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Real Life Tech Stuff

I get asked pretty often things like,”Where did you find that?” or “When do you have time to do this stuff?” I guess the most simple answer is that I actually use technology for my personal life and the tools seem to naturally slide into my teaching and professional life. It is difficult to understand why and how to use technology in the classroom if you don’t use it for yourself to accomplish real goals. So, I decided I will try to post ever so often what I am trying out and doing. This might inspire you to use the same things in your personal life and/or classroom. So, what have I been up to lately?

1) Smilebox: Ok, I know I have mentioned Smilebox many times, but I returned from vacation just 2 weeks ago with a slug of pictures just begging to be put in a collage. Usually I would run over to iPiccy or PicMonkey or even WalMart online photo to make a simple collage, but I wanted something different. So I remembered that Smilebox has a collage feature and the collages aren’t just in a single color, but in designs! I do pay the basic membership in Smilebox now because I use it for so many things. With this membership I can make the collage and print it or have it printed at my local store. Here is one of the collages I made.

2) Real Player Plus: This week was Vacation Bible School at our church and my daughter taught 3rd/4th graders. She wanted to use some video clips in her lesson and asked me to help. Because she wouldn’t have wifi accessibility in the room she would be teaching we needed to download the videos and drop them into PowerPoint for a smooth transition from clip to clip. I quickly used Real Player to download and convert the videos.I have used Real Player for several years. It is great for editing video clips, converting files to another format, and of course downloading videos. Recently I took the plunge and upgraded to the paid version. Why? I needed to convert my videos to MP4 for my iPad and the free version wouldn’t let me select that option without upgrading. So, now I can convert the video for any format or device, no sweat. Also, the paid version works much faster.

3) Dustin: My iPad and iPhone screens get so nasty! Fingerprints and smudges everywhere. I’ve used screen cloths but I recently found these new gizmos at Target called Dustin. They are round and have 2 sides with different cloths and they work like a charm. Brookstone makes them and they cost around $9. I love how the screen looks new, not smudged when I use them. Such a good find!

4) Videos are Powerful: As I mentioned in an earlier post, my kids are both serving in various projects this summer. My son left on Monday for Uganda and will be there for 5 weeks. The day before he left I saw this video clip on Richard Byrne’s blog and it was perfect for all my worries about my child traveling so far away. This video of Africa was filmed partly in Uganda. It really helped me get a sense of the landscape and culture Austin would be living in for the summer. It made me want to go with him!

THIS IS AFRICA from Benjamin Dowie on Vimeo.

Well, Austin and the gang made it safely to Uganda and are documenting their journey on a blog with pics and videos. I am one happy Mama! Being able to see your kid in the environment where he is working brings such joy! So, when I say that technology is part of my everyday experience… it is not just for kicks but is a necessity! This is a short video of the travel and arrival in Uganda.

Icthus Uganda 2013 Blog

5) Mini Fruit Pizzas: My daughter was hosting a planning meeting/luncheon today at the house for her Thespians organization. This really means that I was hosting a luncheon today and I love doing stuff like this. We have true summer temperatures finally here in Missouri so I wanted something really light and fresh for dessert. I checked out Pinterest and immediately was reminded of fruit pizza. I found this pin and tweaked it just a bit to make it easier. I wanted single servings the kids could grab and munch. The results were delicious and so simple to do. What did I ever do before Pinterest for recipes and decorating?

Cookies: I used Pillsbury break and bake sugar cookies. Too easy!

Fruit: I just used strawberries and blueberries.

** Package of Cream Cheese (I let this sit out for a few minutes while the cookies baked to get soft.)
** 7 oz. container of Marshmallow Crème/Fluff
** Juice from Half a Lemon
Whip together until smooth.

Original Recipe Pinned on Pinterest



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