Keynote, Numbers, and Pages Updated for iPad.

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Attention Teachers and Students:

As we all know, three of the best apps in education on the iPad are the popular productive apps part of Apple’s iWork Suite.  Good news, today iPad updates are out for Apple’s KeynoteNumbers, and Pages. These updates offer a number of bug fixes and improvements and a few new features. My favorite update is that they now support MobileMe. I can now transfer documents to and from my devices using mobile me. (It’s also good I can export them as Microsoft Word, etc. too I suppose.) Here are some of the new features:

Keynote
– Export presentations to Microsoft PowerPoint (.PPT) format.
– Copy presentations between Keynote and your MobileMe iDisk or a WebDAV service.
– Support for audio in builds when importing Keynote ’09 presentations.
– Ability to group and ungroup objects.
– Add animated builds to grouped objects.
– Lens Flare, Spin and Wipe build animations.
– Revolving Door, Swoosh and Wipe slide transition animations.

Numbers
– Export spreadsheets to Microsoft Excel (.XLS) format.
– Copy spreadsheets between Numbers and your MobileMe iDisk or a WebDAV service.
– Ability to group and ungroup objects.
– Open CSV files from Mail and other apps.

Pages
– Copy documents between Pages and your MobileMe iDisk or a WebDAV service.
– Option to display the word count for your document.
– Support for opening .txt files from Mail.
– Ability to group and ungroup objects.
– Import and export existing footnotes, endnotes, sections and tables of contents.
– Import and export Pages ’09 tables with image background fills in cells.

Each app is priced at $9.99 and is iPad-only.

AutoCAD Coming Soon to Your Mac Classroom.

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Autodesk Inc. announced today that it’s AutoCAD (Computer Aided Design) software will once again be running on a Mac. The new software will bring robust 3D free-form design tools and powerful drafting capabilities to your Mac.  The new software relies heavily on the Mac OSX to bring an intuitive graphical user interface to help you and your students bring ideas to life easily. AutoCAD uses DWG format so your designs can be shared easily with any platform.

Looking over the screenshot and video on Autodesk’s website, the Mac version looks gorgeous. The commands are the same as for other platforms, but it appears the Mac version may have some added features. Even the video/commercial on their website has a soundtrack that sings, “Things are getting better…”.

Amazingly, the new AutoCAD for the Mac also allows you to extend your work and share DWG filesto your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad through AutoCAD WS mobile app. The app will be FREE and available soon.

The website shows pricing for educational institutions and a product trial.

Visit http://www.usa.autodesk.com to be notified of availability. System Requirements to run AutoCAD on your Mac:

  • Apple® Mac® Pro 4,1 or later; MacBook® Pro 5,1 or later (MacBook Pro 6,1 or later recommended); iMac® 8,1 or later (iMac 11,1 or later recommended); Mac® mini 3,1 or later (Mac mini 4,1 or later recommended); MacBook Air® 2,1 or later; MacBook® 5,1 or later (MacBook 7,1 or later recommended)
  • Mac OS® X v10.6.4 or later; Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later
  • 64-bit Intel® processor
  • 2 GB of RAM (4 GB recommended)
  • 1 GB free disk space for installation
  • All graphics cards on supported hardware
  • 1,024 x 768 display with true color (1,600 x 1,200 with true color recommended)
  • U.S., U.K., or France keyboard layout
  • Apple® Mouse, Apple Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, MacBook® Pro trackpad, or Microsoft®-compliant mouse
  • Mac OS X-compliant printer

Hey Teachers: Snow Leopard + Smartboards = Problems

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Sad+MacBefore you upgrade your school’s Macinotsh Computers to Snow Leopard, Apple’s newest operating system, you might want to wait for a few important updates.  Many Smartboard users have shared  various problems after upgrading to Snow Leopard.

Smart Notebook on my computer would not work at all after the Snow Leopard install.  Other users mentioned various problems ranging from issues with Smart Response not working, to crashes, complete inability to start the program, issues with flash, letters connecting, problems with the receiver, and MORE!  (Yikes: Click HERE to read discussions on the problems.)

Smart Technologies has no comment on the problems, however Twitter’s @SMART_Tech responded to @justcombs and @wozzza tweets that a fix is on its way for this Fall.  Discussion boards also suggest an update soon.

Snow Leopard also broke my compatibility with my school’s color printer, (I’m still searching for that printer driver fix) and will not run FileMaker Pro 8 at all.  FileMaker told me to purchase FileMaker Pro 10.  Yep, it’s expensive.

