A Parent’s Guide to AirDrop

What’s AirDrop and Why Are Kids Using It? – by Caroline Knorr

AirDrop icon from Apple iOS

AirDrop is a feature built-in to most Apple devices that allows users to easily transfer files from one device to another. I use these service all the time to quickly and easily transfer photos I’ve taken on my iPhone to my Apple laptop or even larger video files from the schools’ tripod-mounted iPad. However, with any file sharing service there is the potential for misuse and abuse. Being aware of the positive and negative uses is part of what it means to be a good digital citizen.

Common Sense Media has put together a parent’s guide to using AirDrop and the things to look out for when it comes to its use by kids. As a Digital Citizenship teacher, I am a firm advocate of educating students on the positive ways to use technology instead of denying them access. However there are situations where this action may be warranted and the article includes directions on how to “turn off” AirDrop on a kid’s device. For me personally, I have set up AirDrop so that I can use it but that only users who are listed in my Contacts can see my device.

AirDrop options from iPhone

You can also find information about how AirDrop works from this Apple Support article.

HowTo – Upload a Video to YouTube (iOS)

This tutorial will show how to upload a video to your YouTube Channel from an Apple iOS device. The tutorial will cover the steps to upload a video project from the iMovie app. We will also show how to upload a video directly from the Camera Roll to your YouTube Channel using the YouTube app itself.


Google/Apple Dashboards

With more and more of the work we do migrating to cloud-based services, it can sometimes be difficult to troubleshoot when those services start misbehaving. For example, last week Apple users experienced issues accessing iCloud, App Store, and iTunes Store services (click here to read more). Whatever it is, when technology fails it triggers a flood of questions as we try to work the problem:

  • Is it my device?
  • Is it my Internet connection?
  • Is it the app?
  • Is it the service?
  • Is it the Internet itself?
  • Who is the techno-gremlin causing my issue?

In a world where knowledge is power both Google and Apple have created a resource that allows users to check the status of their cloud-based services. While these ‘dashboards’ do not provide solutions when problems arise, they at least provide some comfort with the knowledge that you are not alone on the island of failed technologies.

Google Apps Status Dashboard

Google’s dashboard lists the status of 20 different apps, including whether each app is experiencing ‘No Issues,’ a ‘Service disruption,’ or a ‘Service outage.’

Google Apps Dashboard screenshot


Apple Services Dashboard

Apple Services, Stores, and iCloud dashboard lists the status of 45 different apps, from iTunes Store to Siri to iOS Device Activation. Scroll down to bottom of the page to view a detailed timeline of any outages, as well as a link to contact Apple Support if your issue isn’t being reported.

Apple Dashboard screenshot

HowTo – iOS Apps Mangement

In my school, each elementary grade level has access to a cart of 30-35 student iPads. While each teacher could sign out the entire contents of the cart, most have chosen to have their own set of 5 iPads to use as a center in their classroom. In this configuration, they would like to be able to configure their set of 5 with the apps that were downloaded/purchased from the cart according to their own style.

This tutorial shows how to access the purchase history of the Apple ID associated with an iPad so that the teacher can pick and choose which apps they would like on their set of student iPads. Teachers can then organize/group the apps as they see fit. One example is to put certain apps into numeric groups. Then, when students are given the option to use the iPads, the teacher can specify which group of apps they may choose from (i.e. “When you go to the iPad center, you can choose any app from Group 3.”).

If you have another way/idea to organize apps on student iPads then please share in the comments below.

HowTo – Backup Stickies

This tutorial will show how to backup the information in the Stickies app. on your Apple desktop or laptop. The process is basically the same for any Apple computer, except that the ease with which one locates the Stickies Database file is dependent on what Operating System (OS) your computer is running. We will cover both possible scenarios in this tutorial.

 

Apple Tip: Slider Cell

Apple Tip: Slider Cell

As part of the State of Maine’s 1-to-1 laptop initiative (MLTI), the Project Office has enlisted a team of integrators to provide training and tips to teachers and students across the state to help them be more efficient users of their Apple laptops. Called MLTI Minute, these training podcasts cover topics across different applications, utilities, and web tools.

In a recent episode, MLTI Minute highlighted an interesting tool when working with a data table found within the application Numbers. Called Slider Cells, this tool essentially allows you to take a plain old data table and turn it into an interactive tool. In the podcast, they use the example of a data table made to calculate the interest payment on a principal loan. The podcast shows you how to activate the slider cell tool and configure it based on the type of data you are working with.

Curiosity got the better of me at this point, and I wanted to see if this new interactive tool would allow me to manipulate a chart/graph based on the data in the table. I created two charts to represent the changes made to the rate and the resulting interest amount. When I used the cell slider to manipulate the rate, both charts adjusted to reflect the changing data. I now had a truly interactive tool that I could control and change with the click of my mouse.

Click here to watch the podcast (3:36)

Interactive_Table_Chart

MLTI Minute: Text Substitution

MLTI Minute Podcast

Episode 163: Text Substitution

This podcast will show you how you can program your own text substitution and apply it globally to most Apps. installed on your Apple computer. The example in the podcast shows how to program the Mac to convert “LOL” automatically to, “That was quite a humorous statement.

This is a 3 minute video podcast, with audio directions provided as a guide and screencasting to provide clear visuals of the setup and configuration process.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH