10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Weekend Ed. Quote~Cognitive Reserve

We’ve all been taught the importance of beginning early in saving money for retirement. Accumulating mental capital—by reading and writing, speaking a second language, or practicing a musical instrument—works the same way. If you want a generous cognitive reserve to see you through your golden years, you’d better start contributing now. ~Annie Murphy Paul in her post, Enriching Your Brain Bank

Most intriguing research point from the article:

“after accounting for physical evidence of dementia, the scientists produced an amazing finding: people who made a lifelong habit of lots reading and writing slowed their rate of mental decline by 32 percent over those who engaged in only average levels of these activities. Compared to the average folks, people who rarely read or wrote experienced a decline that was 48 percent faster.”




On Remembering What We Read

A common despair among students in my online education courses is that the amount of reading is TOO MUCH!

Dr. Bill Klemm, professor Neu­ro­science at Texas A&M Uni­ver­sity Texas A&M University addresses this stressor in his article, “8 Tips To Remember What You Read”

Dr. Klemm explains, “Despite tele­vi­sion, cell phones, and Web “twit­ter,” tra­di­tional read­ing is still an impor­tant skill. Whether it is school text­books, tech man­u­als at work, or reg­u­lar books, peo­ple still read, though not as much as they used to. One rea­son that many peo­ple don’t read much is that they don’t read well. For them, it is slow, hard work and they don’t remem­ber as much as they should. Stu­dents, for example,may have to read some­thing sev­eral times before they under­stand and remem­ber what they read.”

Dr. Klemm advises middle-school teach­ers (see http://peer.tamu.edu) and these educators report that “many stu­dents are 2–3 years behind grade level in read­ing pro­fi­ciency.” All forms of media— tele­vi­sion, cell phones, and the Internet, lack of family example and reading emphasis, and ineffective reading programs have been blamed for the decline in reading. Dr. Klemm predicts that the decline of reading fluency will “appar­ently get worse if we don’t empha­size and improve read­ing instruction.”

Dr. Klemm sum­ma­rizes 8 practical ideas to help with both reading speed and comprehension. Click this link to read them.




Howcast–How-To video site

howcastHowcast: http://www.howcast.com

As an alternative to other DIY websites, try Howcast. Howcast is a concisely worded and intelligently produced source for fun, free, and useful how-to videos and guides.

It combines gee-whiz with guess-what. For example, Howcast features the factoid that July is National Blueberry Month, “a great time to gorge on these tiny blue superfoods and other nutritional powerhouses” and follows with a short video titled “How to Eat More SuperFoods.” An advantage of this site is that a Transcript is included for close reading, content modification, and/or options if your school network is slow.

Known for high-quality content, Howcast streams tens of millions of videos everymonth across its multi-platform distribution network. Approaching two million downloads across iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry phones, Howcast is the number
one mobile app for instructional content — and is accessible wherever you are.


Weekend Ed. Quote~July 13



Powells picture of tranquility


Additional Weekend Ed. Quotes


Other Alternatives to Google Reader

Farewell to the powerful RSS jewel that was Google Reader. Unlike many public ed. classrooms, where trophies are given for just showing up, Google’s policy is that any product that is not viable ends up in the graveyard. Thankfully, Google gave us prior notice and also facilitated the migration of users subscriptions through a seamless integration with Feedly. With one click, users who opted for Feedly were able to move all their feeds to the new platform. Click here for the App at iTunes.

There are also several other powerful readers worth trying and in case you have not yet decided upon the one to use, check out this list. It contains some of the top readers available online and for free.

This phenomenon of Google’s putting on ice its unpopular products is not new. Several other services were taken down including Google Lab, Buzz, iGoogle..ect and the list goes on. Here is a graphic from Mashable that I saw in Med Kharbach’s post.  It traces a few memorable Google products, now in what is described as the “Google Graveyard.”



Virtual Summer Vacay with Google Field Trip

Summer is all about fun, food, and fabulous vacations. Googlewants to contribute to your vacay fun this summer.

Virtually, that is...

Google’s Field Trip free app, when installed on your Android phone, garners a free admission at 23 U.S. museums and zoos until the end of July. Travel destinations include The Museum of Arts and Design, Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco (a personal favorite), Walt Disney Family Museum, San Francisco, Exploratorium, San Francisco, the Bronx Zoo in New York City and much more!

Google Field TripWhen you visit a location, Field Trip supplies information from publications such as Zagat. There is a read-aloud option for a great modification or auditory learner option. If your museum experience is limited to The Museum Gift Shop,  a map view within the app also helps you find fun places nearby, with category searching.

