Monday, April 28, 2014

MACUL: Recommended apps, extensions & add-ons

This is our second and last MACUL 2014 post. Make sure to check out our first post here: Chromebook Q & A.


Flubaroo. One of the Google add-ons mentioned along with numerous other apps and extensions discussed at the MACUL conference. In case you missed this info in the first MACUL post, Newmind Group led a roundtable discussion at this conference held in Grand Rapids, MI last month. There were about 2,000 educators and 150 exhibitors who attended, many of whom participated in our discussions around Chromebooks and - as our title gives away - apps, extensions, and add-ons.

This simple question was asked: What kinds of apps and tools are you leveraging for your classes that you would recommend?

To find out their recommendations, click here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

4 things to know when deploying chromebooks

"Chromebooks Updating" by @kjarrett

This is the second part of a two-part blog series about purchasing and deploying chromebooks. You can find the first blog here.

Alright, so you’ve already made your decision on what kind of Chromebooks you want. Now they’ve been shipped on their way! What now?

Unfortunately, the process is hardly over - and may never be. Deploying and managing a fleet of Chromebooks (or any device really) takes some time and continual effort. This is where we hope to make things a little bit easier for you.

Based on our experience in the field, coupled with our own research, here are some tips and resources for you when it comes time to deploy this hardware from heaven.

You can find out the 4 things to know here.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Collaborate like a Linchpin - Linchpin series part 5

"Star Trek: McCoy" by +JD Hancock 

This is the last part of our Linchpin series. You can catch up to speed by starting with our first post here.

Seth Godin’s book Linchpin contains some inspiring ideas regarding an individual’s approach to work. But what if you’re working on a team? Some people enjoy teamwork; others loathe it. What separates awesome teams from agonizing teams?

For this article, I’ll be using examples from three of my favorite teams: the 1992 US Men’s Olympic Basketball Team (AKA the Dream Team), the crew of the Starship Enterprise, and the Wu-Tang Clan.

Read further on how to collaborate like a Linchpin here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

MACUL: Chromebook Q & A

"MACUL 2011" by Kate Ter Haar

Were you one of the 2,000 educators or 150 exhibitors that attended the MACUL 2014 Conference last month in Grand Rapids? If so, I hope you were able to find it beneficial! If not - no worries - we’re going to provide some re-cap in this first of what will be a two-part blog series. 

Newmind Group was able to lead a roundtable discussion on Google Apps and Chromebooks, the latter of which we’ll focus on for now. Below are some of the questions that were asked at the discussion along with answers provided by Newminders and other educators and tech directors who were present. I hope this will be a useful resource for those of you with similar questions or for those of you who were at this discussion and with all that was talked about, just flat-out forgot some of the items that were discussed.

Don’t worry, we don’t hold grudges. Enjoy!

 Click here to read the rest of this post.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Add art to your work - Linchpin series part 4

"Mother of Pearl Artist Ahmet Sezen" by Christian Senger

This is the fourth part of a five part series inspired by Seth Godin's book Linchpin. Make sure you read the first part giving an overview of the 4 tips to build a linchpin team.

"True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist." -- Albert Einstein

There are a lot of factories out there - maybe more than you know. Seth Godin defines a factory as “a place where people go to do what they are told and earn a paycheck.” It is hard to excel in this ‘factory’ and virtually impossible to find the passion needed to become an artist. To become an artist, you need the autonomy to create something new and take on the status quo. To build a team of artists, you must help people cultivate what they are passionate about or even guide them to something they can become passionate about.

Click here to read more on becoming passionate about your work.

Monday, April 14, 2014

iPads vs. chromebooks in a 1:1 environment

"The future of books" by Johan Larsson

Many schools are looking into 1:1 programs and the specific devices that can make up the foundation of these programs. Having access to a personal Chromebook as well, I would like to share my experience as a student in a high school that is beginning a 1:1 program with iPads.

I am acutely aware of many of the curriculum changes that these programs require. The school that I attend chose iPads for their 1:1 program and over the past several months they have performed to expectations. Teachers have begun to utilize them in many classes while constantly combating the inevitable distraction that iPads games provide to some students. (If you were given the choice of participating in class or playing games, you would probably end up playing games in class once and a while too.)

Throughout the course of the year I have noticed many differences between Chromebooks and iPads in terms of usability and factors of physical form.

You can find out about these differences here.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

5 things to know when purchasing chromebooks

Photo by Newmind intern Meghan Muffett

Every day, we need to make choices. Mini Wheats or Cheerios? A right turn or left? Whether at the grocery store or on the road, life presents us with opportunities - both small and large - to act as a decision-maker. With so many options available on the market today, choosing a computer probably creates a little bit more pressure than say, making the right cereal choice. Because of this, really the first decision to make is the decision to educate yourself on the wide range of products that are out there. Well, in this first of a two-part blog series, I’m going to try and help out with just that for those of you considering choosing Chromebooks as your perfect companion.

There’s no doubt that Chromebooks are awesome. The evidence speaks for itself. Whether it’s by saving time, money, increasing collaboration, etc., schools and businesses can really benefit in profound ways. That being said, it is important to do the proper research and make sure Chromebooks are able to do all that you need from a computer. Not only that, but making sure to purchase the most suitable kind (since there are many models) and preparing your school or business for deployment is key. When it comes to purchasing Chromebooks, here are 5 tips to keep in mind and better equip you for a seamless experience - the overarching motto being: begin with the end in mind.

Click here to find out the 5 tips...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Overcome Fear - Linchpin Series Part 3

Safe on land, Newminder Nicolas Yarosz demonstrates the proper way to enter Lake Michigan as fellow Newminder James Duke looks on.

This is the third part of a 5 part series inspired by Seth Godin's book Linchpin. Be sure to catch up and read the first post with an overview of the 4 aspects of a linchpin.

Hit the Beach

Most of you can probably relate to this scenario: It’s a Saturday and one of the first hot summer days of the year. You’ve been dreaming of hitting the beach with your friends since the first few rays of spring sunshine. A few phone calls later, you and your best friends are packed in a car with the windows down, music blasting, speeding towards Lake Michigan or some other inferior body of water.

The excitement builds as the car screeches into a parking spot. Everyone jumps out and hauls over the dunes. You begin that tip-toe shuffle over the hot sand, shedding clothing piece by piece until you finally reach the shoreline.

And then you stop.

 Click here to read more about how to "Overcome Fear" by James Duke

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Newmind Group is Mother Approved

Happy Mom by @|vv@ldzen| via Flickr

Kalamazoo, MI -- Mothers all over Kalamazoo are exclaiming in approval over Newmind’s recent naming to Nine Lives Media’s 7th annual MSPmentor Top 501 at #214, a list identifying the world’s top 501 managed service providers (MSPs), leading one mother to exclaim,
“Those sweet boys deserve a top 10 rank. They were so nice and patient with me as we worked through copying and pasting in that Googley thing.”
"Our focus has always been on customer satisfaction and have seen very positive results with a 97% client retention rate over the last 7 years," said Matthew Vollmar, Newmind CEO. "Not only did we see 100% growth over the last year, but more importantly we’ve measured higher customer happiness which leads to longer and deeper relationships. And who do we need deeper relationships with more than our mothers? (Love you mom!)”

Read More about how mother's love Newmind Group.