This week I have been exploring a new tool called EdCanvas. The more I learn about it, the more excited I get about its possibilities! At first I thought it was just a site to save links. But it is much more. It is a place where teachers can create and deliver content. In fact, by clicking the “play” button, the squares turn in to active slides. Teachers can even add interactive quizzes as a formative assessment!

EdCanvas has a powerful search tool. Type in any word (ex. Calculus) and it will search YouTube videos, Flickr, Google, Educreations, and Gooru. You can also upload your own content (ex. syllabus or worksheet) through Google Drive, Dropbox, or your own computer files. Users can add photos and PowerPoint. So – whatever content you want to teach can be placed into a canvas.


Once a canvas is created, it can be shared on the web on Edmodo, Facebook, Twitter, by email, or embedded into Moodle!  Here is an example:


Unfortunately, this WordPress blog does not allow for iframe embedding. You will need to click this link to test out an EdCanvas.


When you are done, head on over to EdCanvas to test it out yourself!

3 Great Infographic Tools

I just finished creating an infographic for our adjunct faculty Moodle training when I came across this wonderful infographic on “13 Reasons Your Brain Craves Infographics”.

I will post it here, but I invite you to visit the interactive version created by NeoMam Studios found here: CLICK HERE for the interactive!13 Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics

We know that infographics engage the reader. Thankfully, they are easy to create.  I enjoy using Easel.ly . The easiest thing for me to do is use one of their templates and start from there.  I created a summer training calendar using Easel.ly:


Another good choice for creating infographics is Piktochart. Piktochart offers several tutorials including an ebook and video. I like their templates as well and am looking into their educational subscription for a broader range of choices. I created a CV2 using Piktochart. This one was created by Kathy Schrock:

A final great choice is Infogr.am. Infogr.am has a lot of choices when it comes to creating charts.


Next time you want to grab someone’s attention through writing and visuals, try an infographic!

4 of the Best Apps to Record Audio Notes

Have you ever taken notes – and then couldn’t  remember why you wrote down what you wrote? I know I have. Sometimes there are occasions when having an audio file attached to notes is a nice feature.  As an instructor, it has been nice to be able to type notes and be able to record at the same time. I would imagine that this also would be beneficial to students (after asking permission from the instructor to record). Actually, asking permission to record should take place in any session, especially if content is personal or sensitive. I have found using audio notes to be helpful while attending webinars!

1. Evernote is my favorite way to record and take notes especially since it syncs so easily with so many devices. Evernote gives you the option to make a recording and it is free!


Click to add a new note, then click the record button.


2. Soundnote is my second favorite audio note app. It is simple and easy to use. Soundnote tracks what you type and draw while recording. It costs $4.99 from the iTunes store.


3.  Notability is my next app to try. After viewing the web site, all I can say is – I can’t wait to try it! Notability offers an organization system, hand-written or typed notes, audio notes, and the ability to annotate .pdf files as well as auto-sync.  Notability costs $1.99.


4. Audionote is also a great choice. It is $4.99 from the iTunes store and has the capability of synchronizing audio and notes. You can watch as your text and drawings highlight during playback.


Have you used an audio note app? How have you used it and what would you recommend?

3 Fun, New Mobile Apps

I’ve been testing 3 new mobile apps today. They may not be NEW apps, but they are new to me! And everytime I get a “new” app, I spend time exploring it. Today I tested out 3 new apps:  Skitch, CamMe, and Fleksy.

Photo Skitch Document

I must admit, I have seen Skitch several times on the Evernote website because it is linked with Evernote but never really gave it any thought. Now that I downloaded it and have had time to get to know Skitch, I am certain it will be a new found favorite! Watch this video to see how easy it is to mark and label pictures, web sites, and maps:

Faculty and students alike can benefit from the ease and functionality of Skitch. Please note that Skitch does not have to be used only on a mobile device. The website also provides a Windows and Mac download!

CamMe is simply a fun photo tool. It is a “hand gesture driven app” that allows you to take a picture from a distance using a mobile device. I love this! It’s easy to take a single or group photo by placing your iPhone or tablet a distance away and simply holding up your hand and then closing it. It will begin a count down of 3 and then take the photo. Sweet! Here is my test try:


No more trying to hold my camera away from me while I take a picture! Hands free is so…freeing!

