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7 Apps to Stay in the Know…

October 23, 2010

1. YourVersion HD:

YourVersion HD is a great way to discover the latest content about the topics you care about on your iPad. YourVersion is a real-time discovery engine that continuously delivers the latest relevant content tailored to your specific interests. You type in your interest and YourVersion searches News, Blogs, Twitter, etc…to find any related information. You can view all your favorite content at once or filter it to your specifics. When you find something read worthy or share worthy, your options are just a click away. It is by far my favorite reader and like many of my favorite things, it’s free.

2. Twitter:

Discover what’s happening right now, anywhere in the world with the official Twitter for iPhone app. Real-time search, Top Tweets, trending topics and maps show what’s happening now everywhere and nearby. Tweet, send Direct Messages (DMs), share photos, videos and links to your friends, colleagues, and personal learning networks. I use Twitter to connect with my personal learning network by using “hash tags.” Has tags allow users to subscribe to common interests. Most hash tags are coded with the “#” symbol before the common interest. For example, our hash tag for the Region 6 Technology Group is #6tech. We simply type the tag at the end of the tweet, so those subscribed to see #6tech would see all the tweets with this tag. If you don’t have an account? Just sign up from the app!

3. Fluent News:

Fluent News aggregates made-for-mobile versions of top news sources into a single, intelligently organized, fully customizable mobile newspaper. It allows you to create up to 3 of your own custom sections based on keyword searches. You can also control the content by promoting one news source and disabling one news source. Fluent news displays complete articles without load-time delays, text pinching or leaving the application. I use Fluent News to follow trends in emerging technologies.

4. Pulse:

Pulse is an elegant news reading application for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. It incorporates colorful panning story bars and fills them with content from your favorite sources. Pulse redefines news, giving you the opportunity to experience the news you desire from traditional sources, your favorite blogs and social networks – all in one beautiful interface.

Though there is a nominal price for Pulse, it is worth its weight in gold for finding content related websites. I use Pulse to follow my favorite blogs. I found most of those blogs from my Twitter personal learning network.

5. Web Feeds HD:

Web Feeds HD is a premier RSS reader for the iPad. Get all of your favorite news and blogs (RSS, RDF and ATOM feeds) delivered to the beautiful, Mail-like interface of Web Feeds HD, and you’ll be up to date wherever you go.
Enter the web address of the feed you wish to subscribe to or enter any web page address and Web Feeds will look through the page and automatically discover any feeds attached to it. You can also import feeds straight from your Google Reader account.

Feed items are displayed in beautiful HTML and you can also access the original page of the item from within Web Feeds HD without jumping over to Safari. Once synchronized, you can read the post summaries without an Internet connection (images are not synchronized, though). Find something interesting? Share it with your friends using Facebook, Twitter or Email or save it for later reference using InstaPaper, ReadItLater or Delicious.
I use Web Feeds HD to import all of my Google Reader blogs. These are not necessarily blogs I read daily, but I love to be able to scan them to see if there is anything new and noteworthy.

6. SkyGrid:

My new favorite news app. It allows you to see what’s hot right now. The Featured Streams feature shows the fastest spreading events, people, and topics across the Web. It is also customizable to see only the categories you want and you can add keywords. If you have found something worth sharing just click to send the story to Facebook, Twitter, or email. The patented technology behind SkyGrid uses a unique algorithm that determines Information Velocity, or the events, people, and topics spreading the fastest across the Web. I use SkyGrid to find the absolute latest and greatest. It allows me to find out what technologies are spreading like wild fire, so I can be in the know instantly.

7. Ted:

Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world. TED presents talks from some of the world’s most fascinating people: education radicals, tech geniuses, medical mavericks, business gurus and music legends. Find more than 700 TEDTalk videos (with more added each week) on the official TED app. Oh how I love to watch some of the incredibly innovative technology displays I have found on TED.

10 iPad apps to project with VGA

September 27, 2010

I love to watch the growth of VGA apps in the iTunes store. It seems developers are working to fill the need of educators and presenters who have been begging for opportunities to project from their iPads. Here are ten apps you can use with your VGA Connector (all descriptions are from the iTunes Store):

Keynote is the powerful presentation app from iWork, completely reworked for iPad and Multi-Touch. So you can do everything on iPad with a tap or drag of your finger — from creating your first slide to presenting your work.
Whiteboard is a collaborative drawing app for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Experience better doodling with Whiteboard’s smooth, fluid markers.

