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Laptop Software

New Laptops have been setup to make it easier for teachers and students to use. We are making the switch from FireFox to Google Chrome for our main web browser. The Chrome browser has a simple design which makes it very fast. Internet Explorer and FireFox are available if needed. 

The home page for all browsers is set to the school website. You can search from the address bar in Google Chrome.

Since there are several new programs available on the laptops, some basic introductions and resources to the programs will appear on this page to help you get started. If you would like to use any of these programs in your classroom, just let me know!

Microsoft Office 2007

posted Dec 4, 2010, 7:50 AM by GoogleApps Administrator

In Pictures, is a great site to learn how to complete specific tasks in Microsoft Office 2007. All the instructions are supplemented with images from the program.

Getting Started with Microsoft Office 2007 is also a great site for tutorials and templates.

For home users, the latest version is Microsoft Office 2010

If you prefer open source productivity software, you can download and automatically install Open Office at Ninite.

Windows MovieMaker

posted Dec 2, 2010, 7:37 AM by GoogleApps Administrator   [ updated Dec 2, 2010, 8:17 AM ]

Windows MovieMaker (WMM) is a great tool to transform your raw flip videos to a finished product.  While WMM is a very easy to use, there are some considerations that you need to know in order for the project to go smoothly. The attached handout provides step-by-step instructions for using Movie-Maker. If you prefer to a multi-media approach, Atomic Learning has a list of free videos to get you started.

WMM is on all school computers.On the laptops it is located in the Creative Apps folder. On Windows 7, you can also search for "moviemaker" using the Start Menu Programs search box.


posted Aug 22, 2010, 7:22 AM by GoogleApps Administrator   [ updated Aug 22, 2010, 7:23 AM ]

WolfQuest is an immersive, 3D wildlife simulation game installed on all computers. WolfQuest challenges players to learn about wolf ecology by living the life of a wild wolf in Yellowstone National Park. The website offers background information on wolf species, classroom lessons (also on computers), photo and video library, student art gallery, and moderated WolfQuest Community Forum with access to biologists and other WolfQuest students and educators. WolfQuest is sponsored by the Minnesota Zoo, EduWeb, and International Wolf Center.

WolfQuest can be a powerful means of learning and student engagement in a range of science topics including food webs, predator-prey concepts, habitat, adaptations,  endangered species/conservation, etc. It can also support literacy through gathering background knowledge using the resources mentioned above and multiple means of expression through writing (news or research reports, wolf diaries, stories, etc) and multimedia (video, animation, audio recordings, etc.).

Science Pirates

posted Aug 22, 2010, 6:27 AM by GoogleApps Administrator   [ updated Aug 22, 2010, 6:35 AM ]

Science Pirates: The Curse of Captain Brownbeard (developed by the USDA/NMSU) is a multi-part game that can be played in or outside of the classroom to help Grades 5-8 students better understand science and food safety concepts. The game addresses both national science process standards and educational objectives through engaging gameplay. It is a great way to introduce experimental design to students. This program is installed on the laptops and is available as a free download for students to use at home. Check out the videos on the main page.

Food Detectives is for grades 3-5 and is available for online play. It is listed in on the Links page for students.

MS AutoCollage

posted Aug 22, 2010, 6:08 AM by GoogleApps Administrator   [ updated Dec 4, 2010, 7:50 AM ]

MS AutoCollage is an image processing program which automatically creates collages of your pictures. Just organize your photos into a folder and AutoCollage will blend and resize the images automatically. To see some great collage examples, visit Mrs. Lynch's display of 5th/6th grade projects. Students collages share their talents and hobbies. 

Grammar Ninja

posted Aug 22, 2010, 6:00 AM by GoogleApps Administrator

Grammar Ninja is a free flash program for grades 5 & 6 to practice identifying parts of speech. It has three levels of play. The best part is the Sentence Creator App which allows teachers and students to add their own sentences. Please see me if you would like to customize this program. Grammar Ninja is perfect for use with the mimio.


posted Aug 22, 2010, 5:50 AM by GoogleApps Administrator   [ updated Aug 22, 2010, 5:52 AM ]

Songsmith generates musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your PC’s microphone, and Songsmith will create backing music for you. Then share your songs with your friends and family, post your songs online, or create your own music videos.

Visit the Songsmith site for a great introduction. Songsmith will be installed on the Thinkpad laptops and Acer Desktops.

Fast Image Resizer

posted Aug 22, 2010, 5:39 AM by GoogleApps Administrator

Resizing your images using Fast Image Resizer is very easy.
First, start Fast Image Resizer, either with the shortcut in your Programs menu, or with the shortcut on your desktop.
Next, select the preferred resolution in the Resolution drop-down box.
Finally, use windows explorer to browse to the images you want to resize, and drag and drop them into the drop box on the Fast Image Resizer window.
Fast Image Resizer will now start resizing your pictures to the selected resolution.


posted Aug 22, 2010, 5:31 AM by GoogleApps Administrator

Picasa software is provides an easy way to manage, view, and edit images on your computer. 
Please see this Getting Started Guide from Google to learn the basics of the program.

Microsoft Photo Story 3

posted Oct 14, 2009, 5:17 AM by GoogleApps Administrator   [ updated Nov 22, 2009, 10:54 AM ]

MS Photostory takes presentations to a new level. Using still photos combined with the Ken Burns' motion effects, some background music, and audio narration, student work comes alive in a movie format. Installed on the laptops in the multimedia folder (Start Menu-->Programs-->Multimedia), students can become digital storytellers very quickly. For students who have mastered PowerPoint, MS PhotoStory will open up new possibilities for digital creativity. For younger students, the audio capabilities can be easier than PowerPoint with a little adult assistance.

Learning Photostory 3
    1. Complete the preparation steps using the handout, "Photo Story Preparation" available at the bottom of the page.
    2. The fastest way to learn Photo Story is to follow the video tutorial as you create your own sample Photo Story project.
          • Click to open the Photo Story 3 tutorial.
          • Open the Photo Story 3 program. (only on the new laptops)
            • Click once on the Creative Apps folder on the desktop and press enter to open it.
            • Locate the PhotoStory icon and double click (or Click+ Enter)  OR
            • Navigate via the Start Menu-->All Programs-->Multimedia-->Photo Story
 Additional Written instructions with screenshots are also available via the Photostory3 handout at the bottom of this page.

The PDF files are attached below. Flickrstorm is a webservice which makes searching Flickr for safe, creative commons images a breeze is also attached.

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