Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Test Post with Blogtouch

This is a test post with Blogtouch. It seems pretty simple. 

Blogging for STEAM!

Getting started with blogging is pretty easy, as you already know.....however, making your blog a place that people want to visit? Well, that's something entirely different.  People will stick around and actually follow your blog if you have something important to say, and it's obvious to them that you took the time to make it look good.

You could add graphics.....

Or pictures......

Or other interesting data, like this info from Slideshare:

Right now, you've entered the "blogosphere" in an educational sense, you've learned that you can really control the content (even the comments!) of your own blog.....and you've figured out that the Blogger app works great....but that the web/desktop interface gives you even more options.

But there are lots of other reasons to blog....

Promote your business/sell stuff
Keep connected to family & friends and share photos and stories
Inspire people....spiritually, artistically, academically
Inform people about politics, world events, really, about anything that interests you!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


I made it to the end.....with time to spare! {Full disclosure: I'm sad it's over.}

This is, by far, some of the best PD I've had in a while.  I love that I was able to sit down and work on my 23 things whenever I had a chance, and I love that I got to learn about so many new things out there.  The app world is pretty saturated, and were it not for this, I may not have discovered some of my new favorites like Flipboard, Line Camera,  and Quickoffice.

The fact that I got to try out apps that I didn't like was also helpful. If a staff member comes to me asking about something that didn't work so well, I can look back to my blog and remember why.

I'm also glad that I finally read a book digitally (not that I loved it).  I started a second, which I didn't finish....but might.  I'm not a "digital reader", but it will be a handy back up when I travel and things like that.

The next time I have an opportunity like this for self-paced PD, I will definitely jump in with both feet.

Thanks Minnesota Multitypes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#22 Discovering Apps

I don't spend a lot of time "discovering apps", as I usually just read or hear about them/read about them somewhere and then go research them & try them out. Either that, or teachers will come back to work after being at a conference or workshop saying something to the effect of, "I found the coolest app! We totally need it on the iPads".  If it's not a paid one, I usually will try it out and see if it looks "do-able".  If it's paid, I might buy one copy of it to test, but will be VERY critical as I assess it.

When looking for or "discovering" apps, I find the most helpful thing is a basic Google search (if anyone had told me, before becoming a media specialist, that Google would be the best tool in my professional life, I would have chuckled.....)  Once I find apps that come up in my results, I go right to the reviews.  Very few apps are "hard" to use, so I'll look at reviews before I actually try out the app. Customer reviews are honest and blunt, and I like that. { I'm the same way when shopping often make my decisions for me when shopping.}

For this "thing", I downloaded Apps Gone Free.  I love that there's an app to help get apps.

Speaking of reviews, it had five stars and nearly 4,000 of them....

Anyway, it works pretty simply.  A number of apps (10 today), along with descriptions and ratings are listed and free for a short period of time.  I was surprised at the deals on some of had been $10.99!

If you find one you like, you click it, read more about it, and it sends you out to the app store to download.  I downloaded 100 Cameras in 1 and Comic Story.  I haven't had a chance to play with them yet...but as a free app, it's worth the purchase price.

One thing I thought was cool about this app was the "bump" feature.  If there is a paid app you like, you type in its name and "bump" it.  I suppose if certain apps get enough bumps, them they try to get the company to make it go free.  Kind of a cool way to get an app out there or get it to take off a bit.

I'll keep this app on my device.  Pretty easy to open it every day or every few days and see if there's anything amazing out there for free.

#21 Free-for-All

My FitnessPal!

I love this app.  It helped me lose some weight last year......then I stopped using it.  I started again a few months ago, and I have logged in every single day.

Here's what it does:

1. Helps me keep track of every single thing I put in my body. Has a GREAT UPC scanner.

2. Helps me keep track of my exercise (which lets me buy more calories to eat).

3. Can tell me the calorie and nutrition info for just about anything I can imagine...this is WAY important when in the drive-thru at Taco Bell or Arby's.

4. Helps me balance carbs, fats, and proteins....and all my vitamins and minerals each day.

5. Tells me how many calories per day I can have in order to lose whatever amount of weight I want to.

6. It has a social networking component, so I can "like" my friends' statuses when they log in, or burn calories exercising, or lose pounds, etc.

7. Helps me keep track of daily water intake.

8. It keeps me honest. Mostly.

On this go-round, I've lost 12 pounds with the help of this app....since I have a wedding in six months, I'm hoping it helps me do away with about 20 more!

Monday, April 14, 2014

#20 Games

For this "thing" I downloaded Word Abacus.

I was already addicted to Candy Crush (til I got stuck at Level 421 and quit), and have tried Temple Run and some word anagram games.  I've recently started playing Farm Heroes Saga...which is about the same as Candy Crush, and just as addicting.

Word Abacus was a nice change of pace......

It started out pretty easy.  It's a simple little interface, and directions are straightforward.  You make words....they have to be at least three letters long.  At some point at each level, you "complete it" and move on.  Things get letters that are worth extra points, red letters that you have to use or the game is over. As you moe up the levels, you get more of the red ones that have to be used.

When I made it to level seven, I was limited to making just one three-letter word per game, which means I really needed to slow down and use some strategy.  And then those red letters started coming!  I barely got through the level, but I eventually passed it.....but then lost in level 8.

I'll keep it on my iPad, as it's pretty fun.  And now that I've played it, it should be easy to improve my past performance.

*Note: There were adds that rolled on the top as I played.  They were only slightly annoying.  I was asked once in eight levels to "upgrade" for $1.99....which I didn't.*