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Internet Doomsday is Here

DoomsdayIf you’re reading this, odds are you are not one of the 570,000 people in the U.S. infected with the DNS Malware Virus. Congratulations. Yet, while you can still surf around to your heart’s content, ISPs are working overtime to help those less fortunate users find their way back to the information superhighway.

This morning at 12:01 the FBI shut down its DNS servers, which were acting as the only path to the Internet for hundreds of thousands of computers. s reported by CNet, the whole problem goes back to an online criminal ring from 2007 that was tinkering with computers' settings and then directing users to rogue servers that the criminals had set up. These servers then re-directed users to malicious Web sites. Late last year, the FBI arrested the ring and seized the rogue servers. But since so many infected computers relied on the servers to reach the Internet, the agency opted not to shut them down and instead converted them to legitimate DNS machines. Due to the high cost associated with operating these servers, the FBI has decided to shut them down.

ISP are taking a proactive approach to the problem with Comcast has contacting users with infected computers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Verizon has lined up technicians who can help customers remove the virus and AT&T plans to redirect infected PCs to the correct Web sites.

People who are unable to get online should call their ISP to see if their computers are infected. CNET has also posted a how-to guide to help people detect whether their PCs are pointing to the DNSChanger network.


Making a Difference

The letter started off by stating You have no idea the impact you have had on my childs life during this short school year.

Wow~ I paused after reading the letter handed to me this week by one of my students. A three-page letter~ hand-written by the parent. She said her son worked harder than ever~ and that for the first time~ he wasnt pushed into the corner and ignored because he was energentic and unfocused at times. She wrote about how he was now talking about sav ing money...

Do You Play Games?

Students that are engaged in learning are more likely to enjoy learning and will~ in turn~ be more open to retaining your lesson. Fun educational games can assist in the fun. By using everyday objects to create curiosity~ students and teachers can both increase the joy of the learning environment. Even adults prefer novelty. Think about the last time you had to sit in a lecture. Most adults get up~ text~ or talk during these types of presentations. Students...

Teachers Debate Social Media Use in...

TweetIn a story by Paul Barnwell of posted on Education Week May 30, 2012, the self-described tech-leaning teacher derided the use of social media technologies like Facebook as having little to no academic value in the classroom. Barnwell wrote:

“I’ve always been open to new technologies in the classroom—in fact, in 2010 I argued that we were doing...

Amazon Slashes Children's Titles...

kindle fireApple and its iPad have the lion’s share of the educational market locked up, but Amazon and its Kindle Fire are giving administrators reason to pause before blindly ordering up tablets from Cupertino.

Amazon is offering 47 classic children’s books for 99 cents each. That is an impressive price cut from the typical $7.77 the book typically cost. Among...

Count Up!

Today~ I pulled out a super soaker squirt gun and blasted my students in the middle of class. Oh yes~ I calmly removed it from a bin where I had been hiding it and let loose. They screamed~ they jumped~ and yelled "What's going on?"

After the smoke cleared and the children settled down~ I simply said:

"What you have just experienced is an act of terrorism."

I then led into my lesson on terrorism and how it is unexpected~ shocking and violent. Later~ the class watched...

Pulitzer Winner Publishes Via Twitter

New YorkerProving that even Pulitzer Prize winners are embracing social media, decorated author Jennifer Egan is publishing her next short story via Twitter.

Egan’s story, “Black Box,” began with a first 140-character Tweet on the New Yorker Fiction Twitter account last week. A new line is published every minute from 8 to 9 pm EST. This format of a Tweet-A-Minute...

High Schooler Sets Physics World Abuzz

issac newtonA 16-year-old German high school student has written a paper that purports to have solved two mysteries that were beyond the intellect of the great Isaac Newton.

Shouryya Ray, an Indian-born student who won second prize this month in the math and informatics...

Final Days

Weve all been there before. Its just weeks or days before summer vacation. The students have mentally checked out~ and maybe you have as well. The class has completed standardized testing~ grades are in~ and maybe as in my case~ students already have graduated and received their diploma.

So what do you do with the days left in the school year? How do you use them productively and remain motivated in the process? This has been a burning question in my mind for the last several...

Making a Cohesive School Environment

Probably the most important factor in a school management system is the staff that will be expected to implement it. If the teachers do not come together as a cohesive unit~ agreeing with the philosophy or executing the rules and consequences~ then the system will fall apart. Students will begin to realize which teachers will follow the letter of the law~ as well as which will turn the other cheek. Consistency is key in any K-12 educational setting~ but most...

Webquest on our National Landmarks

With the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge~ I thought I would share a webquest on our National Landmarks.

Hope you find it of value.



Gail Hennessey