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Rest. Relaxation. Rejuvenation. We look forward to our holiday breaks as a way to refresh ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. We look forward to spending time with our families and staying at home adjusting to a new routine of no alarm clocks, no papers to grade, no lessons to plan.

When we come back from our holiday break, we’re ready. We’re going to begin a new unit plan, or we’ve adjusted an old one, or our guest speaker has been scheduled. The point is, we’re ready to be with our students and begin again.

Why then did students seem so tense, so anxious before their most recent holiday break? It wasn’t a sense of impending joy they were feeling, but more a sense of impending doom. 

I noticed that many students’ trepidation was on overdrive. About a week before our scheduled break, I stood outside my office during passing time. But this particular morning I noticed the hallway language. Sure, every once in a while one might hear a curse word said by a negligent student. But, one “bomb” after another was exploding in my little corner of the world. I found myself encouraging students to be aware of their language, be courteous to their peers, and be on their way to their next class. When I mentioned to a colleague that something must be up, he quipped, “Just a full moon.”

However, as the days wore on, it became evident there was more to this than just a full moon. The students were surly and fretful, and some were downright sad. While I was looking forward to all the wonderful things that come with time off, what could some of my students be looking forward to? I began to wonder.

As much as our students might complain about school, about teachers, and about homework, let’s not forget about all of the things that we do provide, things that can’t be measured in data-driven reports and standardized tests. Schools provide a routine, a scheduled haven from life’s curveballs. We provide directions, both written and verbal, on what to do. And let’s face it, on some days that may be all a student can do. We provide socialization, the opportunity to see friends and catch up on the latest news. We give students a reason to get up in the morning.

Therefore, the holiday break could be a stinging slap of change from the warm embrace of their reality. Their routine has now changed. A routine created by a bell system now allows students to do whatever they want; they are making decisions and perhaps allowing temptations too challenging to overcome. Directions are no longer clear to them, and it’s quite possible that no adult is home to offer important directives. Now the student becomes the adult taking care of siblings and in charge of household chores. Finally, socialization is cut off. Being at home may be a stressful—it may be a violent place where basic social skills are nonexistent.

As we move into second semester and into third quarter, I know another break is looming in the not too distant future. I can’t help but feel a little worried for some of them. How can one offer a sense of calm before what could be considered a storm of change?

I don’t have all the answers; none of us do. We don’t have control over our students’ parents, their households, or their friends. But we do have power over our words and actions. Here are some suggestions to help our students slide into a smooth transition that may not be too jarring or too sudden.

First, don’t oversell the break. Are you consistently referring to time off? “After break,” “don’t forget about the break,” “when we get back from break.” Perhaps too much “breaking” will cause our students to break beyond their limits. While we might need to refer to the time, let’s try to put it in the proper perspective.

Next, let’s offer students a list of pertinent websites or movies that they might enjoy reading and watching during this time. Appeal to your students—after all, you know their likes and dislikes. Also, offer students some hopeful, inspiring films you think they may want to watch. A positive message lets them know you care. 

Also, the value of reading could allow them to escape to another time and place. Offering some contemporary poetry anthologies to take home sends the message that you’ll be thinking of them.

Finally, a brief handwritten message offers a sense of belonging and connectedness. Let them know that you will be thinking about them with a personalized note.

As we move on toward third quarter, excited over all the possibilities of progress, we know how quickly time moves. Let’s take a few moments to reflect on those students who won’t be fortunate enough to enjoy what some of us might take for granted. Be mindful of our language in creating a sense of departure. Create those lists and compose those notes.

Hopefully, instead of hearing curses in the hallways, we might hear a joyful noise. What was once anxiety might be replaced by a sense of assurance that we will be together again, very soon—rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated.

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How Do I Edit A Video On My Iphone For Free?

To edit a video on your iPhone, you’ll have to use the iMovie app or download a third-party app from the App Store.

Most people are fine with the stock iMovie app, but if you want more control over your editing process without paying a penny, this article is for you.

(See also: Is iMovie a good video editor?)

Editing on iPhone: An overview

Every phone software has a stock video editing app that allows you to perform basic video editing.

This includes slowing down the video, cropping it, changing filters, and adding background music.

Some of those are paid, like LumaFusion and Adobe Premier Rush.

