Jul 132016
 
Thank you so much for joining me for one (or more) of my sessions at the 2016 URSA Conference. All of the presentation information, links and resources for my sessions are linked from this page (and from the URSA tab above). If you have any questions or comments during or after the conference, you can connect with me @sedcclint on Twitter or on my Facebook Page. Use the #ursa16 hashtag on Twitter to join the Conference conversation.

Wednesday, July 13
Thursday, July 14
  • 10:10 am-12:20 pm (2-hour session): Google Classroom and Docs – In Depth, Education Building, Room 104
  • 3:00 pm: Literally Explain Everything (apps & tutorials here), 20-minute Over The Shoulder Demo, Education Building, Room 202
Friday, July 15

 

Dec 162015
 

My wife always accuses me of not telling her about all of the great apps and tech that I come across. It’s probably true, but I don’t want to fill up her phone with a bunch of stuff that she may or may not find useful. It’s my job to try out new things and share the best with the teachers I work with, not hers.

Well, the tables have turned! She told me about an amazing app that she just loved and has saved her a lot of hassle and time dealing with the LOADS of email offers that clutter up inboxes of us all on a daily basis. I thought that it was easy enough in Gmail to just choose all of the unread messages, scan through them, uncheck those that I might want to maybe look at, and delete the rest. I put off giving the app a try for a few weeks. It was a mistake. I was wrong.

Once I tried her suggested app, it liberated the amount of “Bacon” (not really spam, just email offers that at one time I signed up for) in my personal email account to the point that I actually didn’t DREAD logging in to see the one or two emails that I wanted to read. Honestly, I went from 50-70 emails a day down to just a handful.

So, THANK YOU Kelly for introducing me to Unroll.Me!

Here’s how it works. Sign up for this FREE service at https://unroll.me, or download their app for iOS (Sorry Android folks… Use the web interface or hold out for the app). Then, add one or many email addresses to your Unroll.Me account – most major email platforms are supported. I started with just my personal Gmail account. Then, Unroll.Me scans your inbox(es) for any potential messages and then prompts you to do one of three things with those messages:

  • Unsubscribe from the source (and the unsubscribe actually works!)
  • Keep messages from that source in your inbox, and continue to receive them as usual
  • Or, choose to “Roll Up” messages from that source into one daily digest email from Unroll.Me where you can view all of your rolled up messages for the day.

So, instead of 50 or so messages to sort through each day, you have one message with all of your offers that is easy to quickly scan through. The roll up includes a thumbnail of the message with the title, so you can easily tell what the content is. You can open any offers in the roll up with a click, or just delete the one roll up message and be done. The original email of any messages that you choose to roll up will be sent to an Unroll.Me folder in your email client.

It took a day or two for the volume of email coming in to go down, and every few days I open the app back up to “train” it for additional offers and messages that were not in the prior groups. But, just to show you how much this app has reduced my inbox clutter, take a look at the number of messages I’ve taken care of with this service:

UnrollMe Stats

Over 120 different senders. Almost 70 I’ve unsubscribed to. Only 5 that I actually want to see individually. The remaining 55 rolled up into a single daily message.

Bliss. Pure bliss. And I hope that you can start your New Year with the same feeling with all of your email clutter. Again, a big thank you to my brilliant wife for sharing this with me!

Now, I just need to add my 14 other email accounts and start training them as well… First World problems. Merry Christmas to you all!

 

Jul 132015
 

Permalink: http://goo.gl/Tqa00x

Day 1:

Day 2 Topics:

2015 Group Multimedia Presentations

2014 Group Multimedia Presentations

2013 Group Multimedia Presentations

2012 Group Multimedia Presentations

Apr 022015
 

Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference

Welcome to UCET 2015! Below are the links to all of my presentation resources – just click on the session you have attended, and you’ll be able to access my presentations, see all of the session notes and links to the apps and resources that I have presented. You can also find all of my session information on Sched.

If you’d like to be informed when I post new resources and information, you can follow me on Twitter @sedcclint, or on my Facebook Page.

