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“Excellence in Education”

George, Michael R

6-12 Instructional Technology
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Inspiration is concept-mapping software that allows users to create simple to advanced concept maps and flowcharts on the fly. It can be used across the curricula and is a great way to bring together other technologies, such as multimedia files, Office files and web sites.

Curriculum Connections

Inspiration can be used in any class. It allows students to quickly compare thoughts and ideas or to create meaning between concepts or actions. Information can be added and organized in a linear fashion or however the end user prefers. This allows students to create and manipulate content in a manner which makes the most sense to them. Once the information is created in diagram view, the user can transfer the information to an outline, and finally export to Microsoft Word where they can finish typing their piece if they choose. *Please note: Inspiration software comes with work-at-home rights for teachers. Contact your ITRT for more information.

Equipment Needed
•Inspiration 7+ software
•Microphone headsets (optional): if you would like to have students record narration on their diagrams

Tutorials and Resources

Inspiration’s Learning Community: You can find and share ideas about Inspiration. If you join the site, you may also download or share lesson plans that integrate Inspiration into the curriculum.

Tutorial Inspiration 7.6


Converting YouTube videos with ZamZar

Go to

First —  URL .. by clicking on URL

Step one:  Paste in the youtube video URL

Step two: Choose mpg for file type

Step three: Type in your email address (not your school one- it will get blocked)

Step four : press convert .. it will take about 10 minutes, but you will receive an email with a link.  Click on the link and download the video from the website.


How To Map a Network Drive to a Windows Live Skydrive

1. Open up a Microsoft Office 2010 application, the example given uses Word.

launch microsoft word 2010 in windows 7

2. In Word (or whatever Microsoft Office app you opened) Click the File tab and then Select
Save and Send > Save to Skydrive > Sign In.

Note: Screenshots below were taking using Office 2010 beta. Since then, some tabs have changed (Share menu item below is now called Save & Send ) however you should be able to figure it out using the screenshots below.

save documents to skydrive from microsoft office 2010

3. Type in your Windows Live credentials and Click OK. If you don’t have a Windows Live account go here and create one.

enter your windows live account user name and password in microsoft office 2010

4. Choose or Create a new folder and then Click Save As. If you want your documents to be private, make sure you don’t use the Public folder.

select a windows live skydrive folder

5. It may take a moment for the Save window to appear so don’t panic if it looks like Office freezes. Once the Save box opens, Copy the URL location in the address bar.

get your widows live skydrive url and copy it

6. Open up the Start Menu, Right-Click My Computer and Select Map network drive…

map a network drive in windows 7

7. Paste the previously copied URL into the Folder text box. Click Finish to continue.

8. If you are prompted again to enter your Windows Live credentials. Type them in and then Click OK.

re enter your windows live account credentials

Now hopefully it worked and you have your online Skydrive account mapped as a network drive on your PC. From here you can directly drag and drop files into Skydrive just like it were a regular folder on your computer.

windows live skydrive mounted in windows 7


SkyDrive: Get started

SkyDrive is your password-protected hard drive in the cloud. That means you can use it to store thousands and thousands of files. Then you can get to them anytime you’re online.

You probably already have ways to move files around. But the traditional ways involve USB thumb drives that can get lost and file versions that are out of date. And you have to remember to copy the files you need. If you put your files on SkyDrive, you don’t need a good memory or good luck. Your files are always right there.

And if you want to share your files, you can—whether that’s emailing a photo album or collaborating with a group on Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and other Office files. Click the other tabs to see how easy it is.

Already have SkyDrive?
FREE online file storage 

SchoolNet Parent Portal


“When schools, families, and communities work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more.”

SchoolNet Parent Portal Letter to Parents

With NCLB requiring that student data be readily available to parents and with research indicating that family and community involvement in the learning process positively impacts student performance, districts need solutions to foster open communication and collaboration. Parent Portal creates a platform for the educational community to involve parents and guardians in the learning process.

Schoolnet’s Parent Portal allows parents and families to log in to a secure website to view information related to their child’s academic performance, including benchmark assessment results, course grades, attendance and behavior events. The District may also provide parents with links to a variety of resources that will assist parents in helping their child achieve in school. Parent Portal’s easy-to-use content management tool allows schools and individual teachers to easily develop and maintain student-centric information for parents without support from district technical resources.

