Friday, December 21, 2012

Weekend Update...and Happy Christmas Break!

First.... the Weekend Update...

Good Luck tonight to the Elks and the Lady Elks as they travel to Castlewood for Double Header Basketball action!

In other news, the word did not end today!  Hooray!

Probably visit some family over Christmas, but only be gone for a day or two.

Students will turn in computers today, and I will be back at work over break, installing windows updates, and iTester on all the computers.

And last, but not least, before the Christmas Break starts today, I hope everyone has a Great and Fantastic Christmas, and a safe and solid New Year!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Happy Birthday Marcus!

Happy Birthday today, to my brand new 10 year old!

Hope you have a great day buddy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Documentary Films!

This week... a link to a page that has a list of a number of free Documentaries for streaming.

Films on all kinds of topics...the financial crisis, the environment, what we eat... all kinds of things are on there.

The "Wall of Films" site has over 400 documentaries to choose from.
Note:  I would "preview" each film before I decided to show it, or a snippet of it in the classroom... as they are documentaries, and they aren't "edited" for school use.

I've seen a couple of these films, both Food Inc, and Food Matters, and they were both very interesting.

Another note:  As a documentary.... many times the film makers are setting out to "prove a point" and they are politically biased one way or another  (not necessarily on party lines...but more on "issues").  Please keep this in mind as you "preview" each film.... you don't want to be accused of spreading propaganda (one way or another).

Just another resource for you, hope school is going well.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Weekend Update! and the Friday Video

Congratulations to the Lady Elks for pulling out their first win of the season last night at Colman!  They had to overcome a 4th quarter deficit, and go to overtime, but they were able to persevere and come out with a victory.

Best of Luck to Coaches Erickson, Luenig, and the Elks Boys basketball team as they travel to Colman tonight, to take on the C-E Hawks, in their season opener.

Weekend plans:

JV Basketball tournament in Lake Preston tomorrow.  Lady Elks first game is at 10 am against Duebrook.

Other than that.... not much going on this weekend.

Today's Friday Video... enjoy Men Without Hats

Also... if you're in the mood, thought you may enjoy this "breakdown" of this video from, it's quite hilarious.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Head East Young Man!

I'll be going to Lake Benton, MN today, to work on their technology issues.

Can't wait until next summer, since we are all moved in now, when I can load up the kids and go visit Lake Benton for recreation!

Have a good day everyone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Award for Zenner!

Zach Zenner named All-American.

1 of only 2 sophomores on the AA team.

Run, Zach! Run!

Tuesday Technology Tidbits

Nothing too substantial in today's edition.

Has anyone else out there used the Google Play store?

I suppose people with Android phones have, but that's probably it.  Well, the "Play Store" is like Google's iTunes... you can buy music, books, magazines, movies, apps, etc, etc... from the google play store.

If you have iTunes, and you're happy with it, that's fine.  Just throwing the Google Play store out there.  I've recently bought some music off of there ( I usually buy music on Amazon), and it seems to work just fine.  Haven't ordered a movie yet, but probably something I should try.

First Girls Basketball game tonight!  Assistant Coach Harming is excited to coach his first game with this team.

Some Inspiration for the Lady Elks....

Fun Fact:  19 years ago I began my coaching career as the assistant Girls Basketball coach for Elkton High School.  (In fact, Cassidy Gebhart was born during that season... I ran practice that day because Coach Gebhart was at the hospital.)  And all this time later, I'm right back where I started... life is strange and wonderful.

Not much else to report on.  Tough weekend of football in the Harming Household.   The Jackrabbits lost to the Bison, the Chargers managed to snatch defeat from the hands of victory yet again (which is so common now, it's pretty much the expectation).  The only solace to be found was on the bb court, where the Jackrabbit Men and Women's teams each had nice victories on Saturday night.

I'll leave you with this picture someone posted on Google Plus.  Just thought it was a cool picture.

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Go State! Go State!

(I took this title from the "Pride of the Dakotas" marching band, who used to chant "Go State! Go State!" before their performances)

(although I know this doesn't make alot of sense, because this week the Jackrabbits take on the North Dakota State Bison... they are also State, but I digress)

Did you hear that there's a football game this weekend?

