This weekend I was looking for an app to record only audio. There are plenty of apps out there that will record audio and video, but I strictly wanted audio. I also wanted it to be very simple to use.
So, I did a little digging.
The apps that I discovered were iTalk Recorder and Voice Recorder HD.
iTalk Recorder was a very nice app and has a very easy to use interface. But what it didn’t have was a place to store the recording. I could email the recording to myself and then upload it to a webserver of some sort and then share it…WAY TO CUMBERSOME!
The second app I looked at was Voice Recorder HD. This was a very nice app. However, this free app had advertisements galore. One aspect that I thought was a true positive was that it had the ability to save recording to Google Drive and to DropBox. All in all a good app but the ads need to go away and the user interface needs to be simpler. If I was working with this app and students, the ads would be a distraction.
I looked a bit more and came across Croak.it! Now this app is exactly what I was looking for. It is perfect. It is easy. It stores the recoded audio onto its own server and can automatically generate a link, which makes it simple to add a recording to a blog or a webpage. Each recording can only be 30 seconds in length. You might say, only thirty seconds, however, think about thirty seconds, that is a long time.
Absolutely my favorite part about Croak.it! is that it is well within my price range…FREE!
Check it out!
If You Think You’re Anonymous Online, Think Again
I just listened to this really great piece on NPR. Julia Angwin was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal. She is now writing for an independent news organization ProPublica.
It is quite alarming how much information that is gathered about a person digitally. From how many Google searches are done in a specific time frame and from what you are purchasing on-line.
One very interesting statement that I found was that each time you land on a page on the internet, you are being tracked and also your identity is being auctioned by a data broker. Records are getting much more precise so that retailers and data brokers can then customize ads for you within seconds.
Did you know that the most used password for the past decade has been 123456. Now that is a terrible password. If you have that password, I apologies for calling you out, but it is time to change it. You will get hacked…it is only a matter of time.
Is Free Wi-Fi really free? Breaking up with Google…why? Listen to Ms. Angwin’s answer.
What is Duck, Duck, Go?
I love that Ms. Angwin uses the term “Burner Phone”. If you are a House of Cards or Wired fan, you will know what that means, but if you do not, listen to find out.
Now do I think that Mr. Angwin is a bit extreme? Yes, yes I do. Do I think we should be this extreme? No, but I do think that there are many ways that we can take better care of our digital identity. The bottom line for me is that this will only get worse and that most people will continue “Business as Usual!”
Thanks for reading and listening.
White Album & Garage Band
Working with Different Input Devices
Research, research and more research… that is what I did to get USM’s first ever Genius Hour course off the ground. Pair that with a good deal of support and I was able to get moving. Here’s how.
The class I teach is very fun and interesting, but when I started to feel my excitement level fading, I decided to take a step back and dream it all up again. I went right to my source for ideas…Twitter. I searched out #GeniusHour and read, read and read some more. I came across wonderful websites that inspired me to jump in and give it a try. During my research I found a highly inspirational youtube video from Kid President that not only pumped me up but served as an awesome kick-off to my introduction of Genius Hour.
I also decided to poll my middle school colleagues, family and friends to see what they would do if they had a “genius hour,” an hour every other day to work on a project for which they felt passionate. The students in my class were very interested to know the interests and passions of their middle school teachers. Most of them couldn’t believe that their teachers had interests aside from the subjects that they taught!
The introduction of the genius hour has also opened my eyes to projects that I have always wanted to pursue. One of the projects that I found to be right up my alley was remixing music using Garage Band. This project piqued my interest because I have a great appreciation for music (and always thought that I had a face for radio)! While teaching a student to import music from iTunes into Garage Band I learned that, like me, that student had a fondness for vinyl. With this in mind we worked together to find a turntable (thanks, Ms. Walczak) and then proceeded to learn how to import music from vinyl into Garage Band. Many students were quite intrigued by the turntable. In fact, one student asked me if it was “new technology,” which made me laugh…and cry. Just bringing this piece of equipment into the Maker Space brought up some great questions, like, “How does that work?”, and “Your receiver has a phono input…what is that?” and “You flip it over to hear more music? Crazy!”