Some free ones still offer a wide range of video editing capabilities, like VN editor and InShot.

While none of the editing apps available for the iPhone will have as many features as fully-fledged desktop video editing software, they’re still powerful enough for most users.

In this article, we’ll teach you how to edit a video on iPhone using VN video editor, as it’s currently the best free editing app we could find.

How Do I Edit a Video on My iPhone for Free?

Once you open the VN editor, follow these steps:

1. Add Your Video(s) 2. Determine the Aspect Ratio

Notice how your video will show up in the upper half of the screen. Above that video, you’ll find the aspect ratio set to “original” by default. You have the option to change that or leave it as it is.

3. Start Editing Out the Mistakes

If your video contains any parts that you want to edit out, then you’ll have to use the scissors button at the bottom.

To do that, use your finger to slide the video to the part you want to cut, adjust the vertical white line on the timeline, then press the scissors button. If your video is long and you can’t accurately position the white line, use the trim tool (to the right of the scissors) for finer adjustments.

You’ll notice that your video is now cut into two separate videos. you may proceed to delete the unwanted section using the delete button on the bottom right, or continue cutting all the unwanted clips and delete them all in one go.

If you make any error in the process, you can always use the undo button on the upper right section beneath the video.

4. Add Effects and Transitions

Now that you have removed any unwanted parts of the video, you can go ahead and add any effect you want. The toolbar on the bottom contains various opinions you can use. These include:


Speed adjustment


Adding text

Adding background music

Here are some trending video editing styles.

5. Save Your Video

When you’re done editing, you’ll have to save your video. Press the “Export” button on the top right corner of your screen.

You’ll have to choose between “Auto” and “Manual” saving settings. Auto mode usually gets by fine in most cases, but if you want to tweak the FPS, resolution, and Bitrate manually, select the manual mode.

Wrap Up

Using a free video editing app like VN, you’ll have a decent variety of video editing options on your iPhone.

All you have to do is import your videos, trim out any unwanted parts, then mix and match with the available effects until you reach a desirable result.

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I Stuck A Cooling Fan To My Phone — Did It Make A Difference?

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

There are few things that scream out the gamer aesthetic more than RGB lights. Combine that with nerd-friendly elements like Peltier cooling and you’ve got my curiosity piqued. So when Gamesir reached out to me to check out its latest phone gaming controller combined with a full-blown RGB LED-equipped fan and heatsink assembly, well, there was only one choice.

Our picks: The best Bluetooth gaming controllers for Android, PC, and more

I’ve spent the last week working hard, i.e. playing video games during work hours to test out the Gamesir X3 to answer the one question on everyone’s mind: Does sticking a cooling fan to your phone actually make a difference? Read on to find out.

Phone by day, gaming console at night

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

As a retro gaming enthusiast with a large library of emulation-ready titles ready to go on my phone, I usually have an 8BitDo controller in my backpack. That said, I’ve been interested in telescopic controllers for enhanced portability. In fact, I almost considered splurging on the updated Razer Kishi before the Gamesir X3 popped by.

Cool as a cucumber, as long as you’re near a power source

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Enough talking, let’s play some games. Most of my time with the Gamesir X3 was spent playing Genshin Impact and a range of classic titles like the PS2 version of Need for Speed Most Wanted via AetherSX2. I also tried out Nintendo Switch emulation and got in a few rounds of the latest Ninja Turtle Beachs game, and even Cuphead before being reminded how bad I am at that game. All of these titles push a phone’s CPU and GPU to their limits, creating the perfect opportunity to test out the cooling assembly’s efficiency.

The cooling assembly easily reduces CPU temperature by over 10°C (50F), but you’ll need a battery pack to power it on the go.

So, does it work? Boy, does it. In Genshin Impact, I recorded CPU temperatures upwards of 45°C (113F) in busy areas without any active cooling. Switching on the fan quickly brought this down by ten degrees. In fact, the phone stayed at a comfortable 32°C (89.6F) through most of the gameplay and only jumped to about 35°C (95F) during busier sections.

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

It’s clear that the cooler works. However, it comes with a huge caveat. The cooling mechanism requires a secondary power source and will not take juice from either your phone or the pass-through USB-C port. There’s no built-in battery either. In my books, that’s a deal-breaker. A smartphone controller is supposed to be portable by its very definition and the need for an external power source limits the utility of the Gamesir X3’s star feature.

