Thursday, September 29, 2016

It's National Preparedness Month - here are some great free resources


America's PrepareAthon! Prepare Bag graphic

It's National Preparedness Month, and start of the Hurricaine Season. With all of the crazy weather we have seen, it's good to be prepared.

It is important to consider three scenarios when planning for an emergency: 1) an escape route and meeting point if everyone is in the house; 2) what to do during a school day; and 3) how to handle an emergency during the weekend, when family members might be scattered.



Although many people are familiar with the concept of developing a family plan for emergencies, most fail to take the time to sit down and actually come up with one. One great resource is the FEMA-sponsored website: http://www.ready.gov/. Check out their kids section too: http://www.ready.gov/kids

Schools need to be prepared themselves, as well as teach their staff and students how to be prepared.

Each household, business, and school should have an emergency plan, emergency kits and people trained in emergency preparedness and response.

I started my training in emergency preparedness while on my trail to Eagle ScoutEmergency Preparedness is a required merit badge and the Boy Scouts emphasize emergency preparedness among the scouts. I am also a paramedic, special operations paramedic and FEMA trained in Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Management. Here are some of my favorite resources for learning about Emergency Preparedness.




Ready.gov is the US Government's web site for information and resources on emergency preparedness and response. There are resources for making a plan, an emergency kit, and how to stay informed. Information is included for individuals and businesses.



The Boy Scouts of America, who train all their Scouts and Adults in Emergency Preparedness, has partnered with the Department of Homeland Security to provide resources for the public on getting prepared. The site has planning resources, how to make an emergency kit, and other resources.



Seven Emergency Preparedness Tips You May Not Know
Seven Emergency Preparedness Tips You May Not Know from Lifehacker


American Red Cross

The American Red Cross website also has information for creating an emergency plan and how to prepare for different emergencies. They also sell emergency kits (they are very good and a decent price). You can always make your own using their lists though. There is a full section on preparing schools and students. The Preparedness Fast Facts page is an excellent, one stop resource.


Emergency Management Institute Logo

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Emergency Management Insitute
The FEMA EMI offers free, online courses for anyone to take. The courses are well done and there are plenty of downloadable materials to help you. If you pass the test at the end, you even get a certificate.

Here are a list of the courses that I think all educators should take: (I've taken these, and more)

IS-7   A Citizen's Guide to Disaster Assistance
IS-22 Are You Ready? An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
IS-55 Household Hazardous Materials - A Guide for Citizens
IS-100.Sca Introduction to the Incident Command System for Schools
IS-362 Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools


Education Administrators should also be involved in community emergency planning because schools are on the top of the list as emergency shelters and field hospitals and the building administrators know their buildings.


You can even join your local Community Emergency Response Team. These are teams of citizens that are specially trained to help out in major emergencies, sort of like the reserves. Find out more here. Here is a list of CERT's by State: http://www.citizencorps.gov/cc/CertIndex.do?submitByState


Emergency Preparedness is everyone's responsibility. The Japanese know this and that is one reason why the disaster over there is not worse that it is. Share these resources with your students, colleagues, and family.






Free Back to School Guide for students - scheduling, budget, study habits and more



This Back to School Guide, is a free resource for helping students achieve greater success in school. The new guide offers tips for efficient scheduling, how to maintain a budget, creating good study habits and more using office productivity software.
The guide is available here for download: http://blog.wps.com/2016/09/26/pdf-back-to-school-guide/.


The guide includes these topics:
• Back-to-School Basics: Tracking Tools Can Help You Prepare for Fall
• Getting Back in the School Mindset
• Templates, Style Trends, and More
• Good Study Habits and Why They Help Students
• The Importance of Scheduling for Students
• Additional Resources for Students
• Helping Students Start Thinking Ahead to College
• Summer Assignments to Prepare for the Next Year Ahead


To download the full Back to School Guide, visit https://goo.gl/UO4rBr.


