Sunday, June 12, 2005

Chalkboards With Brains 

Chalkboards With Brains: "Been using one for most of the last year... (Score:2, Insightful)
by Kemanorel (127835) on 12:01 PM -- Saturday June 11 2005 (#12789108)

I teach algebra in Orange County, CA, and have been using one of these for most of the last school year. My school has probably 85% of the classrooms equipped with these, with the remaining 15% due to get them early next year. I use a Smart Board [smarttech.com] with a 12' PowerBook and an Epson LCD projector*. It is front projection, which can be a pain (especially when my clueless 7th and 8th graders look directly into the beam), but I do enjoy using it. With the Smart Board and a PowerPoint** presentation, I can cover more information in a class period than I can by just sitting at an overhead projector. This also allows me to have the full text of what I'm saying on the screen as I'm saying it, which allows both my auditory and visual learners to acquire more of the imformation. I craft the presentations in such a way that the example problems show every step of work on each click of my wireless presentation remote/laser pointer. If I need to highlight/underline/circle/do anything by hand, there is a selection of pens at the ready, just as if I was working at a chalkboard or whiteboard. However, I find being able to walk around the room while I explain how to factor trinomials does wonders for keeping my students on task.

Does the tech make me a better teacher? No, but it does allow me to keep the attention of my 180 hormonal 7th and 8th graders on a bright and sunny June day where you can smell the ocean on the breeze."

note - there's much more to this comment, click above link

What to do if your computer won't recognize a FireWire device 

What to do if your computer won't recognize a FireWire device: "In rare cases, a computer's built-in FireWire ports and third-party FireWire devices no longer work correctly. The computer may no longer recognize the device(s).

Try these tips and tricks:

Make sure the FireWire connector is aligned with the port before you insert it.

Insert the FireWire connector straight and completely into the FireWire port.

Make sure the FireWire connector is not reversed and being forcefully inserted into the port.

Check the cable connector. Is it dirty, dusty, or 'contaminated'?

Look at the FireWire port. Does it look OK?

Disconnect any noncompliant FireWire devices or cables that are not in use.

If a device does not work when connected through a second FireWire device, try connecting it directly to the computer.

Use a FireWire cable or device you're sure works well.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Wired News: Boards Get Brains, Chalk Vanishes 

Wired News: Boards Get Brains, Chalk Vanishes: "Third graders at Columbia University's elementary school may never know the painful sound of fingernails scratching on a chalkboard. That's because the dust-covered board that normally would be the focus of their classroom has been replaced by a giant, touch-sensitive computer screen.

All across the country, chalkboards are being ditched in favor of interactive, computer-driven whiteboards that allow students and teachers to share assignments, surf the web and edit video using their fingers as pens."

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