Category Archives: Technology

Heartbleed – What it is and what you need to do about it

There’s been a lot in the news recently about the Heartbleed bug. This article gives you the low down on what it is, how it affects you and what you need to do about it.

The video below is fairly typical of what came out inthe news this week:

So as you can see the issue is not on your computer but in Open SSL, a piece of  software which sits on servers on the Internet.

By now most of the sites which this affects will have installed the fix.

Once a site has the patch (fix) in place you need to go and change your password. This is laborious, but essential for any site where you might lose money or anything important. So start with your bank accounts and work out from there.

Many of us use the same password over and over of different sites. After all who can remember 100 plus highly secure passowrds? I know I can’t.

What I do is use a password manager. I only need to remember one very secure password to access my password manager and then it remembers all the others. Password managers can usually generate secure passwords for you as well.

There are a number of password managers around and many web security packages also include a password manager. They can be accessed from any browser and oftern have mobile versions as well.

Here is a round up of the ones I have used at some time.

Just Google It: How Google Has Changed Research for Grad Students

Google It

94: percentage of U.S. students who equate research with using Google, or other search engines.
75: percentage of students who use Wikipedia and online encyclopedias.
87: the percentage of all US adults using the Internet who also use search engines.

2 billion: Or nearly 30 percent of all humans, use the Internet

A history of online research

1962: J.C.R. Licklider of MIT has “Galactic Network” concept, a globally interconnected set of computers where everyone could access data from any site.
1989: Demonstration of the World Wide Web by Tim Berners-Lee.
1990: Public release of the World Wide Web.
1990: First search tool for the web (Archie) was created.
1993: First web crawler (Wanderer) was created.
1993: First graphical browser (Mosaic).
1994: Netscape browser launched.
1994: Development of first popular search engines (Alta Vista, Lycos, Excite and Yahoo)
1995: Internet Explorer launched.
1995: First public video-conference took place.
1996: Instant messaging services launched.
1997: Google released
1997: First weblog (blog) is attributed to Jorn Barger’s Robot Wisdom Web site.
1997: is launched. Often seen as the first social networking site.
Paid placement ranking: Goto morphed into Overture and Yahoo. Ranking depended on how much you paid.
1998 +: Link based ranking pioneered by Google
• Blew away all search engines except Inktomi; meanwhile, Goto/Overture’s annual revenues were nearly $1 billion.
2000: 400 million people across the globe use the internet.
2001: First commercial launch of 3G (Third Generation) mobile phones.
2001: First Access Grid developed at the University of Manchester.
2003: Myspace launched.
2003: Yahoo acquires Overture (for paid placement) and Inktomi (search)
2004: Mozilla Firefox web browser released (the 2nd most popular current browser after Internet Explorer).
2004: Facebook launched.
2006: Twitter launched.
2007: iPhone launched.
2008: Google Chrome browser launched.
2010: iPad launched.
2011: Number of internet users estimated as 2 billion world wide.

Percentage of people who go online, then use a search engine:

Millennials, age 18-33: 92 %
Gen X (34-45): 87
Younger Boomers (45-55): 86
Older Boomers (56-64): 87
Silent Generation (65-73): 82
G.I. Generation (74 plus): 72
All online adults (18 plus): 87

The battle of the Search Engines (as of 12/13)

Google: 66.7 percent of all searches
Microsoft sites (Bing): 18.2 percent
Yahoo: 11.2
Ask: 2.6
AOL: 1.4

Number of searches (worldwide: 18.3 billion in Dec. 2013)
Google: 12.3 billion of the 18.3 (or 66.7 % see above)
Microsoft (Bing): 3.3 billion
Yahoo: 2 billion
Ask: 452 million
AOL: 234 million

Online research tools used by students

• Google or other online search engine: 94% of those surveyed
• Wikipedia or other online encyclopedias:75 %
• You Tube, or other social media sites: 52%
• News sites of major news organizations (i.e. NY Times): 25%
• Textbooks, electronic: 18%
• Databases, such as EBSCO, JSTOR: 17%

Google Research tools

Google Scholar ( : for search of scholarly literature across many disciplines and sources, including theses, books, abstracts and articles.

Google App Engine: Google funds projects that create tools, applications and curriculum that can be used by other educators in their own teaching environments.

Google Book Search: ( Search the latest index of the world’s books. Find millions of great books you can preview or read for free.

YouTube EDU: Resources for learning, from English lessons to real-life math.

Chrome’s FlashCards extension: to learn languages faster, prep for exams

Google Earth: with thousands of aerial and satellite photos, dozens of layers of information: city names, country borders, airport locations, road maps.

