Sunday, July 20, 2008 eNewsletter #96 eNewsletter #96

July 20, 2008

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Welcome to, an electronic newsletter designed to advance counselors' level of technological literacy, application, and integration. You will find practical solutions and answers to technology related problems, especially as they apply to your job as counselor. If you would like to share a tip or trick, or if you would like to ask a question, e-mail Russ Sabella at


Highlights from

Top 5 Training Topics for School Counselors

Must See Videos

New videos added since the last issue.

Go directly to Through My Eyes. This video was made to present to the PTA and the faculty of my school. The principal said it was "TOO GRAPHIC" and that the agenda was already done for tonight's meeting. Well now I have decided to share my GRAPHIC life within the walls of her Middle School with others. Help make a difference by standing up and speaking out about school violence. I am allowing all comments to prove a point that there is cyber bullying as well. Victims portrayed in this video are not students of Udall Road School. Anyone may use this video as long as the creator Patrick Kohlmann is given credit for it.



Get ready for Back to School ...

Beautiful ... Inspiring .. Motivational ... Touching
Counseling Posters for your Office and Home


Microsoft Outlook 2007: Safe Senders and Junk E-Mail

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, you can add e-mail addresses to a safe recipients list. Messages received from safe recipients, and messages you send to them, will then never be treated as junk e-mail. Here’s how:

1. In an Outlook 2007 mail folder, right-click a message sent to you by the person you want to identify as a safe recipient.

2. Point to Junk E-mail, and then click Add Recipient to Safe Recipients List.


Developing Your Own Website

by Lisa Saviñón M.Ed eNewsletter Reader

My first discovery as a Professional School Counselor was the amount of research necessary to stay informed and truly meet student needs. During both Practicum and Internship, I had the chance to work with some pretty unique cases, and this meant several long nights of research. I became very familiar with the wonderful resources available to school counselors on the Internet. Armed with these new found resources and some amazing professors, I created a wealth of counseling files, and I gladly shared my files with other students and colleagues. I don't know how or even when, but eventually I became the go to person for several other counselors. Even as I write this now, I am assisting a good friend and great counselor design a crisis plan and safe room model. Soon, I decided to create a distribution list for counselors. Longtime members of the list will attest that I sent new and valuable resources found during the course of my latest research expedition, and I sent them often.

My web site came to mind when my distribution e-mails became longer and larger than several of my friends' accounts could accept. Obviously, I love my job and couldn't ever deny being a workaholic. Then it hit me, "Why not just build a site for all counselors, future counselors, families, teachers, and students to use?" My site allows me to post new finds for every group, and send an e-mail out informing them of the new arrivals. After trying several formats, I found ( They offer easy to use free web sites; free was the key word for me. It has taken me many hours to create a site I am proud of. Recently, I decided to upgrade my site, adding more storage and capabilities. I think the $6.95 monthly fee is well worth it. If you are interested in creating your own site, teach-nology is user friendly and free. They have background themes, page templates, and plenty of room for storage. It is the best deal for educators, and I can assure you I did a great deal of research before making that statement.

The goal of my site is to share resources, so I welcome you to visit and send resources you would like me to post. The more the merrier! You can even join my distribution list from there and watch as we grow, with the latest additions of family and student sections.

Lisa's Counseling Site

Editor’s Note:

Congratulations on a fine looking and effectively functional website Lisa. I would like to add to Lisa’s great tip about developing an inexpensive yet quality website by letting you know about a couple of other options as well:

1. Use Google applications to register your domain and have your own website. This costs $10 per year. You can get started by going to and click on Google Apps.

2. Some counselors are using a free blog such as,, or


Video: Simple, Secure Group Websites

Google Sites makes it easy for anyone to create and manage simple, secure group websites. You can create and publish new pages with the click of a button, edit web pages like documents, and move content and pages around as you please. Information is stored securely online, and you decide who can edit or view the site. Google Sites is powerful enough for a company intranet, yet simple enough for a family website.

Watch the Video here.


Microsoft Outlook 2007: Use Follow-ups on Sent E-Mail Messages

You're probably used to setting follow-up flags on e-mail messages in your Inbox. Until now, though, there wasn't much point setting follow-up flags on sent e-mail messages, because you rarely view your Sent Items folder. Yet it's often useful to set a follow-up flag on a sent e-mail message; for example, a sales e-mail message might warrant following up after a couple of days. It's now worth setting follow-up flags on sent e-mail messages, because they will appear on the To-Do Bar.

