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Posted onJanuary 15, 2014
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Innovations in education has always been a little stagnant, while we see new inventions and developments in all other fields, educational innovations are very less. People have always stuck with the known, tried, tested and traditional methods in case of education. But recently, we’ve seen a boom in this field too. More and more people are now paying attention to the almost obsolete methods of teaching and striving to make some development in the educational system.
Google has always been known for innovations in almost every area they could get their hands onto, and it is soon to launch its flagship product ‘Google Glass’. And the tech-savvies say, it’s going to revolutionize the current educational trends. How? Let’s read.
Google Glass is touted as the next big thing in portable technology. Poised as an eyewear and doing a plethora of things which don’t require any taps or navigation, it responds instead to voice commands, taking pictures with a wink, taking commands for search, share content, video recording, detect objects in front of you and look up related information like directions or maps. etc. The possibilities are endless though among all the possible consumers of Google Glass, the device has the potential to bring exciting new possibilities to teachers and students alike.
Google Glass in Education: The other side
While all this could be a boon in the education system, there are some cons of having Google Glasses at Schools/Colleges.
http://padlet.com/ (early known as Wallwisher) gives you a blank wall, and you can basically put anything you want on it, anywhere. Simple, yet powerful.
It basically empowers people to express their thoughts on a common topic easily. It works like an online sheet of paper where people can put any content (e.g. images, videos, documents, text) anywhere on the page, together with anyone, from any device.
This is why Padlet is simple, yet powerful:
Simple interface, double click to add posts (or double tap for touch screens), drag and drop, auto save, etc. WOW!
You can add any kind of file/links – videos, images, documents. You can paste links (URLs) to (YouTube) videos (view-able from the wall). Can drag a document from your computer. Can take pictures with your computer devices.
You are empowered to keep the wall(s) private by adding password lock or specific email addresses. You can also moderate posts, by requiring approval by one of the moderators before they show up on the wall for the other readers.
Every wall has an unique URL that you can give out. You can now also customize the ending of your URL to your Wall (E.g. http://padlet.com/wall/myawesomewall) or your Domain URL (E.g. http://myawesomewall.com ).
You can easily spice up the backgrounds with all sorts of cool designs and images. You can change your layout to ‘Stream’ to view group discussions more structured (linear chat like format, with time-stamps of when someone commented).
Check out Padlet’s user guide (Knowledge Base) to discover more.
What about Padlet for learning and teaching?
While you don’t need brains to use Padlet, you might need to stretch your imagination to realize how easy and powerful this tool could be to empower and energize collaborative learning experiences. Here are some examples on how Padlet can be used for:
Let’s not stop there, why not explore Padlet as a potential tool for organizing a student’s e-portfolio.
Students can work individually or as groups using Padlet. For example, each group sets up a wall that discusses or visualizes their project, which can later be made available to the other students when completed. You can even make it a competition!
Whether you want to use Padlet for everything in online learning is probably a bit extreme, but no doubt this tool can be used in many creative ways to engage learners and have some fun while learning takes place.
Moodle is another superb e-learning system, or web-based interface, that enables us to set up a wide variety of education resources. The name is an acronym for Modular Object Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, and it was created out of difficulties experienced with other commercial systems.
You only need the ability to teach your courses using the text, images, or other media including audio and video. Consequently teachers with no technical skills can set up the site and enable their students to access the course materials, and also to share and interact with others. An additional reason for the popularity of Moodle is its social constructivist approach, whereby it deliberately sets out to enable users to have control of their learning environments, rather than having ideas imposed from above in a top down approach, like most teaching. The idea is to enable students to have more choice about how they learn, so that they can customise the site on their own computers.
One major benefit of Moodle is its enormous economy in terms of time and resources. Instead of having classrooms filled with worksheets, books, and audio and video cassettes, all these can be supplied electronically. This vastly reduces the numbers of CDs, photocopies and other physical supplies that have to be generated, though students can access these whenever they require.
Because of its ease of use, Moodle is excellent for distance learning, but it is really designed to work best with face to face classroom teaching. Although it certainly saves paperwork and time for teachers, the more important reason why teachers like to use it is that it enables students to learn more independently – that is, have more control over their learning – and also more co-operatively. For instance, classroom teachers are able to enhance their teaching with supplementary activities that the students can find online, and also provide links to sites that are relevant to the lesson being taught.