Other resources for students:

10 Great, Free Apps for Students for Notetaking and Class Planning

Successful Studying Tips and Resources for Students

Study Tips and Notetaking Resources

Resources on How to Study

Study Aids

Important Skills Students Need for the Future that we need to help them learn

10 Important Skills Students need for the Future

10 Technology Skills Every Student Needs for the Future

Project wirelessly from your Chromebook to Epson projectors with iProjection App



Epson announced the availability of the Epson iProjection™ App for Chromebooks, enabling students and teachers to wirelessly display content from Chromebooks on Epson BrightLink® interactive projectors and most PowerLite® projectors. With the Epson Multi-PC Projection with Moderator function1 and the Epson iProjection App for Chromebooks, the teacher has the ability to display up to four Chromebook notebook computers simultaneously from a maximum of 50 connected devices for an engaging collaborative classroom experience.



This is a huge feature that many teachers have been asking for. Imaging being able to move around the classroom, projecting from your Chromebook, or having your students share their work with the class, all wirelessly!



I wish I had this when I was a teacher!


More info below:




LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sept. 27, 2016 – Epson, the number-one selling projector brand worldwide, today announced the availability of the Epson iProjection™ App for Chromebooks, enabling students and teachers to wirelessly display content from Chromebooks on Epson BrightLink® interactive projectors and most PowerLite® projectors. With the Epson Multi-PC Projection with Moderator function1 and the Epson iProjection App for Chromebooks, the teacher has the ability to display up to four Chromebook notebook computers simultaneously from a maximum of 50 connected devices for an engaging collaborative classroom experience.

“Chromebooks are now the device of choice in the classroom and we worked directly with educators to ensure our app was meeting their needs for classroom collaboration,” said Jason Meyer, senior product manager, Epson America. “With the app, we developed a way to wirelessly mirror Chromebooks on Epson projectors so that it supports multiple Chromebook displays at the same time.”

For teachers and students, the Epson iProjection App for Chromebooks makes it easy to move about the room and effortlessly share content with the entire class by wirelessly sharing Chromebooks with the classroom projector. When used on its own, the Epson iProjection App for Chromebooks can display content from a single Chromebook on an Epson projector. When the app is used in conjunction with the Epson Multi-PC Projection with Moderator function, teachers can select and display content from up to four Chromebooks at one time.

Epson projectors expand the educational capabilities of flat surfaces, transforming any 2D surface, such as a whiteboard, into an educational work space. Epson 3LCD projectors deliver three times brighter colors than leading competitive projectors to deliver amazing, true-to-life color and detail for powerful, educational lessons2. With genuine Epson lamps  lasting up to an estimated 10,000 hours depending on the projector model3, educators can engage students in seemingly endless learning opportunities by projecting directly from a variety of devices utilizing advanced connectivity options while supporting easy readability for everyone in the room.

About the Epson iProjection App
Leveraging the free Epson iProjection app, teachers can wirelessly display documents, photos and web pages from Chromebooks and most iOS Apple devices running iOS 4.2 or later, including the iPad®, iPhone® and iPod touch®, and most AndroidTM devices running Android 2.3 or later.

About the Epson Multi-PC Projection with Moderator function
Multi-PC projection with Moderator function is a free software program from Epson enabling teachers to wirelessly connect up to 50 devices and share students' work from up to four device screens simultaneously, including computers and Chromebooks and iOS® and Android tablets and phones.

About Epson Education Products
Designed with educator input, Epson’s advanced interactive display and projector technologies make bright, collaborative learning environments a reality. Compatible with a wide range of devices and widely-used interactive software, Epson projectors make it easy for teachers to share content and engage students, no matter where they sit in the classroom. Epson’s unmatched technology, service and support ensures that educators have high quality, bright images and multimedia available in the classroom every day.

About Epson BrightLink Projectors
Epson’s award-winning line of BrightLink interactive projectors offers advanced connectivity options to project onto any existing whiteboard, wall or other smooth, light-colored, hard surface. BrightLink interactive projectors offer dual pen support and PC-free annotation with a range of devices including document cameras, DVD and Blu-ray players as well as tablets and mobile devices, or no source at all. The cost-effective BrightLink models deliver a large interactive learning area with variable image sizes and include HDMI connectivity. Epson BrightLink projectors utilize 3LCD, 3-chip technology for brilliant images with vivid color.

