Category Archives: Tools
In this video Luis shows off using the iPhone 4s VoiceOver feature and Camera App together. Being able to use VoiceOver with the Camera app can aid an individual with a visual impairment take pictures without cutting off the subjects head. This is because face recognition feature of the camera app comes into play allowing VoiceOver to announce how many faces are in the shot. It also tells the photographer where in the frame the faces are located (I.E. “Top Left”, “One Face”…etc..).
At the iteach lounge at the University of South Florida, we are always looking for easy to use apps for iPads that allow teachers to quickly and easily create educational content. Two apps we have recently compared are ScreenChomp by TechSmith and ShowMe app by Easel. Both are essentially doodling apps that allow the student/teacher to record their voice. After recording your drawing and voice the individual to upload their to the “cloud”. Each app has its own cloud type storage service that will generate a link to be shared with other students, teachers family and friends. ShowMe requires the individual to create an account prior to being able to upload the video to the cloud.
ScreenChomp has a few more sharing options by harnessing the Facebook and Twitter networks from within the app as well as providing in app email and open in Safari app support.
ScreenChomp also does not require a login to allow students or teachers to begin making videos and sharing them online. This also means your videos are open to the public provided they have the link. ShowMe app provides a “private” upload, but this just means the video is not listed in it’s website directory. I will say that once you are on showmeapp.com, you can share that link to Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, email, and webpage embed.
Another feature of Screenchomp is that it allows you to download the video as a MPEG-4 file. Now you can add this to your iTunes, YouTube.com, or other podcasting service.
Both of these apps could be used by students or teachers to explain certain visual concepts or tasks such as math or science equations. Students can also use these apps for think aloud exercises. Both apps also allow the individual to add a picture from their photo library, allowing one to annotate over a picture or diagram.
Have you used these apps? What do you think of these apps or other interactive whiteboard apps for tablet pcs (iPad, zoom, tab, etc.) in education?
Streamlining your learning with technology makes education work seamlessly from any of your devices whether it is an iPhone, iPod, iPad, or the computer. There are an overwhelming number of apps available for students to try as part of their work process.
Some resources that are valuable and worthwhile whether you are a freshman or working on your doctorate that we recommend are:
1. GoodReader for iPad: GoodReader is a mulit-tasking tool that supports large text and PDF files, syncs with remote servers, and works with .doc, .ppt, .xls, iWork, HTML and Safari webarchives, high resolution images, and audio and video. This app, also allows you the opportunity to annotate your documents or PDF’s, manage the files, transfer files, sync files and folders, zoom, do a text search, and do a quick hyperlink search in your PDF’s. Cost: $4.99
2. Tap-Dictionary: Works with the Safari web browser and gets dictionary definitions with the tap of a finger. This app will not make you switch applications to find the definition. It instantly finds the definition while you browse the web. Tap-dictionary will pronounce the word in 56 different languages. Cost: $.99
3. Remember the Milk: This utility app lets you take your to do list anywhere. There are a variety of versions for the iPod, iPhone,and iPad. The app also works with your online version that you sync with your calendars at rememberthemilk.com This app lets you add and complete tasks on the go, sync with your online version, organize priorities, due dates, search, receive reminders by email SMS and IM and much more. Cost: Free
4. Dropbox: Once you download this feature to your computer and purchase the app on your iPad or iPhone you have the ability to save and open or share documents, photos, or videos anywhere and at anytime. The best thing about the dropbox account is that you can save, share, or email anything from or to the dropbox account at any time. Cost: Free
5. Dropvox: Dropvox records audio and sends it directly to your dropbox account. It can be used to capture any audio (e.g. interviews, memos, or lectures, ets.) In addition, you can set the audio to start recording immediately when dropvox is launched or continue recording in the background. Cost: $1.99
Taken from Dr. Blog, PhD., this site shares information about apps for research with a focus on obtaining a PhD., but has many apps that are valid for everyone.
One of the most difficult things you can do academically is to get a PhD degree. There are a lot of tough tasks you have to complete in order to be awarded this high degree — including writing research papers. Indeed, anyone on a Ph.D. track knows that it is impossible to get through your schooling without writing several papers. And, of course, a Ph.D. dissertation is a research paper on a massive scale.
