2013 Holiday Tech Gift Guide

By IDS staff members Corey James, Allie Muur, Brittani Carter, Paul Schouten, and Ronald Smith

In this years holiday tech gift blog we will highlight several popular and cool tech gadgets that are under $100 as well as those that are over $100.  IDS staff hopes you all have a wonderful holiday season and ring in a very happy new year!  Please remember to come visit us in Horrabin Hall 104 next semester for all of your technology needs!

Under $100

Google Chromecast

~$35-50

Google Chromecast is the newest and easiest way to enjoy online music and videos on your television. Chromecast will allow you to enjoy music, YouTube, Netflix and Chrome (The Internet).  You can view all of these different programs and app without having to huddle around a small screen.  Chromecast works with any devices that you might already have such as smartphones, tablets, and even apple products.  It allows you to control playback and even the volume from any smart device as a remote.  You can plug it into any HDTV and connect to WIFI. This will allow you to send videos and much more with a press of a button.  For only $35 you can own a Chromecast that will keep you and all your apps up-to-date.

Logitech Washable Keyboard K310

~$19.99-40

Have you ever spilled coffee, food, even water on your Computers keyboard? Well I the perfect the solution for when those accidents occur.  From a price range of $19.99-$40, you can be worry free with a Logitech Washable Keyboard.  This keyboard is washable by hand it has ultra-durable keys with laser printing and UV coating for long life of the keys. It can be full submerged into water that’s up to 11’ feet deep.  It is a contemporary slim modern design that looks great with any MAC or PC. It has east USB connectivity for installation.

iPad Styli

An iPad Stylus is a computer accessory that is used to provide precision and help with navigation on touchscreens. Using a stylus avoids marking up your iPad with fingerprints and makes it much easier to write notes. There are many types of styli and below are some of the best rated.

Wacom Bamboo Stylus

~$21.96

One of the main features of the Wacom Bamboo Stylus is the small tip, which is replaceable if it needs to be replaced. Having a small tip on the stylus makes it easier to write on the touchscreen and also gives you a more precise selection.

Adonit Jot Pro

~$29.99

The Adonit Jot Pro is made out of aluminum and steel and has a rubber grip. One of the nice features about this stylus is the magnetic insides that allow it to stick to the top of the iPad so that it doesn’t get misplaced. This is also one of the most precise iPad styli you can find.

Applydea Maglus

~$34

Like the Adonit Jot Pro, the Maglus is magnetic and will stick to the side of your iPad. The Maglus is flat, so you won’t need to worry about it rolling back and forth on your iPad.  The magus may be a little heavier, but that allows for less exertion to make a mark on your screen. Some styli require you to press down on the iPad in order to make a selection or mark.

Griffin Technology: Crayola over-ear headphones

~$29.99

These stylish headphones also come in green and blue. They are very comfortable to use for extended listening sessions because of the polyurethane ear cushions. Also, the volume-limiting circuitry helps keep sound pressure at a safe level.

InstaWatch

~$44

The InstaWatch is a unique holiday gift idea for those who use Instagram or would enjoy a highly customizable wristwatch. The InstaWatch allows you to upload a photo from Instagram and use it as the background of a wristwatch. Also, there are several preloaded images to pick from if you choose not to use a photo from Instagram. The customization does not stop there. After you choose an image, you can alter the color of the top and bottom bands of the watch itself. You can also change the finish of the watch, as well as the colors of the buckle and keeper, even the arms of the watch!

Roku

~$50-100

The Roku is a small device that allows you to stream movies, TV, and even music to your television. With this little box, you can use your TV to watch shows and movies from Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, HBO Go, Hulu Plus, Crackle and many more different options. You just plug it in to the TV using an HDMI cable and your WiFi or Ethernet cable streams the different channels to your TV. It’s that simple.

Porkfolio

~$49.99-79.99

Do you ever have loose change just lying around, but you never know what to do with it because it’s not enough to buy essential items? Well the Porkfolio Smart Piggy Bank is just for you.  This piggy bank is special because you can actually keep up with your balance via your smartphone or tablet. Every time you enter a coin (it only takes U.S coins) the piggy bank nose will light up, indicating that it recognizes the coin, and the coin will be added to your balance.

The Porkfolio mobile app is what makes this piggy bank different than the traditional piggy bank. Not only can you keep up with your balance, but you can also set saving goals for yourself. Therefore, if you want to save up for the new iPad Air, just enter the amount you want to save, and when you reach that amount, the Porkfolio will alert you.

This smart piggy bank is very much affordable, with a price range of $49.99-$79.99 depending on color and the department store. This makes the perfect gift for adults and children alike. You can teach a child the fundamentals of saving and banking in a cool and modern way. This is one thing I am definitely putting on my Christmas list.

Spotter – Multipurpose Sensor

~$49.99

Who knew that a little sphere could do so much? You can use this portable motion sensor for a baby monitor to being notified when dinner is ready. You can monitor motion, sound, light, temperature, and humidity. The cool thing about this is you can monitor things from your smartphone! With the Wink app, you can set up alerts for anything you want. You want to know if your bedroom door opened while you were at work or class? The spotter will let you know guaranteed. The spotter is magnetic, therefore you can stick it somewhere and people wouldn’t even know its there. With the appealing price of $49.99, this makes a perfect gift for moms and college students alike.

