All posts by Anthony Boccadoro

Virtual Keyboards in the Classroom

Keyboard hardware products can have a multitude of benefits in the classroom. The advantages they provide are highly beneficial when dealing with computers and typing long texts. To hone in on key advantages for keyboard uses, one must understand the different types of keyboards. All keyboards function the same way, yet have different qualities to them. For example; the traditional keyboard you’re probably using right now is a physical layout of a board with different keys on it. The other main type of keyboard is built into the device being used. These types reside in mobile products such as a notebook, iPad or phone. Another type of keyboard (branching off the traditional keyboard), is the bluetooth keyboard. There’s nothing specifically fancy about this other than the fact that it’s wireless.

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Virtual keyboards are probably the least popular in that most people don’t use them. This doesn’t mean, however, that they’re not useful like other keyboards. The main concept of the virtual keyboard is that it projects an array of lasers that sense movement and an abruption in the current. Picture, on any flat surface, a projected keyboard that fully functions like the hardware keyboard. The benefits it provides reside in its universal use and ease of access. The projection box that projects the lasers is actually quite small and stores quite easily in most spaces. Its universality in conjunction with main brand products is a highly beneficial advantage as most products tend to only work with specific computers and mobile devices. For example mac keyboards only work with mac computers. and pc products with personal computers.

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All in all the virtual keyboard is a very good investment. It lasts a very long time and doesn’t need cleaning like a traditional keyboard needs. You also don’t have to worry about broken keys like a hardware product because you’re simply tapping the surface you project the keyboard onto.

 

Some things to note are the price. Some of these products can have a hefty price tag that can dig deep into your wallet. Be wary of overpriced imitations. These products do the same exact things as any cheap virtual keyboard yet claim they have added benefits and features that either don’t work or aren’t useful to the average user of the product.

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Apple Maps

Overview

Apple maps is an innovative experience to locate areas, route trips and grasp a lay of the land. The application, which comes pre-installed on all mobile Apple products, allows the user to use a wide range of settings to perform specific tasks. The completely free product is highly useful and provides an atlas of information all in a small screen.

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How to Use it

Upon launching the app, it may appear very confusing and highly advance. Don’t worry! The maps feature is easily accessible to new users and those not familiar with technology.

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Along the top and bottom borders of the screen are the main settings. The top left shows a button that say “Directions,” which is probably the most useful aspect of the app. It allows the user to input a start and end point for a trip. In fact, the settings are so diverse that a trip can be mapped out by car, public transportation or even on foot. The start point can also be set to the user’s current location provided location services are enabled for the mobile device. When done, simply click “Route” and the map will show a few different routes that have varying traffic, distance and time variables. Tap on any one of these routes and click “Start” in the top right of the screen to enter into the step by step navigation. You can even leave the app running in the background while you access other apps on your device and the computer generated voice will inform you when to turn and will keep you on course.

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The bottom task bar has a few useful settings regarding how the map appears to the user. The arrow icon toward the bottom left shows the user their current location when tapped. The 3D feature tilts the screen to give the illusion that the map is three dimensional. The box with an arrow coming out of it allows the user to send information from the Maps app the social media, the device itself and any third party devices such as a printer. Finally, the “i” with  a circle around it provides some more useful map displays. “Standard” is the standard flat, routing map more useful for locating specific locations. The “Hybrid” setting shows a more developed layout of the land as to trees, dirt and grass as well as geographical locations. This setting allows the user to grasp a more realistic lay of the land. The third and final setting, “Satellite,” shows the world view of the Earth. This setting shows specific time zones of the world allowing the user to grasp a concept of time changes if travel is at a great distance.

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Jing

What is Jing?