Well, that's my weekend update.  Jackrabbits.  Bison.  I'm watching.  

That's it.  

NDSU Round 2 Preview from South Dakota State Football on Vimeo.

Really looking forward to the game tomorrow.  Two very good, solid football teams, with a rivalry built on mutual respect, facing off in the playoffs.

The only thing wrong with it, is why are these two teams playing each other in round 2?  The selection committee really kind of shot themselves in the foot.  Particularly if this game is another knockdown, drag em out, hit you in the face, one possession game... and then the Bison (or Jacks, but more realistically, the Bison...they are #1 for a reason)... run through the rest of the playoff field without being challenged.

No matter the result, I'm very proud to call myself a fan of this particular Jackrabbits team.  They have been very fun to watch, and really epitomize the "team" aspect of football, especially on the defensive side.  No real stars on this defense, and yet they are a top ten unit in the nation.

I hope Brock Jensen looks like this Tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reminder: America's Game is Dec. 8th!

That's right, the 113th ARMY-NAVY game!

If you have a chance... you should check it out.

You'll never forget it.  It's just an amazing game to watch.

Ain't it the truth!

Just a funny example of the times that we live in.

Hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


We're talking about Playoffs!

Go Big.

Go Blue.

Go Jacks!

Halftime Highlight from South Dakota State Football on Vimeo.

Tablets and Chromebooks

Interested in doing a little Christmas shopping?  For others in your house, or perhaps yourself?

Getting around to Robbins question... concerning tablets.

I'll come right out and say it, I don't own a tablet, so I'm not an expert on them by any means whatsoever.

However, here is a review from Cnet, which was updated last week, with their "Top 5" Tablets.  iPad is at the top of the list, of course.  But, I don't think Microsoft's surface was considered in this ranking.

Personally, it really comes down to personal preference.  Do you have an iPod?  Do like games, and free Apps?  Do you have a vast and expansive library of things on your iTunes account?  Does using an Apple make you feel superior?  Then you should get an iPad.

Do you want to use it to watch movies on long car rides, and listen to music to?  You should look into the Kindle Fire HD.

It really does depend on what you want it for?  If you are someone like me who is going to use it to check their e-mail and browse the web, the Google Nexus 7 is a fantastic product, at less than half the price of an iPad.

I really like what I've seen and read about the Microsoft surface... looks like a quality competitor to an iPad, but they need to come down in price.

My advice is to Read this article, and make your selection from there.  Lots to consider.

Another thought while you are out there shopping.... ever think of a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are Google's version of the laptop.  And basically, all they are is the chrome browser.  Everything you do in the computer (in theory) is done on the web.  Want to write a paper... do it in google docs.  Want to work with pictures.... Picasa is Google's picture hosting and picture editing software.  Basically everything you would do on a normal computer, you do on a chromebook, but it's done online.

They use a solid state drive, so there is no "hard drive".  No moving parts!  Because of this, it runs cooler, faster, and uses much less battery.  Google claims it will run for 8 hours on one charge.

Did I mention it was fast?  Google claims that you can boot it up the first time, and be online in less than five minutes.... and once the computer is set up... you can go from powered down and off, to working online in less than 30 seconds.

Google also makes many other numerous claims regarding their chromebooks... such as there is no need to run updates at any time... because it does it automatically.  The Chromebook automatically downloads and implements all updates every single time it shuts down.

I actually think they would be a phenomenal classroom tool for the classroom.  Having our students use the Chromebooks instead of the netbooks we use now.  Here is an article on chromebooks being used successfully in education.

With the price of the "High End" chromebook at $250, and the "lower end" chromebook at $200, this type of computing needs to not only be considered, but looked at and researched closely.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Run Rabbits!

This past weekend, I was fortunate enough to be able attend South Dakota State University's first ever home playoff Football game.

The Jackrabbits hosted the Eastern Illinois Panthers in first round FCS football action at Coughlin Alumni Stadium in Brookings, SD.

Despite reading comments from the Panthers that the Jackrabbits, "Didn't do anything special".  And that, "We've faced good running backs before."  And how they had heard that SDSU "keeps the grass a foot long, to slow down the game".

