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Monday, March 30, 2015

OH.....I forgot my password.....!!!!


One of the most common operations done on any computer, tablet, mobile phone etc....is the use of passwords. How many times we hear a distress call from students and teachers…..oh I forgot my password! That means that the teacher/student has been locked out from any services offered by a particular website.

One used to write a password or two on a piece of paper. In many experiences the paper would get lost. Besides the problem of forgetting where that blessed paper is, one does not like the idea of writing so many passwords on a piece of paper. 

 

Is there a solution? Yes there is. We are of the opinion to use a password manager. The password manager keeps all your passwords in one place. One has to remember just one single password ie to open the password manager. One such manager is the Keepassx Manager. This is not an online manager where security is not 100%. This keeps the file with all the passwords on one's computer only. There is no other hidden file put online or somewhere else. The file cannot be opened by any other program.

The advantage is that one can take the file (with all the passwords) on a pendrive and use it on another computer (provided that keepassx is installed on that computer too).

Other advantages are: if you want a secure password and don't know how to create one, especially a very secure one, keepassx will generate one for you. Most people get annoyed writing a secure password because they would have to type it all over again every time they need to enter a particular website. Well with keepassx one can simply copy and paste! That's all.

Most people use names, phone numbers etc as passwords. For those who care about security they would opt for a more secure password where a mixture of numbers, letters, small and capital ones are used. An example would be:
sGkREqL8fP2cUSMfDv2jd9CAzWScowgDvrWgnkXFgBUuNtpMeHDnDh
How's that for security?! As one can see, keepassx can generate very secure passwords. One can generate a smaller password too.

Another tedious problem especially for teachers and students would be, if there is somebody behind my back who is overlooking what I'm doing, he/she might copy or remember my password!! With keepassx they just see a series of dots....so one does not need to worry at all. If you want to see more screenshots then go to this webpage.


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Sunday, March 15, 2015

Recording your Desktop


One of the most creative way of explaining things is to record your desktop i.e. the teacher wants to be very practical by showing the students a demonstration about the lesson. This is because the material found on the internet is too in general. The teacher knows his class, so he has to speak in a way that his students understand. The students, watching and listening to their own teacher explaining things may find it more user friendly. In other words, even if the teacher says the same things all over again, the fact that they see and hear their own teacher, works wonders! Recording your desktop gives a personal touch to teaching in this computer related era!

There is no expensive material involved, just a webcam, a microphone and a simple, free open source program which everybody knows about – VLC. As with other software, the teacher needs some time to practice and feel at home with this software. Maybe some soft music playing in the background would make it ideal for the students. Ideally for the teacher is to play some tutorials in order to feel more comfortable in using this software program. There are some You Tube tutorials as well.

Those using Linux, have a large variety such as: vokoscreen; wink; recordmydesktop; XvidCap; Istanbul; ffmpeg (mac/windows too); kazam

 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Teachers Securing [Encrypting] their emails containing exam papers


It's not the first time that some students get hold of exam papers before actually sitting for exams!! Most teachers think about securing hard copies. But do they ever think about securing soft copies? Most teachers still don't know about cyber security. They still don't know how to make emails and documents safe from anyone who wishes to get in between the sender and the receiver!

Teachers do need to consult before submitting the last edit of an exam paper. They can't all be in the same room all the time, especially if they are preparing the exam papers at home. In many common cases they have some difficulties and maybe they wish to discuss a particular issue or some issues with another teacher.

Most people now use an online services for email, such as Yahoo/Google/Hotmail etc….Today we wish to help most of our readers in securing their mail services. Down below there are some links which should help them.

Link 1 (official help site of Mailvelope [the addon on Firefox and Chrome which adds Mailvelope to their browser)

Link 2 (video + some more explanation why people should encrypt their emails)