google classroom is now free

…actually now is somewhat backdated, cos google has since made classroom freely available to all, from Apr 26, 2017 onwards, as noted in this blog post (:

in other words, anyone with a personal google account can use the system to start managing learning (cf. LMS). school teachers are however encouraged to use Classroom by enrolling the school in the G Suite for Education. this would allow your to more conveniently manage your classes of students.

btw, thanks to PS for first highlighting this news to us. enjoy (:

office 365 free education license for teachers

we mentioned this during today’s 12541-Clinic. first found this more than 1.5 yrs ago. and yes, microsoft is still giving MOE teachers free access to licensed Office 365. just enter your ICON email address, and follow the instructions received in your inbox to obtain your license today. up to 5 copies of Office 365 can be activated per license, and it works for both Windows and Mac OSes.

enjoy (:

play DOS game on a windows pc or mac?

if u are/were a game addict since DOS era, chances are you would like to revisit some of these old games. many of these games are now called “abandonware” cos though copyrighted, developers have allowed them to be freely download on the internet; not much monetary returns for hogging the rights perhaps?

to play any DOS game, you will need an emulator. and that has to be DOSBox.

there are 3 ways you could do it:

1. download DOSBox, and do the configurations through the all-too-familiar DOS command prompt

2. download a Windows frontend if u are using a Windoze PC, or

3. download a MacOS frontend if u are using a Mac(Book).

a common question for 2 or 3 is, which frontend is the best? different frontends may have different features, but personally, i have used D-Fend Reloaded for Windoze, and Boxer for MacOS. i like them for their simplicity in terms of interfacing with DOSBox (included in the installer, which not every frontend does), and game installation/configuration.

Bandit King of Ancient China running in Boxer:
2015-12-12 15.05.59-1

and yes, with the frontend, the next step is to google for your favourite games or use the terms DOS abandonware and you could start playing in no time. enjoy 😉

tool – doctopus

chanced upon this tool via astro pro‘s fb feed. installed as a google sheet add-ons, it’s a very useful admin tool for teachers who are using google docs/drive to assign and monitor students’ work. there are a couple of videos on the official site, here’s one HOWTO video to start with:

tool – nearpod

saw on lookang‘s fb feed yesterday this tool, and meiyin mentioned it to me today. what a coincidence. decided to take a quick look at the tool and examine its functionalities.

Screenshot 2015-08-12 16.05.50

it’s essentially a tool that builds interaction with live audience during a live presentation, somewhat like a PPT+Socrative 2-in-1. offline student-machine ‘interaction’ is available for a paid account that allows students to view prepared contents and answer preset qns (akin traditional e-learning **zzz**); click here for an example.

supports mobile apps on Android, iOS, and Windows phone. these apps would afford a teacher to ‘interact’ with students with access mobile devices w/active internet connections by gathering live feedback throughout the session/class. good for assessment for learning (AfL) (:

when a session goes live, control is only available from the main slide-to-slide view. if a slideshow is embedded as one of the slides, the teacher will have no control over the viewing of that slideshow.

besides pre-prepared content, teachers can also push website URLs, and Open-ended questions to students during a live session (somehow i got an error trying this on my droid).

teachers who would like to co-create presentation can do it through the Share via email function (not tested).

functionalities available to FREE account:
0. easy to navigate interface
1. create slideshow by importing PPTx files, images, PDF, and Google images search and insert directly
2. 50MB total storage & 20MB presentation size
3. export only PDF reports (per session)
4. 30 students per live session limit
5. UNICODE support (good news for CL teachers)

limitation of FREE (aka Sliver) account:
1. image upload size limit: 3MB
2. video upload size limit: 20MB
3. slide content eXcludes webpage, PDFs, live twitter feed, audio files
4. no self-paced homework/presentation mode
5. no CSV reports export, nor per student report
6. no export slides/presentation as PDF

paid account will set one back USD120 (annual billing). did not get to try the homework feature since i did not pay a fee.

to summarise, nearpod is a frontal presentation tool (~PPT) that affords teachers to build in feedback from students (e.g. for the purpose of AfL). students will need internet connected (mobile/laptop) devices to get this going. it may afford CoL where teachers/students may come together to co-create contents (not tested). however, using a free account, users would be limited to mostly static content #ithink (due to file size limit, and no linkage to external websites).