Thanks for your attendance and interest!

Thursday, April 2

Friday, April 4

Jun 052014
 

Permalink: http://goo.gl/VoGds6

Day 1:

Day 2 Topics:

2014 Group Multimedia Presentations

2013 Group Multimedia Presentations

2012 Group Multimedia Presentations

Apr 032014
 

Welcome to UCET 2014! Below are the links to all of my presentation resources – just click on the session you have attended, and you’ll be able to download PDF’s of my presentations (or access them directly), see all of the session notes and links to the apps and resources that I have presented. You can also find all of my session information on Sched!

If you’d like to be informed when I post new resources and information, you can follow me on Twitter @sedcclint, or on my Facebook Page. Thanks for your attendance and interest!

Thursday, April 3

Friday, April 4

Jul 092013
 
Permalink: http://goo.gl/R40Gs

Thanks for attending my session at the URSA 2013 Conference today! The permalink above will bring you back to this post anytime, so hopefully that is the only thing you’ll need to write down! We have much ground to cover, and I’ll move quickly, but PLEASE feel free to ask questions at any time.

Attached below is a PDF and PowerPoint version of the workshop for today – the links are active! Just click on the app or service that I’ve linked with the underlined words, and you’ll be taken to that resource immediately.

iPad Now What for 2013 (PDF)

iPad Now What for 2013 (PowerPoint)

Quicklinks to the apps and services in the presentation:

Jun 232013
 
Permalink: http://goo.gl/Zj23G

Day 1:

Day 2 Topics:

2012 Group Multimedia Presentations

Jun 042013
 

I don’t know about you, but I have been curating a list of my working associates, friends and family ever since I got my first email address. Once cell phones came along, I started collecting phone numbers and contacts this way. Then, I came to work at my current job where they handed me a sweet Palm Treo 700. At the time, I combined all of my contacts, emails and phone numbers in to one grand list and was happy!

As time wore on, I added more contacts, changed and added email addresses, changed email providers, got a smart phone, etc. Each time I made a switch, I did my best to migrate and merge my contacts. Over time, errors were made, duplications happened, and things were a mess.

I thought I solved the issue two or so years ago by deciding to make my work Gmail account the master of all of my contact information and did my best to clean it up and set up my computer to sync with Gmail. Once I got an iPhone and various iPads, I thought that by setting it all up through Google as an Exchange account, things would just work.

It seemed as it was for a while, but then one day after adding a new contact on my phone, I tried to bring up that information in Gmail….. No luck. I had no idea how long this was the case, but it appears that Google changed their system as of January 31, 2013 to not support Exchange for new devices/setups but would allow it to work if you had Exchange set up prior to the switch.

It seems that I did have contacts syncing, but I was syncing with my iCloud account. So, if I were using Apple Mail or Contacts, creating and syncing new contacts was fine. Since I spend 90% of my email time on Gmail in Chrome, that wasn’t doing me much good.

Long story short, I’ve spent the last two days getting contacts off of my phone, cleaning up the mess of duplicates and detritus, and creating one ‘Truth’ of my contact information that I will here on out sync with. You can read a great overview of the changes and process here, but here’s what I did…

First step – make sure to get all of my contacts off of my phone. I was not sure if any sync was going on, so I turned to My Contacts Backup Pro from the App Store. I had to pony up the $2 since I had more than the 200 contacts the free version will support. With all of the duplicates and junk, I had over 1500 to clean up. Oy! This app was slick. Tell it to back up your contacts, and it will generate an email with a contacts file attached that you can send to yourself or any other address. You can also set it up to do a one-time or regular sync to Dropbox so that if the only place you have contacts are is your phone, you won’t loose everything when you drop the phone in the toilet. 😉

BACKUP! Before doing anything else, I didn’t want to end up loosing ALL of my contacts, so I made a backup up my current list with the Contacts app on my Mac. You can do this by opening up Contacts, heading to File –> Export… –> Contacts Archive… and following the steps from there (image). So, I now have a backup of all of the contacts on my Mac and all of the contacts on my phone. Next I imported all of my phone contacts into Contacts, and moved forward.

