After a while with no new entries I am using this blog again as a personal notebook of useful tricks or code snippets I need to use from time to time.
In this case, I need to test a new 4Tb hard disk drive that I have just received making use of the disk's warranty because the original one was damaged (it overheated when making a large backup, which is exactly the use you are supposed to be giving a 4Tb hard disk drive...).
I learned about the problems in the original disk the hard way: just in the middle of the backup, it got stuck. No way to remove data, no way to restore it to factory default settings... with all your personal information into it.
So this time I am testing the disk to the maximum capacity by copying a file on the same folder a number of times. This is how I am doing it.
I have had to share my personal cloud with another server behind the same home router. The problem with that is... Can I have two servers behind the same IP and still work with both, each one having it's own apps up and running on the same port numbers?
Well, perhaps there are easier solutions, but the one that worked for me was to create forwarding rules in the router, assigning new ports that redirect the outside traffic to the right port in the internal machine.
Doing so, I only had to change the clients' addresses adding the new external ports to the URL. My goal is to reach my Owncloud service, separated in both machines.
Word Challenge is an app meant to help learn 800 high frequency words in English, their pronunciation and spelling. The program is divided into 32 levels, each having 25 words. To practice the 800 words, you can choose between 3 modes:
Practice: This mode will show you the 25 words of the current level, in alphabetical order. By pressing the “Listen” button, you can listen how it’s pronounced as many times as you need. In this mode, you can access any level in any order.
Random: In this mode you will have the 25 words shuffled, with a blank space, that is, a letter has been taken away so it has to be filled. This mode is considered a “Practice mode”, where you can try any level, however, you won’t receive any trophies.
Write: Here you won’t see the words at all, but you will still be able to listen to them. Your objective is to type the whole word correctly. This is also considered a “Test” mode, which will award you with trophies based on your score. In this mode, levels should be taken in the order they have been previously setup.
Symbaloo is a simple solution to keep all your bookmarks and favorites together in one place, being accessible from every place you are and any device you use as long as you have your internet connection active.
Having your own Symbaloo page as the home page in all your classroom computers is evidently useful: you do not need to tell your students to write long, complex internet addresses (URLs). You just need to tell them which “tile” they have to click on to start working.
If you know nothing about Raspberry Pi, perhaps now it is the time to start reading and finding out a little more about it. It is a cheap, small, but powerful computer that you can buy from $35. Well, it is true that if you buy all the stuff that you need to build your own Pi you will spend about $90. But that's it. You have, let's say, a home server with a budget that might be under $100.
You may also decide to buy one of the bundles that can be found out there, like this one by Vilros (I have nothing to do with the company, but it is the one that I bought and it arrived on due time and with no problems).
And then, if your purpose is actually to have your own cloud, you will need an external hard drive (I amd using a spare 500 Gb that I had already purchased before) and a plugable usb port hub with a power adapter as your hard drive will not get enough power from the Raspberry Pi's usb ports. Again, this is the one that I have and seems to work well by now.
Teamviewer is a professional tool that allows you to control any computer remotely. It is commonly used by tech professionals to fix problems on other people’s computers from their own workplace.
Cool, isn’t it?
As we said above, it is a professional tool. However, there is a non-professional licence (free for non-commercial use) for people who may use it on a non regular basis and for non professional purposes.
I’m using this tool to organize my classroom library and I thought that it would be interesting sharing it with y’all as it allows to have all your books catalogued as well as having a list of books where you can include their AR levels and, of course, codes (although for this you need a little bit more of work, of course). You just need to sign up and create your account and your classroom.
There is an (apple and android) app that is really helpful because it allows you to scan the ISBN code and then the author and the title are automatically loaded as long as it is available on the site’s database. And I can assure you that more that 80% of my books are actually there and are automatically added to the catalog without any typing at all!!!
The rest of the books should be added manually by typing the author and the title. You can also categorize the books with a “location” label that you can prepare in advance to make the scanning process easier. I use this field to distinguish mainly between English and Spanish books, Fiction and Non Fiction, but you can be as specific as you may want to.
And apart from easy, it is FREE. You can access your account online (it is online where the database is kept so no need to worry about backups) and then manage your classroom books and your students (yes, you can actually check out and check in books for and from your students just by scanning their ISBN codes and assigning them to your kiddos) and get your reports and the usual stuff from there.
Google Slides is the Google App alternative to other Presentation tools such as Microsoft Powerpoint or LibreOffice Impress.
You can create your own presentation using Slides or you can import presentations you have already created by uploading them to your Google Drive and then editing the file with Slides.
With Google Slides, Teachers can:
Showcase student work on a class website using embedded presentations
Create templates that outline specific topics for student presentations
Publish how-to presentations with screenshots and videos
Design certificates to print or to send electronically
Create a slideshow with images for a class project
Collaborate easily with a group to create a presentation
Make a storyboard for a video project
Design a comic strip to visualize a complex topic
The advantage of using Slides instead of other desktop apps is that students can share their work online with their teachers and peers (setting permissions to allow only their classmates to see their work) and teachers do not need to send any files as they should only share the direct link to the presentation once they have granted the appropriate permissions.
In our previous post we talked about Google Forms and the different ways we can use those to collect information or create simple assessments. It is relevant to know that all the information that is provided through the Form can be kept in a Google Sheet.
Then, what is a Google Sheet?
A Google Sheet is the Google online equivalent to its Microsoft Office counterpart, Excel. It is a worksheet, that is, a file made of rows and columns that help:
calculate numerical data.
It can use mathematical formulas based on the data in its cells. That is the main advantage of using a worksheet instead of a standard document created with a word processor (or a Google Doc, in this case).
When you have to gather information from different people, Google Forms is an useful tool that helps you store and manage all the information in a single place, where you can easily find it, analyze it, even share it if you want.
This short video introduces some of the possibilities Google Forms offer:
Of course the notes will not replace a good textbook where you will have a deeper look at it all, but it is a good starting point. The chapters' notes are a good summary to review all the stuff you should go through, as well as a resource to find some useful links to other sites and practice questions.