Sunday, January 18, 2009

SchoolCounselor.com eNewsletter #101

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SchoolCounselor.com eNewsletter #101

January 18, 2009

Welcome to SchoolCounselor.com, 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 newsletter@schoolcounselor.com.

Announcement ...

Congratulations to Whitney from Olathe, KS who won a Data Boot Camp CD!

I am in the process of moving my subscription list over to a new service which will make getting this publication to the over 16,500 current subscribers more efficiently. A random drawing from active subscribers of the new list will take place twice a month for the next several months. You could win one of a whole bunch of prizes, here's what's in the give-away basket:

1 of 5 copies of Data Boot Camp CD for School Counselors and Administrators - CD by Russ Sabella, Ph.D. (see http://www.schoolcounselor.com/store/data-bootcamp.htm; $21.95 each)

1 textbook from Educational Media Corporation entitled Managing Your School Counseling Program (3rd edition) by Joe Wittmer, Ph.D. and Mary Ann Clark, Ph.D. (see http://tinyurl.com/3e2thw; $49.95)

1 of 5 copies of SCAATAP (School Counselor Accountability and Task Analysis Program; see http://www.scaatap.com/; $125 each)

1 of 10 copies of SchoolCounselor.com e-Newsletter Back Issues #46-70 (http://www.schoolcounselor.com/store/newsletters.htm; $8.95)

Register now at http://www.schoolcounselor.com/NEWSLETTER/

Highlights from SchoolCounselor.com

Top 5 Training Topics for School Counselors

http://www.schoolcounselor.com/top5training.htm

Must See Videos

New videos added since the last issue.

http://www.schoolcounselor.com/videos/

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TIPS AND TRICKS

QUESTION: School Counselor Nancy J. writes, “I need to know how to combine 2 or more (usually more) Excel databases. our scheduling program will not let me download all information needed in one file. I spend hours on this. Is Access the best way? Do you have hints for Access?”

ANSWER: Since you are already using Microsoft Excel, let’s stick with that instead of migrating over to Access (also because, honestly, Access, in my opinion, is much less user friendly than Excel, which is not that user friendly to begin with). The trick to getting everything into one sheet is that the data fields, in this case columns, match exactly. For instance, the first column may include student ID, second column include number of absences, and so on. If this is the case, than you can just copy and paste one sheet or even multiple sheets into one master data file.

I’m guessing, however, that you are probably wondering how to “match up” data for students from one data set to another. Most commonly, counselors may want to match up each student’s post scores with their pre-scores on any given performance indicator. For example, let’s say you have the number of absences for a group of students with whom you are working. After a few weeks of intervention, you download the same group’s number of absences and then want to put them side by side in two columns, of course making certain that the post-absences match the pre-absences for each student. (Note too, that in this example, one should look at absences for equivalent periods in order to best make comparisons such as Quarter 1 versus Quarter 2).

This can be accomplished several ways including a combination of manually inserted formulas or using Microsoft Excel Pivot Tables. The easiest way that I know how to do this is to use Dr. Tim Poynton’s EZANALYZE Amalgamate feature. According to Dr. Poynton’s website (http://www.ezanalyze.com/help/amalgamate.htm), “The Amalgamate Data function in EZAnalyze allows you to combine two worksheets in the same Excel file into one, based on a 'Unique Identifier' that exists in both sheets. For example, if you want to merge data that exist in two different databases (such as NCES and your state Department of Education), you can merge them together easily using this function. This function adds new variables (columns) to your sheet for all cases (rows) that have the same Unique Identifier. You can choose whether or not you want to keep rows of data that do not match.

Go to the website to learn the steps in doing this and to download the Excel addin (click on Download on the left side). One tip to know is that this feature only works for combining multiple sheets that exist in the same file, not different files. So if you do have more than one excel file, you’ll have to first copy and past the data you want to combine in different sheets using one file.

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No Shoes? No Problem for this College Interview

By BARBARA RODRIGUEZ

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — For her college interview, Avery Cullinan put on her best outfit but didn't bother with shoes. She sat in her living room, smiled into her computer's webcam and told an admissions officer more than 800 miles away that Wake Forest University was right for her.

Read More here.

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Microsoft Outlook 2007: Flag E-Mail as a Task

Flagging mail messages as tasks automatically adds them to your To-Do Bar so that you can easily track and complete them.

