App of the Week: Read and Write for Google

Read and Write for Google is a FREE add-on to your Chrome web browser.  By going to the Chrome Web Store, and searching for Read and Write for Google, you can easily have this tool at your or your students disposal.

Many of the features of Read and Write for Google are excellent support features for those students who may struggle reading or perhaps even struggle to write. Read and Write for Google turns the text that is written is Google Docs into spoken word.  It allows the user to highlight a given text area and have it read aloud to them.  Users can highlight key information or even have the entire document read aloud.  You can then take all of the highlighted information from a selected text and collect it to study later. Read and Write for Google also has a speech to text feature, where a user can use a microphone on their computer to speak works and have Read and Write turn it into text in a Google Doc.  It is very user-friendly and works on PCs as well as Macs, or Chromebooks.  Read and Write for Google also works with many websites, as well as PDFs and allows users to have the text read aloud.  Read and Write for Google also has a Prediction tool that shows the user potential word choices when they are typing sentences.

If you are a NOVA student, staff, or faculty, you have a free Google account to use to get Read and Write for Google. Get started using Read and Write for Google, for FREE, now!

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App of the Week: Shutterfly

Alright, so if you attended our webinar about online photo storage, you’ve already been introduced to Shutterfly.  If you weren’t able to attend that webinar you can get a recording of it here.  Shutterfly is a photo storage (and basic editor) that allows you to create a free account for an unlimited amount of storage.  Now one thing you should know about Shutterfly is that it is a printing company as well.  You can create mugs, calendars, books, etc through their website as well and these services are advertised.  However, I have never really had an issue with outside ads or popups while using this site.

One of the biggest advantages of this app for me is the actual app for your phone.  I like to use it on my cellphone because that is my default camera and I routinely end up with hundreds of pictures on it.  This app uploads pictures very quickly and has select features that make it easier to use than the photobucket app.

Also a cool feature is the way Shutterfly allows you to share your photos.  They actually give you a website hosted through their site.  You can simply share the link and then everyone you send the link to can flip through your photos and videos.  This is so much better than sending emails with the photo attached (if you’ve tried to send photos through your NVCC account you know why).

Check it out at, it’s FREE!

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App of the Week: Animation Creator HD

Animation Creator HD provides powerful drawing tools, color options, and easy frame management. It create life-like animations with Retina quality and the high frame rate playback of Animation Creator HD. It has received a few good honors, such as #1 Paid Entertainment App, #10 Top Overall Paid Apps and App Store ‘What’s Hot’ in 50 Countries!


• full Portrait & Landscape
• Various Resolution Options
• Share Projects between AC & ACHD
• Retina ready – the new iPad
• No limits, Infinite frames and animations

• Post and view to Cineverse
• Export to Photo Library as video
• Email animation as video
• Email animation project
• Email projects between devices/friends
• Improved image sequence export
• Upload animations directly to YouTube, share on Twitter
• Import background/layer from photo library
• Import background/layer from camera (iPad 2)
• Layers, highly configurable
• Superior frame management
• Animation scrub tool
• Smooth high-quality drawing experience
• Full screen editing, no annoying tools in the way
• Paint brush, with various stroke types
• Pencil
• Pen, with ink flow effect
• Spray can
• Eraser
• Line
• Frame rotation
• Color selection palettes
• Color selection sliders, with transparencies
• Zooming and panning
• Add, delete and copy frames, easily

Price: $2.49

Link: [Apple]

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App of the Week: ABCya! Animate

1ABCya! Animate is a tool for students to make animations on the web. It features a colorful and intuitive interface, 100 frames, grouping, arranging and over 100 images. An animation is saved as a .gif file. The .gif file has different frames for each frame created. A beautifully designed interface makes the creative process fun and simple.

- It can now export animations to camera roll!
- It allows to add your own background image from camera roll!
- It allows to adjust playback frame rate (slow, medium, fast)

Price: $1.99

Link: [Apple]

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App of the Week: SimpleMind

Are you planning to participate in the Cell Phone Cinema contest that’s part of International Educational Week? Are you having a hard time mapping out your idea for your movie?

I have an app that will help you get your thoughts organize.

It’s called SimpleMind. This app is a great for brainstorming and its very “SIMPLE” to use, no pun intended. It can be used on an iPad, iPhone or iPod.

The key feature of this app is the ease at which you can just jot down your ideas.  If you are like me, when your ideas start flowing, you just want to get them down on paper. With just a tap of your finger, you can type out your ideas and the app will automatically group them into an easy to follow color chart for you to follow when you are ready to write your script. This app can also be used to help organize your term papers, essays and book reports.

Cost: Free

Upgrade: $29.99

Key Features include:

  • Easy to drag, arrange and edit topics
  • Tap with one finger to expand or connect ideas
  • Unlimited size- make your map as large as necessary
  • Undo/redo in the editor
  • Copy and paste between mind maps
  • Select a color scheme that works for you

simplemind image

An Example:

film organizer




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App of the Week: Subtext

Subtext is a FREE app that allows you to engage your students in any PDF, article, or eBook.  Subtext is a digital reading program that has many features like sharing content and differentiating instruction easily by creating private groups.  You an embed discussion quickly into the text you are reading so students can be further engaged in the content.  Subtext allows you to double-tap a page which will force all of your students onto the same page instantly.  There is also a feature with Subtext that allows you to paste annotations into Google Docs.

Subtext allows for students at any level by encouraging them to analyze what have read, develop their own thoughts and make a connection between the text they are reading and the larger picture.  Using Subtext, your students can further engage in their learning, digitally from anywhere, without having to carry around large and sometimes cumbersome books.


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App of the Week: Photobucket

If you’re anything like me then you take a million photos on your phone.  I do because it’s right there in my pocket all the time and it’s quick.  Well, once it’s on my phone what am I supposed to do with it from there?  One possible solution is Photobucket.  Photobucket is a free online service that allows you to store up to 2 GB of your photos and videos (you can of course upgrade to a Premium pay for it account if you want).  Photobucket can link straight to your phone and gives you some basic photo editing options as well as just the online storage.  I like that I can back up all of the photos from my phone by turning on auto back up!  Then I don’t even have to worry about it.

Downfalls: It does take up a lot of space on my phone and is sometimes slow to upload pictures.

There are many other options for online photo storage so check out our webinar on Friday: Register Here!

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What’s New in IS&D? Nexus Tablets

That’s right folks, we have finally gotten a cart of Nexus Tablets for professor check-out.  So if you are interested in trying out the Google version of a tablet stop in and reserve the cart for your class use!



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App of the Week: Animation Desk™

1Animation Desk for iPad allows users to create hand-drawn animations on iPad. The drawing interface provided by the app resembles the real working environment of a professional animator who completes each frame of an animation on a specially-designed desk, the animation desk.

Animation Desk for iPad provides an easy, friendly, and intuitive drawing environment so that everyone can enjoy creating their own animated works.

Apply a dynamic background, or insert favorite picture as the static background
Add background music or sound effects
Share animated works on Facebook and youtube
Add audio effects to spice up your animations
Transfer animations between different iDevices and enjoy animating anytime, anywhere.

Price: FREE

Link: [Apple]

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Symbaloo Workshop Descriptions

FAculty Symbaloo 3

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