Computers Find A Home In The Classroom
of the latest developments in the computer field is already
benefiting many students and teachers. Tablet computers seem to
be finding a home in both the traditional and the electronic
Students say that by using tablets they can collaborate
easily with their peers. Teachers find they can use tablets to
monitor students' grasp of the material that has been covered.
For example, with software such as DyKnow Vision, teachers
can send a "status request" during a lesson to gauge each
student's level of understanding, without the embarrassing raise
of hands. "I'm not using canned examples from a textbook
any-more. I'm using real examples immediately pulled from the
student's tablet," says computer science professor Roy Pargas at
Like many smartphones, tab-lets have touch capabilities built
into the screen. Students can touch the screen on tablets to
manipulate, interact and share content with one another inside
and outside the classroom, which can foster an interactive
With pen-based tablets, such as the HP EliteBook 2740p,
students can take digital notes in their own handwriting as well
as download and annotate slide presentations during lectures.
Once outside the classroom, students can revisit their notes to
study alone or share their notes with classmates.
Professor Dave Berque of DePauw University and his students
use HP tablets with Intel Core Duo processors and DyKnow Vision
software to take notes, solve problems and share solutions in
his computer science class. They can also replay notes after
class. As a result, he saw failure rates drop from 14 percent to
1 percent. Said Berque, "Tablet PCs make the classroom an
interactive environment, and that tends to give a lot of
feedback to everyone involved."
Tablets are more than an interactive tool; they can also save
time. Instead of spending hours after class grading papers,
teachers can mark papers electronically and then transfer the
scores into an electronic grade-tracking system.
Many believe that with tablet PCs, the classroom can become a
more interactive environment. Teachers and students alike can
find success in all the touch capabilities that tablets have to
To learn more, visit
www.hp.com/go/hied or call (800) 888-0262.
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From School Can Be Learning Opportunities
from school can serve as opportunities for children and teens to
brush up on essential skills-and reinforce what they learned
during the school year.
Research shows that if students are
not actively engaged in learning and practicing skills during
vacation months, they lose some of what they were taught during
the school year. According to the National Summer Learning
Association, students typically score lower on tests at the end
of the summer than they do at the beginning of the summer.
Many students lose about two months of grade level
equivalency in mathematical computation skills over the summer
months. Fortunately, there are steps parents can take to keep
their children engaged and interested in learning.
Here are a few tips to help:
- Schedule in visits to museums, trips to points of
historical interest and exposure to nature through zoos and
aquariums. All of these can be great learning experiences and
lead to further reading and discussion.
- Take your children to the library. If your child likes
movies or television shows, watch them together and then
encourage your child to take out books on related subjects.
- Use online resources such as those provided by Discovery
Education, the leading provider of digital content to schools
across the country.
These resources include:
The Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, an
environmental sustainability challenge for grades K-12.
Ready Classroom, a program that educates parents, teachers
and students of all ages about severe weather and disaster
preparedness for classrooms, families and even pets.
The Take Me FishingTM "Explore the Blue" online initiative,
which engages teachers, students and parents in the importance
of outdoor recreational activities and conservation.
Energy Balance 101, a free wellness resource for elementary
teachers, students and families, which aims to deliver tools and
information to help students make decisions for a healthy
To access these free resources, visit
http://school.discoveryeducation.com. Discovery Education is
a division of Discovery Communications, whose networks include
Discovery Channel and Animal Planet.
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Children From Cyber Bullying And Other Internet Hazards
now have a new ally in protecting their children from cyber
bullying, online predators and exposure to inappropriate online
According to a recent survey commissioned by the U.S.
Department of Justice, cyber bullying and exposure to cyber
predators are at an all-time high. More than 43 percent of
teenagers report being victims of cyber bullying. In those
cases, nine out of 10 victims knew the person or persons who
were bullying them, and only 10 percent ever told their parents
what was going on.
Fortunately, new technology can help arm parents and
administrators against such threats, while helping to regulate
and monitor overall Internet usage. The powerful new software
can help protect children from cyber bullying, cyber predators
and exposure to pornography. CyberPatrol Online Protection
software allows parents to effectively monitor their child's
behavior, including online chat conversations on several social
networks, such as AOL, IM, Facebook and MySpace, as well as
their website history.
