Fall 2013 Recap

The staff of the Instructional Development Services would like to thank all you loyal readers of our blog articles and would like to thank all those that participated in our Fall 2013 workshops!!  Below we have posted a recap of all the articles/workshops we delivered this fall.  If you weren’t able to attend one of the workshops we hosted please contact us and we can set up a time to meet individually and go over any of the topics that we have covered.  IDS would like to wish everyone a SAFE AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


Come back safe and sound after break and please look forward to our annual Holiday Tech Gift Guide that we will published on December 6!

Fall 2013 Articles/Workshops Recap

WIU Faculty, Staff, or Students: If you were unable to attend one of the workshops that we offered this fall, contact Josh Butcher and he can set up a one-on-one appointment with you to go over the topics that you missed.

August 30 – PickMe! Buzzer App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1562

September 13 – Infographics http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1580

September 27 – BrainPOP Featured Movie App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1595

October 11 – iOS 7 Features: Part 1 http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1616

October 25 – iOS 7 Features: Part 2 http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1663

November 8 – Knowmia Teach iPad App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1682

Knowmia Teach

By Corey James, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

Knowmia Teach is a free app that allows teachers and students to record their lesson plans, allowing others to view them. You can create your lesson plans using different slides and several tools that allow you create various shapes and text. You are also able to import pictures and videos to include within your lessons. When you are recording your lesson plans you are able to record your voice and move or add items within your lesson to create an animation and show students the information without making static slides.

Once teachers have created their lesson plans they are able to participate in the Knowmia Teach community and publish their lessons online. Students are also able to use this app, but they will not be able to make their videos public and they will expire after 30 days. This is a great application for teachers when they are not able to be face-to-face with their students and may need to put their lesson online. It also gives students the opportunity to view the lesson online if they missed the lecture.

You can find more information at http://www.knowmia.com/teachers#knowmia-teach-ipad.

Tutorial Videos can be found at http://www.knowmia.com/browse/teaching/knowmia-teach.

TechTip: Creating a New Lesson

By Brittani Carter, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

When creating a new lesson using  “Knowmia Teach”, there are a few simple steps to follow that will make setting up your lesson a success. First once you have opened the application you will be brought to a default screen. On this screen you will see the option to create a new lesson.

Once you have selected create a new lesson it will bring to a new created lesson with no information. Once your directed to this screen, the next step you would want to take would be to select at the top of the screen “Lesson Info”.

Once you have selected “Lesson Info”, a screen will appear with a number of different fields for you to customize your entire lesson the way that you would like. You will the form out from top to bottom beginning with the lesson title and so on.  Once you have titled your lesson the next field will allow you to select the subject that your lesson falls within.

For example, these subjects include science, teaching, language, math, etc. Once you have chosen a subject you can select a sub- category located below, which will place your lesson in a particular group for people searching for similar lesson/topics that you shared.  After you have finished that, your allowed a space below where you can fill in a lesson description and also links that will allow additional help for those using/previewing your lesson.

iOS 7 Features: Part 2

By Brittani Carter, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

Apple has made yet another breakthrough in its operating software. iOS7 offers a multitude of new features. These new development can be very useful to the daily life of an Apple device user.  In this Part 2 of a 2-part series on the new features of iOS7, AirDrop, Safari, iTunes Radio, Siri, App Store, Find My iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

AirDrop is one of the newest iOS7 features that bring an entire different outlook to file sharing. Once you have activated AirDrop, it uses Bluetooth to scan for nearby devices that are also compatible with this feature. This new feature will allow users swapping photos, videos, and other information easier than ever before.  AirDrop has proximity-limited technology, meaning it will only work when two or more users are near each other. This feature is only available on iPhone 5 or later, fourth- generation iPads, iPad minis, and fifth- generation iPod Touch.

