Troubleshooting tablet technology

aussieoutagesWhen things go wrong on a tablet or phone you have to keep calm and troubleshoot:

1. Check you have battery resources
2. Check you are connected to wifi/mobile provider if you should be
3. Check national and international outages
4. Close all the open apps
5. Turn off phone/ tablet and turn on again
6. Turn off modem, count to 10 and on again
7. If it is one app then delete it and reinstall it
8. Google like mad to see what the workarounds are.

The aussieoutages site is a good place to go in Australia because it lets you know if there is an issue. For the first time ever I had a problem on my iPad air. Instagram would start opening and then pop shut. Nothing. On my android phone there was no issue so I knew it wasn’t really an Instagram problem per se. I went to aussieoutages and sure enough there were a lot of people having a problem. There can be network conflicts which can create problems and with our current weather there could be things which affect wifi delivery. It was odd it was one device. This afternoon it started working again just fine and that was when I had gone to my iPad ready to delete the app and try reinstalling it. I had just used my phone in the meantime.

Windows 10

Windows 10 What they said originally about Windows 10 is right. It needs lots of RAM. It also appears to need a clean install and they said that too. My other version of Windows 10 was an upgrade from Windows 8 on an 8Gb computer. It improved Windows 8 , it ran okay but there were problems. The taskbar dismantled its function early on in the piece and no updates or fiddling around has ever fixed that. I installed a 3rd party start menu and at least got that functionality back because I lost the tiles as well. The customisations have held that version of Windows 10 together. It has been okay. Just okay. My Steam Castle has 16 Gb RAM and is very much graphics dedicated. It has an OEM version of Windows 10. I have Cortana, a functioning taskbar, the tiles in the menu and it all runs very efficiently and smoothly. Updates are fast and I am not there for ages waiting for downloads or installs. They do not take any time. This version will put up little pop ups bottom right about what is happening on my computer and that works well for me. The messages are by way of Did you know? Do you want to do anything about it? Just letting you know… That is all very helpful. Everything runs well and I can access everything easily. What I can’t find Cortana does and I use it like Apple Mac Spotlight . Now I have seen this version of Windows 10 I am more than happy with it and it is a pleasure to work on. Visually it is very good and technically it seems to be in control of everything. With Windows you get used to odd things happening and you just carry on anyway. This version of Windows 10 is competent in its capacity to function and troubleshoot.

Facebook video calling

Facebook video calling in Messenger is as easy as clicking on the video icon to call out or  tapping on the green phone icon when the call comes in. It works from an iPhone to an Android phone and can be very convenient because it does run from Messenger on your phone. The quality appears to vary from happiness + to frustration – . In this last couple of weeks I have had  Messenger calls from America to Australia. From New York it worked really well. Both video and sound quality were good. From Anaheim the sound was good but the video was not always smooth and worked best by the room window. From Las Vegas it was poor. The sound was intermittent and the video was lagging all the time. Again it was better by the window but the mesh on the window was probably interfering with wifi signals in the rest of the room. You get the impression it’s more like having to tweak the rabbit ears on a TV set to try to get video and sound. It’s a great option and hopefully Facebook and cities can work out the connectivity issues. Some places would just be on bandwidth overload and then there would be the other issues which affect wifi – walls, floors and competing networks…

How to install Virtual Box

As usual I am using my blog to gather my information and resources for a project I have in mind. Virtual Box will run an OS on Windows 10 without interfering with the things I already running on my computer. It will run the OS virtually. I am already doing that with Andy which is an Android emulator and the point made in the video that virtualware uses a lot of RAM is true. To do this you need a computer with plenty of RAM but the android emulator will only go as fast as it goes. I am wondering if Virtual Box will be able to run software at the same speed as a non virtual computer. If I can access another OS from inside Windows 10 I have access to the software which is not available on Windows 10. If I want to try something I always check on makeuseof or LifeHacker to make sure I am on the right track. LifeHacker has a good overview of VirtualBox. The latest version of VirtualBox is 5.1 and can be obtained here. Now I have the three things I need to get started.

The benefits of learning languages

There is a constant stream of information now about the cognitive benefits of learning languages. Learning a language develops your hippocampus, enables you to retain and recall information and helps you sort information better. SBS television has just put out another article about the benefits of bilingualism and again there is indisputable evidence that it benefits your brain and your thinking amongst other things. I can relate to what they are saying in the video about people speaking more than one language . When you are immersed in a language you can block other languages. If you are in a situation which is prompting other languages you know, then it’s true, you will think of the German word instead of the French one. I have taught a number of German international students French. My instinct is to talk to them in German. They are here to improve their English and are in my French class. Like me they have a ready facility to go from their native language to another but to make them go from English to French or French to English is initially very hard. They will then revert to German. I find it hard to go from German to French. One language has to be dominant but I have been in places where people readily go from one language to another in 10 minutes. In Sydney airport I heard a businessman go from Dutch to German to French to English in one call on his phone. That kind of linguistic capacity is learned and becomes a habit. The internet and technology devices have improved considerably in helping people to learn languages. YouTube has some good channels and then there a number of apps for learning languages in a sequential way. My own favourite is Duolingo because it works across all devices and delivers very good practice. Depending on the language you want to learn you can learn it in bite size pieces very easily on a phone or tablet.

Protect yourself against malware

Malware seems to come in waves and it’s good to have a routine which will get you and your computer back on top of it. The video gives some really good tips and then makeuseof gives you a sensible set of steps to take so that you can restore order to your computer. On a Mac I have always used the free programme Onyx to clean things up for me and it worked really well. With Windows I use a virus and malware checker and they are pretty effective but knowing how to go about sorting out a system to prevent a malware attack is good. Mr. Ford gives some good advice in his video. On the Mac I didn’t have anti virus running all the time either as he says. It tended to destabilise the Mac. I would run it as needed as he suggests. Whatever you decide, work out a plan to keep your computer safe and then a plan of action for when it plays up because of malware infection. Mostly it is very easy to prevent and not too hard to fix. The main thing is we don’t forget to do this and we remind each other every so often to ensure we are properly protected against malware.

Tablets in the classroom

The Pedagogy Podcast

Image: The Pedagogy Podcast 

Teachers are not the media stereo type, vacuous nincompoops with 50s hairdos in front of perfectly groomed, smiling students with their hands up as they teach from the board often with their arms folded or a weirdo lean. Teachers, in my experience , are real people with a wide variety of exceptional talents and competencies who hone in on detail. They are like Patrick Trowse (@wklifebalance) whom I got to know in the #aussieED teacher chats on a Sunday night. Teachers are sociable and they want to learn. Over a year ago Patrick started his blog wklifebalance and I just pointed him in the right direction. The blog is valuable because he looks at the sorts of things which affect the work – life balance of teachers, how to stay healthy and how to manage a very demanding, rigorous job. Since then he has grown and developed himself into a podcaster and his podcasts are well made, interesting and about the sorts of things which teachers need to know and manage. You cannot replace experience. You cannot beat information from someone who has been through the process and you cannot do without podcasts! I load up a USB stick with all sorts of podcasts. They help me to keep my other language skills up, they teach me about health and ecology and they provide things to think about and practical ideas for education.I play them in my car as I commute. Patrick’s podcast on tablets in a classroom, where he speaks with a technician, is invaluable because it covers the issues The podcasts on The Pedagogy Podcasts are then reinforced with written information to check and consider. That is a teacher. A teacher knows you have to provide information in multiple modes so everyone can learn.

