Time for my monthly public service announcement. Yeah, you, stop forwarding those emails. At my 9-5, we recently ran into some trouble with spam. And the people KEPT OPENING emails they did not recognize. Ugg! Seriously, people–if you don’t recognize the sender–delete–delete–delete…
Did you catch this awesome Amazon Free App of the Day a few weeks ago? Wifi File Explorer. I did not know it at the time, but this has become an app I would PAY for, had I not received it free.
Do you ever struggle to transfer files to and from your phone or tablet device? Can’t find the cord, or it won’t work with your computer? Been there many, many times. In comes a simple like app that treats your phone as a NAS/file server and provides your, automagically mind you, IP to connect to. So you activate it on a personal or enterprise (yes, I could do this at work) wireless network. It gives you an IP to navigate to on your computer browser. Then you see a menu of the entire device hard drive, and choices to upload and download files. So simple, and so quick.
A HUGE amount of application in the classroom. As we see more and more devices in the classroom, this type of app allows for quick transfer of homework and projects between teacher and student. How nice to just download the files using a browser instead of messing with USB flash drives, SD Cards, emailing files, etc.
Have you always wanted to capture screen video, but could not/were not permitted to download any software like Camtasia or CamStudio? Have no fear, you can go to http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ to make your own screen capture videos.
Pretty neat, eh? I am using Screencast-o-matic to complete a screencast while I type this blog. Pretty easy. You receive some very basic choices along the bottom, a start recording, mic check, restart, and done. No quicker do you hit record, and you are on your way.
After you finish, you can save the video file, upload it to Screencast-o-matic, or upload it to YouTube. I uploaded my demo to YouTube. Then I can post it on a blog, send it to others by link, or do any other variety of things.
Definitely a pretty powerful thing for teachers and even students. A great way to quickly complete a quick tutorial if your students are working on any type of application. The best part, most of the features are free. You can go pro and receive some additional features, like turning off the watermark in the corner, using it offline, getting some additional editing tools, but really, for most people, this free version works well! The best thing–you can use it within pretty much all browsers (I am using Chrome) and across all OS (Linux, Mac, Windows–I am using W7 64 bit).
Every parent and teacher wants to control their devices for student or child use. As we begin to look at deploying Android tablets in our district, we need a way to control the various marketplaces, filter content, and block ads. Hard to believe, but we found that–free!
Famigo Sandbox provides you with a lot of functionality, whether at home or at school. From the developers:
– Automatically filters kid safe & fun apps
– Protects your personal information like contacts and email
– Blocks ads and in-app purchases
– Limits internet & social network access
– Keeps your kids entertained with the great the apps they already love!
– Customized kid safe app recommendations based on your child’s preferences
Lots of great use. I will explore this for awhile and see if it really is too good to be true!!
Well the good news is this story does possess a happy outcome. Definitely helps knowing that going into this story to begin with. When I first heard the story, my Incredible Hulk persona came out. “ME MUST SMASH MICROSOFT!”
So the backstory is that earlier in the week the US Department of Education turned over control of Teach.gov, the information website on the career of teacher to Microsoft. The evil, evil empire. The one with the continuing monopoly, the one that makes my school district and others succumb to outrages server and OS license costs. And we even get the education discount.
So the DOE launched this site to try and slow down the large number of new teachers that leave the field within the first five years. They bottled all the info on alternative-certifications (lateral entry), grants, scholarships, professional development, and so much more. A good project by the BOE. So you can probably understand the outrage when we heard this week that Microsoft would begin running a .gov domain. Yes, a private company (and I DO NOT CARE how much Microsoft provides for their grants through the Gates Foundation–to buy more Microsoft products) about to run a .GOV domain. A PUBLIC DOMAIN! On the smallest level, I feared a change from some of the open source tools used to run the site, like the CMS Drupal. I am sure there is some Microsoft CMS, probably nicknamed BSOD-CMS. And the server to run it, while I do not know what currently runs it, but I can guarantee a WAMP box would after the migration.
So I guess my anger was an apparent, even though possibly barely apparent, government support of Microsoft. Sure, on some level, they need a private company for the taxes, but to publicly, and maybe indirectly, support one and give them control of your GOV DOMAIN?? Definitely a little hot.
You know the good guys end up winning. Microsoft will still take control of the resources, but will move it, apparently, to a .ORG domain. A little better, but still troubling. Microsoft is the evil empire after all, trying to do an end around to get more influence in the schools. Who watches these things? I am glad the geeks are!