If you are in doubt about a tech tip, please check with Tech Services for clarification or confirmation before posting.

On this Page:
  1. Maintaining & Troubleshooting your Laptop Battery
  2. ERD Process.
  3. Recognizing a Flash Drive
  4. Turning Point Student Repsonse Devices (clickers)
  5. Creating a Student Work Folder
  6. Displaying A Clock in PowerPoint
  7. Mobile Laptop Cart Suggestions
  8. Type To Learn Password
  9. Televisions
  10. Podcasting
  11. ELLIS
  12. Improving the Quality of Videotaping
  13. Vacuum/ Blower for cleaning keyboards, LCD filters, etc
  14. Flip Camera
  15. Ink Cartridge/Toner Recycling Companies
  16. How to convert files to PDF
  17. How to find the Processor Speed
  18. Adding Students to PBWorks without e-mails
  19. Display on monitor is flipped upside down
  20. Reconnecting a laptop to the WCPSS wireless network.
  21. Site to check age of data projectors
  22. Sideways images on monitors--How to Fix
  23. How to create a "Green Screen" video
  24. Streaming video use for instruction - recommended process
  25. Finding warranty information
  26. Dell Parts Information
  27. Computer Trouble Shooting Sheet

Please add the topic to the TOC as you post new items.

1. Maintaining and Troubleshooting your Laptop Battery

To read how to "recondition" laptop batteries, click on the following link.

2. ERD/Equipment Disposal Information

Fax your forms to Marty Napier at the warehouse - 856-2929. Make a note on the form where the equipment will be located for pick up - loading dock, computer lab, library media center, storage closet, etc. ERD stickers are available from Library Media Services. Place these stickers on items to be removed for easy identification. Contact me if you need more stickers. Also, remember to send a copy of your ERD forms to Mike Powers - Central Services.

3. How Can I Get My Computer Recognize a Flash Drive?

    • Right click My Computer. Left click Manage Left click Disk Management Locate the flash drive in the lower right window and right click on it. Left click Change drive letter and paths Left click Change In the Drive Letter Selection box, click on the down arrow. Select Drive F and click OK. Close all Disk Mangement windows.

    • (Posted by Liz Moss, thanks to Karen D'Elia at Reedy Creek ES)

4. Turning Point Student Response Systems (Clickers)

5. Creating a Student Work folder [dropbox] on the Shared Directory

6. Displaying a Clock with a PowerPoint

TopClock File:

7. Mobile Laptop Cart Suggestions

Please make suggestions on how you use your mobile laptop carts:
    • The best way to make the laptop carts the most effective if possible is to create a place (empty classroom) and just bring the students to that instead of wheeling it into their classroom.
    • We keep several power strips on the cart so that the laptops can be plugged into the strips and we don't have to worry about the battery running down.
    • We charge the individual laptops not the entire cart. All laptops have the same image. Student accounts limit the rights on the laptop, however the "workstation" option is available where the user has .admin rights. Enclosed Laptop Checkout Form.

8. Type to Learn Question:


9. Televisions

TV Repair-If you choose to have Don Bagwell repair or install your televisions, you cannot put a workorder in to have him come out-he does not work for WCPSS. You'll need to contact him directly to set up a time that he can come out. Your school secretary or budget manager will need to draw up a service contract and have it signed, before Don can do the work. You will also need to request a Certificate of Insurance from Don to be kept on file at the school. (Don's number: 272-4710)

10. PodCasting

From Patsy Hester:
With a microphone, headset, and Audacity software, you can create podcasts. Audacity can be downloaded from and is on the WCPSS approved list.

You may also want to look on the Web 2.0 Resources Blackboard site for more information.

From William Kline:

Ok, the easiest way is as Patsy Hester discussed. Download Audacity--it's free ( ). You can use a basic computer microphone or headset with microphone and record directly into Audacity. Audacity will export your file when you are done as a wav file or an mp3. If you want an mp3, there is an extra step. I'll wait on this. (You will need a program that is known as an encoder. The one that is used with audacity is called LAME)

You can also use any sort of portable recording device that will connect to a computer, but the device needs to record the files as wav or mp3 files. Audacity will not open a wma (Windows media file). If you have a wma, you will need to conver it. (Another extra step)
After you have a finished recorded file, you have to put it somewhere for people to access. You could ask your school's webmaster to put this somewhere or you may want to use a Blackboard course. In that case, you can simply upload it as a file and it will play in blackboard.
If you really don't want to do a lot of work, there is a program called Gcast. ( ) Gcast allows you to use a phone, record your message, and then download the file or share the file via email.
Feel free to ask questions if you have any. Podcasting is fun and pretty easy once you get started.

