Locust Grove Tech Tidbits

By Denise O'Brien, LMS/STC

Giving Thanks.....

The week of Thanksgiving we are reminded to give thanks for the things we often take for granted..... Well in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I am giving a shout out (inspired from a blog post from ReadWrite.com) to the technologies that I am most thankful for because in their relative short existence they have truly transformed our lives in a variety of ways!

I am thankful for......Touchscreens!

Did you know the 1st iPhone was introduced to the world on June 29, 2007? That's only 7 years ago..... and now I can't imagine my life without one! The majority of the students in our building will NEVER know a life without touch screen technology.

Without the evolution of the touchscreen from single touch to multi-touch, we would not have iPhones, Androids, Windows Phones, iPads and a variety of other meaningful devices. Not to mention the countless number of jobs that have been created to fulfill the demand for apps, software and manufacturing of touch screen devices.

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I am thanksful for.....THE CLOUD

What is the cloud? No one really knows....but I know it is the keeper of some of my precious data, contacts and photos! The days of uploading memory cards and syncing devices and using USB drives to move things from place to place is quickly disappearing because of this wonderful Cloud!


The cloud has changed the way people store their own data, such as notes and recordings, videos and music. Evernote would not exist without the cloud. Spotify would not exist without the cloud. Netflix, Hulu and Amazon’s Video On Demand would not exist without cloud computing. Truly, the ubiquitous cloud is a technology to be thankful for.

I am thankful that technology can connect us.....

There’s a lot of talk today about how technology separates us from one another, and there is some truth to this. With a little self-discipline, though, we can use the same technology that often serves as a disconnect to bring us closer together. Facetime, Skype, and other video chat services give us the opportunity to talk face to face with friends and loved ones in real time, no matter where they are in the world. For me personally, technology allows me to share birthday, Thanksgiving and Christmas moments with my sister who lives far away and can't usually make it home.
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I am thankful for Google...(or just search engines in general)

What did we ever do in a world without Google? I honestly don't know. When I don't know how to do something...what do I do? I Google it. When I can't answer a question about my child's homework? What do I do? Google it. No matter what my problem, I can usually find some sort of answer or guide or DIY by Googling the problem. Google....I am SO thankful to have you in my life.
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DMD Topic

DMD Topic is a neat iPad app for quickly creating short videos. To create a video you simply take a picture or import a picture from your iPad’s camera roll then start talking about the picture. You can record for up to 30 seconds. When you’re finished recording, watch the video and select “tagging” to make the video automatically zoom to the objects that you are talking about in your video. Watch my sample video to see a DMD Topic video in action.

DMD Topic could be a good app to have students use to create short explanatory videos. Students can also use the app to create a short video about picture of their pets, their families, or anything else that is important to them (perhaps the players on their favorite sports team). DMD Topic does not require registration.

DMD Topic is free for a limited time (as of November 24, 2014). The regular price is $0.99 USD.

Things

This normally $9.99 is currently FREE between now and November 28th!


If you're working on Habit 1 (Be Proactive) and looking for a great way to help stay organized with life, this is a great app to try! Things for iPad and Things for iPhone is free for just a few short days.


Things is a delightful task manager that's easy to use, yet has all the power when you need it. Projects, tags, repeating tasks - all at your fingertips. And no matter what device you're on, Things Cloud keeps your to-dos updated across them all - automatically.


• Today: Decide which tasks you want to do today and put them into your Today list. Throughout the day, come back to this list to check items off. Things will automatically show you due and scheduled items there once their date arrives - so you won't miss anything important.

• Focus: See what you need to do Today, what's coming up Next, and what's Scheduled for later. Put tasks in Someday if you can't work on them right now, you can always come back to them later.

• Keep organized: Work, Family, Hobby - with Things, everything has its place. Projects and Areas of Responsibility let you master complex tasks and stay on top of your responsibilities in life and work.

• Use Tags to assign contexts, priorities, time – whatever fits your personal workflow. Quickly filter a list to find those tasks which are most relevant now.

• Out of your head, into Things: Enter new ideas the moment they hit you. Adding to-dos is always just a tap away.

• And much more: Create repeating tasks, add due dates, schedule tasks for a later date, review completed tasks in the Logbook, etc.

Genius Scan

I have found more uses for this app then I ever imagined....take any document, picture, form, or piece of paper and turn it instantly into a PDF or JPEG image file. Just use your iPad or phone camera to snap a picture, then drag the frame to match the size of the image you want to be the PDF and press done! That's it! You can then email, dropbox, or eFax your document anywhere you'd like it to go.


Fill-out forms and scan into PDF's to email to the intended recipients. I've used this for doctor office forms, pictures and more. I've used it to take pictures of books (picture books) and create 1 PDF file of the book and turn it into a digital book that can be emailed or read on my computer or iPad! So many different possible uses I think this is a MUST have!