Education

Does your workstation give you back pain?

A lot of you will find work a pain in the neck – and back, and probably joints as well. While you may not see your job as ‘physical’ work, the chances are that your desk job, your-hunched-over-a-laptop job, or your-constantly-tapping-away-at-a-tablet job is taking its toll on your back.
In the UK alone, where I work, over 7.6 million working days were lost due to work-related back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders in the from 2010 to 2011. That’s a lot, and a relatively high proportion is preventable.
The most common causes for work-related back pain are strained muscles or ligaments, wear and tear, bad posture and stress, and most of us will have some back pain at some point. Usually, it’s not serious, and the pain clears up (although that can take up to 6 weeks).
But you want to do all you can to take preventative measures at work – keeping you away from the osteopath or chiropractor. In the modern workplace, that’s not always possible – sitting badly in front of a computer for hours on end is storing up trouble. The body can tolerate being in one position for only a short period of time before you feel the need to adjust.
So take a good look at your workstation. The factors that can affect your back include:
– The position of your seat
– The position of the computer screen
– The height of the chair
– The position of the keyboard
– The position (and the way you use) the mouse
– The position of the rest of your kit on the desk.
If you work in an office and use a computer, you can avoid injury by sitting in the right position and arranging your desk correctly. It’s mostly common sense, but if you’re not sure about your seating position and workstation, ask your manager to arrange a workplace assessment for you.
Good posture when sitting at a desk can help prevent repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is a cause of back pain. Sit up straight and make sure that your lower back is supported.
By law, workstation chairs must be stable. The standard office chair has five legs in a star shape and the seat height must be adjustable, and the back rest must be adjustable in height and tilt. Ideally, the back rest should move independently of the seat to allow a comfortable position.
When you’re sitting, your thighs should be at right angles to your body or sloping slightly down.
If your chair is properly adjusted, your feet should be firmly on the floor, but if it’s more comfortable, use a footrest. The basic rule is to plant your feet on the floor and support your back.
But no matter how good you work station, you should also take regular breaks from your desk, adjust your posture plenty of times, vary your activities and sit up straight. You should take lots of short breaks (which are better than fewer and longer breaks), and stretch out a little when you do so, and do jobs which take you away from the desk – make yourself popular and do the tea run!
More generally, your lifestyle will have an effect, so exercise regularly and lose any excess weight.
Away from the desk, it’s heavy lifting that causes the most problems. They can happen inside the office environment or on the building site – the rules are the same:
– Make sure you’re physically capable of lifting the weight. Don’t show off.
– Keep the load close to your waist
– Keep your back as straight as possible
– Avoid twisting your back or leaning sideways
– Keep your head up
– Always push, don’t pull, a really heavy object
So take sensible precautions and think about your keeping your body working smoothly while you’re at work. We’re always pleased to see you, but you can do some of our work for us.

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Education

How responsive web design works

It used to be that, sitting down with a developer or an agency they’d plan out your website and then, as if you were in a restaurant contemplating a side salad, they’d ask “do you want a mobile site with that?’ If you were modern, you agreed and spent almost as much again on a mini-version of your website.
There’s no denying that the mobile web is key. Over the last year, we reached the tipping point whereby more people access the web on mobile than on a laptop or desktop. It follows, therefore, that your site has to work on a mobile. Sounds trite and obvious – but a look at many sites on your phone shows that many still (still!) don’t see the mobile web as a priority.
These days, the vogue is for responsive design – an answer so good, you only do it once. As you’d imagine with responsive design, your website responds to the environment in which its presented, with fluid width and fluid layouts, showcasing your site’s content to best advantage on a desktop, laptop, tablet and mobile.
But when you sit down with the developers and they start talking about responsive design, do you fully understand or do you just nod and hope they don’t ask for an opinion? If it’s the latter (and if so, you’re far from alone), this, from Verve, will help – to show just what the basics of responsive are, and why you should adopt it. Try and read it on your mobile.
what-is-responsive-website-design-ig-1

