Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Old Books

"It is a good rule after reading a new book,
never to allow yourself another new one
till you have read an old one in between."
~C.S. Lewis

Achoo! Discarding books is always an adventure with the years of dust and allergens, but it is fun to imagine the hands that have touched these books.

Some books were checked out when I was in elementary school.  Some were here when Steve was in high school.

Also, the library worker who used the small ID stamp really, really liked to stamp. I picture her having fun stamping lots of places in each book and I think she probably would have loved letterboxing!

Copyright 1953, dapper looking authors, VHS tapes, and other books are being withdrawn from the ERHS collection.

Now I'm going to find some Benedryl!  Achoo! Sniff, sniff!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 23 - Evaluation

As I finish Thing 23 and complete 23 Mobile Things, I want to say a huge, “THANK YOU!” to the Minnesota Multitypes for providing another fantastic learning experience.  I have learned so much and my expectations were exceeded.  This has been a fun way to discover ways to use mobile devices, both at work and at home.  Thank you!

Now, here is my recap:

Go back to your thoughts/ideas about mobile devices and apps. Has anything changed as a result of this experience?
I’m not sure if my thoughts have changed as a result of 23 Mobile Things, but I think they have been more clearly defined.  We live in an age where technology is fast growing and quickly changing.  It is hard to keep up on the latest popular “things.”  Although I love learning new things, I tend to use the spaghetti test (throw it against the wall to see if it sticks) for new technology.  For 23 Mobile Things, I tried to experiment with most of the apps.  Some of the apps immediately caught my attention and stuck.  I could easily see using these apps in the Media Center and/or for personal use.  For others, I will have to wait and see if they are useful or needed.  If I cannot come up with a viable use, the app will be deleted.

Also, I was a little surprised by how many of the 23 Mobile Things apps were blocked at school.  This was, more than a little, frustrating for me.

What were your favorite Things and discoveries?
Thing 1: Blogging and Registering
I was thrilled to become a part of 23 Mobile Things.  I love learning new things and knew that this would be a terrific learning opportunity.  I also enjoy blogging, even though I’m not very good at it, and this was a chance to revive my blog.

Thing 2: Mobile Device Tips
This was a very useful “thing.”  My favorite iPhone tips are:

  • With iOS7 I can have unlimited apps in each folder.
  • I can use the camera without unlocking the screen.
  • I can use the volume button to take photos.
  • Learning how to speech-to-text for both messages and notes.
  • Adding the Emoji keyboard.

Thing 3: Utilities
My favorite Thing 3 app is RedLaser for scanning barcodes, QR codes and for storing loyalty cards.
I also enjoyed putting my new knowledge into action by creating a 2014 Winter Olympics display that incorporated QR codes.

Thing 4: Keeping Up
After trying out both Flipboard and Zite for Thing 4, I think I will stick to Feedly to help me keep up with social media.  I am not thrilled with Feedly, but for my purposes, I like it more than either Flipboard or Zite.  Time permitting; I may look into Flipboard a little more.  It did interest me.

Thing 5:  Notetaking
DragonDictation was my favorite app for Thing 5.  Until participating in 23 Mobile Things, I had not tried speech-to-text.  I love it!

Thing 6: Creating & Editing Docs
For Thing 6, QuickOffice wins my top spot over CloudOn simply because their spell check is free.  Both apps were easy to use and worked wonderfully.

Thing 7: Content Saving & Sharing
Pinterest wins!  I use Pinterest every day.  For work, I get ideas for book displays and see what other libraries are doing.  For personal use, I get recipes, craft ideas, inspiration and more. Even though I was already an avid Pinterest user, Thing 7 was fun to explore!

Some of My 23 Mobile Things Inspired Pins
Thing 8: Social Media Management Tools
I doubt I will use either Cloze or Hootsuite.  I enjoy going to the actual apps (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to check on what is going on. I appreciate that Thing 8 introduced me to these options.

Thing 9: Taking & Editing Photos
ColorSplurge wins my top spot for Thing 9.  Being able to highlight an area of a photo with color is just plain cool.
Thing 10: Sharing Photos
I love Instagram!  Enough said!
After my Thing 10 blog post rant about Snapchat, I went to a fish fry last Friday night with a family whose daughters are teenage and tween.  They were so excited when they found me on Snapchat.  I had the girls show me around Snapchat and saw their enthusiasm for this app.  Since my original blog post and thoughts about Snapchat, I now see that it can be really fun.

My Day 2 Instagram Photo for the 30 Days of Biking Challenge
Thing 11: Library & Reference
Thing11 was a great refresher course for ELM.

Thing 12: Books, Books, & More Books
So many books, so little time!  You can never have too many books, can you?  I cannot pick just one app; I loved all of the apps in Thing 12: Wattpad, Free Books and Audiobooks.

Thing 13: Presentations
For Thing 13, HaikuDeck wins!

Thing 14: Videos
Vine, Viddy, Socialcam and Magistro!  Again, I cannot choose my favorite video app.  I was really surprised by how much fun I had with Thing 14!

Divergent Faction Reading Lists #ERHS #23ThingsMN @mnmultitypes

Thing 15: Infographics
Although Thing 15 was interesting, I wasn’t thrilled by any of the apps.

Thing 16: Audio
I can see using any one of the Thing 16 apps (Audioboo, ipadio, SoundCloud) in the library for student book reviews, interviews with teachers and also for classroom projects.  I will be investigating further whether or not you can save the audio clips and import them into iMovie, which would make these apps even more useful.

Thing 17: Connecting to Community
My favorite new app for Thing 17 is Highlights of the Superior Hiking Trail and I was also pleased to see the Minnesota State Fair app, which I use every year at the Fair.