The Jackrabbits had little trouble with the Ohio Valley Conference Champions, winning 58-10.  Sophomore running back Zach Zenner, broke the school's single game rushing record with 295 total yards and 3 touchdowns, and basically took the 4th quarter off.  In fact, his backup, redshirt Freshman Reggie Gandy, also ran for 150 yards and had two touchdowns of his own.

Run, Zach! Run!
While it was fun watching the Rabbits dispatch a clearly outmatched foe, it only sets the table for this weekend's coming Rivalry Rematch!

SDSU will travel up to Fargo, ND to face the NDSU Bison for the second time this season.  Last time, the Bison were able to win the game 20-17 to capture the Missouri Valley Conference football championship.

This time?  Who knows?  The Bison are certainly a solid team, and play the same type of smart, hard nose football as the Jackrabbits.  While it's strange to comprehend how the selection committee could set up the top two teams in the top conference in the nation to meet in a second round matchup... I'm pretty sure that the Jackrabbits were not the team the Bison wanted to see right away, either.

Go Big. Go Blue. Go Jacks!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving Week!

Hope everyone has a Great Thanksgiving Week!
Technology Office is busy as ever... working on some of the following problems:
1.  Re-imaging all the computers on the laptop cart.
2.  Getting Mr. Farnham's Mac onto the domain server.
3.  Helping Mrs. Blake get her iPads to connect to iCloud.
4.  Install Type to Learn software at Roland Colony, (hopefully do that today).

In addition, I'm very excited to start Girls Basketball Practice today.  It will be a very interesting season for me.  I have not been an assistant basketball coach since 2001.  Also, starting out at a new school and getting to know new players and what they can do.  And, on top of all that... the Varsity girls team graduated 6 players from last year's team, so this year will be a whole different crew out there, from the past few years.

I actually think the team will surprise some people.  My daughter and I were able to join them for a couple team camps in Madison this past summer, and I didn't think they looked too bad at all.  Just a bit inexperienced.... people will need to grow into their roles, and become their own team.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Twitter account

The Elkton School District now has a Twitter account, for announcements, notices, and updates.

Sign up to follow, if you are interested!

Earworm Alert!

I have had this song stuck in my brain for a couple weeks!

So much so, that I actually went out and bought it yesterday...

It's a good song.

Enjoy Fastball's "The Way".

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tuesday Teacher Tidbits: Google+

I know last week, that I went over (very briefly) some ways that you can use social networking in your teaching and classrooms.

This week, I wanted to spend a bit more time on Google+, since this is the newest and most likely the least "familiar" social network for most people.

But first, a few announcements for the week.

1.  I will be traveling to Lake Benton tomorrow, November 14th.
2.  Today is the Girls Basketball meeting after school, to be followed by open gym.
3.  There will be another open gym on Thursday for Girls Basketball.
4.  Elkton Basketball Gear is for sale.  If you want an order form:  click here
5.  I will be travelling to Harrisburg on Friday, to attend a technology conference hosted by Apple.

And now, on to Google+

Simply put, and I mentioned this last week, Google+ is basically Google's answer to Facebook.

But, and it's a BIG BUT.... It's better.  Don't take my word for it.  Want a 3rd opinion?

First, the layout of the Google+ Page is similar to Facebook...but there are a few other things on there.

screen shot of my page
As you can see from this picture...  it's familiar.  You can do any of these things similar to facebook:

  • Post photos online (and create albums)
  • Post events (and invite people)
  • Edit/change your profile information
  • And of course....make posts to put out there, in which you can include pictures, links, and videos.
  • Determine which group you want to see and/or post to.  (Google+ calls these "circles")
However, if you look on the right side of the page... you see that Google+ has a "trending" feature, similar to what twitter has.  What these simply subject matter that is being discussed on Google plus in high volume.

So... How or Why is Google+ better?

Well... There are a number of ways.

First... within the Google+ "Chat" function.... there is an option to do video chat, which they call a "Hangout".