Used by over 3.6 million people, Whiteboard offers real-time collaborative picture creation. Connect with any iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth peer-to-peer, and discover what happens when the fingers of two minds work together.

Drawing Features:

✓ VGA output to a monitor, display, or projector via the iPad VGA adapter!
✓ Open any image or photo from the Photos app!
✓ Draw on top of photos and screenshots!
✓ Save your drawings!
✓ Change your marker transparency (opacity)!
✓ Choose any color you want, with the new full-spectrum color picker!
✓ Better drawing quality!

WebProjector lets you output any website to external screen using the Apple iPad VGA connector.

– minimal interface, full-screen browsing experience
– auto-hiding toolbar, one-touch on screen to bring it back
– bookmarks
– textured background and mobile device border on external screen
– or just full-screen website project, switch it anytime
– auto-rotate device appearance with animation
– use webproj://[url] to start presenting from any other apps
– show PDF files on the website to your audience
– even plays videos on the website to your audience

VGA Expedition is the first VGA out web browser for the iPad. Expedition uses the VGA out iPad accessory to display the web content you see in Expedition on the iPad screen to an external display TV/LCD/projector.

Expedition is great a companion when doing presentations with Keynote on the iPad. If you ever need to display something from the web when doing a presentation then Expedition is for you. We’ve even added a Laser Pointer mode for highlighting pages of the web page when doing your presentation.

* Also works with component and composite iPod accessories.

* Expedition can also display video that can play within the browser on an external display. Watch HTML5 video from CBS, YouTube, CNN, and more on your external display connected by VGA, Composite, or Component out. Uses native QuickTime player when playing html5 video. When video is played it is shown through the external display, it does not play on the iPad during that time.

Sundry Notes: Write, draw, research, record and share! Take notes of any kind and use the built-in Evernote + Dropbox + Google Docs + Facebook integration. The ultimate multi-media note taking application!

Put away the paper – school and work are easier with Sundry Notes.

Thank you everybody for helping us become the #1 most downloaded iPad application!

Sundry Notes is the first social note taking application. Write, draw, record and research right within the app – and then share your notes with others.

Take notes right within your application, including:
* Write text (and change font color, size, etc.)
* Draw anywhere in your notes
* Search Wikipedia, Google, and Google Books – and grab images from them for your notes using two fingers
* Import PDFs from the internet
* Import images from your photo library
* Import from Evernote + Google Docs + Dropbox
* Record sound/voice
* Change page background to graph paper, lined paper, legal paper, etc.
* Bookmark parts of your notes
* Have more than one note open at a time with tabs

The innovative sharing feature in Sundry Notes means:
* You can sync your notes on the Amazon Cloud so that even if you lose your iPad, you can get your notes back
* You can share your notes using Facebook, Twitter, and Google/Picasa
* You can email your notes as a PDF to yourself or friends
* You can send notes to your computer to be printed
* Show off your notes using an external monitor and VGA output

“ShowAnytime” takes you to new cool and efficient presentation environment! You can play smart and effective presentations with “ShowAnytime” at anytime, anyplace immediately, without a laptop PC or the laser pointer.

[PDF, PowerPoint slide indication]
“ShowAnytime” can show(*) Microsoft PowerPoint2003(.ppt) files and Acrobat files (.pdf).

The Power Presenter application is for Presentations. If you save a powerpoint as a PDF file, this app will help you do the presentation on projector. If you can upload your file to a web site, it also can present that website for you. It automatically detects the projector and sends the signal to the projector when connecting with the VGA cable. It actually mirrors the screen to the projector using software. Therefore, you cannot only see the presentation on the iPad screen but also on the projector. No need to turn your head back all the time as in Keynote. You can now also draw, highlight text on the slides and send your drawing to email. It also contains a blackboard and web content presenter so you can write your formula on a whiteboard or blackboard and show video clips using a single app. It is great tool for education.

To upload the PDF file to this application, just go to the iTunes->iPad->Apps->File Sharing, Select the PDFPresenter on the list, drag your PDF files to the “PDFPresenter Documents” window.

