Free Classroom Clickers – Socrative

If you are a fan of student response systems (clickers), you might fall in love with Socrative: http://www.socrative.com.

Socrative is a free web application that turns any laptop, iOS or Android device into a clicker response system. Teachers can build a virtual response room online, create a variety of assessment questions, and then have students respond to questions from any wireless gadget. Socrative will even score the responses and prepare a grade report automagically.

Paired with district laptops or student owned tech devices, we now have access to a simple and useful classroom clicker system, for free.

Check out a demo video: http://www.socrative.com/how-it-works.php

Is Your Password on The List?

We’ve all been taught never to use “password” as a personal password, right? Though it may seem obvious that such a password is easy to guess, “password” is a frequently used, and easily hacked, password according to a recent study preformed by SplashData. The mobile software company recently published their annual list of the worst passwords based on predictability and how easily hacked an account may be when a common word or series of numbers is used.

Now might be a good time to review your school and personal passwords. Remember that a lack of predictability is key. Choose a password that is difficult to guess. Selecting what is a seemingly random combination of letters or numbers is a great place to start. Consider the addition of special characters such as “%” or “&” as an added password security measure. Also, be sure to use different passwords for different accounts.

From the Mashable news site, here are the top 25 worst passwords for 2011 as published by SplashData:

1. password
2. 123456
3.12345678
4. qwerty
5. abc123
6. monkey
7. 1234567
8. letmein
9. trustno1
10. dragon
11. baseball
12. 111111
13. iloveyou
14. master
15. sunshine
16. ashley
17. bailey
18. passw0rd
19. shadow
20. 123123
21. 654321
22. superman
23. qazwsx
24. michael
25. football

PM High School student, Bri Reisinger, assisted with this article. 

Free PDF to Word Converter

Saving a Microsoft Word file to PDF is rather easy; a range of tools provide free PDF file creation. Converting a PDF file back to a MS Word document is sometimes tricky and often akin to digital alchemy. To help facilitate the transmutation, NitroPDF offers a free online PDF to Word translator: http://www.pdftoword.com/. The NitroPDF site will take any uploaded Word file, convert it, and email the PDF to your inbox. Note that Nitro’s online converter works best with text. Documents with extensive drawing elements may not emerge with perfect formatting.