How do you do, To-Do? – App Of the Week.

I had a funny ‘tweet off’ with a friend this week who couldn’t believe I was using a Microsoft app on my iPhone. MS has had a bad rep with a lot of Apple and Google diehards the last few years and it’s fun to show them how much they’ve improved their game – especially with IOS apps. This morning I counted 146 iPad and iPhone apps from the Microsoft Corporation!

IMG_1188Here’s my app of the week, from MS – To-Do. I know what you’re thinking – “Not ANOTHER list app!” But, if you’re juggling as many balls as I do then they are a must to help you from dropping them all.

Things I love about To-Do.

  • Clean simple interface
  • Easy to link, create and organise your tasks
  • Nice link from my ‘To do list” through to what they call “My Day.” This is a nice way to prioritise my daily tasks from my on-going projects.

Have a look and see for your self and tell me what you use to stay organised. I’d love to see what tools you use to control your chaos.

– leave a comment below or reply to any tweets linked to this post. 

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Google Calendar Goal Update

Google Calendar has been my default calendar for over 10 years now! That’s a long time in anyone’s books and it keeps getting better. Last year (2016 – getting my head around that still) I got really used to using the IOS Google Calendar app – especially for the integration with reminders and the Keep app.

Today Google released an update for the ‘goals’ feature that lets you set some goals around fitness, building a skill, friends and family time etc. The app takes you through some questions that set when, how long and what you’re hoping to do and then synchs that info with your calendar and sends you reminders. You can also tell the app when you’ve completed the goal and it keeps track of your progress for the week.

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Open the app, bottom right corner click the ‘plus.’
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Calendar selects the best time for your goal. You can change this, though.

I’ve set a goal for this month to run every day, for at least 30 minutes each morning. We’ll see how that goes!

There’s also a feature that stores your info from your fitness tracker which I’m still working out…haven’t managed it yet for my Apple Watch but will record how when I do.

 

My Favourite Video Site = Youtube

fav 1.pngThis is the first of a series of ‘My Favourites’ posts. There are loads of different options for things when it comes to tools and resources but sometimes it pays to have a favourite. One tool that you commit to, develop a real depth of understanding about and build up a profile of bookmarks and links within it.

This first ‘Favourite’ is one of my favouritist favourites. Here are 5 reasons why Youtube is the video platform to rule them all!

1. Shear volume of content – Youtube hasvideo a remarkable 500 hours of video upload every minute! That’s a LOT of watching, but the upside is that you are just about guaranteed to find what you are looking for. As a teacher (or if you want to learn about or fix anything) this is a gold mine of a resource.

2. Removal of visual distractions – one of the problems with video platforms are the distracting ‘suggested videos’ that they display and Youtube is no different. When you use a Chrome Browser, however, you can download extensions (like the DF Youtube extension) that will only show the video you want to show!

Screen_Shot_2016-09-06_at_6_22_39_AM3. Subscriptions and Playlists – when you have a Google account and have signed into Youtube, you can subscribe to a channel and receive notifications whenever they have new content or uploads. This is a great way of keeping up with developments from apps and tools you already use. As well as following your favourite up-loaders – here are some of my favourite channels.

4. Filtering Options – If you’re a GAFE school you now have the option of restricting videos to those approved by Google for Education, or even only those approved by teachers at your school. These settings can be found in the Admin Console and clicking on ‘Other Google Apps.’

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5. HIGH Definition – Youtube has different settings for your device to get the best stream rate for your screen or wifi connection. You can leave the settings on automatic and it will set the stream rate to be best for your connection. Otherwise, choose the higher settings such as 1080 or 4K(if you have a screen that rates that high) and watch the video the way nature intended!

Screen_Shot_2016-09-06_at_6_29_25_AM6. Baked in Video Editing! – I’m not sure of any other video streaming platform that has an editing suite built into it. The Youtube Video Editor lets you upload video, add audio, captions, photos and transitions. It even has some free licensed music to add as soundtracks which has a huge range of tunes to choose from. Just go to My Channel > Manage Subscriptions > Create.

 

I’m such a Youtube Fan that I’ve subscribed to Youtube Red. This gives you no ads, save videos off-line and play videos in the background – perfect for screening to a Chrome Cast. It’s totally my fav!

Morning Run Panorama

I shot this pic with my iPhone 6 Plus while running from our house a few weeks back. It was a pretty foggy morning and I used the panoramic setting to catch the wide angle from each side of the road.

I used the ‘magic wand’ highlighting tool in iPhoto to get the colours out. We live in a blessed part of the world!

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Aurasma – an Interactive, Digital Display

We have a third year college teacher, @mattmurraynz, working with us this year and he is proving to be a handy innovator in his own right.  One of his college assignments this term was to create an interactive display in the classroom.  He told me his class were thinking, ‘What? How do you do that?’

With a little bit of chatter and after seeing a great ipad app called aurasma lite he came up with an idea for using augmented reality and the student’s learning about taonga – special treasures.

The student’s held their taonga and spoke about it’s importance to them, then Matt made this into a video. The video is uploaded to aurasma and a screen shot of the video was printed out and hung on the wall.

Matt then went through the steps on the app to take an image of the photo and linked it to the uploaded video. And below is the result. When you hold the aurasma app view finder up to the image it shows the video of the student speaking inside the image of the photo.

How cool would our classrooms, office foyers, shopping mall walls, and street signs be with this kind of interaction?

Time Lapse Fun!

During the last school holidays I edited and posted a movie on our class and school blogs. I wanted to showcase the ‘business’ of our days for the parents of my class – a push back against the ‘nothing much’ response to that age old question from our parents, ‘What did you do at school today?’

The video was posted on the Core Education blog here, a few weeks later.  It was great to see the comments coming in and a few questions asked and the gawker software I used to create the timelapse video is something I’m keen to use again.


The next video is something I made using my iphone and and old light mount on my mountain bike.  The video speaks for itself and was the result of a ‘play around’ day when the rest of the family was out for the day.

And here is a video that is truly inspiring! The power of timelapse to tell a story, especially one that is told over a long period of time, is fantastic. This is by Christoph Rehage and was created from footage over a year. A bit longer than our school holidays allow…

Have you used a time lapse sequence in a video? Are you inspired to give it a go? Why not join in the fun!

App of the week!


Here’s the first ‘App of the Week’ – it could also be the last, who knows. I have @sharpjacqui to thank for sharing the news that this app (she called it one of her favs) was free on itunes for 2 days… so naturally I was curious.

Yes, it was the free part. Can you blame me.
Here are some screen shots from itunes on Halftone.
It’s a great app for uploading photos, adding text and a few icons. Very easy to use and, as most apps will allow these days, whatever you create can be shared on facebook, twitter and emailed.
Some fun ahead, I think! My first go is on the side of my blog.