Showing posts with label make use of. Show all posts
Showing posts with label make use of. Show all posts

Monday, March 26, 2018

One of the Biggest Violators of YouTube's TOS Changes Its Tune

As I shared in a post earlier this month, downloading videos from YouTube via a third party tool is a violation of YouTube's terms of service (TOS). Despite that fact there are many teachers who do attempt to use third party tools to download YouTube videos. One of the most popular of those tools, KeepVid recently changed its tune. KeepVid no longer supports downloading videos from YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing sites where the terms of service don't allow it. A visit to KeepVid today will just give you a bunch of information about why you shouldn't download videos illegally.

The new information on the KeepVid homepage strikes me as being hastily thrown together to comply with a legal request. But that's purely my speculation based on many years of filing DMCA take-down notices and dealing with the legalese of an online business.

If you'd like to learn more about copyright issues as they relate to classrooms, watch this free webinar that Beth Holland and I hosted late last year.



H/T to Make Use Of for the update on KeepVid. 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Free Complete Guide to Evernote

Evernote is currently my favorite service for note-taking and bookmarking. I have Evernote installed on my iPad, my Android Tablets, my phone, my computers, and I have the Evernote web clipper installed in all of my browsers. Because of Evernote's versatility I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a good note-taking and bookmarking tool. One question that I often hear from first-time Evernote users is, there's so many options, where do I start? Make Use Of has just released a new guide that will answer that question and many more. 

How To Use Evernote, The Missing Manual is a free 34 page guide to using Evernote. The guide will help you use Evernote in your web browser, on your iPad, on your Android tablet, on your phone, and on your desktop. The guide is available to download as a PDF or EPub.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Buying a New Laptop Soon? Read This First

Make Use Of publishes a lot of useful free guides in PDF and ePub format. The latest guide that they've released is Buying Laptop Computers: Your 2012 Guide To Finding Laptop Deals. This guide is free for anyone to download. You do not have to register for anything, share it, or "like" it to get your copy. In other words, it's a no-strings-attached download.

Buying Laptop Computers is a good guide for anyone who is in the market for a new computer, but is especially good for consumers who don't consider themselves tech savvy. The guide does a guide job of succinctly and clearly explaining the key things that you should look for when shopping for a new laptop. One piece of advice that jumped out as I went through the guide was the reminder that you're buying the whole computer and not to get too hung up on one aspect of a laptop while ignoring other important aspects. For example, battery life is important but if it comes at the expense of a lower quality processor you might not be happy with your purchase a year down the road.

Applications for Education
High school graduation season is in full swing and many parents will be considering buying their graduates a laptop to take to university in the fall. If you're asked by a parent or student for advice about buying a laptop to take to university, consider telling them about the Buying Laptop Computers guide.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Piazza - Not Just Another Message Board System

Over the years I've reviewed quite a few services that offer teachers the ability to create private message boards for use in their courses. Here's a handful of those services. Today, I learned about one that tops all of those services.

Piazza is a free service that teachers can use to create message boards for their courses. Piazza message boards offer more than just the standard question and answer format found in the old free Ning packages, but not quite as many features as a paid service like Blackboard. Some of the highlights of Piazza are tracking of student use, options for having multiple instructors and or teaching assistants in each course, and collaborative editing of messages. Piazza also offers the things that you might expect like basic announcement posting.

When students response to a question posted by a teacher they can work with other students to edit that response. So rather than having a bunch of similar responses to sort through students can work together to develop a cohesive response. Teachers can weigh-in directly on each student response with a simple thumbs-up or they can actually comment and edit student responses. And like any good message board system, responses to messages in Piazza can be threaded.

To help instructors keep track of unanswered questions from students, Piazza offers great filtering tools. When they sign into their courses, just like in email, they can click to instantly see the latest unread messages, latest replies, and latest unresolved questions.

Applications for Education
For educators that are looking for a little more than a bare-bones message board system, but don't have the resources for a system like Blackboard, Piazza could be the end of that quest. To help teachers and students stay connected from just about anywhere, Piazza offers free Android and iPhone apps.

I learned about Piazza through Jessica Cam Wong's excellent Make Use Of post about the service. She wrote about it from the perspective of a student. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Make Use Of Highlights the 100 Best Android Apps - Here are my picks to try

I have to admit that browsing the Android Market can be a little overwhelming for me. (The same is true for Apple's App Store). There are so many applications to try that I can easily get carried away downloading all kinds of things that I may or may not end up using. My forth-coming purchase of a Samsung Galaxy Tabwill only make my app downloading habit worse. That is why I was happy to see Make Use Of publish a list of their 100 favorite Android apps. Their list is broken down into fourteen categories for easy browsing.

