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Help guide for MS Office common tasks. This is the on-line version of the CDrom based help guide provided in the Intel TTF course.

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So when did google become a verb?

So when did google become a verb? I googled the phrase "google became a verb" and learned that it happened on July 8th, 2006. On that day "google" was added as a verb in the Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary.

 google
 One entry found for google. Main Entry: goo·gle 
 Pronunciation: 'gü-g&l
 Function: transitive verb
 Inflected Form(s): goo·gled; goo·gling  /-g(&-) li[ng]/
 Usage: often capitalized
 Etymology: Google, trademark for a search engine
 : to use the Google search engine to obtain information
   about (as a person) on the World Wide Web 

I remember using google as a verb before then but it's good to know that the folks at Merriam-Webster google too.

Power of the Internet is People...

I've heard it said that the Internet isolates people. That's not true. It brings people together, often people who would never find each other otherwise. This week New Orleans was flooded by hurricane Katrina. Thousands of people are now homeless and in need of a place to go, any place. On Craigslist.com, folks from all over the country are posting invitations to unknown people in need, "Come stay with us." http://neworleans.craigslist.org/hhh/

Here's one example from Pennsylvania:

5br - GREAT FAMILY HOME FOR KATRINA REFUGEES
5 Bedroom home on 6 acres available immediately; ideal for large families...house is available for as long as you need it...transportation from southern airports available; contact post for more info

My Summer Vacation


I just got back from a week of camping at my favorite spot, Sand Island, a public marine park next to St. Helens, Ore. Sand Island sits right in the middle of the Columbia River. There is usually a cool NW breeze that comes right up the river from Astoria on the Pacific Ocean. We’ve been camping there for the last 20 years.

We camp with other families and friends and there is often a large group there. During the week we have the island to ourselves. I’m still amazed that such a nice place is not more popular. We swim in the Columbia river, play with the boats, throw sticks for the dogs, read, read, and read. There also seems to be an endless game of hearts going. I almost shot the moon two nights ago.

Too Good To Print

I just ran across an interesting story about photographers having trouble getting prints made of their digital images. It seems like most photo labs (even places like Wal-Mart) have policies against printing images that are from a professional and could be copyrighted.

With digital cameras getting better and with more photographers using photo editing software, the line between amateur and professional starts to blur. On one hand, I can see why professional photographers need protection. They have to make a living and selling prints is part of that. On the other hand, this story points out how copyright laws are coming up short in the digital age.

Capacity for Math Collaboration

WWW Interactive Mathematics Server
https://webwork.math.ohio-state.edu/wims/

I'm working on pulling together math resources that are freely available on-line. My goal is to expand on the work that's happening at wikibooks.org, and create an open content, on-line math textbook/resource center for algebra. There should be text, video, worksheets, interactive activities, math tools, forums and exams all maintained collaboratively by math teachers and students around the world.

OurMedia.org Global home for grassroots media

I stumbled across a fascinating web project at Ourmedia.org. I'll quote directly from their published mission:

Create. Share. Get noticed. That's what Ourmedia is about.
Ourmedia is a global community and learning center where you can gain visibility for your works of personal media. We'll host your media forever — for free.

Video blogs, photo albums, home movies, podcasting, digital art, documentary journalism, home-brew political ads, music videos, audio interviews, digital storytelling, children's tales, Flash animations, student films, mash-ups — all kinds of digital works have begun to flourish as the Internet rises up alongside big media as a place where we’ll gather to inform, entertain and astound each other.

Leadership Capacity

My word for the day is capacity.

Defined as: Ability; power pertaining to, or resulting from, the possession of strength, wealth, or talent; possibility of being or of doing.

I just got back from a four-day field study with more than half of our school. The trip was designed as a bonding time and it was a great success. The capacity of the school has increased as a result. How did that happen? One teacher in our school had a vision for bringing together the seniors and juniors to form a leadership team. This team planned events, worked with groups of younger students, modeled positive behavior, gave out lots of hugs and showed us that kids can do great things if we expect it of them.

Reflections on 9th grade math...

Today I finished 12 weeks with a basic skills level, 9th grade algebra class. I had 24 students with a wide range of abilities. Our classes at Riverdale High are usually around 20 so this class felt large. I asked the kids to reflect on how they did this term today so I'll do the same.

Right away I have to say that I love teaching and this class was no exception. It was tough, challenging, rewarding and I only had mixed success. I know of no job that offers a challenge so tough, demands so much skill and offers many fleeting glimpses of accomplishment to keep you going. Teaching is hard. It's hard to be a great teacher. I've taught for 23 years and this class required all my craft skills, tried me to the limits of my patience, offered me the joys of watching kids learn and the sorrows of seeing some give up. At the end of the term, I can say I'm a better teacher, a worn out teacher and I know I could do it all again and still love it.

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