December 31, 2007
Until this time, I have only been able to make reference to and suggest software resources that are available to teachers. Now, I am able to personally offer a software program for use in the classroom.
Previously I wrote about monitoring a computer lab using VNC. This free PC/windows program which lets a teacher observe many computers has its limitations. Having a background in computer programming, I finally decided to write my own.
So, after spending most of my holiday vacation working… I am excited and happy to present:
The VNC ThumbnailViewer
Enjoy the rest of your vacation.
Happy New Year!
December 3, 2007
While trying to find the perfect gift for a digital photographer, I stumbled upon EyeFi.
I don’t think the website does a good job of showing it’s potential. Instead, I got hooked by the Today Show segment.
This could be a really easy way to post pictures of your classes. Have a “classroom camera” with an eyefi sd card to automatically upload pictures to a classroom blog.
As a technology teacher, a lot of what I do in the classroom is interesting to look at. I may try this next year.
November 28, 2007
While setting up a new project for the Graphic Communication Technologies class, the school’s (only remaining) Thermal Imager broke. A call to the manufacturer’s support line confirmed that nobody knows what a “thermal copier” is any more.
No manufacturers make Thermofaxes or Vistafaxes anymore, and schools/companies have long ago thrown out the outdated machines. I need one for my classes’ screen printing projects – it makes use of the machine for a different purpose than it was intended for. I have set up a page about recreating/fixing/making a Thermal Copier.
Anyone doing Screen Printing (or even Tattoo artists) might be interested as well. Tattoo artists are another niche industry which has found an alternative use for these machines.
June 19, 2007
To teach Printing Technologies I’m going to try a screen printing project. I think students would enjoy doing silk screen printing. Students would design and print their own t-shirts/bags/etc. (One possible alternative project would be producing a stamp as a form of printing.)
The Thermal Screen Printing Process can greatly simplify the screen making process:
A special kind of screen is used. Instead of stretching silk on a frame, spreading light-sensitive emulsion, drying, and exposing; all you have to do is get a laser print out of the design and run it through a thermal copier with the special screen.
May 14, 2007
I remember using the (old) DigLog digital logic simulator to construct digital circuits. The feature that made this program so fun was “glow mode“. I want to let my Digital Electronics classes experience digital simulation.
Norman Hedrick at the University of Hamburg wrote a program similar to DigLog. The program is java-based, so it can run on Windows / Mac OS X / Linux. Even better, the program doesn’t need to be installed, it can be run from it’s webpage.
I recommend you check out:
The Hades Editor
April 16, 2007
I am bringing my students to the computer lab for 3 weeks starting today. Usually they are self-motivated to use the computers to do the lab work. To be able to observe and assess how students are doing, I want to see ALL of their screens at the same time (every teachers dream).
The school has already installed VNC software on all of the student computers. This allows a teacher to observe one computer at a time, and even take control when the student is having difficulty with something.
For Mac’s, on OS X there is an AWESOME piece of software called Remote Desktop. ARD presents the teacher with a thumbnail view of each computer’s screen. When a student needs help, the teacher can switch to a full-size view of a single screen and then move the student’s pointer to assist.
I was able to find a windows program that can do some of this, called VNCon. It has it’s limitations, and hasn’t been updated since 2004.
I recommend checking out this software:
March 1, 2007
In the Graphic Communication Technologies class, students us a class set of digital cameras. We have 10 Canon Powershot A510/A520/A530/A560 cameras. This is a decent budget friendly point-and-shoot camera series. Someone discovered the cameras’ firmware is hiding some of the better features reserved for higher-ticket cameras. But not anymore..
Currently, the cameras already do everything my students need them for. The feature of CHDK hacking that interests me is the Splash Screen Branding. I would like to change the start-up screen on the cameras to show that it belongs to the school.