Dropbox & Copy

Dropbox and Copy are two similar services that allow users to store files in the cloud and sync them to a folder that is on your desktop. Each service has an online interface where you can upload and manage files. You also have the option to download an application which places a folder on your hard drive that is tied to your cloud storage. Any file that you put in that folder is accessible locally on your device but is also synced to the cloud. You can also access your files using an iPad/iPhone app.

Copy offers 15GB of Free storage – Click here for a free account.

Dropbox offers 2GB of Free storage. Click here for a free account.

I use both accounts and store documents and images for a blog on one account and personal files on the other account. Great way to keep things organized.


Cisco – Meraki – Mobile Device Management

Meraki was a company that was started by two MIT Phd students in 2006 and was later acquired by Cisco in 2012. Meraki System Manager is a free cloud based service which allows schools to remotely manage iOS, android, mac, pc, and chrome devices. Meraki provides the administrator the ability to add and remove iOS apps, mac applications, wifi configurations, and exchange email settings to some or all devices. By setting up tags for individual devices you can easily target who will receive which app or application.

For small schools or anybody on tight budget this service is a great way to manage and keep track of devices. It would also be helpful in implementing a one to one. I am currently testing it out with my family’s devices. We have 4 iPhones, 3 iPads, 3 Macs, and a Chromebook. I am able to keep track of all the devices on one simple control panel. There is also a built in google map showing the location of each device. I can see this being a useful tool if one of my kids loses an iPhone and we need to track it down. From the control panel you can wipe the device or lock it.  Sign up for a free Meraki account and try it out.

Maximum Capability Learning CK-12

According to Executive Director Neeru Khosla CL-12 provides “Free access to high-quality, customizable educational content in multiple modalities suited to multiple student learning styles and levels will allow teachers, students and others to innovate and experiment with new models of learning. CK-12 helps students and teachers alike by enabling rapid customization and experimentation of teaching and learning styles.”

You can log into the site using your Google or Twitter account and once there you have the option of searching for content and creating a digital flexbook or to use a book that another member already created. All of the content is free and once the book is created it can be downloaded in a number of formats, ePub (iPad), PDF (computer), or mobi (kindle). Storing the book on the device would be very useful when the internet is not available or very slow. Go to the site and check out the content.

Collaborate with Twitter & Yammer

Twitter and Yammer are social networking web applications which allow members to share information. Both applications use hashtags (#) to allow people to search for a particular topic or conversation. For instance the hashtag #edchat is used by educators to tag their conversation so others can easily find, follow, and participate. Without the hashtag it would be impossible to find what you are looking for among the 60 million tweets per day. Another symbol used is called a mention (@). If you want to mention another user in a tweet you would use the @ symbol before their username. Mentioning someone in a tweet will look like this @mikegrantjr and will notify the user that they were mentioned in a tweet.

Yammer is a similar application only it is intended for internal use. Members of a company or school with the same email address can register and have a twitter like experience with the safety and security of knowing who you are yammering with. The yammer web user interface is more facebook-like than twitter, which may be a bit confusing for those who tweet a lot.

I have recently realized the power of twitter and the ability to find and share relevant information on topics that interest me. I will give yammer a try and see how it work out. The only problem with yammer? You need to have other members of you school or business to be yammer users. Otherwise you are yammering to yourself.

Both twitter and yammer have mobile apps for ios and android. For more information on how to use twitter you can go to their support page.

SETDA Broadband and Network Recommendations

The Broadband Imperative: Recommendations to Address K-12 Educational Infrastructure Needs is a report by the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA). Read the full report here. The basic recommendations by the committee call for schools to improve their internal network and internet broadband access to the following by the 2017-2018 school year. For internet broadband access schools should be capable of 1GB/1000 users and for internal networks speeds should be 10GB/1000 users. The current recommendation is a factor of 10 less for the same number of users. For more information and additional articles on Broadband recommendations go to the SETDA website.