The SchoolCounselor.com e-Newsletter is an
electronic publication 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Leaf has redefined test-prep. Check out his innovative series "McGraw-Hill's Top 50 Skills for a Top Score," available anywhere books are sold. "This book is a good read even if you don't have to take the ACT." Edward Fiske, Fiske Guide to Colleges
"The specific skills needed for the ACT, confidence building, stress-management, how to avoid careless errors this book has it covered!" Laura Frey, former President of the New England Association for College Admission Counseling
"What a surprise, what a relief! An SAT guide that actually meets students where they are, talks to them with wit and compassion and clears away the panic of test-taking. And, the writing is first-rate, too. Bravo Brian Leaf. Rebecca Pepper Sinkler, former Editor, The New York Times Book Review
I enjoyed the informal writing style, and the flash cards for math are brilliant! Students are used to stacks of vocabulary words in preparation for the verbal portion of the test, why not drills on flash cards for the math section? Denise Brown-Allen, Ed.D., Upper School Director, The Pingry School http://www.BrianLeaf.com
SchoolCounselor.com eNewsletter #116
February 26, 2010
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 email@example.com.
The School Counselor’s Website: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
More than just a delivery system for information, today's websites are online tools and systems which can help us to collaborate, communicate, process data, and even deliver interventions. An effective website can help the school counselor to better connect with students, teachers, community members, and other stake holders at anytime and from anywhere.
The technical side of a building a website has all but become a non-issue due to the powerful and user-friendly software and web-based services now available to all of us. Indeed, the hard part is getting the ideas right -- making sure that the words and pictures on your website represent the best of what your counseling program offers. In addition to providing information, creating a counseling website may also help you to provide students and others with important tools. For instance, one online GPA Calculator provided by the University of Maryland (http://www.sis.umd.edu/gpacalc/java.html) allows a student to calculate a list of possibilities for reaching their desired GPA given their current GPA and number of credits. Another site (http://cyberguidance.net) allows secondary students to request a copy of various scholarships by completing an online form. This same site which was created by Mr. Bob Turba, counselor at Stanton College Preparatory School located in Duval County, Jacksonville, Florida, has many other tools and ideas for infusing technology into your school counseling program (Sabella, 2003).
Make no mistake about it: Your online reputation matters. Microsoft released a key study today from Cross-Tab that shows employers and HR professionals are searching for information about prospective employees online to help make a hiring decision. This study surveyed consumers, HR professionals, recruiters and hiring managers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. http://bit.ly/ce7iDp
Google Docs You can now upload, store and share any file in Google Docs, giving you one place where you can upload and access your key files online. We support files up to 1GB in size. So instead of carrying a USB drive or emailing a file to yourself, you can use Google Docs to access your files on different computers. This can also help you work with teams to organize and collaborate on information online, especially when combined with shared folders. http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/01/upload-and-store-your-files-in-cloud.html
Polish My Writing This is a demonstration of some new software (and Firefox addon) that can help you with a bit of editing. The program uses artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to find your writing errors and offer smart suggestions. Note: does not work with Microsoft Word). http://www.polishmywriting.com/
Microsoft Word: Strip Hyperlinks From Pasted Text Source: PC World I'm constantly copying text from e-mails, Web pages, and other online sources into Word documents, and always with the same result: a bunch of unwanted hyperlinks for Web links and e-mail addresses. Good luck plumbing the depths of Word's menus to find a way to remove these links. One solution is to right-click any linked item and choose Remove Hyperlink, but that's a pretty slow method if you have multiple links you want to, well, unlink. Thankfully, there's a fast, easy, and automated solution: Select the entire block of text, then press Ctrl-Shift-F9. Presto: no more hyperlinks. All that's left behind is plain text. To my knowledge, this works in all versions of Word.
