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A Wireless Snapshot

Ever wonder just how many devices might be out there . . . here’s a snapshot of we what see connecting to our wireless network right now (11:00 a.m. on 5-23):

  • 540 devices connected to Guest.
  • 76 devices were connected to DASD-1.
  • The busiest access points (AP)? You would be surprised by the stats for the last 24 hours. If it’s lunch time at DAHS, those access points are among the top ten. Once lunch is over, the elementary Library Media Centers move up the list. If their iPod Touches are in the library, those devices are on the constant lookout for an AP.
  • Number of errors? 0. Our software also collects information on AP’s that go down or errors in connecting. All of those were at “0” for the last 30 days.




A Little Recycling

A Little Recycling

This photo represents a portion of our last recycling run. When I arrived in DeForest, these machines were new. Now we can’t get rid of them quickly enough.

Mike Young and Candy Luell take care of organizing the recycling pick-ups. It’s a lot of work, especially in gathering and identifying all of the old stuff.

Digital Learning Day!

As you may be aware, Digital Learning Day is a little less than a week away.  On February 1, educators all over the country will be holding conversations and sharing ideas for digital learning in our schools.  We’re doing so many great things, and we want to share it–with each other and the community!  

Collecting and sharing the wisdom, experience, and ideas of a group of people is called crowdsourcing.  It’s a new way of sharing for us and it’s a good thing.  Please take a few moments to share what you’re doing and be inspired by your colleagues.

Here’s how:

A Google Presentation has been shared with you, click here or check your Google docs home page to open it.

To access many new editing tools (and animations!) use the new presentation editor.  If you see this, you’re working in the old editor:

To switch, go to the gear icon in the uppermost right corner and select Documents Settings >> Editing tab >> Check the box for New Presentation Editor.

Open up the DLD presentation and add a slide or two.

Share how your students have used any sort of digital technology to learn or demonstrate their learning!  (some examples to get you thinking… Glogster, Prezi, VoiceThread, GoAnimate, GoogleDocs, Moodle, Twitter, todaysmeet, blogging, mobile apps, copyright-friendly image searches, multimedia production…)


Here are a few hints about how to edit the presentation:

Video Modeling

Don’t You Forget About Me . . .

This morning’s Breakfast Club was a really nice way to spend the morning. I want to capture some of the questions here . . . the plan is to answer the still relevant ones in time:

  • When will the gmail switch be completed?
  • Will we have to transfer address books from Gwise to Gmail?
  • Will our folders transfer?
  • Should I forward my mail to gmail?
  • What’s the timeline for mobile devices for staff?
  • What’s the next group for mobile devices at DAMS?
  • Can I use my cell phone on the wireless network?
  • What if a student brings a Kindle?
  • When will everything be in working order? 🙂 I don’t think I phrased that quite as it was asked.
  • Are we (DAMS) getting a mobile lab?
  • Which browser should we use? For Skyward? For GoogleApps?
  • Where’s Firefox?
  • How do I know if I have the updated version of Office?

Comment! Remind me of what I missed. Answers next week when things slow down a bit.

Good PBL is like…

This week, thirteen of your fellow colleagues from 1st to 12th grade teachers dug into Project Based Learning.  PBL represents best practices of practically everything we know about teaching and learning.  While difficult to capture in a few words, in Project Based Learning, students go through an extended process of inquiry in response to a complex question, problem, or challenge.  The project is the “main course” instead of the “dessert”

Without exception, they created fantastic plans for using PBL in their classrooms.
Here’s a sneak peek of their driving questions:

  • How can you make something out of recycled items?
  • What edible plants can we grow in the WES garden?
  • What are the demographics of DeForest Area Middle School extracurricular activities?  Why?
  • How can I enhance or introduce a customer loyalty program and/or additional customer service for my company?
  • How can you create a thriving restaurant business that is supported by a strong advertising campaign?
  • Which plant grows best in our classroom?
  • How can you organize your island society to best ensure the long term survival of the group?
  • What needs to get done to attend the tech school or college of my choice?
  • How does what happens on the border in Arizona affect us in WI?
  • How would you go about creating an authentic Latin American restaurant in Madison?
  • How is being different from a friend a good thing?
  • What makes the best pet for children?

Over the course of the coming year, they’ll be trying out this new way of teaching and learning.  Stay tuned.  It will be a great journey!

Tuesday Tech Tip–Passwords

The last tip of the year will help you prepare for next year… creating and remembering a strong password.  Generally, when we create passwords, we sacrifice complexity (and security) for a memorable password.  Here are a few ideas for remembering that strong, complicated password.

New network passwords must meet this criteria:

  • At least 6 characters
  • Can’t contain two consecutive characters from your name or username
  • Must contain three of these four categories:
    • Uppercase letter
    • Lowercase letter
    • Digit (0-9)
    • Non-alphabetic character (for example, !, $, #, %)

You can try something like this:

1.  Think of your favorite food, childhood pet, phrase from a movie, etc.  I’ll use “raspberry”
2.  Consider which letters could be substituted for symbols:
a = @, e = 3, i = !, y = >-, s = 5 or $
3.  Capitalize one or more letters and you’re done!

Some examples: R@spB3rrZ, ra$pIBerry, I<3beRez!

Here are some tips from Google about creating a strong password.

Run your password through a password-checker.

  • Sign into your GoogleApps account.
  • Click on your name in the upper right hand corner and choose Account Settings.
  • At the top you’ll see “Changing your password
  • Try your new password to see how strong Google rates it.  If you’re in the green, you’re good to go!