You can tick the boxes on the Professional Standards for Patrick as he develops himself, collaborates with others and shares his knowledge:

1.1 Lead colleagues to select and develop teaching strategies to improve student learning using knowledge of the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students.
1.3 Evaluate and revise school learning and teaching programs, using expert and community knowledge and experience, to meet the needs of students with diverse linguistic, cultural, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds.
2.1 Lead initiatives within the school to evaluate and improve knowledge of content and teaching strategies and demonstrate exemplary teaching of subjects using effective, research-based learning and teaching programs.
2.2 Lead initiatives that utilise comprehensive content knowledge to improve the selection and sequencing of content into coherently organised learning and teaching programs.
2.6 Lead and support colleagues within the school to select and use ICT with effective teaching strategies to expand learning opportunities and content knowledge for all students.
3.1 Demonstrate exemplary practice and high expectations and lead colleagues to encourage students to pursue challenging goals in all aspects of their education.
3.3 Work with colleagues to review, modify and expand their repertoire of teaching strategies to enable students to use knowledge, skills, problem solving and critical and creative thinking.
3.4 Model exemplary skills and lead colleagues in selecting, creating and evaluating resources, including ICT, for application by teachers within or beyond the school.
4.2 Initiate strategies and lead colleagues to implement effective classroom management and promote student responsibility for learning.
4.5 Review or implement new policies and strategies to ensure the safe, responsible and ethical use of ICT in learning and teaching.
6.3 Implement professional dialogue within the school or professional learning network(s) that is informed by feedback, analysis of current research and practice to improve the educational outcomes of students.
6.4 Advocate, participate in and lead strategies to support high-quality professional learning opportunities for colleagues that focus on improved student learning.
7.4 Take a leadership role in professional and community networks and support the involvement of colleagues in external learning opportunities.

In 2016 the Professional Standards are supporting and encouraging teachers to develop and share their skills. In 2016 a contemporary teacher can use technology to improve themselves, improve others and engage with the real world in a way which benefits others and impacts on student learning in an effective way. It is all based on sharing and collaboration. Creating the content, joining the dots and getting feedback.

Windows 10 themepacks

theme packsI always decorated my school laptop with a theme to suit the content and the feedback I constantly received from students was that it was a positive. They always wanted to know how I made the themes, how I blended images, where I had got the images and they were always asking questions about what I had put up as a theme. It creates a whole new level of learning. For me, at the moment, I am putting a desktop theme on my computer to match in with someone’s overseas trip. That way I get to see where they are, what it looks like and I have found it has made me want to find out more. It’s and easy and natural way to learn . Windows 10 comes with some nice themes and a spot to find them online. I have also found themepack.me which has a very good selection of quality themes for Windows and helpful hints as to how to improve your themes. There is an aquarium on there which I plan to try later. I love aquarium themes! You just click on the appropriate file for your version of Windows and then double click on the downloaded folder. It installs that easily.

Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go is everywhere at the moment. There is a temptation to ignore it or consider it as a passing phase or craze but there are equally enough alarm buttons around  for it to be considered as one for the experts. If you go skydiving, driving, sailing, scuba diving, horse riding you are at risk. Normally you learn high risk activities from an expert and experienced trainers through a series of programmed stages.. Society then also has a level of awareness about these activities and has safety thinking and measures in place. You don’t stop people from riding in a helicopter because things could go wrong. Training and development have always been part of our socialization as we engage with high risk activities. We learn how to protect ourselves, defend ourselves, prepare ourselves and what the expected behaviours are. Pokémon Go has crossed a gaming boundary where people go out into the wild to find Pokémon. They can be found anywhere because it is a game which uses sat nav and augmented reality. It is making really good use of the technology we have to create a different level of game interaction and develop a different set of gaming skills. I don’t know how the young people in the video could create a Pokémon which would then entice others so they could be robbed. There are a number of sites which are looking at  the side of Pokémon Go which is putting people at risk and I have left the links at the bottom of this post so you can follow it up. We need gaming experts, psychology experts, police and safety experts to get into the conversation and look at how we can keep people safe. As teachers we cannot ignore it. Nor can we ignore it as family members. There would be a lot of people in their mid 20s playing the game because they grew up with it. There are also younger people who are now new players to the game. It then is like any other highly skilled social activity. New players need to be taught properly as they would be with sailing. They need to be trained properly as they would be with football. Some digital games now need the same layers of training and development as other activities which can create problems for those who do not know how to play properly. If we just look upon it as a phase or something we don’t need to engage with , there are going to be problems as there would be if we ignored people who knew nothing going into the mountains to try and ski.

pokemon go Image: ifunny.co

Four things parents should know about Pokémon Go
Child safety warnings
Pokémon Go Tips for Parents
A Parent’s Guide To Playing Pokémon GO With Your Kids

Real or fake?

Artistically speaking , we can achieve some impressive images by photoshopping other images. There has been much discussion, though, about photoshopped fashion images or celebrity images and rightly so. Airbrushing reality has tended to skew perception of what reality actually is. This little video gives you a test and then the answers with information as you go along. Well worth keeping your eagle eye well trained. Spotting fake images has become a 21st century skill.

Know your cables

You don’t have to be a musician to gain value from Kennis Russell’s very effective cable video. He wastes no time. He explains things well. He adds images to support learning and then he summarises at the end and you realise he taught you well! I use XLR cables for my microphone and I have a little mixer for my sound so I need to know about cables. When I changed computers and had to set up the sound again I ended up having to use my splitter RCA cable because the new computer didn’t have RCA jacks. Why bother? It’s about reliability, stability and integrity of sound. On a laptop it will label the jacks for microphone and headset so you know which ones to use. On a desktop you might get the coloured jacks without the labelling:

Pink is to connect the microphone
Green is the line out for the speakers or headphones
Blue is a line in for mp3 player, CD player or something like that.

Wifi and bluetooth sound are handy and convenient but they are not stable and reliable and always available. Wired connections are solid and until we move further along the path to dependable wireless connections then best quality sound comes from wired connections.

Check data usage

It’s 2016. We need to be able to check on our data usage easily. A simple screen would do. An icon, a widget. Something visible and visual. The video shows you how to get more accurate information on a Samsung Galaxy S6. Going to settings and then pressing this and then pressing that is not very slick. Grateful for the information, though. I am surprised it is not like battery usage. We can see at a glance how much battery power we have. We should be able to see where we are on mobile data usage for the month or wifi usage for the month. Not everyone has access to limitless funds and plans. We need to be able to monitor our usage very closely at times. I am writing this because I have had a second power black out in a month. No wifi. I needed to be on the Net to get critical information. So I used my mobile data. I don’t have a sumptuous plan for mobile data use because I rarely need it. I have easy wifi access where I go or I don’t need wifi access at all. We need an app or widgets which can show us mobile data use against our plan or wifi use against a restricted plan. They can get us data on everything. Why not usage data?