Applications for Education
If you have recently acquired an Android tablet or your school is considering buying them, Make Use Of's list could help get started selecting appropriate apps. Some of the apps from their list that I have tried and or plan to try include the following:

Juice Defender - a battery preservation app that I use now on my phone.
TED Air - for watching TED Talks.
Wapedia - for easier mobile browsing of Wikipedia.
AnkiDroid Flashcards - A free flashcard app.
Dropbox - for accessing my Dropbox files.
Catch Notes - a note-taking app that I've tried before, but might give another go on a tablet. I'm personally using Color Note on my phone now.
Google Docs - I'm currently using this app on my phone. It's far from perfect on my phone, but I'm hoping it will work better on a tablet using Honeycomb 3.1.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Free eBook for Learning the Basics of xHTML

Make Use Of recently released another good free ebook for folks interested in learning all things techy. How to Speak "Internet" Your Guide to xHTML is a thirty-nine page introduction to creating and working with xHTML code.  The guide is designed for folks who have few or no coding skills to speak of. In other words, it's designed for folks like me who know just enough about xHTML to really screw things up. This book walks you through the basics from creating links to coding images to positioning elements in your webpages. The guide concludes with directions for using your new xHTML coding skills in WordPress and Joomla.
MakeUseOf.com - Learn To Speak "Internet": Your Guide to xHTML

If you find this guide useful, you'll want to check out some of Make Use Of's other free ebooks.

Applications for Education
Whether you're looking to learn a little more about webpage design to spruce up your class website or you have students that want to learn a bit about coding on their own, this guide from Make Use Of could be helpful.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Stuff Happens - Learn How to Backup & Restore Your PC

Stuff Happens is a new free ebook from Make Use Of. Stuff Happens is a guide to backing up and restoring your Windows computer. The 33 page ebook shows you how to locate files, how to differentiate between system files and personal files, and how to back up those files. And in the event that your system crashes, Stuff Happens offers guidance on how to restore your system using your backed up files. You can download the ebook from Make Use Of or view it and download it on Scribd.

MakeUseOf.com - Stuff Happens Backup and Restore Guide

Monday, March 28, 2011

Excellent Free Ebook - How the Internet Works

So you and your students use the Internet everyday, but are you fluent in its language? Perhaps you've found yourself listening to a "techy" conversation where the terms IP, DNS, or PHP were being used and you wanted to know what those terms mean. What is an IP address? What is a DNS record? And just who is in charge of the Internet? Get answers to those questions and many more in Make Use Of's free ebook How the Internet Works.

MakeUseOf.com - How the Internet Works

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Good Guides to Understanding Your PC Inside & Out

Make Use Of is one of my favorite tech sites because almost every day I find something useful on it. Yesterday, I discovered Your PC Inside and Out on Make Use Of. Your PC Inside and Out is actually two excellent guides to understanding the various parts of a personal computer and how those parts work together. Part 1 covers chassis, power supply, and motherboard. Part 2 covers CPU, RAM, storage, video card, and expansion. You can view the guides on Scribd (part 1, part 2) or download them as PDFs from the Make Use Of Guides page. I recommend downloading them as I found it easier to read them that way.

MakeUseOf.com-Your PC Inside and Out Part 1

Applications for Education
As I read through these guides I couldn't help but think of a recent post by Gary Stager and the subsequent comments by me, him, and others. Many things were covered in Gary's post and in the comments, but what I took away from it (and from having heard Gary speak live) was the idea that students should have knowledge of how the technology they use works. While they're probably not going to go out an build their own computers after reading it, Your PC Inside and Out is a good primer to understanding the basic components of how a PC works.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Software Cheat Sheets and Posters

I sent out a link to this on Twitter today and it was retweeted numerous times. Based on the Twitter response I thought it might be worth sharing on here too. Make Use Of has published a list of 14 Software Cheat Sheets and Posters. Covered in the list are Microsoft Office 2007, Firefox and Google Chrome use tips, Linux guides, Photoshop tips, and Twitter use tips.

Applications for Education
These cheat sheets and posters can be downloaded as PDFs and printed for use at home or at school. The posters could be very useful if they were displayed in your computer lab or in your classroom near your computer stations.