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Volume 3 Number 10

"Everybody loves hummingbirds, and they are wonderful tools to excite students about learning."

That quote from a classroom teacher is the basic premise of Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project...

Meet our Antarctic Guide - A conversation with
USCG LT Marshall Branch
by Kathleen Carpenter, Editor in Chief
The Responsive Classroom: A Practical Approach for Teaching Children to Care by Dr. Belinda Gimbert
Attitudes Toward Numbers Through History by Daniel Chang
Classroom Photos by Members of the Teachers.Net Community
How Many Environments Does a Child Have? by Judith Rich Harris
The Hurried Child, Book Review by Sonja Marcuson
There IS a Printer and a Xerox Machine in Your Classroom That You Can't See! by Dr. Rob Reilly
What's Your Name? by Joy Jones
The funny thing about control: Or to gain control you have to give up control by Karin Ford
Through the eyes of a child - Reflections on teacher and student motivation by Sheree Rensel
Non-Conventional Techniques in Teaching Science by P R Guruprasad
Word Wall Tips from the 4 Blocks Mailring
Teaching Gayle To Read (Part 8) by Grace Vyduna-Haskins
Operation RubyThroat by Bill Hilton Jr.
Dear Old Golden Rule Days, Chapter 4 - Creative Writing by Janet Farquhar
Simple Science Center Ideas from the Early Childhood Mailring
The Freedom Box, Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired by Dave Melanson
Librarians, Deaf Students and Hearing Students by Linsey Taylor
Pumpkin Math and Writing Activities by Michele Nash
Take Home Literature Activity Bags by Paulie
Favorite October Activities for the Classroom from Teachers.Net Mailrings
Fun Facts
October Columns
October Regular Features
October Informational Items
Gazette Home Delivery:

About Dr. Rob Reilly...
Dr. Rob Reilly is the computer education teacher at the Lanesborough Elementary School in Lanesborough, Massachusetts USA. He is also a Visiting Scientist at the MIT Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he is conducting NSF funded research in the area of affective computing, emotions and learning. He has been a Visiting Scientist at MIT's Center for Educational Computing Initiatives, a Post Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Massachusetts' Office of Information Technologies, and a Teaching Associate, at the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts. His email address is: His Web site is:

Teachers.Net Tech Center...
Teachers.Net features a number of specialized tools designed to help teachers easily integrate technology in their classroom and lives. The Teachers.Net Tech Center includes four specialized tech-related chatboards, three tech mailrings, and a Web Developers Solution Center for developing the hottest website possible, no matter what your skill level. Be sure to check out each of the specialized tools listed below for teachers eager to embrace new technology!
Teacher Tech Chatboards...
Teachers.Net offers four specialized chatboards for technology support for educators. The Comp/Tech Chatboard provides access to a huge network of tech-savvy teachers from around the planet. The Apple Classroom Chatboard is the place to brainstorm ideas and solutions for teachers using Apple products in the classroom. The Ed Software Chatboard connects teachers seeking information and advice regarding the latest educational software (as well as the timeless favorites). Visit each of these specialized chatboards and bookmark and contribute often!
Teacher Tech Mailrings...
Teachers.Net has three mailrings designed to help teachers quickly learn the secrets to the technical challenges demanded by the new millenuium. Visit the Teachers.Net Mailring webpage and subscribe to the Web Authors Mailring, the Apple Teachers Mailring, and the Computer Teacher Mailring.
Teacher Feature...

There IS a Printer and a Xerox Machine in Your Classroom That You Can't See!

by Dr. Rob Reilly

Most classrooms that have a computer also have a printer. In a typical classroom the printer is a cheap throw-in on a package deal---"buy this computer and get a free printer!" But that "free" printer usually proves to be well worth the price; it does not withstand the onslaught of child-use. It seems that printers in general, and cheap throw-in ones especially, create more problems than the computer or any of the software does---it's always jamming, it keeps running out of paper, it's constantly running out of ink. Yanking paper out of the paper track, restocking it with paper, and running to the office to get yet another printer cartridge is annoying; not to mention that it's time-consuming---becoming the "electronic janitor" is not part of a teacher's day job! But such-is-life with a cheap printer.

Wouldn't it be great if you could have a high performance printer in your classroom? Even better wouldn't it be terrific if you had a Xerox machine connected to your computer? With either of these devices connected to your computer the quality of printing will greatly improve. With either of these devices connected to your computer, you can load a ton of paper into the paper tray---wouldn't that be nice? You won't have to be limited to10-20 sheets before you need to reload the paper tray!

Even if you have a computer with no printer keep reading because there may be a printer in your room that you can't see---really! There may also be a Xerox machine in your room that you can't see! (And…there may be a scanner there too!) No kidding, all this stuff may be in your room but you can't see it.

If the computer in your room is connected to the Internet, and if there is a high performance printer connected to a computer somewhere else in your building, then you can use that high performance printer from your computer. And…if there's a Xerox machine in the building you can use that from your computer. This is all very possible. Let me explain how you can make-this-happen.

But first, I need to explain a bit about a LAN. A LAN is an acronym for local area network. If your school is connected to the Internet then you most likely have a LAN, which is a wire that goes from one computer to another and eventually to a techno-gizmo that connects your school to the Internet. That is an oversimplification, but my point is that each computer in your building is connected to the Internet because they are physically connected to each other. Given that each computer is able to get to any other computer, any computer can 'talk' to any other computer. This means that your computer can use the printer that another computer has plugged into it. If your computer has a poor quality printer and, let's say, the principal's secretary has a powerful high performance printer, then you can configure your computer to use the secretary's printer in the same way you use your dog-of-a-printer. Configuring your computer to recognize the secretary's printer is a 5-minute task, then configuring the secretary's computer to recognize your computer and allow his/her printer to be shared is another 5-minute task. But I'm not going to explain how to do that here, because if you don't know how to set-up shared resources on a LAN then you need to read up on it (it's time consuming), or have someone who is familiar with LANs do the configuration or show you how.

Now if you have a Xerox machine anywhere in your building, it too can be utilized as a shared resource in the same way you can share (use) the secretary's printer from your computer. The trick here is that Xerox machine needs to have a LAN card installed. Typically Xerox machines do not come with LAN cards so you'd need to call your Xerox service consultant and purchase a card (and have them install it). Then if you'd like to use the Xerox machine as a printer from your computer you'd just need to configure it as a shared resource.

The downside of this is that after you run a printing operation you'd need to send a student to the Xerox machine or to the high performance printer to get your material. Schools that use their LAN as I have described find that it works well. Teachers just need to be sure that the stack of Xeroxed papers does not include material from another teacher's printing operation. But this seems to be a minor organizational problem. It does appear that those school buildings that have explored what their LAN can do, in addition to connecting them to the Internet, have been pleased.

If you have a tech person on staff, ask them about what I have said here. But if you don't have a techie on-staff and/or if funds are tight, then ask your students if any of their parents are computer technicians. Chances are there's an expert out there among the parents. Chances are that they'd willingly donate some time to lead a short-term well-defined project such as sharing resources over your LAN.

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