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Education

New tools let you see everything (even Snapchat) on someone's phone

Do you totally trust your kids with the internet? Probably not, which is why there are a myriad of parental controls available to parents for every type of device and media. But for as long as there have been prying parental eyes, there have been kids who want their privacy. When I was younger, this meant a closed door and whispered conversations on the phone, hoping someone wouldn’t pick up the other line and listen in. These days, there are tools like Snapchat, which make your messages disappear quickly so that prying eyes can pry all they want, but they won’t find anything interesting.
As a parent, this leaves a lot of room for concern. Kids are going to try to hide what they’re doing from their parents, but what if something serious or inappropriate is going on? What can you do besides set whatever parental controls you have and hope that your kids are upstanding, honest, and make excellent decisions without fail? You check out mSpy.

How you can keep tabs on your kids’ mobile devices

There are a handful of different software programs that you can install on different types of mobile devices (many offer versions for computers, too), which monitors all types of activity on the device. Depending on the service and plan you choose, this can mean everything from text messages, voice recordings of phone calls, logs of Snapchat messages, and keystrokes.

Flexispy

Flexispy is the more robust of the two great options that we explored. It tracks a wider variety of things with fewer limitations and fewer ‘package’ options than the second option below. The cheaper option is $149/year and includes tracking of most messaging apps. A second, more expensive option ($349/year) offers call recording, remote control of the camera, and more. Flexispy is compatible with a wide range of devices, making it appealing for many different people.

 Click on this image to check out the crazy number of things you can do. Seriously.

spying

mSpy

mSpy is another great option, but it does have a few more limitations (which you can get rid of by choosing a more expensive plan. Monthly payment options start at $39.99, and discounts apply for multiple devices. The software offers ‘spying’ on a ton of different things that the phone can do, which it shows in an easy to use dashboard (below). You’ll pay extra to track photos, keystrokes, and messaging apps, and it only offers Snapchat tracking for Android.  The offer of monthly or longer term use of the tool is appealing, especially for those who want to try it out without making a yearly commitment.
 
spying

I spy, you spy, why spy?

While it may seem a little bit big brother-y to track everything that is done on a device, it is important to remember that when you put a smartphone in the hands of a kid, there are a lot of different ways they can get into trouble with it. Sexting, for example, could have more serious repercussions than your teenager may think – like in the case of the Virginia teenager who can face felony charges and may be added to the sex offender registry for sexting his then-15 year old girlfriend.
Would you track your kids’ mobile devices? Have you done it? Weigh in on the conversation by leaving a comment below, visiting the Daily Genius Facebook Page, or mentioning @DailyGenius on Twitter – we want to hear what you think!

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Education

These funny teachers use humor to help you learn

Did you have any funny teachers that made you truly smile, laugh, and learn at the same time? One important trait in just about any person these days is the ability to use the power of humor to help get a point across. If you can convey something while making someone smile, job well done.
When you take that idea and apply it to the modern classroom, it’s easy to see why using humor in the classroom is a great way to get students excited to learn. If done properly, the attempts at humor will actually help students take pause and actually stop feeling so stressed and anxious.

See Also: 27 Tips For Mentoring New Teachers

Let’s say you’re a student who sits down to an important test. Let’s say it’s a standardized test and you’ve spent the last few months going over every nook and cranny of what will be on this test. You sit down, look up, and see a note pasted onto the classroom clock. It says “time is passing. are you?” and you smile to yourself a bit. That little smile helps you lower your cortisol levels and helps you focus a bit better.
Ready to laugh and learn? Check out these funny teachers and feel free to share your favorite funny teacher images with us on our Daily Genius Facebook page or perhaps on our Google+ page!

