Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Having fun with MockoFun!

Designing graphics is a great way to enhance your slideshows, videos, newsletters, and more. I love to try new (to me) online graphic design tools and put them through their paces! I recently discovered MockoFun, a graphic design toolset which works right in the Web browser and includes a photo editor, a logo maker, and a text editor.


After registering for an account, and seeing how easy it was to create great-looking graphics, I sent a note to MockoFun  and asked if they would consider an education offering. They wrote back and told me the company was just releasing an educational version of the product which provides teachers with the Premium version of their offering for no-cost! You can sign up for that here: https://www.mockofun.com/free-for-teachers/

The MockoFun Online Graphic Design suite includes over 100 templates, 245,000 images and element assets to use and the ability to upload your own images for your design, too. Some items are for sale, but 80% of the assets are free.

COOL FEATURE 1: CURVED TEXT GENERATOR

One of the text editor features that I love is the curved text. I know how difficult is to curve text in some programs. In addition to making it as easy as just typing in the template, MockoFun includes many styles of curved text to pick from.

To better learn how to use the Curved Text Generator, take a look at this great tutorial the MockoFun staff have put together!


I was even able to find an asset in the elements and create my own cool stamp with the curved text tool!



COOL FEATURE 2: THE TEMPLATE GALLERY

The template gallery in MockoFun includes a template for anything you need to create. (And, of course, you can always start designing from scratch, too!)

Following are some of my favorite template categories and some screenshots, followed by the list of all the template types.

CARDS

POSTERS AND FLYERS

LOGOS

PHOTO EFFECTS











Template categories

  • Backgrounds
  • Cards
  • Facebook post
  • Flyers and posters
  • Infographics
  • Labels
  • Logos
  • Mockups
  • Photo collage
  • Photo effects
  • Quotes
  • Social media graphics


COOL FEATURE 3: THE ELEMENTS

The elements included in MockoFun include everything from photographs to dividers. Most of the element categories includes tons of sub-categories so you can easily find that perfect asset to use!










In addition to the easy to use features, MockoFun also includes advanced features such as layers, 50+ fonts to pick from and editable text features. Your classroom graphics will wow anyone that sees them!

If you are an educator, sign up for MockoFun for teachers to be upgraded to the Premium features. And, if you are not a teacher, sign up for MockoFun for free to give it a try!














Wednesday, February 24, 2021

IPEVO Whiteboard and VZ-X

Back in July 2020, I wrote a review of the IPEVO VZ-R HDMI/USB Dual Mode 8MP Document Camera ($219). That is a great document camera with excellent optics and many useful features. 



Since then, IPEVO has also released the IPEVO VZ-X Wireless/HDMI/USB 8MP Document Camera ($329) which has the same excellent optics but with the addition of built-in wireless! With this wireless capability, you can easily connect the document camera to your computer, AppleTV and your iOS or Android device!




IPEVO has released a new version of their IPEVO Whiteboard software for iPad to take advantage of this wireless connectivity. Simply connect your IPEVO wireless document camera via WiFi to an iPad or Android tablet using IPEVO Whiteboard. You can then display, adjust, draw, or annotate on the live image. You can also take snapshots or record videos, and add annotations and audio. In addition, you can start from a blank whiteboard and record yourself as you annotate and bring in assets.

I decided to give the new IPEVO Whiteboard for iPad a try. It is now optimized for the Apple Pencil, too, and includes an easy-to-use pallete for color, lines, highlighters, and shapes.








IPEVO Whiteboard also includes advanced tools such as a ruler and a protractor which would come in handy for math lessons. There is also a Spotlight tool which can help you draw the student’s attention to important sections of the screen. You can also use the Attach function to add an image, text, map, and more to the whiteboard. 




If you pick the video recording option, you can record your material with audio and annotations as you conduct live lessons or your introduction to a unit. This is great asset for students who need to review the material again or for a flipped classroom model. 

I created a blank whiteboard and picked the video option.
 


The IPEVO Whiteboard for iPad comes in two versions — the regular version and the Pro version. The Pro version adds the advanced features of disappearing ink, the ability to add a browser window or a map, some background templates, picture-in-picture capability, and more! 

The Pro version of IPEVO Whiteboard for iPad is $1.99 per month or $19.99 for a year and is available as an in-app purchase.





Sunday, January 03, 2021

Presenting with Apple's Keynote in Zoom

I am one that needs my notes in front of me when I present. Whether I look at them or not, it makes me feel more secure if they are there. 

I have been doing a lot of presentations on Zoom using Keynote. In order to see my notes, I have had to use two monitors. Of course, when I push Play in Keynote in real life, I see my notes and the audience sees the presentation on the "big screen". 

In Zoom, I share the window of the the external monitor, that has the presentation showing, with the audience and I see my notes in front of me. I do see my video and can open the chat if I need to. However, there are sometimes problems directing the audio so both the audience and I can hear me speaking and any video sound.


I finally have come up with a one-computer solution to the problem!

Here are the instructions followed by screenshots.