Classroom Collective

Amy has less than 10 years teaching experience. She comes from Ottawa and already she has demonstrated an authentic commitment to teaching and professional standards. She is using technology to develop herself professionally, share her ideas and muster her resources. Her old blog, which is featured in the video, is here. She is articulate and organised and knows how to work on a growth mindset and professional development through sharing her ideas broadly. Her new blog is here. Amy also has a Classroom Collective Facebook page. Her Pinterest board for teaching is very lively and full of great ideas. Teachers are now able to reinforce themselves and others by using technology sites and they can become proficient in using technology by using technology to develop and save their ideas. It’s there. It is in public view. We can see just what Amy does and plans to do and how she goes about preparing herself for lessons. It then goes on the internet and is peer reviewed. She is documenting her development as a teacher but also allowing others to be encouraged and supported by her ideas. As she engages with her sites she is reflecting on her practice and when you look at what she is doing and thinking you cannot help but be impressed and glad she’s a teacher. So how did I find Amy? I was doing a search for organising resources. She has her SEO right on the name Classroom Collective.

Learning step by step

I used to love my abacus but it was bigger than the one in this video. It was inherently fascinating at an early age because it looked different from other things and it had colourful beads. Did I ever learn to use the abacus to count? Only in the most obvious way by sliding and counting beads or counting up and down rows. I didn’t know how to use an abacus properly and no one showed me. So the abacus reinforced what I knew already and held my interest for numbers just by being there. I did not ever use the abacus correctly which meant I was oblivious to the fact it was a remarkable tool which could do all sorts of things with numbers. The Hev project has created a video which makes it so easy to know how to use an abacus effectively and get the best out of this remarkable tool. It would be fun to make one. It’s tactile as well as cerebral learning and then you can just have fun making all the beads click!
If you google step by step learning or research that on YouTube you will get a lot of returns in terms of things to learn which are stepped out. It’s a gaming principle which the internet has adopted to deliver learning content. The Hev Project shows very clearly what step by step learning looks and sounds like. You are even invited to pause the video to have a practice until you have mastered and understood that step.

So what does learning look like?

One step at a time
Research
Ask your network
Practice and master
Next step
Reflect on your learning
Troubleshoot
Practice
Get feedback
Improve

When you don’t understand or don’t know what you are doing you go back to the step where you lost the thread. With technology you can easily access networks and research so that you do not have to wait to learn and as you are practising you can share what you are doing so you can get feedback, ideas and help so that, in the end, your level of learning is high and has a good outcome.

Improve creative thinking

This video looks at the six steps which improve creative thinking:

1. Know that everyone is creative
2. Looking at the left brain and right brain
3. The speed with which you think
4. Originality of thought
5. Flexibility of thought
6. Imagination and association.

Learning music adds considerably to creative and spatial thinking. Learning languages develop flexibility in thinking and the speed with which people can think. We are at a stage in research where we can know what develops the architecture of the brain and what has impact on cognitive development. Tony Buzan worked on the first Mind Mapping software and the iMindMap site offers a free basic version of this software which is very easy to use and implement. I have found mind mapping software to be a very effective tool for teaching and students enjoy making their own mind maps. They don’t have that fear of not knowing what to put down on paper when they have access to a tool like iMindMap.

When you hear Tony Buzan explain the steps clearly in the video  you know it is possible to open up creative thinking and that it ought to be a normal part of teaching and learning. The University of London has an interesting little article about the Impact of creative thinking in the 21st century economy .

We are “encouraged to ‘put the Socratic icing on the Confucian cake’ .” I like that.

Lesson planning in the 21st century

Lesson PlanningDesigners follow a reason centred or action centred models to develop their content. We are in the technological age and technology is part of our classrooms and so looking at teaching through a designer’s lens provides insight and clarity. Technology in a classroom means tablets, smart phones, interactive white boards, laptops, computer screens. Screens, images, placement of content, visual literacy. Design. Planning lessons ought to be centred around design principles and, as it turns out, they serve us well. The image I have put into this post is by no means definitive. It is a way to demonstrate how we already use reason centred and action centred lesson planning and as you look at it you will think of other things. There is a bit of tension between the two in education because some would like to abandon or down grade the reason centred approach and focus more on the action centred approach. As a designer you wouldn’t do that until you were really experienced and had mastered the foundations of design through theory and research. As teachers we will often be champing at the bit to try different things and technology can increase that feeling  because there are just so many great things you can do with it in a classroom. So approach needs to be tempered. We need some commonality, consistency and coherence across the curriculum. ACARA has done much to try to ensure that and to ensure we have content based on good practice and evidence. We are in a data driven world and we are able to access a lot of information about learning which was previously rather sparse. We can use that to our advantage. We can also use the benchmarking of NAPLAN, exams and national tests to inform our decision making as teachers. By contrast we can also take real advantage of anytime, anywhere learning and students, as well as attending lessons at school,  can be participating in online learning, community based learning, project based learning, industry based learning – in other words – lifelong learning. Aitsl encourages us to create lessons based on reason:

1.1 Select from a flexible and effective repertoire of teaching strategies to suit the physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students.
1.2 Expand understanding of how students learn using research and workplace knowledge.
1.5 Evaluate learning and teaching programs, using student assessment data, that are differentiated for the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities.
1.6 Work with colleagues to access specialist knowledge, and relevant policy and legislation, to develop teaching programs that support the participation and learning of students with disability
2.3 Design and implement learning and teaching programs using knowledge of curriculum, assessment and reporting requirements.
2.6 Model high-level teaching knowledge and skills and work with colleagues to use current ICT to improve their teaching practice and make content relevant and meaningful.
3.6 Conduct regular reviews of teaching and learning programs using multiple sources of evidence including: student assessment data, curriculum documents, teaching practices and feedback from parents/ carers, students and colleagues.
6.2 Plan for professional learning by accessing and critiquing relevant research, engage in high quality targeted opportunities to improve practice and offer quality placements for pre-service teachers where applicable.

The action-centred approach in aitsl comes largely through the encouragement to initiate ideas and collaborate with others.

6.3 Initiate and engage in professional discussions with colleagues in a range of forums to evaluate practice directed at improving professional knowledge and practice, and the educational outcomes of students.

6.4 Engage with colleagues to evaluate the effectiveness of teacher professional learning activities to address student learning needs.

7.4 Participate in professional and community networks and forums to broaden knowledge and improve practice.

aitsl asks us to inform our action centred approach through a reason based foundation so that we consult widely and adopt  professional insight into pedagogy.

Again it is coming back to the design and agile thinking principles:

Design thinking is : Understand, Explore, Prototype , Evaluate

Agile Thinking is about bearing the end user in mind, making incremental improvements and gaining feedback before you move on.

The reason centred approach and the action-centred approach are not in opposition in education. They operate together to stimulate growth and that positive mindset we keep talking about.

50 Teaching apps

teaching apps Image : Scholastic

Scholastic is a well known and well established text book company for teachers. It has branched out well into the online world and the site always provides some good resources and ideas. It focuses on reading, in particular but offers plenty of other ideas and has sections of the site for all stakeholders in a child’s education. The apps are well worth considering. They are a mix of free and paid apps.

