What happens when a student misses a day of class when the teacher gave an important set of notes? Well, maybe the teacher gives the student a copy to go over, but it is not quite the same as hearing the teacher explain and clarify student questions. Now, using Podcast Producer, a Mac OS X Server software now available in our school district, teachers such as junior high science teacher Mr. Frank DuRoss (pictured below in his classroom) can record their presentation of the notes and post them online for students and parents to view. The result can be either a video file of the teacher instructing, an audio recording of their lecture, or a screencast that shows exactly what was on the teacher's computer screen, along with an audio recording of what was said during the class. The Podcast Producer software, Podcast Capture, which is part of the Mac OS X Leopard operating system makes this task simple, intuitive, and easy for all teachers to use. Mr. DuRoss has been using this software to post podcasts to his 7th Grade Science blog and Living Environment blog. Whenever he is presenting notes via PowerPoint, Mr. DuRoss records the session using Podcast Capture's screencast tool and then uploads it to the blogs. He also posts regular updates regarding what has been going on in class, upcoming projects and assignments, and even some videos regarding how to use PowerPoint. Students can view the podcasts by going to the website or by subscribing to the podcasts through the iTunes software. The 7th Grade Science Podcast and Living Environment Podcast can even be found on the iTunes Store. If a student subscribes, they will receive automatic updates whenever new material is posted. They can even download the podcasts to their iPod to watch on the go! Parents also enjoy the podcasts so that they can be up to date on what is going on in class, and help their children study. "It really helped me study for tests" said one of Mr. DuRoss' 7th grade science students, "my parents love it." Beyond teachers recording lessons, there is also plans to post student work using Podcast Producer too. For now, other teachers interested in learning more about Podcast Producer should contact the IT staff to get set up with an account & training on using the software in the near future to record their classes as well!

 
   
 
 

As you probably already know, the ability to create & use PDFs is built right into the Mac OS X operating system. They are a big part of the Mac OS X workflow which makes it easy for sharing & viewing documents regardless of computer platform or program that was used to create the documents. To help you get more out of PDFs you create, here are few tricks that can make them even easier to share & edit using Mac OS X Leopard's built-in graphics viewing program, Preview!

CREATING EMAIL AND WEB-FRIENDLY PDFs
Sometimes when you generate a PDF document from within some Mac OS X programs such as Pages and you've used a lot of images in that document & want to distribute the PDF electronically (either via email or the web), you will be a bit shocked to see that the PDF generated is quite large. Sometimes it is even too large to send over email or the web! Fortunately, there's a way to reduce the size of these PDFs using Preview. To generate a PDF file optimized for email or the web, follow these steps:

  1. Open the large PDF you want to make email & web-friendly in Preview.
  2. Once the file is open, choose File > Save As... In the Save window that appears, change the Quartz Filter drop-down menu to Reduce File Size, (see cirled area in diagram below).

  1. Click the Save button at the bottom of the window & your new, much smaller PDF will be created...ready to easily attach to an email or post on the web!

DELETE OR REARRANGE PDF PAGES
When you open a multipage PDF in Preview, you may find that you want to delete extraneous pages or change the order of pages in that document. Using Preview in Mac OS X Leopard, you can do this easily by following these steps:

  1. Display the Sidebar using its toolbar button OR by pressing Command-shift-D if it’s not visible.
  2. To delete a page, just select it from the Sidebar and press Command-delete or choose Edit > Delete Selected Page. (To choose more than one page at a time, just click on them while holding down the Apple key to select them!)
  3. To move a page, select it in the Sidebar and drag it to the desired location. A red line will appear at the new location where the page will be moved to, (see diagram below.)

  1. You can even add blank pages if you want! Just select the page after which you want to add a blank page, and then choose Edit > Insert Blank Page.

MERGE PDFs
What if you have two PDFs, and you’d like to make a single document or move pages from one file to another? With the Leopard version of Preview, you can now do this too! Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Open both PDFs and make sure the Sidebar is visible in both documents.
  2. Drag a page from one document’s Sidebar to another, and drop it in the appropriate location.
  3. To add an entire document, you can drag the file’s proxy icon (the icon in the title bar) to any location in the other document’s Sidebar to merge them!
 

Annenberg Media, who's web presence can be found online at learner.org, is a part of the Annenberg Foundation. Established in 1989 by Walter H. Annenberg, long-time Editor & Publisher of The Philadelphia Inquirer, creator of Seventeen magazine for girls, as well as the TV Guide, the Annenberg Foundation provides funding & support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. With one of its major program initiatives being education and youth development, Annenberg Media aims to advance excellent teaching by funding and distributing multimedia educational resources (video, print, and web-based) to improve teaching methods and subject-matter expertise. Annenberg Media does this primarily by delivering its massive media collection for free via the web. The collection, which include interactive activities, downloadable guides, and resources coordinate with Annenberg Media's video series, and receive more than 10 million visits per month from teachers and learners worldwide!