To do this:

1. Click the Follow Up flag on the Message tab of the Ribbon when writing your message.

2. Click the follow-up flag you want to use, or set a reminder for the e-mail's recipients.

You can customize the follow-up flag. When you set your flag, some basic options like Today and Tomorrow are instantly available, but if you click Custom, plenty more follow-up options appear. These include start and end times for the follow-up and required activities. All this information will appear on your To-Do Bar.


Automatically start an Office program when you turn on your computer


Microsoft Excel: How to Concatenate Text in a Spreadsheet

If you have text in two or more columns that you wish to join (concatenate) in another column, this can be easily done by creating a formula that utilizes the ampersand (&).


Microsoft Word: How to change the default font setting in Word 2003

When you open a new blank document in Word 2003, Times New Roman is the font setting that displays as you start to type. You can easily change that setting for all future new blank documents to a font setting of your choice.

1. In the blank document, RIGHT click your mouse. The Font dialogue box will display.

2. In the Font dialogue box, make any changes you want, and that can include the font, its style and size, as well as color and effects, and that’s just on the Font tab.

3. Lower left Default button After you have made the changes you want, click on the Default button in the lower left corner of the Font dialogue box.

4. Click Yes to finish By clicking the Yes button on the pop-up, you will finish the action to make your newly chosen settings the default for each future blank document.


Microsoft Word: How to add a Symbol into a Microsoft Word document

1. Open the document in Microsoft Word.

2. Click on Insert and from the drop down box, click on Symbol.

3. A Popup window with all kinds of symbols will appear.

4. To select the symbol, just click on it.


Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks

When it comes to the Google search box, you already know the tricks: finding exact phrases matches using quotes like "so say we all" or searching a single site using gmail. But there are many more oblique, clever, and lesser-known search recipes and operators that work from that unassuming little input box. Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we're skipping the obvious and highlighting our favorite obscure Google web search tricks.

If you like this, you should check out



Young People Who Rock is a weekly interview series focused on people under 30 -- from CEOs to entertainers to athletes to community and political leaders -- who are doing remarkable things. Nicole Lapin finds them and introduces them here by writing a weekly column that goes out in time for you to chime in before she interviews them Fridays on Live.


CyberBully Alert software is a tool for parents to equip their children with the ability to immediately communicate and document any threats or cyberbullying their children experience when online. This unique software is the result of expert opinions and research in the field of child development and internet safety. Experts agree that the best way to address cyberbullying and online threats is to immediately communicate the incident with an adult, as well as document what the threat is. CyberBully Alert is the only software which does this for parents and their children.


This web site supports Dr. Russell Sabella's work on educating children, parents, educators and other stake holders about the responsible use of technology. Included in these pages you will find helpful resources, lesson plans, a blog, links, and more. Russ's most recent book and workshops are primary resources for meeting this mission.


Foxit Reader for Windows (free download)

High on our list of the most annoying applications of all time is Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's slow, bloated and buggy and it often crashes some systems -- all of which can drive you insane. Foxit lets you read and even fill out PDF files, without touching Reader. This small and compact tool loads fast, won't hog RAM or system resources and won't crash your PC.


iSpring: Professional PPT to Flash Conversion

Now your presentation can turn from PowerPoint to Flash in one click and get all advantages of Flash format, such as compactness, easy distribution, high compatibility with all browsers and OSs. iSpring creates high quality Flash movies with vector representation of standard PowerPoint objects and keeps most of advanced PowerPoint features.


Poll Authority

Need a poll for your website or blog and don't want to spend an arm and a leg on a custom solution? There's no expensive database to maintain, no developer to hire, and no complicated installation or set-up.



Experience live video. In just minutes, you can broadcast and chat online with a global audience. Completely free, all it takes is a camera and Internet connection.


Timetoast is an attractive new timeline app built on Abode's Flash and Flex. Do you like your timelines interactive and embeddable? Sure beats the last timeline we made (crayons and construction paper may have been involved)! This could be a good tool for bloggers who want to enhance a post with a detailed history of the topic, or for anyone in school who doesn't want to approach the aforementioned crayon method. What about using this with a student to describe his/her achievements as part of guidance and counseling.

Also see


Data Boot Camp for School Counselors
and Administrators - CD

Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D.

My newest CD is designed to help you become more proficient in using Microsoft Excel™ to make data an important part of your comprehensive school counseling program. From data-driven decision making, to monitoring progress, to reporting the positive impact you're having on kids -- this CD will demystify how it's done.

