#cotlf #elemchat #edtech While on summer break, if you find videos you think you want to use with your students in the fall, use DownloadHelper to download and save them for future use. DownloadHelper is an add-on to Firefox that lets you download videos off the Internet. There are many reasons why you might choose to download a video rather than save a link. For example, by downloading the video, you will not have to worry about the video not being available when you need it or Internet problems slowing you down, you can edit out just the clips you want from the video using MovieMaker or other similar software, and you can eliminate the distracting videos on the side and often inappropriate comments that can be found on sites like YouTube.

To use DownloadHelper, open Firefox and make sure you have installed the DownloadHelper add-on. To do so, find add-ons in Firefox (usually in the Tools menu, depending on which version you’re running) and search for “DownloadHelper”. Once you find it, click “install” and Firefox will install the add-on for you. (You may need to restart your browser). You will now see the icon for DownloadHelper (three colored orbs arranged in a triangle–they may be greyed out) to the left of the address bar.

Once the add-on is installed, go to the website with the video you want, and you will notice that the three orbs are no longer greyed out and have started spinning. To the right of the orbs is a pull down menu. Click on the menu and choose a video format to download (choose MP4 when possible) and you’re done!







Be sure to pay attention to where you’re saving the video and what you’re naming the file so that you can find it later. Happy downloading!

Building An Unconference in the Classroom

#edtech #iste12 As I helped prepare an Unconference at #SocialEdCon, I was struck by how relevant this activity could be in a classroom! What exactly is an Unconference? Loosely defined as a participant driven meeting, an Unconference encourages people to volunteer to facilitate/moderate a group who all want to share, learn or even just talk together!

I had the opportunity to learn from the editor of the magazine Teacher Librarian, representatives from Edutopia and educators from around the world about how to teach technology to teachers. Our discussion was rich, fast-paced and driven by our desire to learn from each other.

The idea of an Unconference could be applied at the high school level too!!!! I could image English teachers allowing students to choose their favorite genre and then students grouping together and talking about their favorite novels within that genre. Or, having students share favorite tech ideas, OR……

The sky is the limit but the idea of an Unconference reinforces that our collective knowledge is important and collaborating is key to success!


RSS Feeds

#cotlf #edtech #schools Keep up with your summer reading without visiting dozens of websites to do so. Use RSS instead! If you’re not familiar with RSS, watch this short video from CommonCraft.

Most blogs and news sites offer RSS. We recommend using Google Reader for your RSS subscriptions. You can use your personal gmail account, or the one provided for you by Poudre School District (if you’re an employee), the choice is yours! To learn how to subscribe, click on the video link above. At about 1:35, the steps for subscribing to an RSS feed are explained. With just a few quick clicks, all your favorite sites to read are brought to you in one place!

Out of Office Email

#cotlf #edtech #schools Use the Out of Office Assistant in Outlook to let people know you’re out for the day when they email you. To set it up, open Internet Explorer and log in to Outlook. (Be sure you’re using Internet Explorer and not another browser, there is a difference!) Click on “Options” in the top right corner, then select “Out of Office Assistant” in the column on the left.












Select the settings you need, type in your out-of-office message, and be sure to click “Save” when you’re done!









Creating Sticky Notes

#cotlf #edtech Windows 7 has a useful feature for keeping track of those little things you need to remember: sticky notes! To open your sticky notes, simply search for “sticky notes” from the start menu. When the program launches, it looks like a sticky note on your desktop. You can type right on the note, or click on the + sign to add a new note.