Safari “With things out of the way, there’s way more web.” With Apples complete overhaul to its operation system Safari is bigger, better and more beautiful.  The buttons and bars stay hidden until you scroll to reveal them. This allows you to see more content than ever before on your screen. With one simply swipe, you can go back or forward a page. The “NEW” Safari is designed so nothing can slow you down or get in your way.

iTunes Radio is a feature that allows you to stream radio station that you will love from day one of trying this feature. The more you use this feature to listen to music, the more you can personalize it to just your liking. This feature keeps a history of what you’ve listen, with this you can add it to your iTunes wish list or even tap to download right then and there from the iTunes Store. You can also build new station, while you listen. You can fine-tune a mix by adding different genres and artist you like as well as skip songs that you don’t.

Siri has a great new look, better sound and more capabilities than ever.  The new interface is designed, so that while your using Siri you can still view whatever is on you top screen. The updated version of Siri has a clearer, more understandable and natural female and male voice. It’s faster when it comes to answering your questions. Now Siri can check not only the web but also Bing, Wikipedia, and Twitter.  With new bonus extras such as returning calls, playing voicemail, controlling iTunes Radio and much more.

The App Store has a new feature that allows one to see the most popular apps near a person and their geographic location.  This feature shows you a collection of the most downloaded apps relevant to your current location. The iOS7 App Store also has a new kids category that lets you browse and buy the best kids apps for kids based on age.  The App Store now automatically keeps all of your apps up to date, so now you no longer have to be bothered.

Losing your phone is the absolute worse feeling. With the updated iOS7 operating system losing your iPhone, iPad, iPods, etc. has become a little less stressful.  The updated Find My iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch will help you get it back. If that doesn’t work and your phone it’s returned to you, this newest updated feature has new security makes it harder for someone to use or sell your device.  With the updated iOS7, turning off your phone or trying to erase your information you need both your Apple User ID and Password. Even if your information does happen to get erased, it still requires your Apple ID and Password before anyone can reactive the device.

For more information on these new features of iOS 7 please visit http://www.apple.com/ios/.

TechTip: New Radio

By Allie Muur, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

The radio is a new feature and is simple to use. To navigate the iOS7 radio, go to Music and radio is the first option available. Once you are there, the main screen will look similar to the picture shown below.

To create your own radio station, click on the “New Station” option.  Different genre options will appear. Touch the genre that you would like to add to your stations. However, if you have a specific band or singer you would like to search, click the search toolbar and use the keyboard to type the name that you are searching for and select the one that best suits your search.

Once a genre is selected, other options will appear. Select the exact station that you would like to add to your homepage by touching it. A red plus sign will appear. Touch the red plus sign and go to your home page and that genre should be appear there.

To get back to the homepage click the red back arrow button. Once there are stations selected, the homepage will look similar to the picture below.

iOS 7 Features: Part 1

By Paul Schouten, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

Apple has made another breakthrough in its operating software. iOS7 offers a multitude of new features. These new developments can be very useful to the daily life of an Apple device user. In this Part 1 of a 2-part series on the new features of iOS7, Control Center, Notification Center, Multitasking, Camera, and Photos will be examined.

Control Center is a new and helpful way to gain quick access to the various controls on an Apple device. To use this feature, simply swipe upward to enter Control Center. From there, you can turn on or off settings like Airplane, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, screen orientation, brightness, and others. Also, you can control music being played as well as the flashlight, calculator, and camera.

Notification Center is a simple feature that displays new messages, your to-do lists, as well as missed calls in one location. To access Notification Center, simply swipe down on the device. It can also display weather, email, calendar, and others features.

Multitasking can be used to switch between apps that you frequently use. With iOS7, your device remembers the apps that you use frequently and will update their content before you open them. To access multitasking, press the Home button twice and it will preview the screens of frequently used apps.

iOS7 has offered several new features to the Camera.  You can capture images in all formats including video, panorama, and still. Also, square is a new shooting format. There are also a variety of new and easy to use filters to edit your images after you have captured them.

The way you access your Photo Library has some new features as well. Photos can be arranged based on time and place they were taken. Years, Collections, and Moments are smart new groupings of photos and videos that can all be accessed from your library of images.

For more information on these new features of iOS 7 please visit http://www.apple.com/ios/.