By activating special alerts for predators, parents are
notified when "trigger words" are used in an online chat,
whether it is in an outgoing or incoming message. Even more, the
new Cyber Bully Alerts function notifies parents when a
potential bully might be acting. Parents are informed about what
was said so they can move to address any problems before
potentially more serious circumstances ensue.
Further, alerts help protect personal information from being
distributed outside the home. Parents can turn on a function
that will alert them when specific information is being sent
online. For example, if a child tries to send a stranger the
family's address, this function will immediately send an e-mail
alert to the parents.
Parents can customize preferences for each member of their
household. They may select to filter inappropriate content,
block specific websites, monitor and regulate each child's time
spent on the Internet, and provide reports of users that tried
to access a designated off-limits site. The option to receive
monitoring reports and instant alerts via e-mail and remote
access means parents can continue to follow their family's usage
even when they are at work or away from the home.
The software is available to download for a free 15-day
trial, with new Cyber Bully Alerts free to keep. Learn more at
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Stress With Reduced Wait Time
you are like most people, you hate waiting. Whether it's waiting
in line for coffee or having the phone glued to your ear on
hold, it's just frustrating.
Waiting can become particularly irritating when your
technology doesn't keep up with the pace of life or work when
you need it to. It's when you are watching the little hourglass
spin while a program opens and you feel like throwing your
computer or pulling your hair out that you are indeed suffering
from "Hourglass Syndrome."
No, this isn't a medical condition, but it's something that
many people can relate to. Intel Corporation, makers of
processors or the "brain" inside computers, commissioned Harris
Interactive to conduct a consumer survey to see how widespread
this "syndrome" really is. The survey found that the average
computer user spends about 13 minutes a day waiting for
technology. That adds up to almost three days per year just
waiting…and waiting. The study also found that 66 percent of
computer users are at least somewhat stressed when waiting for
their computer and watching the hourglass spin.
One solution to minimizing these stressors can be found by
using a computer powered by the new Intel® Core™ i5 processors,
which tackle the dreaded hourglass head-on. These processors use
Intel Turbo Boost Technology, which automatically adapts to an
individual's computer performance needs, providing a boost when
you need speed and conserving power when you don't--nearly
eliminating the wait for some users. In fact, the processors are
about twice as fast as those in three-year-old PCs for video-,
photo- and music-downloading experiences.
Think the "Hourglass Syndrome" has you down? While you wait,
you can try a short, fun stress test on the Intel Facebook page
or watch an amusing video explaining "Hourglass Syndrome" at
For more information on the Intel Core i5 processors and
Intel Turbo Boost Technology, visit
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Keep Your PC
Running Smoothly With Genuine Software
you put into your computer can drastically affect what you get
out of it.
Most people don't understand how a computer works. It just
does. And when it doesn't, watch out--the sweetest person can
turn into a rabid chimpanzee when e-mail, Facebook and morning
news are suddenly stuck in a lifeless box.
Computer trouble feels a lot like car trouble. With so many
moving parts, it can be frustrating to pinpoint the cause when
something goes wrong. So what's the best way to keep your car
running smoothly? Be careful what you put into it. Buying cheap
tires is probably OK--if you don't mind the howling noise on the
freeway or the slight risk that a blowout could send you
careening off the road.
The same is true of the software you put in your PC.
Counterfeit software comes from people who are copying disks and
forging the packaging. And if they're willing to do that, why
would they stick to the high standards of real manufacturers?
Why wouldn't they add code of their own, embed advertisements or
even try to log your keystrokes?
"There are many attractive deals on software to be found on
the Internet. So many, in fact, consumers need to know how to
identify the retailers that are reputable so that they don't end
up with counterfeit versions that can do serious damage to their
PC," said Keith Beeman, general manager, Worldwide Anti-Piracy,
Recently, Microsoft conducted a survey that looked at
perceptions and attitudes on computer security and counterfeit
and nongenuine software. In the United States, not even half (41
percent) of the 308 participants said they know how to check if
a product is pirated or counterfeit.
