Report Card Season

Things are swinging into Report Card season. Once again, we will be using Markbook at the Secondary School level for mark entry into Trevlac for the purpose of doing reports. At the Elementary Panel, we will use the latest version of eTeacher. School secretaries will gather all of the teacher submissions into a web based host and print report cards from there.

Support for Markbook is found in FirstClass forums and in the GECDSB Markbook Manual on the Teachers’ Essentials CD-ROM
Support for eTeacher is found in FirstClass forums and on the web at:

Who knew?

September only has 30 days? Geesh…October newsletter will be a day or two late.

Professional Development

It’s been a very ambitious September. Professional Development activities all over the place. Three days of CIESCs, three days of Notebook for new teachers, four nights of SMART Board introductions, blogging/podcasting, Graphic Organizers and FirstClass filled the month. Then, an evening presentation on Internet Safety at Centennial Central and an online OSAPAC meeting fill my waking moments. Beauregard doesn’t recognize me anymore.

Reflections from OSAPAC

The Ontario Software Acquisition Program Advisory Committee just finished its one week summer meeting. I am totally exhausted. It makes for one incredibly packed week. We worked all day long and into the evening evaluating and making recommendations in the area formerly posted as priorities for this year: Career and Guidance, Online Electronic Database, Senior Mathematics, Senior Science, and Media Literacy. There were so many good titles submitted and that only made the situation more of a challenge. But, we persevered and now our recommendations are in the hands of the government. Look for announcements on what will be licensed on the OSAPAC website.

One of the happier and sadder things is to take a walk through of all of the titles that have ever been licensed. While titles are typically licensed in perpetuity, the computer and operating systems that they were originally designed for are not! So, one of our activities is to go through the SQL database which holds all of the details and hide the titles that have served us well but just will not run in contemporary environments. It is sad to see the Clarisworks 3.0 go, but everything has a useful life. It is still licensed and still available but there are newer options.

The promotions department (one member from Guelph) is working on a photo contest depicting computers and students in Ontario. Look for details about this soon on the website.

The licensing of Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional is really an exciting title and offers all kinds of opportunities. Members are going to start the process of creating video tutorials using this tool. This would make create additions to the Learning Object Repository.

One of my personal projects came closer to fruition. A common request that I get is to know when OSAPAC will release another compilation CD-ROM. Well, that was appropriate when software came on diskettes but now each title comes on a CD-ROM. So, a compilation CD-ROM is out of the question. But, up the ante and you can create ISO images of the CD-ROM and store them on a DVD-ROM. Into the archives I have gone and have been able to put all of the CD-ROMs onto 7 DVD-ROMs. These are off to the Ministry for testing and I hope distribution shortly. Imagine, if you are technician, being able to have all these resources conveniently stored instead of carrying around binders full of CD-ROMs.

Clicker 5 Resource

Clicker 5 was originally licensed by the Ministry of Education as a software for special education. However, educators are doing all kinds of things with it including the construction of eBooks and using the program for a multi-media authoring environment. It truly is a wonderful product that makes it easy to differentiate instuction in the classroom using the same software package so that students can work at an appropriate project.

Deb Barrows is the north east representative for Crick Software and has created a Wiki that is an unofficial support site and clearing house for resources. If you’re using Clicker 5, it’s really worth checking out. If you’re creating your own materials, it’s a wonderful place to share them.