TechTip: New Camera Filters

By Corey James, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

When taking a picture with the camera you can apply a filter to that photo. You can either apply the filter before you take the picture, or after you have taken the photo. You are always able to remove the filter if you don’t like it after all.

Begin by taking a picture with the camera.

Once you have taken a picture, tap “Edit” at the top of the screen

Then tap filters at the bottom.

You will then be able to choose a filter.

You can choose the filter you want at the bottom of the screen. The different filters you will be able to choose from include: Mono, Tonal, Noir, Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer, and Instant.
















































Brain Pop Featured Movie App

By Brittani Carter, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

Avraham Kadar, an immunologist and pediatrician, created BrainPOP as an easier way to explain difficult content and concepts to his younger patients. BrainPOP creates animated, curricular content that engages students and bolsters achievement. With this BrainPOP Featured Movie app you can watch a different animated movie every day, then test your knowledge with interactive quizzes.

This online educational resource features more than just BrainPOP, it also includes BrainPOP Jr., BrainPOP Español, and BrainPOP ESL. BrainPOP offers a fully supported resource community for educators called BrainPOP Educators. BrainPOP educators gives teachers access to lesson plans, webinars, resources and FAQs. This mobile learning app is available for devices equipped with iOS, Android, Windows 8, Kindle and Google Chrome users. Note: The iOS version of the app is also available in Spanish, British English and French. Downloading the BrainPOP Featured Movie app is absolutely FREE. If you’d like to view more than just the free movies that are offered you have the option to subscribe within the application.

Along with this app there are a few In-App subscription options available.  There is the BrainPOP Explorer Subscription for $1.99 a month which gets you the free featured movie and its quiz plus four additional related movies and quizzes which rotate every day.  Then there is the BrainPOP Full Access Subscription option for $6.99 a month that gets you the free featured movie and its quiz plus unlimited access to all of BrainPOP’s 750+ movies and quizzes.  If you are already a subscriber to the BrainPOP website services then you can log in from the app with that information at no additional cost.

To download the BrainPOP Featured Movie app visit the iTunes App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/brainpop-featured-movie/id364894352?mt=8.

For more information on BrainPOP visit their website at http://www.brainpop.com/.

TechTip – Brain Pop Featured Movie App

By Allie Muur, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

Brain Pop Featured Movie is a free app that can be downloaded in the iTunes store and it was created to stimulate children’s minds with different educational activities, movies and quizzes.

Once you have downloaded the app, the homepage will have different options for you to choose from. There are different cartoon movies that involve different characters such as the robot and pirates featured each week. The quiz option shown is where you can take a quiz about the featured movie.

There is an option to subscribe to get more access of the app. One option is to pay $6.99 a month and it will allow unlimited access to hundreds of movies, quizzes and activities. The upgrade option is $1.99 per month which allows access to four related movies and quizzes to the already weekly featured video.  However, if you do not want to upgrade, the app allows multiple opportunities without paying extra.

After watching the featured video, you can choose the quiz option on the homepage and take the featured quiz of the week.

By choosing the subjects at the bottom of the app it will allow for many different options to learn about the subject in a fun and interactive way.

When you enter into an activity or movie that needs an upgrade, this page will appear. It gives an explanation of the application and then you can then decide if you would like to upgrade to be able to enter into it or you can exit out of it and continue to use the free opportunities available. To subscribe, all you have to do is click the subscribe button and enter in the information that is needed.


By Allie Muur, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

Fifty percent of the human brain is dedicated to visual functions, and images are processed faster than text. Technology has opened many barriers to help the process of visual teaching and learning. There are now interactive whiteboards or smart boards, which allow multiple creative ways to teach visually.  There are several apps that can be downloaded as well. Another creative and fun way to teach and learn visually is creating an infographic.