To upload the PDF from email, just hold down the attached file icon, then open it with Power Presenter.

Support landscape powerpoint slides page size: 8.5×5.0

Feature hightlight:
✔ Show Presentation on projector and iPad screen
✔ Able to use finger to write text on the slides
✔ Able to draw, Highlight text on the slides
✔ Add blackboard with instant smooth line drawing
✔ Send the web content (browser) to projector which means you can present the slides and the web browser on the projector without leaving this application. Therefore, you can show the video during the presentation.
✔ Web content presentation supports the file format such as PDF, Powerpoint, keynote, etc. You will need upload the file to the web in order to use Web content presentation.
✔ Able to send the drawing to an email.

Imagine plugging your iPad into a projector during a meeting and using it as a digital whiteboard everyone can see. Then just click the email button to forward copies of the session out to team members. How cool is that?

JotBook provides a simple-to-use but very functional digital notebook. Sketch your thoughts out then share via email with one button.

* Tired of losing important pages of notes?

* Tired of making photocopies of notes to share them?

* Need better organization of your hand-written notes?

* Want a quick and easy digital notebook?

Share your Thoughts on the BIG-SCREEN

Just plug in an external display and JotPad automatically mirrors drawing to the external display.

Sketch your Thoughts

Don’t type your thoughts – sketch them out in color easily with JotBook.

Share your Thoughts via Email

Want to share an entry you created – just click the email button and your multi-page entry is exported straight into an email.

Group your Thoughts in Multiple Pages

Group related thoughts or notes together as pages in a single entry, which are time-stamped. You can have as many pages as you want for each entry. Create entries for meetings, or ideas, then add pages as you need.

No need to scroll around a giant canvas to find your place, just add a new page to your entry with the + button.

Line Smoothing

Your lines get smoothed out with basic line smoothing so curves look better

Extra touch rejection

Unlike other drawing apps, JotBook ignores extra touches after you start drawing, that way you can rest your palm on the screen (palm rejection) – JotBook keeps track of the first touch and only draws those

Multiple Pen Types

Draw text with the fine point pen, use the highlighter, ball point or the thick paintbrush for wide strokes.

No Need to Type

Sketch out your thoughts, JotBook stamps your entries with the date and time and provides an area to write out your entry’s title, which you can preview in the entry list.

Built for the iPad and Design for You

Written for the iPad…. this app takes advantage of the large iPad screen, with plenty of room to write out your thoughts in portrait or landscape, designed for the way you take notes.

Works great with your Pogo Sketch / Pogo Stylus

Draw with your finger, or pickup a Pogo Sketch or similar stylus and really make taking notes a snap

Entries are multi-paged and fit nicely on the screen. No need to scroll-around to find your spot. Just create another page.

iMeetingPad replaces the standard notepad you used to bring to meetings before the iPad era dawned. Does your notepad connect to the projector? Can your notepad bring the applause or laugh track? Can it wake dozing colleagues with a cock crow? iMeetingPad can!

Of course you will type serious notes or make silly doodles, but iMeetingPad also helps you with your sketching with basic drawing tools and a collection of clip-art images to drop in. Unlike your old paper pad, iMeetingPad offers unlimited pages in unlimited separate documents (meetings). Also unlike your old system, you can edit your doodles, shapes, images and text at any time, move, size, rotate them or change their color with ease. Easily swipe through your pages of notes and enjoy Apple’s standard but sexy page turn graphics, or just jump to any page instantly, with a touch.

And iMeetingPad supports your projector, letting you send your notes and graphics out to a projector or TV connected using Apple’s video adapter cable (not included). Draw on your iPad while your colleagues watch in awe and envy on the big screen.

iMeetingPad also lets you save your notes to a PDF file and email them directly from within the app. Any text typed into the pad is also extracted from the PDF and included in the body of your email, making it easy to paste into your desktop applications or search for in your email system. Of course you can just delete all that from the email, and spend the meeting writing totally unrelated emails… we won’t tell.

iMeetingPad was designed from the ground up for your iPad by a team that has had professional business apps on the AppStore since opening day.

The most downloaded graphing calculator for the iPhone/iPod is now available for the iPad. The GUI has been completely rewritten to take advantage of the iPad’s bigger screen.

