Saturday, December 29, 2012

Create Wall Posters from your School Printer

Take any photo or image from the web and create large wall posters from it. Upload to BlockPosters then download the resulting PDF that will print out in pieces on your school printer. Get poster-size graphics without having to use a plotter-style printer.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Learn It In 5

Nice collection of videos aimed at teachers; learn about new technology for use in the classroom in bit-sized 5 minute pieces.  Whether introducing a new concept or expanding on what you already know, these step-by-step how-to videos are worth looking at.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine which means that when you search a topic, you get exact answers instead of millions of websites to sift through.  You can search for specific terms or you can put in an equation to solve for example. 

Click here to find the results of searching for a 30 sided polyhedron.

Click here to find the results of C major 7th chord.

Click here to find the results of searching for an exact longitude and latitude.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Digital Media and Literacy

Canada's Centre for Digital Media and Literacy is a very useful site for teachers and students.  Lots of resources for staff, and some good online student quizzes/games to introduce different topics of digital literacy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Texting with your Class

Remind101 seems like a really nice option for communicating with your class and parents via SMS (text messaging). No need to share your cell # with students. Very simple web interface. Works in Canada.

Friday, September 7, 2012

YouTube without the Clutter

Great way to show YouTube videos in your classroom without all the distractions that surround the video (comments, suggestions, etc).

Copy/Paste the URL of the video you want to play (web address such as

Go to and paste the 'Create'

You'll have your video play in a clutter-free new window!

If that link is not working, another site to use is SafeShare.  It works in the same way as ViewPure.

Update: Desktop/Laptop Refresh

After a lengthy RFP process, LPSD has selected HP to provide the technology for our upcoming desktop and laptop refresh.  Here's the details:

-          Teachers will have 15.6in HP 4530s 6GB RAM + 2 Power Adapters
-          Desktops will be HP 6300 6GB RAM with 21.5in LED Display
-          Middle School/LCHS will have new 28 bay carts
-          ES Laird is pilot and will be installed October (awaiting delivery timeframe from vendor)
-          More detailed information on process for converting your school will be determined as part of the ES Laird pilot, but overall process will be similar to following:
o   Pre-Hardware Order Walk Through with School Admin + IT Dept to determine current computer quantity and assess required quantity
o   Order Hardware
o   Pre-Delivery Software Review of all custom software at each school to determine Windows7 compatibility and recourse if necessary
o   Review of Onsite Rollover Process whereby we’ll flip your school ‘live’ with low/none downtime for secretary staff
-          Information on refresh such as Image Software List and Project Updates will be made available right here on the LPSD Technology Blog once we get underway at ES Laird

Monday, June 4, 2012

Scale of the Universe

Scale of the Universe is an interactive animation that easily allows the user move a slider to zoom in and out of objects to see their relative size.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012 Share Visual Ideas Online  Drag and drop a vheme (Visual Theme) onto the working area, easily add graphics and text, change backgrounds to create visually appealing graphs, charts and displays.  This site is very user friendly.  Work can be saved using the free sign up feature. is a free sound library which allows you to save files for future use.  If you set up a free account you can store your clips in your account and use them for different types of presentations.  If you don't set up an account, you still have the ability to download these short sound clips.  There are over 10,000 sounds to choose from.

Monday, April 30, 2012 Online, free, large file sharing

"Signup not required

Being forced to provide your email address and password just to use an online service is annoying. with pastelink, registering an account is strictly optional. Feel free to share files up to 250MB with your friends -- no annoying signups required.

Send large files

got a large file you want to send to someone? no problem. with pastelink, you can send files up to 250MB without even creating an account. Have a file larger than 250MB? sign up for an account with us and send files up to 2GB in size -- don't worry, it's still free.


There's no limit to how many files you can share with pastelink. each file is automatically stored for 7 days. Send movies to friends, documents to coworkers, it's free!"

Tag My Doc: Sharing Documents with QR Codes

TagMyDoc allows you to add a tag to any document in order to share it with others.  The documents are all kept in the cloud.  This is a free site but requires you to sign up with a username and password so that documents are stored indefinitely.  If you only use the guest access, documents are kept for 14 days. The maximum upload size is 5 MB per file.  File types that can be used are Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, PDF, OpenDocument and images.  A QR Reader is required to scan the QR codes which are often free.  There will be a TagMyDoc app coming soon to the iTunes store.

