Sunday, December 13, 2009

Thinking about Upgrading to Windows 7

windows7People I know who are using Windows 7 seem to like it, so I'm considering upgrading my home laptop that is currently running Vista Business.  I know that there are upgrade paths that work and others that do not.  I found Windows Upgrade Avisor to be helpful as I investigated which version I should purchase for my system; it's a free download.  I ran the tool and learned that I must install the 32 bit Windows 7 Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise.

The features that interest me the most include:

  • Quicker boot-up and shut-down time.

  • Better compatibility with other software and hardware devices.

  • The Snap feature to compare two versions of a document sounds neat.

  • Improved memory usage by running fewer processes in the background.

  • The Ultimate version comes in over 30 languages; users can switch back and forth, something that could be very handy for bilingual and ESL students. 

  • The integration of Windows Live could be convenient for file sharing and collaboration.

Now the cost...  From the Microsoft Website $200-$220, depending on which upgrade package I choose.  From JourneyEd, the costs are the same at this time.  I want to upgrade, but I'll have to wait.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Another Nudge for the K-12 Online Conference

k12onlinebanner2The K-12 Online Conference is for educators from around the world who are interested in innovative ways web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This annual FREE conference is organized by volunteers and is open to everyone. The theme for this year is “Bridging the Divide.”  There are over 50 sessions between now and January 9.  See complete schedule at

December 7-11:

  • Leading the Change.  Presentations in this strand will showcase successful strategies as well as amplify critical issues which must be addressed for innovative learning methods to be adopted by teachers, librarians, and administrators on a more widespread basis.

  • Getting Started.  The presentations in this strand will focus on specific, free tools for newcomers.

December 14-18:

  • Kicking it Up a Notch.  This strand amplifies ways new technologies can be used to transform classroom and personal learning.  Fresh new approaches to using Web 2.0 tools for learning and authentic assessment will be highlighted.

  • A Week in the Classroom.  This strand will explore how teachers and students are tangibly bridging divides between instructors, learners, classrooms, content, and experts outside the traditional classroom. Presentations will also explore the practical pedagogical uses of online social tools (Web 2.0) giving concrete examples of how teachers are using these tools.

All sessions are recorded and archived, so if you cannot attend at the scheduled time, you can still participate.  You can access the archived presentations from the conference web page at or from iTunes.  Additionally, follow-up conversations will begin twice monthly in January 2010 on the EdTechTalk channel at

I have “attended” this conference over the last few years.  The opportunity to learn and network with others is something I look forward to every year.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Skype and Author Network

Wouldn't it be great to invite authors into your classroom or library to video chat with students before, during, and/or after reading their books?  Author Mona Kirby and School Media Specialist Sarah Chauncey developed a website to help schools and authors connect, the Skype and Author Network.  See list of authors here.  

Arrangements for Skype visits are made via email and/or phone between the author and the teacher or media specialists.  Authors offer two types of visits:  free "meet the author" visits lasting 10-15 minutes, or longer in-depth visits with the time and fee determined by each author.   Enjoy!

Image from Superkimbo in BKK, Flickr Creative Commons license