With the Data Boot Camp for School Counselors and Administrators, what you see and hear on the videos is what you do. At your fingertips, you'll have access to 30 videos and lots of graphics, tips, tricks, and resourceful links. This straightforward step-by-step approach makes learning how to use Microsoft Excel™ (and a bit of PowerPoint™) as easy and convenient as watching television. Data Boot Camp will help school counseling students, practitioners, administrators, and counselor educators to more easily unlock the power of data so you can more effectively support student achievement.

The content on the CD is equivalent to a full-day workshop in the computer lab!

Visit and learn more about the contents of the CD and view a couple of sample videos (Remember, these samples may take a few moments to load because you are online. However, on the CD, this is not an issue because the videos are all located on the CD itself!).

$21.95 (FREE shipping)

please allow 5-7 working days to arrive


Microsoft Office Templates for Summer


Befunky is an online app that can turns your photographs into interesting cartoons without requiring any software. It’s a one-click process and yet the output is impressive. Just upload the image from your computer or capture one live using the webcam and the cartoon image is ready for download. You can either convert the picture into a black and white pencil sketch or a colored one.


Analogy Clock


Puzzle Farter... yeah we said fart

Developed by Pet Tomato the object of the game is simple. Get your character from door to door. It's just the way that he gets there is rather um... how should we put this... gas-tastic.


Dumpr is where you create marvellous photos to share with your friends. If you're no Photoshop guru, but you have fun applying different novelty filters to your pictures, you might like Dumpr. It's web-based, very simple to use, and has a pretty decent library of effects: sketch, Lomo, reflection and jigsaw puzzle, to name a few. You can upload photos from your own hard drive, or paste in URLs from some of the major photo hosting services, including Flickr and MySpace.



Watch video content, including complete television shows and excerpts of recent programs. View complete list of show alphabetically, by network, or by genre. A limited number of full-length movies are also available for viewing. Some content requires free registration for an account. Copyright is protected, and users of the site must be at least 13 years old. Founded by NBC Universal and News Corp, and operated independently.


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The newsletter may contain links to sites on the Internet owned and operated by third parties. is not responsible for the availability of, or the content located on or through, any such third-party site. Information in this document is provided "as is," without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied, including but not limited to the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and freedom from infringement. The user assumes the entire risk as to the accuracy and the use of this document. will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this information, including, but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive, and consequential damages.

Become a Web Researching Expert ...

World Wide Web Boot Camp for School Counselors - CD

Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D.

With over 36 videos and lots of tips, tricks, links, this CD gives you step-by-step instructions for effectively and efficiently navigating the Web. Because all the files are on the CD, you won’t need to connect to the Internet for all the essential information (only linked web sites require an Internet connection). What you see and hear on the videos is what you do. This straightforward approach makes learning how to use the Web as easy and convenient as watching television. This tool will help students, practitioners, and professors alike spend less time searching and more time finding relevant resources available on the Web.

The content on the CD is equivalent to a full-day workshop in the computer lab.

Windows Only (not available for the Macintosh)

30% OFF, now only $9.95 (plus $2 Download service)!

Now available for download, you’ll be up and running in minutes.

Visit to view sample videos and order now.

Now Available A Practical Guide to Keeping Kids Out of High-Tech Trouble

Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D.

From podcasts to porn, cyberbullying to cell phones, Dr. Russell Sabella helps readers understand the risks that emerge when high-tech tools, uninformed parents, and exuberant youth collide. Because kids are growing up with modern technologies, many are more expert than their parents. As a result, a parent's ability to make effective decisions for how technology is used may be compromised. empowers parents, educators, and other care takers to better understand the electronic terrain. Readers will be better able to help children safely and securely navigate a minefield of inappropriate and risky situations.

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Sabella & Associates, LLC ©2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Keeping Kids Out of High-Tech Trouble

Dear Educator,

Please feel free to include this column about Technology Safety in your next newsletter to parents.

Thank you,
Russ Sabella, Ph.D.

Download this column as a Word document.
Download the book cover here.
Download a high quality photo of Russ Sabella here.

©2008, All Rights Reserved.
Permission granted to reproduce without alteration
and only in its entirety.

Keeping Kids Out of High-Tech Trouble

Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D.

