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9 Of The Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives To Microsoft Office | makeuseof

9 Of The Best Free & Low-Cost Alternatives To Microsoft Office | makeuseof | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

By Aaron Couch

 

"Microsoft Office has dominated the market of text documents, spreadsheets and slide shows for years, and for good reason – it’s one of the very best. However, there’s one drawback and that is the price. Sure, it’s a relatively good investment, but for one reason or another you choose to not pay for it. What do you do?

 

"Thankfully, there are other options – and good ones. These range from web-based apps and local software to free and paid. Although some do cost, all have free options and the price you pay for the paid software is a fraction of what you would pay for Microsoft Office. Through this article I will touch upon any unique features such as mobile capability, cost, user interface and compatibility with Microsoft Office files."

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Donna Browne's curator insight, February 5, 2013 9:28 AM

I have been using Open Office for many years with good results.  Also try

the Ipad app OnLive Desktop which provides access to Office programs free of charge.  It is available free at the App Store. 

Into the Driver's Seat
Building the independence of learners through thoughtful uses of technology
Curated by Jim Lerman
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10 Essential Chromebook Apps for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning

10 Essential Chromebook Apps for Teachers ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

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How Does Google's Cardboard Hold Up? ^ GeekMom ^ by Lisa Tate

How Does Google's Cardboard Hold Up? ^ GeekMom ^ by Lisa Tate | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
When we received our I Am Cardboard viewing kit, putting it together took less than ten minutes, even though it included just the bare minimum of instructions. We also had to learn how to properly use the device, which takes advantage of magnets on the side to help activate or control the features and interactive environments. The process is similar to clicking the little lever on the side of a View-Master, but not quite as easy. It takes a couple of tries sometimes to make it work.

By the end of the day, our entire family had gotten a chance to explore the surface of Mars, walk across London’s Tower Bridge (including the upper level walkway), swim in Great Barrier Reef, stroll through natural history, fine art, and air and space museums, do a barrel roll with pilots, and drive around the Top Gear test track with The Stig. Imagine how this type of experience could help excite students in a classroom situation.
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Google Updates - Training Center, Classroom, and more ^ Emerging Ed Technologies ^ by Amber Klebanoff

Google Updates - Training Center, Classroom, and more ^ Emerging Ed Technologies ^ by Amber Klebanoff | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Over the past week there have been a great number of updates to Google’s Educational playground, including Google’s Training Center and multiple aspects to Google Classroom.


Jim Lerman's insight

This is pretty important news for educators who are engaged significantly with Google's apps, well worth a read through.

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StorySmith Fantasy Story Maker ^ iPad Apps

StorySmith Fantasy Story Maker ^ iPad Apps | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
www.familymobileapps.comCreate your own fairy tale or fantasy adventure with beautiful HD illustrations and amazing multi-touch tools. Combine together any combination of castles, princesses, queens, knights, dragons, wizards, and other characters and props to create your own unique piece of art. Then, become the author as bring your story to life by adding text.

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Review of the new Google Education Certifications ^ AppsEvents blog ^ by Dan Taylor

Review of the new Google Education Certifications ^ AppsEvents blog ^ by Dan Taylor | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
With the announcement of the new Google Eduction Certifications last Friday we thought we would post a quick summary of the new certifications and how they differs from the old ones. Firstly here are the two important links to get you started:

Education Training Center
Certification FAQ page

The pdf below gives a summary of the relationship between the old and new and you can access the graphic directly here. In addition here are some additional clarification notes from us:
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Microsoft is launching a site to help teachers master 'Minecraft' ^ engadget ^ by Nick Summers

Microsoft is launching a site to help teachers master 'Minecraft' ^ engadget ^ by Nick Summers | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"Minecraft has proven to be an invaluable tool for educators and students. Not only is the game popular with children and adults, but its open, customisable nature means it can be used for all sorts of different purposes. Like learning to code, understanding Britain's geography and reimagining modern art. Microsoft clearly knows this, so it's launching anew portal where teachers can discuss the game and share classroom resources. The full site isn't live just yet, but the trailer below gives you an idea of what Microsoft and Mojang are aiming for. After this and its Hololens demonstration, it's clear the company sees its $2.5 billion acquisition as more than just a game with a guaranteed smash-hit sequel."

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Adafruit Industries - YouTube

Adafruit Industries - YouTube | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Homepage for Adafruit's very extensive video library. You could spend a LOT of time here learning about electronics and projects using Arduinos and much, much more.


