Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Tech Armor has you covered!

Because I am a "gadget geek", and purchase new tech as soon as it is released, I am always very careful with my current devices so I can sell them when new models come out. I am never without screen protection for any device, and, when Tech Armor asked me to review the screen protection products they offered for the devices I currently owned, I jumped at the chance!

Tech Armor has been selling screen protectors, cases, and various accessories since June of 2012. Their co-founder, Joseph Jaconi, talks about wanting to bring big-brand value to the consumer at a much-better cost, which they have done. However, Tech Armor's commitment to customer service and support (including a lifetime product replacement warranty) is what makes them stand out from the competitors!

All of the protectors I received were made from ballistic glass, which excels at protecting the devices from scratches, has the best clarity, touchscreen accuracy, and leaves minimal smudging and fingerprints on the screen!


I have both the iPad Pro 9.7" and the 12.9" and was very impressed with Tech Armor's solution to help apply screen protectors to these larger devices. The inclusion of two small suction cups to support the installation process is a great idea and made the screen protector very easy to install! This ballistic glass screen protector is available for $19.95 for either the 9.7" or 12.9" iPad Pro.


I have the 38mm stainless steel Apple Watch with the more scratch-proof glass, but I still worry about scratching the face of the watch.

The Tech Armor Ballistic Glass Screen protector ($9.95+) comes with one or two protectors, great instructions, dust removing strips, a cleaning cloth, and a squeegee for removing any bubbles. In addition, there is an online tutorial for those that want to watch the process before applying the protector.


The 3D curved glass iPhone screen protector ($24.95) provides protection for the phone from edge-to-edge and even curves, oh-so-slightly, over the edges of the phone. The kit includes all the instructions and materials to apply the full-face protector, and comes in black or white.


This clear ballistic glass screen protector for the iPhone 6+/6s+ ($8.95) provides complete, clear, coverage for the phone with scratch protection, impact resistance, and minimal fingerprints! This screen protector does not cover the curved edges of the phone, and makes it easy to add a back case for protection, too.


This iPhone case ($19.95) is a flexible case that adds minimal bulk to the phone, and provides both drop protection and screen protection when your phone is face-down because of the raised edges.

The ports are all easily accessible and the headphone jack port even accommodates a headphone with a bit larger plug size than the Apple headphones.

I have not used this case for too long, but I was concerned that dirt might make its way in through the cut-out square on the back. I have had no problem with this yet, though.

Tech Armor offers protection and cases for many technology products, as you can see below! If you want a low-cost, high-quality product to protect your mobile technology, give them a try!

Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Making the Web work for you

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in June 2106 and is re-posted here with permission.

Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 6.13.10 AM
Want to make the Web work for you? Then IFTTT is the tool you must use!
IFTTT, If This Than That, is an online tool and mobile app, IF, that allows you to connect two online-connected services you already use and link them together to automatically precipitate an event or complete a task. This linking is called a “recipe” and these recipes can do everything from saving every Tweet you pen on a Google Sheet to sending an SMS to a family member when you are two miles away from arriving home! (For those of you that want to know how to pronounce this service, it is “ift”!)
A recipe is made up of two parts– the trigger (if this) and the action (then that). Contributors to the site create and share the recipes and you also have the ability to make your own. Here are a few user-generated samples.
IFTTT recipe
                                                                        IFTTT sample recipes

Not every tool or device you use will  be included in the list of tools/sites that can used in a recipe. But many of the most common ones are included. Below is a video that both shows you the current list of apps and items that are supported, as well as demonstrates how to create your own personal IFTTT recipe.The recipe I created in the video will send an email to me each time someone fills out the contact form on my Weebly page.

There are two things I want to point out in the video. First, you need to provide IFTTT with your username and password for the applications you want to connect to. Second, you can decide to share your recipe with the rest of the the IFTTT community. It is always nice to “pay it forward” and share something unique you develop! You can also pause your recipes from running if you need to take a break from them. It is easy to turn them back on, too.
IFTTT also includes another set of tools and three mobile apps, DO Button, DO Camera and DO Note, which allow you to tap the button and “do it yourself”. These recipes allow you to create your own button and start something, end something, take a photo and send it somewhere, etc., manually, versus the automatic running of the IFTTT recipes. These recipes look like this.
DO sample recipes
                                                                     DO sample recipes
Note the small icons in the bottom right of the colored section of the DO recipes – the first one is a DO Button recipe, the second a DO Camera recipe, and the third one a DO Note recipe. Remember, these recipes are not automatic. You use them when you want the recipe to run.


