Thursday, October 25, 2018

EBSCO databases, and schools that use them, under attack.

I must have had my head in a hole being this is the first I heard about this.  In February of 2017, challenges were brought to the Cherry Creek (Colorado) School concerning their use of EBSCO's databases. The challengers claim that EBSCO's databases contain pornography as well as other inappropriate material for young adults and that the school and their librarians were pushing it on students.  A number of organizations have jumped on the bandwagon and have forced schools to abandoned EBSCO's databases. My favorite statement from the following article is: "If middle or high school students are looking for sex on the internet, they do not start with library databases." 

For more about this, read James LaRue's article, "Education is not pornography". Mr LaRue is the Director of the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Does everything you print from your Mac comes out double sided? Time to have a few CUPS of Earl Grey.

Image result for earl grey

So excuse the pun. You have done everything:  page settings, gone into the printer/copier settings and changes everything to single sided...yet everything still prints DOUBLE SIDED??  WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?

I wish I knew what was up with that but I believe I can fix it.  You have change the default via CUPS, which is the core printing system of OS X.

  • Open up your browser and go to http://localhost:631 . 
  • By default, access to the CUPS page is blocked. To enable it, open Terminal and type "sudo cupsctl WebInterface=yes" (without the quotation marks). Enter the admin password (the password you use to login to your Mac--if you are setup up as the Admin for the Mac, you'll find out if you are if it does not work) when prompted and then refresh the browser. 
  • With the CUPS web page open, select the Printers tab and then select the printer you want to modify. Then from the Administration drop menu, change to "Set Default Options". See the example below.
User uploaded file

  • This will show a new page with four menu headings (links); Options Installed, General, Banners and Policies. Select General.

  • Scroll down the list until you see the Print Style menu. Change it from 2 Sided to 1 Sided and then scroll down the page until you see the Set Default Options button.

User uploaded file
  • Click on this button to save the change. You will then be prompted to log back into CUPS, using the Admin (user name) and same password you used above.
  • Go to some document and web page and see if it will print single sided.

That All May Read; a National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. A Program from the Library of Congress.

Who says nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m.?  While I was watching the replay of the Patriots v. Colts game on the NFL network at 5 a.m. in the morning, I saw this PSA (public service announcement) about a program called That All May Read.  Please excuse the quality of the video I took it on my phone and it WAS 5 a.m. in the morning. :-)

National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS offers books the way you want them: in braille or audio, mailed to your door for free or instantly downloadable.

NLS works to ensure that all may read by providing eligible patrons access to reading material regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise. Share the gift of reading, and spread the word about NLS so that all may read.

Friday, September 21, 2018

How The Heck is the 600 MHz Wireless Auction is Going to Impact Me?

Early September 2018,  I ordered a Shure wireless mic from B&H Photo Video for my school, late September 2018 I received an email from them stating that my product may be eligible for (up to ) $500 rebate!!  My mind spun with the thoughts of what I could do with ALL that extra cash.  So I used their link to see how much scarole I was eligible for, sadly to say it was only $50 but it was not for the new wireless system I bought but a trade-in offer for any older wireless systems I had. 

It seems that the FCC has auctioned part of the 600mhz spectrum to telecom companies and if your wireless system falls in that range...basically it becomes illegal to use and becomes a dinosaur on July 13, 2020. Starting October 13, 2018, the manufacturing, sale, lease or shipment of wireless microphones or similar devices that operate in the 600 MHz service band frequencies (617-652 MHz and 663-698 MHz) will be prohibited in the U.S. 

After I read this I almost passed out, all my schools mics in the Auditorium are Shure Wireless Systems. I ran down to the Aud and to my relief, found that they all operate in the 500MHz band...PHEW!  I only have one mic and receiver that operates in the 600Mhz range that will go bye-bye.  So you can do two things: 1) keep using the mics until the drop dead date and retire them to the antiquated AV equipment Hall of Fame Display or 2) use the this link (B&H's trade in offer), find how much your rebate is, send it back to the manufacture and use the money to purchase a new system.

