Sunday, December 26, 2010

IXL Math

If you've ever spent time with me, you know that I LOVE math! I love anything that has to do with logic and figuring things out. I am also really good at being distracted (Squirrel!) and came across this website while checking out ideas for my new Cricut Cake. IXL Math currently has math practice sets for grades PreK-8 with advanced topics coming soon. You are able to do 20 practice problems for free each day and a membership is pretty reasonable at $9.95/month or $79/year for families. I love the fact that the skills are tested in the form of word problems (my favorite!). Skills can also be connected to state standards.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Inserting a document in OnCourse

Steps to insert a document into your website with OnCourse:

1. Click the Pencil (edit section) to open the section for editing
2. Type the text for viewers to click on
3. Highlight the text
4. Click the Globe w/chain
5. Choose Other under Protocol
6. Click Browse Server- takes you to your uploaded documents
7. Choose Document
8. Click OK
9. Save & Close
That's it!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Just Need to Make One Little Change to this PDF

How many times have you encountered a PDF from your past that all you need to do is make one little change, and it would be ready for your current needs? Well, look no further, PDF to Word is a pdf converter that is... wait for it... FREE!!! All you have to do is upload your file, whether you'd like a Word document or RTF, and enter the email where you'd like the converted file to be delivered. That's it! Did I mention that it's free? Hooray!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Journal of Course Experiences- Dreamweaver CS3, Day 1

I’ve just finished reading the opening chapter of the text. I’m pretty excited to be starting another class towards my +30 (after this course, I’ll be at +12!). The chapter offered a flashback to HTML (I loved BBEdit), and an explanation of new web authoring technologies that I’ve fallen behind on.

XHTML- eXtensible HTML has taken the place of HTML. It is very similar, but has a stricter format (yay!) and follows SML syntax rules.

Roundtrip XHTML- permits the author to easily move between DW and another text editor with little to no change to the code.

- requires all opening tags to have a closing tag
- all element and attribute tags are in lower case
- attribute values must be contained within quotes
- empty tags should be written with a space and a slash at the end of the tag (to close)

- more structured than HTML, which allows one document to be viewed on multiple devices (browsers, cell phones, PDAs, etc) by creating different style sheets for each device.

XHTML is HTML reformatted using the syntax of XML

File naming
- no spaces
- avoid capital letters (will need to remember to use a capital letter if linking to the page)
- avoid illegal characters

CSS- Cascading Style Sheets
- used to separate the presentation of a page from its structure

Presentation- how a page looks
Structure- the meaning of the page’s content

Dreamweaver uses CS3 by default for setting page properties (background color, image, default text colors, page margins, etc.)

XML- system for customizing web content that must follow a set of specific syntax rules

DHTML- a collection of different technologies including any combination of XHTML, JavaScript, CSS, and the DOM (document object model). Combining these technologies allows the author to create more dynamic content than basic HTML
- has serious cross-platform issues, because the behind the scenes code is supported differently between browsers.
JavaScript- commonly used for creating rollovers, resizing browser windows, and checking for browser compatibility; can be access through the behaviors panel

Web Application0 web site that delivers dynamic data instead of static data that has to be updated manually (i.e. Amazon, eBay) aka- data-driven, database-driven and dynamic sites

Extending Dreamweaver
Objects, commands and behaviors are widely shared throughout the Dreamweaver community.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Journal of Course Experiences- I'm Done!

I've completed all the requirements for the course! I'm just reviewing the syllabus and checking it three times to be thorough. I learned some great things about Access and look forward to working through the rest of the text on my own time- hopefully it won't be a year from now. Hooray!

Microsoft Access Lesson Plan- Teachers

AS: How do you currently keep track of information for a class trip?

Objectives: Teachers will use Microsoft Access to create a database to track payments, permission slips and chaperones for a grade level class trip

Subject: Technology, Databases


Your Grade Level/Subject Area Team is planning a field trip to culminate a unit of study. The planning will involve collecting multiple payments, permission slips, and securing chaperones for the trip. Typically you would keep handwritten records of the progress, but this time you will make the leap and use the technology available on your district-issued laptop.