#britex #brexit

#brexitI feel for teachers going back into the classroom after the EU Referendum in Britain. We are a connected world and so we can see and feel how things are affecting others and #britex #brexit is one of those things which is having a significant emotional impact on Britain. When you walk into a classroom of 30 students whose families and friends are affected by something like that , then as a teacher, it is a real challenge. I have always adopted the business as usual approach. I start the lesson as usual , I start up the content and the involvement. Sometimes ,about 15 minutes, into the lesson I will stop and say something like ” I can’t continue today’s lesson without sparing a thought for the people affected by…”. I have always prepared myself for the questions. With access to internet resources , it is easy. With Aceh we looked a little bit about what the French (these are French lessons) were saying about Aceh or Fukushima. I would spend a few minutes on that and sometimes questions would arise and I have always been ready with more than one point of view. My bottom line has often been, “You can listen to what I am saying. You can hear what others are saying in this classroom but it is important that you go home and talk about it with your parents and families. ” My belief has always been that as a teacher I try and represent what the world is thinking. I try and reassure and give hope, always, and that we look at how the world is reacting. We are connected. We can often point students in the right direction for sound and solid information. The EU exit is a very hard one to deal with because it is cutting across cultures, history, languages and the economy. I get on with my lesson and then students know if they blurt and cannot help themselves we will stop and look at what they are saying and asking. I was teaching languages before the European Union was founded November 1, 1993, Maastricht, Netherlands. Perspective is always important because it shows that the world does go on and things are resolved or just continue to be an issue. When it is affecting students in a very personal way then the Department or school has always had a back up care plan. You can see that #britex #brexit is a tough one because even Twitter is split into #britex and #brexit and then #EURef and #BritRef are now growing stronger which is only adding to the emotional upheaval. The internet has provided so many statistics and infographics on the EU Referendum it’s an indication of how quickly we can now quantify information. The teacher’s job is a tough one, though. It requires real skill, and it is an art ,to teach and deal with upheaval at the same time. I wish the teachers in the UK well.

Australian Geographic’s Top 50 apps

National Geographic Atlas

Image: 7 Great iPad apps for Learning Geography

 

Australian Geographic’s Top 50 apps are a mix of paid and free apps and the links to the apps are on the website. They cover a variety of nature based, weather based and astronomy based apps but also those to do with high quality travel and photography. Certainly worth a look.

Hay Day

Hay Day

The animals are all dressed for the hot summer weather…in the northern hemisphere. Here it is cold, wet and very winter. The game brings a bit of sunshine into each day but when it’s an international game then the weather perhaps needs to reflect that. Or not. Everyone loves those summer outfits on the farm animals. The artists obviously have fun as well as skill. My farm is doing well. I have over 2 million coins now, am about to go up another level and have expanded quite a bit. My town is expanded and decorated to the max. My fishing area has two more spots to expand and the main farm has three more spots to expand. With the new crops and facilities then I am thinking we need some land releases or it will all get squashed up and not look very nice. I’d still love to be able to personalize the fishing area a bit too with a cabin or two and some suitable fishing things. I find I can make plenty of lures but not enough of the lobster pots, duck traps and long term fishing nets. I manage but cannot grow that. Expanding the slots is very expensive so I make do. I’d prefer not to because I love that fishing area. I keep learning from the game that if you have diamonds (predominantly bought with your own cash) then you can do anything. It’s a pretty cynical lesson to teach people even though it may be true. The game does, however, supply free diamonds through  the red boxes, mining, and participating in events. There are times when it is very generous.The players rise above the diamonds are everything mindset and go out of their way to help each other and so the feeling of goodwill which spans across nations and languages is something quite remarkable to achieve in a game. One of the new changes is trading within a network so that you can obtain the goods you need to fill trucks, riverboats, the town and presumably derbies. I do not belong to a network and have no plans to. I gave up FarmVille because the networking was unpleasant. FarmTown wasn’t much better but could be very good at times. With Hay Day you join a network and then can participate in competitions and now trade. There is always a sourness with networks in my experience. The one who is so superior. The ones who complain that others are not complying. The ones who want you to be like them and then the ones who are quite treacherous in their game play . I have avoided the networks for that reason. It has spoiled other games for me. I like Hay Day. I just want it to be a game where I can spend my time happily and get some challenges along the way.

Fixing Windows 10 temporary profile pain

Windows 10 temporary profile Image: tenforums

I got this message yesterday morning and it was too much for my tiny brain on a Sunday morning. Having tried the fix of just restarting the computer a couple of times I just left it and went on to have a lovely day. As I thought about it I decided going to the registry first was not going to be what I’d do. I could locate my files by going onto the  C drive , going to Windows and finding my old profile under Users. The virus and malware checkers were still functioning so I knew what I had loaded previously had to be there. I found appuals site the most helpful because it was going from easy solutions to more complicated ones. On the temporary profile I had linked my Microsoft account and set a PIN as they suggested. I thought maybe that would release my own desktop but no. In the end I did an old fashioned ScanDisk from the dos prompt.

1. Right click on start and select Command Prompt Admin
2. Type in : sfc/scannow
3. It takes about 15 minutes to scan the files and shows you the percentage.
4. Turn off the computer and restart.

The sfc (scan files now) reported no errors and so I wasn’t hopeful. Good news was it had worked and my own lovely profile was back in place! It would appear the fix is easy but what seems to be happening is different fixes are working for different people. By the time you look at tenforums and appuals you have lots of options and hopefully one of them will work for you.

Gifs for learning

tumblr_njr4vw0PoL1qfg7o3o1_400

Image: Educational gifs (see link below)

It hasn’t really until I have been on Instagram for a while now that I have realised just how powerful animated gifs are as teaching and learning aids. A well made animated gif can show you easily how to do something and it plays non stop until you get it. Repetition is part of brain based learning and so it should not be surprising that animated gifs are so effective in teaching someone how to do what you can do or understand what you understand. Little videos achieve the same thing. They are effective because they are targeted, concise, precise and visual. As a learner you can just keep playing them until you really understand the concept or skill. Educational gifs has a nice selection so you can get started. Mashable also has a good selection to show how powerful animated gifs can be in an educational context.

Hijacking my timeline

copy-paste Image: wikiHow- 8 ways to copy and paste

My device, my internet, my fees, my timeline. That simple. It is interesting how from time to time you get a swag of more or less demands to copy and paste information to your wall or timeline or to share something. It is not persuasion. It is usually a fairly blatantly  emotive and manipulative written piece. “I know who my friends are. I know who will paste this…blah blah.” “If you care , you will share this…blah , blah.” My device, my internet, my fees, my timeline. Full stop end of story. You have your own timeline. You have your own perspective and way of looking at the world. Share it with me but do not tell me what to do and what to think.It is the Show me don’t tell me which out to be at work.  I really hate the patronising clap trap which comes up on social network feeds every so often. The obligation to share and care and the obligation to copy and paste. One of the real strengths of social media is they are  places where you do have access to all sorts of ideas and points of view. If I want to share something I do. I am quite capable of doing that all by myself. The other week I did want to share a picture which had the You have to share sentence on it. I added a comment to say I supported what was being said but others were free to make up their own mind and use their own hearts. Cyberspace is no different from real space. People try to take over your feed and timeline when they have their own patch of cyber real estate. You also get the inbox chain letters where doom will surely enter your life if you don’t copy and paste to at least 12 people.Then there are the demands to retweet.  For some people it would make them feel like they are betraying a friend. There is emotional manipulation in all of this. One day the internet will work out that people can think for themselves. In the meantime My device, my internet, my fees, my timeline.

