Monday, December 12, 2011

Apple TV

My husband finally asked the question... "So what's on your Christmas list?"  Wow!  Things have been so busy, I have not really stopped to think about it.  Maybe an Iphone alarm docking station would be nice...or what about a new Apple TV?   So I immediately decided to check it out to see if it is something I might find useful.  As you can see from the picture, it easily fits into the palm of your hand and can do so much.  So many possibilities!

You can project home videos, movies, tv programs, photos, youtube videos, apps, etc.  onto your widescreen tv.  You can also access your photos and videos in the Apple icloud through the Apple TV. 

Since I got my Iphone last year, I look back and wonder how I ever lived without it.  I am so connected now.  I see so many others with Iphones, as well, and I am always sharing my favorite apps with friends and colleagues.  Wouldn't it be great to share some of these apps with parents and colleagues in some kind of inservice or staff development!

What better way than with the Apple TV! The Apple TV projects the screen of your Iphone up onto a widescreen tv.  Check out the Youtube video below for a quick demonstration of Apple TV Airplay Mirroring.  The drawback seems to be that this feature is only available to the newer Iphone 4s and the Ipad 2. 


For more information about the Apple TV, check out Apple's official website @ http://www.apple.com/appletv/

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon

Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon
As an elementary librarian, I am asked quite often for David Shannon books.  He is a popular author of children's picture books, but the kids seem to favor his books with his most-popular David character.  One of my favorites is Bad Case of Stripes.  Camilla Cream, the main character, loves lima beans.  She will not eat them, however, because she is afraid of what other kids might think of her. 

I love teachable moments, and I cannot tell you how many of those moments are talking to students about the importance of being true to yourself and embracing our differences.  This story takes this lesson to the next level and really allows for some great discussions, especially with some of the older students.  We recently had a Book Character parade at our school, and I took the opportunity to share this book with as many of our students as possible.  The kids got such a kick out of it.  My husband woke up 45 minutes early that day to help me "get into character," shaking his head the whole time!!  It was so much fun.  As I popped in and out of classrooms that day, we read the story, making predictions along the way and discovering new vocabulary words like "contagious."  In one of the child development classes, after discussing "contagious," the classroom teacher wanted a photo of the kids with me.  One child was so cute, saying "Do I have to stand beside her?  What if I get sick too?"  They are too precious!  If looking for a good read-aloud with a good lesson, Bad Case of Stripes is your pick.  Happy Reading!!


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Edmodo

I am now on Edmodo.  Our school district is staying on top of the newest web tools available to help us all stay connected.  I have always said that there is no need to recreate the wheel...just tweak it!  Edmodo is the educational equivalent to Facebook.  It is a great way to connect with colleagues and share ideas, files, etc.  I am @ http://www.edmodo.com/dwest001.  Let's connect and start sharing!! :-)  Oh...and don't forget to download the Edmodo app to stay connected on the go!
 

Jing

I have heard of Jing, but I never took the time to play around with it to see exactly what you can do with it.  Jing is a simple program that downloads quickly and is at your fingertips within a few minutes.  It gives the user capabilities to capture image and video screen shots.  When doing any kind of work with images, this is a must-have.  Let's say you want to make a quick image for your webpage.  You could use a simple program like Microsoft Publisher to create the image, take a screen capture image of the image in Publisher, and you have a web-ready image in a matter of minutes without using any complicated graphics programs. 

I wanted to create a colorful image for our school webpage, so I used Microsoft Publisher to quickly use the shape and text tools to create the image and used Jing to capture it as a web-ready image. I then uploaded it to the web.  Super easy!  Check it out on the web at http://ae.horrycountyschools.net.  Now that I know about Jing, I don't know how I ever lived without it.  There are so many other uses, as well.

It can also be used to capture images on the web.  Many Smartboard users who have access to Smart Notebook know about the screen capture options available to create interactive documents to use on the Smartboard, but there are also those still teaching without Smartboards.  Let's say you are on the web and run across some useful worksheets, and you only want to use bits and pieces of different ones instead of printing a whole worksheet.  Capture sections using Jing and import into Microsoft Word or Publisher to put together something that will work in your specific situation.

I hope you find this free tool as useful as I have.  Enjoy!
http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html