If you click on the "Start a hangout" button, you will be prompted to invite others to your hangout, and you can video chat with them over Google+.  (Very similar to Skype)

Another thing you can do with Google+, is find new and interesting information, articles, links, Photos, etc... that are recommended for you based on your "interests" (who and what you are 'following').  The link for this is located on the left side menu bar, and is titled "Explore".  If you click on "Explore" your Google+ page will load with a number of interesting articles and links.  (again, this will be 'personalized' for your experience...depending on what you follow, and/or post about).

A post from "Did you know"
A post on the Galaxy Nexus

The "Circle" function within Google+ is really neat and simple to do.  You are allowed to create and manage as many "circles" as you want.  And it is just so easy to use.  You simply select people from the "suggestions" at the top of the page, and drag them into your desired circle.  In addition, you can "search" for people, or businesses, or things of that nature...that you want to add to your circles.
Manage circles by simply "dragging" people into the circle.

Another Neat thing about Google+, is that since it is a Google product, it's integrated into google...  So if you do a google search for something, and you want to share the results of that search you can do it right from your Google page.

See the picture below, in which I did a simple search for "Girls Basketball Uniforms".  Notice that on the top right of the page.... there is an option to "Share" this information in Google+.  Really neat feature.... streamlines the need to copy and paste links to e-mail or things like that.

The last thing about Google+ that sets it apart from other social networks is the "Streamified" Ap.  To use "Streamified" you need to run the Chrome Web Browser (which is of course, Google's web browser).

Streamified is added to your chrome browser, through the chrome "Ap Store".  What Streamified does... is puts all your social media networks.... into your Google+ feed.  So there is no need to change websites, check facebook, look at twitter, log in to LinkedIn, and then go to Google+.  You can see them all, at the same time with Streamified.
See the "Streamified" Ap, in the top right of the browser?

See the two posts here... one from facebook, another twitter...right within the Google+ Stream
One thing I would add about "Streamified".  I would probably do this on my "personal" computer, and not for school work.  (You can have Streamified on your school machine, and still choose to see only the Google+ stream, though).  This way, when you are sitting at home and surfing the web, you can see all your social media in one place!

So How and/or Why should you use Google+?
-Well, after doing some research into Google+, and talking with people who use it.  I have found that it is mostly a "professional" type of social network.  I heard it explain this way:  " I do "family" stuff on Facebook, check the news on Twitter, and discuss and collaborate with colleagues on Google+".

To sign up for Google+, it's very simple... all you need is a Google Account (Which most staff members should have already).  And you can set up your Google+ account just by clicking on the +Name that is listed at the top left of your Google web page (if you are signed in).

Click on your Name+ in the top left, to log in to set up your google+ account.

Well, that was certainly a very long post.  I hope you found it informational, and maybe it "spurs" a few people to give Google+ a shot.  It's an excellent application, and something that can certainly be used in education...whether that be for Staff Development, collaboration, Parent Teacher Conferences (you could do a make-up over the Hangouts!), or just research (by following people and/or magazines, journals, etc... that are in your field).

Please let me know if you would like to set up a Google+ account, but are unsure how to get started, and I will be glad to help you "get your feet wet".

If you want... I'm including a short video here, kind of a simple "Users Guide".

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nov. 9th: Weekend Update!

Pretty Successful Week in the Tech Office!

I was able to get the computers at Roland Colony online, finally.  In addition, I was able to get one of the "wireless" projectors to work.

Had a few computers come in this week with memory/hard drive problems.  A few of these were sophomore computers... I had a school board member come in this morning with a computer that won't run, and Principal Neill's computer decided to quit working this week.  (This was not surprising, as two other staff members who had the same make and model (bought the same year) had their computers stop working as well.

So, I've been keeping busy.

Also, this week.... the state updated the Lightspeed filter, and I received new "credentials" to manage the system.  I know of one staff member who was having trouble with students getting on facebook during class, which should be blocked.  I did hear from the state yesterday, that the update was done, and that we should be up and running correctly now.  Please let me know if you have any other issues.

And now... the Weekend Update!

Big Sports Weekend for the SDSU Jackrabbits!