With a free account you have secure storage of 100 documents.  The choice of applying the tag to any corner of your document.  You will also have unlimited storage time and distribution of your document.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free File Converter

Free File Converter
A common problem facing staff and students is finding a free and easy way to convert files into other formats without dealing with the hassle of creating accounts, providing personal information, and receiving the converted file through email which is often blocked.

Free File Convert is a simplified online conversion service that allows you to convert your files to most common formats in three easy steps.

Download link of converted file

Conversion Process

Caution: As many of these free services rely on advertising most will offer sponsorship links to very questionable websites. This one is by far the cleanest we have come across that offers this ease of conversion. Please use caution in promoting this product with your students until you are comfortable with all the sponsorship links as they may change over time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Walking Together - FNMI Perspectives through LearnAlberta

Walking Together is a professional development resource for educators designed to help teachers understand the holistic nature of FNMI ways of knowing and understanding. It also provides opportunities for FMNI Peoples to share their viewpoint and to demonstrate FNMI perspectives in teaching and learning experiences using a large bank of audio and video clips.

Please be aware of the disclaimer before being allowed access: "This is a Professional Development Resource For Educators. The content in this resource has not been reviewed for student use"

The home page is broken up into 12 main areas
  1. Kinship
  2. Aboriginal and Treaty Rights
  3. Healing Historical Trauma
  4. FNMI Worldviews
  5. Oral Tradition
  6. Elders
  7. Symbolism and Traditions
  8. Connection to Lands
  9. Indigenous Pedagogy
  10. Culture and Language
  11. Well-Being
  12. Traditional Environmental Knowledge

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

SHOW: A New Way to Look at the World

SHOW:  This is an amazing site that highlights global statistics using data and graphs.  It is very easy to use and the visual aspect of it is very powerful.

SHOW could really enhance your class material on history, and social issues such as the environment and health.

According to the website, "select a subject from the top menu and watch the countries on the map change their size.  Instead of land mass, the size of each country will represent the data for that subject - both its share of the total and absolute value."

There are 3 different sets of data, SHOW/World, SHOW/USA, and SHOW/Japan

Show/World Categories:

  • People:  Demographics, Causes of Death, Education, Health, Religion
Demographics for example, is further sub-divided into Population, Children, Aging Population, Urban Population, and Rural Population.

  • Planet:  Animal Resources, Crop Resources, Energy, Environment, Metals and Minerals, Natural Disasters
  • Business:  Economy, Global Brands, Industry, Technology, Transport
  • Politics:  Government, Law & Order, Migration, War & Conflict, Aid
  • Living:  Food & Dining, Travel, Sports, Medicine

 There are options given to download/embed a direct link, embed the animation, download this map as an image or download the data as an excel file.
The web site also suggests relevant books that can be purchased through various companies such as Amazon.

This map of the world shows countries that are resized by the countries' population relative to the world population.  Countries are ranked on the right hand side.  Clicking on those countries will indicate the actual population.

Online mp3 Recorder

Record mp3 is an easy to use, online recorder.  You can save these files and embed them into your lessons in programs such as PowerPoint and SMART Notebook.  By the way, the newest version of SMART Notebook is due out this spring and does feature an mp3 recorder to put audio directly into your lessons.  Until then, this is an easy program to use.  If you want a more powerful audio editor, Audacity is currently on our school division image.  You will still need to convert those .wav files to mp3.  If you require this, please contact your tech coach because an encoder needs to be added to your computer.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Pics4Learning: Free Image Library


"Pics4Learning is a safe, free image library for education. Teachers and students can use the copyright-friendly photos and images for classrooms, multimedia projects, web sites, videos, portfolios, or any other project in an educational setting.
The thousands of photos in this collection are approved for use in the classroom and indexed and sorted in order to maximize their effective use by students in a 21st century classroom.
While the photographers retain the rights to these photos, they have graciously allowed their use through this collection."
The web site makes it easy to search by topic and sub-topic.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gooru: Comprehensive Math and Science Searches

Gooru -search results are shown in thumbnails and grade levels are indicated.  
You can:

  • Search for resources, collections or quizzes
  • Study individual resources or entire collections
  • Practice with an adaptive assessment system
  • Interact with your peers and teachers
  • Save -- and customize -- your favourite learning materials

"Gooru is a search engine for learning that allows you to explore and study over 2,600 standards-aligned and personalized study guides. Study guides cover 5th-12th grade math and science topics, and resources include digital textbooks, animations, instructor videos and more. All resources are vetted and organized by teachers or Gooru’s content experts, so you don’t have to sort through the mess of subpar educational resources available online yourself. 

