Wednesday, February 2, 2011

PassPlex - A Strong Password Generator

Creating and using strong passwords is a fundamental part of protecting your online identity. But sometimes it's challenging to develop a strong and unique password. If you've ever been in that place where you're stuck trying to develop a password, PassPlex is for you. PassPlex is a simple tool for generating strong and unique passwords. To use PassPlex to create a password all you have to do is enter the number of characters you need and the level of complexity you desire for your password.

Common Craft and Explania both have good videos about creating strong passwords.

Here's How to Choose a Safe Password by Explania.

How to choose a safe password - Explania

Here's Secure Passwords Explained by Common Craft.

Applications for Education
PassPlex is a handy tool to have students try when they can't think of their own computer passwords. This is a particularly handy tool when students have to create passwords that include numbers and characters. 

Videos and Mobile Apps from the National Archives

The US National Archives is an all around good resource for history teachers to have bookmarked. I've written about some of their services in the past (here and here) and today I'd like to point out a couple of their other offerings. The National Archives's YouTube channel offers twenty playlists of archival footage covering everything from the Great Depression to WWII to NASA's space exploration to the Olympics and much more. I've included a video of short film from 1935 documenting the work of the TVA.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to work in schools that are encouraging students to use their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices for learning, the National Archives has free apps you might want to consider using. The Today's Document mobile app from the US National Archives is an interactive gallery of 365 documents and images from the National Archives. These are the same documents and images that are included in the Today's Document RSS feed. With the mobile app you can select any day of the year to find out what significant things happened in US History on that day. You can also select "random" to have a random document or image appear. The mobile app provides the same background information that you can find online.

The Shy Connector's Guide to Conference Awesomeness

Sacha Chua has once again developed a great slidedeck offering tips for shy people who need or want to connect with others. In The Shy Connector's Guide to Getting Ready for Conference Awesomeness Sacha offers steps for shy people to take before, during, and after a conference. This presentation was developed for ITSC 2011 conference, but the strategies can easily be applied to almost any conference setting.
Sacha released a similar slidedeck a couple of years ago that you should also take a few minutes to flip through.
The Shy Connector
View more presentations from Sacha Chua.

US Railroad History Map

This morning I came across a short video offering a concise outline of the development and expansion of railroads in the United States. The US Railroad History Map video doesn't feature any special effects or music, just a clear and concise outline on a map.

A similar video, US Frontier Roads & Trails, uploaded to YouTube by the same person (Dizzo95) offers an outline of US frontier trails and roads.

A quick search on reveals some videos that might be useful supplements to your lessons about the role of steel and railroads in the development of the US economy. The first of the five videos is embedded below.

Applications for Education
The development of the railroad is a very important aspect of US History and I don't know of a US History curriculum that doesn't include it. While these videos won't replace what your existing lessons, they can certainly supplement your lessons. In a couple of weeks, I'll be posting the first of the three list above on the blog for my US History students.