Saturday, November 11, 2017

Shift+T is Your New Secret Weapon


Gmail Tasks users, rejoice!  Turn your Gmail messages into Task items by simply tapping Shift + T.  The item will adopt the subject line and link itself to the message for reference!  Feel free to edit the task's tile afterwards and set a due date.  Lastly, archive that message to achieve inbox zero!


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Logitech Rugged Combo Case for New iPad Review

I have the privilege of having one of the first Logitech Rugged Combo Cases for the New 9.7" iPad to demo.  I thought I'd do my civic duty to provide an overall first impression of the case through the lens of an Instructional Technology Specialist.  Take a look at the pics and captions below:

Combo Case closed.  Sturdy, non-slip and tight fit.

Combo Case open.  Sturdy, good line-of-sight.
"Top" view. Access to headphone jack and microphone. Power button cover is tight and responsive.
"Bottom" view. Lightning cable jack is redirected since Keyboard is powered by iPad.  Speak cutouts provide audio routing to user.
40° range.  Stress upon hinge seems minimal.  
Back View. Camera cutout. Hinge has double-sided, double-stitched luggage-grade fabric that offers durable flexibility.
Back View Under Support.  Clear window for asset tag!
Front View.  Secure connector connects using iPad power.  No need to charge Keyboard Case nor connect via Bluetooth!
Front View.  Connected.  Top row keys include (L to R): Home, brightness, search, keyboard hide/show, Siri, SCREENSHOT BUTTON!, iTunes control, Volume, Lock
Combo Case device information available in Settings --> General --> About menu

Overall Pros:
  • Reduced risk of damaged hinge (no metal to bend, plastic to snap off, nor screws to lose)
  • Tight, durable fit of iPad within case
  • No charging necessary (uses iPads power...according to battery usage, no drainage detected)
  • No need to connect to Bluetooth (uses proprietary Secure Connector)
  • Clear Asset Tag (or whatever) window on back
  • SCREENSHOT BUTTON!
  • Well spaced and responsive typing
  • Price point for Education (~$100!)
  • 3-Year Warranty
Overall Concerns:
  • While case seems thick and durable to protect screen and drops from 6', the Keyboard itself is thin and cased in plastic that is juuuuuuuuust to thin to my liking..
  • Keys are able to be popped off, but the Space Bar (most commonly lost key at my school) seems more secure than the rest.
  • Stress test results for opening/closing/strain on support hinge?  Seems sturdy, but time will tell.
I'm currently accepting reviews of the case from faculty and staff at my school.  They have been using the ZAGG Rugged Book for the past two years.  I'll update this post when the results are in.  Check back soon!


Thursday, March 2, 2017

eduClipper is Pinterest meets Portfolio for Education


Pinterest is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to find, organize and share web content.  However, like most social media sites, it's riddled with ads, contains some mildly inappropriate content, and is blocked by most school web filters.

EduClipper aims to solve this dilemma.

EduClipper, a social web platform for teachers and students alike, has been around since 2012.  The premise is a familiar one: teachers browse web content, "clips" the content into a "clipboard" which can then be shared to anyone.  Teachers can even reclip content that others have already added to their clipboards.  What makes it stand apart from Pinterest?

1.) Pinterest meets Google Drive: Teachers can upload content directly from their Google Drive. Anything that has already been added and organized to Google Drive can now be added to a clipboard to provide a more visually pleasing experience.

2.) Pinterest meets Skitch: Teachers can annotate their clips.  Aside from clipping a portion of a web page, teachers can add text, drawings, arrows, etc. over the image to clarify the content.

3.) Pinterest meets Seesaw/Explain Everything: Using the iOS app, teachers can add clips by taking photos using the camera tool (making the nondigital digital) or recording a digital whiteboard cast.

4.) Pinterest meets Wikis: Teachers can create classes of students and allow students to collaborate on clipboards!

5.) Pinterest meets Portfolios: Students are able to select their best digital work and add it to a portfolio for others to view.

Are you already a user of eduClipper?  Share how you use the platform in the comments below!
Thursday, November 3, 2016

CamScanner at Conferences

Sitting at an awkward angle but want to capture the preso with quality? Use CamScanner.

It will automatically crop, keystone and optimize your image. Then, collect a series of them in a folder than can be exported as a PDF for sharing with colleagues or for archiving purposes.

Go from



to


Collect them in folder:


Share them out via PDF!


Click here to download CamScanner for Android or here on iTunes.
Thursday, June 23, 2016

Adobe Spark: Now available for Chromebooks!


Who doesn't love a good story?  When it comes to storytelling, there are several dozen really good apps and websites that allow students to create, narrate and publish their stories.

In my opinion, the best iOS app for students to use to tell a story was Adobe Voice.  Type a title, add a slide, choose a layout, select an image/icon (thousands to choose from!), record your voice, repeat, publish.


Despite the brilliance of the Adobe Voice app, the biggest drawback is that this app was only available for the iPad and you could only authenticate with an Adobe ID.

BUT NO LONGER!

Adobe Voice was recently rebranded to Adobe Spark.  Best part of the rebranding is that it now is available as a web app (available for Chromebooks!), and you can now authenticate with Google!


Here's a video I recently made using Adobe Spark about my love for Adobe Spark:


(see how Adobe Spark videos can be embedded, too?!)

...now all it needs is Google Classroom integration (wishful thinking?).

Ready to tell your story, leave a comment with a link to your Adobe Spark video!