About Epson PowerLite Projectors
Epson’s extensive line of affordable short-throw and ultra short-throw projectors provide a reliable design for the connected K-12 classroom that minimizes glare and shadow interference to deliver brightness and resolution options to accommodate a diverse range of educational needs. With models that offer moderator functionality that allows a network of up to 50 personal devices to connect to the projectors, teachers can wirelessly control which personal devices are displayed, with up to four student screens shown simultaneously1. In addition, many projectors feature two HDMI ports, one with MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) support for connecting multiple digital devices, including mobile phones, tablets and other portable devices, for enriched high definition viewing capabilities.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mojo Networks Introduces Mojo Enforce for the K-12 Education Marketplace and Chromebooks



Mojo Networks Introduces Mojo Enforce for the K-12 Education Marketplace

Mojo Enforce is the First Cloud Managed WiFi Feature to Integrate Directly Into Google for Education to Automatically Enact Policies on the School’s WiFi Network

This is a great option for schools to control access to their wireless networks and works with Chromebooks.




Mountain View, CA, September 7, 2016 – Many K-12 schools and districts have challenges in controlling what devices connect to their WiFi networks because of the limitations of current WiFi authentication techniques. With the continued growth of connected devices – iPads, Chromebooks, smartphones and tablets and more – in schools, there is a growing need for school IT administrators to control WiFi device connections.

Mojo Networks, a leader in secure cloud managed WiFi for the K-12 educational market, announces Mojo Enforce. Enforce takes policies for network access and device management from third party systems and applies them to the WiFi network; the first integration for Enforce is with Google for Education. With Enforce, Mojo is the first cloud managed WiFi to integrate with Google for Education to ensure that only devices registered in the school’s Google domain are able to connect to the school WiFi network and enforce network access policies. This unique integration, coupled with Mojo Network’s robust cloud managed WiFi solution and high-performing access points, brings even more control, usability and ease-of-use to school districts.

According to data from Google, more than 50 million students, teachers and administrators around the world rely on Google for Education to learn and work together. Managing the WiFi credentials for those 50-plus million and growing individuals is handled by the network administrator, but is not easily integrated.

Currently, schools use two primary methods to authenticate devices on WiFi networks: PSK (Personal Shared Key) or 802.1x (the standard for post-based Network Access Control). But both have their limitations. PSK is easy to deploy but the passphrase is too easily shared with no real limitations, and 802.1x is costly as it typically requires on-premises appliances (AAA and User Directory). In the case of Google for Education schools, there is a need to create a local copy of the user database from Google Apps.

With both techniques, there is no real way for school network administrators to control which devices can connect to the network. Allowing unauthorized devices creates performance issues with too many devices; gives no visibility or control; and, creates IT management headaches. Mojo’s integration with Google adds an additional layer of authentication above PSK or 802.1x, providing administrators the control to define what devices connect to the network. Enforce is easy to setup with no additional licenses or on-prem appliances; it works on top of the existing school Mojo WiFi network without the need for any client or network re-configuration.

“It’s great to see a WiFi infrastructure vendor like Mojo Networks develop a direct integration with Google for Education that solves a real challenge people in my position face daily,” said Vernon Young, Director of Information Technology at Oakland Catholic High School. “With this integration, I have real control over who connects to our network and am able to ensure secure access for every student and teacher throughout our high school.”

“Mojo Networks looks to automate WiFi management for all our customers, whether it’s the large enterprise, higher education or K-12 school districts,” said Sriram Venkiteswaran, Director Product Management at Mojo Networks. “We look at technology and WiFi – and specifically the tools, automation and pricing of Mojo – as an enabler of education. With Mojo Enforce, we free up time for the network administrator, and secure WiFi for students and teachers alike with a low-cost, simple and functional process.”

How Mojo Enforce Works

Mojo Cloud fetches the enrolled devices (Chromebooks, iPads, etc.) from the school’s or district’s Google for Education account

Mojo Cloud pushes out the allowed device list to all Mojo cloud managed access points

The devices connect using either PSK or 802.1x authentication

If authorized, access point assign role / network policy based on device OU membership
If unauthorized, the access point denies the connection

With the ease of set-up and use, what was a complicated process and a pain point for school districts has become a non-issue. Mojo cloud managed WiFi coupled with Google for Education brings another level of authentication to schools and highlights the greater value of cloud managed WiFi. Mojo Networks is about making the school IT administrators life easier, with students and teachers easily connecting to WiFi and learning.

