Pixlr has a reputation for providing high quality, free online photo editors. I have been using them on and off for several years now, and I keep coming back to them despite having access to more powerful brand name equivalents from Adobe and others. Pixlr started their journey with a free online alternative to Photoshop. Their next release was Pixlr Express, a more simple editor that anyone could use for quick fix and easy filters and effects. Last month, they unveiled Pixlr X, and I think it might be my favorite one to date. Here’s why.Continue reading “Pixlr X: Free Online Photo Editor”
Apple held a special event in New York today. They unveiled a new MacBook Air, an updated Mac Mini, and a bold redesign of the existing iPad Pro line. All of these devices were released just in time for the holiday season, but are they worth your time and, more importantly, your money? Here’s what you need to know.
Once upon a time, I sat down to write a blog post about ten of the awesome features you can take advantage of in Safari for iPad & iPhone. 15,000 words later, it turned into a short ebook, but more on that later, because I feel like now is a good time to wind back the clock and finally finish the blog post that never got published. So, without further ado, here are 10 Pro Tips for Safari on iPad and iPhone.
I’ve used a lot of note taking apps over the years. I was an Evernote user for a while, I took a look at Google Keep, I jumped in and out of Notability (and still do), and finally settled on OneNote. It’s free, works on all devices, and has the features I need for organizing and searching through my notes. I’ve been very happy with OneNote, but if I’m honest, it has more features than I will ever use. I know I can just not use those features, but it made me wonder what it would be like to use an app that had less bells and whistles. What if the app was more…simple?
Anchor are continuing their march to podcast dominance with the launch of the new Anchor iPad app. Although you could always use the iPhone version of the app on an iPad, the experience, like most iPhone apps on an iPad, was less than ideal. The new app makes much better use of the larger screen and will of course sync all your recordings from the web and your phone. However, the iPad app also brings a collection of brand new iPad specific features, so here’s a look at what you can expect.
Over the years, I have had the pleasure of helping many different teachers use green screen effects in their classrooms. This summer I get the opportunity to do it again at ISTE 2018 in Chicago with my colleague Gina Rogers (@grogers1010). Although my presentations and workshops have evolved over the years, they typically include three elements:
- Why green screen is so popular in schools
- How to create successful green screen projects
- What other teachers are doing with green screens in their classrooms
Often, I find that I get a lot of inspiration from teachers on Twitter. So, in this post I wanted to share some of my favorite examples from tweets I have seen that illustrate great educational uses of green screens. As you scroll through, click on any of the images below to see the original tweet and play any associated media.
When Google Sites got its long awaited update, nobody was shedding a tear for the clunky and over complicated classic Google Sites. However, not everyone jumped on the new Google Sites as quickly as you might think. Many had school websites or other content that would have been too cumbersome or complicated to transfer with just copy and paste. These people were waiting on Google to released the transfer tool that they promised would convert the old Google Sites to the new Google Sites. That time has finally come. Here’s what you need to know.
How to Convert to New Google Sites
The following procedure is available to those with personal Google accounts right now. It comes to G Suite domain administrators for schools and enterprise on May 22, 2018, and to other G Suite users with an eligible site on June 19, 2018.
- Open your classic Google Site at sites.google.com
- Click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner
- Click Manage Site
- At the bottom of the menu on the left hand-side, click Convert to New Sites.
- Choose the sharing permissions for the new site
- Click Start to begin the transfer
If everything looks good, and you have made any changes that you need to make, you need to hit the Publish button to make your site live. When you do this, you will be asked if you want to keep the URL from your old site had, or to start fresh with a new URL.
If you choose to keep the URL you had before, (a useful option if your site is being linked to from multiple places), then the existing URL will automatically redirect users from the old site to the new site. It also means that any URL shorteners that you used, (bit.ly, tinyurl, etc.), will continue to work. If you choose a new URL, be sure to let people know about the new location for your Google Site.
Will Everything Transfer?