1. Right-click the flag icon next to an e-mail message.

2. Designate a date by which you want to follow up on this message.

3. View the message on your To-Do Bar.

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Tech-Parenting from our POV

by Anne Collier

"Is it smart or sneaky for parents to have accounts on Facebook or MySpace to monitor their children's behavior?" "I won't let my teenager on Facebook or MySpace. Is that a mistake? Should I?" "Of the social networks, which do you consider to be the most safe, and which do you consider to be least safe?" Those are just a few of dozens of questions from parents around the US my ConnectSafely.org co-director Larry Magid and I (Anne Collier) enjoyed answering in a one-hour, live online discussion at the Washington Post last week. It's now archived at the Post's Web site

http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/zforum/05/trendmicro.htm

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Cyberbullying Package (free)

CyberSmart! is extraordinarily pleased to announce the release of our CyberSmart! Cyberbullying Package, a positive and empowering suite of K-12 lessons. The lessons adopt an integrated approach, based on current research findings and best practices from the fields of cyber security, school violence prevention, and character education to impact behavioral change. The resulting package of materials focus on developing critical thinking and decision-making skills, guiding students to define the problems and issues themselves and "own" them. "CyberSmart!'s free cyberbullying lessons allow face-to-face character education to be extended into cyberspace. These lessons are a great resource to continually remind the school community about safe, ethical online use within the context of living a life of character," said Merle J. Schwartz, Ed.D., Director of Education and Research, The Character Education Partnership.

http://cybersmartcurriculum.org/cyberbullying/

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Internet Safety Technical Task Force Releases Final Report on Enhancing Child Safety and Online Technologies

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University today released the final report of the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, a group of 29 leading Internet businesses, non-profit organizations, academics, and technology companies that joined together for a year-long investigation of tools and technologies to create a safer environment on the Internet for youth. The Task Force was created in February 2008 in accordance with the Joint Statement on Key Principles of Social Networking Safety announced in January 2008 by the Attorneys General Multi-State Working Group on Social Networking and MySpace. The report was delivered to the 52 Attorneys General in December, 2008.

To read the final report, including the executive summary, as well as reaction statements from members of the Task Force, visit: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/pubrelease/isttf

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Internet Evolution: Future of the Internet III Press release for a December 2008 "survey of experts by the Pew Internet & American Life Project that asked respondents to assess predictions about technology and its roles in the year 2020." Includes summary and full text of the report, which found that experts predict the "mobile device will be the primary connection tool to the internet ... in 2020." Also includes links to previous "Future of the Internet" and other related reports.

http://www.pewinternet.org/PPF/r/270/report_display.asp

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WORTHY WEBSITES AND SOFTWARE

Video Sharing Websites:

1. YouTube (owned by Google, Inc.) allows people to easily upload and share video clips on www.YouTube.com and across the Internet through web sites, mobile devices, blogs, and e-mail. http://www.youtube.com/ Youtube is now integrated with Google Video (http://video.google.com/).

2. TeacherTube is a video sharing website that is very similar to YouTube in layout and function, with one crucial difference: it's entirely devoted to educational videos. The site monitors inappropriate materials, so it's safe to use in the classroom.

3. WonderHowTo hand-selects and curates the best instructional videos from over 1,700 web sites. Explore the largest collection of free how-to videos anywhere. http://www.wonderhowto.com/

4. 5min is a place to find short video solutions for practical questions and a place for people to share their knowledge. http://www.5min.com/

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Podcast Directories and Search Engines:

1. The Apple podcast directory searchable through iTunes software (http://www.apple.com/itunes/podcasts/)

2. Podcast Pickle (http://www.podcastpickle.com/)

3. Podcast Directory (http://www.podcastdirectory.com/)

4. digitalpodcast. (http://www.digitalpodcast.com/)

5. The Education Podcast Network (http://epnweb.org/).

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Online Meetings and Collaboration:

1. Skype is free software that allows one to video/audio conference with others and includes instant messaging and file transfer. http://www.skype.com

2. ooVoo. Similar to Skype, ooVoo allows for video/audio conferencing, file transfer, and instant messaging. http://www.oovoo.com/

3. With Vyew you can give a presentation to a hundred people online or post a document you've been working on for review by your colleagues at their convenience. Vyew is extremely flexible allowing you to bring online collaboration and conferencing into your workflow on your terms. http://vyew.com/

