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About Chris

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Chris is a public school teacher in Cupertino, CA. Prior, Chris taught in Los Angeles and for the New York City public school system. He is a graduate of the Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP), and of UC Irvine. His favorite teaching site of the moment is: http://teachingwithcontests.com/
 
His Four Beliefs in Teaching are:
1) Chris wants to be a better teacher (It looked easier on TV).
2) Chris wants his students to be creative. 
3) Chris wants his students to work well in teams.
4) Chris wants to use sustainable practices (Sustainable mentally, physically, economically and ecologically).

Three Free Teacher Publications Full of Good Ideas:

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Many of these tools require the Internet. For teachers without Internet access, OpenOffice for docs/presentations, GIMP for image editing, and Audacity for audio projects are wonderful tools.

What if you don't have your own classroom? One year, I traveled between 3 classrooms, so I put together the following travel cart:

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I am not suggeting you should buy any of this. For me, having a mobile cart where I could lock my posessions was worth the expense. I would store and lock everything in the cart. To set up, I would plug the power strip in to a wall outlet, take out and place the equipment on the cart top, and I was set. I also used a small bike cable lock to lock up the cart up at the end of the day.

Links to Products:
Classroom Grant Guide:
http://www.teachersnetwork.org/index.htm
Storage Case:
http://www.sevilleclassics.com/ (Not hard to assembly yourself)
Projector:
http://www.epson.com/images/landing/brighter_futures_contact1.gif (School rates and Epson extended warranty are cheaper directly through Epson than through other stores)
Notebook:
http://www.dell.com/content/products/features.aspx/laptops_great_deals?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs&~ck=anavml
Loudest Classroom Speakers:

Netbooks
At $300-500, these small laptops are making 1-1 laptop learning settings a real possibility for many schools. In looking for a netbook, I tend to focus on the size of the shift keys (bigger better), size of vents on the bottom of the laptop (smaller better), and the size of the harddrive (while flash HD is more durable, the speed and cost makes me is pick traditional HD). Track pad means less for me since I believe that any school should invest in USB mouses, because the track pad will be the first thing to wear out under student use. I would also stay away from Vista based netbooks. Teachers should get a 6-cell battery model (4+ hours of life) and students can function with 3-cell battery model (2+ hours of life).
 
Below are some images of their keyboards from top to bottom: Dell Mini 10, Samsung NC10, ASUS Eee PC 1000HE, Acer One, and last the HP Mini. Not yet shown is Dell's new release of their pricier Latitude 2100 netbook, which is more rugged for student use.

Dell Mini 10 (good student choice)
Pros:
Good keyboard and low price, existing school relationships.
Cons: Large bottom vents and long term typing can be tiring.

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Samsung NC10 (good teacher choice)
Pros:
Top performance in all aspects.
Cons: Higher price.

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ASUS Eee PC 1000HE (good runner up)
Pros:
Great keyboard for extended typing (though noisy), low price, and good webcam.
Cons: Heavier than others, a long established company, but not well known.

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Acer One (too small)
Pros:
Small, well built, and cheap.
Cons: Hard to type and large bottom vents.

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HP Mini (too flawed)
Pro:
  Few bottom vents and large keyboard (but no keyboard springiness).
Cons: Pricey, more expensive for larger hard drive.

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Contact Chris Chiang at: govandlaw@gmail dot com
(sorry no technical support questions please)