If you are looking for ways to improve your ability to write research papers, you are in luck. Technology makes it simple to get help with research papers. If you have an iPad, you can get help writing your research paper.” –from http://www.phddegree.org/
The link for this site is: http://www.phddegree.org/top-20-ipad-apps-to-help-you-write-a-research-paper.html
The college of education at the University of South Florida recently launched an initiative to advance pre-service teachers knowledge of emerging technologies in the classroom. The iteach initiative recently focusing on Apple products, has provided it’s students with workshops from Apple certified educators focusing on multimedia creation and optimizing lessons for consumption on the iPad. Workshops provided hands on experience using Apple’s iLife suite and Dashcode as well as other educational technologies. At the university level USF has made decisions to benefit the students as a whole but also benefits students who are iPad users or are thinking of buying an iPad.
One of these changes that USF IT has made is providing students access to an apps portal. Now students can access a wide array of popular programs such as Adobe CS5 Master Collection, Atlas T.I., Maya 2010, Mathimatica 7 and many others from any computer with an Internet connection. The university uses a citrix system that students can connect to by pointing their web browser to apps.usf.edu.
A benefit of using the apps portal, besides access to expensive software, students can begin working on projects on a machine on campus and still access their same project at home on their personal machines. Imagine you begin building a website for your communications class while on a campus machine and being able to finish your project at home. Or say you begin qualitative analysis project in Atlas T.I., which you couldn’t afford to buy, you can finish it anywhere anytime you are connected to the apps portal.
All of the applications available on the USF Apps Portal can also be accessed on the students iPad. Click the link below to configure your iPad to use the apps portal.
Some applications do not lend themselves to working nicely on the iPad. You may not want to create complex vector graphics in Adobe Illustrator thru the portal, but you can easily edit your documents, write programs, or analyze data on the iPad.
The apps portal is essentially just allowing students the ability to screen share to a server to access the applications. You will want to have a reliable and fast Internet connection to use the portal. The university provides storage space for students to save their files on the server. Students can have up to 4GB of storage space to save their files and create websites. USF has also been a Google University for the past few years. Now that Google has opened up Google Docs to editing on the iPad, this also provides students another avenue to create and share content on their iPad.
Until recently if you wanted your wordpress blog to have a different design for mobile devices you had to download a mobile plugin such as WPTouch. WordPress and OnSwipe have worked together to make all 18 million blogs on wordpress.com look more app like when viewed on the iPad. OnSwipe.com promises to make it easy for all publishers content appear more app like.
This new design reminds me of the FlipBoard app or Zite app available in the iTunes app store. Publishers who host their own blogs can go to OnSwipe.com and sign up for the beta.
Will this make reading blogs online more enjoyable? The iPad does provide a different reading experience than reading from your computer. And it looks like this most popular design for reading magazine type or content of short articles being adopted or at least getting the most buzz. But should that be the standard or default design or user experience for viewing Rss feed stories on the iPad?
How many times have you searched endlessly for scholarly resources and found your searches inadequate? Did you know that Google Scholar is a great tool and a useful enhancement to other searches in Proquest, Eric, and any of the other journal sites or databases? Google Scholar is a separate tool in Google and is meant to be a place to research peer-reviewed journal articles, court decisions, magazine articles, books, patents, editorials, and other similar written publications. Be aware that it will find books and articles that may or may not be peer reviewed.
In order to start your search in Google:
- Open the main search page and locate the upper left hand corner where it says more and click onthe down arrow to the right of it.
- Click on Scholar.
- Once you click on the link, Google Scholar is opened up.
Remember that it may be an additional resource to the other databases provided within the library research database for your school. Ask your school librarian if this resource is available to you. There are times when you will look up an article or book that takes you to an outside resource that requires a fee for access. Make sure you have accessed the information for Google Scholar through your library research database and if this continues to occur, speak to your Librarian as they may have a way to obtain the resource through your school library.
Search tips in Google
There are a variety of tips for searching the site that applies for any searches. These shortcuts work with many other search engines that are available in your university library and other search engines.