Infographics are visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly and they are effective because they are a visual element. There are three different parts that allow infographics to be successful and easy to understand. When creating an infographic, one needs to focus on the visual aspect, the content and the knowledge base of it all. The visual aspect of an infographic is very important because it consists of the colors and graphics that are used. Themes and references are the two main factors of the visual portion of creating an infographic. The theme graphics are the visual representation of the data being depicted and the reference graphics are usually icons that are used to point to certain data that may not be shown on the infographic. The reference visual may lead the users to a different website that will help explain the information more clearly. Statistics and facts usually serve as the content for infographics and the knowledge base of the infographic, which is very important for each infographic, is making sure there is some sort of insight into the data that makes it easy for the learners to understand.

Forty-five percent more Web users will click on a link if it features an infographic. To begin to create an infographic to enhance a lesson or to help make a topic simpler for others to understand, choose one of the many websites that are available. Some free and very easy to use websites are http://infogr.am/http://www.cacoo.com and http://www.vizify.com.  To get started, all one has to do is sign up with an email address and password. Those are just a few of the many websites that are out there to help one begin the infographic process.

Below is an example of what an infographic can look like.

TechTip:  Using Infogr.am

By Paul Schouten, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

Using Infogr.am is one of the many places that allow you to create infographics. It is a great and easy way to create impressive infographics using pre-made options.  After quickly registering with the website, you are presented with several templates that will be the base of your infographic design.

After selecting an appropriate template, you are directed to a page where you can choose multiple options to edit the infographic. When you select the “Add a chart” option on the right, there are 31 different charts and graphs to choose from based on how you plan to organize and display your information. Ranging from hierarchy charts to bubble charts, practically every way to display statistical data is covered in this section.

Moving down the list on the right side of the editor, there is an option to add a map. After the map is inserted into the infographic, there is an option to double-click the map to edit the data used as well as a spot to upload data from your device.

Next there is an option to add a simple text box. The options for the text boxes determine how the text could be used in the infographic. There is even a timer function if a countdown is relevant to the information being presented. Otherwise, the text boxes could be used to create headers, titles, or simple boxes used throughout the infographic.

The next two options are for media that can be included in the infographic. If you wanted to add a picture, the “add a picture” button will send you straight to upload a picture from your device. If a video is something you want to include, the “add a video” button allows you to insert a video using a URL from either Vimeo or YouTube.

PickMeBuzzer (iPad App)

By Corey James, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

Occasionally when a teacher asks a question in a classroom and multiple hands go up at the same time, it is hard for that teacher to decide which student raised their hand first. With PickMe!Buzzer, the teacher doesn’t have to worry about being unfair to the actual student who raised their hand first, especially if there is a prize at stake.

PickMe!Buzzer is a free iOS application designed for group learning and trivia games. (*Update:  After we published this article we found out PickMeBuzzer is now costing $0.99) It allows students to respond to questions with a touch of a button or by raising their iOS device. The teacher is then able to receive who responded to the question first, as long as everyone is in the same game. The application can be downloaded from any iOS device which makes it nice for people who have iPhones but inconvenient for anyone with a different smartphone. As long as the students have iPhones, iPods or iPads, the teacher would be able to incorporate this application within their classroom. Another challenge to this application is that everyone needs to be under the same working WiFi connection, which shouldn’t be a problem if this application is being used on campus.

PickMe!Buzzer is a fun way to learn in groups and I would especially recommend it for K-12 classes; the younger the better. Although it is a great application for all ages, it may seem a little childish to older students. This is also a great way to show younger students how we can communicate through technology.

PickMe!Buzzer is available for iPhone and iPad free (now it is $0.99) from the Apple App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pickmebuzzer/id366750211?mt=8.

Here is an example of how one individual is using it in their classroom with a Jeopardy-like class activity.  http://life360view.com/detailed-instructions-for-using-pickmebuzzer-on-apple-ios-devices/.

You can also integrate the PickMe!Buzzer app along with the PickMe!Play desktop app for Mac or PC which costs around $50.  This YouTube video shows a tutorial on using the PickMe!Play desktop app along with your iOS devices.

For other mobile devices such as Android, KindleFire, and Playbook they have an app called BigRedBuzzer that does the same thing.

