Thursday, November 6, 2014

New Features Added to Google Drive for iOS 8

Google Drive users who have updated to iOS 8 on their iPads will find some helpful new features in the latest update to the Google Drive iPad app. The latest update to the app enables you to open files in Drive and save them back to Drive even when you're using other apps to create and edit. The other productivity update allows you to move video files from Google Drive to your iPad's camera roll.

From a security standpoint, the latest update to Google Drive for iPad enables the use of Touch ID. You can use Touch ID to lock the Google Drive for iPad app.

Applications for Education
These features aren't game-changing updates, but they could be helpful from a workflow standpoint. Your students can now open and work with files that weren't originally created in Drive on their iPads.

Ebola Explained Visually

My home state of Maine has been in the news quite a bit during the last couple of weeks because of the state government's effort to impose a quarantine on Kaci Hickox. How is ebola spread? What does it do to humans? Those questions and more are answered in the following video, The Ebola Virus Explained. For even more resources on ebola, see this of resources curated by Larry Ferlazzo.

H/T to Open Culture for the video. 

Now You Can Use Haiku Deck Within SlideShare

Haiku Deck is a fantastic tool for creating slideshows on your iPad or in your web browser. Today, Haiku Deck announced that you can now use their slideshow creation tool within SlideShare. This integration allows you to create slideshows within your SlideShare account. All of the features that you would find in Haiku Deck's web app are include in the SlideShare version of the app. Your completed slideshows are automatically published in your SlideShare account. You can choose to make your slideshows public or private in your SlideShare account.

If you haven't tried Haiku Deck's web app, take a look at my short tutorial video here.

Applications for Education
There are two features of Haiku Deck that stand-out in classroom settings. First, Haiku Deck offers an integrated Creative Commons image search tool. That image search allows your students to find images to use in their presentations without having to exit the app to search for images. Second, Haiku Deck limits the amount of text that students can place on each slide.

Haiku Deck's new integration with SlideShare allows you and your students to quickly share your presentations with each other and the world. Click here to try Haiku Deck within SlideShare.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tools for Working With ePub Files In Your Browser

From time to time when you're conducting research online you may find yourself coming across an ePub file. While you may have a tablet that can read open ePub files, it may be more convenient to simply open the file in your browser. For example, when you just need to search a document rather than read the whole thing opening the ePub in your browser could save you some time. Here are a couple of tools for accessing ePub files in your web browser.

EPUBReader is a Firefox add-on that will allow you to read ePub documents within your browser. EPUBReader downloads ePub files and displays them directly in your browser. The video below offers a short demonstration.

Magic Scroll is a Chrome web app that you can use to read ePub files on your desktop or laptop even if you do not have an internet connection.

Zip Lookup - Demographics by Zip Code

Zip Lookup is a nice use of the Esri mapping platform. The map allows you to enter any US zip code to discover demographic data about that area. Whenever I see something like this I am skeptical of how well it will work for very small towns like the one that I live in (Woodstock, Maine). I was pleasantly surprised to find that Zip Lookup was quite accurate. In fact, it even included a blurb about the most popular satellite television stations in my zip code (my zip code is actually shared with a town, a village, and an unorganized township).

Applications for Education
Zip Lookup could be a neat tool for students to use to discover how people in other parts of their counties, states, or country live. A short research activity based on Zip Lookup would be to investigate what draws people of a particular demographic to an area.