To read more about this check out this article written by Daron James and how it will impact filmmaking.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Economist explains why 5G may be both faster and slower than the previous wireless generation

The promise of 5G may not be met until the launch of 6G.  Basically The Economist state the the coast to build 5G networks will cost a lot of money and consumers are not willing to pay for it...yet.  Read the article here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The SAMR Model, provided by Orange High School, Orange, NJ (USA)

Introduction to the SAMR Model

Dr. Ruben Puentedura developed the SAMR model as a way for teachers to evaluate how they are incorporating technology into their instructional practice. You can use SAMR to reflect upon how you are integrating technology into your classroom.
Is it an act of Substitution? Augmentation? Modification? Or Redefinition? 


The Padagogy Wheel, using 21st Century tools, version 4.1

The Padagogy Wheel 
Developed by
Allan Carrington
University of Adelaide

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
This Taxonomy wheel (pdf.file) was first discovered on the
website of Paul Hopkin’s educational consultancy website That wheel was produced by Sharon Artley and was an adaption of Kathwohl and Anderson’s (2001)
adaption of Bloom (1956). The idea to further adapt it for the pedagogy
possibilities with mobile devices, in particular the iPad, I have to acknowledge
the creative work of Kathy Schrock on her website Bloomin’ Apps

Friday, November 3, 2017

How to use Voice Over on the iPad to read books off's Web Reader.

So I guess I am a little slow on the draw.  We create accounts on for our students who need help with reading materials.  On March 2, 2017 I posted an article that told how to use's web reader.  At that time it seemed as though you could only use the fully functioning web reader using a browser on a computer, but not on an iPad.  On the computer, the web reader gave you a "play" option, on the iPad this function was not available because the browsers would not support it.  

With this in mind, we would purchase and download the Voice Dream Reader App ($15) from the App store...then we became an 1:1 school and we started having more students that needed the materials read to them on the iPad. I am sure we could purchase a license for Voice Dream Reader and push it out through our JAMF iPad management software but we do not have an exact number of students that need it and that number seems to increase every couple of weeks.  

Finally I decided to sit down and investigate if there was any way to use the iPad without downloading the Voice Dream App.  Here's is what I discovered.

I found that you have to use the Safari will not work with Google Chrome...I guess Apple and Google do not play nice/

Let me just warn you that there are 2 ways to do this and here is my take...

  • I would login to, find and open the book and THEN turn VoiceOver on the iPad. 
  • If you turn VoiceOver first and THEN login to, just remember that you have to click once to select something (be it a link or even to type a letter) THEN double click it to enter. FYI-I did it this way first and it worked but my patience was severely tested.

  1. Go to look to the top right and click “Login”.  Use the same username and passwords as they do in class.
  2. Look in the middle of the screen under your name and click on #1 – view your assigned books (reading list)
  3. Click on on your teacher's reading list (i.e. - Ms. Schaefer’s reading list)
  4. Find book in that list…go all the way to the right of the book you want and click READ NOW
Commands to move forward and back pages are at the top of the screen (a left triangle to move back  page, a right triangle 

Now set up Voice Over on the iPad.
  1. Go into settings
  2. General
    1. Accessibility
    2. Voice Over
    3. You may want to click on VoiceOver Practice first because once you turn VoiceOver on, the commands for the iPad change.
      1. You tap once to select and item
      2. Double-tap to activate the selected item
      3. Swipe three fingers to scroll. (it is a little confusing at first but you'll get the hang of it.)
    4. Turn VoiceOver by moving the toggle button to the will turn green. 
    5. Press the Home button once...the big button on the front of the iPad
    6. Click the Safari icon once to select it a black box should now surround the icon.
    7. Click the Safari icon twice to open it and get back to
    8. Use the triangles to find the page you want, REMEMBER you have to click once to select and TWICE to move a page.  The icon to the left of the triangles (looks like a box with 3 lines with buttons at the end of them) allows you to open a Table of Contents. 
    9. Click once to choose the selection you want to be read to you...a black box will surround the text and the iPad should start reading it.