Creating the database:
Teachers will launch Microsoft Access from the Start Menu
Teachers will name their database so it can be easily identified
Teachers will protect their database by assigning it a password
Teachers will start by creating a table for the students that will be going on the field trip
Teachers will define fields, then create and save a table from the Design View
First Name, Last Name, Address, HomePhone, StudentCell, Parent1, ParentCell1, Parent2, Parent Cell2, Emergency Contact, EmergencyPhone
Teachers will enter student data into the table

Adding a new table:
Teachers will also create the following tables:
Class/Section (for individual classes)
Permission Slip
Teachers will enter the appropriate data into each table

Updating the database:
Teachers will open the field trip database to update data as necessary

Querying the database:
Teachers will create a query to view the payments made by students in each class or section
Teachers will create a query to view the students that have not yet returned a permission slip
Teachers will run a parameter query on the database to view information for a specific student
Teachers will use calculations to determine the total paid by each student
Teachers will use the Totals row to determine the total paid by all students

Creating a report:
Teachers will create a report of the students that still need to return a permission slip or payment for the trip


Vocabulary: Database, record, field, table, query, report, calculation, totals, aggregate function

Materials: Microsoft Access, collected permission slips and payments

Evaluation: Teacher Observation

NETS Standards:
3. Model Digital-Age Work and Learning
Teachers exhibit knowledge, skills, and work processes representative of an innovative professional in a global and digital society. Teachers:
a. demonstrate fluency in technology systems and the transfer of current knowledge to new technologies and situations.
b. collaborate with students, peers, parents, and community members using digital tools and resources to support student success and innovation.
d. model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning.
5. Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership
Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources. Teachers:
a. participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning.
b. exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others.
d. contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching profession and of their school and community.

Microsoft Access Lesson Plan- Students

AS: How can we track your Type to Learn 3 progress?

Objectives: Students will use Microsoft Access to create a database to track their weekly keyboarding progress

Subject: Technology, Databases


Creating the database:
Students will launch Microsoft Access from the Start Menu
Students will name their database so it can be easily identified as their own
Students will protect their database by assigning it a password
Students will define Date, Lesson, Homework, Accuracy, and WPM fields, then create and save a table from the Design View
Students will enter their current keyboarding data into their progress table

Adding a new table:
After the first Type to Learn Assessment, students will create a new database called TTL-A Results
Students will include the following fields in TTL-A Results:
Students will enter their current assessment results into this table

Updating the database:
Students will open their Keyboarding Progress database to update their weekly progress table
Students will update their assessment results monthly


Differentiation: Analyzing the database:
Students will export the data from the progress table and/or their assessment results table into Excel
Students will create a graph of their keyboarding lesson progress, homework completion and assessment results over time

Vocabulary: Database, record, field, query

Materials: Microsoft Access, handwritten keyboarding progress, assessment results

Evaluation: Teacher Observation


TEC.K-4.8.1 - All students will use computer applications to gather and organize information and to solve problems.
TEC.K- A - Basic Computer Tools and Skills
TEC.K- A.1 - Use basic technology vocabulary.
TEC.K- A.3 - Input and access text and data, using appropriate keyboarding techniques or other input devices.
TEC.K- A.5 - Produce and interpret a simple graph or chart by entering and editing data on a prepared spreadsheet template.
TEC.K- A.7 - Create and maintain files and folders.
TEC.K- A.9 - Use basic computer icons.
TEC.K- B - Application of Productivity Tools
TEC.K-4. - Social Aspects
TEC.K- B.2.d - Personal security and safety issues
TEC.K-4. - Information Access and Research
TEC.K- B.7 - Locate specific information by searching a database.
TEC.K- B.8 - Recognize accuracy and/or bias of information.
TEC.K-4. - Problem Solving
TEC.K- B.9 - Solve problems individually and/or collaboratively using computer applications.

Journal of Course Experiences- Database Project

I intend to use Access to manage my cheerleading program. We collect a TON of paperwork each season for each participant. We need to keep track of the paperwork collected, plus be able to access the contact information, plus other information gathered at any given time. I have been tracking all this information with Excel, while effective, I know in the back of my mind, is not most efficient.

The hardest part of creating a database is deciding how it should be structured. What tables do you need to hold information? How can or will the tables be related?

Of course, I am discovering that I am my greatest distraction in getting this assignment done. It was challenging to come up with a third table for the assignment, and now that I have, I'm making queries, and attempting calculations.

