Well we made it to Bangkok without much of a fuss. Cats traveled well and we’re slowly settling into our new house in our new city. ISB is about 30 minutes outside of the city center making our view a little different from Shanghai.



The view is not the only thing different. Last night’s low of 81F and today’s high of 90F just about did me in. The wife of course is loving it and we constantly fight over A/Cs being on or off. So today we compromised and bought a fan. Although we have situated our bed so the A/C is blowing directly on me and not on her. πŸ™‚

The new house is bare as we await our shipment from Shanghai to arrive (a 20ft container) full of “beautiful carpets and furniture” (direct quote from wife).

It was nice though to turn on my laptop and find out that ISB installed a wireless system in teacher housing over the summer. So every teacher has wireless in their house that runs off of the school’s network.

Last night I found myself reading through blogs and e-mails and skipping over links that I knew were blocked…that is blocked in China. It was great when I clicked on an edublogs.org and a wordpress.com link and they both loaded. I have some retraining to do of my clicking fingers. πŸ™‚

Lastly I went to school today and picked up my new school issued computer.

Yep, a new Mac Book with 4GB of Ram. The last time I had a Mac was 9 years ago running 8.xx OS. I’ve been secretly wanting a Mac for the past couple of years so I’m looking forward to putting this thing through the test in the next couple of weeks.

But first I need help from all you Mac users out there. What free software do I need?

My first three are already on:


(Firefox and Skype came preloaded from the school…we’ll work on Twhirl for next year πŸ˜‰ )

So I’m busy tonight putting in all my Firefox extentions. The onces I can’t live without.

But what I need from the community is the other great stuff that makes a Mac…well a Mac.

What I’m looking for in particular at this moment:

FTP client (free)
Software that allows me to share my desktop via web cam

But I’ll take anything that will allow me to do my job better, faster, and more efficient and of course all that other stuff too. πŸ™‚

So come on all you Mac users…start thowing me those links to software I just can’t live without!

My first screencast is up over at U Tech Tips. A very basic tour for educators to get them familiar with Firefox. Basically to show that all the things that you are familiar with in IE are still there. Plus you learn how to add a theme.

The best part about this screencast is that the new Intro and Exit video clips for U Tech Tips were created by an 11th grade girl at my school who loves to create videos. I say a video she created in an assembly. Found out who she was and asked if she would make one for U Tech Tips. I was going to pay her, but she found out that the time she spend on creating the videos could be used as IB community service time. So that’s how she used it. I’m working on her to create a digital portfolio of her work for when she applies to Universities. This is the kind of thing that frustrates me. Here is a girl with a real talent with video and we have no way to harness that talent at our school…not this year anyway. There are so many classes I can think of that she could use to create videos. So many ways that she could represent reports differently than in paper form. I’m just glad I found her. I know how much time just a short clip like these can take to create, and I don’t have the time or knowledge to do it.

Enjoy the first screencast. If you want you can subscribe via iTunes and get the rest as they are created!


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I’m in the process of making a bunch of Screencasts for educators on using Firefox2 and thought I’d ask anyone who is interested to chime in.

What are the top 5 Firefox2 extensions every educator should have?

Such a simple question I know.

My debate right now is whether to promote zotero or diigo. I’ve just stated playing with diigo and have been using zotero for awhile. One big difference I think is that to use diigo you need to create a user account on their site. Now that’s not bad if you’re a geek like me and you have accounts all over the Internet. But if you’re a teacher…you know the type, the type that say “Another account? How am I going to remember all these username/passwords?” is Diigo worth it? Or is a simple extension like zotero better with no online account needed? Or is there something better that I’m missing.

My list so far

Del.icio.us Bookmarks Great for personal and classroom use
Zotero research tool A great research tool for all ages!
Googlepedia Shows you a relevant Wikipedia article aling with your google search results.

So, what are your top Firefox2 extensions?