All in all, the first two weeks of Genius Hour has been very exciting. Not only am I re-energized by this class, I think the students are learning much more by driving their learning. It has kept me busy! Instead of delivering one lesson and answering questions on one topic correctly, I now have to research and find answers for 17 topics. I love it!
Last week a friend came up to me stating that she has done it! She filled her 32 gig iPad with vital information (yeah, right!) and that she cannot complete the upgrade to iOS7.
So after a few emails back and forth we came across the culprits. The way that she found the culprits was pretty simple. By opening Settings on the iPad and then tapping on General and then navigating to Usage, she was able to see all of her apps and the file size of each. The file size that is calculated inside of Usage includes the actual app as well as the data the is stored inside that app.
She saw that her pictures were taking up some vital space. So I suggested that she open a DropBox account and add the app to her iPad. DropBox has a great feature that will allow the DropBox App to automatically upload images to DropBox once the DropBox App is granted access to the photo library and then opened on the iPad. There are other services that can do the same function…Google+ does it and as well as Box.
Some apps that will take up a great deal of space are:
Lastly, the one that surprised me the most was Messages. But once I thought about it, it really made sense. Messages was really chalked full with videos, and pictures. This made the Messages app the largest app on my device. Once I deleted all my Messages and rebooted my device, I had regained quite a bit of space.
Please let me know if you have any questions and as always, please leave a comment.
My post last week discussed TV shows that are appropriate for girls at specific ages. Keeping with the girl theme I would like to write about an article that I read in the Huffington Post called, “What Little Girls Wish Daddies Knew”.
This article really made me think about my relationship with both my son and my daughter. The author made so many great points that I had to pause and think about how I am raising my children. Am I gender stereotyping? Do I only do certain things with my son and not my daughter? Do I encourage my daughter the same way that I encourage my son? So many questions! So many great thinking points! So what am I doing right or wrong?
8. When your tone is gentle, I understand what you are saying much better.
Wow! This one practically slapped me across the face and I wish it didn’t. Not only do I understand this, I hope others practice this when talking to me.
13. Teach me a love of art, science, and nature, and I will learn that intellect matters more than dress size.
If this one was measured on a scale from 1-10, I say turn it up to 11! If there is anything that I want to have my daughter feel comfortable with it is her physical appearance. I was never the most successful science student but I will encourage my daughter to develop a love or at least an appreciation for science. For my daughter, art and nature come naturally and that is largely due to a pre-primary education.
19. When you let me help fix the car and paint the house, I will believe I can do anything a boy can do.
This one speaks for itself. I absolutely do not want my daughter to back down from a challenge. Each day when I drop my daughter off at her classroom, I encourage her to ask a lot of questions. Challenges need to be met with some level of understanding.
17. When I ask you to let go, please remain available; I will always come back and need you if you do.
Absolutely the hardest part of parenting, in my opinion, has been letting go. Distancing myself and not immediately intervening when my daughter is being challenged, or is taking a risk, is a very hard thing to do.
I am hoping that you take some time to read the rest of the article. I found it to be very interesting and thought provoking. If nothing else, the article will make me think twice the next time I am frustrated, am encouraging new learning or watching my children take risks.
This is a vey quick post that I thought I would share with you. Often in my house our TV is tuned to ESPN and my daughter has been fine with that most of the time.
However, I am always on the look out for some inspiring shows for her to watch. So when this post landed in my in-box, I thought I would share it with you.
Most of these shows we haven’t seen so I would love to hear from you if you or your family has watched any.
Commonsense Media – TV That’s Good for Girls
A great app just became free in the Apple App Store. The app is called iMotionHD (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/imotion-hd/id421365625?mt=8
) and it is a very fun and simple app to use if you want to create a stop motion animation. Please be aware that there are some in-app purchase that could enhance this app but I really didn’t see value in making those purchases.
Create a stop motion animation and have some fun with your technology this weekend.