Handy Computer Tricks

Grant Thompson may well call himself the “King of Random” but this little video is full of helpful hints and with over 4 million views I’d say he has hit the mark and been quite specific in his help. He has actually put together more than 6 simple tricks and the ease with which this video transfers information to the viewer needs to be analysed and observed! He has put a lot of information into this video but you do not have the feeling you are on overload. You need to be aware that Apple is pulling support for QuickTime security updates on Windows. Silly and even unbelievable in 2016. Running malware and virus protection should keep you safe because QuickTime is the easiest tool for making screencasts. So fuss free. Grant Thompson also forgot to mention the Windows Snipping Tool which is so easy for taking screen shots or parts of screens. Much easier than the print screen button.

How your brain learns

This is a great video to show anyone who wants to know how their brain works. It is also a good video to show students because it is clear and explains things very well. It is also a good example of how you can teach complex information in a digestible form so that anyone can understand it. The combination of hand drawn information, animation, clip art and then a voice over really does encourage understanding. The Learning Pod has other videos on a variety of topics to help people understand various things particularly in the area of Maths. There have been no new videos for a while. I wonder why? It would be of benefit to keep these sorts of videos funded and resourced.

Optimise Android Emulator Performance

 I have often used this blog to gather ideas for something I am working on or something I am trying to learn. One of the advantages of a blog is you can share what you are doing and invariably others will reach out and help, suggest, or share ideas. A blog is also a good place to grow your learning and research because as you are helping yourself , you are helping others. Connectivity! What I am trying to do at the moment is improve the Andy Android Emulator performance on my new Steam Castle desktop. This machine has so much more computing power than my former desktop but the emulator is no better. It’s good. It works. I can use it well but it ought to be better!  I am now on new ground and sorting myself out slowly so I can find ways and means of improving emulator performance on an awesome machine. The first thing I have discovered is that there is no real help for someone who is new to this and who is pretty confident with a computer but can’t find the information which will unleash the path of learning and accomplishment. I know how to get into the BIOS but I don’t think I should have to, to run an emulator. Given all the improvements we have then the BIOS should be set up to run an emulator or there should be software where you can SAFELY do this. As it stands, I have checked, and my machine can run virtualware and I don’t need to fiddle with things which are better left alone unless you really know what you are doing. In the same league as treating yourself medically from Net advice.

Why would you want to use an emulator?

1. For teaching purposes you can show any android app on big screen.
2. Accessibility. I don’t always have the touch sensitivity or mobility in my fingers to use a touch screen effectively and it’s good to be able to swap to a keyboard and big screen.
3. You can really appreciate the graphics and graphic design put into apps when you see it on a big screen.
4. You can interchange desktop and mobile computing very efficiently.
5. Sometimes you want to sit up rather than down.

The video has been helpful to me and then I have found some sites which I am putting here so I can come back and refer to them:

10 steps to increasing VMWare performance

How to Geek – Speed up your Virtual Machines

How to improve Windows Guest performance

I at least understand now what the issues are thanks to these sites and am at the stage where I need to learn how to proceed effectively.

Steam Castle Awesomeness

Steam CastleWelcome to my new , custom built desktop awesomeness – the Steam Castle. For those of you who like specifications it is just brilliant. Ninja silent. As fast as anything and looks really cool. Now for the detailed specifications. It has 16 Gb RAM and a 2 terabyte hard drive. It runs graphics from the chipset and a separate graphics card (not short on DVI and other video connections!). It is AMD Radeon R7 graphics plus R7 200 dual graphics. It is obviously handling graphics   really well and that is why I had it built this way . The images are crystal clear and seem 3D even on my old VGA monitor. I have another monitor which runs high definition graphics and  i could attach four other monitors if I wanted to ! The processor is an AMD A10-7860K Radeon R7 , Compute Cores 4C + 8G 3.60 GHz. It has a Radeon R7 250 fan, and UltraDurable F2A88XM-D3HP motherboard and a Corsair VS650 power supply. I love the look of the case and I love all the lights on the top which cycle from green to red to blue if you want them to ! Steam CastleMy whole desktop area looks retro now and the Steam Castle fits right in. It is rock solid. It won’t be vibrating or getting knocked out of place. It is durable. That is what I want. No laptop , no tablet, no portable device can compare with the computing power I have here right now and it is what I want so I am not just cutting and pasting or knocking up a document. I can really compute and have a complexity of function which simply is not there on portable devices as handy as they are. I am about to try the games emulator . That went pretty well on my other desktop. On this one it should be breezing it in. I am looking at these amazing images and everything is instant. I am waiting for nothing. Steam Castle 3I’ll write another post next week because by then I should have really given my Steam Castle a good work out.

Phone charging

The information in this video is authenticated by the links in the information under the video. Mashable is a reliable site and so the information is likely to be sound. Phones and small tablets might overheat if they are not plugged into their dedicated chargers. If you plug them into a powerboard usb then common sense needs to prevail and you check your phone or small tablet. Same thing if you are charging off a computer. The dedicated chargers generally do not seem to allow the phone to overheat . If you are having trouble charging your battery, before you go out and buy a new one, try trickle charging it. That means you need to use an older charger or the usb connection in your car. They charge more slowly and so will often get the charge started and it might take forever but hen you will be able to charge the battery normally. For more information about phone batteries go to lifehacker. Batteries are just not in the same league as the technology we are using. Eventually they will resolve this battery dependence but , until then, stay informed, keep calm and charge away! Experience is a great teacher and by now we should have a lot of information about smartphone maintenance. I find they warm up if you use them while they are plugged in. Same with smaller tablets. They just want to charge and multitasking is out of the question.

Mobile phone detox

I did complete a one week mobile phone detox earlier this year by accident and yes, it really makes you value your phone and what it offers. This video looks at people not having their phone for a week and the impact it had on them. A number of them said they focussed better without it. I didn’t find that to be the case because I am very focussed anyway and when I did not have my phone it created some interesting scenarios but did not interrupt my life because I am not phone dependent. The ease of living is what is highlighted. The ease of being able to contact others. I was brought up in the era of if you don’t have it you make do and mend and do without. In Adelaide we have had constant and prolonged interruptions to our new, electric train service over the last 4 years. At the beginning it was for over a year. Then there were outages to repair problems and then interruptions because of other problems. We have had to learn to do without and find the work arounds . It has also given us an appreciation of what we have. We have also lived without our Expressway. I think that is the point of any exercise like this whether it is planned or accidental. It forces you to notice the value of something in your life. It forces you to practice the art of noticing so you can understand better how to make the most of something. It also forces you to be inventive in your solutions so it is keeping your high level skills working. No one learns to sail on a calm ocean. Disruptions gets all those cogs working and then you need fine weather to really build on those skills and your newly acquired knowledge. In some schools in France they have tried a one week technology detox at home and at school and everyone has fed into the reporting back so they can understand better the positives and negatives of technology. It creates natural debate around the top as this video does. We live in a world full of technology. We need to understand it.

