Why you should turn off push notifications right now | @WiredUK

Most students believe that they can study effectively whilst simultaneously watching TV, checking Facebook and responding to every ridiculous interruption that appears on their phone.

They can’t.

We live in an age of interruption. Ping – you have a text message. Ping – you have a new email. Ping – you have a Facebook friend request. Ping – you have a match on your online dating app. Ping-ping-ping, all day long.

A recent Gallup poll found that more than 50 per cent of Americans who own smartphones keep their phone near them “almost all the time during waking hours”. Over 50 per cent say check their smartphone at least several times an hour and 11 per cent say they check it every few minutes. And that’s just what they’re aware of and admit to – I would not be surprised if the real frequency and intensity is much higher.

Until relatively recently in our technological history we did not have a lot of content coming to our devices. Now, we have texts, all kind of notifications and what seems like an endless stream of both personal and work emails. And it’s not just our phones. How many times have you been at your computer working on something when you get an email notification? And of those instances, how often did you stop what you’re doing to look at your email, realised that it was not that important and returned to your work – after taking a few minutes to remind yourself where you were and what your train of thought was?

At this point, it should be painfully clear to everyone that we need to be worried about the interruptions economy. What value do interruptions provide, under what conditions, and what are their costs? A little ping may seem innocuous, but there is cumulating evidence that the cost of an interruption is higher than we realise, and of course given the sheer number of interruptions, their combined effect can very quickly become substantial.

Source: Why you should turn off push notifications right now

Essential Chromebook tools and apps for the classroom – @ICTEvangelist

This excellent resource from Mark Anderson is a good jumping off point if you are just starting to use Google Chromebooks. And if you haven’t you absolutely should consider them as a potential learning tool.

A while ago I created an infographic featuring 30 apps for the paperless iPad classroom. Today I’ve created a similar type of infographic but with essential Chromebook tools and apps for the classroom.

It features 18 different tools that I have used with children in my classrooms over the years that have had an impact on different areas related to learning: creativity, engagement, learning and progress.

Within the 18 different tools and apps there are lots of different types of activities you can complete using them. From managing your classroom to assessment for learning, to surveying children to creating presentations to positive engagement involving the children in your classroom and their parents and much more. There’s a lot here to unpick.If you’d like to know learn more about the tools and apps below or are interested in how you can work with me, or want to learn more about how you can utilise Google Apps for Education, Android tablets or Chromebooks in your school to assist with learning, please get in touch.

I hope you find the tools below as useful as I have.

Source: Essential Chromebook tools and apps for the classroom – ICTEvangelist

How to write a novel: 6 writing apps & inspiration apps – @MacworldUK

This article from Macworld is focused on writing novels but is just as helpful if you are writing any medium to long form piece.

6 writing apps for iPhone, iPad and Mac that will help you start writing your novel and stay inspired until it’s finished

Source: How to write a novel: 6 writing apps & inspiration apps – Features – Macworld UK

Setting Up a Raspberry Pi Web Server | Ben Walters – Blog

Ever since it’s introduction early 2012, the Raspberry Pi has proven itself to be an extremely capable little machine. For less than $30, you get a credit card-sized computer capable of automating home systems, powering robots, or even serving as a basic desktop computer.

This tutorial however, focuses specifically on getting your Raspberry Pi set up to run as your very own web server. In addition, we’ll cover how to set up Dynamic DNS records, so you can access your sites/files even when you’re away from your home network without having to remember an always-changing IP address.

“That’s cool and all…but what am I going to do with my own web server?”

Great question! The quick answer is: Whatever you want! To be more specific, you can:

  • Set up your own, private Dropbox-style cloud storage for your personal files/videos/images
  • Create a site that interfaces with your home security cameras and check them remotely
  • Host your own low-traffic webpages
  • Etc.

Beyond the web server-specific functions, a Pi with dynamic DNS set up can be used to:

  • Host your own Minecraft server (tutorial)
  • Run your own Git server (tutorial)
  • And much more!

Disclaimer: The Raspberry Pi is great as a lightweight web server for personal use and experimenting. However, if you are interested in hosting a heavily trafficked site like a blog, I’d highly recommend hosting your content on a third-party web host. In addition, most ISP‘s aren’t particularly interested in letting their customers host their own web servers, and a self-hosted web server with a lot of external requests can raise some flags and even slow down your home network connection.

With all that out of the way, let’s get started!

