Technology Madness

Tech Tips for The Classroom & Beyond

Microsoft Office For Free

Can it really be? Will teachers and students no longer have to purchase their own copy of Microsoft Office to edit documents at home? Yes, sort of. Save your students and yourself money by reading more about what Microsoft is doing.

Eliminate That Hum

Tired of that annoying hum in your wall speakers or audio equipment? Without getting into much detail, the source of the problem is usually how the equipment is grounded. A variety of inexpensive solutions can be purchased from one of our approved vendors, Markertek.

ActivPanel On Display at BES

An ActivPanel is a high-definition alternative to the standard Promethean ActivBoard. It resembles a widescreen TV, eliminating the need for projectors, which often become dirty over time and often loose their brightness. Another benefit of the ActivPanel is the inclusion of multi-touch interaction - fingers work like ActivPens. Currently, the only drawback is price. The higher cost causes buyers to select smaller-sized models, which end up reducing the viewing area that students need in the classroom.

Your Next ABC Book

The next time you have students create an ABC book project, consider allowing them to organize their work using the web-based tool, Alphabet Organizer. It's free, students have the ability to save their work, and the printing options offer an additional cover sheet that lays out all the letter-slides in one chart.

Mystery Skype

I know - this sounds like a terrible idea to introduce in a school, but it's not what you think. Teachers across the world register their class and agree upon a date/time to play a game called Mystery Skype. Essentially, it's an exciting game of 20-questions, where opposing classes take turns asking yes/no questions to reveal the location of the other class.

Google Timer

Take a moment to try this free Google feature. Open the Google launch page and type "8 minute timer" or whatever time you want. A simple timer will automatically begin counting down. It even includes an audible alarm and the option to enlarge the timer to full screen.

Chrome's Remote Desktop App

Yet, another free feature from Google: Chrome's Remote Desktop App allows teachers to control their classroom computer with a mobile device, such as an iPad. Of course, you need to be using Chrome on your classroom computer for this to work.


Is your class ready for a Kahoot? - a fast paced student response system that creates an engaging game-based connection to any web-connected device. Signup for a free account to play one of the thousands of user-made kahoots, or create your own from scratch to supplement your lessons.

BES Flips Training On It's Head

Media specialist, Pat Bell, was recently praised on the Safari Montage HD Network blog for taking the initiative by organizing pre-training activities ahead of Dr. Clark's visit. By the way, there are some outstanding tutorial videos available in Safari Montage. Simply click on the "help" menu and look for the blue "tutorial" button.

3 Best Flashcard Apps For Students

Active vs. passive learning methods...What's the difference and what's one of the best tools for long-term retention? According to research from the Association of Psychological Science: flashcards!

French, Spanish, Programming?

The state of Washington is considering a bill that would allow two years of computer science to count as two years of foreign language for the purpose of college admission. I strongly believe that our schools should be teaching computer science, but I'm not going to comment any further, as my wife is a French teacher.

Tyler Torek

Director of Testing, Instructional

Technology, & Behavioral Supports

Burke County Public Schools