Wednesday, October 15, 2014

HDMI to VGA adaptor for a Chromebook

I have raved about the educational attributes of the Chromebook many times before on this blog. It has very few shortcomings when it comes to classroom use.   One such shortcoming is the lack of a VGA port.  This might seem like an illogical addition to a hardware engineer when designing a device for production in 2014, but those of us in the education field know that technology sticks around for a while.  I have to assume that the lack of a VGA port was a cost saving feature.

Not all projectors have an HDMI in and there is no Mini Display/Thunderbolt port on Chromebook like there is on a Mac.    Enter the Startech Display Adaptor.  It is specifically designed to work with a Chromebook to convert the HDMI connection to VGA.  I have no idea how this Digital to Analog conversion is done in such a small package, but I assume magic is involved in some sort or fashion.

Below is a video of me testing out this nifty piece of tech.   I have no affiliation with Startech or Tiger Direct, I am just providing a public service announcement.

Listen Current - Public Radio in the Classroom

My own children HATE riding in the car with me.  It's not that I am a bad driver, it's because I listen to NPR (National Public Radio).   I am a Geek, I freely admit it, but I feel so much more informed when I am 'Tunned In."  Politics aside, public radio produces stories on a myriad of topics that are perfect for the classroom.

Enter the Edtech start up Listen Current.

Listen Current harnesses the educational power of Public Radio by organizing story topics by subject and grade level.  Each story contains the full audio segment and a list of comprehension and discussion questions. The comprehension questions are even available for quick add to Socrative via a service called Mastery Connect.  All of these features are free.  

Listen Current has a host of Premium features that include the ability to assign stories directly to students.

Why is this awesome?

1. The stories are Current and Relevant adding validity in the students' eyes.
2. They are typically short (5-10 minutes in length), perfect for short attention spans.
3. Audio triggers a typically under utilized learning modality.  Students are required to use their imagination to "picture" what is happing in the story.  This in my opinion, forms a more robust memory.

Happy listening...

photo credit: Joe Haupt via photopin cc


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