This is how real engineers and math teachers decorate their car

math mazda pi

Cruel and unusual? Maybe. Funny? Definitely.

time is passing

Sigh. Taking answers to the limit.

math infinity

A great handout every English teacher might want to give to students

punctuation social personalities

When you get a doodle on your student’s test, be sure to grade EVERYTHING. Even the doodle.

elephants test

Yep. This teacher had ‘Gary Busey’ as a potential answer in this quiz.

the actor gary busey

I like the real grade and the fake grade. And the answers can’t be beat. Plus, they’re not actually wrong…

funny teacher test

How a teacher solves the smartphone cheating problem.

teacher anti cheat

How do YOU keep a bird’s eye view on your students?

ladder teacher

From the above image to this confession from a teacher:

dear students
Yes indeed. Teachers are a funny bunch. We have a slew of more images we thought you’d like and will be adding them to Daily Genius in the coming week. Be sure to stay connected with @DailyGenius on Twitter or subscribe to the newsletter to see them when they come out!

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Education

How healthy eating led to a crime wave

The apparent ubiquity of Sherlock Holmes these days would have you think that all police work is the appliance of counter-intuitive thought. The lateral road to solving crime.
As a former police officer, I can tell you it’s usually much more mundane than that. But chatting to a former colleague the other day, I heard of an occasion where a little investigation made a surprising connection; luckily a connection of the kind that I am currently collating.
My colleague was working in Brixton in south London at the time, and new analysis software had just been introduced that collated reported crimes and generated crime ‘hot spots’ in order to show where the police should be directing their efforts.
One of first locations to ‘go red’ was at the junction of Brixton Rd and Loughborough Rd. The (very keen) Inspector responsible for that sector decided to investigate, so he dug into the crime records and found that most street robberies were occurring at noon-ish. And both the alleged perpetrators and the victims were consistently teenagers.
A little more digging revealed the truth of the matter. It was all about chips.
A nearby school had recently embarked on a healthy eating campaign and chips had been taken off the lunchtime menu. So all of the kids were going out to local fast-food shops in the lunch breaks and some were robbing others of their dinner money. Of course, when the kids reported this to their parents, police were called and robberies were recorded.
The inspector therefore talked to the school, got chips put back on the menu, and suddenly the robbery figures dropped dramatically.
Now, I realise that the inspector’s solution is only dealing with the symptoms of the problem rather than the cause. The issue here is that ‘robbery’ is a serious offence. And finding out that an area is a robbery hot spot is going to affect people’s perception of the area. It’s going to make people fearful. It might even affect things like house prices. What was happening here was, by legal definition, robbery. But the reality was that it was a serious form of bullying. That’s the issue that needs to be dealt with as a matter of some priority – but it’s not just a police issue. It will involve the school, parents and the kids themselves.
Meanwhile, if the school wants to run a healthy eating campaign, start with education, not the removal of chips. At the very least, use lower calorie chips and less oil.
And lock the gates at lunch time.
Steve writes books and for television. He is currently crowdfunding his latest project, on lateral thinking in the police force, called Why Did The Policeman Cross The Road, with the publishing platform Unbound.

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Education Work

An editable social media policy for schools that works

Let’s say you’re a teacher, school administrator, or government official looking to utilize social media in education. No matter your position, it’s important to understand the various problems that might arise. From misuse to abuse to bullying, there are a lot of potential issues you should consider.

That’s why this ‘Social Media Policy For Schools’ is worth checking out. Simply put, it’s a document that you can download and edit to your needs. It was crowdsourced through the magic of Google Drive and has become the below document which has been used in schools around the world.

As with any policy, be sure to tailor it to your exact needs. Spend some time closely reading it over and share it with as many people as possible who are involved in the social media in schools process. You’ll be glad you did.

Want the editable Microsoft Word Doc? Click here.

Text Version: The Social Media Policy For Schools

Introduction

YOUR SCHOOL recognizes that access to technology in school gives students, parents and teachers greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills that will prepare them for work, life, and citizenship. We are committed to helping students develop 21st-century technology and communication skills.

To that end, this Acceptable Use Policy outlines the guidelines and behaviors that users are expected to follow when using school technologies or when using personally-owned devices on the school campus.

