Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A Reason to Have Students Conduct Traceroutes Even if You're Not a Computer Science Teacher

Back in November I published a video about using the ping command on a Windows computer. The reason for that was to show an easy method to check if a website is down or if there is a problem on your end. 

Using the ping command in the command prompt window on your computer might seem like something only computer science teachers and students should do, but the reality is that any teacher or student can benefit from knowing how to do it. Likewise, running a traceroute might seem like something only a computer science teacher or student should know how to do, but it's actually something that anyone can benefit from knowing how to do. 

A traceroute shows you the hops or connection points between your computer and the destination (often a website). This is an interesting way for students to see where in the world traffic is going to and coming from. Run a few traceroutes with your students and see if they're surprised by what they see. Watch this short video in which I demonstrate how to conduct a traceroute. 

Oh, The Irony! - The Websites That Plagiarized My Posts About Copyright

I knew this would happen. I also know there's not much I can do to prevent it other than file DMCA takedown notices when it happens. The "it" I'm referring to is the plagiarism of my blog post announcing my free webinar about copyright and the one containing the recording of the webinar. 

As an exercise in venting with the small hope that one of these sites actually responds after I publish this list, here's a list of places where my work is regularly plagiarized. 

Cloud Computin

I've been trying for more than a year to get them to stop stealing my work. They haven't. Their hosting service is Name Cheap. Name Cheap appears to not care about DMCA takedown notices because their only replies are "we received your complaint and we're investigating." Name Cheap never does anything to comply with the takedown notice after that. 


Daily Advent

Great Plains Computers & Networks

Gaming Post


A New Look for Presenting With Google Slides

On Monday Google announced a change to the presentation menu in Google Slides. Yesterday afternoon I got to try it for the first time. The new Google Slides presentation menu is a great improvement over the old one!

Just like before you still need to click the "present" button in the Slides editor. You'll notice the changes after doing that. When you enter the full presentation mode you'll notice that the large menu of presentation tools that used to be in the bottom, left corner of your slides is now gone! That large menu has been replaced by a tiny, easy-to-miss, menu that only appears when you hover your cursor over the bottom, left corner of your slides. When the menu does appear it will only show the number of the slide that you're on an arrow to advance your slides. To get the full list of presentation options you'll have to open the little "three dot" menu that appears next to the slide advancement arrow. See my screenshot below for picture of the new menu when opened. 

I love the change that Google has made to the Slides presentation format. The new "hidden" menu is far less obtrusive than the old menu. Watch my video below to see the new menu in action. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 Now Offers Google SSO

PayGrade is a classroom economy simulation that you can use all year. As I wrote last year, unlike some mock economy activities PayGrade can be used in just about any classroom setting. Recently, PayGrade added the option to use your school-issued Google account to sign into PayGrade. This should make it easier for more teachers and students to participate in classroom economy simulations. 

How PayGrade Works
Last year I wrote this detailed overview of how PayGrade works. The following is a condensed version of that overview. 

PayGrade lets you create an online classroom space in which students have to complete jobs to earn virtual currency. PayGrade offers a list of jobs that you can assign to your students or you can create your own jobs for students to complete. Some of the default job listings that you'll find listed in PayGrade are secretary, conservationist, and technology assistant. The rate of pay for each job is something that you can choose.

At the end of each week in PayGrade your students get paid in virtual currency that they can redeem for various rewards of their choosing. Students also have the option to just bank their virtual currency for use at a later date.

PayGrade isn't just a simple "students do jobs, students get rewards" system. That is because students have to pay bills from their virtual paychecks before they can spend their currency for things that they want.

Webinar Recording - Copyright & Creative Commons for K-12 Educators

Yesterday afternoon I hosted a free webinar titled Copyright & Creative Commons for K-12 Educators. The recording of the webinar is now available to view here on my YouTube channel. The recording is also embedded below. 

Here's a list of the resources that I included in the webinar:
Lessons from the $9.2 million copyright judgment against Houston ISD

Crash Course Intellectual Property

Measuring Fair Use

Seven Free Tools for Helping Students Cite Their Work

Copyright & Creativity - Lesson Plans

Common Sense Education - Lesson Plans

Read Write Think - The Debate Over Downloading Music - Lesson Plan

C-Span Classroom - The Role of Congress in Music Licensing

US Copyright Office statements on Fair Use

Stanford University Libraries’ Copyright and Fair Use Charts

Kathy Schrock’s Respect for Intellectual Property

Just for fun I'm including this little note: 
There's a website called Cloud Computin' that has been stealing my work for years and won't comply with DMCA take-down requests. Let's see if they republish this post while completely missing the irony of doing so. I bet they do! Additionally, their hosting service, Name Cheap won't comply with DMCA take-down notices.