A smartphone controller should be portable by definition, so the need for an external power source for the fan limits its utility.

It also doesn’t help that the fan is astonishingly loud to the point that you’ll want to wear noise-cancelling headphones while using it. Finally, I wish it was possible to adjust the RGB lights or switch them off completely.

Play faster and better: The best phones for gaming

Is the Gamesir X3 any good as a controller?

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Talking about the Gamesir X3 purely as a controller, I came away impressed. The eight-way D-Pad is precise enough to pull off combos in fighting games like Tekken 3. Meanwhile, the A,B,X, and Y buttons all offer excellent feedback though I found them to be just a bit too loud if you are trying to be discrete. The high noise levels extend to the trigger buttons as well. The lack of analog triggers is also an unfortunate omission for retro gaming enthusiasts or those looking to get a bit of cloud gaming in while on the go.

The Gamesir X3 is an excellent controller as long as you don’t need analog triggers.

The Gamesir X3 offers four additional buttons, one of which is permanently mapped to take screenshots. The remaining three can be configured within supported games or by using the accompanying app. The app includes pre-configured button profiles for popular titles like Genshin Impact though you will likely still have to do a bit of fine-tuning to get the controls just right for your phone. I found the entire process to be rather cumbersome, and there’s no obvious way to adjust transparency for the controller overlay.

Play more: The best Android games with gamepad controller support

Should you buy a controller with a cooling fan?

Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

A week of extensive gaming later, I’m convinced that the Gamesir X3 is a very good controller largely because of that excellent cooling system and unique customization potential. I went in skeptical of the cooling mechanism, but the Peltier system absolutely works. Unlike a straightforward fan, it is able to actively cool down the phone dramatically. This is excellent news for sustained performance, as well as the general health of your phone. As a concept, I hope more controllers opt for a similar solution. However, execution is key.

Active cooling is an excellent addition to a phone gaming controller, but portability is key.

What lets the controller down is the fact you are effectively tied to a power socket or power bank if you do want to make use of the heat sink. This flies in the face of the entire portability aspect of a controller such as this. Elsewhere, little misses like the lack of analog triggers are also disappointing.

Would I factor in an active cooling mechanism into my next controller purchase? For sure. While the dual-USB charging solution lets the Gamesir X3 down, the controller proves that there’s room for actual innovation even in the smartphone controller space.

Gamesir X3 Type-C controller

Gamesir X3 Type-C controller

Extra buttons • Cooling fan functionality • Pass-through USB-C

MSRP: $99.99

A week of extensive gaming later, I’m convinced that the Gamesir X3 is a very good controller largely because of that excellent cooling system and unique customization potential. I went in skeptical of the cooling mechanism, but the Peltier system absolutely works

See price at Amazon

How Do I Deal With Large

Annika in Stockholm asks:

How can I, from an SEO perspective, make sure that all hotel pages are indexed?

There are a lot of images in the list so it’s not an option to “view all” due to speed. Until now, we have used a solution with rel=next and rel=prev, but I’ve read that solution is no longer supported by Google.

Infinite scroll, as well as traditional pagination, is not an option either due to UX. So, what’s the best practice here?

I have struggled with this for many years and would really appreciate a solution for my dilemma.”

Great question, Annika.

Just because search engines don’t support rel=prev and rel=next anymore doesn’t necessarily mean websites have to re-design their sites or remove those tags.

For anyone who is curious, there’s no harm in leaving the tags up. They won’t hurt you.

The heart of this question though is how to deal with pagination in both a user and search engine-friendly way.

I have to wonder though as I consider this question why traditional pagination and infinite scroll aren’t an option for UX? There’s nothing inherently bad with either of those when it comes to user experience.

Both can be done well to make the SEO, development, UX, and accessibility teams happy.

A Quick Workaround

The quickest, easiest, cheapest – but not the best – way to improve this situation is through the use of sitemaps. Ensure that all of your properties are listed in your XML sitemap, for starters.

This isn’t the best solution because there are still no internal site links to the pages, but at least it will help engines crawl them while you address the solution in other ways.

You should also consider adding an “all hotels” sitemap page.

