Showing posts with label explania. Show all posts
Showing posts with label explania. Show all posts

Sunday, August 6, 2017

All About Cookies

Here's a good video from Explania that clearly explains a part of our daily computer uses that we often don't think about at all. In How Can Cookies Make Your Surfing Experience Convenient? we learn what browser cookies do for us. It's not the most comprehensive explanation you'll find, but it is a good primer on the topic.


How can cookies make your surfing experience convenient? - Explania

Applications for Education
One of the adult ed courses that I commonly see advertised in local newsletters is "introduction to computers" and or "introduction to the web." Videos like this one from Explania could be nice little primers on for topics in those introductory courses.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

5 Things to Check When a Website Doesn't Work the Way You Expect

A few minutes ago I received the following email from a reader:

Subject line: Poetica doesn't work and they don't respond to emails about problems!

Message: Annoying, especially since I gave them some kind of access to my google stuff in order to use their non-working program. I didn't even get an acknowledgement email about my email to them. Frankly, I think this site sucks.

Now I'm not sure if this person wanted me to help her or if she just wanted to take out her frustration on me. Either way, here are some things that I suggest trying when a website doesn't work the way that you expect it to.

1. Are you using a modern browser? In a lot instances of a site not working properly in a school, the cause can be traced to using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. If you're using an older version of Internet Explorer (IE 11 is the current stable version) not only will some sites not work correctly, you are also opening yourself up to more potential security threats. Find out which browser and version you're using by visiting WhatBrowser.org

2. Do you have cookies enabled? Many websites require cookies in order to offer you the best possible experience. Explania and Common Craft offer good explanations of how cookies work.


3. Do you have a pop-up blocker turned on? It is not uncommon for a website to use a pop-up window for account log-ins. If the pop-up is blocked, you won't be able to log-in.

4. Are you using the site on a tablet/ iPad/ Chromebook? While it would be great if every site was optimized for tablets, that is not the case.

5. Have you checked your spam folder? If you sent a help request to the help desk/ site administrators, they may have replied and had their messages flagged by your spam filter. I've experienced this more than once when using a school district email address.

And just to bring a little humor to this, in the words of The IT Crowd, "have you tried turning it off and on again?"


Disclosure: For years I have had an in-kind business relationship with Common Craft.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What Are Cookies? And What Do They Do?

Image Credit: 
No, this is not about those delicious-looking cookies to the left. This is about the kind of cookies that are captured when you browse the web. Last year I shared an Explania video that illustrated and explained browser cookies. Yesterday, Common Craft released an explanation of their own. Watch both videos and I think you'll have a pretty good understanding of what cookies are and what they do. I do wish that both videos added a little more information about why and how websites and ad networks in particular use cookies.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Interactive Animated Explanation of Body Mass

As I've mentioned in the past, my school district recently received a grant for programs to address the rate of childhood obesity in our schools. Therefore, I always take note of things like Explania's interactive, animated explanation of body mass index. The animation includes two interactive breaks during which viewers can calculate their body mass indexes and their ideal weights. The narrator uses metric units in the explanation, but the interactive elements can be used in metric or imperial units. Try it out as embedded below.


Calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI) - Explania

On a related note, you might also like Explania's explanation of cholesterol.

What is Cholesterol? - Explania

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What Are Cookies and What Do They Do?

Update July 2020: This resource is no longer online. 

Here's another good video from Explania that clearly explains a part of our daily computer uses that we often don't think about at all. In How Can Cookies Make Your Surfing Experience Convenient? we learn what browser cookies do for us. It's not the most comprehensive explanation you'll find, but it is a good primer on the topic.


Applications for Education
One of the adult ed courses that I commonly see advertised in local newsletters is "introduction to computers" and or "introduction to the web." Videos like this one from Explania could be nice little primers on for topics in those introductory courses.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What is CNG? An Animated Explanation

If your any part of your science or social studies curriculum deals with alternative fuel sources, Explania has a short video that may be of interest to you. What is CNG? is a short explanation of compressed natural gas, where it comes from, and the benefits of using it compared to gasoline or diesel.

What is CNG? - Explania

The video was sponsored by a compressed natural gas company so you will want to have a discussion about bias with your students if you do choose to show the video.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tools for Creating Strong Passwords

As more and more of the important information in our lives moves online it becomes more and more important to use strong passwords. In addition to being in the habit of using strong passwords that contain letters, numbers, and special characters you should also be in the habit of changing your passwords regularly. Of course, developing strong passwords isn't always easy. Here are some tools that can help you and your students create strong passwords.

Password Bird is a simple website that asks you three questions then generates a password for you based on your responses. Every password it generated for me included numbers and letters. If you don't like the password it generates for you, simply click the link for a new password.

 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.

Random.org offers a password generator that will allow you to create up to one hundred unique passwords at a time. To use the Random.org password generator just specify the number of passwords you want to create and the number of character each password should have. After making those specifications the list of passwords will be generated for you.

New Password Generator offers two tools for randomly generating passwords. The simpler of the two allows you to specify the number of letters and digits in your passwords. The more complex generators allows you to  specify if you want a combination of upper and lower case letters, special characters, and the length of your password.

Here are a couple of videos that can help you explain to students why they should create strong passwords and how to go about it.

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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oh No... Acne! - A Video Explanation

Acne. Every teenager experiences it at one time or another. What is acne? What can be done about it? Should you pop a zit or not? Explania handles those questions and more in the following three minute video.


Oh no ... acne - Explania

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.