Tag Archives: Google Apps

eMINTS Pre-Conference Sessions

Every year, we at eMINTS offer some pre-conference workshops the day before the conference commences. This year, we have three such workshops underway. There are sessions covering Weebly, SMART Products, as well as Google Apps.

Roger Brallier of Mexico, MO is back again this year to present on managing a classroom website using Weebly in “Wock Your Webpage with Weebly”. Roger is an experienced and knowledgeable eMINTS trainer who is best when it comes to do-it-yourself projects. With Weebly, Roger can demonstrate how easy it is for one to create and manage a website using this free online tool.

In “Applying Research-Based Strategies Using SMART Products”, presenter Martha Bogart of Cooperating School Districts (St. Louis) shows participants how SMART Boards and SMART Notebook can be used effectively in  the classroom. While I was stopping by, Martha was sharing the wonder of pull tabs in Notebook as a way to reveal key information or instructions for students using the SMART Board. Throughout the session, a connection is made with the nine McREL (Marzano) research-based strategies and SMART Tech products. It’s always great to learn how pedagogy meets technology in the classroom.

Centralia’s Matt McKenzie presents on the many benefits of Google Apps. These free tools offered by Google can fill classroom, team, and school district needs with just a Google account. Matt is extremely knowledgeable in this area as his school district has made some major strides in integrating Google Apps in nearly every aspect teacher and student work.

Pre-conference sessions are typically three hours. They are often extended versions of the hour-long sessions we provide during the meat of the conference. The three sessions above are just a taste of what the eMINTS Conference has to offer participants over the next few days.

Zac Early is an instructional specialist and blogger for the eMINTS National Center.

Wanted: free and easy photo editing

I love digital photography but like most people don’t have the time and/or money to learn to use a complicated program like Photoshop but I still want the same results. I found that in Picnik (my most favorite online photo editing tool). Sadly they have announced that they are closing their “doors” on April 19, I have been on the hunt for the next great, easy to use, free, online photo editing tool. I may have found it.

After sharing my woes (aka whining) about Picnik disappearing to a couple of my friends over and over and over they each sent me emails mentioning the same new tool they found called iPiccy.

All I have to say is WOW! iPiccy is great! A web-based platform that allows for easy editing and sharing but also has an advanced image processing allowing users to do even more with images. You can start with a picture on your computer, the web, your webcam, Facebook, or you can even start from scratch. iPiccy has editing, effects, retouching, adding text, and a painter mode so users can apply basic edits but they also add filters and effects change images to black and white, add frames and borders, and so much more.  They even a full screen mode. There are not as many bells and whistles as my beloved Picnik but it comes closer than any other online photo editor I have found so far.

Did I mention that it is all free??? There is no need to create an account. Just work with your image until you are happy with it and save it to your computer, get the image link, or share it to Facebook (keeping my fingers crossed for sharing with Flickr someday soon and other additions soon). One disclaimer….iPiccy is still under Beta and may end up charging for their services, but for now it is answering all my photo editing needs and fits perfectly in my budget.

For you other Picnik lovers, I read that some of their tools are part of Google+ (don’t even get me started on Google+). I checked it out today and found that a very small portion of the once extensive tools are available. For now…all features of Picnik are free for everyone to use until they quite offering their service in April.

What are some of your favorite online photo editing tools?

Brooke Higgins is an aspiring photographer and instructional specialist with the eMINTS National Center. You can read more at her blog Higgins Helpful Hints Blog.