Google originally launched Field Trip last September. The app runs in the background on your phone, and when it intuits that you’re around something noteworthy, it makes suggestions for places to visit.

To take advantage of the free ticket, download Google Field Trip from the App Store [App Store link] or Google Play [Google Play link], and head out on the town. When you’re near one of the attractions included in the offer, a free pass will automatically appear within the Nearby tab, granting you free admission from ticket-takers.


Source: Emily Price @ http://mashable.com/2013/07/05/google-field-trip-july-free/
SEE ALSO: Top 25 Free iPhone Apps of All Time



Teaching Scale-A Resource

Teaching scale to studated a series of images that ents can be one of the most challenging endeavors. If it were easy, we probably wouldn’t need the reminder on our car’s side view mirrors that “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.”

Or is it further away? {gasp}

Perhaps Ron Miller can help. Miller, a space artist, computed and created a series of images of each of the planets as they would look if they were 240,000 miles away, which is the approximate distance of our moon.

Click this link to see the fascinating pictures. The Atlantic’s What the Night Sky Would Look Like If the Other Planets Were as Close as the Moon





Happy Fourth of July

Today, we celebrate the birth of the greatest nation, The United States Of American.  Our leaders in 1776 declared independence from the Kingdom Of Great Britain – thus the birth of America.  236 years of freedom and still going strong.    Our freedom symbol, recognized world wide is our Flag, the Flag of the United States Of America.  Display her proudly and properly. Let our heart and mind know that our men and women in the armed forces protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of their republic. May our country, in dealing with other countries – May she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong.  ~By Jim McShane

Curriculum Resources:
Rhoda Cratty describes books and websites from this dramatic and turbulent period in our history (1775-1776).  These resources and Cratty’s post on the Declaration of Independence, will, according to Cratty help students “begin to understand the history behind the fireworks.” Click here for the resource list.

Happy Fourth of July!



Tech Trick- Edit YouTube Vids

YouTube videos are engaging additions to curriculum that garner student interest. Teachers often want to customize them for length and further editing to limit distracting ads or inappropriate comments. I have been using Metta.io (formerly SooMeta) for this purpose. Metta.io offers text boxes which are perfect for highlighting important curricular items such as vocabulary, essential questions, and surveys.

Med Kharbach writes: Using YouTube videos with students means that you might run the risk of exposing them to inappropriate and distractive content that comes in the featured playlist to the left of the video. The textual comments under the video can also be offensive and featuring vulgar language not appropriate for our students.


Read More


Nine Easy Pieces for Privacy Protection Online




With over 15 billion webpages and counting, the Internet is a vast and tangled infrastructure. As a new month begins, it is time to verify your privacy protection policy and procedures:

Nine Easy Pieces for Privacy Protection Online

1.) Set a password-protected screen saver. Although many schools and businesses have policies instructing employees to never leave their computer  unattended, there are just too many instances of casual walk-aways that turn into walk-abouts that can leave a computer vulnerable to prying eyes.

2.) Set a separate password for computer log-in and email account(s). And as a BTW: if it has been over six months since you updated your password, it is time for a change. Out of ideas for a new password? Check out Strong Password Generator or Random.org for new password options.

3.) Activate a Google Alert for your name, including variations of spelling and name order (last name, first name)…google.com/alerts

4.) Sign out of accounts when work is completed–on some networked systems, just hitting “the big X” in the right-hand window corner is not enough.

5.) Do not pay your credit card bill or check your bank account balance on a public network. We’ve all done it: checked our bank to verify that our pernicious boss indeed credited our account…but if you do this at your local coffee station, the public library, or other internet cafe you may be getting more  hassle for your bucks than a latte.

6.) Clear History and Cookies after every computer session and/or change your browser’s default setting to “Never Remember History.”

7.) Confine your social networking profile to “Friends” only. And limit who can see photos that have you “tagged” in them.

And these final two are pretty “well, duh” suggestions, but are added here because I saw them in 7 of the last 10 offices I visited just last week:

8.) Remove the sticky notes on your computer screen that list your username and password. Either memorize this information or get it tatooed on your person in a place covered by clothes.

9.) Cease the practice of using your pet’s name and/or children’s name(s) (or combinations of these) as your password. A co-worker forgot her password and we cracked “the code” in five minutes just by knowing that puppy was “Taco” and Baby Bubba, was, well…you get the drift…

What are some suggestions from your own privacy protection practices? Would you share them in the comments below?


Happy Safe Online Privacy!

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