Second – clean up the duplicates and random contacts that accumulate over time. As I said, I had over 1,500 total contacts. I KNOW that I don’t know that many people (or at least that many that I want or need to communicate with). The Apple Contacts app does ok with this sort of task, but I wanted to do it faster and better. I looked in the Mac App Store and found Address Book Clearout (UPDATE: New version for Yosemite and El Capitan is now Contact Clearout).

After importing my phone contacts into the Contacts app (File –> Import… and browse to your saved My Contacts backup file), Address Book Clearout could do it’s work. It did a really great job with identifying and helping me process contacts that were either identical, All & More (one contact has everything a similar card has, plus some additional information), close matches, and possible duplicates. If you trust it, you can eliminate all of the duplicates that come up as identical, as well as keep the ‘all and more’ cards with one click for each type. I didn’t trust it (yet) so I went through all of my duplicates one by one. The program also lets you easily drag addresses, notes, phone numbers, even contact photos from one card to another so that you can clean things up and make one card perfect so that you can delete other similar duplicates.

For me, this process took about a day. But I went from 1,500 contacts down to 680 some odd. Much improved!

Third – Cleaning up Persons/Companies and updating Groups. I went back to the Apple Contacts app on my computer for this. I had a LOT of contacts that looked different, but I had added them once as a Person when they were really a business or mailing list, and some individuals that I had listed as companies. Contacts in this situation may have been duplicated as people when they were really companies, so I had to merge them back up.

As far as adding people to the Groups that I wanted, Address Book Clearout has an interesting grid view to add people to groups, but I had too many contacts and too many groups for it to be functional for me. I again went through my list and just drug them into the group(s) I wanted them in in Contacts. This took another half of a day, but this really helped me out and I’m now down to 640 contacts.

Now, I have one ‘Truth’ of my contacts on the Apple side of things – My iCloud/Mac and my iPhone. I again made a backup from Contacts called ‘Clean’ with the date so that I again had something to fall back on if things got catastrophic during the next phase – Googlization!

Fourth – bring in Google Contacts and eliminate further duplicates. At this point, I could have just imported my ‘Clean’ contact list into Gmail. However, I had more fine grained control if I used Address Book Clearout for processing dupes. So, I exported my Gmail contacts to a file, File –> Import… them to my Mac/iCloud Contacts app so that I can process the duplicates with Address Book Clearout. Again, I made a backup once I was done, dated and called something like ‘Combined Clean’ – this may be the most important step since the next step is on the SCARY side.

Fifth – Delete your Gmail ‘My Contacts’ and import the combined clean list. I told you this would be the scary part. I didn’t want to deal with any more duplicates (but I did anyway), so I selected all of the contacts in My Contacts and deleted them by heading to ‘More –> Delete contacts’. Once I saw a blank list in Gmail, I went back to the ‘More’ menu and selected  ‘Import…’ I selected my latest, cleanest contact list, and patiently waited for the spinning icon to stop while it uploaded my 7 mb of contact information. I had a few dupes since Gmail really didn’t delete ALL of my contacts, but I took care of them quickly with ‘More –> Find & merge duplicates…’

Now, I have one complete ‘Truth’ for all of my contact information that I will add to and sync with other systems and services. Whew!

Last, I need to wrap this all up and get my new clean list back on my iPhone – where all of the trouble began. To do this, I went to the Settings app on the iPhone, scrolled down to ‘Mail, Contacts, and Calendars’, and turned off Contact syncing in both my iCloud accounts and work Gmail accounts. Again, it’s a scary thing but I have lots and lots of backups by this point. Now, I need to set up a new account that is only for contacts, called a CardDAV account. The instructions on how to set this up are here from Google. If you are still syncing contacts from another account, you’ll need to scroll down on the same page and set up Google contacts as your default account, so that when you add new contacts on your phone they’ll be instantly updated and added to Gmail.

That’s it! It’s a lot, I know, but I was SO happy when I added a new contact and updated another on my phone and could see the updates a few seconds later in Google Gmail Contacts.