I really like Snow Leopard, but I am disappointed developers and Apple did not prepare us for a smoother transition.  Snow Leopard was indeed announced two years ago.

Please Post a comment if you are aware of any other incompatibilities teachers need to know about before upgrading to Snow Leopard.

Wired Educator gives a thank you to Justin Combs for the heads-up on the Smartboard issues with Snow Leopard. He was the catalyst for this story.

We will post an update as soon as we receive word of a fix.

Wired Educator will now continue the school year with regular weekly updates.  Send us your suggestions for posts.

Have an awesome school year.

7,000 Textbooks in Your Pocket: Thanks CourseSmart!

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Wired Educator’s An iPod in Every Classroom Initiative just got a big boost today with news that CourseSmart will offer over 7,000 textbooks to iPhone and iPod Touch owners via a free application called eTextbooks for the iPhone (with subscription to CourseSmart).

CourseSmart is already being used by college students at over 6, 000 universities via any computer and an internet connection.  Now with the new iPod Touch/iPhone app true mobility is possible.  Students will have access to their textbooks and notes anywhere they go.

CourseSmart claims to save students over $58 off the average cost of the original textbook from over 12 different publishers and add the benefits of digital books like keyword searches, mobility, thumbnail and full page views.

Boasting 7,066 textbooks, in 935 course areas, in 113 disciplines from 12 major publishers, makes CourseSmart the leader in eTextbooks. You can go to their website and see if the text book you need is available using their search window.  All you need is either a course name, author, title,  keyword, or ISBN.

The only downside I can find is that their is obviously no resale of the books and the books you download typically expired in 180 days.  (I am sure some young college programmer is working hard on a workaround for the latter as I type.)

The excuse, “I didn’t have my book with me,” could soon be lost forever.

Watch out Kindle!

[App Store]

Art Teachers: Put An iPod Touch in Your Classroom

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6a00d8341bfa6953ef011570a84363970b-500wiAn iPod in Every Classroom

For the past four years I have been giving presentations and instructing teachers on the fantastic uses of an iPod in Education.  In my presentation, I really try to help teachers in every course of study find valuable uses for an iPod in their instruction and lessons.  Being an artist myself, it is with great pleasure to see meaningful use of an iPod Touch and the app Brushes as a learning tool and medium for artists.

There are great apps for many classrooms, and the app store has been heavy on programs for Math, Science, and Social Studies, but this new app Brushes may leap frog all of them.

This week The New Yorker announced their plan to feature the impressionist work of Jorge Colombo on the cover of their June issue created on an iPhone with the app Brushes. I think it is amazing that the cover of the New Yorker is made with a finger on this $4.99 app.

There are many other great apps for the art class as well, and combined with video and audio podcasting and the other great features, you have an excellent tool for your art room.

So, how are you planning on using an iPod in your classroom?  Contact us and tell us how you do it.

Here is the New Yorker article on the cover: http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/tny/2009/05/jorge-colombo-iphone-cover.html

And here is a video of Colombo and the app in action: http://www.newyorker.com/video?videoID=24059201001

Apple’s Back to School Promotion On the Way: Includes iPhone?

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apple-back-to-schoolApple’s annual Back to School Promotion may be launching as early as June 2nd, and rumors have this year’s promotion including the iPhone as a possible option. If this year’s promotion is close to last year’s, students and teachers may be eligible for a FREE 8Gb iPod nano with a new Mac. a 8GB iPod Touch, and perhaps this year, if rumors are accurate, an 8GB iPhone as a third option. (Not including the two-year AT&T contract.)

There are many, many iPhone rumors out right now including ideas that Apple may be unveiling several new models of different price ranges and abilities. One of these models could become the third option of the Back to School Promotion.

Typically Students and educators receive a discount on a new Mac and receive some type of iPod as a free gift as part of Apple’s Back to School Promotion.  Stay Tuned.

Attention Teachers Still Using VHS Tapes: Convert Now Using Roxio Bundle

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roxio090526Educational budgets being what they are, purchasing new DVDs to replace old VHS tapes may not be a possibility for many.  Many teachers would love to be able to convert part or all of their VHS collection to a digital format.  Well, now they can, with both ease and low cost.  Roxio’s new $80 Mac Bundle called “Easy VHS to DVD is the solution.

