Hey Web Designers! Do you use wireframe kits?

Taken from Adobe Blog (http://blogs.adobe.com/creativecloud/tag/adobe-proto/)

Adobe Proto image taken from blog.adobe.com posted on July 20, 2012

Calling all web designers!!! Just curious, how many web designers out there actually use wireframe kits?

Last week I noticed that Tuts+ was hosting a community project for Wireframe Kit that were created using Adobe Illustrator. I admit I don’t think I’ve ever used “wireframes” personally but that doesn’t mean that they couldn’t be useful. It seems to me that the use of wireframes would / could be an easy way of creating thumbnails digitally for clients to work on layout and functionality of the site itself. In the past I actually used an Adobe Touch App called Adobe Proto (which was discontinued) . It was a simple way of creating those wireframes for creating webpage layouts. Maybe the fact that it was discontinued is the very reason that Tuts+ is looking for wireframes kits. Speaking of Adobe Touch Apps you might want to check out this site from Adobe about the replaces for either the complete disconnected apps or discontinued apps Android and/or iOS devices. I’m glad that I purchased all the Android version apps before they were discontinued. I don’t receive app updates but they is still usable when needed. That being said I think I’m going to make a challenge for myself and try to create a wireframe kit to use for my next web design project.

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My IdeaPad and Evernote

photo of IdeaPad on student desks

White vinyl on student desks to allow them to take notes with dry erase markers, then photography their notes, and upload them to their Evernote Account.

A few weeks ago while researching more information about one of my favorite tools / websites / apps… EVERNOTE…. which I use on a daily basis I came across a blog by the same company. After reading my blogs I know that you are fully aware of my love for Evernote. I find it to be such a wonderful project, website, app, etc. Not only do I use it in my daily life for personal reasons but I use it professionally as well.

As a high school Graphics & Design teacher I introduced it to my student interns that I had working with me last year. It worked out so wonderfully that I had to introduce to all my students this year. It actually worked out perfect as this year my county Board of Education has decided to move towards a BYOD district. I am sure that you have heard of this before. It means that students are allowed to Bring Their Own Devices to school to use for educational purposes. For the most part it has worked out pretty well minus the few students who have technology addictions to certain games, apps, websites, etc. For some students it is a constant struggle to keep them on task. Due to this fact I know of some teachers that do not allow students to use their devices in class, which I fully understand.

Anyways, back to the topic at hand, Evernote!!!! A few weeks ago, after watching a video about “IdeaPaint” I introduced an idea to my students. I called it the IdeaPad, I’m sure that I need to come up with a new name but the idea is the same. With IdeaPaint, you paint any smooth surface and it makes it into a dry erase surface. The students then can write their notes, draw their ideas, brainstorm, mindmap, etc. and then photograph it and post it in their Evernote account. So here’s my idea….As a graphic teacher / class we create a vinyl decals for people. The white vinyl that we use is a smooth white surface…. hum… that made me think… While I like the idea of the IdeaPaint I wanted something that didn’t not damage the students’ desks but would allow them to take notes while at their desks. So, of course, I had to write on the vinyl material to see how well a user could write on and wipe off the dry erase markers… and what do you know… it worked AWESOME! Now students are allowed to take notes either by writing them down on paper (which they can photograph and upload to their Evernote), writing them on their IdeaPad (and then photographing it (using a device or digital camera) & upload it to evernote), or take notes directly into Evernote (web or desktop version). The students really enjoy the freedom to take notes how they want to. I find that more students are actually taking notes. Many of my students are using Evernote to take notes in their other class as well as in their personal lives.

On a sad note, one of my students asked one of their teachers about incorporating the vinyl in their class so that he could takes notes that way and her/his teacher said that it was a dumb idea…. In my opinion, I think anything that encourages and motivates a students to want to learn and take notes is a GREAT idea. Not to worry, I’m going to come up with some alternative ideas for that student so he/she can take notes the ways that he/she wants to.

Social Media in the Classroom: Introduction to Edmodo

What can I say, not only do I love Edmodo but more importantly, my students love Edmodo. This school year we decided to try something new, let’s meet the students were they live…. On the Internet through the use of social media. As most schools, websites such as Facebook, Google +, MySapce, LinkedIn, etc. are blocked in the public school setting by law. While at a conference last summer, I was introduced to the FREE for schools social media site called Edmodo. I have to admit, I wasn’t sure that high school students would really jump on the bandwagon but they did… and they LOVE it!!!! They were even excited to learn that there was even an App they can download to their phones, in which they do use, for FREE. I have a lot of students who may not have a lot of access to their home computer but they always have their smart phone or tablets on them. Now, of course, I also have students that don’t have a computer at home, not a smart phone, but I am lucky to have a computer lab as my classroom in which they have access to our class on Edmodo.

If you are a teacher and have not tried Edmodo yet, I really would like you to take a look. A few words to the wise make sure you set ground rules and keep it professional. It has made my life so much easier and I know that the students are always engaged!

Evernote…. how I use it

Why is Evernote so AWESOME ?!?!?!?!?

As a high school teacher, a committee member, family member, artist… I use Evernote daily!!!! Evernote is a FREE product that allows you to remember anything / everything. If you are like me, someone can ask me a question or tell me something but I can walk away and 5-minutes later I will have forgotten everything that was said 🙂 Evernote has really become my right hand man. I use it for shopping lists, reminders, notes, lesson plans, professional learning, etc.  If you not tried to use Evernote yet I really want to encourage you to do so. Below you’ll find a video tutorial overview of Evernote that I created. Enjoy!!!!

EverNote… Remember Everything!!!!

if you are like me you can’t remember anything!!!! but Man, OH man!!!! How do I love EverNote (http://www.evernote.com/ )<3 ❤ For some time now I have seen the lists of top apps you SHOULD have and I’ve always seen EverNote on that list. For some reason I put off downloading the app, I guess I didn’t see how or why I would use it. I finally downloaded it for my phone and on my computers and I feel in LOVE instantly. What a great app!!!! You can jott down notes, clip items off the internet, photograph something and organize all that information for ease of going back and reviewing that information at a later time. Like I said because you download the app on several devices you have access to that information always, just pull out your phone or go to the website or open the app on your desktop. Who Knew but Man, OH man!!!! How do I love EverNote ( http://www.evernote.com/ )<3 ❤

Need more more info? watch the video tutorial @ http://www.evernote.com/about/video/#OlOLXWvaIy0|1|1

Publish my PowerPoint to the Web

You have created this awesome PowerPoint for inform everyone of something AMAZING but now you want to publish it to the internet, now what? A friend of mind showed me this cool website that will convert your PowerPoints to a flash (SWF) file for easy upload. The great thing is that it keeps all of you transitions and clicks and such but at the same time allows the user to click through if needed. What is the website you ask????

www.ispringsoluations.com

but if you want the free one go to http://www.ispringsolutions.com/free_powerpoint_to_flash_converter.html

After you have downloaded the software just go into PowerPoint and you’ll notice a new icon at the top. It looks like a rainbow spoke of sorts. Just click and follow the directions. Happy uploading!!!