Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 17 - Evernote

For those uninitiated into the world of Evernote I hope this posting encourages you to dive in. I have Evernote installed on every computer and portable device I use and it has been my go-to place for information and planning for years. I use it in lesson planning, for storing websites I want to keep, for note taking, and for sharing notes with students and other teachers. My information is always with me, no matter the device I have in hand, and is searchable as well so I can quickly locate exactly what I am looking for. Evernote is my information dump, where I store every bit of info I might want or need later on. I even scan in whatever paper I receive and toss the paper!

So, what exactly is Evernote? Looking at the front page of their website provides a quick summary:
  • Capture anything. Save your ideas, things you like, things you hear, and things you see.
  • Access anywhere. Evernote works with nearly every computer, phone and mobile device out there.
  • Find things fast. Search by keyword, tag or even printed and handwritten text inside images.
And here is a quick video overview:

Here are some getting started tutorials if you need some assistance getting up and going.

There are a myriad of ways to use Evernote in education, here are a few features and ideas to get our discussion started.

  • Using Evernote to Log Classroom Activities

  • Evernote Peek (for use with iPad Smart Covers)

  • Evernote Clearly

  • Sharing Notebooks in Evernote

  • Teaching in "The Cloud" with Evernote

  • Evernote in Education - FETC Conference 2012, Carlos Fernandez

  • Evernote at The Montclair Kimberley Academy

Another of my favorite ways to use Evernote is to send notes into my notebooks from email. With your Evernote account you receive a personal email address to which you can email notes. These could be ideas emailed to yourself from your phone on the run, or emails you want to keep as reference but need to get out of your inbox. Here is some information on how to email notes to your notebooks

For EVSC employees, here is perhaps my favorite tip. Have some paper you want to be rid of but want to keep the information on it? Go to a school copier and, using the scan and email feature, have the printer scan your paper and mail it to your Evernote email address. Within seconds that paper is gone, but the information on it is accessible, through Evernote, on every device you own. Way cool!

There is so much Evernote can do, and its abilities just keep on growing. I hope you see some potential benefits for your classroom.

Your Challenge:
In what ways do you use Evernote? How do you envision you might use Evernote? Are there plugins from the "Trunk" you find especially useful? How might students benefit from using Evernote?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day 16 - Photo Story 3

Creating basic multimedia movies is simple when using Photo Story 3.  This free application allows users to create digital stories using photos or images.  With a single click, users can touch-up, crop or rotate pictures, remove red-eye, and add special effects, music, and voice narration to photo stories. Small file sizes make it easy to send your photo stories in an e-mail or watch them on a TV, computer, or Windows Mobile–based portable device.
The possibilities for using Photo Story 3 stretch across curricular areas.  I have used it several times in both high school and middle school --  students have created commercials, historical timelines, personal timelines, and biographies.  What I like most is that it is simple to use, so teachers don’t need to spend much time teaching students how to use the program – they just click and go!

The easiest way to learn Photo Story 3 is by using it, but I’ve included screen shots to familiarize you with the program.  I’ve also included a resource section at the bottom containing links to tutorials and help sections.

Step One: Getting Started

Begin a new story if this is the start of a project.  
You may also edit an existing story or play a completed one.

 Step Two: Importing Your Photos or Pictures Files

Click “Import Photos” button and find the photos you’d like to use for your project.   
You may select them one by one or several at a time.

Step Three: Editing Your Timeline and Photos
 Your pictures will appear in the timeline along the bottom of the screen.  If the photos are not in the order you want them, drag and drop them wherever you like.  Use the buttons under the photo to make a variety of edits.  Users may correct red eye, adjust colors, and crop just to name a few.

Step Four: Adding Titles and Narration

This screen provides many options.  Users may add titles to an image (top) or add a voice recording (bottom) if desired.  These are optional.  If this isn’t something you want, simply click “Next.”

Step Five: Customizing Motion

By clicking the “Customize Motion” button under the photo, the user has the option to add the "Ken Burns Effect" to photos.

Step Six: Adding Background Music.