"Most customers don't know they've purchased counterfeit
software. There is a large pool of people who are at risk for
unknowingly purchasing counterfeit software that can do serious
damage to their PC," said Beeman.
What consumers don't realize is that using counterfeit
software is asking for trouble. For example, according to
Microsoft and research firm IDC, more than half (59 percent) of
the key generators and crack tools downloaded from peer-to-peer
networks contained either malicious or potentially unwanted
software. In an effort to help keep software pirates from
victimizing you, here are some of the misconceptions about
counterfeit software that were identified in the research:
- I can detect pirated software. It's not that easy. Pirated
software is big business--billions of dollars worldwide--so of
course a lot's been invested in making the packaging look
authentic. According to Microsoft, only 60 percent of people can
- Using counterfeit software is wrong but it won't hurt me.
Are you willing to bet your photographs, your privacy and your
credit rating on that? Globally, 51 percent of respondents said
that it is never okay to purchase counterfeit. Despite this,
one-third said they have purchased a product they thought might
be counterfeit and just over one-quarter purchased a product
they knew was counterfeit.
- Software is the same, whether it's genuine or counterfeit.
A copy is not the same as the original--much less a copy that's
been altered. Microsoft and IDC tested hundreds of counterfeit
disks from all over the world. More than 40 percent would not
install and nearly half contained code that didn't come from
Microsoft. To highlight the danger, according to the Microsoft
piracy perceptions study, 97 percent indicated it is important
that their computer is secure from viruses and other threats.
- It doesn't matter whom I buy software from online. Criminal
syndicates halfway around the world go to great lengths to sell
you pirated software online. The message from Microsoft is to do
your homework when shopping online and if you really want to be
safe, go to a physical store and buy your software in person.
Microsoft provides free and easy-to-use tools that customers
can use to determine if their software is genuine. The How to
Tell Web site,
www.microsoft.com/howtotell, features pictures of recently
seized software and guidance on what consumers should look out
for when buying software online.
Software pirates make billions of dollars per year selling
fake copies on the Internet. All things being equal, just ask
yourself whom you'd rather give your money to--a company that
provides jobs for local communities, builds great software and
stands behind it or someone who was just smart enough to trick
you into buying an illegitimate copy.
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Reveals Hackers' New Tricks
you ever seen a small but strange charge on your bank or credit
card statement? Or clicked on a link in a status update on a
social networking site? Or maybe clicked on a link sent to you
via e-mail or instant message?
You're not alone, and you may
already be a victim of a huge and growing problem--cyber crime.
The recent Internet Security Threat Report from computer
security company Symantec, makers of Norton, revealed that there
were more than 3.2 billion cyber attacks in 2009 alone, which
equals one attack for every two people in the world.
And with technology changing at an ever-increasing pace, many
of the things you thought you knew, even a year ago, are no
For example, hackers used to be "nerds" who knew everything
there was to know about computers. Today, criminals can buy "crimeware
toolkits" that allow someone with little or no technical
experience to become a full-fledged hacker almost overnight.
These kits let criminals create their own types of "cyber
attacks" to steal your personal information.
These "cyber criminals" aren't only going after rich people
and big businesses anymore. They've learned that it's much
easier to steal a little bit of money from a lot of different
people and they're using technology to do just that.
"It used to be that you could tell pretty quickly if your
computer was infected," said Adam Palmer, Norton's lead
cyber-security adviser. "Your system would slow down. It would
do strange things or have a billion different 'pop-up' windows
that you couldn't ignore."
However, that's not always the case now. "Today's cyber
criminals have learned something important from the animal
kingdom," said Palmer. "A good parasite never kills its host.
The criminals don't want you to know you've got a problem on
your computer. The longer they can go undetected, the more
damage they can do and the more personal information they can
steal from you."
Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself against
these sneaky criminals:
- Use an Internet security solution that combines anti-virus,
firewall, intrusion detection, and vulnerability management for
- Make sure that your security is up to date--many security
suites offer automatic "live" updates as new threats are
- Use passwords that are a mix of letters and numbers, and
change them often. Passwords should not consist of words from
- Never view or open any e-mail attachment unless you're
- Routinely check to see if your operating system is
vulnerable to threats. A free security scan is available through
the Norton Security Scan at
- Review bank, credit card and credit information frequently
to monitor any irregular activities. For further information,
the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has also released a
set of guidelines on how to avoid Internet-related scams. See
www.ic3.gov/default.aspx for more information.
For more information on the report and how to protect
yourself from criminals online, visit Norton's site
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Networking Make You A Target
networks are a growing Web destination--and a growing target for
Facebook membership has grown to more than 400
million active users, a 229 percent jump over the previous year,
while Twitter recently reported a 1,500 percent growth in new
registered users during the course of a year.
But the risks have also grown. Webroot, a leading provider of
Internet security software for the consumer, enterprise and SMB
markets, has seen an increase in attacks on social networks in
recent months, including a 23 percent increase in spam received
on such sites in the past year.
A recent study by the company revealed how social network
users still put their identities at risk:
- 28 percent of users report they've never changed their
default privacy settings.
- 81 percent place no restrictions on who can see their
- 53 percent aren't sure who can see their profile.
- 33 percent of users use the same password to log on to
multiple social networks.
What Can Users Do?
Here are a few guidelines for safer social networking:
- Make personal information private--Protect yourself by
updating privacy settings on your profile to restrict or omit
access to any personal data. If you use services that allow you
to share, be especially careful to not disclose your location to
the wrong people.
- Read between the lines--Familiarize yourself with the
social networks' privacy options to ensure you're taking
advantage of any enhanced security features.
- Be exclusive--Only accept friend requests, e-mails and site
links from people you know, and even then, be selective about
what you open.
- Protect the password--As a critical line of defense, it is
more important than ever for members to choose their passwords
wisely, make them different from one site to the next, and
change each at regular intervals. Incorporating numbers, letters
and special characters like !, $ and * into your password makes
- Suite security--Make sure your computer has an added layer
of security to stop attacks before they happen. By scanning your
machine for dormant viruses with a free scan and an Internet
security suite, you can proactively protect your PC.
Webroot offers several comprehensive Internet security
solutions for consumers, including AntiVirus with Spy Sweeper
and Internet Security Essentials.
For more information, visit
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Of Advanced Funeral Planning
growing number of people are finding both emotional and
financial security in something that is also an important part
of estate planning. They are preplanning their funeral.
are also finding that taking advantage of what preplanning has
to offer may be easier if they do their homework about what they
may want and the options available before they sit down with the
Although some people may find it hard to talk about advance
planning, it can be harder on your family if you don't talk
about your wishes for your final arrangements. One way to tackle
planning without feeling overwhelmed is to break up the process
into more manageable steps.
Memorial or Funeral Service--Focus on the type of service you
would want and how you can personalize that service, whether
it's more traditional, somber or a unique celebration of your
life. Decide if it should be a more intimate or larger gathering
and consider music, readings or any other unique element to
personalize the service.
Burial or Cremation--If burial is your preference, consider
purchasing a cemetery plot in advance. If you decide on
cremation, remember to make plans for permanent placement of the
cremated remains. Consider a mausoleum or columbarium to give
your family a physical place for visitation and reflection. This
also prevents the possibility of the ashes being misplaced or
discarded in later years if kept with a family member.
Select a Funeral Home--Compare the options available and the
quality of service provided. With the right funeral provider,
you can feel more confident that your wishes will be fulfilled
and you won't feel uncomfortable asking questions or rushed into
Funding Options--One advantage of prearranging your funeral
is that you can lock in today's prices for products and services
that may be more expensive in the future. It's best to work with
a professional to understand the particular laws and regulations
that protect those funds.
Flexibility--Remember, not all providers offer the same
services. For example, if you use a Dignity Memorial provider to
prearrange your funeral or cremation service, you can enjoy the
security of National Transferability of Prearranged Services.
Should you move more than 75 miles from where your original
arrangements were made, your prearranged funeral services are
fully transferable and will be honored by any Dignity Memorial
provider throughout North America.
For more information or to start preplanning arrangements,
visit the Web site at
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