In theory, most content should transfer pretty well to the new Google Sites. However, your site won’t necessarily look the same as it did before, and that’s kind of the nature of the beast here. Pages and navigation will be the same, but you may need to tweak your layout, and the fonts and colors will have been modified so that they are in line with the theme options in the new Google Sites.
Widgets, iFrames and custom HTML will likely not transfer well to the new Google Sites, but File Cabinet pages, attachments, embedded Google documents, and YouTube videos should make the transition as expected, albeit with some minor changes. For instance, File Cabinet pages will be converted to an embedded Google Drive folder with all the files you previously uploaded.
A full comparison of what you will see when you convert your old Google Site to the new Google Site can be found on Google’s help page, What to Expect When You Convert a Site.
I Can’t Convert to the New Google Sites
If you’re reading this after June 19, 2018, and you still don’t see the option to convert to the new Google Sites, your site may not currently be eligible for transfer. Google doesn’t offer much guidance here other than to say you should continue to check back for when it may be eligible.
Alternatively, you could copy and paste content from the old Google Site to a new Google Site, providing you don’t have too much content to transfer.
Adobe Spark has long been one of my favorite creative tools for educators to use in the classroom. It’s free, works on mobile or the web, and it has a suite of tools that can be used across multiple curricular areas. This week, Adobe unveiled Spark for Education, a service that is aimed specifically at schools and as you may imagine, it has a variety of useful advantages for teachers. Here’s what you need to know.
Apple had an education focused event today that was designed to outline their vision for how devices like the iPad can be better integrated into K-12 classrooms. The event was held at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago, and saw a slew of new products and services for teachers. Here are ten of my top takeaways from their keynote presentation.
Anchor, a popular mobile podcasting platform, has been around for a couple of years now, but today’s update may be the breakthrough moment it needs to establish itself as the go-to podcasting platform for would-be podcasters who want powerful features without the complexity that usually comes with producing a professional podcast. Here’s what you need to know.
Introducing Anchor 3.0
Up until today, Anchor was an app you could use on iOS or Android to record short podcasts that you upload to the web and share with others. So, what’s new in version 3? Quite a lot actually. Here are some highlights:
- A redesigned mobile app
- A new web dashboard with audio creation tools and analytics
- The ability to upload audio to the web that was recorded or edited elsewhere
- Seamless sync between mobile and web dashboards
- Unlimited recording and free podcast hosting
- Easy distribution to Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Spotify
- You can add draft recordings for publishing at a later date
- New web profiles with custom URLs
- Podcast transfer support to bring podcasts hosted elsewhere to Anchor
These features are added to existing functionality that includes the ability to record with up to 10 other people, the ability to play call-in voice messages, automatic audio to text transcription, and the option to add a variety of musical transition effects.
Anchor for Schools?
Anchor is an iPhone app on iOS, but it works on iPads too. It is supported on Android, and now has a web platform that works on Mac, PC and Chromebooks. Anchor is also 100% free right now. There is nothing you can pay for, even if you wanted to. This makes it an appealing option for educators, but is there a catch?
At some point, Anchor will need to start paying back its investors. My guess is that this will come in the form of ads that are placed before, during or after your podcast, with the addition of an ad-free tier that you can pay for if you want to. This is just speculation on my part, but something to think about if you are considering Anchor for podcasting with your students or colleagues.
Until then, it’s still a compelling option for teachers. Opinion Podcasts was a favorite of mine right up until they decided they could no longer afford to host your podcasts for free. But, there’s nothing to say that you can’t enjoy Anchor while you can because who knows what the future will hold.
Do You Wanna Build a Podcast?
If you’re reading this post because you are thinking of creating a podcast yourself, then I would encourage you to listen to episode 39 of The Edtech Take Out, a podcast that I co-host with Mindy Cairney. In this episode, we talk about how to plan and produce your first podcast. We don’t mention Anchor specifically, but there are lots of ideas and options here that would be transferable if you did decide to make a leap into podcasting. You can find The Edtech Take Out in the Apple Podcasts app or on Google Play Music. You can also find it in Overcast, Pocket Casts, and other good podcast players.