Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Project that iPad

Using an iPad in your classroom? Then you need to be able to project your work on the big screen. First, get a VGA adapter for your iPad, and then start collecting apps that allow VGA output. (Not all apps do this, but that is changing all the time.) See below for some good candidates.

Expedition (a browser)
Note Taker HD
Sundry Notes (it's free)
Whiteboard HD
Penultimate (Good for drawing, formulas, like an overhead)
6Tech Blog article
App Store

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bookmarklets: Paper Case and Liquid Page

I recently came across two bookmarklets that I wanted to share with you. (As you probably remember from previous posts, a bookmarklet is a snippet of code that you drag to your browser's address bar. Every time you click it, it will cause the page you're viewing to change its appearance.) The first one I'd like to share is "Liquid Page". What I love about Liquid Page, is that it allows you to drag around the elements of any webpage you visit. It's a great way to rethink the layout of a page you're designing. With younger students, it can be used to play with a column of words as if they are fridge magnets, or rearrange images to group like items together. (Fun on a Smartboard!)

"Paper Case" is another useful bookmarklet. You can find it on the Liquid Mongoose site. Simply visit Netflix, Music.aol.com, or Picassa and click on your bookmarklet to create a pre-formatted page that you can print to hold your CDs. There's even a video tutorial to explain how it all works. (See below.)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Publishing online - some web apps

There are lots of great resources for teachers to publish student work in a "book" format. Most allow for online viewing via embed codes. This allows parents, relatives and friends to view the work from anywhere. Most will also allow viewers to print out copies for saving and bragging.

Web based Solutions:

Very easy set up. This can be used without an account. Lots of formats possible. Nice templates.http://simplebooklet.com

Bookr allows you to create picture flipbooks using Flickr images, and you can add your own text . (It is not printer friendly, but if you take screen shots, you can print.) Make note of the embed code and URL or you'll never find it again!

Scribd allows you to upload docs, PPT, pdfs and view them/ embed them as an online book, slide show or scroll. You can print what you upload. You'll need an account to do this.

Software Based Solutions

If you have access to iPhoto (mac) , you can use it to make a book, and add captions. Simply save as a PDF, then print the book or upload to some of the web based services.

Students can make pages using individual slides. When printed out, they can be bound to create books. Saved as a PDF, the slides can also be uploaded to some of the web based services.

See also, (but some content may not be kid friendly)


You can download their software to create beautiful photo books. Books can be viewed online, sold/purchased, and or printed

Upload your PDF creations to create flipbooks.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Is there an alternative to Google?

I just read a post in TechCrunch by V. Wadhwa highlighting some of the problems associated with "googling" in the wild. It seems that spam and advertising seems to rise to the top everytime, contaminating the results. I've found that depending on the topic, a Google hunt can be quite a safari expedition! You have to be quite ruthless in filtering out the commercial sites with a series of "minus this" and "minus that". And I always have the sneaking suspicion that I've just eliminated the perfect site by doing so! Wadhwa offers a solution in the form of Blekko. (Here's the complete article.)

Here's how Wadwha describes it: 

"Blekko was founded in 2007 by Rich Skrenta, Tom Annau, Mike Markson, and a bunch of former Google and Yahoo engineers. [...] In addition to providing regular search capabilities like Google’s, Blekko allows you to define what it calls “slashtags” and filter the information you retrieve according to your own criteria. Slashtags are mostly human-curated sets of websites built around a specific topic, such as healthfinancesportstech, and colleges." 

A quick look at the site makes me want to explore this "new" search engine. Might be a good addition to the research toolkit!