This is a workaround if you can’t do what I’m going to suggest below, but I said we’d start with the quick workarounds.

A Better Solution

Before writing this article, I took a quick look at major hotel brands and hotel search sites to see what they’re doing.

It’s all over the place in terms of UX but most of them have some sort of quick fix as mentioned above, and also use a hybrid of infinite scroll, form interactions, and old-school pagination.

The approach I would recommend is to let your UX team keep the button (although buttons have all kinds of other issues beyond the scope of this article) but also get them to add in some traditional pagination for you with it.

Users get the fancy form/application feel while search engines get nice crawlable links. Users will even get links they can share and send people to, as well.

See SEO-Friendly Pagination: A Complete Best Practices Guide to learn more.

Give And Take

Corporate SEO or SEO for large sites is all about give and take; it’s about knowing what to fight for and what to concede.

In Annika’s case, I would schedule a meeting with UX and the developers and put the SEO requirements out there, plain and simple.

Tell them, “We need a crawlable path to all of the hotel pages that live outside of the sitemaps. How can we do that within this user experience?” and then see where the brainstorm goes.

More Resources:

Featured Image: LuNikos/Shutterstock

How Do I Start Learning Javascript?

In the contemporary world, JavaScript is among the most widely used programming languages. Although it has certain additional use cases, web development is where people use it frequently, particularly when creating interactive front-end features. The top programming languages to learn, without a doubt, include JavaScript. If you want to work in any web development field, you must understand JavaScript.

Sadly, learning a new programming language may be challenging, especially if you don’t have a lot of prior expertise. Getting your head around the fundamentals can be contesting because coding concepts are challenging.

Get Back to the Basics

Although you may find the early principles are relatively simple and clear-cut, you must invest time in the fundamentals to fully understand the language you are attempting to learn.

You can use an Online Editor or Download One

Although utilizing a desktop code editor may not be required for your course, it’s good to get familiar with using one as you learn. You can study JavaScript and other programming languages through online classes that let you write code directly in your browser window. However, if you ever want to work as a JavaScript developer, you will need to be able to utilize a desktop code editor.

Utilize A Quality Online Course

If you’re attempting to learn JavaScript, there are many distinct methods you have. If you are an expert programmer with a solid understanding of the fundamentals of coding, learning JavaScript – or any other language – should be a relatively simple task. You may learn to write progressively sophisticated programs in your code editor only by watching videos, reading tutorials, and practicing. As a beginner without any coding knowledge, it can be considerably more challenging.

Practice Is Not a Fear

You must dedicate yourself if you want to design websites well. Practice is one of the most crucial elements of the learning process. You won’t get better at writing code if you don’t practice. If you are unwilling to invest time in learning your code outside your course, taking an online course is a waste of time. You must download your code editor to study and improve JavaScript. It is easy to practice writing and editing code once you have a code editor. Check out some of the open-source code available on GitHub.

Find a code sample you like, download it, and open it in your code editor. Look through it until you understand what each line of code does. There are lots of ways to practice your JavaScript code skills. One way is to complete coding challenges. There are lots of challenges that are designed specifically for people who are learning JavaScript. You can find many of them by doing a simple Google search. Some things you can do to improve your skills are choose something easy for you and practice regularly. If you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Take a lot of Notes

The process of learning JavaScript must include taking notes. Making notes enables you to translate complex ideas and concepts into easily understandable language. It allows you to refer back to your study notes later and make it easier for you to comprehend confusing concepts.

You can study and improve your knowledge by having notes. You may improve your memory by simply writing things down. Before you consider enrolling in a course or watching “how to code” tutorials, the first step in learning JavaScript is visiting your neighborhood stationery store and purchasing a notepad. Prepare yourself for some heavy note-taking by grabbing a few different colored pens and some highlighters.

Know Every Word in Your Code

When learning JavaScript, it is easy to deliver vague code. It is especially true if you’re trying to learn JavaScript for free via online courses that provide detailed instructions. Many people make the mistake of blindly writing some code in their code editor, then troubleshooting until it accomplishes what is required. These individuals don’t always comprehend what they are writing, though. You must understand every single line of code as a beginning programmer. What it does, and how it affects the rest of your software.

