Back To Basics (The Letter B)

Ok so the last Back to Basics posting was brought to you by the letter "A."

As always, the focus of the Back to Basics blog will be to explain terminolgy in easy to understand language, offer tips and tricks (even for advanced users), and provide suggestions for using technology and unitedstreaming inside the classroom.

The Back to Basic blog postings will operate with this thought in mind, "If I can get my mother-in-law to do it…"

Feel free to distribute this information and, of course add your thoughts, tips and tricks – all are welcome!

So without further ado let’s look at the letter "B"

Beta Version
A beta version, at least in the software world, is the first version of a product that people can evaluate, provide feedback, and report any bugs (see explanation down below) that they find in a real-world setting.  Beta level software is almost complete and ready to go to production, but since it may include known issues and bugs, Beta Testers are recruited to give the software a run for the money.

Beta Testers as mentioned above, report issues, provide recommendations, and feedback so that, when the software is ready to be released, it is relatively free of issues.

In unitedstreaming’s case, DEN Star members are often recruited to be beta testers.  They get to see new versions of unitedstreaming before it is released to teachers nationwide.  Their feedback helps to shape the product that you see and love today.  Thank you DEN Star Members for all of your help!

Bookmarks Defined
are place holders that you can save on your computer so that when you want to find a website or page again you don’t have to search for the page; you simply click on your bookmark.

To create and access your bookmark using Internet Explorer follow four simple steps:
1. Find a website or page that you would like to visit again (without searching for it)
2. Click on the word “Favorites” in your Internet Explorer tool bar
3. Click on the “Add to Favorites”
4. To access your newly created bookmark, click on “Favorites” and then click on your link

As we covered in the previous Back to Basics blog posting, unitedstreaming has a book marking feature called "Adding Content."  That way when you find a video, image, quiz, etc. that you really like you can add it to your content. Then when you want to come back to this asset you simply go to My Content and click on the link.

BUGS Defined
Bugs are those little things that can sometimes drive you crazy!  Those little errors that cause the software not to do what is supposed to do are called bugs.

Common folklore traces the history of this term back to 1947 when a moth made its way into a Harvard computer and caused the computer to malfunction.  But, in fact, the term may have been tossed about as early as Thomas Edison!

Bytes Defined
Bytes are individual units of data that computers use to show us video, compute equations, play sound, etc. Generally, the hierarchy works out to something like this:

1000 Bytes = One Kilobyte (KB)
1000 Kilobytes = One Megabyte (MB)
1000 Megabytes = One Gigabyte (GB)
1000 Gigabytes = One Terrabyte (TB)

With today’s computers and servers we’re pretty much working with Megabytes, Gigabytes, and Terabytes.   In fact, as microchips and processors (your computer’s brains) get smaller, you can now carry around one gigabyte of data storage on your keychain with a thumb drive for less than $100!

Here are some tie-ins to unitedstreaming:

For every minute of video that you download your computer requires about two megs (MBs) of storage space.  If you were to download one hour of video you would roughly need 120 (MBs) of storage space – not too bad when you consider that you can use that one gig (GB) keychain to store the video.

You do; however, want to watch how much content you are downloading so that you don’t fill up your computer or drives.

unitedstreaming streams (plays live over the internet) video at 256 (kbs) per second.

If you were to download the entire unitedstreaming library you would need a little over three terabytes (TBs) of storage space.

I have updated the glossary of terms (with pictures and tips and tricks) and have attached the document to this posting.  To download and share it with your teachers click here:

Download back_to_basics_document.doc

Talk to you soon,

Matt Monjan
Discovery Educator Network


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  1. Erik Wittmer said:

    Matt is the man for filling us all in on this wording since most of the co-workers have no idea what any of this is all about. Thank you Matt and PA is looking forward to working with you in these up coming months.

  2. Jennifer Gingerich said:

    Matt, you always have something useful on your blog! I think you deserve the BEST DISCOVERY BLOG award. Thanks for the great stuff to keep us learning and to pass on to others!

  3. Chris said:

    I’ve tagged you in the meme “8 Random Things”. Sorry, but I was running out of people I knew that hadn’t already been tagged. Check my blog for details.

  4. Keith said:

    Thanks for the awesome stuff to use for trainings. I have a new staff training in two days so this will come in handy!

  5. Keith said:

    Thanks for the awesome stuff to use for trainings. I have a new staff training in two days so this will come in handy!

  6. Keith said:

    Thanks for the awesome stuff to use for trainings. I have a new staff training in two days so this will come in handy!

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