Tech Life Hacks

Have to confess I laughed at the phone in the cup which quickly upgraded to a phone and 2 cups. Not really 21st century and not very suave! Happy with my clock radio alarm, thank you. The other hacks are pretty helpful and even downright useful. Many of them apply to a MacBook but I tried the fast forward and rewind keys for YouTube on my Dell laptop running Linux and it works a treat. What a great idea. I often need to wind through YouTube clips , so thanks for that!  I  hope you find a life saver in one of these hacks from UrAvgConsumer.

iPhone/iPad tips and tricks

sakitech speaks clearly, explains effectively and shows you carefully how you can make good use of your iPhone/iPad. Some people are sometimes just waiting for the next iOS and never really explore the one they have. Apple is very good on the “hidden” secrets so that if you take the time to learn the iOS you really do get some very efficient  functionality.

Mobile Phone WhiteBoard app

WhiteBoard app4DSoftTech has a free WhiteBoard app which is so easy to use on a mobile phone. I would not even have considered a WhiteBoard app as an option on my phone but this one has good functionality and is easy to use.KidsBoard I actually like the KidsBoard. I think it is wrongly named! I use this aspect of WhiteBoard a lot because there are so many good features if you want to put something together. The WhiteBoard site explains very clearly what it can do and gives some good visual information as well. It is exclusively an Android app at this stage. There are other apps on their site you might like to investigate.

The demise of Open Wonderland

Open Wonderland , formerly known as Project Wonderland is open source software for designing virtual worlds where you can collaborate with others. The video I have shown here is linked to other videos which explain how it works and what its capabilities are. You can also watch the 30 minute video by Nick Moore who explains it from a real world perspective and is someone who knows what he is talking about because he understands its uses, implications and application from experience. His Agile in Wonderland: Open Source in the Enterprise World was an osdc (open source development conference) presentation and so subject to peer review. Wikipedia describes Open Wonderland as :

The vision for Open Wonderland is to provide an environment that is robust enough in terms of security, scalability, reliability, and functionality that organizations can rely on it as a place to conduct real business. Organizations should be able to use Open Wonderland to create a virtual presence to better communicate with customers, partners, and employees. Individuals should be able to do their real work within a virtual world, eliminating the need for a separate collaboration tool when they wish to work together with others. Individuals should also be able to tailor portions of the world to adapt to their work needs and to express their personal style. The types of collaborations that can happen within the space include audio communication, live desktop applications of all kinds, and eventually collaborative creation of world content (both graphical and procedural).

There are problems with the entry as is explained at the top but it does help orientate your brain as to how Open Wonderland might be of use to you. Nicole Yankelovich has a slideshare presentation which explains its educational uses . There is also a very detailed academic review of it Virtual World Learning with Open Wonderland by David Parsons and there is another comprehensive analysis of its educational use here by Michael Gardner et al It is a serious and well established platform for health.

Can you download it? Apparently not. The project has appeared to have been killed and there are no obvious links to any sites where the development may be continuing. The Google group has had no posts since 2015. openwonderland.org doesn’t exist any longer nor its blog. Why has the world made such an important and useful project vanish? All that knowledge. All that potential and no indication of where it has transferred. Just lost in the ether.

50 Open Source Educational Tools

IT management at Earthweb has come up with a list of open source tools which can be used to replace commonly known ones. Why? Sometimes you have to work cross platform and it’s good to have software which will work on all OS so you are not changing what you do all the time from one OS to the next. Secondly, if you use Ubuntu or another Linux OS you are not always sure which application to use for the ones you know through Windows or Apple. Thirdly, open source software is free and evens out the playing field. This link gives you 50 applications to try our but also points you to other links which are specifically designed to collate IT materials for educators.

The Price of Old Technology

I do actually have one of those brick analogue “mobile” phones. Mostly workmen and bus drivers had them. By the time they got to the general public the smaller mobile phones where you could just call and text came in. The text was one line at a time. The 8 track cassettes didn’t really take off here in Australia. Some people had them in their cars but most people had a cassette player which they fitted after purchasing the car.The 8 tracks were too big and clunky. It was the Sony walkmans which were the big technology breakthrough for mobile technology, closely followed by the discmans. I loved my walkman. It went everywhere with me because it was so small!! It is a good idea to look at where we have been. We can take so much for granted and a video like this reminds us we have achieved so much in terms of technology. The tech developers have worked long and hard and we have a very creative world where we can now print 3D ribcages for people and save their lives. We have to constantly adapt but when you look back I think you can say it was worth it. I love older technology, though. It was solid and you had your own copies of everything and you tended to interact with it in a more complex fashion. You could learn to install your own cassette deck in a car and album art was in a league of its own. Was it better? No, it was there. Like what we have now is here. Tomorrow it will be there. It always amazes me how some things hold their price and other things just vanish into oblivion. Why would that mobile brick be worth $4000? We run on digital carriers now.

Little weekend maker projects

So what did you think? Shake the Future has put up 3 little DIY projects which involve recycling and has then asked for comments. If you read the comments there are some which are of no help. Other people have looked at the video and moved the ideas forward and offered some good suggestions. When you comment in a positive way, if someone asks for your opinion or help, then you allow yourself and others to grow ideas. I actually liked the fridge magnet project probably because it is cold and wet outside today and having the oven on would be a nice thing. I , too , thought he was going to turn the Rubrik’s cube into a clock. You can hear the disappointment that he didn’t . So who is going to make the Rubrik’s cube clock? The video has created impetus with that idea. Doing and sharing work. Doing and soliciting feedback work. It’s how some people use social media so their ideas create more ideas. They stimulate reactions and thoughts  in others and  gain valuable feedback to keep their own thoughts and projects moving along.

Design and Agile Thinking

agile - definitionAgile is the new buzz word. Agile thinking, agile management, but it comes from the IT industry and software development. It is about including the user to ensure good outcomes with design , delivery and functionality. The 10 key elements are here on AllAboutAgile. It comes back to what I have been saying: the tried and true internet way of doing things: Create content, share , gain feedback and then grow your ideas. It’s a constant improvement , growth circle. Spiral , maybe ,because you are always getting better.

Agile and Design thinking are at the heart of our Professional Teaching Standards but they haven’t been articulated in that way. They have been out since 2011 and perhaps need to be refreshed so that we can see clearly these standards are very much part of the 21st Century.

1.
Know students and how they learn
Refer to the Standard
at each career stage
2.
Know the content and how to teach it
3.
Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
4.
Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
5.
Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
6.
Engage in professional learning
7.
Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers
and the community

If you look at the video clip you can see how well our standards fit in with the elements of design and agile thinking. Knowing others and engaging with them is fundamental to design and agile thinking. Getting that feedback so you can improve delivery and experience is fundamental too.