The bundle includes software and a USB video capturing device that includes S-Video and composite video input cables, red and white stereo cables, to support recordings from lots of devices and practically any analog device.  The software allows you to directly burn copies of the new digital content or you can send it to QuickTime Player or iMovie in a wide range of formats. (Another great way to get content onto your iPods for you iPod in the Classroom fans.)

Great for both Mac and PC.  (I’m a Mac and must pay $20 more for the device, but it sure beats the alternative.)

Watch this video to learn more: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3SWSYy-dvew

There are many benefits for teachers to convert VHS to DVD.

Create Study Tools for iPods using iWriter

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Here is another clever addition for our iPod in Every Classroom Initiative.

Talking Panda has created a slick application called iWriter that lets you easily create study tools for an iPod. Text and audio files can be placed on a 5th Generation iPod or iPod Nano.

iWriter’s format is similar to the layout of PowerPoint. You select from one of the eight templates and type or copy and paste the content you desire.  You can also create your own templates. You can even link it to an audio file on your iPod. The application provides a preview screen so you can see what you have designed. You can easily export it to your iPod. (Other export features are available. For example, .Mac Accounts, email, and other options.)

iWriter is available for both Mac and PC. The price in my opinion is steep at $29.95.  You can try a FREE 15 day trial to see if it is right for you before purchasing it. I like it for a nice way to not only get text on an iPod but also to create links within that text to actual audio content.

You can view a demonstration of iWriter in action here.

Wired Educator Recommendation: Go for the 15 day trial and bookmark the Web site it to see if the price drops.  Sorry, but $30 bucks is a deal breaker.

Next Level of Podcasts: No editing? Wireless? Interactive?

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Apple has recently filed for a patent that may take podcasts to an entirely new level.  The patent unveils plans to include software that combines both a video and audio feed of the presenter with the keynote/powerpoint presentation in one single appealing format. The plans are also designed to emiminate the need for editing and stream the podcasts wirelessy to any number of iPods, iPhones, and Macs.

The filing is basically for an automated content capture and processing system where a live camera feed of a presenter can be automatically merged with a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation to form an entertaining and dynamic podcast that lets the viewer watch the presenter’s slides as well as the presenter. In one example outlined in the filing, the content capture system provides a video stream (Stream A) and an Keynote presentation stream (Stream B) to a recording agent such as a Mac running specialized Podcast creation software. The recording agent then blends the two feeds together based on certain cues and sends the combined feed to a syndication server that would then distribute the video wirelessly as a Podcast to any number of authorized Macs, iPods or iPhones. (From AppleInsider.)

Keynote 08 allows for the presentation/slideshow to be recorded with audio and  exported as a video podcast. Also, a nice software titled ProfCast allows for the capture of audio to be combined with your Keynote of PowerPoint and converted to a video podcast. There is no software that seamlessly and easily allows you to capture both the presenter and the slides as well as audio. The best you could do now may be for a simple iMovie capture using your MacBook but it would not make the slideshow you worked so hard on look very good.

The entire patent includes much more in the way the presenter can interact with the recording through voice, gestures, and laser pointers.  Please note that earlier reported patents such as Podcasts on Demand and  PodMaps have not been realized so there can be absolutely no gurantee this will be a reality.  ( I sure hope it happens, though!)

I am a huge advocate of podcasting. The benefits and uses are numerous. I embrace, recommend, and teach the idea of limited or no-editing podcasts, so this new patent really intrigues me.  My desire podcasts to be as simple, yet effective as possible.  My goal is make it as easy for the teacher as possible to capture an audio or video podcast.  The teacher has the challenge of making  the podcast meaningful.

I really like this patent idea and will be following it closely.  I hope I can update this article soon as to a date of delivery to educators everywhere.

iTunes University Launches Free Content for K-12

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Apple announced today that it is expanding its iTunes University material to include content suitable for kindergarten through grade 12.  A great variety of content is available to download for free today from seven different states with more to follow each day.

iTunes Univeristy, a part of the iTunes store, has offered over 50,000 free lectures, lessons, audiobooks, and educational videos from the top museums, universities, and international media organizations around the world. These wonderful lessons can be downloaded onto iPods, iPhones, Macs, and PCs and used to enrich learning in your classroom.

iTunes provides an excellent introduction video and overview of iTunes University for anyone unfamiliar with this resource.  In fact, Apple offers excellent tutorials of all of their products.

Wired Educator Comment: Wow!  Just Awesome!

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