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Are you paying attention?


Time so often hastens by,
Time so often stops --

Still, it strains belief
How an instant can dilate,
Or long years be brief.

-- Richard Wilbur

"When we are at our best, we are paying attention." (Bill Hogue, Vice President for Information Technology and CIO at the University of South Carolina, EDUCAUSE Review, January/February 2014).

You know those days that seem to stretch on forever -- either out of boredom, when you are waiting for something, or when you are working on an intensive project for an entire day? Then also, those days that just seem to have flown by? What encounters with others have you had on those days? Did you listen well to them? Did you thank them? Was your mind with them in those moments?

When we are at our best, we are paying attention!

Dropbox, Flip It!, Poll Everywhere, Evernote, Doceri, Fuse ... you name it! What are your top favorites in mobile apps?

Chances are you have favorites for organizational tools, productivity apps, and classroom apps.

Here are my favorites:

Organizational Tools:

Google Drive (free): Especially useful if your institution has adopted Google Apps, this app allows you to collaborate with other users, upload and store files in the cloud, and access those files from any device, any location.

Evernote (free): This free, straightforward note-making app outrivals most competing apps thanks to its strong search capabilities and effortless organization. But the real key to its success and popularity is that Evernote synchronizes all your files by saving them to a cloud service, meaning anything you create or alter from your mobile device will be there waiting for you when you log into any other version of Evernote.

Productivity Tools:

EduCreations (free): Educreations transforms your iPad into a recordable whiteboard that captures your voice and handwriting to produce amazing video lessons that you can share online. It's as simple as touching, tapping and talking. Create amazing animations by touching your photos to move and resize them. Whatever it is that you want to teach, now you can do it from anywhere. Finished lessons are hosted on, where you can choose who is able to watch them.

Dragon Dictation (free): Accurate and fast, the Dragon Dictation app cuts the typing out of jotting down a note, drafting an email, posting to Twitter, and a few other light tasks. As a simple dictation app, Dragon transcribes whatever you speak with good accuracy.

Fuse (free): Techsmith, the maker of Camtasia Studio and Camtasia Relay, brings us Fuse on mobile devices. Fuse allows you to turn any moment into a learning experience. It allows Camtasia Relay users to upload new or existing camera videos to their Camtasia Relay server right from their iOS device or Android phone. Once you try it, you'll use it everywhere. Capture live speeches and presentations on-the-go, create quick camera videos to engage viewers with real-life examples, record extra learning materials such as labs, fieldwork, or visual aids.

Reference Apps:

Google Maps
(Free): Download this app. It has proven itself more accurate than other apps, including the built-in Apple iPhone Maps app.

Google Translate (Free): With more than 30 languages supported and the ability to deliver impressively accurate results most of the time, this app is one of the most remarkable programs you can install.

Wikipedia (Free): This is the go-to source for fact-checking in the mobile age, and the Wikipedia app usually returns results faster than a mobile search engine.

Flipboard (Free): Curates content from your social networks and Web partners (periodicals, blogs, etc.) based on your interests and turns them into stunning magazine-like digital pages.

StumbleUpon (free): Helps you explore your interests widely across the Web and find sites and pages you might not have found otherwise.


RedLaser (Free): Barcode Scanner and QR Code Reader. This is a multi-functional scanner that works on QR codes too. When shopping, scan any item with a barcode, and RedLaser delivers detailed information about the product including whether you can buy it at a better price nearby.

RetailMeNot (Free): Need a coupon for anything, anytime, anywhere? This app is the go-to source for discounts of all kinds. The mobile app puts nearby offers, as well as discount codes for online purchases, at your fingertips instantly. It will save you bundles of money.

Yelp (free): The most comprehensive review app helps find businesses nearby and includes reviews so that you won't have any unexpected surprises.

Keeping Tech Accessible


I was pleased to see that this video on University leaders speaking out about accessibility of technology premiered today at the Educause Annual Conference.

View the video

The 15-minute video, "IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say," features university leaders and campus-technology staff members speaking about the importance of using technology to make college campuses more accessible. The AccessComputing project, run by the department of computer science and engineering and the Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology Center at the University of Washington, produced the video with funds from the National Science Foundation.


