Sunday, January 27, 2013

Speeding Up Your Browser

Lately I have been hearing from a lot of colleagues that their "computer" is running very slow.  I know that when I am on the Internet it seems like I have been getting the "spinning wheel of death" more often lately.  I thought I had too many windows or tabs open. I tried closing tabs, windows, quitting out and opening the browser again. I tried shutting off the computer and restarting it. Nothing really seemed to work. Yesterday I was reading the Reader's Digest (big print edition, a present that someone gave us as a joke). The article talked about how cleaning up your browser can help with speed. So, I tried it and lo and behold, it worked! So here are my directions for all 3 browsers. I wouldn't bother doing it with all of them but just pick the one (or two) you use all the time.


Step 1.

Step 2

Clean up your bookmarks. You can save them if you wish first and then delete, delete, delete.
First - Export your bookmarks.

While you are in this window you can delete bookmarks. You will have them saved so only keep the ones you use on a daily basis.


Click on the word Firefox and choose Preferences:

When the Preferences panel opens:

Then Export and delete bookmarks.

Click on Bookmarks then Show All Bookmarks


 Reset Safari

Export Bookmarks
Click on Safari and select Export Bookmarks

To delete bookmarks click on Bookmarks and then Show All Bookmarks.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


  As you may know the Maine Laptop Initiative will be providing new machines to teachers next year.  What this means for everyone is that anything on your current device will need to be backed up.  One solution that we have been using a lot lately here at FHS is Dropbox.  This cloud-based solution offers a free membership that provides 2GB worth of space.  Not only is Dropbox a website but you can download it to your computer as well.  This video(2:18) explains well how Dropbox works and what the advantages are.  Google Drive can be used in a similar way, but Dropbox is not a document editor.   It only preserves whatever type of file you already have.

A few weeks ago a teacher at FHS wanted to help a first year teacher(friend) out in Hawaii.  Her problem was that she had all these files in folders on her desktop and she wanted to share them all with her buddy in paradise(Hawaii) in an organized manner.  After downloading Dropbox and making an account, we easily dragged the needed folders to her Dropbox.  As a result, her buddy in Hawaii was able to access all of the documents via the organized folders just seconds later.

If you are interested, check this demo.  The video was made by Drew Houston, the MIT graduate who created Dropbox in 2007.  He does a nice job explaining the uses of Dropbox.  But, if you need any help or guidance please come see any one of us (Dan,Peggy,Cathy, and Anne).

Finally, a natural concern about Dropbox might be the security of your stuff.  My personal feeling is that the cloud is more reliable, accessible, and safe than backing up on one or several hard drives. One thing I can now do thanks to Dropbpox is pull up any library receipt, personal teacher certification, schedule, calendar  or other document by scanning them in with the document feeder(3:44), emailing them to myself, and then moving to Dropbox.

It took Dropbox 4 years to reach 50 million users. Recently, Houston announced in November that Dropbox had 100 million users worldwide. The Dropbox service is also integrated with many devices, apps, and other services.

Barret, Victoria. "Dropbox: The Inside Story Of Tech's Hottest Startup." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 19 Jan. 2013. <>.

Houston, Drew. "The Dropbox Blog » Blog Archive » Thanks a (hundred) Million."The Dropbox Blog RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Jan. 2013.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of...



What is Destiny? Destiny is our new library circulation system that was purchased for all three schools. It replaces our old system which was out-of-date. You'll notice that searching for material in the library catalog looks a bit different.

*The library catalog is web-based and may be accessed from any device that has internet access.

Visit your school library web site to access the library catalog.
Falmouth Elementary School Library
Falmouth Middle School Library
Falmouth High School Library

 Here's the "Classic" library catalog mode for Destiny.

Destiny Quest is the high-tech version of the library catalog that features Top 10 Books, New Arrivals, and Resource Lists.

Example of Destiny Quest search

Patrons may also search for web sites.

One of the many reasons we chose Destiny is the easy access to e-books through the catalog. We hope to purchase e-books with library budget money in the future.

Eventually students in grades 3-12 and teachers will be able to log into Destiny to see what materials they have checked out, put items on hold, access e-books & audio books, share book reviews, and create lists of books to read. More details about logging into Destiny will provided in the upcoming months. 

Stop by your school library to learn more about Destiny or to schedule a session for students to learn about how to search the catalog.