Monday, November 26, 2012

Draw on the Net

If you teach using a projector and a laptop, but you don't have a Smartboard, sometimes you wish you were able to draw on a webpage just to highlight a section or point out a noteworthy feature. While you might have software installed on your computer that will allow you to do this, occasionally, all you want is a quick-launching option to make a note or two and then move on. I've blogged previously about which lets you place arrows, circles and squares on webpages, but "Drawonthenet" allows you to scribble away to your heart's content. You can even "save" your creation as a separate webpage, and direct your students to the annotated version. To use, simply drag the "star" to your links bar on your browser, navigate to the page you want to notate, and activate the bookmarklet.


Monday, November 19, 2012

"Book Creator" for the iPad

Billed as "The simple way to create beautiful books on your iPad", this simple to use app offers kids a great outlet for their creative talents. Students can create their own artwork, pair it with their own storyline and quickly produce "iBooks-ready" creations to share. Students even have the option of embedding audio file right on the page. The option of sending the file to Dropbox means that it can be easily viewed by a large audience.

Book Creator can be downloaded from the App Store here and costs $4.99 - well worth the cost!
What kind of books can kids make? Use your imagination: Children’s picture books, Photo books, Art books, Cook books, Manuals, Textbooks and more. If you want to get fancy,  check out Liz Castro’s excellent mini-guide Audio and Video in EPUB.)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photoediting - Pixlr

Lately, I've had to do some editing of images to produce icon buttons for databases we subscribe to. I wanted something quick. Rather than fire up Photoshop, I've been using Pixlr.

This easy to use, web-based app loads up quickly into your browser. While the Advanced version (one of the choices) gives you layers and Photoshop-like features, "Pixlr Express" is quick, did most of what I wanted to do, (text, borders, stamps, cropping, etc.) and didn't overwhelm me with options. The Pixlr-o-matic (also available in an iOs and Android app) is very simple - allowing some borders, overlays and filters for a quick effects wash. Give it a try.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Posting work for QR without a login?

Here's the problem I was recently given: "How can a teacher easily share student work, without requiring a login or account creation?"  The teacher in question wanted to attach student poetry to QR codes and put the codes up around the school, and have kids discover them in a kind of literary scavenger hunt. (I think the poems contained clues to the next spot.) There are a few solutions out there (try googling "disposable pages"), but the most elegant seems to be Tidypub. This simple, elegant service lets you post a page of text, and gives you a URL to share. While you can't go back and edit after the fact, this is an easy solution for a quick paste of student created work. Take the resulting URL and past it into to get a QR code (look under the details tab).

Check out the sample I created by scanning the code in this post!