            In the real world, we as adults can set up physical boundaries to help us contain our children to spaces we deem safe. When we take them to the park, we make sure our kids stay inside the fence. When we visit a video store, we stick with the children's section and we don't let them venture into the back room toward the adult videos. Schools have hallways, some have fences, and they all have procedures for making sure that kids get from one place to the other while being supervised and monitored. At home, we activate our alarm systems at night to ward off intruders. Other boundaries in the form of rules exist. We don't allow our children to play beyond a certain perimeter in our neighborhoods or communities. We wouldn't take them with us to a night club where adult activities take place. There are laws in place so that our children cannot simply go to a convenience store and purchase alcohol, tobacco, or adult magazines. If an underage child or minor takes a flight, an attendant escorts him the entire way and checks for identification when delivering the child to his destination.

            Technology has at least blurred if not eliminated these real world boundaries. The Internet and other high-tech gadgets have essentially introduced a high-speed interstate upon which we all travel yet a driver's license is not necessarily required. Road signs are unclear or non-existent. The small number of "rules of the road" are not typically enforced and the "strip joints" are right next door to the ice cream shops. Very few people verify a "driver's" age and traffic occurs at all hours of the day and night. The Internet connected computer in particular has become a potential "back door" for children (and others) to enter or exit our homes as they please.

            I believe that parenting has always been a tough job although I think you would agree (even the elders I talk too agree) that it is tougher now than ever before. The world is truly getting smaller and moving faster, in large part due to technology that has bridged great divides and has afforded the power of large companies to the individual. The world is changing and its changing fast. As parents we want to help our children take advantage of these tools in a way that bests advances their development. There are more “bases” to cover in the course of supervision. There are many more options for us to consider when making decisions about how our children achieve. More now than ever before, we need to stay focused and goal oriented in a world that is chaotic and uncertain. We need to realize that “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” Just because you can watch 300 channels of television, doesn’t mean you should increase the amount of time you watch television. Just because you can share your information with the rest of the world in the blink of an eye doesn’t mean that you should. Just because you can receive a call from anywhere and at any time doesn’t mean you should answer it.

            In many households, children are more technologically literate than their parents or guardians. This makes sense. Children are growing up in this high-tech world. They have been immersed in rapid technological developments and have grown quite accustomed to change. In contrast, their parents and other care takers grew up in a different world and have been forced to adapt. For many adults, adapting to the amazing changes brought on by technology has come with fear, avoidance, and certainly stress. This has created an imbalance between kids who are "in the know" and their parents/care takers whom are "in the dark." And because technological literacy in our current information age translates into power, kids are in some ways more powerful than their parents. This is not good. Parents are entrusted to provide appropriate structure, guidance, supervision, and much more in the course of caring for their children. Yet, a lack of understanding about technology has compromised their ability to do just that.

            My latest book, A Practical Guide to Keeping Kids Out of High-Tech Trouble, is designed to empower parents, educators, and other care takers by better understanding the technology terrain. Readers will be better able to help children safely and securely navigate a minefield of inappropriate and risky situations. From podcasts to porn, cyberbullying to cell phones, this new book helps readers to understand the risks that emerge when high-tech tools, uninformed parents, and exuberant youth collide. For instance, did you know:

      Pornography is not just for computers anymore. One can now also download porn via gadgets such as Play Station Portables (PSP), iPods, and even cell phones. Children can also trade or share an array of inappropriate media via their gadgets via wireless, bluetooth, or cell phone connections.

      Cyberbullying is a relatively new problem that is facing our computer savvy students which involves the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging (IM), defamatory personal web sites, and defamatory online personal polling web sites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others. Cyberbullying is a very serious problem that can have fatal consequences (e.g., see or

      Some children are using the photo and video features of their cell phones to record and send inappropriate (and perhaps illegal) content. These include photos and/or videos of girls' underwear (i.e., upskirting), sexual activity, nudity, or pages from a school exam or other protected materials. These files can easily be posted on websites and shared among many friends.

      Some children are showing signs of technology based addictions such as with gaming, shopping, social networking, gambling, auctions, and simple surfing.

      Parents are being held liable for pirating of music and software, especially using P2P networks such as BearShare, LimeWire, Morpheus, Kazaa, eMule, and Grokster (to name a very few).

      When children disclose personal information or voice their (sometimes exuberant) opinions, they may also jeopardize themselves or others in yet another way. You see, most everything posted on any website today may possibly, and will probably be accessible for all of time. Information shared with others via listserv, websites, IM, blogs, and other media is typically stored in massive databases, indexed, and easily retrievable for future reference. Also, once something is sent or posted to someone else, it essentially becomes public domain. That is, the content can be copied, download, and passed on to others without permission of the original owner, right or wrong, whether the owner likes it or not. You or your child may believe that what you communicate today is "no big deal" although, tomorrow, the same information could be considered ammunition by others to use against you or your loved ones.

