Just Off Central

Volume 2

Did You Know?

Spotlight is probably one of the most underused features on your Mac, but it is a pretty powerful tool. Located in the top right corner of your screen, the magnifying glass is often overlooked. Clicking on it gives you the ability to search your computer for programs, documents, pictures, and that email you know you received, but can't seem to find anywhere. It's basically Google for your Mac! Search by word, name, file type, whatever. Then preview the item to make sure it is what you were looking for before you open it. It's a great way to quickly launch a program on your Mac. You can even use Spotlight as a calculator or a dictionary. Check out the video below to see it in action.

Cool Tools

Scenario 1: You have an assignment in which you want all your students to find and share resources that can be collected in a single location for easy access later.

Scenario 2: You want your class to brainstorm over the course of time on a topic of concern. It is too important of a topic to try to solve in one class session, so you want a place to host all of the shared ideas as they come to the students. As they come up with ideas, they don't have to wait until they get to class to share, they can go to Padlet and post for the rest of the class to see

Scenario 3: You have a link from your class webpage to post your assignments and share any additional files or links to your class. You want your students to share their work with others in the class. You want a place for them to "Hang their work on the Virtual Wall" so all can see. Students can access it and post on the same wall.

Do any of the above have your attention? Want to know more? Watch this video for a demonstration. (only 4 minutes long)

App Spotlight

ChatterPix is a free app for the iPad or iPhone that gives you the ability to make your pictures talk. Take a photo or use one that's already in your cameral roll, draw a line where you want the mouth to be, and record your voice. It's that simple! You can also add stickers or effects to your ChatterPix.

This can be used in so many ways in the classroom:

  • Find pictures of a historical figure and tell about an event from his/her perspective
  • Draw a shape in a drawing app and then have the shape tell about itself
  • Animate a cartoon book character
  • Snap a picture of an art project, and let it come to life
  • Find more ideas on this Pinterest board dedicated to ChatterPix

There are two versions available in the app store. ChatterPix has social media sharing capabilities built in; ChatterPix Kids does not, so keep that in mind as you decide which works best for you.

Sound like something you would like to do, but you don't have access to iPads? Check out blabberize.com on your computer! It's a little more complicated, but it does the same general thing.

ChatterPix by Duck Duck Moose - Make Anything Talk!

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