Graphing Calculator HD turns your iPad into an intuitive high-resolution function plotter and scientific calculator. Features include the following:

– Includes a powerful, yet easy to use scientific calculator.

– Quickly plot and trace multiple equations on the same graph.

– Pinch to zoom and drag/slide for scrolling the graph in real time.

– Custom keyboard designed to enter equations and mathematical expressions quickly.

– The application supports portrait and landscape modes on every screen.

– Take screen shots or e-mail high resolution graphs to yourself.

– Evaluate your graphs at any x value using the calculator screen.

– Find the exact (x,y) coordinates for roots, intersections, minimums and maximums using the trace mode.

– Supports graphing and tracing polar and parametric equations.

– Video output support using Apple’s iPad dock connector to VGA adapter.

– Currently supports the following functions: log, log2, log10, ln, exp, sin, cos, tan, asin, acos, atan, sinh, cosh, tanh, asinh, acosh, atanh, csc, sec, cot, gamma, lgamma, nCr, nPr, min, max, degrees to radians, radians to degrees, absolute value, square root, ceiling, floor, and mod.

Fridays with your iPad…Yes you can project the Internet!

September 10, 2010

There has been much discussion surrounding the iPad and its VGA capabilities. Most educators want to get the most utility out of the device and hope to be able to project presentations and Internet resources. Behold! the VGA connector.

If only it were only that simple…Having a VGA connector will only get you so far. You have to have the applications that will support it. After much research I have found some applications that allow teachers to use the iPad on a whole new level. Here are a few of my favorite applications:

Keynote: $9.99

Allows you to upload a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation and project it right from your iPad. It even includes a pointer feature for VGA mode.

Netflix: Free Application, $8.99 per month subscription

With a monthly prescription to Netflix, you can stream movies from your iPad through your VGA connection, or you can purchase the A/V adapter and stream right to your television.

VGA expedition Browser: $0.99

Display your this browser through your VGA adapter and let your participants see the Internet right from your iPad. This powerful application has full screen capability, smooth scrolling and a real time laser pointer.

With these capabilities, the iPad may truly be a replacement for netbooks and laptops for presenters. I would love to hear if you have any other VGA tools for the iPad.

Why not Wikipedia?

September 9, 2010
used under Wikipedia trademark guidelines

used under Wikipedia trademark guidelinesI am very blessed to get to spend time with teachers, technology directors, campus integrators, and other lovers of technology. Having said that, I have a burr in my side (as we say down here in Texas). I recently worked with a couple of collaboratives on writing some competitive grants. After not receiving the grants, we requested our grant scores and reviews. I was surprised that one of the reviewers was very concerned that we listed Wikipedia and Wolfram-Alpha as resources in our professional development plan. The reviewer stated that these sources are unreliable. Which brings me to my question: Why not Wikipedia?

So, where did I go to find my answer? Wikipedia, of course. You see, much like the other 50% of college graduates who use online resources {1}, I always start with Wikipedia. I knew if I went to Wikipedia I would be able to find several primary sources to conduct my research. Not surprising to me I found 110 primary resources. I also found an article on the reliability of Wikipedia. And, not surprising to me it was unbiased in its presentation, citing articles from both side of the argument and several primary research studies with their limitations.

Please do not mistake my love of Wikipedia for an affirmation of the correctness of its information. I use it as resource to help me find other resources. If the information I find is incorrect, I will find it in my continued research. But, at least I will have a place to start. Often, I will take a primary resource from Wikipedia and go to my second beloved Google Scholar to see if I can determine the number of citations and any other associated primary resources.

The bottom line is Internet research is you have to start somewhere. I say, why not Wikipedia?

Oh, and if you intend to comment with any factual contraries, please leave your primary resource….

Source: Wikipedia

{1} Lee Rainie and Bill Tancer (April 2007). “Data Memo”. Pew/Internet Pew Internet and American Life Project. Retrieved 2007-10-31.

Are textbooks obsolete?

September 2, 2010
photo source: The Creative Commons, Flickr: Wesley Fryer

iPhone 4 Tips: 10 Things New Users Should Know

August 27, 2010

Originally posted at

The following article is a mixture of a few things – mainly tips, tricks and some guides for those of you who just bought an iPhone 4. If you are skeptical about the reception and other potential problems the iPhone 4 might have – don’t worry – you are not alone. We are also going to share some hands-on experience regarding few potential iPhone 4 problems, so read on.

