September 2009 GEC Computers in the Classroom

Welcome to the 2009-2010 school year. It was a cool summer and we missed out on much of the hot, sweltering weather. I never thought that I’d miss it but I did. It’s also unique having two days of school before Labour Day, but here we are.

In the Program Department, things have changed as well. With the retirement of Dr. Lynn, we have a new Superintendent in Dr. Clara Howitt. Dr. Howitt returns to the responsibility of Curriculum and Program and she’s wished well with this huge portfolio.

It was with a mixture of sadness and happiness that Ann Dresser left us as well for retirement. I wish her and Mike Lilley, her successor all the best.

As you return to your classroom, you’ll notice some changes in technology. Older computers have been retired and brand new shiny and faster ones are in their place. We all wish that we could have replaced more but we do need to function within our financial reality and the direction set by Technology Council.

There will be some really exciting opportunities as the school year proceeds. Faster internet connections, better school connectivity and increased access to wireless networking should result in increased potential in the classroom. Additional SMARTBoard purchases adds increased availability of this technology.

On the networks, in addition to our standard favourites, there are new titles licensed by the Ministry of Education.

Comic Life – Comic Life expands what can be done with digital photos. With a comprehensive set of features, Comic Life provides numerous ways to liven up holiday snaps, tell a story, and create how-to guides.

Adobe Premiere Elements 7– Get started quickly with all your video clips at your fingertips and a variety of new automated options for transforming them into polished movies. Create polished movies with no effort using creative techniques from Hollywood directors.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 – Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 7.0 software combines power and simplicity so you can do more with your photos. Instantly fix flaws or adjust color and lighting with new advanced controls.

Mathville 1 – This popular web-based primary mathematics program had its licensed extended. The application is also available for students to access from home so make sure to share the login and password.

CDX Automotive Resource Kit Plus – Five Windows content DVDs of CDX Automotive Resource Kit Plus (2008). This is a huge collection of resources that make teaching certificate-level automotive technicians faster and more effective.

Plus, there’s another title that hasn’t been announced publically yet as having a provincial license. However, Colin James at Parkview and Aaron St. Louis from Hugh Beaton did some testing of the product for OSAPAC and so have a head start on the rest of us.

There are worlds of opportunity for Greater Essex County students this year. Support for curriculum implementation through your CIESC (Computers in Education School Contact) and myself is always available. Check out BookIT as well for on-going professional development sessions.

All the best for a successful year.

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links for 2009-09-07