Google Play: has millions of FREE books readily available


The Pew Reseach Center’s Internet and American Life Project Online Survey of Teachers

10 Social Media Tips for Reaching World Language Learners

* world of social media

Feeling outdated, not connected, or even totally lost in the digital age? Well, let me assure you, droning on and on about grammatical structures is a surefire way to quickly lose student interest in the world language classroom. Instead, embrace something which truly interests the millennial student: social media. Utilizing it in the classroom will give your students practical, engaging ways to communicate in the language you teach. The 21st century learner is not wired to memorize; instead, her or she is inclined to create, connect and collaborate. Social media is the perfect medium for us, their teachers, to reach them.

Here are ten ideas to get you started on your journey toward not becoming the classroom dinosaur you have always feared becoming.

more 10 Social Media Tips for Reaching World Language Learners | Edutopia.

eLogic Learning Recognized in the 2014 “Top Five” LMS List by eLearning 24/7


eLogic Learning (, is pleased and honored to announce they have been selected as one of the Top 5 Learning Management Systems by eLearning 24/7 in their annual listing of the Top Learning Management Systems. eLogic’s “eSSential” LMS moved up in the listing from 2013 and 2012 based on several factors including a current configurable functionality set, exceptional features on the administrative side, nice user interface options and dashboard with metrics, reporting capabilities, high quality support and overall ease of use. Each year, eLearning 24/7, an industry leading e-learning analyst, reviews the top performing Learning Management System (“LMS”) providers in the industry and reports on the leading edge providers.

“In just three short years this system has gone from ho-hum to elite status. How? Robust feature sets, intuitive user interface, forward thinking and superior service and support. The eSSential platform can do it all. I would highly recommend this system to anyone who wants affordable, feature rich LMS and a solid company behind it,” says Craig Weiss of eLearning 24/7.”

To view the eLearning 24/7 press release, click here:
To Learn more about eSSential LMS, click here:
“Once again, it is a great honor to be recognized by eLearning 24/7 as one of the Top LMS solutions 3 years in a row. Being in the Top 5 LMS’s out of over 580 providers is quite an accomplishment. Our attention to the core technology demands of our clients and this industry have gotten us here and our roadmap for the future enhancements going forward will keep us here. But the real difference is the eLogic Client Support Team guiding the design and implementation process and backing our clients up with support responsiveness when needed. What we do is very visible in internal and extended enterprise clients so responsiveness and resolution to clients is priority. This is in our DNA. With the scrutiny, objectivity and independence that eLearning 24/7 applies in this review, this recognition really means something. We intend to remain good and responsive listeners to eLearning 24/7” says Mark Anderson, CEO of eLogic Learning.

About eLogic Learning:
eLogic Learning, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, is an award-winning industry leader in web-based Learning Management Systems and corporate training products and services. Currently, there are millions of licensed users of “eSSential”, eLogic’s Learning Management System (LMS). Clients include Bloomin’ Brands, Inc. (parent of Outback Steakhouse, Bonefish Grill, etc.), Primerica, Sage Software, Vitera Healthcare, Cobb Energy, MetLife. Massage Envy, and many others. The eSSential Platform has been independently reviewed by the ADL to be SCORM-certified Tin Can Partner, ensuring their clients benefit from all SCORM functionality. eLogic Learning is a Microsoft Certified Partner and ISV.

In addition to its Learning Management System, eLogic Learning develops custom e-Learning content and courses as well as providing an extensive third-party courseware library. eLogic Learning also offers professional services in content strategy and business process change in the development of corporate training programs. eLogic Learning offers its clients a comprehensive turnkey approach to implementing learning strategies.

About eLearning 24/7
Craig Weiss, CEO of eLearning 24/7, recognized as the 2nd most influential person in eLearning ( , is an e-learning analyst, expert, author, speaker and thought leader who has been in the industry for over 15 years. His knowledge and insight in e-learning, mobile and social learning, as well as emerging technology for e-learning, has established him as one of the key voices in online learning. Craig’s forecasts in the e-learning industry since 2010 (when he launched operations) have achieved over a 90% accuracy record. Weiss is the author of E-Learning 24/7 blog and written for numerous publications around the world. He also regularly speaks at conferences, events and companies around the world. His recent presentations included speaking at DevLearn Las Vegas, NV, Online Educa Berlin, Berlin, Germany and Learning@Work, Sydney Australia.

UK Government is considering using MOOCs in classrooms

* Michael Gove

Massive open online courses, known as MOOCs, could soon be used to augment the depth and variety of the curriculum taught in British schools, said education secretary Michael Gove speaking at the BETT conference in London today.