  • Students, parents and teachers are expected to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful conduct online as offline.
  • Misuse of social media can result in disciplinary action.
  • YOUR SCHOOL makes a reasonable effort to ensure students’ safety and security online, but will not be held accountable for any harm or damages that result from misuse of social media technologies.

We encourage teachers, students, staff, and other school community members to use social networking/media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) as a way to connect with others, share educational resources, create and curate educational content, and enhance the classroom experience. While social networking is fun and valuable, there are some risks you should keep in mind when using these tools. In the social media world, the lines are blurred between what is public or private, personal or professional.

We’ve created these social networking/media guidelines for you to follow when representing the school in the virtual world.

Please do the following:               
Use good judgment       
  • We expect you to use good judgment in all situations.
  • You must know and follow the school’s Code of Conduct and Privacy Policy.
  • Regardless of your privacy settings, assume that all of the information you have shared on your social network is public information.
Be respectful       
  • Always treat others in a respectful, positive and considerate manner.
Be responsible and ethical       
  • If you are approved to represent the school, unless you are specifically authorized to speak on behalf of the school as a spokesperson, you should state that the views expressed in your postings, etc. are your own. Stick with discussing school-related matters that are within your area of responsibility.
  • Be open about your affiliation with the school and the role/position you hold.
Be a good listener       
  • Keep in mind that one of the biggest benefits of social media is that it gives others another way to talk to you, ask questions directly and to share feedback.
  • Be responsive others when conversing online. Provide answers, thank people for their comments, and ask for further feedback, etc.
  • Always be doing at least as much listening and responding as you do “talking.”
Don’t share the following:
Confidential information       
  • Do not publish, post or release information that is considered confidential or not public. If it seems confidential, it probably is. Online “conversations” are never private. Do not use your birth date, address, and cell phone number on any public website.
Private and personal information           
  • To ensure your safety, be careful about the type and amount of personal information you provide. Avoid talking about personal schedules or situations.
  • NEVER give out or transmit personal information of students, parents, or co-workers
  • Don’t take information you may receive through social networking (such as e-mail addresses, customer names or telephone numbers) and assume it’s the most up-to-date or correct.
  • Always respect the privacy of the school community members.

Please be cautious with respect to:

Images           
  • Respect brand, trademark, copyright information and/or images of the school (if applicable).
  • You may use photos and video (products, etc.) that are available on the school’s website.
  • It is generally not acceptable to post pictures of students without the expressed written consent of their parents.
  • Do not post pictures of others (co-workers, etc.) without their permission.
Other sites           
  • A significant part of the interaction on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social networks involves passing on interesting content or linking to helpful resources. However, the school is ultimately responsible for any content that is shared. Don’t blindly repost a link without looking at the content first.
  • Pay attention to the security warnings that pop up on your computer before clicking on unfamiliar links. They actually serve a purpose and protect you and the school.
  • When using Twitter, Facebook and other tools, be sure to follow their printed terms and conditions.
And if you don’t get it right…       
  • Be sure to correct any mistake you make immediately, and make it clear what you’ve done to fix it.
  • Apologize for the mistake if the situation warrants it.
  • If it’s a MAJOR mistake (e.g., exposing private information or reporting confidential information), please let someone know immediately so the school can take the proper steps to help minimize the impact it may have.

Netiquette

  • Users should always use the Internet, network resources, and online sites in a courteous and respectful manner.
  • Users should also recognize that among the valuable content online is unverified, incorrect, or inappropriate content. Users should use trusted sources when conducting research via the Internet.
  • Users should also remember not to post anything online that they wouldn’t want parents, teachers, or future colleges or employers to see. Once something is online, it’s out there—and can sometimes be shared and spread in ways you never intended.

Personal Safety

If you see a message, comment, image, or anything else online that makes you concerned for your personal safety, bring it to the attention of an adult (teacher or staff if you’re at school; parent if you’re using the device at home) immediately.