11. Ellis

12. How can I improve the quality of videotaping?

    • Is there volume control on the camera mic? If so, it may be cranked all the way up.
    • Are the batteries strong? Low batteries on mics can cause static/buzzing.
    • What is in the area that may be picked up on audio? Electronics nearby?
    • Is the tape old or re-used a million times? Newer tapes won't distort the recording as much.
    • You might try switching your original tape to a different camera and see if buzzing still happens.
    • Sometimes our video cameras will buzz if we are using the power cord instead of the battery. Try running it off the battery and see if that helps.
    • Another possibility might be a sqeaking tape.
    • You also may want to try turning down the volume on the microphone when recording and turning it up on play back.

13. Vacuums for Equipment Clearning

  • Craftsman 2 Gallon Wet/ Dry Vac (Sears) - Item: 917713000 received consistent good reviews $30
  • Metro DataVac Pro ( or Item: MDV-1BA only received 3.5 out of 5 stars $60
  • Orteck ( or Briar Creek store 919-484-2288) model BB870-AW good reviews but more expensive at $199

14. Flip-Camera

From Carolina Crumel
  • If space is needed to save the file do not use home directory but rather the c: hard drive on the computer/laptop. Home directories have limits of space.
  • If Computer could also be attempting to upload ALL videos instead of only 1.
  • FYI, here's a free online tutorial on using the Flip video camera. here

15. Ink Cartridge/Toner Recycling Companies

16. How to convert files to PDF

17. Finding Processor Speed:

Right-click on "my computer" and choose "properties" and the speed should be under the "general" tab. However, I found that on most of our machines at Briarcliff, the speed did not show up under the general tab. I was able to find the speed by clicking on the "hardware" tab, then the "device manager" and choosing "processors". I also wanted to let everyone know (in case you are like me and always take the longest route) that if someone else is logged into the computer and you can't get to the "my computer" icon, go to the start menu, choose "programs" and "windows explorer" -- click on "folders" and then you will see "my computer" in the menu -- you can right-click on it from there.
Liz Moss, Briarcliff ES
If a right click will not show properties, you can go to Start - Run - type in "dxdiag". That pulls up your processor speed and lots more.
Patrick Tart, Banks Road ES

18. Adding Students to PBWorks without e-mails

19. Display on monitor is flipped upside down

This is a graphics card setting. Most of the time you can press Ctrl + Alt + arrow key (up, down, left, right). Up puts everything back the right way.
Most of the time, there is also a way to go to the graphics card setting and turn this shortcut off.

20. Reconnecting a Laptop to the WCPSS Wireless Network

If for some reasons, you have lost the Educate4Wake wireless network on a WCPSS laptop, open your C: drive and look for the file called, "setupSNK" Double-click on that file and it will prompt you to add Educate4Wake to your computer.

21. Looking up information on Data Projector
Find research

22. Sideways images on monitors--How to Fix

Right-click on the desktop
On the menu choose GRAPHIC OPTIONS,
You need to log onto the computer > right click on the desktop screen > Graphic Properties > Display Settings > Change the rotation from whatever the student has set it at to 0 > uncheck the enable rotation box

23. How to create a "Green Screen" video

See attached document for instructions using Adobe Premiere Elements 3.0. Contact Nona Hardy (nthardy) for corrections/feedback!

24. Guideline for video straming in the classroom
Glenna Howell has provided the following "rule of thumb": "Yes streaming does have an impact on the bandwidth at the school. Currently the school has a 25 Meg link to Central Office. On an average day they are using between 20 and 25 Meg. What we request is that schools use streaming media responsibly. If an entire class needs to see a video, use one computer and a projector instead of all 30 students streaming the same video. If the teacher has the ability to download the video and play it back, that is a great solution, since they can download at a time that they will not affect other users. Sometime before July, the bandwidth at all of the middle and high schools will be increased to 100 Meg. This should help to enable more use of streaming video, but I would still use the same concepts as outlined."

25. Look up warranty information for PC hardware

Lenovo / IBM -
Dell -
HP -
Another HP Warranty Lookup -

26. Dell Parts Information

Looking for information on parts for a particular Dell Desktop / Laptop???

Contact Dell Directly (see Dell Parts Number below) and give them this info. I went around in circles and was finally able to dig this up...

WCPSS Dell Customer #x1482413

Dell Parts Number: (877) 277-7987

Dell Battery - p/n: 312-0408
Dell Power Adapter - p/n: 310-2860

WCPSS Purchasing contact:
Linda Andresen

27. Computer Trouble Shooting Sheet