Tonight the Men's Basketball Team takes on the University of Alabama Crimson Tide at Alabama.  Should be a tough test for the team, in their first game of the season.  The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.

Tomorrow the SDSU Football Team takes on the #1 Ranked, and defending National Champion NDSU Bison in Fargo.  A very big game for the football team.  Both teams are tied for the lead in the Missouri Valley Football Conference, and the winning team will take a one game lead in the Conference, with one game to play.  Very likely that the Conference Championship will be decided on Saturday in the Fargodome.

Go Big.  Go Blue.  Go Jacks!

Sunday, I plan on watching the Chargers play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Tampa.  Could be a tough game for the Bolts, but I'll be watching.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Video: Nate Wolters

Really enjoyed this Video on Nate Wolters at

Who is Nate Silver?

So, Tuesday night I was watching the election results come in from around the country, and I was also watching my Twitter feed, just to see what people were saying about the election.

And I kept running across this name... Nate Silver.  People were posting things like.... the big winner tonight is Nate Silver.  And "Vindication for Nate Silver", and things of that nature.

I'd never heard of the guy.  I was confused.  Who is this Nate Silver, and what has he done?

Who is this guy, and why are people talking about him?

So I had to Google him... turns out, this guy is a math whiz, and statistics guru, who back in 2008 correctly predicted the election results for 49 of the 50 states.  And he was knocking it out of the park, again (I use a baseball analogy here, because he got his start as a baseball "sabermatrician").

Basically, he's a math guy, who studies data and statistics, and sets up an algorithm to accurately predict performance.  He started in baseball, and then moved on to politics.  He now runs a blog for the New York Times.

In 2008, he got 49 of 50 states correct.  This past Tuesday?  50 out of 50.  So basically, in the last two presidential elections he has accurately predicated the results in 99 out of 100 states.

Here is the results from Tuesday night, compared side by side with Silver's projection(s).

Not bad, huh?

Big Deal, you say?  Who cares?  Well, his predictions were widely criticized by well known political pundits.  Joe Scarborough went as far as to call him "a joke" and to publicly bet Silver a $2,000 donation to the Red Cross, that he was wrong.  Scarborough wasn't the only one.

It seems like "political pundits" were not only upset at the results he was coming up with (their guy wasn't winning), but possibly they were afraid for their livelihood?

What's the point of paying some "politico" to guess about "how people will vote" based on their experience...when scientific polling and statistics are shown to be a better measure?  People are already writing that Silver's research has made the way elections are covered obsolete.

It's very likely that in the next Presidential election in four years, you are going to see less of the Karl Roves and James Carvilles.... who are not only emotionally, but financially invested in who wins.  And instead you will see someone in the relatively new field of Political Data Science.

So, what does this mean for Education?

Well, how about The Power of Math!

No matter how you slice it, there is no substitute for data.

In addition to being some sort of hero, to the Math Geniuses of the world, Mr. Silver has also written a book, "The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't".

In fact, as the final results were rolling in on Tuesday night, Silver tweeted this to the world.

And just in case you were wondering.... Yes, I went right to the site, and bought it.
(I bought the Kindle version though).

Evidently, I wasn't the only one to do so.

Soon to be a Best Seller?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Happy Birthday Taylor!

I can't believe you turn 17 today.

Well, I can....but it sure doesn't seem like it's taken 17 years to get here.

Hope you have a great day, your entire family is proud of you.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuesday Teacher Tidbits: Social Media

First of all, Happy Election Day!

As they used to say in Chicago.... "Vote Early, and Vote Often!"

Trivia:  Do you know who came up with this slogan?

Today, I will be leaving in the morning to go out to Roland Colony to work on Internet connection to some of their new computers.

Tomorrow, I will be traveling to Lake Benton and helping them with any technology issues they may have.

On to the subject at hand:  Social Media

Did You Know:

  • 91% of online adults use social media regularly
  • 83% of people believe platforms like Twitter and Facebook help them make new friends
  • 40% of people spend more time socializing online than they do face-to-face
  • Every minute of the day:
    • 100,000 tweets are sent
    • 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook
    • 2 million search queries are made on google
    • 48 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
    • 47,000 apps are downloaded from the App Store
    • 3,600 photos are shared on Instagram
    • 571 websites are created
    • $272,000 is spent by consumers online
  • 80% of active Internet users visit social networks and blogs
  • social media use has increased 356% in the US since 2006
  • 93% of US adult Internet users are on Facebook
So, what does this mean for Educators, and Education?  