  • Users should never share personal information, including phone number, address, social security number, birthday, or financial information, over the Internet without adult permission.
  • Users should recognize that communicating over the Internet brings anonymity and associated risks, and should carefully safeguard the personal information of themselves and others.

Cyberbullying

Cyberbullying will not be tolerated. Harassing, dissing, flaming, denigrating, impersonating, outing, tricking, excluding, and cyberstalking are all examples of cyberbullying. Don’t be mean. Don’t send emails or post comments with the intent of scaring, hurting, or intimidating someone else.

Engaging in these behaviors, or any online activities intended to harm (physically or emotionally) another person, will result in severe disciplinary action and loss of privileges. In some cases, cyberbullying can be a crime. Remember that your activities are monitored and retained by others.

Examples of Acceptable Use

I will:

  • Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that I am expected to follow offline.
  • Treat social media carefully, and alert staff if there is any problem with their operation.
  • Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or collaborative technologies.
  • Alert a teacher or other staff member if I see threatening/bullying, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.
  • Be cautious to protect the safety of myself and others.
  • This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using social media

Examples of Unacceptable Use

I will not:

  • Use social media in a way that could be personally or physically harmful to myself or others.
  • Engage in cyberbullying, harassment, or disrespectful conduct toward others–staff or students.
  • Try to find ways to circumvent the school’s safety measures and filtering tools.
  • Use language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using social media.

Limitation of Liability

YOUR SCHOOL will not be responsible for damage or harm to persons, files, data, or hardware.

Violations of this Acceptable Use Policy

Violations of this policy may have disciplinary repercussions, including:

  • Suspension of volunteer privileges
  • Removal from positions of leadership within YOUR SCHOOL.
  • Removal of student from YOUR SCHOOL.
  • Additional consequences determined by Administration.

 

I have read and understood this Acceptable Use Policy and agree to abide by it:

__________________________________________

( Printed Name)

__________________________________________

(Signature)

__________________________________________

(Date)


Want to edit the original Google Drive document? You can do that here!

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Education

Your complete crowdfunding checklist

Crowdfunding – it’s just free money, right? Lob any old project up onto a Kickstarter or some such and the money just comes rolling in. No-one is particularly happy, but there’s cash in exchange for some t-shirts and whatnot, so, from a business point of view, what’s not to like?
For many people, that attitude is uncomfortably close to the truth. There’s something about crowdfunding which makes entrepreneurs act all casual – a quick video saying how fabulous their idea is, and away you go. They forget that you need to pick your funding platform – they aren’t all the same – and they neglect the idea that you need a robust business plan, not matter what your funding model. And, most often of all, they lack a coherent battle plan to raise the funds – the sales pitch, the timing, the rewards, the pitch itself are all too often woefully undercooked, with half-baked social media marketing to boot.
This, from Wrike, isn’t perfect, but it’s a good reminder of the things any crowdfunder, indeed anyone in business, needs to thinks about. If you’re about to start to raise some funds, cast an eye over this…
crowdfunding checklist
crowdfunding-campaign-checklist-infographic

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Education Work

How to start using Apple's newest time-saving features in iOS 8

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are officially out and in the wild. That means iOS 8 is being used by millions of people who are looking to figure out what’s different and how it can help them on a daily basis. Lucky for you, Apple has shared some simple but effective visual guides to how you can save time and stress while using the latest operating system.
Below is a handy set of visuals designed to explain how to use the newest time-saving features in iOS 8. Basically, the majority of the new features are saving you a tap or a swipe. Like replying to text messages right from the notification window instead of having to open the Messages app. Stuff like that.
So without further delay, here’s the good stuff.