Source: Ben Walters – Blog

The Feynman Technique Helps You Study Faster and Retain More Information via @lifehacker

You can read something and hope that it’ll all be beamed into your brain for future application. Or you can read it and write down what you just learned, as if you were teaching someone else, and actually retain it. This is called the Feynman Technique.

In other words, implement a more “active” way of learning, which obviously takes a lot more work than it sounds. Ideally, when you write down your learnings, you’d also repeat what you wrote aloud, like a teacher instructing a class. With this method, you discover all the areas that need improvement and can go back to focus on those weak points. Repeat this until you can explain the topic or idea in full and simple details. “Once you can explain an idea in simple language, you have deeply understood it, and will remember it for a long time,” the video explains.

Source: The Feynman Technique Helps You Study Faster and Retain More Information

The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing | @TechCrunch

Is it worth creating your own education technology software?

Is there a market and, if there is, can they afford to pay you?

“Don’t go into education technology, no one makes any money,” was the advice I once got from an early founder of an edtech startup that failed.

It used to be an all too common sentiment that once deterred many prospective investors from backing some of the most promising edtech ventures conceived.

Previously considered risky investments, it’s true that many edtech startups — commonly founded by “teacherpreneurs” hell-bent on mending the broken social and cultural framework of education through tech innovation — either tank or fail to achieve true scale.Why is this the case, when basic reasoning leads us to believe there is no other professional better placed to address the issues facing education than an actual teacher?

The broken ecosystem of selling to schools educational software rather than the actual technology is what often consigns many edtech ventures to the dustbin.

Of the few teacher-entrepreneurs who do succeed in the startup world to become true scale-up businesses, these mold-breakers are developing solutions to tackle some of the most difficult challenges in education — challenges that are leading many of the industry’s talent to leave the profession completely and a disproportionate number of children to underachieve.

In a digitized world where tech innovation has revolutionized nearly every corner of our life, the negligible impact it has made in our classrooms is woeful.

Source: The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing | TechCrunch

Watch Footage from the Psychology Experiment That Shocked the World: Milgram’s Obedience Study (1961) | @OpenCulture

Any student wondering why ethics compliance is so strict need only look at one of the most infamous experiments ever undertaken to understand where the issues might arise.

For decades following World War II,  the world was left wondering how the atrocities of the Holocaust could have been perpetrated in the midst of—and, most horrifically, by—a modern and civilized society.  How did people come to engage in a willing and systematic extermination of their neighbors? Psychologists, whose field had grown into a grudgingly respected science by the midpoint of the 20th century, were eager to tackle the question.

In 1961, Yale University’s Stanley Milgram began a series of infamous obedience experiments. While Adolf Eichmann’s trial was underway in Jerusalem (resulting in Hannah Arendt’s five-piece reportage, which became one of The New Yorker magazine’s most dramatic and controversial article series), Milgram began to suspect that human nature was more straightforward than earlier theorists had imagined; he wondered, as he later wrote, “Could it be that Eichmann and his million accomplices in the Holocaust were just following orders? Could we call them all accomplices?”

Source: Watch Footage from the Psychology Experiment That Shocked the World: Milgram’s Obedience Study (1961) | Open Culture

Free ebook supplement: Microsoft System Center DPM VMware Private Cloud Protection – @MicrosoftPress blog

English: M in blue square (similar to seen on )
English: M in blue square (similar to seen on ) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Microsoft System Center Data Protection Manager has a new feature that provides protection for Virtual Machines running on the VMware platform. Learn about this feature in the following supplemental chapter for the free ebook Microsoft System Center Data Protection for the Hybrid Cloud. Download the ebook here.

Source: Free ebook supplement: Microsoft System Center DPM VMware Private Cloud Protection – Microsoft Press blog

Transforming assessment and feedback with technology | @Jisc

JISC has created a new guide that provides ideas and resources to help colleges and universities enhance the entire assessment and feedback lifecycle.


This guide has been designed to help you make better use of technology to manage the assessment and feedback process. It will help you improve academic practice and the business process that support this.

Throughout the guide we use the term electronic management of assessment (EMA) frequently. This describes the way technology can support the management of the entire life cycle of assessment and feedback activity, including the electronic submission of assignments, marking, feedback and the return of mark

Source: Transforming assessment and feedback with technology | Jisc

DevFreeBooks – A huge collection of free #NodeJS #JS #AngularJS #Git #Python and other #programming books

A huge collection of free and other books to keep you busy over the holidays.

A collection of free books for developers

Source: DevFreeBooks