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Showing posts from October, 2012

iPad App Tutorial: Socrative

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I had the luxury of having some time today to explore Socrative, and although I know that this app has been around for some time, I think it's still a bit under the radar for not only iPad carts but for any mobile device initiative. The application is essentially a polling platform, but what sets Socrative apart from every other app I've seen (and I still like PollEverywhere) is how easy, intuitive and functional the app is to use.  Feel free to check out and share my tutorial page found here: http://www.makingtechsimple.com/socrative

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Save Those Dates and Let's Meetup, Hangout, and See Each Other Soon

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It's that time of year, no not the holiday where you have your kids dress up as baby animals and solicit neighbors for candy. No, it's professional development conference season, and we're hitting the ground running starting in November. I'll be presenting at a few local conferences, waiting for word on the big state and national ones, and will be co-chairing the local Mini-Conference held in January of next year.  Hit the jump for more details on each of them, and let me know if you'll be attending!

New Features of Apple Configurator v1.2

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We've been using Apple Configurator for managing our shared iPad carts, and Apple recently released an update (v1.2) in early October.  I discussed some of the immediate benefits in terms of fixing a paid app code bug in an earlier post, but I'm back to outline some of the new features that came with the update.  You can read Apple's update post here, and after the jump is a 2-minute walkthrough.

Why the iPad Mini is Perfectly Priced at $329

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Article first published as Why the iPad Mini is Perfectly Priced at $329 on Blogcritics.

The announcement of the iPad mini didn't surprise many (I predicted it early last year), but the price of the 7.9 inch tablet surely raised eyebrows and disappointed stockholders. Many forecasters, including this tech blogger, assumed that Apple would price the iPad's kid brother at levels comparable to the competition, namely the Kindle Fire HD ($199 - 16GB) and the Google Nexus ($199 - 8GB). Well, that's why we don't work at Apple I suppose.

Converting PDFs to Word via Google Docs (VIDEO)

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This one has been out for awhile. In fact, I wrote a post in 2011 on this very capability.  However, I went ahead and created documentation and a video since the topic still comes up frequently.  Teachers (or anyone for that matter) occasionally request editing of PDF documents. Although PDFs are meant for viewing only, there are times when we want to be able to access an editable version in a word processor. Google Docs has a handy PDF converter built in, and it does a pretty decent job of converting, especially if you're looking at just a bunch of text in your document. First, you'll convert to a Google Doc, and if you need some Microsoft goodness in there, you'll need to download as such. Here's the tutorial guide and a YouTube video is embedded after the jump.

Voicethread Mobile on the iPad

I'll be working with one of our iPad teachers this week on using Voicethread on the iPad.  We've had some great projects come through on the computer side of Voicethread, but this will be our first full class run through with the mobile application. I put together a brief tutorial guide that reviews login and some basic how-to's for the app. It turns out that the app is quite intuitive (not surprising since the people behind Voicethread are really on top of their game - I met them at ISTE 2011). Feel free to make a copy of the guide via Google Docs and adapt as needed. The only downside thus far (before rollout at least) is the inability to share with your class groups.  We don't have email accounts setup on our iPads, so we'll be asking students to share from the web application on the desktop computers. I'll update this post once the project is complete.

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Apple Configurator and Paid App Codes

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As we continue to learn about deploying iPad carts in the classroom, I wanted to document two findings that were giving us trouble recently. First, when we updated the Macbook laptops to Mountain Lion (10.8), we were encountering an error when attempting to import spreadsheets with the app codes. A discussion forum revealed that others were having the same issue and despite a suggested workaround (that didn't work for me), the solution finally came in an app update to the Configurator (v1.2).  This is now available in the App Store and all is well again with paid app spreadsheet imports.