Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology and other Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague

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Saturday TCEA Robotics Competition- Post 1

It’s 20 degrees outside on a frosty Texas morning and I am on my way to the CISD Robotics Competition sponsored by TCEA. I am a judge for the competition in the “Inventions” section. I keep hearing the “Here Comes the Judge” jingle in my head.

20Degrees

TCEARoboticsOutside

In the Inventions Contest, teams will create and develop a unique robotic invention that will solve a problem.
Student teams will need to approach their problem, working together like real team of engineers, to solve a
common challenge using the Engineering Design Process. The Engineering Design Process is a particular course
of action and sequence of operations intended to achieve a result or produce an outcome. The Engineering
Design Process consists of the following steps:
 Research
 Plan
 Prototype
 Document and Test
 Commercialize.

 

We are judging with a rubric correlated to the key words: Research, Plan, Prototype, Document and Test, and Commercialize.

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New Year Tech Checklist ~ January 2018

One of the fortunate things about a career in education is the yearly ‘Holiday Break.” This holiday break was punctuated with a prolonged cold, frigid, FREEZING weather system. For this native California-to-Texas transplant, the cold was especially menacing. After attempting many work-arounds and brave attempts at navigating in these temps, the only acceptable solution was time by the fireplace and Amazon Prime deliveries of hot chocolate.

Time by the fireplace included time with my favorite channel: The Food Network. I became a binge watcher of “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and “Guy’s Grocery Games” which are both hosted by Guy Fieri.

After a few episodes, I was treated to the inside nomenclature of each show. It seems that, like many things in technology, the inside lingo for “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and “Guy’s Grocery Games” is “Triple D” and “Triple G” respectively.

So, in keeping with the triple alpha lingo, here are my Triple C ideas for your New Year Tech Checklist:

C1: Check your links on your homepage, blog, and other social media: Make sure they work. Links can be hear today and gone into cyberspace tomorrow. Your homepage, blog, social media is the first greeter of your work.

C2: Change your passwords. If your workplace does not have regular password change protocols in place, please use the start of the new year to change your password, and please make your password alphanumeric/symbol without a natural language word (i.e. “daisy1). Even though all the places I work have a regular schedule of password changes, the start of the new year is the symbolic “changing of the password guard” for me.

C3: Clean out old emails. A proper digital diet of up-to-date email storage is just good cyber wellness. We use the Canvas LMS for our online courses and I receive emails regarding student attendance, announcements, updates, etc… I save these during a semester and clean them out at the start of new semesters. You probably have other email accounts and folders where emails accumulate. Deleting these emails can feel so cyber-slimming!!

So, that’s my Triple C ideas for your New Year Tech Checklist. What else should I include? Leave a comment and let me know!

new year checklist

 

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Library of Congress to Cease Continual Tweet Archiving

Assign it the hashtag of #bahbye, Mediate reports that “Even the Library of Congress can’t keep up with Twitter anymore. The Library of Congress has been archiving every single public tweet for many years. But now it’s announced the process for archiving tweets will be more limited starting in 2018.” (Source: Mediaite)

The Library of Congress says that going forward, “Generally, the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.” (Source: Deadline)

 

 

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Be Internet Awesome: Helping kids be safe, confident explorers of the online world.

Be Internet Awesome: Helping kids be safe, confident explorers of the online world.

This resource from Google is packed with curriculum, games that allow for hands-on practice, and even a pledge to teach students how to safely navigate the internet.

Here is the link: https://beinternetawesome.withgoogle.com/
#STEM

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Edorble WebVR Launches!

The innovative folks at Edorble have something fun to announce! There is a new alpha of Edorble WebVR, a cross-platform, browser-based multiplayer Edorble experience. Edorble WebVR works on Android, iOS, Mac, PC, Google Cardboard, Daydream, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Gear VR. If curious to hear more, check out what you can in Edorble WebVR on their blog post announcing the launch. You can also just jump right in at https://edorble.com/webvr. Edorble will be building on this foundation in the weeks and months to come, and with participatory help from users, they will keep shaping it into something special for teachers and students around the world.

Edorble VR

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Got Summer Spare Change? Own a Piece of Tech History!!

ENIGMA MachineThe original 1944 ENIGMA Cipher Machine, used at Bletchley Park during World War 2 to crack the codes of the Nazi Third Reich U-Boats, is up for auction at Christie’s Auction House, June 15 (Thursday) in New York City.

This machine was central to World War 2 and the British used it to crack the codes that won World War 2. The ENIGMA Cypher Maichine performed 159 billion, billion combinations.And it still works!

Also in the auction is the first APPLE 1 1976 Personal Computer made of steel, with 4K (expanded to 12K) of RAM.

Estimated Value is $300,000-500,000

The Christie’s auction is live and online, according Peter Carnett

 

 

 

 

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Internet History Lesson

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 4

NCSAMIn this last post, (Part 4) for Cyber Security Awareness Month

Get savvy about Wi-Fi hotspots: Limit the type of business you conduct at a local hotspot. For instance, you might not want to do your banking while at Starbucks.

Protect your $$: When banking and shopping, check to be sure the site is security enabled. Look for web addresses with “https://” or “shttp://,” which means the site takes extra measures to help secure your information. “Http://” is not secure.

Share with care: Think before posting about yourself and others online. Consider what a post reveals, who might see it and how it could be perceived now and in the future.

Learn more at the NCSAM website.

~~~~See All Posts for This Month~~~

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 1 Post

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 2 Post

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 3 Post

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 3

NCSAMThis post, (Part 3), provides some great Every Day Tips for Online Safety during this blog’s emphasis on Cyber Security Awareness during the National Cyber Security Awareness Month. Learn more at the NCSAM website.

 

What tips would you share for safe-keeping your online information?

 

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National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 1 Post

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 2 Post

 

Link to Part 2

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October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 2

NCSAMIn Part 2 of this blog’s Cyber Security Awareness focus, here are some general recommendations for keeping your information safe from my university technology department:

Use Unique Passwords For Each Site

This may seem overwhelming, but with the use of a proper password manager, it can be done. Let’s say you don’t feel you can handle that many passwords though. You should, at minimum, have a unique password for your email and bank account logins. Here is why: The Holy Grail of account access for a person with ill intent is your email account. If you think about it, it makes sense, everything else connects to that. How does any other account do a password reset? It emails you a link. If someone gains access to your email account, they effectively gain access to everything. As for your bank account, there is so much that you can do with online banking now-a-days that access to your bank account is essentially direct access to your money.

But how does having a unique password help? When a hacker gains access to one account, the first thing they often do is check to see if that username and password work on anything else. It’s like finding a key and then checking every door to see if it will open, with a focus on the doors that guard the most important stuff.

Create Secure Passwords

There are many options for generating secure, memorable passwords. First, be sure to avoid including any personal information as part of your password. Don’t use the name, birth date, initials, or anniversaries of yourself, your family, or your pets. Don’t use common passwords like 123456 or password. You can find a list of the top 500 passwords here. Don’t use any of those.

One method for generating a secure password is stringing together four unrelated words. A primary example is XKCDs popular “correct horse battery staple“. Just don’t utilize words that might be obvious, like “MikeJohnAnneSuzy” if those are the names of your children. Another method would be to utilize first letters of a long phrase or scripture. For example, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” turns into “ItbGcth&te”, which might be a good password if I hadn’t just provided it as an example here. Need a number for the password requirement? Change it to “1tbGcth&te”.

There are many other methods for generating a secure, memorable password. You can find several more examples here.

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Learn more at the NCSAM website

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 1 Post

National Cyber Security Awareness Month – Part 3 Post

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