Please do take note that we are not going to discuss what’s new in iOS4 (operating system) as it has been pretty much covered elsewhere. This article is basically- what you can expect with the new iPhone 4.

1. Update all your applications

First things first, check for application updates. If you have lot of applications installed in your previous iPhone 3G or 3GS, chances are they will need to be updated again so that they can take advantages of the new iOS4 features and iPhone 4 capabilities. So before you start trying out your existing applications on iPhone 4, take a moment to check if they need to be updated.

2. Where’s Facetime?

This is probably one of the first thing you’d like to explore on new iPhone 4, but where’s the Facetime app? Facetime is actually not an application, in fact, it’s an option available (for now) only when you make a call via WiFi to another iPhone 4 user.

Facetime is turn off by default. To turn it on, go to SettingsPhone and turn Facetime on. Carrier activation might be required. Learn more about Facetime.

3. You’ll need a new wallpaper

With retina display, everything on iPhone 4 looks amazingly vibrant and high quality. The screen supports up to 960×640 pixels at 326ppi, approximately 4 times higher than the resolution in a iPhone 3Gs. In another words, it makes your current wallpaper looks weak and you’ll need to look for a higher resolution wallpapers 🙂

4. Try iMovie for iPhone 4

iMovie for iPhone4 is a light version of iMovie for Mac and it’s awesome. It allows you to edit and share your recorded videos on the fly. And did we mention all videos recording with iPhone 4 are in high definition (HD)?

iMovie for iPhone 4 cost $4.99.

5. Tap to Focus Object – Video

Even the smartest gadget can use a some human touch. While video recording, you can tap on different objects on the screen to have iPhone focus on them.

6. View widescreen while Recording

If you swap from camera mode to video mode, you’ll notice that the objects are actually getting closer. That is because video recording is done in wide screen mode. To display in wide screen while recording – double tab the screen.

7. Search Web, Wikipedia on the fly

By swiping right on the home screen, you’ll activate Spotlight. Type in something and scroll all the way to the bottom and you’ll noticed two additional search options have been added, respectively the “Search web” and “Search wikipedia“. Both search uses Safari browser.

8. Mirror, Self-Shot

iPhone 4 comes with an additional front camera. By clicking on the camera icon on the top right, the front camera is activated instead of the back. We thought this could be useful for those who want to use their iPhone as a mirror, or perhaps, it makes taking self-shots easier too!

9. The iPhone 4 reception problem

This is the question most people are most concerned about. To be fair, yes signal bars do dropped when gripped – they call it the Death Grip.

However, signal drop only happens in areas where receptions are weak, so it very much depends a lot on your service provider. The problem is mild, don’t get too worried about it.

10. Yellow Splotches on the screen

Some users are reporting that they have been noticing yellow patches on the iPhone 4 screen. According to macintouch, this is just a small temporarily problem as these yellow splotches are nothing but some bonding agents for the glass that will evaporate as the device is exposed to the air. You can relax now.

Fridays with your iPad…My iPad Powerpoint…

July 30, 2010

I have been asked several times over the last week: “Can you show a PowerPoint with iPad?” Yes, yes you can. And, it’s not as hard as you might think. I chose to use the Keynote App (available from iTunes for $9.99). The trick is to know how to get your PowerPoint to your iPad and then how to display your PowerPoint once it is there.

I started with a basic PowerPoint in Office 2007:

I saved the PowerPoint to My Documents, then I opened iTunes. Once in iTunes, select your iPad from the list on the left. Then, click on the Apps tab. At the bottom of the window is the File Sharing feature for the iPad.

Select Keynote, then browse your computer to find the PowerPoint file you wish to load on your iPad:

Then click Apply in the bottom right hand corner of the iTunes window and the iPad will sync with your computer and add the file to your iPad.

Once your iPad and iTunes have completed their sync, open Keynote, click on my Presentations and then open your file:

Select your PowerPoint, and it will appear and be editable in Keynote. However, there may be some differences between the two.

My iPad PowerPoint in Keynote

Let’s compare the two:

PowerPoint 2007

Slide One

Slide Two


Slide One

Slide Two