learning in very powerful ways. Students and teachers can have access to up-to-date, prime source material; methods of collecting and recording data, opportunities for expressing understanding via images, sound, and text; ways to collaborate with students, teachers, and experts around the world; and training for publishing and presenting their new knowledge.

I try to provide students with a variety of resources to enhance their learning and develop the necessary skills for their future, providing them with the tools that will allow them to succeed in life. By including technology and integrating these wonderful tools to my teaching I have accomplished many things; I honestly never imagined the effect the use of these tools would have in students and parents. I have found students to be more engaged and interested in the class, a greater percentage of parents are involved in their child’s education and I have less number of failing students. Being able to share my experience and knowledge with other educators has been great; it’s really wonderful to have colleagues including former teachers come to you for help or advice. Sharing my experience with the use podcasts and vodcasts has been exciting; I have received a lot of positive feedback from teachers as well as many questions from those brave ones who tried out podcasting on their own after attending the professional development sessions. What we are doing at ANS is just the beginning there will be many more changes, opportunities and resources that will arise and will help educators provide students quality education while preparing them for life.

technology.ans.edu.ni | Tiger Tech Magazine

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IT

Department’s Role in Education

Opinions Michael Parrales

Director of Innovation & Technology

W

riting about this topic might seem unusual for almost have lots of free space in their agendas. Does it mean that we everyone; I didn’t find bloggers writing about it, or will no longer have this department in schools? Not really. other people interested in the subject. Only that if its role doesn’t change to what we are living now, It seems that the IT Department’s role in schools is completely we will have a group of capable personnel closed in a cage and clear and that it’s okay as it is. I reviewed a number of school web a whole school wasting more than a few resources. sites in the “technology” section to find out what these schools are The main role of IT departments in schools must be “to doing and in general they have the same “sense” of it. innovate”. Tech support will continue to be needed; and if the It’s fair to start with the actual common role of IT Departments tech team is not innovating or looking for ways to innovate, to in schools. Some of the most traditional functions are: propose, and implement creative ideas to improve education, 1. Coordinate and supervise the installation, maintenance, the school will be losing essential elements of 21st Century and support of existing and new novelty. servers, systems and networks. Some might be mislead to think that 2. To configure, install, and maintain this role belongs to other teams, or even the network hardware and to the educational technology team, if software of the school. there is one available in the school. This 3. To create and maintain a system is not necessarily true. Who has more The main role of IT for backing up data and program access and passion for new technologies departments in schools files. than the techie personnel? Let them out of 4. To ensure integrity of the network the office; let them share what they know! must be “to innovate”. by continually updating network Schools will see significant variations by system security to provide for unlocking the IT personnel potential. latest protection against viruses The IT Department must play a and other types of network key role facilitating, providing, and vulnerabilities. supporting new technologies, with the 5. To keep an inventory of objective to integrate, foster, and promote equipment, computers, software the development of imagination, creativity, licenses, and others. and innovation in students, teachers and staff. Otherwise, they 6. To manage the school’s hardware and software. will be reduced to the “guys” to call when the computer is 7. To assist faculty and staff with professional technologybroken. based computer hardware and software inquiries. 8. Provide preventive and corrective maintenance to equipment. Based on these common functions, a deductive reasoning would suggest that the actual “traditional” role of the IT Departments in schools is mainly “to provide technical support to users and provide a strong technology infrastructure (network, hardware, and software) for others to connect, interact and perform their daily functions. This has been the situation for several years. However, due to the constant introduction of new technologies and the new approaches of technology, most of these traditional functions will start to disappear. Cloud computing, increased Wi-Fi access, free “hands on” interactive and collaborative applications, and open source software will force the changes. With all these approaches in place, the IT Department will

Find resources in the ANS Tech Learning Hub

technology.ans.edu.ni

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Tiger Tech Magazine | March 2012

How has Technology Influenced Education? A student’s point of view

E

Students Express Michael Gardina

12th Grade Student - High School

ducation, has different purposes according to its to pursue a degree. society, but we do know that its overall major goal Technology has also positively influenced education, is to help to community expand its horizon, to create since it has united people from all over the world. All competitive and skilled individuals in such a challenging types of information are now available on the internet, world. Thankfully, technology has made this goal even which makes it a lot more efficient. Teachers and students more close to reality with all the don’t have to depend on text books because benefits it spreads. of the internet. “Knowledge has become so Technology has been one accessible that you can learn almost anything of the best tools that has on the internet” (Thomson Learning). With Technology has been one the internet, students are able to use online positively influenced today’s world. Technology has played of the best tools that has conferences with people all over the world. an important role in any aspect It is a very valuable lesson in life to see positively influenced of society you can think of; hear other’s thinking skills. This idea of sports, computers, cell phones, communicating with others not only exists today’s world. video cameras, and especially from a student’s point of view; for instance, education. With the advancement in college, professors often doing research, in technology, teachers can bring like to consult with other experts in the field, their teaching to a higher level, about something they have questions about. and students can use this to their Thankfully, technology has allowed these advantage. gateways of opportunities. The first way technology has influenced education is With opportunities comes my next claim; in such a that it has helped with time management. Having available digitized world, professors, through research are able to lesson planning and grading systems online, has helped find old documents. It does not matter, if that information teachers reduce their time and use it more effectively. “Using serves as a mean of comparison, professors can layout to computers to manage lesson plans, test formats and student students. With this, students can get a better understanding information such as grades; have of the past, as well as the present and future. helped teachers significantly In the 21st century, technology will keep reduce time-consuming tasks” blooming at a rapid pace. With more inventions, (prospective education). In technology is a necessary characteristic in our addition, technology lowers lives. As technology continues to increase, Knowledge has become cost. Now a day, textbooks, in education will proportionally increase as well. so accessible that you can high school and even more so in college tend to be expensive. With learn almost anything on the use of eBooks, schools can cut the internet costs. Another way technology has helped education is that it has allowed students to think outside the box. In a traditional classroom, students just have to pay attention to the teacher and the board, but with technology students are required to think outside the box. They are able to get more of a global perspective. In addition, there are many people out there that can’t go to school because of a certain disease. However, online courses allow these types of people

technology.ans.edu.ni | Tiger Tech Magazine

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download cloud innovation tools creativity tools prezi login future internet software 3D gadgets URL research kidblog zoodles security safe online

The Articles presented in this magazine are based on personal experiences and opinions and not necessarily represent authorship of the American Nicaraguan School.

American Nicaraguan School

Innovation & Technology Division Frente al Club de Lomas de Montserrat, P.O. Box 2670 Phone #: (505) 2278-0029 / (505) 2278-4508 / Fax: (505) 2267-3088 Managua, Nicaragua www.ans.edu.ni


Tiger Tech Magazine_March2012