"Adafruit was founded in 2005 by MIT engineer, Limor "Ladyada" Fried. Her goal was to create the best place online for learning electronics and making the best designed products for makers of all ages and skill levels. Adafruit has grown to over 50 employees in the heart of NYC with a 15,000+ sq ft. factory. Adafruit has expanded offerings to include tools, equipment and electronics that Limor personally selects, tests and approves before going in to the Adafruit store. Limor was the first female engineer on the cover of WIRED magazine and was recently awarded Entrepreneur magazine's Entrepreneur of the year. Ladyada is on the NYC Industrial Business Advisory Council. In 2014 Adafruit was ranked #11 in the top 20 USA manufacturing companies and #1 in New York City by Inc. 5000 "fastest growing private companies".


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Your Students can be “Makers”: 16 Projects Invented by Teachers ^ Getting Smart ^ by Lindsey Own

Your Students can be “Makers”: 16 Projects Invented by Teachers ^ Getting Smart ^ by Lindsey Own | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"In June 2014, I attended the second Design Do Discover conference at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, CA. This June, the third DDD was held at Marymount School in New York City. Both times, the amazing Angi Chau from Castilleja andJaymes Dec from Marymount were the fantastic organizers, and both times I was honored to have been asked to participate as a coach to support teams of participant teachers.


"The first year was a wonderful learning experience for everyone – coaches and participants alike. But this year blew it out of the water. Hit it out of the park. Nailed it on the head.


"The premise is simple: start with a quick tour of the facility and very brief show-and-tell of the tools (less than 30 minutes!), follow with a group brainstorming session around project ideas (less than 30 minutes!), then form groups to jump into projects. Even before lunch on the first day, groups were already sketching and tinkering with Hummingbird Robotics kits, MaKeyMaKeys, cardboard and MakeDo’s, and more. For two days, I jumped in to help groups, learned new tools myself (LittleBits!), fetched tools and supplies as needed (copper tape! wire strippers!), recommended resources and suppliers (Sparkfun! DigiKey!), and acted as cheerleader for teachers pushing themselves to learn incredible new skills and create amazing artifacts of their learning.


"The final projects blew ALL of us coaches away! The absolute best part, from my perspective, is that every single project was immediately applicable back in the participant’s classroom. Most of them are generally applicable in any learning environment! Serious high school science content, literature and history, elementary grades, even social/emotional learning… This was absolutely the most excellent collection of practical and academically-oriented maker projects I’ve seen!"

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Use Text Expanders for Repetitive Phrases in Your Typing ^ Voniz ^ by Maina Sharma

Use Text Expanders for Repetitive Phrases in Your Typing ^ Voniz ^ by Maina Sharma | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
If you find yourself typing certain phrases again and again, you could use Text Expander Programs. These allow you to assign predefined keystrokes to complete words and phrases.  For example, in one of my lecture notes I often use the phrase ‘ Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress’. So instead of writing and rewriting the whole phrase again and again, I programmed a text expander so that whenever I type ‘iied’ , the output would be ‘intentional infliction of emotional distress’. Isn’t it wonderful?

Here are some text expander programs for the various operating systems out there

PhraseExpress (Windows 7)

Texter (All other versions of Windows)

TextExpander (Mac)

AutoKey (Linux)

AutoHotKey (Windows/Mac/Linux)
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EdTech App Spotlight - PingPong ^ by Boone Kincaid *Free 'clicker' app for iOS & Android*

EdTech App Spotlight - PingPong ^ by Boone Kincaid *Free 'clicker' app for iOS & Android* | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Ping Pong– a smart communication tool that increases interaction between teachers and students in the classroom. The platform turns any mobile device into a next-generation “clicker,” or classroom response system, which enables teachers to ask students questions about the lesson and immediately collect their responses. Ping Pong translates the responses into visual graph form, so students can grade themselves and teachers can instantly monitor their comprehension. Ping Pong is free, works on existing iOS and Android devices, and requires no extra installation.
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Adjusting to Apple‘s New Photo Software ^ NY Times ^ by J.D. Biersdorfer

Adjusting to Apple‘s New Photo Software ^ NY Times ^ by J.D. Biersdorfer | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Navigating the new image editing program on the Mac, and how to quiet a talkative Windows computer.
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16-Year-Old Creates a Working Laser Engraver From 2 DVD Drives & 3D Printed Parts for $30 ^ 3DPrint.com ^ by Eddie Krassenstein