Siri is less sucky! It can now identify songs – all you have to do is ask ‘what’s this song?’ in your language. Honestly, it’s one of the best time-saving features in iOS 8 right now. Just wait and you’ll see.

siri song

Take selfies on a timer! Put your phone down and take some longer distance shots. Great for group shots.

selfie timer

Respond to a message right from the notification box. Saves you a click and from opening the Messages app. Sweet.

message respond

Send an audio message right from your Messages box. Great for sharing a voice note when you don’t have time (or desire) to type.

voice messages

Swipe left AND right on your new Mail inbox to see a slew of time-saving options. Great for getting to inbox zero.

mail swiping

Get push notifications when a particular email is replied to. Perfect if you’re writing to people not in your VIP list.

reply notifications

Get easier access to people you contact the most. Just double-tap the home button.

contact access iphone

Swipe left in a text message conversation and see when messages were sent. Handy!

text messages left

Share your purchases with family and trusted friends. Family Sharing on iOS 8 is great for saving you some money and technical difficulties.

family sharing iphone

There Are More!

We’ll be adding to this list through other posts on Daily Genius on a regular basis. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or on Twitter to stay in the know!

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Education Work

How to start using Apple’s newest time-saving features in iOS 8

The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are officially out and in the wild. That means iOS 8 is being used by millions of people who are looking to figure out what’s different and how it can help them on a daily basis. Lucky for you, Apple has shared some simple but effective visual guides to how you can save time and stress while using the latest operating system.

Below is a handy set of visuals designed to explain how to use the newest time-saving features in iOS 8. Basically, the majority of the new features are saving you a tap or a swipe. Like replying to text messages right from the notification window instead of having to open the Messages app. Stuff like that.

So without further delay, here’s the good stuff.

Siri is less sucky! It can now identify songs – all you have to do is ask ‘what’s this song?’ in your language. Honestly, it’s one of the best time-saving features in iOS 8 right now. Just wait and you’ll see.

siri song

Take selfies on a timer! Put your phone down and take some longer distance shots. Great for group shots.

selfie timer

Respond to a message right from the notification box. Saves you a click and from opening the Messages app. Sweet.

message respond

Send an audio message right from your Messages box. Great for sharing a voice note when you don’t have time (or desire) to type.

voice messages

Swipe left AND right on your new Mail inbox to see a slew of time-saving options. Great for getting to inbox zero.

mail swiping

Get push notifications when a particular email is replied to. Perfect if you’re writing to people not in your VIP list.

reply notifications

Get easier access to people you contact the most. Just double-tap the home button.

contact access iphone

Swipe left in a text message conversation and see when messages were sent. Handy!

text messages left

Share your purchases with family and trusted friends. Family Sharing on iOS 8 is great for saving you some money and technical difficulties.

family sharing iphone

There Are More!

We’ll be adding to this list through other posts on Daily Genius on a regular basis. Be sure to follow us on Facebook or on Twitter to stay in the know!

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Education

These Google search tricks will save you time and frustration

If you want to become an expert at online searching, it’s time to understand how to ‘Google like a boss’ as the kids are saying these days. Google is a tough nut to crack if you’re trying to do some proper academic research. That’s why there are other Google tools like Scholar and Books. But if you’re looking to get a better understanding about a particular topic and need some tips on how to become better at searching, this chart is for you.

Google Search Tricks That Will Save You Time

  1. Did you know the Google search trick that actually looks for exact words rather than keywords? Try using quotation marks!
  2. Want to narrow down a search by excluding a particular word? Cast a more narrow net by using a dash in front of a word.
  3. Don’t know the exact word you want to use in your search? Try using a tilde (~) in your search.
  4. Want to search a particular website without having to actually go to it? Just type in site: yoursearchterm(s) and you’re good to go!
  5. Want to see who is linking to a particular page? Try typing in link: yourlinkhere and see the magic happen.
  6. Want to search within a particular time period or set of numbers? Try typing in two periods like this (1910..1934) and it’ll narrow down your search results in no time flat.
  7. Want to see sites and results that are similar to what you’re searching for? Try using the related option. Just type in related: yoursearchterm(s) and you’ll get a slew of interesting options.

Want more fun Google tips that will save you time and frustration? Check us out on Google+ where we love to share these kind of goodies!
google like a boss

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