My last find was Fleksy. Just during lunch today I was speaking to a friend about my frustration with my thumbs and iPhone typing. Honestly, my thumbs just seem to clumsy for that tiny keyboard! That’s when I found Fleksy! Fleksy to the rescue! And it works.

Fleksy is a keyboard app that makes it easier to type. It recognizes words, says it (if you desire), and swipes for spaces, punctuation, and mistakes. It took me a couple of tries (and reading the instructions) until I got it ~ but now I am hooked.


Add Some POW to your Presentations!

Want to add some POW to your presentations? Powtoon is a fun alternative. It creates animated videos and presentations that move and slide. It is free for limited length and characters. It allows you to choose your background, transitions, music, font, and image additions. Here is my sample:

User friendly? You may have to judge that yourself. They do offer a training guide. I attempted to create a PowToon without the direction and it took me a few tries to get the transitions correct without too much overlap. I wasn’t thrilled with the timing and know that if I was creating it for a special event, I would take the time to work with it more.

To make the PowToon easier, you can opt to use their pre-made samples and edit from there. I used a blank slate. Either way, I like the result and enjoy being able to make something that is fun to watch!

If you end up creating a PowToon, I’d love to share your end result!

Give Me Smore and some Moodle, too!


Smore is a very user-friendly website that allows you to create “flyers” to send via email, facebook, twitter, or print. But – smore does not have to be about flyers! It can be about almost anything!

I have used smore to create most of my training posters such as this one:

google drive

Here are the features I really like:

    • Smores support … just about everything!
    •  smore3
    • Smores can be embedded into blogs (although not supported on WordPress…)
    • Smores can be embedded into MOODLE! See this example:


Let’s put the two of these together now!  You can have a Moodle page with the smore page embedded. The smore page will add visual appeal along with ALL the links to your core content ~ videos, pictures, website links, text, audio, forms.

Step outside the box and IMAGINE the possibilities! I don’t know about you…but I’m excited about this! It is free, easy to use, and can support learning. Why not give it a try?

For a final closing, here is a fun video from me. Sorry, it will not embed into WordPress, so you will need to click the link to view my “Gami”

Click here to view the Gami

From Paper to Digital Using Whitelines Link!

I am enjoying a FREE app today – Whitelines Link.

Whitelines Link in iTunes

Whitelines Link in iTunes

I have found that many people enjoy writing using paper and pencil. I have written about the Livescribe Echo Smartpen (which I love) but purchasing the pen can be expensive. The Echo Smartpen still is first choice because it captures words and sound. However, Whitelines  is a wonderful alternative for those that want to capture words or drawings only (including color!).

The free Whitelines Link app works with Whitelines paper. The paper is FREE if you print your own…or you can purchase a notebook. I like the app so much, I may end up purchasing my own notebook! According to Whitelines, “Whitelines® is the new generation of writing paper. The concept is patented and yet very simple: Since markings from pens are dark they interfere with the traditional dark lines of ordinary paper. On Whitelines there is no visual interference between the lines and the pen colour. Whitelines makes your writing and drawings stand out.” Not only is your writing transferred to a digital image, the paper is gentler on the eyes!

First, I printed out a piece of paper from the Whitelines website and took notes using a regular pen:

notes on paper

Next, I downloaded the app from iTunes on my iPhone 5:


Then, I used the app to take a snapshot of my notes. They were downloaded and I sent to my Evernote account and email. Here is the result!


The page saves as a .pdf. Here is a link to the .pdf: Sample of Whitelines! You can see that the paper lines disappear on the digital image and all that remains are my notes! What a great product. Give it a try! How would you use this?

Whitelines Link from Whitelines Paper on Vimeo.

Free Stock Photos Using Foter

Abubakr Hussain, Mohammed-Hayat Ashrafi, Maaz Farooq, Farmaan Akhtar, Mohammed Shah / Nature Photos / CC BY-SA

Want to find a way to search for photos that you may use freely with attribution? You may enjoy Foter.com. Foter allows the user to search easily for a photo, then copy and paste a code into a blog, or copy the attribution information to your resource document.  For example, I decided to search for a “bicycle” picture. There were so many pictures to choose from.  I chose this one:

Mikael Colville-Andersen / Fashion Photos / CC BY-NC-ND

Foter also did a great job creating an infographic that easily explains how to attribute creative commons photos:
Creative Commons Photos

How To Attribute Creative Commons Photos by Foter