Speech Recognition (Windows XP and Vista) Have you thought about dictating instead of typing (think email, web page forms, and documents). I do it all the time. This link is a neat demo for Microsoft’s speech to text (and text to speech) program. This program comes with Office 2003. If you have upgraded to Office 2007, you have to be using the Windows Vista or Windows 7 OS. Although there is a setting for making this program work in all software, even non-Microsoft software, I have not been able to make this happen effectively. Instead, it only works in Microsoft software (e.g., Internet Explorer and not Firefox; Microsoft Word and not WordPerfect). http://www.microsoft.com/enable/demos/windowsvista/speechdemo.aspx
Use the Amazon Filler Item Finder to help locate those hard-to-find cheap filler items needed when your shopping cart falls just short of the $25 minimum to receive FREE Amazon Shipping. http://www.filleritemfinder.com/
Monitoring your digital reputation A list of specialized search engines to help you monitor your online digital reputation. http://bit.ly/a8MwfU
Pauker is a generic flashcard program written in Java. It uses an innovative combination of ultra-short-term, short-term and long-term memory. You can use it to learn all the things you never want to forget, like vocabularies, capitals, important dates, etc http://sourceforge.net/projects/pauker/files/
YouTube Music Discovery Project and Playlist Creation Tool Source: http://bit.ly/9ft1Ze The tool allows you to enter an artist or band name, and press a big "Disco!" button. The resulting page features a description of the artist or band you chose, with a sample playlist of related tracks pre-populated. You also get a list of the artist's songs that are available on YouTube that you can add to the playlist, and a list of links to "related" artists. http://bit.ly/9VOikF
Educational Video Sites RefSeek's guide to the 25 best online resources for finding free educational videos. With the exception of BrainPOP and Cosmeo, all listed sites offer their extensive video libraries for free and without registration. http://www.refseek.com/directory/educational_videos.html
Technology How-to Guides John Larkin, an Australian educator and technology trainer, has collected all of his useful handouts on a single page. They cover everything from cables and connectors, storyboarding, how to set up a Flickr account and everything in-between! Take the time to learn something new this week with his practical material. http://www.larkin.net.au/020_technology_howtos.html
CloudPad A simple note storage application that allows you to quickly find, navigate and prioritize your notes. Notes are associated with tags that can be viewed and navigated via the common Cloud metaphor. http://sourceforge.net/projects/cloudpad/
FillAnyPDF is a free web-based service where you can upload any file in PDF, PNG, JPG, or GIF format. You don't need to do anything to your form before or after it's uploaded; the service will do all the heavy lifting for you. Source: Lifehacker http://www.fillanypdf.com/
Tidy up your hard drive through defragmentation Source: Komando.com Losing your keys in your home is a pain. It's made worse if you haven't picked up in a while. A tidy house makes finding things easier. And the same is true on your computer. Whenever you click a document or program, your computer starts searching. It has to find all the associated files on your hard drive. Those files aren't always grouped together. If files are fragmented all over the drive, accessing them is slow. http://www.komando.com/downloads/category.aspx?id=8202
PDFmyURL lets you convert any webpage into a PDF document and save it to your computer. Simply paste the URL and click the button. You can also drag the bookmarklet to your toolbar so you don’t have to visit the website. http://pdfmyurl.com/
HassleMe Not eating enough fruit? Forgot to feed the fish again? Need a little help keeping your New Year's resolutions? Tell us what to hassle you about, and we'll nag you via email at semi-unpredictable intervals. HassleMe is unique because you never quite know when your reminder will come along. http://www.hassleme.co.uk/
Easy Poster Printer works on a simple principle: your image is divided into sections and fed to your printer chunk by chunk so the end result is a stack of segments that can be reassembled into the large image. (NOTE: They require you to upload your image and thus have less control over it and less privacy.) Source: Lifehacker http://www.gdsoftware.dk/products.aspx
TeleKast Source: Komando.com As we've learned from our president, teleprompters help spoken presentation. Turn your computer into a teleprompter with TeleKast. This free program allows you to create and segment scripts. Print them out or display them in real-time. There are some limitations. For example, it can't display mirror images, yet. This means it won't replace professional teleprompter software. However, it will be perfect for home and budget use. http://sourceforge.net/projects/telekast/
Data Boot Camp for School Counselors and Administrators - CD Russell A. Sabella, Ph.D.
This 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
$18.95 (FREE shipping) Please allow 5-7 working days to arrive
Newseum Just put your mouse on a city anywhere in the world and the newspaper headlines pop up... Double click and the page gets larger....you can read the entire paper on some if you click on the right place. You can spend forever here.. http://www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash/
Celestia The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions. Celestia runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. http://www.shatters.net/celestia/
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GuardingKids.com: 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.
GuardingKids.com 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.