16-Year-Old Creates a Working Laser Engraver From 2 DVD Drives & 3D Printed Parts for $30 ^ 3DPrint.com ^ by Eddie Krassenstein | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

BY EDDIE KRASSENSTEIN 


“I had an unused DVD drive laying around,” Wunderlich tells 3DPrint.com. “One day I was bored, so I started taking it apart and found a wonderful little linear unit. I decided to continue taking apart the DVD drive and found two laser diodes. One laser diode was infrared, and one was red. I tested them by connecting them to 2 AA batteries and found the red laser [worked quite well]. I am always looking for new projects, so I started to think what I could build out of these parts”

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10 Digital Tools for Teaching You Can Learn This Summer

10 Digital Tools for Teaching You Can Learn This Summer | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
You've reached the time of year that EVERY teacher dreams of from the first day of school: summer break. Now, as you pack your bags and head for that

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa)
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16 Little-Known Teacher Tools

16 Little-Known Teacher Tools | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , OFFICIAL ANDREASCY
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Olga Boldina's curator insight, July 3, 7:28 AM

добавить ваше понимание ...

Robert Proctor's curator insight, July 3, 11:00 AM

Do you use any of theses resources?  Check them out.

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The 'Lego Education Mindstorms EV3 Programming' App is Now Available! ^ GeekMom ^ by Maryann Goldman

The 'Lego Education Mindstorms EV3 Programming' App is Now Available! ^ GeekMom ^ by Maryann Goldman | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Today, I was excited to discover that the Lego Education Mindstorms EV3 Programming app is now available from the App Store for iPads with iOS 8.0 or later.

Previously, if you wanted to program the EV3 robot, you had to use a PC or Mac. That can be somewhat limiting, if you are running a class and don’t have enough PCs or Macs to go around or if your child is already used to programming with other iPad apps and enjoys the ease and flexibility of that environment. These days, it is somewhat expected that there’s an app for everything, so I’m pleased to report that the EV3 software environment has come of age.
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How to Make a Robotic Drum Using Arduino ^ Make: ^ by Quentin and Hillary Thomas-Oliver

How to Make a Robotic Drum Using Arduino ^ Make: ^ by Quentin and Hillary Thomas-Oliver | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Everyone has a Maker in them. We make for fun and exploration, we make to test ideas, and we make to solve real-world problems. Ponytrap wasn’t intended to be a Maker band — we just seemed to have a difficult time finding a drummer that wanted to play the classically-inspired tribal rhythm industrial music that we wanted to do. In retrospect, maybe that’s not a surprise, but at one point a couple of years ago, Quentin found himself stuck in the middle of a seemingly endless free-form jazz odyssey, and the idea to build his own drummer just kind of materialized. After several evolutions, dozens of burned out motors, and a lot of trial and error, Ponytrap has a solid drumline made entirely of robots.
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Preserve Data in a Mason Jar Using Raspberry Pi ^ Make: ^ by Matt Reed

Preserve Data in a Mason Jar Using Raspberry Pi ^ Make: ^ by Matt Reed | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"Living in the South I’ve had a lifelong fascination with Mason jars. They’re used to preserve everything and have a uniquely nostalgic aesthetic.


"Once I realized a Raspberry Pi would fit perfectly inside one, I decided the obvious use for it was preserving digital content. Having run BitTorrent Sync on a Raspberry Pi before, I knew it would be a stable platform to provide a synced backup of media from my MacBook and phone, and my wife’s MacBook and phone. In essence, we’d have a Mason jar that preserves our most cherished family memories: a Raspberry Preserve."

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35 More Ways to Use Google Classroom ^ Teacher Tech ^ by Alice Keeler

35 More Ways to Use Google Classroom ^ Teacher Tech ^ by Alice Keeler | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Back when I had only had a list of 35 ways to use Google Classroom I submitted a poster session proposal to ISTE. Since then the list has grown and you can now purchase “50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom” on Amazon. For my poster session I have come up with an additional 35 ways you can use Google Classroom. (I guess that brings me up to 85). Here is a YouTube playlist with a short description of those 35 additional ways to use Google Classroom.
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Russell R. Roberts, Jr.'s curator insight, July 3, 7:44 PM

As a substitute teacher at a Hawaii Island Charter School that uses the "Google Classroom," I find Alice Keeler's suggestions and ideas most helpful.  With Google Classroom, I find more time working with individual students than I did before.  My role has changed from lecturer to learning facilitator.  Alice has some excellent ideas.  Aloha, Russ.