 Select the photo where you’d like the music to begin.  Add your own mp3 file or choose one from a copyright free website such as 

Step Seven: Save your project.

This step renders your file into a Windows Media file that can be played back on any computer with  Windows Media Player. Once rendered, you will still have your original Photo Story 3 file that you saved if you want to go back and make changes to the final product.

Tutorials and Resources
Here are some additional resources you can use to become more proficient with Photo Story 3:
   Photo Story 3 Tutorials: There are eleven screencasts on this site to take you through each step of using Photo Story 3.
   Photo Story’s Help section: In the program, click Help... for a searchable help guide with illustrations.
   Photo Story 3 download page:  Click here to download Photo Story 3. You must have Windows XP and Windows Media Player 10 to use Photo Story 3. You can download Windows Media Player 10 here

Your Challenge

How have you used this tool in your classroom?  What successes have you had?  If you have not used this tool, share some ideas on how you can incorporate it into your classroom.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 15: AirServer & Touch Mouse for iDevices

AirServer for iDevices

Have you found an amazing app for your iPad that you want to share with students? Have a movie that you've bought in digital form that only located on your iPod? Have a picture that will enhance your teaching but its only on your iPhone? Luckily for you, there's an app for that. 

AirServer allows you to beam music, movies, or photos from your iDevice to your computer with out the hassle of adapters or cords in full 1080p HD. It turns your computer, Mac or Windows into a server for the Mac program AirPlay. AirPlay is the pre-installed program on iDevices that allows you to beam your content wirelessly to an AirPort express, AppleTV, or bluetooth speakers. What you can't do with AirPlay is display content from your iDevice to your computer. AirServer makes this possible!

You do not have to install anything on your iDevice. The program is a free download (Windows / Mac) for 7 days as a trial, and if you love it like I do, it's  $11.99 (students & teachers up to 3 computers). 

To get started, navigate your web browser on your computer HERE to download AirServer.
Click on the blue FREE button for your computer type. In the window that pops up, type in your name and email address then click Submit Activation. You will then be emailed an activation link. Then open your email and click the link to activate your trial. 

Once you have install the software on your computer, you will need to link the iDevice to the computer.To activate AirPlay on your iDevice push the home button twice quickly. Scroll left through the running programs and you should see a button which looks like the image below. 

Once you have located the AirPlay button, tap the icon and your computer should show up in the list of options.Tap to select your computer and then slide the mirroring option to ON. Make sure your settings look like the image below.
You should now see your iDevice appear in a window on your screen! 

TouchMouse for iPhone/iPad/iPod/Android
 TouchMouse is a program by Logitech that allows you to operate your computer from your iDevice just as you would a mouse. It even has a built in keyboard for typing! 

You will need to download software for your Android/iDevice AND computer before getting started. 

Software Downloads

For iDevices: Click Here or search the AppStore for Logitech. Make sure you have selected iPhone Apps at the top of the screen before searching if using an iPad. You will see that Touch Mouse is one of the first apps to appear. 

For Android: Click Here or search Google Play for Airborne Free
- Android Paid Version includes a keyboard for $1.99.
For Computer: You will also need to download the computer software. Visit the Logitech Website to download the program.  Choose your Operating System for your computer. Click the teal download program button to begin the download.

2 Ways to Connect the Devices

1). Computer on the Wireless Network

Make sure the computer you are using and the iDevice/Android are both connected to the SAME wireless network. When you start the app on the mobile device, you should see the name of your computer computer listed.  

2). Type in the IP Address of Computer

If you don't see any computers listed, find your computer IP address by right clicking  on the Remote Mouse icon in your task bar next to your clock then selecting Settings. 

On your device you will need to input your computer's IP address. To configure this, please follow below:

iDevice: Input your computer's IP address in the box at the bottom of the app.

Android: tap your menu button, then tap settings, input the computer IP address where it says IP/Hostname. Tap back key.

You are ready to control your computer from a distance!

Your Challenge
Would AirServer or TouchMouse benefit you in your classroom? How? 
Share an app that you find would be useful to use with AirServer.