These principles of design and agile thinking are articulated within the standards e.g.

1.3 Design and implement
teaching strategies that are
responsive to the learning
strengths and needs of
students from diverse
linguistic, cultural, religious and
socioeconomic backgrounds.

2.2 Lead initiatives that utilise
comprehensive content knowledge to
improve the selection and sequencing
of content into coherently organised
learning and teaching programs

3.2 Work with colleagues to plan, evaluate
and modify learning and teaching
programs to create productive learning
environments that engage all students

4.1 Demonstrate and lead by example
the development of productive and
inclusive learning environments
across the school by reviewing
inclusive strategies and exploring new
approaches to engage and support
all students

Design thinking is : Understand, Explore, Prototype , Evaluate

Agile Thinking is about bearing the end user in mind, making incremental improvements and gaining feedback before you move on.

These types of current and technological thinking are at the heart of our standards . We call them growth mindset and improvement model.

Personal Maps

Personal MapAs a teacher , you will be more than familiar with Mind Maps. They have been used in classrooms for quite some time and have been a great way to generate ideas, get students focussed, planning and ideas generation. I have used them a lot in languages to build vocabulary and expression and to deconstruct texts.  We are in the web 3.0 arena now where anyone can connect with others elsewhere with a specific task/project in mind. This video by Jurgen Appelo explains very clearly how you can use personal maps to break down barriers and create connections really quickly when you want unfamiliar groups of people to work together. I have also made a mental note to look up what software he is using to make that video because in terms of flexible learning it is very effective. The technique of the video presentation keeps the background uncluttered, it keeps the speaker in control and central and it allows the speaker to deliver a clean, clear message. In terms of UX (user experience) it means the viewer is always on task and always focussed. I have been using Freeplane, an open source mind mapping application. It’s colourful, useful and easy to use. It works on any platform but needs java installed. It creates very clear, uncluttered mind maps. I have done my own personal map which I am sharing with you.

In ear translators

The technology world never gives up dreaming.  Electronic translators are getting better but to learn a language means you are learning the culture and the psychology of the people. and electronic translators really do have their limitations Every time you learn a language you discover another part of yourself and a different way of expressing yourself. The in ear translators are a major breakthrough for voice synthesisers and translators. You know electronic translators have their faults but in many situations an in ear translator would be better than nothing. Running them though could be a problem in terms on connections and battery life. Extreme Tech has a good look at them. In the meantime developers will keep pioneering. BoredPanda looks at the practicalities of an in ear translator if you are interested. They will be available later this year.

iCloud eBook library

“Our mission is to serve and aid the public, students, and educators, by providing the world’s most complete collection of electronic books, documents, and articles online, as well as offer a variety of ebooksservices and resources that support and strengthen the instructional programs of education, elementary through post-baccalaureate studies.”

The World Public Library Association is the biggest eBook aggregation online and you can join for US 8.95 a year. You do not have to join. You can still listen to the audio books. The payment is for downloading pdf versions some of which might be free elsewhere. The advantage with this site is they have so much in one spot. The collections they have are impressive because they have a commitment to online literacy and social justice. There are mp3 audio books and pdf versions of print books. You need to browse the site for yourself since it is so huge. There are books available in different languages. It means you can read or listen to a book on any device. 21st century at last. To register, go here.

Reviving your languages skills

 

Reviving language skillsMany people are like me and have latent language skills in other languages. They are languages they used to speak, were their mother tongue which they have since let go, are languages they have learned at school or maybe while they were studying, working or holidaying in another country. We are in a good time for reviving those skills and it has benefits because you increase your communication base in a global village and connected world and you then increase your knowledge. I have been motivated to revive my Spanish skills because of Instagram. A number of people who follow me or whom I follow are Spanish speaking and it’s nice to see what they are doing and saying and I want to be able to say things to them. Languages really build connections. Like the Glaswegian in the video I learned Spanish in a 12 week course at university. We had two hours of grammar and vocabulary, two hours in the language laboratory and then one hour of an oral practice tutorial. In the second part of the course we were ready to read our first novel and then a play. In the third part we looked at Spanish speaking newspapers and Spanish speaking culture in Spanish. It was intense, demanding and highly effective language instruction. Now we have the internet. We have web 3.0. I don’t need to go back to the beginning. I need to wake up my latent knowledge so it has been an interesting experience trying to work out a course of action which is right for me. So what have I done?

I have looked at things on the net and assessed my skills. I can read well for understanding, I can write with a lot of looking up and checking, my grammar is very rusty, I recognise vocabulary but I am not recalling it that well, I can’t talk it very well at all and I can listen to simpler things and understand them easily. I now know my learning gaps.

So how am I going to address them in the internet age?

  • I am using Twitter and Instagram because I can read things in Spanish which are not very long and I can easily work out what they mean. I am tweeting one Spanish tweet a day. It’s not a big, demanding task. I can do this. It brings back my knowledge of vocab and expression.
  • I am watching You Tube clips like the one on this post. Having subtitles is good. Having a pdf of the oral text is good.
  • I am using an authentic Spanish podcast. There are a number of people now who do authentic language podcasts. They are very effective at using the language in such a way that you understand it. They speak more slowly. They explain aspects of language but also just talk to you about things and so you are reinforcing your understanding of a language in a very natural way.
  • I am looking at videos of grammar points as I feel like it.
  • I am about to look to see if there are apps at my level. I know there are plenty of beginner apps. I shall see if there are ones for intermediate learners.
  • There are Spanish intermediate YouTube clips where someone explains in Spanish different things like the family, a holiday and it is all supported with visuals and so you learn effectively and naturally.

For me it comes down to listening a lot, reading and then doing my own practice in my own way. It is all coming back to me now! It was interesting that the Glaswegian had a similar story to mine. maybe it is a Scottish thing. He actually was more motivated to learn and improve his German because he had family in Germany he wanted to speak to. I had a German aunt and then a German cousin who married into the family. I spent a lot of time with my aunt and we just spoke German. I wanted to learn German to speak to my cousin because I really liked her. Like Xander Lusk I then just started learning Spanish because I could and the literature was very moving and meaningful. It is only now that I am finding a communication need for my Spanish.

Web Design for Web Developers Course

Web Design for Web Developers When I first started the Web Design for Web Developers Course with Jonas Stedtmann on Udemy I wasn’t sure if it was going to be good or not. It starts off slowly and so I was wondering. By the end of the course I was really pleased and had learned a lot. This is the first Udemy course I have done which offers back up by way of downloads. I was able to download a free e-book by Jonas Stedtmann and then the slide presentation so Jonas is the only tutor so far who has given me things which I can use as resources after the course and to have my own copy of the slides is valuable because I can go back and check what he was saying about different aspects of the course content. For an online course that is helpful. The other courses I can log in and go back through the lessons while I am online. This is a beginners’ course but what you learn is really important to being able to produce better visual content online and , in a classroom, on an electronic board. I learnt about colour psychology, white spaces , font sizes, text presentation and image selection. Teachers are using technology and it is important to have some basic understanding of how you present electronic material or how you select good websites or how you can create effective digital presentations. There are basic skills you can learn which enhance and optimise digital presentations and for effective teaching and learning it is probably wise to learn them. I really enjoyed this course in the end because it was all useful and all usable. It opens your eyes and then Jonas very gently allows you to learn what you need to know.

