Create Electronics Projects with Autodesk Circuits

One of the newest areas in Technology is called Internet of Things or ‘IoT’ for short.  The movement has sprung from inexpensive computers such as the Raspberry Pi and Arduino.  Using various electronic components and circuitry people have created all sorts of devices that connect and communicate via the Internet.  One example is a device that rolls up blinds when the sun comes up. In many cases you can build it yourself or invent your own IoT device.  It’s a whole new 21st century DIY segment. Read more

Gamified Classroom Quizzes

How do you jazz up a classroom assessment?  If your students have internet connected devices, you can make your assessment into a game using Quizizz.  It’s simple to create and run the quizzes.  There are many flexible options including a homework option in which students can complete the quiz anytime before a deadline set by the teacher.  The slide presentation embedded below covers the details.  Be sure to look at slide 13 which shows you the rich reports from a quiz complete with grades.

weak passwords

Why we should be serious about our passwords?

Passwords are a necessary evil in the digital online world we live in. It’s the door key to our music, photos, communication, bank accounts, careers and our digital identity. Poor password habits lead to privacy exposure, embarrassment, and theft more often than not.   Yet, making complicated password habits can lock you out unexpectedly. So balance and organization is needed. To get started let’s start with some basics. Read more

Who is TechGuyBrad?

I’m the technology director for a 400+ student school district in rural Kansas. I have the privilege to work with my beautiful wife, Mandi, in our District’s Technology Department. As a former entrepreneur and Information Technology consultant I love technology and what it helps us accomplish. I’ve been networking and integrating technology into working environments since 1995. I’ve worked with a number of platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, ChromeBook, and even MS-DOS. I was raised valuing accurate knowledge and quality education. Much like today’s PBL, maker space, and STEM movements, my parents modestly supported my curiosity of technology from a young age. Read more

ISTE

The ISTE 2015 Conference

The conference is underway in Pennsylvania.  Educators from around the globe are networking and sharing their experiences, ideas, tools and so much more.  TechGalMandi and I will be absorbing as much as possible in order to share what we find on our blog and to our dear school district in Oxford, KS.  Follow us on Twitter or the raw posts in the category ISTE 2015.

Fantastical 2

Get organized by optimizing Fantastical 2 for Mac and iOS

An essential part of staying organized as a professional is having a reliable calendar.  Some will add that a task list or reminders is just as important.  There is no shortage of productivity apps to help you be a productivity ninja.  I’ve tried many of them and I always come back to Fantastical.  In this post I’ll describe my favorite features and show you how to optimize it as your primary calendar & reminders app on Mac, iPhone and iPad.

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security lock

Securing Your WordPress Website

security lockWebsite security isn’t a light matter.  There are hackers, bots, malware, buggy scripts, and other things to defend your hard work against.  Just recently I discovered how one out of date WordPress plug-in can easily put you on high alert.  

The first lesson I learned was the value of a great hosting provider, I use SiteGround to host all the sites I administer.  I’ve tried several providers before using SiteGround.  I was sold on their extremely speedy shared hosting plans.  In this situation they pulled one of my accounts offline while it was under attack, this saved the site.  They were easy to work with and quick to respond to my requests, even providing me a list of the evil files that had gotten uploaded in various places on the site.  I could have paid for them to clean up the mess, but I enjoy learning while tackling such a challenge.

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Adobe Voice

Quick Video Creation using Adobe Voice on iPad

I love seeing students create rich content for classroom assignments.  Some teachers are intimidated by the thought of teaching the class how to make a video.  Thankfully apps like Abobe Voice are available to make video creation as easy as possible. Consider this video I made in only 20 minutes using only the app.

One drawback I’ve found with the app is the inability to add video clips to these projects.  This is by no means a deal breaker.  If you explore many of the videos made using the app you’ll discover many schools are already using it.  Any number of projects can use these sorts of videos in place of written or typed assignments.  Some examples are current events, literature reports, journalism pieces, and foreign language projects.  Finally, it’s easy enough to use that it could be used in primary and secondary grade levels. 

 Adobe Voice – for iOS – Free

Tinkerplay

Create 3D Printable Models Using iPad

Updated on: 3/22/14

The 3D printer can be a terrific tool in STEM / STEAM classrooms. For most teachers they are begging for ways to have students easily create models or projects without needing knowledge of complicated CAD tools. For some, printing precomposed models from Thingiverse or the like just isn’t the level of engagement they are looking for. Thankfully, the field of options is growing.  I’ll introduce you to a few iPad apps that are easy enough for Elementary students to use. The final result of each app is a model you can print from your classroom 3D printer.

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