The key to introducing new opportunities provided by developments in technology and the free, open courses now offered by universities around the world into the classroom will be to leave schools in charge of deciding how they will respond to the changes, Gove said.

“Precisely the wrong way to react to the transformative opportunities offered by educational technology would be for government to try to dictate, from the centre, every last detail of how schools should respond,” the education secretary acknowledged.

More Government is considering using MOOCs in classrooms, says Gove (Wired UK).

School expands technology use to give teachers instant feedback

Immediately after answering four questions about fractions, Gabriella Martin knows she has the first, third and fourth right but the second has an X next to it, showing it is wrong.

“There are X’s and checks. If you get an X, you try to do it again and see if you get it right,” said the 10-year-old fifth-grader.

Her class is one of four at Anna Barry School that is using new technology to give teachers and students instant feedback on what children have learned and what concepts they need extra help to comprehend.Each child is given a device that looks like a remote control with numbers and letters.

Each child has a password, and every response they key into the devices are sent electronically to the school’s interactive white boards.

via Chicopee schools expand technology use to give teachers instant feedback |

A Simple Way Teachers Can Learn To Make Apps

8 iBooks Author

If you wish to create a multi-touch iOS app for the iPhone or iPad, then you will need to know how to use xCode Apple development software and the programming language Objective-C. While this is a bold endeavor, it is a massive time and learning commitment that most teachers can’t make.

The average teacher with a creative idea for an app that supports learning may never see it come to fruition due to lack of know-how or lack of resources to invest in its development. Enter iBooks Author.

iBooks Author is Apple’s standard for e-publishing. It is free in the Mac app store and is everything but ‘standard’ when it comes to delivering a polished interactive iBook. The WYSIWYG interface makes it easy to drag and drop text, images, media, and interactive elements on to it’s pages and export a multi-touch book with a push of a button.

While digital books may not be the app envisioned by the teacher, they offer an ‘app-like’ feel of interaction and hold great potential for creating a dynamic learning experience that fosters multiple styles of learning.

more A Simple Way Teachers Can Learn To Make Apps – Edudemic.

3-D technology makes math & science easier

Last year, Robert Cundiff promised his seventh-grade science students at South View Middle School they would be the first to see a new way of learning … in 3-D.

Cundiff made good on that promise Wednesday when the now-eighth-graders experienced firsthand the excitement of 3-D learning with the program, Classroom Cubed.

Through a grant from the Danville Public School Foundation, the students were introduced to the new 3-D technology, which will make math and science concepts easier to visualize and to learn.

more Getting up close » Local News » The Commercial-News, Danville, IL.

15 Useful Educational Tools Every Teacher Should Know About

* FlippedClassroom

Image courtesy of: Dan Spencer


Today, we’ve seen a massive influx of technology being used in the academe. It was evident that the use of digital devices in the classroom boosts student learning and participation in class. Based on the 2013 PBS Learning Media study, 74% of K-12 teachers in the United States are now employing the use of mobile tech (mTech) to create digital lesson plans and keep their students motivated. However, for educators who are yet to take the digital leap, one of the greatest obstacles that you may encounter is the difficulty of managing and leveraging your tech-infused classroom. That is why for this entry, we’ll equip you with a rundown of the useful educational applications that you can use in pursuit of your digital teaching venture.

1.  Planboard

Touted as “the best way for teachers to organize their day,” the Planboard app is a simple and easy-to-use program to create your daily lesson plans. Text here can be formatted according to your desired typeface and you can even embed videos and reference links to your lessons. Completed plans can be exported into PDF and shared via email.

2.  LearnBoost

LearnBoost features an attendance checker, digital grade book log, a class period scheduler, and a detailed view of your students’ individual progress. You can also share its content to your students and their parents through email or Facebook.

3.  Edmodo

Pretty much like the social networking platform Facebook, Edmodo  is used it to share educational contents, blast homework, and notify your students with their grades and progress. With its Edmodo quiz builder feature, you can create digital exams that can automatically be checked upon completion. It is “a safe and easy way to connect and collaborate” with your students; a learning platform made by teachers for co-teachers, the news release from Verizon wrote.

4.  Animoto

Animoto is an all-in-one video-editing tool for teachers. Unlike movie-making software for PCs, it doesn’t require a complicated editing process. All you have to do is to insert a photo or video, then customize it with your preferred style and animation. You can also overlay a text or record voice narration for your completed projects.

5.  Knewton

Knewton is a site that customizes online learning content based on your students’ individual needs. To measure their level of proficiency and literacy, they will have to take an evaluation exam using Knewton, and a learning pathway will be suggested by the tool.