      I think we all know that content on the World Wide Web meets with very little censorship. In the United States and some other countries, no other communication medium compares to the Internet for how rigorously people have exercised their right to freedom of speech. However, I'm not sure you appreciate the extent to which this is true. On the web, anyone can easily and quickly access content that promotes and supports activities such as suicide, eating disorders, self-injury, violence and racism.

      Podcasting, in its basic form, involves creating audio files (most commonly in MP3 format) and making them available online in a way that allows users to automatically download the files for listening at their convenience (i.e., subscribing to the podcast). After subscribing to the podcast, future "broadcasts" automatically download to your computer, which can then be transferred easily to a handheld such as a Palm OS Handheld, a Pocket PC, cell phone, or an iPod - hence, the name Podcast. In essence, anyone with a computer, Internet access, free software, and a microphone can turn their computer into a personal studio and produce their very own radio show/program. Pornographers, bigots, bullies, and others have also discovered podcasts as a powerful method for disseminating information. This information is mostly audio although video podcasts or V-casts are quickly picking up momentum. Anyone who has the knowledge, including children, can easily access (and/or produce) a wide range of smut or obscene matter.

Also included in the book,, are two full chapters that describe various solutions that we can take to reduce high-tech risks among our children. For example:

      First and foremost, develop an ongoing relationship with your child that supports collaborative exploration and learning about technology. Also, help your child to trust you and communicate potentially problematic activity by not "flipping out." That is, stay calm and rational when dealing with technology related problems. Be curious instead of confrontational.

      Support your child's school in teaching the skills, knowledge, and attitudes included in technology/media literacy. You can download a basic child-parent agreement at

     Keep your home computer in a location that is easily viewable.

      Turn on the Safe Filtering mode on your search engines. In addition, use other filtering/blocking software such as Cybersitter (which I use and highly recommend). Another option to consider is to investigate and choose a "Family Friendly" Internet Service Provider (ISP) (read more by visiting

      If you choose to give your child a cell phone, purchase one that is "child friendly." That is, users of this phone can only send and receive calls from others approved by parents.

      Gain personal and practical experience of various technologies so you can listen and talk with your children with authority. That is, become more technologically literate yourself. For example, set up your own account and learn how it is used.

      Visit for helpful resources and materials.

In essence, technology provides us with tools to help us accomplish our work more effectively and efficiently beyond what we can do without it. Computers, cell phones, gaming devices, iPods, and other gadgets help us to stay connected, have fun, and better learn. Such power, however, comes with great responsibility and sometimes at a premium price. We must all make certain that we are using high-tech tools responsibly for ourselves and our society. We must ensure that our children understand how to embrace the tools of the 21st century in a manner that is safe and secure. Technological literacy for adults and children alike will help us to make decisions that are right and realistic. It is important that we each make a personal commitment and take the time to evaluate the use and impact of technology in the lives of our families. Then, with great care, it is critical that we appropriately learn, teach, monitor, and supervise so that we may appropriately guard our kids from high-tech trouble.

With technology, we can do many things. However, just because we can, doesn't mean we should.




Dr. Russell A. Sabella is currently a Professor of Counseling in the College of Education, Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida and President of Sabella & Associates, LLC, an Educational Consulting, Training and Development practice.

Russ is author of numerous articles published in journals, magazines, and newsletters. He is co-author of two books entitled Confronting Sexual Harassment: Learning Activities for Teens (Educational Media; 1995) and Counseling in the 21st Century: Using Technology to Improve Practice (American Counseling Association; 2004). He is also author of several other books including the popular A Friendly and Practical Guide to the World Wide Web (2nd edition; Educational Media; 2003), A Practical Guide to Keeping Kids Out of High-Tech Trouble (2008, Educational Media Corporation), and School counseling principles: Foundations and basics (2007: American School Counselor Association).

Dr. Sabella is well-known for his numerous trainings including the Technology Boot Camp for Counselors, Solution Focused Brief Counseling, and Datability conducted throughout the country. Russ has trained and consulted with thousands of school counselors, educators, parents, and organizational leaders throughout the country. Dr. Sabella is past President (2003-2004) of the of the American School Counselor Association.




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