For more information please visit http://buzzers.com.

TechTip: Creating and Entering a Game

By Brittani Carter, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

When creating a game using the PickMe!Buzzer application you will need a few things to get started. You will need 1 iPad (That will serve as “THE HOST), another/ other iPad or iPhone devices and a wireless connection that every device will be able/ allowed to connect with.

Once “The Host” iPad has connected to the wireless network, simply open the PickMe!Buzzer application. Once you have opened PickMe!Buzzer you will be taken to the home screen:

On the home screen you will need to select  “Create Game”, once you have selected “Create Game” you will be taken to the screen where you need to select “Start Game”:

Once you have selected “Start Game” the other iPad and/or iPhone devices will be able to join the game you created. Students would simply open the PickMe!Buzzer application (they too will be taken to the home screen). Instead of selecting “Create Game” they will choose “Enter Game.” Once the student has selected “ Enter Game” they will be taken to this screen that will display the game that the “Host” iPad created:

Once the student has joined the game, you will be ready to begin playing.  The screen students will see after joining the game, will allow them to choose the type of way they would like to submit answers: They can either “Raise the Device” or Select the “Red Buzzer”:

Spring 2013 Recap

The staff of the Instructional Development Services would like to thank all you loyal readers of our blog articles and would like to thank all those that participated in our Spring 2013 workshops!!  Below we have posted a recap of all the articles/workshops we delivered this spring.  We will be taking a break from TechInsights blog articles during the summer months and will come back with exciting new topics to share in the Fall semester.  We would like to wish you all a safe and enjoyable summer!  See you next fall!!

Spring 2013 Articles/Workshops Recap

WIU Faculty, Staff or Students: If you were unable to attend one of the workshops that we offered this spring contact Josh Butcher and he can set up a one-on-one appointment with you to go over the topics that you missed.

January 24 – Flickr http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1348

February 5 – Converting Analog-to-Digital Video http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1375

February 18 – Ask3 iPad App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1385

March 6 – iBooks Author http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1412

March 18 – Creative Book Builder iPad App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1430

April 10 – TourWrist iPad App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1501

April 19 – Corkulous iPad App http://www.wiu.edu/coehs/techinsights/blog/?p=1528


By Brittani Carter, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

The Corkulous App created by Appigo allows you to collect, organize and share your ideas. This app requires your iPhone, iPod Touch and/or iPad to operate with the iOS version 5.0 or later. Corkulous is a multi-purpose app that contains a corkboards setting where you can place/take notes, labels, photos, contacts, and tasks. It allows you to place all of your invigorating ideas visually on one board. This app is great for creating vision boards, vacation planning, to-do lists, etc. Corkulous is very easy to use. You can select the type of item you’re adding by opening up the virtual set of drawers at the bottom of the screen. You can imbed corkboards within another corkboard. You can export PDFs of your whole corkboard. Or take screenshots and save them to your Photo Library.  You can resize a post-it note so that it can hold a lot of text.  Its super easy to select, move or edit items. It also allows you to search the content in your corkboards. There are two versions of this app, paid and free. With the free version you are limited to one board that you can modify. This version also allows you to connect with your drop box account and view boards created by other Corkulous users. The paid $4.99 version allows you the same features as the free addiction with a few added bonuses which include: nested boards (boards inside boards), iCloud Support, Drop Box Support, Board Templates, Passcode Lock, and Export/import Files. Overall, Corkulous is a great convenient app that allows you to stay organized and ahead of the game.

For more information on Corkulous visit http://www.appigo.com/corkulous.

Workshop Signup:

Fill out my online form.


By Amanda Richards, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

When you first begin using corkulous your corkboard will be blank. In order to access your tools click on the filing cabinet and drag it open.

opening screen

opening screen

Once the cabinet has opened you will have 7 tools that are available for use. Starting from the left they are Labels, post it notes, check list, note cards, contacts, pictures, and flags. The last icon available is to open multiple corkboards but this option is only available to Corkulous Pro users and is available for a one time fee of $4.99.

tool bar

tool bar

Labels can be used to add titles to lists or title pictures and other elements.



