Hopefully, most of you are either finished already or finishing today with the 2009-2010 school year! And, hopefully at least a portion of your summer plans involve time to relax & recharge. I plan to continue to blog on Fridays over the summer weeks, so keep an eye here on Fridays and maybe grab a tool, link, resource, idea to tuck away into your bag for the next school year, which will be upon us before we know it!
Stanza: I’ve had the FREE Stanza App on my iPhone for quite some time now, but really haven’t had the time to play with it much. However, with the addition of an iPad to the NE PATINS Lending library, I’ve started looking deeper into the possibilities of digital reading and writing on these powerful devices and have spent some time exploring Stanza for iPad. Here’s a few points that are worth sharing:
- It’s FREE
- Works on iPad, iTouch, iPhone (is now native on the iPad!)
- 100,000 books available (most for purchase)
- A free Desktop App for Mac & PC allows placing your own files & books into Stanza!
- Font, Colors, Contrast, Justification, Spacing, Hypenation and Portrait/Landscape mode are all adjustable.
- Can organize your collections by title, author or create custom collections.
- Share your own docs for Stanza over local wifi
- You can add/edit your own bookmarks
- Will not open Kindle books yet, but there IS a free Kindle App for that!
- Unfortunately, text-to-speech is not supported at this time, BUT look at this screenshot. Once you open a file into Stanza, you have the option of exporting it again in many different formats, one being MP3! The MP3′s I’ve exported using Stanza have worked very well and very quickly.
More on Stanza:
- Take a look at these formats that Stanza should import:
Even More on Stanza:
- Now, what you DON’T see in the above image is “NIMAS File Sets.” You cannot directly import a NIMAS File Set into Stanza, BUT you should already be converting your NIMAS files into other formats for student use anyway right? Additionally, the folks at Stanza state that it is a tool best used for large bodies of text that does NOT contain extensive graphics or images. However, next week I will explore getting an actual NIMAS file set into Stanza for use on an iPad and post it here on the blog as a video tutorial. www.lexcycle.com
Shape Writer: Shape Writer allows writing on the iPad, iTouch, iPhone by simply sliding your finger across the keys to the ones you want to use in the word. It also adapts itself to your writing. This could be very beneficial on an iPad for a student who might benefit from writing w/out having to pick up their finger and replace it on a new key, which involves increased visual tracking, spatial, and fine motor control. There is a free version that works great and a paid version that offers additional functionality if desired. http://itunes.apple.com/app/shapewriter/id347210825?mt=8
Second Life Education Wiki: SimTeach is a Wiki dedicated to Educational Efforts in Second Life. Check it out: www.simteach.com/wiki/index.php?title=Second_Life_Education_Wiki
PATINS SL Island Calendar of Events: Don’t forget about the 4 FREE trainings coming up THIS MONTH (June) on the PATINS Second Life Island Visit the “Second Life” Link from the PATINS Website as displayed above for the SL Calendar of events, getting started information, video tutorials, etc! Contact us with questions. www.patinsproject.com/SLEventsCalendar.html
Discounted Hardware & Software (& Stimulus Dollars Information): Remember to check the STATE BUY Link on the PATINS website before making any hardware/software purchases. Of course, PATINS doesn’t sell anything, but we do work with various vendors to get special, limited time, pricing for Indiana educators. Current opportunities include Don Johnston, Atomic Learning, Eye Can See, G-Tech, Kurzweil, LAB Computers, ReThink Autism, Renaisance, Perfect Solutions, and TextHelp! There is also information here on your stimulus dollars! http://patinsproject.com/buys.html