There are a number of little tricks that can be used to help create a better search. The table below gives a number of the best tips that are useful.
|Modifier||What it does||What to type||What you will get|
|“ ”||searches for an exact phrase||“assistive technology in education”||results that include exact phrase “assistive technology in education”|
|─||excludes search results with a particular word or phrase||bass -fishing||results about bass that are not related to fishing|
|~||searches for a word and all its synonyms||~mobile phone||results with the word “phone,” as well as, “cell,” “cellular,” etc.|
|OR||searches for webpages that include either word||vacation London OR Paris||results with the word “vacation” and either “London” or “Paris”|
|…||searches for a range of numbers||Willie Mays 1950…1960||results about Willie Mays during this time period|
|define:||define a word or phrase||define: plethora||links to definitions of the word “plethora”|
|site:||searches only particular websites||global warming site:edu||references to global warming found on .edu websites|
|link:||searches for webpages that link to a particular website||link:www.usf.edu||websites that link to the University of South Florida website|
|1+1||basic calculator functions||4+7, 30% of 55, 20^2, sqrt(4), etc.||the answer|
|cm in foot||converts unit of measure||cm in foot, 28C in F, $ in pound, days in fortnight, miles in league, mph in speed of light, etc.||the converted answer|
For more search tips to use in Google Scholar, follow this link: http://www.google.com/librariancenter/librarian_tools.html
There are many posters that librarians or teachers can post in the classroom or library to remind students of the various methods of searching the database and finding the specific information for a research project or paper. One is linked below.
Google Scholar Email Alerts
Email alerts are a tool that can be used to continue receiving information as it becomes available. Once you are inside a search, click on the envelope icon on the green bar that says create email alert and a new window opens where you can place any email or your Gmail address. Once this is done, any new papers, articles, or other items that fit into the search parameters is published, the information will be sent to the specified email.
For educators in special education, perusing the apple app store for relevant applications to use with students can be a time consuming task. While the app store has an Education section to the app store, it does not have a Special Education category listed. Many special education educators have begun creating their own recommended lists of special education apps. These apps span across multiple categories in the iTunes App store. Apple has finally heard the needs of special educators and in its commitment to special education, it has created a Special Education section in the iTunes App store. It is not yet a main category in the app store, nor is it a subcategory of Education. This may be because the apps in Special Education currently bridge multiple categories in the App Store. The list currently contains 30+ apps. If you would like to learn about more apps for special education, you should visit Mobile Learning for Special Needs. They review apps, accessories and resources for special needs and mobile learning. They currently have listed 60+ apps, accessories, links, and discussions.
Mobile Learning for Special Needs: http://mobilelearning4specialneeds.wikispaces.com/Apps
Special Education in iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewMultiRoom?fcId=399470755
WordPress.com is a wonderful service. It allows you to upload images and documents for use in your blog. Embedding audio is non existent for WordPress.com users you upgrade to a premium account. For many k-12 educators this may present an issue in the school systems. One alternative is to sign up for an account on Podbean to host your entire blog or just your media files (audio and videos).
Podbean is built off of a WordPress framework. It offers its users blogging tools aimed at podcasters. It makes it easy to embed audio files into each page and post. Since the backbone of Podbean.com is similar to WordPress.com, there is a short code to embed the audio player directly into your WordPress.com blog. Below are the steps for embedding audio into your WordPress.com blog.
- Create an account at Podbean.com.
- Enter your dashboard to manage your new blog. (this can be done by adding “/admin” at the end of your url.
- Once you have logged in, you can upload your media files to Podbean.com using the Upload link. This will place you in the “Media Manager”.
- Click the upload button.
- Click browse to upload a file from your computer.
- Click the Upload button to begin uploading your file. You will see a progress bar telling you how much of the file has been processed.
- After your file is uploaded, find it in the Current Media files section and click on it.
- A pop-up box will appear with the url to your audio file. Copy this link.
- Now you can login to your WordPress.com blog if you arent already.
- In a page or post type in the text editor.
Now you have successfully embedded an audio file into your WordPress.com blog. You can now type other content around the player.
Example: The Bald Man and the Fly