Well, simply put.... people out there are using Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc, etc...)
-What a better way, to bring your message to people... but to put your message out in a format that people are already using.
(Imagine Mom and/or Dad surfing their Facebook page at home in the evening, and they see "Don't forget History Test tomorrow!" posted by their child's History teacher.)

So I thought I'd break down a few of the more popular social networks out there.  Each of the 3 social networks listed below are free to use, and all you need is an active e-mail address to get registered.

Facebook:  The most widely used Social Network.  I would not suggest that you link to your own, personal, Facebook page... but, there is an option on Facebook, called "Create a Page"... you can create a page like "Mr. Harming's classroom" or something like that, where you post any and all information about your classes.

Also important:  Privacy settings - this will apply for all social networks.... I would set all educational privacy settings to private... so that they cannot be seen by the public at large, but only by people that you "approve".

Twitter:  Twitter is the fastest growing social network.  In fact, 53% of all Twitter users have been members for less than a year...compared to 19% of Facebook users.  Twitter is growing rapidly.  In addition to growing rapidly, it is the preferred social media of choice among young adults  (the 18 to 29 age demographic is the largest on Twitter).

 In Twitter, you post short messages (140 characters or less).  A great tool for announcements and things of that nature (Science Test Thursday!).  In Twitter, there is also a feature within your profile that allows you to connect your "Tweets" with your Facebook account.  So you post your message on twitter, and it goes on both Twitter and Facebook.

Google+:  Google Plus is basically Google's version of Facebook.  Since it was "late to the game" (meaning started AFTER Facebook and Twitter) it is not as widely used (yet).  However, Google+ has some features that the other networks do not have... or have since adopted in tying to "catch up".
-Video Chat... Google+ calls this a "hangout", and it allows you to video chat (think Skype) right over your Google+ account.
-Control your message - Google+ has a feature called "Circles".  In "Circles" you can choose who you send your message to.  You can create as many circles as you like "Students" "Parents" "Co-workers" and then share them with who you like.  Not long after Google+ went Public....Facebook tried to copy this format, and do something similar.
-Follow other social media - If you use the Google Chrome Internet Browser - You can add an "Ap" called "Streamified"... what streamified will do... is post all the messages from your facebook, twitter and other social media accounts....right in your Google+ stream!

In my opinion... and take this for what it is worth, because I tend to love most Google products.  But Google+, is the best and most advanced social network out there.  However, since it is the least used of the 3 I have mentioned here, it may not reach as many people... (unless you use Streamified).

Again... I want to Re-Emphasize...
If you want to use a social network for classroom/educational purposes.... make sure that you have set your privacy that you can control who sees your message!  Very Important!

If you are interested in starting or setting up a social network... but don't know where to begin, please don't hesitate to contact me: .  I'll be glad to give you some tips.

Trivia Answer:  Al Capone

Monday, November 5, 2012

Monday, Nov. 5th.

Congratulations to the SDSU Jackrabbits Football Team, as they defeated Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Illinois this past Saturday.

This sets up a possible Missouri Valley Football Conference Championship game this coming Saturday, in Fargo, against the NDSU Bison.  Both teams are 5-1 in the conference, and would take a 1 game lead with one game to play.

This week in the Tech Office:

  1. Continuing to work on projectors for a couple classroom.  Darn Epson projectors won't connect to the new HP computers, and I have to figure out why.  I've been working on this for weeks, and I'm just tired of it.
  2. Need to run out to the colony to try a few ideas I have.  The new computers I installed can't connect to the internet.  I've got a few thoughts, that I'd like to try.
  3. Apple Server - need to do some work with Mr. Farnham, as he is having trouble logging in with his older apple computers, and need to work on getting him Youtube access.  
  4. E-rate - have to get the form 470 done and completed.
  5. Wednesday - I'll be heading over to Lake Benton to work on any tech issues they have over there.
  6. Regular Tech office stuff.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nov. 2nd: Weekend Update and video

First off, Congratulations to the Lady Elks Volleyball team for their win over Madison last night!

