Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Microsoft Unveils a Newish OS to Compete With Chromebooks

Microsoft is clearly feeling pressure from Google's Chrome OS growing popularity in schools. To respond to that pressure Microsoft has launched a new operating system they're calling Windows 10 S. It is essentially a stripped-down version of Windows 10 that is designed to run on inexpensive laptops. Windows 10 S will restrict users to installing only apps that are approved through the Windows Store. Kahoot is one of the first companies to have their Windows 10 S apps approved.

Microsoft says that part of the reason for restricting Windows 10 S to only using approved apps is to improve performance of computers on which Windows 10 S is used.

Windows 10 S laptops will start shipping this summer. The prices are expected to range from $189 to $999. A one-year subscription to Minecraft EDU is included in the purchase price.

I was invited to Microsoft's press conference this morning. When I was pressed for a good reason to attend, the PR rep told me "it will be worth it for your readers" but she wouldn't give me any specifics. I declined their invitation to attend.

If you're interested in learning more about Windows 10 S and Microsoft's attempt to regain marketshare from Google, take a look at the following articles from TechCrunch and The Next Web.

Microsoft’s killer feature for its Chromebook competitor is Office

Windows 10 S will fuel Microsoft’s Chromebook competitors

The $999 Surface Laptop is Microsoft’s expensive answer to Chromebooks

Microsoft unveils Windows 10 S, a more powerful competitor to Chrome OS

How to Create a Google Classroom With a Gmail Account

Allowing anyone who has a Gmail address to create a Google Classroom was one of the most popular product updates that Google released last month. I've fielded a quite a few questions from people who are having trouble creating a Google Classroom with their Gmail addresses. To address those questions I created the following video tutorial.


Join me in Getting Going With G Suite to learn how all parts of G Suite can work together in your classroom.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Check123 - A Video Encyclopedia

Check123 is a website that aims to help teachers and students find educational videos. The "123" aspect of the name Check123 refers to the length of the videos on the site. All of the videos are either one, two, or three minutes long. You can refine your search results according to length of video, subject, and topic. Check123 lets you search by keyword or you can browse the subject categories.

Check123 claims to have "experts" review and rank the videos that appear in each category. It's not clear who those experts are or how they determine the scores they give to the videos.


Applications for Education
Check123 is the latest in a long line of companies that have tried to create video "encyclopedias." They all can be helpful in finding a video to use as part of a short lesson.

The problem that all sites like Check123 encounter is that they need a lot of page views in order to be viable. That can lead to including some videos that aren't always the best ones available.

If you do find a useful video on Check123, try one of these free tools for creating a flipped lesson based on that video.

How to Use Read Write Think's Cube Creator to Plan a Story

Read Write Think's Cube Creator provides students with good templates for writing biographies, mysteries, and short stories. When students complete the required information in one of the templates, they can create a 3D cube that they can flip as while they write their complete stories. In other words, the cube become a 3D writing guide for them. Watch my video embedded below to see how it works.

Like Dogs? Have Kids That Like Dogs? - Watch This Video

If you have followed this blog for long, you've probably picked up on my love for dogs. You might have also noticed that I'm passionate about shelter dogs. That's why I'm excited to this story from Lifehacker. How to Introduce Yourself to a Dog is a fantastic article outlining the best procedure for meeting a new dog. The article is based on the video embedded below.


Dogs in shelters tend to be nervous, jumpy, excitable, and sometimes aggressive in meeting new people. The same is true for all other dogs. Whether you're going to a shelter to find a new best friend or you just can't resist a cute dog out on a walk, How to Introduce Yourself to a Dog is a must read.