Tech Training Tuesday: Improving Your Memory

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Memory is not a finite resource, and with techniques like repetition, association, and visualization, you can improve your memory before it starts to fade. This fascinating course shows viewers of all ages how to improve their recall. It explains how and when to employ tricks such as mnemonic devices, rhymes, stories, and alliteration. And it explains the best methods for different situations, like remembering names, important dates, passwords, to-do lists, quotes, and more. These techniques will prove invaluable, whether you’re memorizing facts for a test at school, points for a work presentation, or trivia to impress your friends.

Topics include:

  • Memory principles that work
  • Taking notes
  • Using songs and rhyming techniques to remember details
  • Building a “memory palace”
  • Remembering names and passwords
  • Memorizing long texts and speeches

HOW TO LOGIN:

  1. Go to mylmu.edu and log in using your LMU credentials.
  2. Click on the “Systems Login” menu.
  3. Scroll down and click on “lynda.com (online training library)”
  4. Click on the “Start Now” button and you will be redirected to lynda.com.
  5. Once you are logged in to lynda.com, click the screenshot at the    top of this post and you will be redirected to the Improving Your Memory course!

Tech Training Tuesday: Productivity Pointers

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In this series on productivity, author Jess Stratton takes you through the latest tools that will help you run your business and life more efficiently. Each installment covers a particular feature or technique in a different online tool, such as Google Apps, Skype, YouTube, Mint.com, Etsy, and more. Learn about topics ranging from recording and publishing video chats to managing your finances online.

HOW TO LOGIN:

  1. Go to mylmu.edu and log in using your LMU credentials.
  2. Click on the “Systems Login” menu.
  3. Scroll down and click on “lynda.com (online training library)”
  4. Click on the “Start Now” button and you will be redirected to lynda.com.
  5. Once you are logged in to lynda.com, click the screenshot at the    top of this post and you will be redirected to the Monday Productivity Pointers course!

Tech Training Tuesday: Dealing with a Difficult Boss

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Author and professional coach Todd Dewett helps you address the challenge of working with a difficult boss by helping you identify, understand, and manage the triggers that contribute to your problematic relationship. He also outlines actions you can take, such as correctly documenting events, knowing when to speak up, and—sometimes—not taking any action at all.

HOW TO LOGIN:

  1. Go to mylmu.edu and log in using your LMU credentials.
  2. Click on the “Systems Login” menu.
  3. Scroll down and click on “lynda.com (online training library)”
  4. Click on the “Start Now” button and you will be redirected to lynda.com.
  5. Once you are logged in to lynda.com, click the screenshot at the    top of this post and you will be redirected to the Dealing with a Difficult Boss course!

Instructional Technologist Lit Review: A Framework for Classifying Educational Apps

Citation: Cherner, T., Dix, J., & Lee, C. (2014). Cleaning up that mess: A framework for classifying educational apps. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 14(2). Retrieved from http://www.citejournal.org/vol14/iss2/general/article1.cfm

Reviewed by: Michelle Yeung

Cleaning Up That Mess: A Framework for Classifying Educational Apps
Currently, educators must rely on online lists to find academic apps on mobile devices appropriate for their classrooms. The authors propose a framework for choosing educational apps based on purpose, content, and value.

Method
The researchers began by reviewing educational taxonomies, software and frameworks from 1988 to present. 92 free apps were qualitatively and selectively reviewed out of 20,000 available pre K-12 educational apps from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. These included apps centered on English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies, though some were found to be multi-subject matter, or teacher resources. In categorizing apps, three questions were essential to the authors, and a Pearson correlation coefficient was also calculated during analysis:

  • What is the primary purpose of this app?
  • What does this app require users to do?
  • How could teachers use this app in their classrooms?

Results
The resulting classification framework resulted from the authors’ analysis of the 92 apps:

  • Skill-based
    • Description:  Apps that use recall, rote memorization, and skill-and-drill instructional strategies to build students’ literacy abilities, numeracy skills, standardized test readiness, and subject area knowledge.
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy Implications: Remembering and Understanding
  • Content-based
    • Description:  Apps that give students access to vast amounts of information, data, or knowledge by conducting searches or through exploring pre-programmed content.
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy Implications: Applying and Analyzing
  • Function-based
    • Description:  Apps that assist students in transforming learned information into usable forms.
    • Bloom’s Taxonomy Ranking: Evaluating and Creating

Educators are encouraged to create subcategories for each of the areas within the framework. An example given for a Literacy Skill-Based App are subcategories of: Fluency, Grammar, Handwriting, Language Acquisition, Spelling, and Vocabulary.

Implications
The proposed framework can advance and inform teachers and teacher candidates how to select appropriate apps for the classroom, even as new apps are released onto the market. In addition to TPACK (Koehler & Mishra, 2005, 2009), these tools can save time, school budgets, align the app to a planned lesson in the classroom.

Tech Training Tuesday: Up and Running with Adobe Creative Cloud

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What is the Creative Cloud? It’s Adobe’s new subscription model that offers designers a new way to purchase software and gain access to updates faster than ever. In this course, Justin Seeley reviews Creative Cloud, debunking the rumors and showcasing its most interesting features. Learn how to install and update the apps; access the built-in cloud storage; use the Creative Cloud mobile apps, the touch-friendly versions of programs like Photoshop, for your phone or tablet; and work with additional services like Typekit and Behance. Creative Cloud isn’t for everybody, but this course will help you understand whether it’s right for you.

HOW TO LOGIN:

  1. Go to mylmu.edu and log in using your LMU credentials.
  2. Click on the “Systems Login” menu.
  3. Scroll down and click on “lynda.com (online training library)”
  4. Click on the “Start Now” button and you will be redirected to lynda.com.
  5. Once you are logged in to lynda.com, click the screenshot at the    top of this post and you will be redirected to theUp and Running with Adobe Creative Cloud  course!

Conquering Finals: 3 Tech Tools to Keep you Focused During Finals Week

 Strict Workflow

Strict Workflow operates of the idea of working for a period of time and then taking a break. With Strict Workflow you focus for 25 minutes, then reward yourself with a sanity-saving 5 minute break. You click on the tomato to start the timer, and it sits unobtrusively in the corner of your screen. You can also blacklist specific sites during your sessions.

Productivity Owl

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Productivity Owl is a Chrome extension that follows your internet tracks, and has the capability to run interference on your time-wasting. When you’re not being productive, Productivity Owl swoops in and closes your procrastination tabs. You can specify websites always allowed, block other websites, and schedule free time in your browser to do whatever you’d like. You can also save webpages for later.  Productivity Owl allows you a certain amount of time on sites so you’re forced to get the information you need quickly before it closes the tab.

StayFocusd

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StayFocusd is a Google Chrome app that increases your productivity by limiting access to time-wasting websites. It allows users a certain amount of time on social media sites per day, and blocks the site after the time limit is reached. StayFocusd can block webpages, paths and images.