Key Features and Benefits:

  • Teachers and instructional staff can:
  • Provide a  Web presence which allows parents to view student performance on state Standards of Learning, District Benchmark Assessments and Student Demographics
  • Share key student performance data, attendance, and teacher notes with parents
  • Promote parental involvement in the learning process
  • Comply with NCLB mandates
  • Decrease the burden on IT staff


Technical Specifications:

  • Schoolnet’s Web-enabled, zero footprint applications are designed to industry standards
  • High Speed Internet Service
  • Microsoft® Internet Explorer 6.0 and higher, Apple Safari 1.3 and higher, or Mozilla Firefox 1.0 and higher

ParentConnectxp Support

ParentCONNECTxp (PCXP) is an easy-to-use tool for communicating student progress that will allow you to take an even more active role in your child’s education. Parents and guardians of middle and high school students now have online, timely, and secure access to their child’s grades and attendance through the ParentConnectxp portal site.

Download ParentCONNECTxp Parent User Guide  – requires Adobe Acrobat Reader

FAQs Specific to Fredericksburg City Public Schools

Who is eligible to use ParentCONNECTxp?

Any person who has legal rights (custody) to view his/her children’s school records is eligible to receive a user ID and password.

I have questions or problems regarding ParentCONNECTxp.

You should start by viewing our support documents located above if you have questions pertaining to its use.

If you are having trouble, logging into ParentCONNECTxp contact your school.

If you have questions pertaining to attendance, grades or assignments contact your school.

How current is the information on ParentCONNECTxp?

The PCXP updates attendance, assignments, and student information once per day.  Teachers are required to update their gradebook assignments every two weeks. However, some teachers will update daily.

What do I do if I am “locked” out of my ParentCONNECTxp account?

As a security measure, if you have 3 failed attempts at inputting your username and/or password the system will lock you out.  This protects you from having someone sit down and continually try to guess your password.  The system will automatically reset itself within 1 hour. There is NO need to contact anyone about the problem.

Why do I receive the message “None of the users’ students could be loaded”?

This message displays because the process to populate the information into PCXP to allow you to see your child’s information has not been refreshed.  The process may take 24-36 hours.

How do I sign up?

The district created accounts for every custodial parent. The log in information was distributed during a planned parent night where Parents were introduced to the district’s parent portals.  This session explained the two online tools SchoolNet ParentPortal and ParentConnectxp. You will be required to appear at that school to verify your identity and receive the log in information.

What if I missed the Parent Session and want to access my child’s information?

You will need to visit the school and request the login information. Again, you will need to verify your identity to receive the log in information

How long will it take to activate my ParentCONNECTxp account?

Your account will be active 24 to 36 hours after you request the log in information from the school. This process includes appearing in person to verify your identity and your relationship to the student. You will get your user ID and password at that time.

I have more than one child attending a Fredericksburg City Public School. Do I need to sign up at every school?

No, you only go to one of your children’s schools to sign up. Registration for all children will take place at that one school.

Can more than one parent/guardian have access to a child’s record?

Yes, any person who has legal rights to view his/her children’s school records is eligible to receive a user ID and password.

When and where can I access ParentCONNECTxp?

You may access the PCXP 24 hours a day, seven days a week, after you have registered and received your password and user ID. You may access ParentCONNECTxp from any computer with Internet access. (Please be aware that the site may be down from time to time for maintenance.)

Will student Interim reports and report cards be sent home to me as in the past?

Yes. You will continue to receive interim reports and report cards as in the past. PCXP is just another tool to improve communication about student academic progress. It will supplement, not replace, existing tools that currently support communication between you and the school. Assignment grades and attendance will be available through the parent portals.

Are my child’s records available for others to see?

No, a user ID and password allow access for authorized users only (custodial). Only individuals with legal rights to a child’s records may obtain a user id and password.

If I have read these questions, but none of them addresses my issue, where can I get help?

If you have additional questions or concerns regarding any aspect of ParentCONNECTxp, please contact your child’s school.

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