I am quickly realizing that a database is a work in progress and constantly evolving.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Journal of Course Experiences- Project 2

I'm working like crazy to complete this course by my district's deadline for reimbursement. Back to work, with hopefully no distractions. Must...finish...this...weekend...

Omitting Duplicates
Display the query's property sheet to omit duplicates. With no fields selected, click the Properties button in the toolbar. Choose Yes from the Unique Values property.

Parameter Query
A parameter query prompts the user for input whenever it is run, rather than specifying a criterion within the query design.

- Clear all criteria from the query design
- Type a value within brackets in the Criteria field, making sure that it does not match the name fields in the table. Using the same name as another field in the table will not prompt the user for input.

Top-Values Query
Allows the user the show only a specified number of records rather than all records in a query.

- Click Top Values box on toolbar
- Specify number or percentage of records to show

Calculations are not just for Excel! They can be performed in Access queries as well. A calculated field is used to calculate values from other fields.

- Enter a name for the calculated field followed by a colon, then the expression in one of the columns in the Field row
- Use the Zoom... command to view the entire expression
- Use brackets around each field name

Calculating Statistics
Statistics in Access are functions like COUNT, SUM, AVG, MAX, MIN, STDEV, VAR, FIRST, and LAST. They are considered aggregate functions, a function that performs some mathematical function against a group of records.

- Include the Total row in the design grid by clicking the Totals button (Sigma) on the toolbar
- Choose the desired statistic from the drop down menu

Crosstab Queries
Crosstab queries are used for summarizing data by calculating a statistic for data that is grouped by two different types of information.

- Choose Crosstab Query Wizard from New Query dialog box
- Select field for row headings
- Select field for column headings
- Select Statistic for calculations
- Run the

Joining tables is used to find records in two tables that have identical values in matching fields. With one of the tables you'd like to include in the query, click the new object button and choose query. Open the new query in design view. Add another table to the query by clicking the show table button, and choose another table from the dialog box. Expand all the fields to view everything. When both tables are in the work space, you can see the line joining the tables at the matching fields.

Drag the desired fields into the grid. Run the query. Results will show records in which the matching field appears in both tables. Records that do not match the query do not show up.

The join property are properties that indicate which records appear in a join; right click the join line and choose properties to change.

If you don't want to include all the possible records in a query, include criteria.

Calculations can be performed in queries. Simple calculations can be made, plus there is an expression builder available.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Thanks to Penny Iannella for sharing this fun site. Wordle is an online tool for making "word clouds" from text that you input. Simply click on the Create your own link to start...

You can create a word cloud by inputting your own text, importing from a URL, or entering a username

From Screen Captures

Use the menus at the top of the screen to customize your word cloud, or click on the randomize button for some real fun!

A wordle of Cedar Hill Tech Tips:
From Screen Captures

Here's a word cloud of my delicious tags:

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Journal of Course Experiences- Project 1

So I've just completed the assignments for Project 1 in MS Access- Exploring Databases. Access is a database management system, which allows you to "create a database; add, change, and delete data in the database; sort the data in the database; retrieve data in the database; and create forms and reports using the data in the database." (Shelly Cashman).

I've created several simple databases from the design view and entered data for each. The assignments covered creating forms, running queries and designing reports. I think I have a pretty solid handle on the basics and am ready to take on more.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Journal of Course Experiences

I've enrolled in my third Fresno Pacific course last week to earn my +30 credits towards advancing on the salary guide. The jury is still out on how thrilled I am with the format of the courses at this point. It seems like the philosophy of "online learning" at Fresno is more like independent study. Don't get me wrong, Fresno Pacific Professional Development courses are an excellent alternative to enrolling in a degree program. I am about to begin MS Access- Exploring Databases with a new set of instructors. One of the requirements, which I think I'm grateful for is keeping a Journal of Course Experiences while completing the assignments. I love (rolling eyes of sarcasm) keeping journals, but I guess it is better than having to submit a response online (which my husband is a huge fan of). Anyway, here it is, day 1 of course experiences. I am surprised that my assignments are not required to be turned in as they are completed, but all at once on a CD for evaluation. I have until June 15 to complete the course, and I hope that I can stay motivated enough to do so. My last two courses have taken me almost a year each. Wish me luck!

p.s.- I'm also not sure that I'll keep this Journal on my Tech Tips blog, but the thought of maintaining another one is daunting!