Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Windows 7 in Education: 2 months later

Well it has been a few months since Microsoft updated their much anticipated operating system update and overall it has been an excellent experience. Did a session for teachers yesterday who are considering getting Windows 7 on their home computer(s) and here are some of the links that I shared.

My original blog post ‘7 reasons to switch to Windows 7’ http://jamesmcconville.blogspot.com/2009/11/7-reasons-to-switch-to-windows-7.html

Window 7 for teachers by Microsoft. Great post by the Microsoft team that highlights some of the features that teachers will love and use in the classroom. For example check out the SNIP tool and the ZOOM that is now built right into the operating system. SNIP allows anyone to take a screen shot of the whole, or part of the screen and then add pen marks or highlighting. This feature will be great for creating how-to guides or worksheets for students. The ZOOM will work great when connected to a classroom LCD projector to enlarge the key area of the screen to make the text or pictures more readable by students. See more: http://blogs.msdn.com/teachertech/archive/2009/10/22/7-things-teachers-will-like-about-windows-7.aspx

Pros and cons of switching to Windows 7- it is always valuable to think of the reasons to NOT switch. Here are a few. http://itmanagement.earthweb.com/entdev/article.php/3845916/Windows-7-Upgrade-Pro-and-Con.htm

Our district has licensing to offer Windows 7 and MS Office at a reduced price for educators. Ask your district for the link.

From the Microsoft site - Help and How-to that have videos on how to use many of the new features like SNAP and JumpLists. http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/help

Unsure what version is best, check out this chart: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/compare

Videos of Windows 7 features from the Microsoft site

HomeGroup

HomeGroup

Takes the headache out of sharing files and printers on a home network.

Jump Lists

Jump Lists

Speedy access to your favorite pictures, songs, websites, and documents.

Snap

Snap

A quick (and fun!) new way to resize and compare windows on your desktop.

Windows Live Essentials

Windows Live Essentials

7 great programs, 1 free download. Mail, Movie Maker, Photo Gallery, and more.

Windows Search

Windows Search

Find virtually anything on your PC, instantly.

Windows Taskbar

Windows Taskbar

Better thumbnail previews, easier-to-see icons, and more ways to customize.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

SMARTNotebook Software: take it home teachers and students

Did you know that the SMARTNotebook software (currently version 10) can be installed on any school and home computer by staff and students?  I’ve confirmed this is a representative from SMARTTech and our district reseller that for every SMARTBoard that is purchased anywhere in the district, teachers and students can install on 1000 machines.  For our district, with a growing number of SMARTBoards, we have virtually unlimited installation capabilities.

Notebook 10 is amazing teacher presentation software that works really well for teachers with computers and a projector.  It does not need the SMARTBoard hardware to run the software and it runs on Windows and Mac.  There are hundreds of subject specific tools and templates that are included for FREE.

For some links on the use of SMARTBoards and the Notebook software visit Anita Strang’s amazing website and blog.  She is constantly adding new templates for teachers.  There is a great Christmas template she just posted!

More notebook files online.  Did you know that when doing a google search, you can add filetype:notebook to your search text to find SMARTNotebook files that other teachers have shared on their websites?  Give it a try!

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