Technology Tips: February 2022 Edition Technology Tips: February 2022 Edition

Technology Tips: February 2022 Edition

by Skyward IT Services
Skyward IT Services Skyward IT Services Network and Infrastructure Security Specialists
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New Year, Brighter You in 2022

Now that we've settled into a new year, it's the perfect time to take a class or work on new skills. Grow your knowledge and enhance your PD with a wide variety of topics (for free!) with Harvard’s online classes. Topics range from art and history to science and leadership. You may get ideas to share with fellow district staff and students! Here are a few intriguing recommendations:  

Android and iOS Updates

Both Android and Apple recently released large new system updates (Android 12 and iOS 15). Here are a few helpful features you might not be aware of.

What’s New


Android 12:
  1. Face Detection: One exciting update uses Face Detection to accurately align your screen and help you read while lying down. Make sure Face Detection and Auto-Rotate Screen are both turned on. Happy reading!
  2. Install icons signifier: When you are installing an app, the install icons signifier allows you to start playing the game or viewing the document before it is fully downloaded. This is helpful if you are in an area with slow connection.
  3. Color extraction: After selecting a wallpaper for your home screen, your phone will incorporate the dominant and complementary colors into the rest of the interface.
  4. Security and privacy: Android 12 was heavily centered around security and privacy. This short video highlights some of its new, most powerful features.

iOS 15:
  1. App updates: iOS 15 has updated versions of its map, photo, and weather apps. Perhaps the most exciting is the addition of an interactive weather map which shows a 12-hour rain forecast via radar.
  2. SharePlay: A new feature in 15.1 is called SharePlay. You can watch media with a friend on Netflix, Apple Music, and other viewing platforms, while still seeing their face.
  3. Live Text: Live Text lets you copy text from a photo, screen shot, or web image.
  4. Additional screen space: The web address bar was moved to the bottom of the screen, so it's closer to your thumb and easier to use. It now disappears as you scroll, giving you more screen space. Don't like it at the bottom? Here’s how you can move it back to the top.

What’s Buggy


Android 12:
Flickering displays, network connectivity issues, and bricked phones were common issues. After a number of bugs in the October release, the December patch (for Pixel 6 owners) had so many bugs that the update was exterminated and removed from its archive.

iOS 15:
A few common issues include the battery draining quickly, Wi-Fi connectivity, app problems, and even devices freezing during the download. Here are a list of possible solutions for iOS 15 issues.
 


Video Recording Best Practices

While there are now fewer days of fully virtual class, it’s likely that video will continue to be used frequently for presentations, meetings, and even inclement weather days. Here are a few tips to enhance your videos, even on a budget:

For the best lighting, position your desk so you are facing a window. The natural light will not only make your face look bright and clear, but it will increase video quality by reducing pixilation. On the flip side, make sure you are not sitting with a window behind you, as that will create too much brightness and give you a dark silhouette.

While your computer’s internal mic should suffice for audio, using a good pair of headphones with an internal mic will make the audio even more clear and powerful. Try your best to eliminate any background noise, so the mic only picks up your voice. Even household items such as A/C units and refrigerators, or even jewelry shuffling around, can create background noise, so it’s good to be cognizant of what's around you.

If your school district has lavalier mics available, or room in the budget to purchase them, utilizing these little mics will give you professional quality audio. They are also great for interviews and podcasts. This mic can plug into a smartphone, DSLR camera, and Mac and Window computers, making it an affordable and versatile choice.
 

Malware of the Month

The NFL's San Francisco 49ers were affected by a network security incident. Ransomware gang BlackByte claimed to have stolen the team’s financial data. This attack came during Super Bowl weekend, just two days after FBI and Secret Service issued an alert on the gang.


 


Skyward IT Services Skyward IT Services Network and Infrastructure Security Specialists


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