Gooru also makes it easy for you to connect with your worldwide peers to make learning a social experience. Post questions to an active community of students, teachers and experts, or find friends and peers to study with. 

Best of all, Gooru adapts to you. Based on the topics you study and your performance on self-assessments, Gooru suggests resources and study guides that will help you master the concepts. You can track your study habits and monitor your performance on any of the topics you study."

This comprehensive search engine can only be used with Safari, Firefox, and Google Chrome.  Some of our schools have Firefox.  If not, you can use the portable version of Google Chrome on your computer.  Contact  your tech coach if you need help getting this.  Portable Chrome   You can install the program on your desktop or onto a USB drive of your school computer.  At home, install the program as you normally would.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Cool Text for your Presentations

Here are a number of websites that allow you to make animated gifs that can be used in SMART Notebook. 
Scrolling LED sign
Wigflip Signbot
Tiny Tags
Tiny Tags

Friday, March 2, 2012

How to open a blocked shortened URL

Creating and sharing tinyURLs or shortened / snipped URLs are now quite commonly used in Twitter and other micro-blogging sites. Tiny URLs are easier to remember and manage. However, sometimes tinyURL or other URL snipping services are blocked. As a result you cannot know and visit original URL behind the tinyURL.  This quick service lets you convert a tiny URL into the orgininal URL so that you can visit that website. 

How to Shorten a URL


bitly is a utility that allows users to shorten a long URL, share it, and then track the resulting usage.  A shortened website URL is useful in text messages or Twitter posts in order to save room/characters.

This is also a free app for iphone/ ipod touch etc.

Other URL shorteners:


shrinkURL is also another free app available on itunes.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Paths of the Elders - Free Simulation

Paths of the Elders - Free Simulation

This is a role playing simulation centred on the signing of Treaty 9 around James Bay. It is designed more towards Div 2 Elementary and Middle School students as there is a large reading component playing the simulation. Students need to create an account to save their progress and must submit an email for the service to supply information in case they forget their password.

Although it would be great to have a simulation based on Treaty 6 many comparative references, concepts, and understandings can be drawn from this website.

The students are challenged to complete 6 "Path of Learning" through their quest.
1. Self-Governance
2. Security
3. Health
4. Economy
5. Culture
6. Education

This simulation is challenging and requires critical thinking and strategy. How students respond to questions, interact with other characters, and manage resources will determine how successful they are in the quest. Cooperation with other characters is essential.

There are many audio, video and photo clips built through the quest and teacher resource guides supplied. There is even a survey for teachers and students to offer feedback and suggestions to improve the site.

Please take the time to preview and evaluate this site. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

As this site is Flash dependent I have tried it out on a few machines throughout the division and there are no conflicts so far. If you have students that rely on assistive technology there is a slight problem using the "screen capture" option in Read & Write Gold. Some of the information is hard to grab as it is only a temporary popup when you move the cursor over an area which restricts the ability to use the screen capture tool. There is also a slight problem when Read and Write Gold converts what it has captured as not all the words in the information is processed properly.

Please contact any of the coaches if you need assistance with any technological, curricular, and differentiation questions you may have.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

XNView Portable App from - editing pictures made easy

XNView portable app is a very simple and easy-to-use graphic file editor. Although not as powerful as Photoshop or GIMP, this program does contain most of the photo editing features for beginner and intermediate users.  One of the strongest features of this portable app is the ability to batch process large numbers of pictures at the same time rather than manipulating each picture as a separate task which can be a long process.

Simply download from and install the program folder to either your flash drive or to your desktop.