To learn JavaScript is far different from “to master,” which is a far cry from the former. Every time you create a new program, you should take some time to sit down and go through each line of code to make sure you understand what it does. Review your notes, look it up in a language reference book, or ask someone for assistance if you are unsure of something or are having trouble understanding it.

Utilize A Variety of Resource Types

Utilizing as many resources is a clever idea while studying something as challenging as programming.

Locate others to Study JavaScript With

If you try to learn JavaScript programming alone, it might be a lonely and tiresome activity.

Finding people to train with is one of the finest methods to progress from a beginner JavaScript programmer to a master. It might be relatively beneficial to study in groups.

Start your search on Facebook for individuals who are also learning to code. Find local “programming,” “coding,” or “web development” organizations. Consider starting one if there isn’t already one.

Wrapping Up!

This article discussed how to start learning JavaScript. Expect that the tutorial was helpful for you being a beginner in JavaScript. Follow every step discussed to achieve your goal.

Idb Holiday Gift Guide: Oliver’s Picks

Now I’m not sure if you folks have noticed, but we’re currently hurtling towards Christmas. It’s not so much crept up on us as jumped out from behind a pillar, pulled a funny face and shouted “oogabooga” at the top of its lungs. Christmas is just around the corner, and it’s time to get those gifts sorted out.

If you’re much more organized than my good self, then you’re probably reading this with a decidedly smug grin on your face sipping on some egg nog, but if like me you just can’t bring yourself to do Christmas shopping until the week in which the day actually occurs then you may just be sat panicking at the thought of coming up with some gift ideas.

And that’s where we come in.

The iPad Air 2

Anyone who read my gift guide from last year will know that I suggested the iPad mini with Retina was the best tablet to buy and, even if I do say so myself, I was spot on. This year though Apple hasn’t given the iPad mini the love it deserves and beyond a Touch ID sensor, nothing is new. The same can’t be said for the iPad Air.

Faster than any other Apple tablet, impossibly thin and lighter than, well, air, the new iPad Air 2 is without a doubt Apple’s best iPad yet. If you’ve got the money burning a hole in your pocket and have a special someone in need of a new tablet then you really owe it to them, and to yourself, to do the right thing.

No, it’s not cheap. But quality rarely is. Starting at $499, I’d say it’s worth every last cent.

Apple Watch

Yes I’m cheating here, and no, I don’t care one bit. We don’t know when it will be on sale, and we don’t know how much it will cost. What I do know is that any self respecting fan of technology would appreciate a war chest for when the Apple Watch is released. That’s what Apple gift cards, or indeed cash, is for!

Remember though, give what you can afford. Nobody is expecting you to fund one of those 18 carat gold beauties.

Spigen Air Skin iPhone 6/6 Plus case

If like me you just need an iPhone case to stop the thing from getting scuffed when placed on a desk, or as happens far too often your toddler drops it, then you probably don’t need something bomb-proof. iPhone cases come in all shapes and sizes, but the Spigen Air Skin is just 0.4mm thick and feels lovely when on. In fact, I can barely tell that my iPhone 6 isn’t naked beyond the change in texture. It might not protect your phone from abuse, but it looks lovely in its range of colors and feels great in the hand. Highly, highly recommended. And starting at $13 it’s not expensive, either.

TwelveSouth HiRise iPhone/iPad stand

At $35 it’s not the cheapest iPhone or iPad stand around, but it’s probably the best. If you lust after the stands that Apple uses in its stores, then this is the closest you’ll find. A Deluxe version is also available for $60.

The joy of apps

I’ve already suggested Apple gift cards but buying iTunes gift cards means people can buy whatever apps, or games, they like. With so many wonderful choices in just about any category you can think of, iTunes gift cards are never a bad idea.

Kenu AirFrame

The only car mount that has ever worked for me, the AirFrame recently received a new model that supports larger handsets in the AirFrame+. Starting at $25, the AirFrame is a must-have for anyone who drives.


Choosing gifts for the discerning Apple fan is never easy, if only because the choice is so plentiful. With our 2014 gift guides in hand though you need not struggle for inspiration. Any of the products above or indeed those suggested by my colleagues will do the trick come Christmas morning but just remember folks, Christmas isn’t just about the perfect gift. It’s about eating too much and falling to sleep at 3pm too.

Gift guides from other iDB editors:

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