Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mobile App: PhotoMath

XDA-Developers has posted a thoughtful review of a new mobile app named "PhotoMath". While there are plenty of calculator apps out there (and even MyScript Calculator, which lets you hand write in simple problems), PhotoMath takes a different approach. This app uses the camera on your smartphone to analyze equations. This turns the camera on your smartphone into a tool you can use to analyze where you made a mistake. It does not simply show the answer, but also the steps along the way to solving the equation. When encouraged to use this app in the proper way, it could be a nice study tool for low level Math classes. I suggest you give this review a look:

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Free Infographic Archives

The use of infographics can be a great way to condense a lot of meaningful information into a visually appealing, organized layout that piques learner interest. There are a number of free websites available to assist those without the artistic skills necessary to create infographics. But what if you are severely pressed for time, are not armed with a bevy of meticulously researched facts and figures, and lack the design knowledge needed to combine all the elements to form an attractive, logically-ordered infographic?

Although you will want to double-check any statistics contained within, there are a number of places to download pre-made infographics free of charge including:

Friday, December 12, 2014

Personal Productivity: Pin a Website to the Windows Taskbar or Start Screen

Welcome to a new series of posts! The goal of this series is to share tips and tricks productivity. This series is also a way to explore useful features on computers and devices.

First up: Pinning a website to your Windows Taskbar or Start Screen (depending on which version of Windows you have). For those sites that you use every single day, this allows you to boot your computer, and open the site with one click. No more in-between step of opening your browser first!

Pinning a Website to the Taskbar

 This tip should work for people running IE 9 or newer on Windows 7 or newer.

Simple click & drag from the web address icon to the Taskbar, and presto!
Drag a website address shortcut from the address bar in Internet Explorer to your Windows Taskbar, to make a "pinned" button on the Taskbar.

This will give you a button on the Taskbar, which can be used to directly open the site. Note that you can always remove this button later, by right-clicking it, and clicking "unpin this program from Taskbar".

Pinning a Website "Live Tile" to the Windows 8.1 Start Screen
This tip requires Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11. You must also have Internet Explorer set as your default web browser. You can pin a website to the Start Screen from either the "Modern" or the "Desktop" versions of IE.

Pinning from the "Modern" IE

Open the start screen/touch/modern/metro/tablet version of Internet Explorer (not the desktop version). Note that if you cannot find the modern/touch version of IE, it may be because you have another browser set as your default.
Modern IE icon versus Destop IE icon
 Go to the site you want to pin to the Start Screen, in Modern IE. Click the star-shaped "Favorites" icon, and then click "Pin to Start":
1. Click Favorites.  2. Click the  thumbtack. 3. Click "Pin  to Start".
 This will give you a tile shortcut that will always open in the "Modern/Touch" version of IE.

Start Screen pinned tile

 Pinning from "Desktop IE"

 In the "Desktop" version of IE, open the website you wish to pin, and click the gear icon in the top right corner.

Click the gear/settings icon, then click "Add site to Apps".

Click the "Add" button.
Click the "Add" button.

Go to your Start Screen, and look for the downward arrow icon in the left bottom corner. Click this icon to see all apps installed on your computer.
1 new app installed

Find the new desktop shortcut, right-click it, and click "Pin to Start".

Right click on the new app, then click "Pin to Start".

A shortcut to the website which will open in desktop IE will now be pinned to your Start Screen.
Desktop and Modern shortcuts on the start screen.