6.  iCivics

iCivics is a web tool to teach your students about civics in a child-friendly manner. It’s very engaging in nature, too, as the platform offers games wherein they can run for presidency, pass new laws, and argue on real-life cases.

7.  Teacher’s Assistant Pro: Track Student Behavior

This handy tool will help you record and track their individual behavior, actions, and class achievements. In here, you can easily remember records of your students who are habitually tardy, underachieving, missing homework submissions, and more. For a more thorough documentation, you can use color codes and attach an image to your records.

8.  Socrative  

Socrative gives you the most comprehensive student response system with a wide variety of quizzes and class exercises. You can utilize it to create multiple choice, true/false, short answer, or space race type of exams that runs on tablets, laptops, and smartphones.

9.  Khan Academy

Khan Academy provides one of the biggest eLearning resources where you can browse quizzes and creative presentations in the following subject areas: Math, Science, Arts, and Humanities. These digital contents are categorized per year level (3rd grade to 8th grade).

10. BetterLesson

This Web 2.0 tool offers a collection of over 3,000 plus complete K-12 Common Core-aligned lessons from over 130 master teachers. Better lesson may come in handy when you run out of ideas for your lecture and/or you wanted to try other methods used by your fellow educators.


11. Schoology

Schoology gives you the power to manage your class calendar, blast content with your students, and connect with other educators online. With its Facebook-like features, your students can create a group and collaborate with each other in or outside the campus. You can also set up a calendar for upcoming events like decathlons and they will all be notified at once.

12. EduBlogs

As the title suggests, this application (web and mobile) allows you to create timely blogs for your students’ benefit. You can maximize it for posting announcements, students’ achievements, and class candid moments.

13. Screenr

In case you want to demonstrate app/computer tutorials for your students (ex. how to send your homework using Google Drive), you can use Screenr to record your screen actions into a video clip. You can also overlay audio annotations as you record your actions.

14. FunBrain

If you’re a huge fan of gamification, FunBrain is the biggest web tool that contains a wide collection of curated educational games. They are categorized into Math, Reading, Fun Arcades, and Playground.


Educreations is an iPad application that lets teachers create videos to teach a particular topic. The interface is similar to the Paint app in Windows PCs. Using your fingertip or a stylus; you can create a moving digital sketch that shows how to solve a math problem. Adding a voice narration is also possible with the app.

These are the 15 digital tools we recommended for every teacher. Take note that some of them are mobile applications while some are online tools. Have you tried any of them? Do you have other apps you wish to share?


About the Author: 

Allie Cooper is a tech correspondent and a regular contributor for Techie Doodlers in the UK. She writes feature posts on educational technologies and other eLearning trends in the Academe.  Follow Allie on Twitter: @AllieCooper_18 and Google+.

Design the Future, Offered by Autodesk, Provides 3-D Printers to Secondary Schools

* 3-D Printing

The way most students learn the concept of buoyancy involves dropping a chunk of clay into water and watching it sink. The next step is to retrieve the clay, mold it into a boat shape, and watch it float. But that’s not how Brian Donnelly’s eighth-grade class does it. His students design a boat digitally; then they use a 3-D printer to make a model of it. That’s what they put in the water to float.

Sounds like a project only the most well-funded schools could support, but as a teacher in the Unified School District of Davis, Donnelly is participating in the educational initiative Design the Future, offered by the software company Autodesk, which grants all secondary schools in California free access to some of the world’s leading 3-D design software for entertainment, manufacturing, engineering, construction, and civil infrastructure.

Homework Hits the Road: 8 Incredible Student Projects in the Real World

The free software helps students learn modeling for products and cities, artistic digital sculpting, visualization—which makes digital designs appear more realistic—and simulation. The company also offers curricula, online training, and certification to enable teachers and students to use the software.

more Design the Future, Offered by Autodesk, Provides 3-D Printers to Secondary Schools.

Cloud Computing in K-12 Expands, Raising Data Privacy Concerns

The use of cloud-based technologies in K-12 schools is becoming increasingly complex and expansive, prompting a wide range of approaches for protecting private student data stored in the “cloud” and raising serious concerns about the security of such data.

Districts ranging from the 203,000-student Houston school system to the 3,000-student Tomah, Wis., schools have outlined clear policies and practices for storing data in the cloud. Those two districts take very different approaches, however.

Tomah built its own private cloud-storage programs to prevent student information from being accessed by third-party vendors; Houston has embraced the use of companies offering cloud-computing services and is working to put best-practice guidelines in place.

More Education Week: Cloud Computing in K-12 Expands, Raising Data Privacy Concerns.