Tech Talk Blog

  • Typing in Spanish

    Posted by Linda Martin on 10/24/2018

    I had a great experience today helping a Spanish class. The students needed to be able to type unique Spanish characters quickly and easily, so the teacher asked me if I knew a way for them to do that. I didn't, but I tried a few things that really weren't helpful. Then I did what I should have done initially, and that was check YouTube.  I found this short tutorial that worked beautifully for the students! Since Spanish is so widely used, I thought I should share the tutorial in case others have the same need.

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  • Digital Citizenship Week

    Posted by Linda Martin on 10/17/2018

    Digital Citizenship Week is Oct. 15-19. The purpose of the week is to encourage students to think critically and use media responsibly for educational purposes and in all aspects of their lives. Common Sense Media is an excellent online resource for students, parents, and teachers to locate resources to teach media responsibility to children. Watch the video to learn more about digital citizenship.


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  • VocabGrabber

    Posted by Linda Martin on 10/10/2018

    Since the advent of Wordle, word cloud generators have become very popular. Many of them share the same features, such as the ability to change colors, fonts, and word cloud shape, but others have added features or have gone in a slightly different direction with the idea. VocabGrabber has done the latter. After copying/pasting text into VocabGrabber, the website generates a word cloud that enables students to analyze the text. Clicking on a word in the word cloud opens a visual thesarus map that includes definitions and examples of word usage. Other features available include: word count, relevance, and sorting using various criteria, such as subject area and usage frequency. Students who want to analyze word usage and vocabulary used in a text might want to try VocabGrabber.


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  • SVTube

    Posted by Linda Martin on 9/24/2018

    SVTube is the District's media repository and has been available to teachers and students for several years. Now that all students have their own laptops, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit its use:

    • All students and teachers have SVTube accounts.
    • To sign in, students use their computer network usernames and passwords.
    • Once signed in, students can upload and share video and audio files.
    • Only Seneca Valley students can view/listen to media shared by other SV students, and they will have to sign in to access them.

    SVTube provides a safe medium for students to post content. Content uploading supports multiple formats.



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  • Off to a Good Start

    Posted by Linda Martin on 9/13/2018

    Staff welcomed students to a new school year, and with the advent of this school year, students also received laptop computers to use for educational purposes in their classrooms. Students in grades 9-12 received the laptops for the first time as the final phase in the District's One-to-One Computing initiative. This is an exciting time for both students and staff as they experience unique educational opportunities through the use of technology.  To learn more about One-to-One, visit the District's One-to-One Computing website and watch the presentation viewed by students in grades 9-10 on the day they received their laptops.


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  • Celebrate Summer

    Posted by Linda Martin on 6/4/2018

    As I write my last blog for this school year, I can't help but look forward to summer activities. For me, that means a lot of time spent outdoors and participating in activities that either can't happen in other seasons or I don't have time to do when I'm in school. As we approach summer, parents may also be thinking of ways to keep their children educationally engaged over the summer. Some suggestions to consider are: 

    • Touring any facility related to the child's career interests
    • Visiting the website TrailLink to find local hiking/biking trails to explore
    • Taking a summer workshop offered through a local community college
    • Volunteering at local parks
    • Reading a book for pleasure
    • Working on a family history project

    The possibilities are endless, and there's so much to see and do! You might try visiting a local Chamber of Commerce website for ideas, too. Happy summer!!






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  • Cultural Images

    Posted by Linda Martin on 6/1/2018

    World language teachers and students often search for images to enhance their lessons, projects, and presentations. General internet searches yield a wealth of options, but determining which images are authentic and which may be used without violating copyright can be a daunting task. Recognizing that, Washington & Jefferson College created and continues to maintain a website to address those issues: Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon (CAPL).  CAPL hosts a searchable, culturally authentic database of images for nearly twenty languages.  All images are in the public domain and may be used for noncommercial purposes without concern for violating copyright law, although a citation for the website is requested. Images are also primary resources and were not staged or altered. After locating an image, teachers/students can view or download the image in various sizes.  This image is an example of one found on CAPL listed under "German countryside."

    German countryside

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  • American Panorama

    Posted by Linda Martin on 5/25/2018

    American Panorama is a website that provides a look at American history through interactive mapping. According to their website, "American Panorama is an historical atlas of the United States for the twenty-first century. It combines cutting-edge research with innovative interactive mapping techniques, designed to appeal to anyone with an interest in American history or a love of maps." Map topics include inequality, migration, trails, population, presidents, and canals, and more maps are planned for the future. The website also contains a link to the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States, which contains maps about 20th century historical topics, such as the environment, cartography, Native Americans, explorations, settlements, education, economy, military, and more.

    U. S. Historical Map


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  • CommonLit

    Posted by Linda Martin on 5/18/2018

    During the summer, many teachers spend time preparing for the following school year.  Teachers who teach literature many find the website CommonLit useful in their work. According to their website, CommonLit "delivers high-quality, free instructional materials to support literacy development for students in grades 3-12." Teachers who want to use the site need to create an account in order to save materials that they choose. The website provides literary units and lesson plans based on an extensive library and may be searched by book, genre, grade level, literary device, text set, and theme. After choosing a literary selection, teachers have a variety of tools and resources available for their students. The text can be read aloud and translated to different languages for students. Students may also use a highlighter and have access to a dictionary for unfamiliar words. Guided questions, an assessment, a discussion question, and teacher and parent guides are also provided. Not only is this a valuable resource for teachers, but it is also a great tool for parents and students.



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  • Biology in Action

    Posted by Linda Martin on 5/11/2018

    We live in a world of natural wonders, and technology is helping to bring them into our homes through the use of webcams. The U.S. Department of the Interior recently highlighted four of these webcams on their website:

    • #DCEagleCam is located in the U.S. National Arboretum and is capturing two American bald eagles raise their recently hatched young. 
    • Kelp Cam captures underwater life at Channel Islands National Park in southern California.
    • #BearCam can be found in Katmai National Park in Alaska and features brown bears as they fish for salmon.
    • Puffin Cam is on Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge and records puffins nesting off the coast in Maine.

    These are only a few of the wildlife webcams available for viewing on the internet. Some are available seasonally, but many show webcam highlights when the cameras aren't live. Teachers and students can see wildlife and natural occurrences as they happen, thanks to these cameras. To find even more wildlife cams to watch, visit


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