Thing 18: Education
colAR Mix definitely wins for Thing 18, but is also an overall 23 Mobile Things favorite.  This is such a cool app.  I have shared this app with kids of all ages and they all LOVE it!  Very, very fun!

colAR Mix
Thing 19: Hobbies
RoadNinja will be useful when we travel, but my favorite app for Thing 19 is Spotify.  I really enjoyed the challenge of finding a way to use Spotify in the Media Center.

ERHS Popular/Edgy Playlist

Thing 20: Games
Too many games, too little time!  Or is it, too little time, because of too many games?  Since completing Thing 20, I have added Word Abacus and Word Collapse to my regular gaming routing.  Both are fun and addicting!

Thing 21: Free-For-All
Thing 21 allowed me to discover favorite apps from other 23 Mobile Things participants:
23Things on the Bookmobile from the Arrowhead Library System (ALS) recommended the Instant Heart Rate app.  To use this app, you simply put your finger over the camera lens and in 10 seconds, your heart rate has been recorded.  I have showed this to several people.  It amazes me that my iPhone can monitor my heart rate.
Northern Lights Library Network's (NLLN) The Loony Librarian mentioned the game app, Shuffling Sheep, which was created by a Minnesotan.  I like the Minnesota connection and the game is fun.

Thing 22: Discovering Apps
Oh, boy, there are so many neat apps out there!  I appreciate knowing about Quixey and Apps Gone Free to search for new apps.  Of the new apps I discovered while doing Thing 22, my favorite are: Workout Trainer, Beautiful Mosaic, Grid Lens, and Mystic.

Mystic App
How did you connect with others doing the 23 Mobile Things?
I walked across the Media Center to connect with my boss, who is also doing 23 Mobile Things.  For other participants, I subscribed to some blogs.  I also found that I would check out other participant blogs when I was struggling with what to blog about for certain “things.”

Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Thing 14 about videos.  The students at ERHS use iMovie to create videos.  Even though I know a little about iMovie, I cringe a little whenever a student asks me for help.  It surprised me to see how easy it is to create videos using the apps listed in Thing 14.

If we offered another 23 Things program like this in the future would you participate?
Yes, yes, yes!

How would you describe your learning experience in one word or in one sentence, so we could use your words to promote 23 Things learning activities to others?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

23 Mobile Things - Thing 22 - Discovering Apps

I'm not really sure I need to know how to discover more apps!  That being said, I have wondered how to find apps.  Thing 22 was a great resource on how to search for and discover new apps.

My first couple of searches on Quixey resulted in limited search results.  I did find an app that I downloaded, Workout Trainer.  My daughter recently got engaged and thoughts of weight loss and getting in shape are dancing in my head.

Workout Trainer App
Then, I had an "ah-ha" moment.  I did a "wedding" search and up popped many, many apps.

Wedding Search Results on Quixey

Apps Gone Free
I can see where Apps Gone Free might become a daily necessity, much like checking email.  Out of today's offerings, I found two apps to download.  Both have to do with photography.

Beautiful Mosaic
This app pixelates your photos.  It's rather fun, but I'm not too sure I will use it all that much.  It might be fun to try this in the library by pixelating out someone who is reading a book and having a guessing game about who it is, or pixelating a book cover and have students guess what book it is.  It was fun to play around with this app.

After my initial try at Beautiful Mosaic, I figured out a few more things you can do with the app that will make it more useful.  You can select the area you want pixelated, add a frame, and more.

Beautiful Mosaic - Selected Pixelation
Grid Lens
I have alot of photo collage apps, but what sets this one apart is that you can select the area of the collage that you want to fill and then take a picture from your camera.  You can also choose photos from your camera roll.  I did a quick collage of ERHS Media Center images and like how this app works.  You can customize your collage with different layouts, change the border color and choose different effects.  I'm looking forward to experimenting with the app.

Grid Lens Collage
You can also find apps by searching the Internet.  Although I haven't specifically searched for apps, I do read "best of" lists whenever I see them.

Magazines are another great source for finding apps.  I check-in and process the magazines for the Media Center and we get three that are great sources for app suggestions and reviews:  MacLife, Macworld, and PCWorld.

Another great source for app reviews and suggestions are blogs and specific tech websites.  Mashable just published The 6 Best Instagram Overlay Apps.  I immediately downloaded them to try out.  Here are the apps from the article.

This app allows you to add creative text to your photos.  The app has really unique fonts to choose from.  Now I am thinking that pixelating a photo with Beautiful Mosaic (as described above), will allow you to add text without the photo background competing with the text. brain is now working "Over"time!
Beautiful Mosaic Photo with Over App Text
This app is really fun!  I chose my goldfish photo (as seen above) to try out the app since it adds circles, or bubbles. You can select the size of bubbles.

A Beautiful Mess (ABM)
This has quickly become one of my favorite photo apps.  The app offers a unique variety of collages along with various photo editing tools.  The photo posted above captioned, "She Said Yes!" was created using ABM.

This is another app that I have been using for a while.  It is just another way to add some creativity to your photos by adding different textures and shading. As you can see by the photo, I added some pink near the top of the photo.  This is a pretty subtle change.  You can really go wild with Mextures!

Photo Wonder
I was interested in this app because of the collage function, but after looking around the app, it can do other neat stuff, too.  To make a collage, you select up to 9 photos and it automatically imports them into a collage.  You can pick other collage formats and adjust the photos to fit the collage area they are in.  Sharing to social media is easy.  Another fun, but not so useful, feature is to create avatars and emoticons.  As you can see by my avatar...I got da moves!

Photo Wonder Collage
My Photo Wonder Avatar

This app has so many options!  The combinations of effects that you can do to your photo is almost unlimited.  Mystic is a terrific app!  Here's my favorite goldfish.  I added a border, text, and a couple of effects.  I love the way this turned out!