4. Windows Meeting Space enables face-to-face collaboration among small groups of Windows Vista users—virtually anytime, anywhere. Useful for both business and personal purposes, this tool enables you to share work on computer-based projects with other people more easily and comfortably. Windows Meeting Space uses peer-to-peer technology and automatically sets up an ad hoc network if it can't find an existing network. So you can use it in a conference room, a favorite hotspot, or a place where no network exists. You can join a meeting that someone else sets up, or you can start a new meeting and invite other people to join it. Windows Meeting Space is on the Start menu, under All Programs. http://tinyurl.com/66rrsw

5. DimDim. Unlike other web conference products, Dimdim does not require users to install software on their computers to attend web meetings. Users can start or join meetings with just a few clicks. Dimdim is available for free so everyone - not just big companies with big budgets - can use it. http://www.dimdim.com/

6. GoToMeeting is an online meeting service that enables individuals and organizations to easily, securely and cost-effectively collaborate, present information and demonstrate products online. http://www.gotomeeting.com

7. Webex. WebEx delivers a robust suite of on-demand collaborative applications. http://www.webex.com/

8. Yugma. Yugma is an easy-to-use web conferencing service that allows users to host or attend online meetings on Windows, Mac or Linux computers. http://www.yugma.com/

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The Future of Reputation

Daniel Solove, an authority on information privacy law, offers a fascinating account of how the Internet is transforming gossip, the way we shame others, and our ability to protect our own reputations. Focusing on blogs, Internet communities, cyber mobs, and other current trends, he shows that, ironically, the unconstrained flow of information on the Internet may impede opportunities for self-development and freedom. Longstanding notions of privacy need review, the author contends: unless we establish a balance among privacy, free speech, and anonymity, we may discover that the freedom of the Internet makes us less free.

Although you can purchase this book in paperback, the full text of The Future of Reputation is now available online for free. The front matter to the book is at the beginning of each chapter. If you're using this book for a book discussion group or for an academic class, you can also access discussion questions here.

http://docs.law.gwu.edu/facweb/dsolove/Future-of-Reputation/text.htm

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Dropbox is the easiest way to share and store your files online. No complicated interfaces to learn. Dropbox runs in the background on your desktop. Watch this screencast for how this free service works here.

https://www.getdropbox.com/

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Big Huge Labs

Helping you do cool stuff with your digital photos since 2005. :-)

http://www.bighugelabs.com/flickr/

Also check out http://www.dumpr.net/

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File Dropper’s simple, elegant, and the biggest of the bunch. 5GB! Uploading a file is as easy as browsing for your file, and clicking “Upload.” Every file gets a permanent link that you’re free to share with your friends. There are no frills, no awesome features to speak of, but it’s dead simple, practically limitless in size, and probably the one I use most.

http://www.filedropper.com/

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Micropoll - This web poll service doesn’t require registration and you can create a quick poll by simply typing all the possible choices in a text box separated by new lines. Micropoll provides a variety of colored themes and you can embed polls in websites either as JavaScript or a Flash movie. You get to see poll responses on a world map and the paid version also supports SMS polls.

http://www.micropoll.com/

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CustomGuide.com has a Ton of Free "Cheat Sheets"

These "cheat sheets" are PDF files designed to fit on the front and back of one page. They're eye-catchingly designed to cover all the basic functions of a software application. Applications covered? Generally speaking, programs from Microsoft, Mac, and Adobe (the guides cover several different release versions, especially for Microsoft Office programs). There are also cheat sheets for Firefox and QuickBooks.

http://www.customguide.com/quick_references.htm

Data Boot Camp for School Counselors
and Administrators - CD

Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D.

Over 30% Off until the end of January 2009

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!).

http://www.schoolcounselor.com/store/data-bootcamp.htm

$21.95 (FREE shipping)

$15 (FREE shipping) until the end of January 2009

Please allow 5-7 working days to arrive

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JUST FOR FUN

Uncle Jay Explains: Year-End News Review!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWiXy55OHyY


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Why Don't We Do It in Our Sleeves?

This humorous five-minute video encourages people to cough and sneeze according to infection control guidelines. Watch and find out why it is best to cough into your sleeve. Also includes a link to "Soap in the City," a short, funny video that uses the story of Typhoid Mary to explain the importance of hand washing to prevent the spread of disease. It also demonstrates the correct technique for washing hands. From three doctors.

http://coughsafe.com

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TeachersFirst 100th Day Activities: 50+ Ideas for the 100th Day of School

There are lots of ways to note the 100th day of school. Here are fifty of our favorites. Many of these activities will challenge both lower and upper elementary students as they build better number sense for "100." Enjoy!

http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/spectopics/100thday.cfm

Also check out http://www.teachersfirst.com/holiday/

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