Monday, July 30, 2018

Classroom App (Apple)

Are you an educator who is hesitant about handing out those laptops or tablets to kids during class time? Well, you are not the only educator that is like this, and understandably so. There are two fundamental issues with cutting the tablets/laptops loose to the kids. First, the risk of damage towards expensive classroom material. Secondly, and most importantly, the kids would just goof off doing unrelated work with the devices. The following graphic depicts how long an average child should be able to focus on the same task.

Well... you must be thinking, "I thought this was a pro-tech education blog. Why are there arguments that may actually be against a greater use of technology in the classroom?".

However, I would use these arguments to support a specific educational technology called the Classroom App by Apple. Frankly, regardless of whatever task you are doing with your students, their listed "concentration time" above will still probably apply. I believe in the Classroom App and the usage of iPads because using these devices could make your students more engaged, leading them to reaching the upper echelons of the "concentration times" listed above. For example, an 8 year old having fun with an assignment on an iPad may concentrate for 40 minutes. On the contrary, when a teacher lecture is given, the same 8 year old may only have a concentration period of 16 minutes. 

So why the Classroom App?

I recommend the classroom app because of the vast number of co-op tools it provides, and sadly, it's big-brother like monitoring tools. 

As a teacher, you can remotely create assignments and group projects. In fact, you can even create groups using your teacher device. In terms of monitoring and making sure your students stay on task, the classroom app provides screen monitoring for every student tablet. There are many more tools to be discovered within this app and I encourage you to watch this demo.

You can also read the teachers' guide for the Classroom App here.

I understand that cutting-edge technology is usually not very cheap, especially Apple products. However, I believe technology is an investment worth investing in because students will become so much more engaged in classwork. I can honestly still remember the middle/elementary school days when my friends and I would get super excited if the teacher rolled in a computer cart into our classroom. As long as the devices are maintained in good condition, they could be used for many years to come, perhaps even cutting down on costs for other supplies. 

For your convenience, you can find the Apple hardware/software price lists for US institutions here

Apple Teaching Tools:

Video Demo of Classroom App:

Classroom App teachers' guide:

Apple hardware/software price lists for US institutions:

Friday, July 20, 2018


Apples GarageBand has been updated for Macs and iOS devices.
And now, the video lessons are FREE in this latest update.

I know of at least three, well-known, Hawaiian professional performers who build their own backup band, both Composing and Performing onstage with GarageBand plugging their laptop into the sound system.
Over the years GarageBand has attracted many famous performers/musicians/singers/composers to contribute features to the GarageBand software.  Many of the loops are by your favorite musicians/performers.

Compose new music. Transpose for other instruments. Create NEW music.  Build your Podcast using audio/midi hardware you already own. 
Apple's Garage band can add instrumental accompaniment to your otherwise solo performance.  
Many professional singers and instrumental soloists use GarageBand to add an unseen Band backup.

Here is the Announcement from about the cost-free Artist Lessons just released in the newest GarageBand update:

Added information:
History of Appleʻs GarageBand

The current version of GarageBand for Macs and iOS.

Donʻt have a Mac or iOS device?  Hereʻs your intro to GarageBand for your PC:

Or, Google ʻGarageBand for PCʻ for other 3rd party solutions for getting Apples GarageBand onto your PC.

If you are a new or practicing musician/singer, and you arenʻt using GarageBand, you should take a hard look at this software.

By: Bill Martin

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Do you think you got what it takes to be a developer? Learn by applying the DevOps theory!

It is a common misconception that a person can only become a software developer through the expensive college education systems of America. This can be very discouraging for many, but the purpose of this article is to put any of those fallacies to rest. The belief that a college education is the only way software developers are bred cannot be any further from the truth because there are so many cheap, or maybe even free educational resources for software development. It is now up to YOU, a fortunate citizen of this era, where there are endless low-cost educational resources available simply at the discretion of your laptop, to take advantage of this great opportunity.

Your guide to becoming a DevOps engineer starts with these six online courses
URL shared by Win Straube

The above link is an amazing article by Mashable regarding DevOps and computer software development. You may be confused at this point about DevOps, so I found a short summary which explains the purpose of DevOps. If the text in the image below is too small, click here.
Source: What is DevOps?

The image/source above provides background information regarding DevOps. However, the Mashable article actually discusses the key principles of DevOps (recommended read after the "What is DevOps" reading). 

At the end of the Mashable article, it provides an essential low-cost educational tool. For around $13 or so, a newbie like you can purchase a, "Pay What You Want DevOps Bundle" to start training to become a DevOps developer. 

As a software development enthusiasts, YOU have all the resources at your discretion. Take control and start your training now!