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Study Opportunities' Blog

Nebo and OneNote

Using digital technology effectively should also include the ability to use it for making, using, reading and sharing notes much more effective and efficient than taking notes by hand. There are two sides to this coin - having the hardware to do the note taking on and using the best software for the task.

The first part of this blog is for those of you who are lucky enough to have learners that come to school with tablets or mobile devices. In this section we take a quick look at ntwo of the best apps available for digital note taking.

Let's start off with Microsoft OneNote (NB: you need a (free) Microsoft Account to download the application - the app can also be downloaded from the Mac Appp store, the Google Play store, the iOS App store and Windows Marketplace).

Q: What is Onenote?

A: A free note taking app that allows you to mix text, pictures, drawings, handwriting and even clip web pages and organise them in a tabbed notebook format.

Q: What devices / OS does Onenote work on?

A: Windows, MacOS, iOS and Android.

Q: Does OneNote sync?

A: Yes - it uses OneDrive for syncing across all devices. This means your notes are available all the time (even on the web).

Q: Can I share my notes?

A: Yes you can - so you can collaborate with your friends.

Q: What are OneNote's best features?

A: Check the bullet list below:

  • You can combine all sorts of media (typed text, pictures, handwriting, drawing, photos, movies, audio recordings and even clips from web pages) into a note.
  • You can write or type anywhere on the screen
  • The maths features are very useful - helping you to solve, understand and even graph equations - even if you write them out by hand.
  • Audio recorded in OneNote synchs with your notes - so you can choose an element on the screen and listen to what was recorded as you were creating that element.
  • Handwritten notes can be converted to text (NB: on WINDOWS ONLY).

Here's a video you can show your learners about how to use the app:

An alternative that I like is MyScript Nebo. Believe it or not, most people still like taking notes in handwriting rather than typing - and Nebo is the best tool available for doing anything you can imagine with handwriting!

Q: What is MyScript Nebo?

A: A R169.00 note taking app that has the best handwriting recognition / conversion features of any app out there.

Q: What devices / OS does MyScript Nebo work on?

A: Nebo it works on all devices with active pens, namely: iPad, Android devices with the S Pen (Samsung) or M Pen (Huawei), Windows 10 devices with an active pen, Chromebooks with an active pen.

Q: Does MyScript Nebo sync?

A: Yes - Nebo syncs with Dropbox, Google Drive or iCloud.

Q: Can I share my notes?

A: Yes you can export your notes as a Word document, in HTML or as a PDF(iOS only) and send them to anyone you like.

Q: What are MyScript Nebo's best features?

A: By far its ability to work with handrwritten notes. Nebo allows you to

  • edit your notes using simple, easy to learn gestures
  • convert hand written notes to text if they are in English or Afrikaans.
  • search through all your notes, whether they are handwriting or text
  • draw diagrams interactively

**News:** ***Robots*** * New York Times on the growing use of robots in agriculture in the USA. The article is useful as it illustrates how data collection can improve agricultural yields and crop production. * How about a robot that draws your blood? ***Social Implications*** * In this time of growing awareness of climate change and the importance of reducing our 'carbon footprint' it should matter to you to know that data centres generate as much carbon as all the airlines in the world! * The problem with License Plate Recognition Software * Artist creates fake traffic jams on Google Maps ***Business*** * YouTube made $15 billion from advertising last year. * Why web browsers are free: * Does anyone own Linux? ***Hardware*** * Hard drives are on their way out. Here's some tongue in cheek stats from the Register to back this up. * A rotary cellphone? Yep. It's possible. Take a look! ***Malware, Phishing, Scams*** * Israeli soldiers catfished by Hamas * Beware the Corona Virus safety measures phishing scam. For interest, here is a site that maps and graphs the virus. * Fake dating apps in SA * Mac malware growing? That's it for now. Happy teaching!

Welcome back for 2018

Welcome back from what has hopefully been a good, refreshing, energising break.

The holiday period has seen quite a bit of activity in the tech sector - including some far reaching hacks and bugs. There's a lot of it, and so this blog will have little discussion and lots of links...

Here's a short summary of (some) of the most important news and activities:

Hacks & Bugs:

A huge security hole in CPU microcode and hardware affects almost all CPUs made since 1995. OS vendors have to patch to work around the hole. Endless articles about the issue are available online. This article makes the issue comprehensible. Also includes a great graph showing the relative speeds of memory and storage.

Swatting is when you make a fake emergency call to the Police to get them to send a SWAT team to raid the house of someone who has been irritating / annoying you in your game. This article shows how it can go wrong.

This malware will even record conversations that take place when you are in a specific location! It feels like a type of 'James Bond 007' spy app with some pretty insane capabilities.

Someone pushed the wrong button. For 38 minutes a whole American state's inhabitants thought they were about to be nuked.

The state of the IT industry

A fascinating read for the gear heads out there. TLDR; the overhead of modern OS and multitasking means that yes, it takes longer for a letter to appear on your screen when you press a key today than it did on an Apple II!

Excellent read!

Social Implications

A New York Times article looking at the possible robot impact on jobs in the future. Good read.

According to Wired though, the answer might be to learn to use Spreadsheets (perfect for CAT learners).

An interesting article that looks at the rise and fall of technologies through the years.

Speculative research is that online porn used over 5 million Kwh of power in 2016. That's a lot of power! The article shows that porn consumption has increased due to the internet - so much so that the cost of power overwhelms the savings made by getting rid of physical products such as DVDs (and their packaging).

Africa produces about 5% of the world's e-waste but recycles almost none of it. Around 44 million tons of e-waste (TV sets, smartphones, etc) was dumped last year alone. A study speculates that the gold, silver, copper & other valuable materials that were not recovered is around $55 Billion.


New Tech

  • Rollable TV screen

Leads to...

Bad news: Not planned for commercial release anytime soon...

Really interesting & short.

56 cores, 3Tb of RAM, 1700w power supply (4 household fridge's worth), 10Gb ethernet, TWO nVidia Quadro graphics cards... A maxed out spec costs over $69 000 (nearly 1 million bucks!). Just think of your gaming performance ;)....

ENI is a gas and oil company that has successfully used supercomputers for prospecting (it found huge gas fields in Mozambique and Egypt). It has expanded its supercomputing power to a 18 Teraflop machine in Milan.

Imagine your laptop is always on, always connected (just like your tablet) and its battery can last more than a day. The idea of Windows running on low power ARM CPUs could make this possible. Microsoft has a proof of concept - but real world performance is still to be seen. It would have to be a lot better than the discontinued Windows RT for anyone to be convinced...

And that's it for this week. Welcome back and happy teaching.

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