This blog is my attempt to share information with faculty, introducing new apps, websites, or other snippets of information that may be of use to faculty. I am also using it to keep track of projects I'm working on that might be good to reference in the future.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cyber Safety Workshop

Yesterday I attended a great workshop on Cyber Safety put on by the University of Hawaii College of Education.  Speakers were Lauren Mark, Truc Nguyen, and Chris Duque.

It covered guidelines schools should follow, legal ramifications and laws, digital citizenship, various sites and tools that are common for cyber harassment to occur on, online safety contracts, acceptable use policies, cyber security and other topics.  The goal is to inform people and start some Cyber Safety Awareness task groups at schools made of faculty, parents and possibly students.

When I get a copy of the slides I will share them here, along with other sites of interest.

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Facebook: CyberSafety808 (search for this page) - relates specifically to Hawaii
State of Hawaii web site on Cyber Securty:

Here is a good list of Cyber Safety and Security blogs:

Saturday, September 14, 2013

GMail Labs

When you go into settings on Gmail there is a Labs section.  It has add-ons for Gmail that are still in the 'testing' stages.  Some of these can add needed features that many people would like to see in Gmail.  Many people moving over from Outlook may be used to a preview pane, which Gmail doesn't have, but that you can  enable in the Labs section.

This makes it easier to see what an email may contain. 

I also liked the feature to add the Google calendar gadget to the inbox so that I can quickly see what I have on my calendar for the day.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chromebook - Remote Control a PC

A Chromebook is very easy to use, light and quick to boot up...thus making it much easier to take with you.  As easy as it is to use, because of my job I need to use some specific software program, which are not web based and require a Windows computer to run.  There are just something things that a Chromebook can't do for me, such as run Windows only programs.  But there is a workaround......Google's Chrome Remote Desktop.

There are over 1.5 million users for this Google built plug-in (not a third party vendor).  What it allows you to do is remotely log in and control either a Windows or Mac computer.  Both computers need to have Chrome installed and the Chrome Remote Desktop app installed.  When you run it, it will ask you whether you want to set it up to control the computer remotely, or whether you want to connect to another computer to remotely control it.  You can not remote control a Chromebook yet, so remote trouble shooting of a Chromebook is currently not available with this app.  This feature should be coming soon, but for a Chromebook user who wants the ability to run a Windows program while on the Chromebook, this meets the need.  I'm been testing and setting up my Windows machine so that when I travel to Oahu later this month, I can just take the Chromebook and still do all my work like I'm in the office.

When using the app, you can go full screen or stay in browser window.  The graphics and look are much easier to read in Full Screen mode, but I assume if you need to jump between browser tabs, you would be better to view in the Chrome browser tab.

If you have a desktop PC, and are looking to be more mobile (or work from home/on-the-road) then this app via the Chromebook is a great tool.  There are other remote control apps avaiable, but this one is from Google so you can trust them a bit more than some unknown 3rd party vendor, but if you need to remote control a Chromebook and do remote troubleshooting on a Chrombook, you will need to look elsewhere.  A possible option is 2x Client for RDP/Remote Desktop.

Beware, others give you a free trial, but will cost you a fee to use after the trial period.  Chrome Remote Control is free.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Chromebook Update

It's been a few months since my last update, but I've been busy using the Chromebook.

It is such a convenient device (typing on it now). It boots quickly.  It is just as fast at starting up today as it was 4 month ago.  If I didn't need certain apps that need Windows, this would be a perfect laptop replacement.  It is very light and portable.  It  does not heat up as much as a laptop, so you can comfortably keep it on your lap, which I haven't done with my laptop in quite awhile.  It would be perfect if it had a DVD drive, but that is not what it was designed for.

The only drawback is the keyboard, but you can get by most of the shortcomings if you get used to it's is a bit more cumbersome than a regular keyboard, but it is designed with a small footprint in mind.

It will be hard to use it as a primary computer, but for some people it will be possible.  It is a great little device and so easy to use.