There are many posts on the Web that list the 5, 10, or 100 “best” IFTTT recipes. I feel that any recipe that automates something and either saves you time or helps you out should be considered a “best” recipe. I combed through the links listed at the bottom of this post and picked out some of my favorite recipes.
  • IF: Send your Facebook status to Twitter, or vice versa by including a hashtag
  • IF: Use SMS with a #FB tag to change your Facebook status
  • IF: Add new US movie release dates to your Google Calendar
  • IF: Get an email whenever there is a free iTunes song download available
  • IF: Automatically download any new Google Doodle to your Dropbox
  • IF: Email your smartphone photos to yourself after you take them
  • IF: Set the time your Belkin WeMo switch turns on and off
  • IF: Automatically share your Instagram pictures to Flickr
  • IF: Save your new Instagram photos to Dropbox
  • IF: When you arrive at the grocery store, text a specific person to see if they need anything
  • IF: Get NOAA severe weather alerts via SMS
  • IF: Send your receipts from a trip to Google Drive
  • IF: Save liked Instagram photos to Google DriveOneDriveDropbox, or your iOS Photos
  • IF: Send someone your location via email (or use their text messaging email address)
  • IF: Share your favorite recipes to Twitter
  • DO Button: Get an email with your current location
  • DO Button: Send an email with your current location (use text messaging address for SMS)
  • DO Camera: Save receipts to Evernote
  • DO Camera: Email yourself a photo
  • DO Camera: Put together a visual shopping list in Evernote
  • DO Button: Trigger a phone call to yourself to get out of an awkward situation
  • DO Button: Let someone know you are heading home (use text messaging address for SMS)
  • DO Camera: Tweet a photo


  • IF: Get any comments on your blog sent to you via SMS
  • IF: Append everything you post on Twitter to a new row in a Google Drive spreadsheet
  • IF: Get notified via SMS when the International Space Station passes overhead
  • IF: Convert a DOC or PDF file in a Dropbox folder to Kindle format
  • IF: Save any new photo you take to your Dropbox account
  • IF: Call yourself to create new tasks
  • IF: Text to make Google Calendar events
  • IF: Create a bit.ly address for any iPhone screenshot you take
  • IF: Get a notification when a specific Gmail address sends you an email
  • IF: Log daily rainfall in your city to a Google spreadsheet
  • IF: Get an SMS message before any event starts on your Google calendat
  • IF: Create a Google calendar entry from a voicemail message
  • IF: Send any RSS feed to Twitter
  • IF: Track specific Wikipedia article changes via SMS
  • IF: Save Gmail email attachments to Google Drive
  • IF: If you star an email in Gmail, a reminder is created
  • IF: Every time you take an iOS screenshot, upload it to Google Drive
  • IF: If a students sends you homework as an email attachment, put it in a specific folder on Google Drive
  • IF: If your students publish a post on a class blog or upload a YouTube video to the class collection, publish that info to your classroom or school Facebook page
  • IF: Save Twitter favorites to Evernote, a Google Sheet, a Slack channel, or a weekly email digest
  • IF: When you leave home, get shown your to-do list
  • IF: Create Twitter lists around a hashtag
  • DO Camera: Save a photo to Dropbox.
  • DO Note: Quickly email yourself a note
  • DO Note: Add a note to a OneNote notebook
  • DO Button: Create a digest of notes for tomorrow
  • DO Camera: Upload a photo to DropboxFacebookGoogle Drive, or Flickr
  • DO Button: Keep track of where you were this week
Sites with recipe recommendations for students and teachers



Do you use IFTTT and/or the DO buttons in your personal life or classroom? Have you found recipes you think are great? Have you created your own? Post your thoughts to Twitter! #kathyskatch