10 Top Gifts for Teachers: Edtech Edition

Picture of gifts wrapped in brown paper. text reads, top gifts for techy teachers.

Let’s be honest, no teachers needs another “Best Teacher” mug. Chances are, they already have a cupboard full of those at home. It’s not that they won’t appreciate the thought, it’s just that there are only so many mugs one person can use! So, if you are looking for something a little more unique, why not consider one of the ten techy gifts for teachers below. They’re a great way to say thank you to the educators in your life. Everything on this list can be had for $30 or less, and if you decide to buy something for yourself as well, I won’t tell!

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How to Get Apple TV+ for Free!

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no such thing as a free lunch. Well, you’re right. Apple TV+ is not completely free in the strictest sense of the word, but if you purchased some Apple products or services recently, you may be able to get it at no additional cost. Why? Apple is releasing its TV streaming service at a very competitive time. Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Hulu, HBO, and others are already well established in a crowded marketplace, so Apple decided that a good way to get to win eyeballs, (and future subscribers), is to give the service away for free. Here’s how that works.

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Making Reading Accessible With the Immersive Reader

Man sitting cross legged reading a book. Text reads, the power of the immersive reader.

In August 2015, Microsoft held an internal hackathon where employees competed with other Microsoft staff from around the world to solve a problem with technology. Many of these pet projects never saw the light of day again, but the winning entry quickly grew to become an indispensable tool for a huge number of students and their teachers. It launched in January 2016 under the guise of Learning Tools for OneNote, but today you may know it better as the Immersive Reader.

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Two-Factor Authentication: More Than Just a Text Message

Living with two-step verification by Jonathan Wylie

For years, IT professionals have been telling us to create strong, unique passwords in order to help us stay safe online. Not everyone knows what a strong, unique password is, but if you sign up for a new web based service, the chances are high that they will force you to choose a password that has at least 8 characters, and includes a number, a capital letter and/or a punctuation character. However, in the world of data breaches that we now live, a strong, unique password is no longer enough. Enter two factor authentication.

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New Microsoft Devices Unveiled for 2019 & 2020

Image of a Surface Pen. Text reads, The New Surface lineup.

Last week, Microsoft held a Surface event that took the wraps off a whole slew of new and innovative devices that the company is hoping will capture the imagination of its customers. Some of these devices were iterative versions of what is already available from Microsoft, but others were completely new product categories.

I’ve really come to admire Microsoft’s innovation. They are not afraid to push the boat out and try new things. These products don’t always pan out the way they hope, (see Surface RT), but a willingness to innovate and expand the boundaries of what is already out there, is something you have to at least respect, even if you are not a Windows user. Here’s what’s new.

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How to Use the New Twitter Lists on iPhone & iPad

Notebooks and a pen on a table. Text reads, twitter lists, what’s new?

I used to use Twitter lists a lot. They were a great way of filtering out tweets and getting exactly the kind of information from the people you wanted to hear from. You can make lists of people with similar expertise, whether you follow them or not, and see all those tweets in a special timeline of their own. I had a list for the people on my team, a list for iPad Educators, a list for my favorite EdTech tweeters, a list for news sources I like, and more. Then I started using TweetDeck.

TweetDeck had columns for that kind of thing. I could add my existing Twitter lists to a column, I could also add hashtags, keep track of Twitter chats in real time, add temporary columns for conferences, and quickly switch between them, or see multiple strands at once. This meant lists became less useful to me, but that may be about to change.

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EP15: New iPhones

Did you buy a new iPhone this week? I’m still using my iPhone 8 Plus and although the new iPhone 11 is tempting, I know I don’t need one. So, in this week’s podcast episode I make a case for why the best iPhone is actually last year’s iPhone, or maybe even the one before that…



Unpacking iOS

Welcome to Episode 15 of Unpacking iOS. In this episode I talk about upgrading your iPhone, but maybe not in the way that you might think … so, let’s start unpacking!

This week, new iOS
devices are shipping to people all over the world. That’s because every
September, almost like clockwork, Apple announces the latest iterations of it’s
flagship device – the iPhone. It’s one of the best selling smartphones ever,
and it changed a lot about how we use our phones. The new iPhone 11 models
feature the fastest processors, the best cameras, and the most battery life of
any iPhone.

However, as interested as I am to hear all about new iPhones, I’ve never bought one. You see, I’ve owned lots of different iPhones, but none of them have been the latest model in the lineup. I have always opted to buy an older iPhone because, for me…

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The 2019 iPad: What’s New for Schools & Everyone Else?

At their annual September event, Apple announced a new seventh-generation iPad that replaces the sixth-generation iPad that was released in March 2018. New iPad models usually bring new features, but this one is mostly an exception to the rule. Although it does have some new additions, it’s certainly a more modest update than you may have expected. So, without further delay, here’s what’s new with the 2019 iPad.

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Why I Stopped Wearing An Apple Watch

After over two years of daily use, I recently decided to stop wearing my Apple Watch. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly, but so far, I have very few regrets. There is so much to like about the Apple Watch, and for a while it was easy to overlook its shortcomings. However, when I reached the reckoning, my mind was already made up. It was time for a change. Here’s why.

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