Mar 232011
 

Links/Resources for ED 5320 – Comprehension for Content Reading on March 23 2011:

Bouns: Molten Chocolate Lava Cake recipe….

    Mar 222011
     
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    There is a little-known trick in Gmail (and in turn Google Apps users) that will let you delegate multiple ‘virtual’ Gmail addresses to a single account.

    In Gmail, account names with periods anywhere in them are ignored. Also, and more importantly for schools, Gmail will ignore anything following an account name appended with the ‘+’ plus sign.

    Yeah, it took me a second as well to grok what that can mean for teachers….

    I have worked with a few different elementary schools, and they would really love to have their students be able to use Gmail, along with some of these new, amazing Web 2.0 tools such as Animoto and Prezi. These services require that you have an email account to create an account. The problem is that Gmail requires (by mandate of federal law) that account holders be at least 13 years of age. If the school/district does not have a student email solution, or if their solution is that students can use Gmail, that leaves anyone under 13 out of luck.

    If I would have known about the Gmail addressing trick, the problems would have been solved for these teachers and students. Now I know that 1 Gmail account can be managed by 1 teacher, but have as many unique ‘users’ delegated by using the + addressing trick.

    Let’s explore… Let’s say that you teach 5th grade, and you create a new Gmail account called ‘tanners5th’, so your address is tanners5th@gmail.com. Now, if you wanted your students to use any web services that require an email address, you allow them to sign up as:
    tanners5th+janeb@gmail.com
    tanners5th+samh@gmail.com
    tanners5th+codyr@gmail.com

    …and so on using whatever naming convention you want. The tanners5th@gmail.com account will receive any and all messages addressed to any of these delegates – Gmail ignores the + and what follows, but keeps it in the address so that you can easily use filters or can see what message was directed to whom in your class.

    One account for the entire class, but as many unique email addresses as you need to sign up for these excellent Web 2.0 tools. A very neat and clean solution!

    Feb 192011
     
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    Great advanced authentication tool for when users log in from a new or different computer to GUARANTEE that they are who they say they are by texting a code to the users cell phone – keeping your Google Mail account that much more secure.

    Turn this option on for your domain in the ‘Advanced Tools’ tab under Authentication.

    Nov 012010
     

    I received this message from a teacher that I work with today:

    I have an iPad and want to get it to work with my Google stuff – do I need an app???Do you have any tips or good apps for it?

    Excellent! I just got one about a month ago, and I am still figuring out good apps and the rest.

    Now, when you say 'Google stuff', do you mean email, calendars, contacts? Or your Google Docs? You can get the first stuff to work with what comes from Apple, but Docs (as of now) needs an app to work well.

    For Google Docs, the best app that I've found that works well for them is??Office2??HD. It was $10, but is now $8, but it's great for not only viewing but editing all of your Google Docs on the iPad.

    As far as other apps, I don't know if I could live without DropBox – both on my computers, iPad, iPod Touch, and my Android phone. Almost all of the mobile apps work with it, and there is no easier or faster way to get a document or any file from the desktop to a mobile device. Here's an??invite for a free 2 GB DropBox account??if you don't have one already, and here's??how DropBox works.

    I've been researching what apps are 'best' or being used in schools. Sadly, I have not been able to go through the entire 300,000+ app library, but I have some resources for finding the good stuff. First, there is a school in Scotland that has gone 100% iPad, and the man behind the project, Fraser Speirs, is writing about the experiment in his blog under 'The iPad Project". There is a lot of interesting information there, but he as included posts on the apps they are using for both Secondary and Elementary classes.??

    Also, I listen to 'Netcasts I love, from people I trust' from TWiT all the time during my excursions around my territory, and they have a new show called 'iPad Today' where they highlight a different app 'theme' each week, as well as giving their 'App Cap' awards each week for their favorite finds. It's an entertaining show, but if you don't have time, you can check out the wiki site with all of the recommendations.

    Thanks for the question. Keep 'em coming!
    Mar 172010
     

    During an email and computer security training today, I was asked how to set up the password recovery options with an alternate email address and text message alerts in Gmail. I had always guessed that it was the same for Google Apps type of accounts as it was for regular Gmail accounts, but it turns out that they are indeed different. 

    In the Google Apps accounts (our solution for school email accounts), there are no automatic alerts or password recovery features. Since they are managed locally, you always have the option of contacting your local technology specialist to help. If Google had to field phone calls from their millions of mail account holders, it would be difficult to say the least to provide that sort of service. 

    So, in short, you can’t set up that recovery information for school accounts as I have been presenting this entire year, and for that I feel badly. Here’s what Google says about the matter:

    Note to Google Apps users: Automated password recovery isn’t available for your account at this time. Please contact your organization’s IT admin for help with password recovery.

    However, for regular Gmail based accounts, you can do it, but it’s kinda buried. I thought about posting the direct link to the page here, but then it would look like some of the phishing scams that I been training teachers about to avoid at all costs! 

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    Here’s where you go:
    –> Log in to Gmail, then Settings –> Accounts and Import tab –> Google Account settings (at the bottom, and you may have to re-enter your password again in the new window that opens) –> Change password recovery options (near the top).

    On this final page that opens up, you can set the alternate email addresses, a cell phone number for SMS alerts, and view/modify your security question. If any changes are made to your account – whether you are the one making the change or not, you will be notified through that other email address and via text message if you provided your phone number.

    Feb 262010
     

    SketchUp is a tool for creating, editing and sharing 3D models. The SketchUp “secret sauce” is a unique set of powerful tools that are designed to be easy to learn and use. This amazing and powerful software has been made available to all Utah schools free of charge from Google! Come and peek over my shoulder for a quick primer on how SketchUp models are made, what they can show you, and where to go to learn more.