Sunday, January 27, 2019
Welcome to the inaugural DLC Podcast, 'To Infinity and Beyond.' For our first go at this we chose the topic of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality in education. Join us for a great conversation about the potential these tools have for expanding the scope of the classroom.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Mac Basics: Keeping your computer healthy
It is important to keep your computer software (applications) and firmware (operating system) up to date. By doing this regularly you will be able to keep up with new features, fixes and security issues.
We would recommend checking for updates at least once a week. Your computer may be setup to notify you of an update or even start updating automatically.
An important piece of information to know is the name of the operation system you are using.
This can be found by clicking on the apple icon in the top left corner. Select About this Mac. The small window that appears tells you the Operating System (OS) name (i.e. Version 10.7.3) as well as the processor speed and amount of RAM memory. This is useful to know as ET/IT may ask you for the operating system your computer is using.
You can select Software Update to check for updates from here. By selecting More info... you will see a comprehensive list of all the specifications for the computer.
Your computer’s battery is expected to be charged from full (to close) to empty 1000 times before you notice a significant drop in rechargeability (80% of capacity). Of course this will vary between computers depending on how they have been handled.
Here are some helpful tips on looking after your battery.
- Do not leave it plugged in. The important consideration is not keeping it charged right up but keeping the charge in your battery moving. Remember it is a mobile device. When it is fully charged, unplug the power and run down the battery
- You don’t have to run it right down to empty. Start recharging when the computer tells you (the battery icon battery level may turn red around 10 - 20%)
- Do not leave the computer unused for a long period of time. Remember about keeping the flow moving. This may not be a problem for you but it is good to keep in mind
- It is a good idea to have your computer connected to electrical power when installing updates. Firmware updates usually ask you to be connected.
A bigger problem for many teachers is that the computers battery runs out of charge very quickly. Here are some tips to help conserve power when running the computer from the battery.
- Close applications that you are not using. Although we often say “out of sight out of mind”, applications we have open in the background may be still be processing and drawing power.
- Disconnect wifi and or bluetooth when not in use. They are always searching for connections and are again drawing power.
- Find a screen brightness comfort level. The brighter you set your screen the more power you are using. Think about the ambient light in the room. Can having the lights up in the room help you to reduce the brightness on your computer?
- Set the energy saving setting in the system preferences. Adjusting these will help as well. By having your computer’s hard drive and screen go to sleep, after a period of inactivity, will again reduce the drain on your battery.
- Plan ahead. If you know there could be a period of time when you will not have access to power, make sure your computer is charged. Although this seems obvious I know I have been caught out.
Virus Detection Software
The school has provided software that will detect and hopefully stop malicious “virus’ ” affecting the data on your computer. By having this software available you can be confident that you will not spend time cleaning up your computer or losing valuable data this way. But the effectiveness of the software depends on you making sure that you use it and that you keep it up to date.
It can be very tempting to cancel or not run the software especially when you are in a hurry. When a scheduled scan of your computer appears or you insert a USB drive, take a breath and let the virus detection software do its thing. You will more than likely be able to still use your computer while the scanning takes place.
The other temptation is to forget that the software is there and never update it. The virus detection software is only as good as its last update. More and more computer virus’ are being released requiring that the software be continually updated to cope.
This is a lesson that you learn very quickly when you lose important data and have not backed up. Everyone will have a story about when this happened to them. So learn from the experiences of others and save having the heartache.
You basically have a number of ways to store data.
- on your computer
- network drives (shared drives or called K drive)
- in the cloud (Google Drive, Dropbox, iTunes, iCloud)
- usb devices
- external hard drive
- CD or DVD
Each of these storage facilities have advantages and disadvantages and their use depends on your personal preference. The key is having important data stored in more than one physical location so you can minimize the effect of theft, damage or loss.
Think about where you want to store the data and how you will manage backing up on a regular basis.
Time machine is a feature on the Mac that allows for the backing up of your entire computer including applications, preferences, settings and data. Time Machine takes a snapshot of your computer on a regular basis. You are able to go into Time Machine and go back through the snapshots and choose one to restore. A restoration will restore your computer back to the way it was at that point.
Time Machine can be setup on an external hard drive that can be either an Apple product or a third party device. The important point is you need to backup regularly for it to be effective.
One of the biggest frustrations is remembering a password for a particular application or site. You could use the same username and password for everything but then if that is compromised someone has access to everything. A good idea is to have your passwords stored in a secure yet accessible location. Here are some possibilities:
- Word document on your computer
- PDF document that can be password protected and stored in the cloud
- a password storage application
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Wednesday, January 16, 2019
Breakouts are a great way to get your students involved in active learning as well as developing their cooperative skills. The ET Office has Breakout Boxes and locks that you are welcome to borrow. The DLCs would love to help support you in designing and presenting a BreakOut to your students.
Contact the tech Team at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact the tech Team at: email@example.com
Monday, January 14, 2019
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
"Give your students access to trusted, reliable, and credible sources for news, current events, and research. Do you have students working on a research paper? Are they keeping up with the news to build reading and critical thinking skills? It's easy for students to go astray and get duped by untrustworthy, deceptive news sources or research studies. This list will point students in the right direction, toward sites and apps with vetted, fact-based, and fact-checked work. "
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Google rolled out a few changes for the new year.
- Drag and drop in the Classwork page
- Class code easier to access and project
- 78 new class themes
- Update videos in the Teacher Center