Over $100

Playstation 4

~$399

Playstation 4 sales reached the 1 million mark on the first day it was released. The Playstation 4 is Sony’s next video game consoles that competes with Microsoft’s Xbox One and Nintendo’s Wii U as one of the 8th generations of video game consoles. With the PS4, Sony focuses on social gameplay allowing players to share their in-game play experience streaming it live to their friends. They can do this using the “Share” button on the DualShock 4 Controller. The DualShock 4 has several new features including a point capacitative touch pad on the front of the controller. The controller also supports motion detection and has an improved vibration. Although the PS4 does not play PS3 games, most of Sony’s new Playstation games will be released for both consoles for a while.

Xbox One

~$499

Xbox one is a video game console developed by Microsoft and is the third console in the Xbox family. It competes with Sony’s Playstation 4 and Nintendo’s Wii U as one of the 8th generations of video game consoles. Microsoft has classified their new console as an “all-in-one entertainment system”, making it a competitor to home media devices such as Apple TV and Google TV platforms. Xbox One also has a blue-ray player allowing you to play your games and movies in HD.

Kindle Fire HDX

~$229-309

With the holiday season upon us it means Amazon should be releasing a new Kindle Tablet. The past few holiday seasons Amazon has released a number of different tablets built for both work and play. This year Amazon has released the new and improved Kindle Fire HDX.  This Kindle has a faster quad-core processor, HDX display, improved battery life, hundreds of new apps and features, a “MAYDAY” button that allows automatic customer/technical support, and much more. It has photo-sharing option and also has ultra-fast wireless. This device is portable and powerful.

Samsung Gear

~$299

The Iconic Innovation is here, the all-new Samsung Galaxy Gear available in six stylish colors.  The Galaxy Gear is a phone on your wrist, it can be used to locate your lost phone, it is a more intelligent way to interact, and it also offers a lock down method that allows you to keep all of your important information private. You can place and answer calls, voice record memos, you can even receive app notifications; it automatically sync with your phone and opens the one upon request. If you walk five feet away from your phone it automatically locks your phone when your return it unlocks it with no password or pin needed. This is one of the coolest and newest smart technologies around. It’s a perfect holiday gift!

Galaxy Note 3

~$699 (varies with 2-year contracts with phone companies)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years, you know that there are two teams in the cellphone universe: You’re either team iPhone or team Android.  I myself am team iPhone, but after reading about the new Samsung Galaxy Note 3, I just might reconsider switching teams.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is the latest edition in the Galaxy Note series.  It has tons of features that make it one of the best phones to date. Did I mention that the Note 3 display is 1080p! The phone is basically a portable HD TV.  With the use of a SD card, you can save more music and photos; many modern phones abandoned this feature so it’s refreshing to see that it’s still available. It will fill up the page if I talk about what this entire phone can do; but one thing for sure, I am using the Porkfolio smart piggy bank to save up for this.

iPhone 5c

~$99-199 depending on model

I could not leave team iPhone hanging. One of the latest editions to the iPhone family, the iPhone 5c gives buyers the option of choosing between 5 different colors for the phone. With the recent launch of ios7, the phone pops and stands out with ultra bright, and beautiful colors. It’s also the biggest iPhone to date, with a width of 2.33 inches, height of 4.90 inches, and weigh 4.65 ounces. With most companies starting the buying price at $99.99 with a 2-year contract for a 16gb, it is affordable, modern, and the perfect option if you want a cheap, but good, smartphone.

Beats by Dr. Dre: Clip on earbud headphones

~$149.99

Try these clip on ear bud headphones that feature adjustable ear hooks and 3 pairs of ear tips to ensure a sure fit. They are perfect to use while working out and they produce smooth vocals and directs sound into the ear for crisp, clear audio. They have a remote that allows you to easily make and receive hands-free phone calls, skip songs and adjust volume without having to locate your music player or mobile phone.

Livescribe 3 SmartPen Pro Edition

~$199.99

This Livescribe3 Smartpen Pro Edition allows you to simply write on paper and then it pairs it with your tablet or smartphone and your notes instantly appear in the Livescribe3 mobile app. Your notes become more useful when they are converted to text, tagged, searchable, and shared with friends and colleagues. With a few quick taps of your finger, your notes can be used in your favorite apps to create contacts, appointments and reminders. Record and play back audio that’s synced to your handwriting.¹

The Livescribe3 smartpen Pro Edition gives you a smart deal on an elegant collection that includes a premium 100-sheet hardbound journal, a leather smartpen portfolio, a one-year subscription to Evernote premium and an extra ink cartridge.

iPad Air

~$500+

The new iPad Air is much more sleek and light compared to previous iPads. Weighing just one pound and at a 20% thinner design, the iPad Air has twice the battery life as well as twice the graphics performance of previous iPads. It also boasts an increase in WiFi speed.

Wireless Smartphone Photo Printer

~$220

The name is fairly self-explanatory. This photo printer connects wirelessly to iPhones or Android powered phones to print photos. Using a free app, you can send the pictures you want to the photo printer using home WiFi. It prints 4” by 6” 300dpi resolution borderless photos.

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!

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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.

 

 

None

 

 

 

 

Mono

 

 

 

 

Tonal

 

 

 

 

Noir

 

 

 

 

Fade

 

 

 

 

Instant

 

 

 

 

Chrome

 

 

 

 

Process

 

 

 

 

Transfer

 

 

 

 


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.


InfoGraphics

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


Corkulous

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:

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TechTip:

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.

Labels

Labels

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.

flags

flags