Leave a comment below if you have any other questions about the process, or if you know of a way I could have done this faster/simpler/better.

Apr 112013
 

More and more teachers have an iPad, and I’d say 99% of them would LOVE to be able to engage students by showing what is on their iPad screen to their class via the classroom projector. There are a few other ways to do this (direct with a VGA Connector, AirServer or Reflector), but the most convenient and reliable (albeit expensive) way is to incorporate an Apple TV into your classroom technology toolkit.

You might think that once you get your Apple TV up and running (described below), that you need to ‘connect’ your iPad to the Apple TV in some way – Bluetooth, an additional app, something – but that is not the case.

Here’s the deal… The iPad and the Apple TV do not communicate with Bluetooth for mirroring – there is WAY too much data going back and forth for that. Nor does it require the installation of any other apps on the iPad or Apple TV. It’s all built in! These devices communicate with each other through the wireless network. These are consumer devices, and work seamlessly on a home wireless network. At school however, things may be different…

PLEASE NOTE that in MANY school networks this screen sharing (and wireless printing) will simply not work unless your school or district has a Bonjour Gateway configured for the network. This is no trivial task – it’s not simply a ‘switch’ that someone can flip. Proceed cautiously  if you are in this situation with the knowledge that it may not work, ever, without the support of your district/school IT folks.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is no additional software needed to get the iPads and Apple TV to ‘talk’ to each other and to do the screen mirroring from the iPad, once they are connected to the network. It’s all built in, but it’s not instantly apparent as to how to start sharing or mirroring your iPad screen to the Apple TV & projector.

This YouTube video (from itseconomics) does a pretty good job of showing what you need to do. I’ll make some annotations below with the time code to point out other things to know.

  • 0:00-1:05 – Connection: You need to connect your projector to the Apple TV.
    • If your projector is new enough, you may be able to connect it directly with an HDMI cable.
    • If your projector is older, you’ll need a HDMI to VGA Adapter.
    • If you have your computer AND the Apple TV connected to your projector with separate cables, you’ll need to use the projector remote to select the source. Look for an ‘Input’, ‘Source’ or ‘Source Select’ button and click it until you see HDMI as an option. When you see the Apple TV screen, then you are on the right one.
    • You’ll need to switch between this input and VGA (probably) to get back to your computer screen.
  • 1:05-2:05 – Connect to Network
    • In order to work without the Bonjour Gateway, your iPad and Apple TV must be on the same wireless network.
    • If the Bonjour Gateway is set up, you should try to connect your Apple TV with an Ethernet cable. This will eliminate the need to configure the wireless and will improve the streaming performance and response time to your actions on the iPad.
  • 2:05-2:27 – Settings/AirPlay
    • Follow his steps and double check this to ensure that AirPlay is set to On.
    • He’s showing an older version of the Apple TV, so you’ll have a few more options here…
      • You may want to turn the ‘Onscreen Code’ which will require people attempting to connect to your Apple TV to have a 4-digit code to connect. The code is displayed on the screen so that only people in the room can connect to it.
      • If the onscreen code is not enough and you find that other teachers or students are connecting to your Apple TV, you can set a password to connect.
      • This article explains these settings in more detail.
  • 2:27-4:07 – Setup or start AirPlay Mirroring
    • Double-tapping the home button works (2:34) , but you can also use the 5-finger vertical swipe gesture (swipe up the screen) to bring up the multitasking bar, if you have multitasking gestures turned on.
    • At 2:42, he shows you the AirPlay icon. Look for this icon in other apps to send the audio or video to your Apple TV!

He didn’t cover how to end AirPlay Mirroring. You basically do what you did to start mirroring to end it. Bring up the multitasking bar, swipe from left to right, and tap the AirPlay icon. Select ‘iPad’ to end screen mirroring.

I hope this helps some of you out there. I tried to explain it as simply as I could, but in a school setting this is not as simple of a solution as it seems. Leave your comments below if you have any questions or if I’ve left anything out!