Hardware Cyberinquiry

Hardware CyberInquiry


I.  Printers


         As every school is cost conscious but at the same time functionality should not be compromised, I am therefore recommending the HP Photosmart Premium Fax All-in-One. What attracted me to this particular model is the double-sided printing.  Our school goes through reams of paper and printing on double side will be cost effective as well as show our students the importance of being “green”.  Many teachers in the school also work with photos and this printer produces lab-quality photos.  Scanning is also an additional feature.


II.  Scanners


         Any tool that helps and motivates students to learn is worth the time and effort to incorporate into the curriculum and scanners fall into this category.  One of the frequent ways that a scanner is used is to digitize a student’s work.  Students can create a digital portfolio of their work.  Students are often interested in completing their assignments just to see it digitized.   Since I am fortunate enough to have Notebook software in conjunction with the Smartboard, I can scan students’ work in approximately a half a second.  The students’ work can then be edited again and again without losing the original.


          I personally like to have students’ work digitized to keep track of their progress and have all information stored electronically in one place.  If I want to, for example, give a particular item to a parent I only have to send it to the printer.  With scanning, I spend very little time at the copy machine.  A colleague of mine who is a science teacher has used the scanner as a close-up digital camera.


III.  Digital Cameras


         Students become interested when they see an image displayed rather than seeing a worksheet.  This Cyberinquiry has given me the idea that instead of drawing on a worksheet geometric shapes to measure angles, diagonal, and side length, how much more exciting it would be to take a picture of an item that fulfills a geometric shape.  For example, a picture of a colorful kite flying in the sky is so much more exciting than the shape of a kite that has been copied.   ISTE standards can be met using a digital camera as students are using technology tools to facilitate learning and increase productivity.


IV.  Assistive Technology


         In Module 3, I researched various types of Assistive Technology and came up with the PocketMod.  I tried a demo of it and it is actually fascinating.  My students hate to carry a lot of notes with them.  It is great to have their notes organized and condensed so it could actually fit into their pockets.  The PocketMod accomplishes this.  After a unit is completed, building a PocketMod would be a great way to organize the information and review the content at the same time.  The beauty of the end result is that the students have all their information together; it opens like a book and it can be tucked away neatly in their pocket or pocketbook for studying at home.


         A great Microsoft product to use with PocketMod is Text-to-speech (TTS) Playback Voice and would be a powerful addition to my classroom.  Many of my lessons are on Word and Notebook Software.  Having these lessons played back as spoken words would enhance my students’ ability to create their own notes, which would subsequently be used to generate their PocketMods.


V. CD-RW drives or CD-ROM drives with pen drives


         Storage has become very cheap in recent years.  It would be my recommendation that the technology committee purchase computers with CD-ROM drives along with pen drives.  Pen drives have become like cell phones; educators do not like to be without their pen drives and they are used to the technology and it has served them well.  Technology should be enhanced when it benefits the students; I believe that at this juncture, teachers can stay with their pen drives.  My goal is to have them incorporate technology into their classroom for the benefit of their students.


VI.  Troubleshooting Tips


(1) Computer Freezing – press CRL + ALT + DEL and End Task the program

(2) Computer Turning off without warning – This can be a heat related issue; check that the fan is moving on the back of the computer.  If this is not the problem, another option is to check for viruses.

(3) Computer is moving slowly – Try deleting temporary files or run a disk clean up utility.

(4) Computer does not turn on – Check that all cables (data cables, power cables, internal circuitry cables, etc) are all plugged in.

(5) What is the biggest time saver?  BOOKMARK, BOOKMARK, BOOKMARK!  Remember when you had to look around for all of those little pieces of papers you put your notes on or references to information that you did not want to forget, if you bookmark it will save you countless hours trying to find something that you “really need” or thought was great.