Tools of the Trade
Erik Aquino

Listed here are some of the various tools learned in my technology class.  These cool little tools are: Edmodo, Remind, Easil.ly, Tackk, and the IB Design Cycle. These can be used for presentations to reminders to help with assignments.

Edmodo

Edmodo is a social networking type deal used for school. Teachers can post assignments and reminders on here, contact with students to talk about these assignments, and post articles, videos, etc. Students can talk to their fellow classmates, but it must be school appropriate.

Edmodo has many features, and is used constantly during the school year. One of my favourite features is the backpack, which allows students to store files such as Word documents, Powerpoints, pictures, any small file can be stored there. This means that, for example, if you do not have a working printer at home you can just put the essay that took all night to type on Edmodo, then print it out at school. Teachers make groups for their classes, which students join so they can see post made by teachers and other students. Students (if posted by teachers) can check their grades, which is perfect to see if you have any missing assignments or need to ask for extra credit. There are so many other amazing features and benefits, you should just try it out for yourself. Go ahead click the button below if you're interested.

Remind

Remind (or Remind101) is a tool that teachers can use to send reminders to their students via cell phone or email. It is similar to Edmodo, except students cannot send messages and files cannot be stored.  Remind is useful for when you forget about some homework or something to research. You just look at the email or text message you got from your teacher, and then you know what to do. You simply put in the class code on the website, your email and/or phone number, and you're good to go. Click that lil' button down there to get started.

Easel.ly

Easel.ly is a website used to make infographics. Need to make an advertisement, a rad looking chart for class, or something else like that? Easel.ly is used to represent data on infographics so it's perfect for something like that.

Easel.ly has an assortment of templates, icons, and other things. It is very similar to Tackk, except you're making sort of a picture, not a webpage.  Students can use Easel.ly for subjects such as art, science, or any other class that requires some kind of creative project. Business can use this to create presentations for their target audiences, whether it be customers for advertisements or higher command for suggesting business ideas.  Click the button to get started!

Tackk

Tackk is website that let's create  simple web pages so you can advertise, sell products, or anything in between. You don't even need to learn HTML. Tackk has a large assortment of options you can use for your page such as backgrounds, icons, audio and video support, etc. To use this tool, you simply make an account and start creating. Just push the button when you're ready to get started.

The Design Cycle

The Design Cycle is a process (many do it unknowingly) used to solve problems. The Design Cycle allows you to solve problems easier, as it gives you more ideas and options to come up with a solution. Generally speaking, you follow the process in order. Let's use a broken computer as an example.

The first phase is Inquiring and Analysing. To start off, we need to identify the problem. You have a broken computer. What's wrong with it? Is the motherboard fried? Is it just the monitor? Should you just toss it and buy a new one (Don't actually toss it. You might break a window.)? Why does it even need fixed? What the problem is will define what actions you take to solve it. Now where are you going to find the information to fix it? Secondly, what can be used to solve the problem? You have the internet, books, stores (such as Best Buy). You could call a person who knows about computers. After that, it's time to figure out how you're going to fix the problem. You could buy a new part, do it yourself, hire somebody the possibilities could be endless. Now that you've researched what's wrong, the possible solutions, it's time to log it all down, otherwise known as a Design Brief. This is pretty much a summary of your research.

The second phase is Developing Ideas. Think, what should be required for a solution to be successful. If the your graphics card is extremely outdated, should you get the absolute fanciest you can find (if you enjoy PC gaming), or should you get a simple cheap one if you're only using your computer for Word Documents or Powerpoints. Now obviously, some of these ideas are going to be ridiculous and too much, so let's come up with something feasible. If you need 8 GB of RAM to play Dark Souls 2 ( http://www.darksoulsii.com/ Here's a link in case you're interested) while it's running smoothly, you probably won't need 16 GB of RAM. If you only need 4 GB for Microsoft Office, you shouldn't get anything higher than an 8. Now after some thinking for what solutions there are, you going to need to make up your mind and choose the best one. Finally, what is your newly fixed computer going to do when it actually gets fixed? What requirements that you listed will it follow? This is a very important step, as you're pretty much double checking every thing you've done for this phase.

The third phase is Creating the Solution. This is where we'll actually get to fix the problem, the problem being your computer. First off, let's make a plan. What resources will you use and how long will it take? If you're computer is infected with a virus, you might to take it to Geek Squad at Best Buy, and then you have to include the time for transportation, how long it will take to get the virus off, and so on. Make sure you get the right person to do the job, not some person who thinks they know about computers because they play World of Warcraft 24/7. Now it's time to follow your plan. Pretty simple. Now don't fret is you made any changes, because that's okay. Just be sure to justify why you made those changes. Maybe the person you got couldn't fix it, so you try to do it yourself. Make sure you state why. Now present the solution, you could send pictures to your friends to show it off, or just type that essay for that class that you've been procrastinating on to prove that you're computer finally works!

The fourth and final phase is Evaluation. Test out your computer to see if it actually works. Can you now use Office? Run your games at smoothly? Actually turn it on? If what was wrong now works, you alright. Does this new solution meet all your requirements? Are you happy with your fancy new computer? Even though everything is all good now, could you have done something better? Should you have paid the extra $20 for the warranty? Maybe you could've gotten a better bargain. Now the finally question, how do you feel about your solution? Are you happy? Can you do what you want with it? After answering this, you have finally finished the Design Cycle. If my explanation confused you at all, just watch this handy video.

You have now learned about the many tools with technology  you can use for whatever you need to do, be it school or business. I wish good luck in your future ventures young one (or old one, I'm just text on your screen, I can't read minds).

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