Blue Tooth Adapter Windows 10

blutooth adapterGetting the Targus USB Ultra-Mini Bluetooth 2.00 Adapter to be fully functional on Windows 10 was not as straightforward as on Linux. The adapter had come with a mini CD with the drivers. My desktop has a vertical CD drive and my laptop sucks the CD into a black hole . I needed a tray CD player to use that and get the driver. For Linux loading the driver had not mattered.  The USB adapter was picked up straight away by Windows 10 as a bluetooth device and it was showing in Device Manager and the system tray. It was not able to send files to my phone and my phone was not able to send files to it even though they had paired. I then got the dreaded Code 43 error and uninstalled it and reinstalled it to no avail. I tried loading Targus drivers from the Net. Epic fail on that one but as Windows was trying to find my phone the computer did actually send files to it. Not the other way around, though. So I tweeted my problem. I always do when I am stuck. It makes me feel better and it is amazing how suddenly you get a breakthrough in problem solving. I went to the Targus Australia site, to support and downloaded a driver from there. Still nothing so I tweeted again tagging Samsung, Targus and Windows 10. Finally!! The phone magically put up the screen where I have to allow the device to be discovered which I had not had to do in Linux. The system tray icon had everything I needed on the menu and I was in business. I could send files back and forth both ways and it was really effective. I think I needed to have Australian drivers and Windows 10 is naturally very prudent and careful. It is very security conscious. Now my adapter works on my laptop and my desktop and as I said in the last post, it is about options. Always remember to reboot Windows when you load a driver. It  likes that.

USB Bluetooth adapter

Blueman It is the teenniest thing. I just happened to find this bluetooth adapter in its package when I was op shopping. Never overlook a bargain. It means I have options. I connected my Targus USB Ultra-Mini Bluetooth 2.00 Adapter with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) to my Ubuntu laptop and we were in business…sort of. It connected , lit up and I could send files from the laptop to my Samsung S5 phone . Sending files to the laptop from the phone was not working and no matter what I did ….nothing. That was the main reason I wanted the bluetooth connection. Yes, I can connect the wire to my phone and transfer things that way. Yes, I can use Dropbox which is very efficient when I have access to wifi. Bluetooth bluetooth adaptorgives me a wireless option when I don’t want to use wires and I don’t have wifi access. It also means I can use it on my desktop computer. I googled to get help, as you do. I found this help on a Linux Mint tutorial and found by loading the Blueman programme from the Ubuntu Software Centre I could have full functionality with phone and laptop. The devices connected quickly and the files transferred easily both ways. I did not need to install the obext ftp.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung Galaxy S5I always run behind with my mobile phone. I let everything sort itself out and then move slowly to another model, in my own time, when I feel like it. I have upgraded my Samsung Galaxy Express ,which I came to really appreciate, to a Samsung Galaxy S5. The Express was getting too slow and clunky for what I wanted to do. Having moved on, it’s nice being upgraded. However, there is no offline FM radio for the Samsung Galaxy S5 and that comes as a disappointment to me because I could use one now. I have a little one I can use independently but it would be good to have one I could use on the phone or which runs from the earplugs as they used to. I do not always have a wifi connection and I am not using mobile data to stream radio. Bit of FM flexibility would not go astray because we are supposed to be living in a personalised world. An offline FM tuner capability would be good for rural areas which don’t always have access to reliable wifi or mobile signal. They say offline FM tuners have been abandoned because no one used them. I use them and lots of people on the internet seem to want to use them because they are googling what I am googling. Please let us have the option. Other than that I find the S5 to be very reliable, smooth and helpful as a phone. It was chewing through the battery as it downloaded and updated apps and my phone but it set it up really well so all my apps were there from the play store and it only took about 10 minutes to be up and running. Now it has set itself up , the battery usage is good. The camera is superior to the Express and that is a feature I really want. It runs very quickly and smoothly on the Net and that is another feature I want. It’s tactile sounding keyboard is good for me because I have trouble with touch keyboards. This one is pretty good as touch keyboards go. I really like it and have adapted to it quickly because it is efficient and effective. I did embarrass myself when I rang someone accidentally instead of texting them because of how things are set out and I don’t find there is a good contrast onscreen between the orange and green colours they have used. I then couldn’t find out how to stop the call because it was different from the Express. The fun of learning a new phone. The power saving options are good, the information I am provided with is good and I really like the active apps deck you can bring up that I have shown in the picture. As you can see, I was trying everything to get offline FM Radio. Not to be. Now I know why the young man on the train had his phone AND a little MP3 player. Makes you look very retro.  Next week I shall be doing the same . Wake up Samsung! At least provide us with the option of a headset/earplugs with FM tuner. AndroidPit has a list of Android phones which do have an offline FM Tuner.

Job skills 2016

I was fortunate enough to work in a school today as a mock job interviewer. It was an interesting experience to see how senior students prepared themselves and managed a job interview. They were all pretty good on the presentation of themselves and social skills. They were all nice talk to. That is important I think. People don’t forget you if they like you and you probably need to make a genuine relationship with the interviewer. All the students could do that. What they could not do so well was notice the skills they actually had and talk to those. This is the value of practice and simulation. Some did not realise that because of the skills they had then technology would actual help promote them because they could photograph or video their activities and themselves doing the sorts of things they were talking about. You Tube has plenty of videos about how to present for job interviews and the best things people can say or do. One of the recommendations in the video I have selected is that you are passionate. There were two today who were passionate about what they were talking about. It showed. It made them the best. Because they were passionate they naturally understood collaboration with others but could not articulate collaboration as a skill. It was clear they knew how to apply their knowledge in a growth way if they worked for you. They could respond to questions about different people and scenarios and so had an understanding of how you involve others and how you make them want to grow and learn.

Job skillsThe Bloomberg Job Skills Report has our current 4 most needed job skills as:

Creative problem solving
Leadership
Strategic Thinking
Communication skills

All the students could communicate pleasantly and effectively.You had a sense that they ere nice people. The two who stood out could demonstrate their understanding of the other three skills. They knew it was important to have a growth mindset, to network and create good experiences for others. They could see how you could develop a business and so would be great on a team because they had vision and it was surprising how well they understood strategic thinking for a company . They were also very inventive in how they dealt with scenarios. It’s important ,then, that we offer them videos in what the skills actually are and what they look like. You have to be very competent to coach ice hockey. What skills does that break down into? That is why I chose the video I did. It goes some way to explain what the skills are and mean, where the ideas are sourced and which ones are easy to demonstrate and show.

International Children’s Digital Library

The ICDL is mustering many of the well loved children’s stories of yesteryear and quality children’s literature in many languages. It is becoming an archive and irreplaceable resource for language development and culture. The books are available as e-books and can be read on the site by turning the pages. The driving force behind the site is tolerance and respect for cultures. Award winning books are also featured and some very valuable links out to sites which promote reading and writing for students.