As well as the core provision, Moodle has a large number of optional modules. For instance there is an inbuilt Chat module that is designed as a tool for students working in groups, meaning they can discuss an issue or question prescribed by the teacher – the discussions can be saved and reviewed by the teacher later. There is also the Lesson module, by which the teacher can produce a series of lessons each ending with a question. Students can progress to the next lesson after answering the question correctly. This enables students to spend as much time as they need on lessons they find difficult.
Virtually all educators acknowledge that Moodle provides a highly cost-effective solution for all types of learning, both individual and classroom-based, and throughout the age spectrum. However it has also been found to have a steep learning curve. It is really essential to ensure that learners engage in the most appropriate way from the start, both with the content, and with the platform itself, if they are going to benefit from it.
Whenever we talk about free-up disk space on Windows PC, we always suggest to clear “TEMP” folder. Deleting all files and folders present in “TEMP” folder might provide you a decent amount of free space.
You might be wondering what is this “TEMP” folder and why is it created by Windows? “TEMP” folder, as the name suggests, is used to store temporary files and folders which are created by Windows services and many 3rd party software programs. Since the files and folders stored in Temp folder are temporary, its absolutely safe to remove them.
Now the question comes how to access this Temp folder to clear its content. There are 2 Temp folders present in Windows OS:
First “Temp” folder which is found in “C:\Windows\” directory is a system folder and is used by Windows to store temporary files.
Second “Temp” folder is stored in “%USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\” directory in Windows Vista, 7 and 8 and in “%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\” directory in Windows XP and previous versions. This folder is different for each Windows user i.e., each logged-in user gets a separate “Temp” folder. This “Temp” folder is used by 3rd party programs to store their temporary files for example, temporary downloaded parts of files by your download manager software, etc.
To access these 2 “Temp” folders, you need to use following commands:
You can run these commands in RUN dialog box or start menu search box. When you run TEMP command, it opens system “Temp” folder stored in C:\Windows directory and when you run %TEMP% command, it opens the user temp folder stored in “%USERPROFILE%” directory. You can learn more about these kind of environment variables using following tutorial:
List of Environment Variables in Windows XP, Vista and 7
Today in this tutorial, we’ll show you how to tell Windows to use a single “Temp” folder for both system and user temporary files so that we don’t need to open 2 different folders to free-up disk space.
We’ll also learn changing location of “Temp” folder from C:\ drive to some other partition. The reason behind changing the location is very simple! First, it’ll not eat valuable disk space of our system drive. Second, we’ll not need to worry about clearing content of Temp folder regularly to free-up disk space on C: drive. It might also speed up your system a little bit.
So without wasting time, lets start the tutorial:
1. Right-click on Computer icon on Desktop and select Properties (or press WIN + Pause/Break keys). Now click on Advanced system settings link in left side pane. (You can open it directly by giving sysdm.cpl command in RUN or start menu search box)
2. Now click on Environment Variables button. It’ll open a new window which will show a list of all environment variables defined in your Windows.
There would be 2 different sections:
You’ll see TEMP and TMP variables listed in User variables section. The System variables section will contain a long list of various environment variables along with TEMP and TMP variables as shown in following screenshot:
3. Now to change location of TEMP folder from C:\Windows\Temp to other partition, first we’ll need to create a new TEMP folder in the desired partition.
In this example, we are going to move TEMP folder location to D:\ drive, so we’ll create a new folder “TEMP” in D:\ drive. Please note that you can use any name for the new folder, its not necessary to have TEMP as its name.
Now you can double-click on the TEMP variable present in System variables section or select it and click on Edit button. Now type location of new TEMP folder (which is D:\Temp in our case) and click on OK button.
Repeat same step for TMP variable as well.
That’s it. It’ll change the location of TEMP folder in Windows.
4. Now we’ll ask Windows to use a single TEMP folder for both system and user temporary files. We can do this by either deleting both TEMP and TMP variables listed in User variables section or edit the variables and set their values to the same folder which we used for system variables in step 3 i.e., D:\Temp folder.
Once you delete both variables in User variables section or set their values to new TEMP folder path, it’ll tell Windows to use a single TEMP folder to store all temporary files and folders created by Windows as well as 3rd party software programs.
5. You’ll need to restart your system to take effect.
Believe me guys, setting user TEMP folder to same as system TEMP folder is one of the first few tasks which I always do after doing a fresh installation of Windows. Having separate TEMP folders is quite annoying to me. What about you?