Post its can be used to organize your thoughts and are available in a wide array of colors.

post its

post its

You can create mini checklists on different areas of your cork board or to add specific tasks and to do’s to a project that you are working on.

check list

Note cards can be used to have a title with additional information or a description of the topic.

note cards

note cards

The next icon can be used to insert an existing contact or create a new contact for quick access.

insert contact

insert contact

The icon that looks like a photo album can be used to insert or take a photo to be displayed on the corkboard.

insert picture

insert picture

The last icon that is available in the free version are flags. Flags can be used to draw attention or make a point about any photos, contacts or notes on your corkboard.




By Nicole Dobyns, Instructional Development Services Graduate Assistant

This week we have focused on an application for the iPhone and iPad that our Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (RPTA) major, Nicole Dobyns has really grown to like. Many of the applications that we discuss through Tech Insights are specific to education, but this application can be very useful for the travel workshops that the RPTA department has every semester. This app can be used to highlight places that people visit or show them someplace they will go before they get there. TourWrist, yes there is a play on words here, is an app that shows both normal and 360 panoramas of places like parks, historic sites, and more for the tourist on the go.

Think about those virtual tours that you might have seen on realtor websites or on hotel websites, this app caters to this ability exclusively. There are some limitations at this time, however, since the application is relatively new. If you have the 1st or 2nd generation iPad, or the iPhone 3GS and older you will be unable to shoot panoramas with the app. These devices can still download the app and enjoy the uploaded panoramas that others have uploaded. There is talk of a huge update coming to the app, which will include support for the iPad Mini, which at this time does not currently upload panoramas. This post will be updated as soon as that changes!

iPhone 4 and 3rd generation iPad users can take panoramas using the tools within the app. iPhone 4S and 5 users as well as 4th generation iPad users (yes this is different than the Mini) can shoot a panorama from the native camera app and then upload to TourWrist for use. If you are an Android user (like me), good news! They have an app for Android OS, as well.  However, after installing the Android app it does not appear that I can upload panoramas from the app. This is an amazing app, and if you have a device that doesn’t support panorama uploading, you can always go through the TourWrist website.

Device Shoot panoramas from app? Look at other panoramas only?
Android No Yes
iPhone 3GS No Yes
iPad 1,2 No Yes
iPad Mini No (update coming) Yes
iPhone 4, 4S Yes No
iPad 3,4 Yes No

One very interesting thing to note is the partnership between TourWrist and Nodal Ninja. This partnership allows people to buy a specialized set of DSLR equipment specifically to be used for professional panorama photography. If you’re curious to know what all is in the kit, click here.

If you can’t keep all of the device differences straight, not to worry. We have a couple of compatible iPads in the Interactive Multimedia Lab if you really want to see how the app works as a fully functional app. There are so many uses for this app, and I love to use this even without the full functionality. It’s great to be able to see places before you travel a great distance or revisit someplace you’ve already been.

Tech Tip – TourWrist

By Ronald Smith, Instructional Development Services Lab Assistant

With tourist giving you the option of touring around the world, you have a lot to choose from. But maybe you want to tour a specific country, state, or city. Tourist gives you this option with a few easy steps.

  • Click the blue  “Explore” button on the left side panel.
  • Then five different panels will show up, click the one that says “Categories”.
  • These are broken into 11 different categories including “All Panos”.
  • For the purpose of this tech tip, I chose “All Panos”. So After All Panos is clicked (make sure it is highlighted), decide which country you want to tour!
  • I chose France, so go to the map and zoom into the country (the state, and cities should show up)
  • In France, I chose Paris, and green dots showed up. The green dots indicate that there is a pano available in the location that you chose.
  • Click on one of the green dots and there you have it, the pano is available to view. You can either choose to gyro (move the ipad around to view) or touch (swipe your fingers to view).
  • You can click “Links” to save the pano or to get directions.
  • The share button allows you to share the pano with your friends via email, Twitter, and Facebook.