Monday, October 29, 2012

One Nexus 10 Feature That Could Make It a Great Classroom Tablet

The big Google press event in New York City was canceled today, but Google still officially unveiled three new Nexus devices on their official blog. The device that I want to talk about here is the Nexus 10 tablet.

The Nexus 10 tablet runs the latest version of Android (4.2). Google calls it a "premium entertainment device" and if the Nexus 7 that I currently own is any indicator of performance, the Nexus 10 will live up to its billing. Of course the device will run productivity apps as well as entertainment apps. The dimensions and tech specs of the Nexus 10 is bound to make people compare it to iPads. 

I haven't touched a Nexus 10 yet, but there is one feature of it that I think has a ton of potential for classroom use. That feature is the option to add multiple users to each device. You can switch between user profiles from the lockscreen. This should allow multiple students to use the same device without interfering with each others apps.

The Nexus 10 hits stores in mid-November. I'm not sure that I can justify buying another tablet right now, but I will definitely be "window shopping" when they do hit stores.

Update: I just learned from Ryan Bretag that it's all Android 4.2 devices not just the Nexus 10 that will have multiple profile support. TechCrunch mentions that too in their break-down of the new Nexus devices.

Chrome Remote Desktop Leaves Beta to Allow You to Offer Tech Help Remotely

I've written about the Chrome Remote Desktop App a couple of times this year because I think that it can be very helpful to people who play the role of tech support in their schools or just in their families. Today, Google announced that the Chrome Remote Desktop App is leaving beta. In leaving beta the app has added the option to copy and paste content between devices. Windows users also now have a real-time audio option.

Using the Chrome Remote Desktop App you can grant access to your computer to another person who also has the Chrome Remote Desktop App installed. If you want to share your desktop just click "share now" and Chrome Remote Desktop will generate an access code to give to the person who will access your computer.

To access and control another person's computer you just need to enter the access code that they provide to you.

Applications for Education
The Chrome Remote Desktop app could be very helpful in aiding teachers and students when they get stuck trying to accomplish a task on their computers.

Creative Commons in Plain English

I just published a post about creating attributions for Creative Commons licensed images. Writing that post reminded me that Creative Commons isn't always an easy topic to understand. Whenever I give a presentation or run a workshop about student video projects, I spend time explaining what Creative Commons licensing is and its benefits for consumers and producers of media. Sometimes in my workshops I use Common Craft's explanation of Creative Commons licenses and what they mean for consumers and producers of media. I've embedded the video below.

Applications for Education
Copyright and Creative Commons Explained by Common Craft can be very useful in helping students understand why they cannot simply copy and paste whatever images they like that they find online.

For my Canadian friends the rules of copyright are different than they are for me in the United States. David Wees has a good presentation about Copyright for Canadian educators.

Common Craft videos can be viewed for free online but to download them or embed them you do have to be a subscriber to their service. In the interest of full disclosure I will tell you that I have an in-kind relationship with Common Craft which means that I have received a subscription in exchange for advising Common Craft on some product offerings.

A Handy Attribution Helper for Flickr Images

Correctly formatting Creative Commons image attributions can be a little tricky. Alan Levine (Cog Dog Blog) has developed a Chrome extension that takes the guess work out of formatting image citations for Creative Commons works that you find on Flickr. The Flickr CC Attribution Helper generates text and HTML that you can use in webpages, presentations, and any other place that you 
use someone's Creative Commons works.

Applications for Education
This extension only works in Chrome for Flickr images, but Flickr is one of the largest if not the largest collections of Creative Commons licensed images. If you or your students are using Creative Commons images in presentations and blog posts, give the Flickr CC Attribution Helper a try.

Thanks to Selena Woodward for sharing this handy tool with me on Google+.

Double Your Productivity with Radical Co-location is an advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. This is their sponsored post.

Ever wonder how software companies like Facebook and Twitter are so productive? One of the industry secrets is that teams work better and communicate more efficiently in a single, big, and open room.
Research at the University of Michigan teams found that teams experience a higher level of work satisfaction and are more productive when they can gather together in the same space, communicating in real-time without any barriers or delays. This type of working environment is called “Radical Co-location.” Members of a team that are not in the same location need a way to collaborate online. Products like Hall can help.

It’s Real-Time
Still using email to communicate and get things done? You’re probably reducing your productivity (and your team’s productivity) by about 40%. The solution is to move your team to group chat.  If you need to work with one person send an instant message (IM): Conversation with a single click of a button - no need to open emails or wait for a response.

It’s Convenient
Hall is one of the only group chat and instant messaging applications that is accessible on all platforms including web, desktop, mobile (iOS & Android). By choosing a product that works on all platforms, you’ll be able to get things done even faster, anytime and anywhere.

It’s Easy to Start
The most important thing to do is to get started. Join Hall and let people know this is your new virtual office where your team gets things done, collaborates, chats, and instant messages. You’ll find real-time collaboration solutions like Hall are a more productive and fun way to stay connected to your team.
Experience group chat and instant messaging at Hall.