Standscan

Standscan is a tool I have become excited about using!

Using Standscan, I can take videos demonstrating solving various problems with my smartphone.  It has built in lighting which is a great help in capturing good videos.

standscan full

After you have the videos, you must choose a platform upon which to post them.  I have successfully used our school web page, my blog, and have even started a YouTube channel (found here: YouTube Channel) with them.

Students and parents can then access them anytime to watch the classroom demonstration of how to solve problems.  I also use the video in class so students can see the problem being solved while I am able to be away from the computer and with the students assisting them.

 

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Discovery Education

DE is a powerful streaming and curriculum resource for education.  Some impressive options include live streaming video content in class, downloading videos to use (saves on bandwidth and prevents interruption), assigning content to students.  Discovery has a wide variety of content available as well.

For more information, check out the links bellow:

More information:

The Bible

Apple Bible App

Google Play Store

The Bible app by LifeChurch.tv is an amazing resources for spiritual growth.  I use it personally every day to keep me on track with several reading plans and devotionals.  I have also used the live services to share passages and facilitate note taking, sharing announcements, etc.

Just a few highlights:

  • Scripture reading:
    • Easy to look up passages
    • Quick when changing translations
    • Download versions for offline reading
  • Plans:
    • There are thousands of reading plans available grouped by topic, portion of Bible, category, etc.
  • Images:
    • Recently, they added the feature to convert a verse(s) into an image for sharing.
    • Options for sharing include saving the image, sharing to standard social media apps, text, email, etc.
  • Live Events:
    • Verses used during the service to be already loaded.
    • Options available:
      • Take in app notes
      • Submit prayer requests
      • Submit answers to questions
      • Response to message
      • Shared URL’s

Their website can be found here.  i encourage you to check it out!

Malware

Preventing Malware infections

  • Pay attention to where you go.
    • Malware often redirects you to other websites
  • Be cautious when downloading from the internet
    • Only download from familiar/trusted websites
    • Don’t fall for the fake “download” buttons.  After clicking download, the next page often says your download is beginning and will be surrounded by ads that look like another download button.  DON”T CLICK THEM!
  • Avoid clicking ads on any site.

Signs of a malware infection

There are several signs which may indicate that your computer is infected.

  • weird things happening on your PC, such as:
    • unusual messages, images, or sound signals
    • CD-ROM tray opens and closes voluntary
    • programs start running without your command
    • messages are displayed informing that one of your programs is attempting to access Internet without your command
    • Popups when trying to browse
    • Landing on wrong page instead of the one you were trying to access
  • Signs which could be either a hardware problem or malware:
    • your PC frequently crashes or hangs
    • everything slows down when starting a program
    • operating system does not boot
    • missing or corrupt files and folders
    • excessive hard drive activity (the light on the front of the case flashes frequently)
    • something is wrong with Microsoft Internet Explorer (it freezes or does not respond to commands, e.g.)

 Solutions:

  • Malware bytes – you can download it from malwarebytes.org   The free version scans for and removes malware.  The premium version serves as real time protection.
  • Bleeping Computer Resources (BleepingComputer.com) Bleeping Computer has several resources to clean computers as well as a great community forum in which you can find assistance with issues.
    • AdWare Cleaner
    • Junkware Removal Tool
    • Combofix
    • Ccleaner

Apps!?

I admit it. I am an app hog. I hear about the latest and greatest and downloaded it, sign up for it, and/or demo it. I have had to learn to be more selective in my tastes. Now, I have a few key features for which I look.

1. Platform agnostic– I look for apps that will work on as many platforms as possible. I look to see if it runs in Windows and Mac, on iPads, iPhones, Chromebooks, Android, etc. why is this important to me? I want everyone to have access regardless of their taste in phone, computers, and tablets. The best apps out there work on everything.

2. High Reviews– I take time to read through the reviews. I used to skip this step, but I have found it could have saved me much grief. Honest reviewers share bugs and glitches and mention responsiveness of customer service.

3. Versatility– I prefer apps that aren’t one trick ponies. I like to get in an app or log in through the browser and get to stay there. I don’t like the break in workflow to jump back and forth between apps. I also enjoy being able to start a project on the iPad, switch to a web portal, open a computer program, edit from my Droid, and finish on my iPad. Sharing throughout all access points makes work easy.

4. Ease of use– I look for apps that are fairly intuitive. Time is valuable and very few people can dedicate the time required to learn unique gestures, codes, and key combinations to access the advanced features. Simple is better, especially when I plan to introduce an app to new users. It should not whether they are newbies or technogeeks, they should be able to catch on quickly,

There you have it. I use those principles when choosing apps. I hope you find this helpful and look forward to highlighting some of my favorite apps in the future.

Social Media

Social media has become a vital part of many classrooms.  From Facebook groups and pages to Google circles, teachers can interact with their students and assist them in a format with which they are comfortable.  I have  used these tools to share notes, reviews, and help with homework.

It is important to follow district policy when using social media.  Many districts set time limits on contact with students.   I suggest not “friending”  students.  Instead, use groups, pages, etc instead.

Tips:

  • Use a graphic with your post.
  • Link accounts-
    • You can tweet the posts which you put on your Facebook Page
    • You can share from instagram to Facebook and Twitter
  • Promote yourself: Like, share, retweet, etc the posts you make.

Blogs

Blogs are a powerful tool to use for your classroom. There are several free blog hosting platforms from which you can choose. If you are Google Apps for Education user, Blogger is the built in blog with your account. WordPress is another great blog hosting site which offers free blogs and powerful customization.

How can you use a blog in class? I’m glad you asked!

  • Post your daily objectives.
  • Link to videos to preview/review the topics of discussion.
  • Link to articles students need to read.
  • Link to a document you want the students to start.
  • Post a question as a discussion starter for students to reply to in comments.
  • Post homework assignments
  • Post links to pages and videos which will help with homework.

Precautions:
Check your district policy and laws about privacy issues. Most blogs have privacy and security settings which you need to set to ensure privacy of the students.