While much of the content on learner.org is geared towards teacher professional development, there are a number of resources that teachers can use in the classroom with students or that students can enjoy at home. Among these excellent resources are the Interactive Activities which provide educators with strategies, content, and activities that can enhance and improve students' skills in a variety of curricular areas. Students and teachers alike may also enjoy exploring one of several online exhibits that are an interactive extension of Annenberg Media's video resources. One such resource is Journey North, which engages students in a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change. Finally, classrooms can also benefit from new ideas for learning in the Teachers' Lab, with its goal providing educators with activities designed to give deeper understanding of commonly taught math & science concepts. With so many wonderful resources for the classroom teacher, Annenberg Media's learner.org is worth a look to see what can be used in your classroom. Check out the site today to learn more or for even quicker access to some of the key areas of the site, just use some of the QuickLinks above!

 
   
 
IN THIS ISSUE
Podcasting Life Science
PDF Tricks in Preview
Learner.org
 
 
QUICK LINKS
Learner.org
Interactive Activities
Learner.org
Teachers' Lab
Learner.org
Journey North
Learner.org
Main Home Page
 
 
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Send us your info.

 
 
WANT TO LEARN MORE?

Eager to learn about new ways to use Mac OS X even better? Come to our monthly OS X "Talk, Tips & Tricks" session. Find out more.

 
 
SHARE THE NEWS
Know teachers who would like to read the New Hartford Tech Spotlight but aren't receiving it by email? Send them to the online version of the New Hartford Tech Spotlight to read about the latest technology happenings in New Hartford Schools.
UPCOMING TRAINING  

Below are select technology courses to be offered by the Teacher Center this month. To learn more, log onto My Learning Plan then click the links below for more details about each class and/or to sign up right now online!

Monday, November 3
Mac OS X "Tech Talk, Tips, and Tricks" - November 2008

Tuesday, November 4
Digitally Organized Followup - Groupwise Email

Tuesday, November 18
School Year Digital Scrapbook

Thursday, November 20
Your Classroom Webpage

iCal Users
Download November Events

MISSED AN ISSUE?
All the great issues of the New Hartford Tech Spotlight are now available online. Just go here to view the Past Issue Archives and find the issue you missed! Enjoy!
 
SOFTWARE SIDEBAR

Have you ever needed to do a task over and over again in Mac OS X and wish there was a way the computer could do it for you? If so, you are in luck because Mac OS X comes with Automator, an application designed to take care of these repetitive often time-consuming tasks. Some tasks that are perfect for Automator might include those such as renaming a large group of files, resizing & converting photo file formats, or automatically creating a bunch of iCal events. The nicest thing about using Automator as well is that you don't need to know any kind of programming! The application works by allowing you to drag and drop commands into its interface to create what is called a workflow. After that, you just run the workflow and let it go to work. The next time you have a job on your hands that looks like a robot could do it, look no further than Otto, the icon of Mac OS X Automator, to see if he can help save you time and energy with a !
NEED COMPUTER HELP?
Do you have a computer or printer not working in your classroom? If so, you need to fill out a ticket on New Hartford's Web Help Desk, the district's tech repair reporting system. Once you go to the website, simply enter your OS X name and password to sign into the system.

After signing on, you can report problems, view FAQs about common tech problems in the district, even track the status of your repair request! Go to the site and tech help will heading your way soon!
TOP TEN THIS MONTH

Here are ten simple things educators can do on the web this month. Perhaps these can be springboards for a lesson or even some new "lifelong learning" for you, they are all keeping in tune with Thanksgiving and building an Attitude of Gratitude! Take a look and see what you can pick up & share with your students!

  1. Get to know your turkey*
  2. Learn how to draw a turkey
  3. Choose Your Celebrity Substitute Educator while you cook your turkey!
  4. Discover top 20 Thanksgiving Desserts
  5. Help create a feast for another human being (UN World Hunger Program)
  6. Print a Thanksgiving worksheet to use in your classroom
  7. Discover 5 ways to cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude
  8. Send an online thank you card to someone today
  9. How to say Thank You in over 465 languages!
  10. Go on a Thanksgiving WebQuest
CAMPUS CORNER


Want to learn something quick & easy about Infinite Campus? Check out this monthly video tip to see what you can pick up to help you can get more out of Infinite Campus today!

 
 
Copyright 2008, New Hartford Central Schools, New Hartford, NY 13413
The New Hartford Tech Spotlight is a monthly informational e-mail newsletter published for all faculty and staff
of the New Hartford Central School District by Mike Amante, Jim Dieso, & Kathy Donovan.
If you wish to contribute to or inquire about the newsletter, please do so here.