The main features they promote include:
  • Import about 400 graphic file formats
  • Export about 50 graphic file formats
  • Multipage TIFF, Animated GIF, Animated ICO support
  • Image IPTC, EXIF metadata support
  • EXIF auto rotation support
  • IPTC editing
  • Resize, rotate, crop support
  • Lossless rotate & crop (jpeg) support
  • Adjust brightness, contrast...
  • Auto levels, contrast
  • Modify number of colors
  • Apply filters (blur, average, emboss, ...)
  • Apply effects (lens, wave, ...)
  • Fullscreen mode
  • Slide show with effects
  • Batch convert, batch rename
  • Create WEB page easily
  • Screen capture
  • Create contact Sheet
  • Create or edit Multi-page file (TIFF, DCX, LDF)
  • TWAIN & WIA support (Windows only)
  • Print support (Windows only)
  • Drag & Drop support (Windows only)
  • Compare image side by side
  • Filmstrip layout
  • 44 languages support (Windows only)
  • No Adware, No Spyware

Batch processing to resize multiple files

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Survey Creator - Create an online survey in 4 steps

Survey Creator is a free service that allows surveys to be conducted and managed online. As the link to access the survey is controlled by the author, this service offers a safe and secure environment if desired. It's easiest to send the link and password to your class through LPSD email. For elementary classes that don't use email, the login information can be saved as a Word document in each school's "studentshare" drive for all students to access.

There are 4 steps to creating an online survey.
1. Sign up for a free account
2. Design the survey and questions
3. Send the link to your respondents
4. After the respondents have submitted their responses, you can analyse and report on the data

Survey Creator is promoting the following features:
  • Simple and user friendly environment
  • Different language preferences and support
  • User defined design (colors, fonts, style)
  • Add, modify, delete, or duplicate the questions / surveys is an easy operation
  • 4 modes - survey, instant poll (with instant results), quiz (with instant evaluation), subscription (share collected data)
  • Variety of question types: single/multiple choice, evaluation scales,...
  • E-mail notification
  • Filtering on multiple replies per respondent
  • Direct data exchange with Excel, Export in PDF
  • Graphical reporting
  • Surveys protected by login / password
  • Data storage on a secure server
  • Publicity/ads free surveys
Survey Design Editor
Question Editor
Data Analysis
The interface to design the survey and questions can be a bit challenging for a first time user and unfortunately there is a bit of experimentation and previewing needed to design the survey to your needs. There is a built in help and FAQ menu available through the service.

Please request help from the tech coaches if you are interested in using this program and feel you need assistance.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Newsmap:  This site displays a visual search of the world's news.  It displays the news of the day and will colour code results by topic such as 'science', 'technology', business etc.  It will also colour code those individual topics based on how long ago the story was posted.  The darkest of each colour (topic) was posted more than an hour ago, while the lightest, displays postings of less than 10 minutes ago.  You can toggle on or off individual countries to find certain news reports or current events.  It also allows you to search by topic (top right of row).  A simple mouse over of each box will give a brief description and then you could choose to click/select it to follow that news item.

This example has Canada selected (top row) and presents all topics (bottom row).

Friday, January 27, 2012 - Allows freedom and portability

At times, staff within LPSD encounter problems using installed software that requires updates and will not perform properly as technology constantly changes. As we await the deploy of our new image there is a temporary solution by using free apps that can be downloaded to be installed and used on various portable storage devices or even to your desktop. There are also a large number of apps that are not installed on LPSD computers that teachers may want to use.

Portable Apps Home

Common free programs that have been converted to portable format include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Skype, Blender, GIMP, Celestia, Stellarium, Marble, Audacity, & VLC Media Player. All you have to do is download (enable the download warning and choose run) and give it a location to install the folder on your flash drive or desktop. Housed inside the installed folder is the .exe launch icon which will start the program.

Categorized List of Portable Apps

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Oolone: Visual Search Engine

Do you have students who have a difficult time reading through the lists of search results?  You could introduce them to a more visual search engine called Oolone.  This could be great alternative for EAL students.

To make this work better for you, try more specific search terms.  For example, if you are researching dolphins, try "dolphin behaviour" or "dolphin biology" instead of just the term "dolphin". That way the search results will not include the Miami Dolphins and websites on dolphin stuffed animals!

You can see visual copies of websites in Google as well, but you have to mouse over each site.  Oolone displays a number at a time.