Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ShareDrop Offers Any Easy Way to Transfer Files Between Devices

ShareDrop is a free service that makes it easy to transfer files between devices without creating any kind of account. To use the service just go to ShareDrop.io in Chrome or Firefox (latest versions) on your laptop, desktop, or mobile device. Then do the same on the device to which you want to transfer your file. As long as both devices are on the same wireless network you can then drag a file into ShareDrop on one device and open it on the other.

Applications for Education
ShareDrop could be a good tool to use in an elementary school computer lab or a similar setting in which students don't have email addresses or Google Accounts for sharing work with their teachers. By using ShareDrop when students are ready to share their work with their teachers they can simply drag it into the browser on their laptops, desktops, or tablets.

H/T to LifeHacker

How to Record Audio Interviews With Skype and QuickTime

Last week someone asked me if it was possible to record the audio portion of a Skype call. The answer is yes, you can. There is software designed specifically for that purpose (VodBurner is a popular choice), but if you have a Mac you can record by using QuickTime. The screenshots below provide directions for recording a Skype audio call by using QuickTime. After recording your call you can take the audio file and use it Garage Band or another audio editing tool like Audacity to edit the audio.

Step 1: Call your contact. You can call by connecting to a Skype contact or you can call by dialing a phone number.
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Step 2: While your call is in progress open QuickTime and select "New Audio Recording" from the "File" drop-down menu.
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Step 3: Choose an input source for recording your call. Unless you have another microphone connected to your Mac, select "Built-in microphone."Click the red "record" button when you're ready to start capturing the conversation.
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Step 4: After your call has ended, save the recording then export it to your desktop as "Audio Only." You will then be able to use the audio recording in the sound editor of your choice.
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For the Student Driver - How Rearview Mirrors Work

For experienced drivers it is just a natural reaction to flip that tab on the bottom of our rearview mirrors when headlights appear behind us in the darkness. This isn't such a natural response for student drivers. Student drivers may be wonder, what flipping that tab at the bottom of the rearview mirror actually does?  Brainstuff explains the answer in the video below.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Internet Domain Names and the role of ICANN - A C-SPAN Lesson

C-SPAN Classroom is one of the must-bookmark sites that I frequently recommend to social studies teachers in the United States. One of the features of C-SPAN Classroom that I particularly like is the Bell Ringer category of activities. Bell Ringers are short videos about contemporary issues in government, politics, and business. Each Bell Ringer video is accompanied by a list of key vocabulary terms and a list of discussion questions to use in your classroom.

One the latest Bell Ringers on C-SPAN Classroom is Internet Domain Names and the role of ICANN. This Bell Ringer activity focuses on the role of ICANN in the assignment of domain names and its relationship with the government.


While students may not need to know all of the intricacies of  ICANN and how the Internet works, it is good for them to have a basic understanding of the framework that powers an integral part of their academic and social lives. Internet Domain Names and the role of ICANN offers a good introduction to those basics.

Explore Design Projects for Students in Autodesk's Digital STEAM Workshop

Autodesk's Digital STEAM Workshop is your one-stop shop for design projects ideas and free design software for your classroom. Through the Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop educators can receive access to eleven of Autodesk's design programs including some programs that would cost your hundreds of dollars to license if you were not an educator. Some of the impressive software that you can access includes Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya, and Autodesk AutoCAD.

Take a look at the projects section of the Autodesk Digital STEAM Workshop to explore the possibilities for using Autodesk's design programs in your classroom. You can explore the possibilities by selecting a design tool, a subject, a skill level, and the length of time you have to dedicate to a classroom project. When you select a project you will be taken to a page containing the steps you and your students need to take in order to complete your chosen project.

Autodesk offers a self-guided ecourse to help teachers get a better sense of how Autodesk's software can be used in math, science, and engineering lessons. The course is divided into three sections; Getting creative with Digital STEAM, Defining your student design challenge, and Enhancing teacher software skills.