Several years ago, I found an amazing PowerPoint presentation online and immediately, exuberantly and shamelessly stole it.

It was a template for a round of Jeopardy that could be customized with any topics, questions, pictures, sounds, etc..

It worked so well that I started using it to review with my classes before all major exams. (This one on the left is to review before our Geography Final Exam. The category "Cute Boys, Hot Girls", by the way, deals mostly with Hummel figurines and saunas. It's never too early to introduce teenagers to the concept of Bait and Switch.)

This tool was so cool that over time, I tended to show it off to any teacher who would stand still long enough for me to shove my laptop in their face. Almost everyone's response (after, "Hey! Get that laptop out of my face!") was "Wow! Where can I get that?"

Unfortunately, I was somehow never able to find it online again. I went under the assumption that Viacom's lawyers had had the website taken down or something, so I generally passed on my copy of the basic template to other teachers on disk.


Jump ahead several years:

Lately, I've been enthusiastically right-clicking all sorts of images and choosing the "Properties" icon.

A few days ago, I had the WAYYYYY-overdue brainstorm of doing this to my Jeopardy PowerPoint template.


Yup.

There it was under "Authors". This PowerPoint was designed by a guy named Matt Hamlyn and was worked on by some guy named John...

Oh, wait - that's me.

Anyway, I googled "Matt Hamlyn" and the first search result to come up said, "If you're looking for the Jeopardy PowerPoint, go to this link..."

"Doh!"

Anyway, if you'd like to download a very cool tool for your classroom, please go to Matt Hamlyn's website at:

http://staff.fcps.net/mhamlyn/ppt.htm

I'll be over in the corner trying to figure out how doorknobs work and other hard stuff like that.


 
 

Last month, one of my students, who was cheesed-off about some comments I'd made on his progress report, stomped up to another teacher and announced that "that old coot Mr. Fladd is getting senile!"

While I'm not all that worried about senility yet, the fact remains that I tend to forget... um... stuff... and...

Um, what were we talking about?

Anyway, I've been making an earnest effort to model ethical internet use for my students. One of the areas where they (and I) tend to cut corners, ethical-use-wise is citing picture sources. In the past, I've tended not to cite photographs in my PowerPoints because I didn't like the way the citations cluttered up my slides, but since I found my solution to that, I've been pretty good about citing my sources.

If I can remember where I found the pictures, that is.

Here's how I address the "where-the-heck-did-I-find-that?" problem:


 

When I save a picture to use later in a PowerPoint or on a worksheet, I copy its URL (its web address). I do this by highlighting it, then right-clicking it and choosing the "copy" command.






 

 

 

Next, I open the folder I've saved the picture to and right click it. When the menu pops up, I choose the "Properties" option.




 

 

The window that appears will tell me a lot of less-than-riveting technical information about the picture file I've just saved. The particular information I'm concerned with is located in the "Details" section, so I click on that tab.


 

 

I click on the heading labeled, "Comments" and paste in the URL that I copied earlier, by pressing Control-V.


 

 

Next, I click on the heading labeled, "Date acquired". The neat thing about this is that I don't even have to actually remember the specific date. (As you will recall, I'm losing my mind and have memory issues.) All I have to type in is the number of the month and my computer fills in the rest for me. I click on the little calendar to the right of the date. This will bring up an actual calendar. I select the current date, then click the "OK" button at the bottom of the window.

Now I've saved the date and location where I found a given picture that is attached to the actual picture file, so it will be much more difficult for me to lose. (Not impossible, mind you, but definitely more difficult.)

Last year, I tried to show this trick to some of my students who were working on school computers and it did not work. Our version of Windows XP does not have this feature, apparently, so this may be a trick that will only work for you at home.

Or maybe just for me.

At home.

When I remember to... um... er...

Uh.. what were we talking about, again?