Enforce and the integration into Google for Education will be available in Q4 2016, with other integrations coming in 2017. The open beta will begin Q3 2016; to sign up for the beta, please fill out the form at http://mojonetworks.com/google-early-access.





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5 Great Digital Tools for Teachers




Planning for the first month of school can take on average 16 hours of prep, research, practice and refinement for every one hour of actual teaching time.

In the hopes of giving teachers some hours back this month, here are 5 digital tools that teachers can use to lifehack their course planning.



#1 BRAINSTORM IN THE CLOUD:
Always forgetting great coursework planning ideas you have outside of class? Jot your brainstorms on your phone’s Evernote app. Your ideas will be synced to a central location automatically, so you can have all your great ideas in one place.



#2 HAVE A DIGITAL PROJECT HUB
Are you a visual brainstormer? Trello mimics your wall of Post-Its so you can drag and drop course ideas and to-do’s, big questions or due dates for projects. Teachers can also create projects for students, and ask them to add writing tasks, encouraging classroom collaboration.



#3 TEACH VISUALLY
Course Hero has just launched an Infographic Study Series (coursehero.com/lit/): a collection of over 90 classic literature titles in visual form to help students learn efficiently. These easy to read infographics are the perfect bite-sized summaries to incorporate into your English 101 planning. See more information below.



#4 AMP UP YOUR PRESENTATION
Sick of conventional classroom presentations? Prezi’s zooming canvas opens up the classroom to active learning and interactivity, making lessons understandable, memorable and fun. Prezi also offers a free Edu Pro account.


#5 BE A DIGITAL TASK-MASTER
Wunderlist is a to-do list app that allows you to add tasks, set due dates and reminders, and link out to relevant resources.


Related:

Evernote for Education - great ideas and resources for using Evernote

Wunderlist - free and easy to use task manager

More Resources for Getting Organized and some more!

More Presentation Resources

Resources on Prezi

Top 5 Apps for Educational Administrators to Use

My most used/favorite Apps and how I use them

My Favorite Resources for Teachers and Students



Course Hero is an online learning platform that empowers millions of students and educators to succeed.

Course Hero Introduces Literature Infographics

The company announces first-of-its-kind visual learning collection to help students master literature

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. -- Course Hero, an online learning platform that empowers millions of students and educators to succeed, has developed “Literature Infographics” to help students better understand great works of literature. This visually stunning learning tool includes the key critical literary works that students will need to prepare for the upcoming fall semester. Course Hero developed these unique learning materials to provide students with a visual tool to help understand the key elements of classic literary work.

The series currently includes the following titles:

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
And many more

The Literature Infographics (coursehero.com/lit/), which currently contain more than 90 titles, are a unique way for students to learn about the characters, themes, authors, and literary devices contained in the works many students will be reading this year.

“As an educator, I see these infographics as a fun, visual way to immediately immerse students in the essential ideas, concepts and literary devices that can facilitate their understanding and appreciation of literature,” said Kathi Duffel who has been a teacher for over 30 years and is an AP English and Journalism Advisor at Bear Creek High School (California). Kathi is also the recipient of the 2015 James Madison Freedom of Information Award by the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists.

“We believe our Literature Infographics will help students better understand the complex ideas behind some of these great works of literature by providing a visual, story-driven perspective to the content they are related to ,” said Course Hero Co-founder and CEO Andrew Grauer. “It’s also our hope that educators will find these materials rich, engaging and helpful in addition to the lectures, class notes and other materials that they painstakingly prepare for students in the classroom.”

The Course Hero Literature Infographics are free for students and educators to browse, download, and share with classmates, friends, and colleagues and can be found here.

About Course Hero | Master Your Classes™

Course Hero is an online learning platform that empowers millions of students and educators to succeed. Fueled by a passionate community of students and educators who share their course-specific knowledge and educational resources, Course Hero offers the biggest and best library of study documents, expert tutors, customizable flashcards, and course advice. Course Hero is now used by over 10 million students to supplement their class work with course-specific study materials.

















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