Introducing the VncThumbnailViewer

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:

Vnc Thumbnail Viewer
The VNC ThumbnailViewer

    Enjoy the rest of your vacation.

    Happy New Year!


    EyeFi & the Online Classroom

    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.

      Digital Logic Simulation – Hades

      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.

      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

      Computer Lab Monitoring

      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:

      Canon Powershot Cameras

      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.

      Splash Screen

      Blogging with Qumana

      October 18, 2006

      I use a laptop as my main computer because I need to be able to work wherever I am.  I don’t always have a live internet connection, so I need an offline blog editor to be able to blog at any time.  I am using Qumana.

      I looked at several other options, and tried two:

      Qumana did what I wanted it to, and it is free!  I’m especially happy with Qumana because it’s a cross platform java application, so I can recommend it as a Teacher’s Resource.

      There were a few others that looked possible, but until I’ve been at this for long enough, I don’t know what I need/want.  Perhaps I’ll revisit one of these professional (pay) options:

      Why WordPress

      September 2, 2006

      Why I chose to use

      The Usual Features:

      • Comments
      • Categories
      • Trackbacks
      • RSS
      • Moderation
      • Image Uploading

      The Specific Details:

      • Search – If this is to become a running log of my ideas, I need the ability to search it.
      • Non-Blog Pages – I don’t want to have more than one location on the web to maintain, so I need the ability to present non-journal content.
      • Comment Notification – It would be nice to respond to visitors comments (in a timely manner).
      • Captchas – I would have liked to have this feature to (more) safely allow anonymous commenting.
      • File Upload – I will only be able to upload limited files.