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Screencastify (Screen Video Recorder)

Screencastify (Screen Video Recorder) | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
"Screencastify is a simple video screen capture software (aka. screencast recorder) for Chrome. It is able to record all screen activity inside a tab, including audio. Just press record and the content of your tab is recorded. So you can easily create a screencast for video tutorials, record presentations etc. It also supports desktop capturing, allowing you to record anything on your screen (not just tabs)."
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Tweaking a Socratic Seminar Strategy for the Middle Grades ^ MiddleWeb ^ by Sarah Tantillo

Tweaking a Socratic Seminar Strategy for the Middle Grades ^ MiddleWeb ^ by Sarah Tantillo | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Sarah Tantillo's popular MiddleWeb post, Socratic Seminars in the Middle, gets a tweak that improves student participation, based on an MS teacher's suggestion.
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The Makings of a Makerspace: Three Examples ^ Getting Smart ^ by Lindsey Own

The Makings of a Makerspace: Three Examples ^ Getting Smart ^ by Lindsey Own | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it

"Tools, organization, student projects of the makerspaces at Marymount in NYC, Ann Richards STARS in Austin, and Edmonds CC in Seattle."

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kathyvsr's curator insight, June 26, 10:26 AM

'shelves arranged by “Invent Something” or “Prototype Something.”'

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Socrative Teacher - review ^ edshelf

Socrative Teacher - review ^ edshelf | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Engage, assess and personalize your class with Socrative!  Educators can initiate formative assessments through quizzes, quick question polls, exit tickets and space races all with their Socrative Teacher app. Socrative will instantly grade, aggregate and provide visuals of results to help you identify opportunities for further instruction. Save time and visualize student understanding when it matters, now!
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5 Tips for Active Learning Space Design - YouTube ^ by Chris Kobza

Chris Kobza is managing director for learning spaces at the University of Oklahoma.
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MONICA LOPEZ SIEBEN's curator insight, June 24, 2:25 AM

Cómo el espacio puede fomentar el aprendizaje. Flexibilidad para aprender mejor.

Daniel Christian's curator insight, June 24, 8:58 AM

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Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last

Neil Gaiman on How Stories Last | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
“Stories … are genuinely symbiotic organisms that we live with, that allow human beings to advance.”
Stories have shapes, as Vonnegut believed, and they in turn give shape to our lives.

Via Susan Grigsby @sksgrigsby, Jim Lerman
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Tina Jameson's curator insight, June 16, 9:50 PM

'Must read' article on the underestimated power of story to transcend and transform lives. (Includes 'soundcloud' of Neil Gaiman's lecture, with  transcript highlights).

Anita Vance's curator insight, June 19, 8:41 AM

Brilliant!

Luciano Lampi's curator insight, June 24, 11:20 AM

Good article. It is possible to have management actions delivered to last?

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MakerBot Launches Hands-On Learning Guide For 3D Printing In The Classroom ^ Te@chThought

MakerBot Launches Hands-On Learning Guide For 3D Printing In The Classroom ^ Te@chThought | Into the Driver's Seat | Scoop.it
Thousands of educators throughout the U.S. are embracing 3D printing as a new way to teach 21st century skills and prepare students for the jobs of the future[1]. Taking the first steps to introduce students to 3D printing, however, can be challenging. MakerBot, a global leader in the desktop 3D printing industry, conducted in-depth research this spring to better understand how to help educators incorporate 3D printing in classrooms[2]. The research shows that acquiring 3D design skills is a major hurdle for educators and there is no single resource to address this need.

To fill that gap, MakerBot today published a handbook designed to provide educators with a wide variety of ideas, activities and projects to get started with 3D printing. Titled MakerBot in the Classroom: An Introduction to 3D Printing and Design, the handbook includes an introduction to 3D printing and a range of hands-on 3D design lesson plans. MakerBot in the Classroom is available as a free digital download for registered MakerBot customers and a sample project chapter is available free to anyone who registers on MakerBot.com. Additionally, MakerBot launched a new MakerBot Education Resource Center with further ideas and resources to support the integration of 3D printing in the classroom, such as real-world MakerBot stories, videos, challenges for teachers and students, and more.
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