Jing is a program that allows the user to capture a screen recording from any computer they are using. The product is free and very easy to use… if you don’t have anything better. If you are simply trying to record your screen, but never access the file, this product will work great for you. All of the save files for video screencasts in Jing are in .swf format which is a flash save file. This save cannot be converted to any other format that next to all applications use. If you wish to upload to youtube, .swf is not supported. If you wish to edit your video in an editing program (premiere pro) I bid you good luck as the file will show but the video will not. So basically, this product is organized very constructively and is presented with the highest degree of professionalism but functions poorly for the average joe.

http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

How it can be useful

Screen recordings are very useful when making tutorials or simply keeping private files for personal use. This product actually functions very well when performing the actual task of screen recording. It allows the user to select any different size to record on the screen. The down side; there is a cap at five minutes and cuts off your recording with little to no warning.

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Overview

This product is presented very well and the download is very quick and it is easy to install. Beginners can use it with little to no problems until they actually want to access the file. Jing is free and very easy to use so there is no harm in trying it except the file is very hard to access once complete. Jing appears to only allow uploads to their personal site so as to credit themselves with some of the work. Therefore, keep in mind the cons of the five minute cap and the limited accessibility when completing a project as you may find yourself at a dead end.

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Google Drive Tutorial

Google drive is a very useful and well rounded tool for those that like to stay organized and work efficiently. The application allows the user to acces documents universally over many different systems. If someone saves a documents (or any other data) from one location and uploads it to drive, that user can access it from any other location by simply logging into their google account and accessing the drive. This ease of access acts as a shortcut to flash drives and save discs as the user no longer has to carry a physical copy of their data with them. All in all this product is very useful, contains a lot of storage, is very reliable and is totally free!

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Remote Connection to Other Computers

Computers are a very useful piece of technology in every day life. They have become quite a dependency as well. Therefore, when complications become involved and errors start to arouse, people are going to need help.

A great feature to computers is their ability to link to one another. The interconnectivity in today’s world is incredibly useful to spread information across a wide margin very efficiently and in a timely manor.  Linking computers has actually advanced to the point where a user on a different computer system all together can remotely connect to and control another system.

The first thing to consider is the type of operating system you use. Most people use Mac and Windows and this informational tutorial will focus on these two. Now, what type of connection are you seeking?  Mac to Mac, Windows to Mac, Mac to Windows or Windows to Windows? All of these connections are possible and not difficult to do. Continue reading

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iOS 7 – “The next gen” for Apple products.

As of September 18th, 2013, Apple Inc. has released their next version of iOS software for all of their mobile Apple devices (iPod, iPhone and iPad). The immensely popular brand has warranted a high demand for innovative, new and refreshing experiences every time their products are used which is multiple times every day. After analyzing Apple’s dilemma and reviewing their work in the recent iOS 7 update, let us see if this software will make or brake the populous’ demand for the esteemed iPhone.

New Look

The first experience one has upon updating is the new look. For every previous iOS version, the look has not changed and has bored myself and, I am confident to say, most consumers. This has been an obvious necessity and has revitalized the way people see their phones. A cool addition to the new look is also an optical effect regarding a three dimensional atmosphere between the background homepage and the app icons. But looks do not last long. After long, people will renew their boredom and search for something that will ease the dull, repetitious cycle of using the same features of their device daily.

iOS 7 New Look

Siri Continue reading

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Troubleshooting Shockwave Player

I encountered a problem the other day while trying to access shockwave player to view an application on Google Chrome. The site would not let me access the information I needed and the error message it provided me with suggested I download Adobe Reader X and provided a link to do so. After downloading the program and accessing the information I required from the website anew, I encountered the same error message. Continue reading

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Google Chrome Calendar Instructions

The Google Chrome calendar is a very useful application that Google offers to its members. Anything and everything from meetings to due dates can be neatly organized in a simple fashion pertaining to days, hours, weeks or months. To all the inexperienced tech users who are not the best with computers, we are here today to instruct you on how to create your very own calendar!

You can begin by clicking on the calendar button in the top black tab of the google.com search engine. Continue reading

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