District 5A Champions!  Great job Ladies!

Technology office was busy again this week.  Have many computer coming back from having screen repairs, and I'm busy with many projects and problem solving items (like a few projectors, school photo software, troubles with the Apple computers connecting)

-Sounds like the Harming family is making a trip out to the Missouri River this weekend.
- The SDSU Jackrabbits will play a critical game against the So. Illinois Salukis, in Missouri Valley Conference Football play.  A win this weekend, sets the Jackrabbits up for a playoff appearance.
-The San Diego Chargers will not play this weekend, because they had the Thursday Night game last night, and whooped up on the Chiefs 31-13.

Hope Everyone had a great Halloween, and has a wonderful first weekend in November!

For today's Friday Video, let's turn to Franz Ferdinand.

Enjoy:  "Take Me Out"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Lake Benton Halloween

I'll be heading to Lake Benton today.

So, I'll be scaring all of them with my presence today.

Thursday, November 1st I will be out of the office, to attend an e-Rate training in Sioux Falls.

Everyone have a happy and safe Halloween!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Oct. 30th Tuesday Teacher Tidbits: WolframAlpha

First of all:  Happy Halloween!

Today's Topic is:  Wolphram Alpha.

What is Wolphram Alpha?  Well, according to wikipedia it is, "Wolfram Alpha (also styled WolframAlpha and Wolfram|Alpha) is an answer engine developed by Wolfram Research. It is an online service that answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from structured data, rather than providing a list of documents or web pages that might contain the answer as a search engine might.[4]"

It's not a search engine, it's "smarter" than that... it tries to find the answers to things.  

It's pretty neat to play around with, and certainly something that could be used in classrooms.

All you need to do is type in your question in the search box, like so...

And then, after "computing" for a few seconds, Wolfram Alpha will give you some information:

It's really a neat tool, and something that can be used across the curriculum.  

Here is the answer to a math question:

Hope you enjoy your Halloween, and hope everyone gives Wolphram Alpha a try!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday, October 29th

The November Newsletter is online.  Click the link to read.

Reminder:  Teachers, if you want something in the newsletter, you need to get it to me by the due date.  My goal is to send to the office for publication at the end of the day, on the due date.

Weekend Wrap-up - The SDSU Jackrabbits had a successful Hobo Day with a decisive victory over Youngstown State.  I attended and had a great time.

This week, I'll be working with the Lifetouch Photo program, and loading the photos of the students onto infinite campus.

I'll also be making a trip out to Roland Colony again, to try and get Internet connectivity to a few of their computers.

Student computers with broken screens are being sent off, and are coming back.  If your student has turned in a laptop with a broken screen, check with me in the Technology Office to see if it has returned.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Best Movie Synopsis: Ever!

Saw this, and really enjoyed.

Amazing what a slight change of opinion can mean.

Hobo Day Edition

Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of Hobo Day at SDSU in Brookings, SD.

I have many fond memories of Hobo Day over the years.  I remember attending as a child and watching the parade with my parents.

I remember marching in the parade in HS band, and then we'd always get to watch the rest of the parade.  Always enjoyed the shenanigans of the "Hobos" who would be in the parade.

When I was in college, I was a Hobo for a few years.  It was pretty fun.

Not sure what # of Hobo Day this is for me, but I'll be there this Saturday.  First for the parade, then we'll proceed to the Tailgate and do some grilling, and go to the game.

SDSU faces a very good Youngstown State team this year, so hopefully the game will be entertaining.

Go Big.  Go Blue.  Go Jacks.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Never give up!

Saw this image today, and found it very appropriate for those of us in Education.

Call me crazy

But, I actually like the first snow of the year.  (as long as it isn't a blizzard).

Something about the smell of the snow in the air, the crisp feel of the temperature, makes me feel alive.

Maybe it's just the Northern German in me (from my Mother's side of the family), but I always enjoy the first snow of the year.

I actually like this.