Tech Rav
Discussions of Jewish EdTech

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Help with Microsoft Office 2007

I happen to really like Office 2007. I find it is easier to use, faster, and can do more powerful and creative stuff than any previous version of MS Office. At the same, I recognize that this is not just an upgrade it is a complete redesign of Office with new menu bars, saving options etc. You can see a description of the main differences between Office 2007 and previous versions in my earlier blog posting, Tech Tips for Teachers: MS Office 2007. There is a bit of a learning curve to the new Office so here are some useful tutorials and links for teachers that should help you with it.

Templates and other resources
  1. Microsoft Office Online Home Page has links to all of Microsoft's resources.
  2. Back To School- Teachers has free templates and other useful resources for teachers.
  3. Education World Teacher Tools & Templates This site offers many great teacher templates in different formats.


  1. Community Clips features short user created online help videos for every Microsoft product.
  2. This site offers short video tutorials on every part of Word. The narrator also has a pretty interesting British accent.
    • This is his introduction to the new 'Ribbon': The Ribbon.
  3. Training Online This site created by Microsoft offers longer online courses to lead you through every step of every Microsoft product.
    • Up to speed with Word 2007 Here is a video course that introduces the new features of Word 2007. It is long but you can skip directly to the parts you want to watch.
  4. In pictures This site takes a different approach to tutorials. Offering training in pictures with step by step screenshots instead of video tutorials.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Presidential Election 2008

The Presidential Election is a great opportunity to discuss current events, debate issues that our students are passionate about, and learn about the electoral process. Explore the links below which provide useful information for your own lesson preparation and to share with our students.

The candidates' websites:

TV Ads

Analyzing televisions commercials is a great way to critically examine issues and candidates by learning how they portray themselves and their opponents. Political ads streamed online from the current Presidential Election and archives to previous elections from the Political Communication Lab housed at Stanford University. From the American Museum of the Moving Image, this site offers an impressive archive of past Presidential TV ads going back to 1952.

General Election Information
Information for voters on political leaders, their positions on issues, and campaign finance, and encourages active participation in democratic processes through voting. VoteGopher, started by a team of college students at Harvard University, is a one-stop, non-partisan election resource, created by young voters to focus on the issues. It contains user friendly information on 25 key election issues.
This site operated by the Internet Public Library contains links to many useful election websites. Google tools to follow the election. An excellent collection of major poll results. Lets visitors search for various issues and gives information on the public opinion polls taken regarding the issue.

Media Sites Lesson plans about the Election from PBS.
Curriculum Guide and Web Resources for High School teachers from PBS. CNN Election Guide FoxNews Election Guide New York Times Election Guide

Media Watchdog Sites
Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania puts out this website to monitor the factual accuracy of statements made by and advertisements on behalf of major U.S. political figures. Real Clear Politics culls and publishes the best commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources from all points of the political compass and covering all the important issues of the day.