Thanks to a gift from a UMM Alum, Kimberly Hiland, we have begun experimenting with integrating the Apple TV into classroom teaching here at UMM. If you would like to see the Apple TV and iPad in action, come to HFA 35 or give me a call (Pam, 6376) and I will be glad to give you a demo.

High School Principal David Mahaley is using this approach and offers his insights, and observations from educators in his school.

"With the integration of the iPad into the instructional environment, teachers and students have discovered many new ways in which the device can expand and enhance the learning environment. With the iPad, the Apple TV can offer a flexible, complete, and cost efficient alternative to the traditional interactive boards populating our classrooms.

...The use of the Apple TV in combination with an iPad in the instructor's hand provides a mobile platform from which classroom activities can be initiated. Through the use of several apps, teachers can provide notes, display steps and processes to problems, initiate the display of media (pausing and resuming as needed from any location in the classroom), and allow students to participate from their own seats in a variety of interactive activities. This is different than the remote control of a connected teacher laptop to a traditional interactive board. Movement within and between apps is measurably better than the laptop interface, and navigation on the iPad screen directly to the Apple TV is visually more intuitive."

....Read More

See Also:
Using The iPad As A Digital Whiteboard (Plus 4 Cool Free Apps To Try It Out)


"The rise of the iPad (and, to a lesser degree, other tablets) has led to myriad new kinds of apps that are flourishing. " Check out this video about Moglue:

Video demonstration

See Sam Gliksman's article here.

Don't stop there, either!

5 Apps for Creating Interactive Books on the iPad

We've found Google Calendar to be indispensible for organizing our time and sharing our schedules with friends and coworkers. Now we can let others know about our preferred availability!

That's right! Set up blocks of time you'd like to offer as appointment slots. Simply click anywhere on your calendar and then on "Appointment slots." From there, create a single block of time or automatically split a larger block of time into smaller appointment slots.

Every Google Calendar has its own personal appointments sign up page; you can embed it on your website or give the URL to students and clients. You can find the URL for your appointment page at the top of the set-up page, which you can access via the Edit details link.

When someone visits your sign up page, their calendar is overlaid for convenience and they can sign up directly for any available appointment slot. When they sign up, Google Calendar conveniently creates a new shared event on both of your calendars.

Google Help on Using Appointment Slots

Easy Video with the Flip Video Ultra


I broke down and bought a Flip Video Ultra with my personal funds. I just wanted to get going and try this thing, without having to beg for it at my job. What a neat little video camera! I've been able to take it along with me everywhere (I carry it around in my purse and can just pull it out whenever I want to).

YouTube Video about the Flip Video Ultra:


Camtasia Relay is something I learned about at the EDUCAUSE 08 conference last week in Orlando, Florida. Betsy Weber, who writes The Visual Lounge blog, wrote the following:

"Camtasia Relay is something I learned about at the EDUCAUSE 08 conference last week in Orlando, Florida. It is an easy and streamlined way for anyone to record lectures, presentations and meetings. As a presenter, you can walk into the room, select your profile settings and everything, from the recording to the formats the recording is produced into, to the location where you will publish your files, is predetermined. When you're done with your presentation, no need to hang out while your video produces or make technical decisions. You can just leave the room and a central server does all the work for you by automatically processing and publishing your video.

Top features include

* Easy recording on Mac or PC - Yep, you heard me right. Recording on the Mac or PC.

* Automatic processing and publishing handled by the server - Predetermined profile settings automate everything from the recording settings, to the formats the recording is produced into, to the destinations where produced files are published.

* Multiple file formats - Produce your recordings in Flash and iPod video (MP4), audio (MP3), Camtasia Studio (CAMREC), Windows Media (WMV), along with others... Plus, you will have the ability to produce one recording into any or all of the formats above.

So, are you wondering how Camtasia Relay differs from Camtasia Studio? Basically, Camtasia Studio is for individuals who typically edit their recordings and choose how to produce the video and where it should go. Camtasia Relay, on the other hand, is for teams and organizations to do recording. Typically the recording would not need to be edited (note: you can edit your Camtasia Relay content using Camtasia Studio), and production and publishing are handled automatically by a central server.

* Licensing: Affordable and flexible licensing - No monthly, annual or per-seat fees. "

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