Friday, November 28, 2008

Name Your Files So They Can Be Found

Erin Doland shares a good idea for naming computer files on a recent Real Simple blog.

Doland suggests that the combination of consistently- and appropriately-named files/folders with a good desktop search program such as Google Desktop will allow you to find whatever file you need.

Doland uses file names such as 081125-project-client. I like the use of the date in the name. By using a year-month-date approach, the files will sort chronologically. I use the date as part of some of my filenames, but I use 20081125 (all four digits of the year) because some of my files are pre-2000.

I find that I use the date as part of the file name for (1) files that refer to events that occur on an annual or otherwise recurring basis and (2) photo albums. So, I have files such as Fireside Chat 20080313 and Fireside Chat 20080626 for a community organization. My photo albums name the event and the date… Thanksgiving 20081127. I plan now to consider using the date in other filenames as well. And I might begin the filename with the date rather than end it with the date. That would assure the chronological ordering even better.

So, how do you name your files?


Monday, November 24, 2008

Print a Web Page as You Want

Did you ever want to print a web page, but didn’t want to waste paper on all the ads and portions of the article that you didn’t need? Or you could print just the portion of the article that you wanted… except that it printed in narrow columns with big areas of white space?

While reading Tim Lauer’s blog ( I discovered Print What You (, a site that lets you save as a PDF those portions of a web page that you want… and then you can print the PDF.

Try it. It’s easy. It’s free. And it works!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Professional Information and Weekly Address

Professional Information

TeachersFirst site is always a good source of sites to use when teaching. However, it also provides other useful information. When you follow the trail Professional > Staying Current > Outside Sources, you find links to all the State Departments of Education (USA) and the state education standards. At the same spot you can also find links to many professional education organizations and current information on grants and contests. This is certainly a good site to bookmark.

Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on

Weekly Address
from President-elect Obama

Http:// is the official website during the transition of President-elect Obama and his team. News, events, and announcements will be available here during the transition period.

Weekly addresses will also be found here—and on YouTube, AOL, Yahoo, and MSN—in addition to being broadcast on the radio. It appears that the transcripts are also included. These weekly updates will continue during the transition period and then also from the White House. This is the first time that a weekly update has been released as a web video.

Current events should be much easier to discuss with this new source.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Field Trips Too Expensive This Year? Try a Virtual Tour!

Do you and your students want to travel to a museum, a city, a country, the solar system? How about a virtual tour? Would you like your students to create their own virtual tour?

Here's a few of the sites available for virtual tours:
  • Franklin Institute Science Museum
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • American Museum of Natural History
  • Worldwide Museum of Natural History
  • American Red Cross Virtual Museum
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Vanderbilt Museum
  • Easter Island
  • The Nine (8) Planets
  • The Whitehouse
  • The Virtual Cave
  • Dark Ages
  • Poet’s Pantry Tour
  • Africa
Dianne Krause of the Wissahickon School District in Pennsylvania has created a list of virtual tours which includes many that I have not seen elsewhere. This list is definitely worth exploring!


Sunday, November 2, 2008

Common Craft Video Explains Phishing

No Phishing

Information literacy is one component of digital citizenship. Included in information literacy is the ability to recognize dangers online... and one of those dangers is phishing.

Common Craft has produced a video--Phishing Scams in Plain English--which does a very good job of explaining phishing.

I have embedded the video here for you to view. It can also be accessed at YouTube.


About Me

Hello! My name is Jo Schiffbauer. I believe in lifelong learning. With that in mind, I designed this blog as a series of technology tips for educators—tips that provide ideas for learning, teaching, and using digital skills.

Students should be actively involved in their learning and they should have authentic audiences for their work. The use of technology—especially many web 2.0 applications—supports this type of learning and teaching.

I am a former teacher (mathematics and computer science) and director of technology. Currently I am an adjunct instructor in instructional technology for preservice teachers at a local university and I teach graduate workshops for teachers. With Ohio’s Project Discovery I provided professional development designed to reform both the teaching and learning of mathematics education. I have presented to local, state, and regional groups about mathematics and technology education and I have served on the boards of local and state mathematics and technology education organizations.

If you would like to contact me, I am available at

Thank you for visiting Learning and Teaching in the 21st Century.