Friday, March 27, 2009

Using the Source Manager Feature in Word 2007

Do you have Word 2007? Are you an English teacher? Are you a teacher that has students do research papers? Are you a teacher taking a graduate class? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the "Source Manager" feature in Word 2007 is for you. Located on the References Tab, the Source Manager enables you to you to add, edit, search for and delete sources used in a research paper. Better yet, once you type the text of the paper, it will allow you to put citations in throughout your paper, as well as create a works cited or bibliography page depending on the style of paper. If all this is confusing , watch the video I made for my Computer classes below.

Source Manager Video (Sorry, no embedded video this week.)

How cool is the Source Manager as a way to organize the sources in a research paper? Very! Hopefully, you enjoyed this topic and it will be a great help to you and your students.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Use YouTube in the Classroom

By now, everyone has heard about YouTube. If you haven't, get out from under the rock you have been hiding and go check it out. YouTube has videos for almost any topic you can think of; some are silly and some are inappropriate, but many of them are fantastic teaching tools. Current event videos, informational videos, and especially (my favorite) software tutorials are among videos that can be used in your classroom. For example. . .

After Spring break, our Intro to Computers classes are doing a brief unit on computer hardware. Using YouTube, I was able to find three great videos for that unit. Computer Hardware in Plain English, What Components are Inside My Computer, and one on How to Install Computer Memory. I found them in less than five minutes. Not bad! Now I can talk about the concept of computer hardware with my students, and also show them a video each day to help them grasp the concepts.

Like some of you, I am very leery about just linking to resources on the Web, especially if I really like them. You never know when someone is going to remove information or change an address rendering my link useless. So, if I find a video to use in the classroom, I use a great Web site called KeepVid to let me download and save videos from YouTube or Google Video to my computer. That way, I always have them. If YouTube is blocked at your school, you can use KeepVid at home and then take the videos into school to use in class. You can download a free Flash video player here.

I have included a video below that I made with Camtasia to show how easy downloading a video off of YouTube can be. Enjoy.

Now head on over to YouTube, find a video to use in class, and use to download it. Good luck!


I love to learn new things! None other than Kathy Schrock just e-mailed to let me know that "The YouTube user agreement clearly outlines use of YouTube videos are to be embedded or used on their site. There is no provision for downloading locally."

Furthermore, Kathy has "been in contact with the YouTube team, asking about the fair use guidelines, and they agree that the best thing to do is to ask the person who created the video for permission to "rip" the video as you suggest and/or ask them to send you the original, since it is of better quality anyhow."

Another great lesson to use with our students when talking about copyright issues and online materials. Thanks for the information Kathy!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Welcome to the adventure!

Welcome to Paul and Todd’s Excellent Ed Tech Adventure!

We hope that you find the information posted here to be most excellent. Our goal is to provide educators with a resource that they can visit to find out more about using technology in the classroom. Topics that we will cover in the coming months include great education videos from the Web, lesson plans, projects, software, book, and product reviews, Web 2.0 tools, great links, and much more! Save us to your favorites and visit us each week for ideas you can put to work in your classroom right away. As we begin our blogging journey, we are hoping to post new information on a weekly basis and hopefully add more posts as time allows. We still have to teach our classes. :) If you have questions or would like us to talk about a specific topic in one of our upcoming posts, drop us an e-mail.

A little bit about us. Paul and I (Todd) are computer teachers at Sparta High School in Sparta, Michigan. This is my 19th year in education and Paul’s 25th. Between us, we have taught classes in Introduction to Computers, Desktop publishing, Computer Programming, Website Design, Digital Graphics/Multimedia, and Microsoft Certification. Feel free to look around our Websites linked on the right.

Welcome to the adventure and come back soon!