Monthly Archives: January 2016

Foodies Have Invaded the Web and It’s Great for Everyone

Pictures of delicious looking meals have been a staple of social media since the invention of the camera phone. One thing that everybody can agree on is that good food is something that we all want to share. Whether it’s an amazing homemade meal or fine dining at a 5-star restaurant, a good meal can be the highlight of the day.

The term Foodie is tossed around a lot these days, as food culture has become trendy. A Foodie is described in the Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a person with an avid interest in food.” They’re people who do more than eat to live, they live to eat and they love to share their passion with the world around them.

If you fit into this category, there are a host of food apps available for all your Foodie needs. Whether you’re a culinary whiz in the kitchen or you love to discover the best dining experiences eating out, there’s an app for you.

For the budding epicurean, a cookbook just might not be enough to help you complete an in-home gourmet experience. An app like Epicurious and Week Menu make cooking a memorable meal at home easier by helping you find recipes, create meal plans, and even make grocery lists. But if simply making delicious food isn’t enough for you, there are apps created specifically for sharing your food enjoyment with like-minded individuals. Cookpad and FoodGawker are basically social media for Foodies.

If you love food but don’t love making it, there are apps to help you find the best places to eat locally or abroad. Looking for the tastiest restaurants in your area and making reservations is a snap with apps like OpenTable, Veg-Out, and LocalEats. If you’re a world traveler, an app like Tastemade is a great tool to be able to find restaurants and discover the best that the culinary world has to offer.

Web Tools to Organize Your Web Tools

In a world where accessing information about any subject at any time has become as easy as tapping a screen with your finger, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with data when you don’t have an organized place to store it. When your web experience is muddled up with a lot of bookmarked articles and no discernable organizing system, it can be a bit of a headache.

Having a tool to organize and store all of you bookmarks, pictures, and notes across multiple devices can make for a much more pleasant browsing experience. Evernote is one such tool that gives users the ability to easily save any image, article, and idea whenever they want, on any platform. That saved data can then be organized and easily accessed in the future.

If you’re the type of person that doesn’t want to let a good article pass you by because you don’t have the time to read it right away, then you would benefit from a web tool that bookmarks webpages and articles so that you can access them later. Instapaper gives you the ability to save web content and read it later on any device. Historious allows its users to bookmark sites, create a personalized search engine, and even share with friends.

For those who are into journaling, creating to-do lists, or just want to organize your own thoughts and ideas, 280Daily and ThoughtBoxes are great web tools to employ. 280Daily is geared more towards journaling and allows you to describe your day in 280 characters or less. ThoughtBoxes is useful for brainstorming and organizing ideas to help keep you on track.

With so many web tools, web sites, images, and ideas being thrown at us all day long, it’s nice to have a way to organize all of it while keeping it accessible at the touch of a finger.

Social Networking Is Connecting Teachers, Students, and Parents

Used both personally and professionally throughout the day, social media has become a natural part of how society communicates. While most people may be familiar with sites like Facebook and Twitter for personal use, or LinkedIn for professional networking, and the plethora of dating sites out there, lesser known are the sites and apps that are helping today’s teachers connect across the globe.

The internet has taken notice of how many educators have taken to mainstream social media and an outcropping of teacher-specific sites have popped up in recent years. In an attempt to give K-12 educators a more tailored experience, these sites aim to provide a safe environment to connect students, parents, and other educators.

Twiducate, Edmodo, and Wikispaces Classroom are all billed as safe sites for educators who want to be able to control who is in and what is shared on their network. These sites are especially supportive for elementary school educators.

For teachers that want to keep students engaged and learning away from school, there are sites that utilize a gaming environment as a part of their social media. MinecraftEdu allows students to collaborate and problem solve while learning the teacher-customized curriculum. Geared more toward younger students, Sumdog is another site that cleverly uses gaming and social media to keep students engaged in and out of the classroom.

There are many school districts that are jumping on the social media bandwagon and setting up course management systems like Blackboard and NEO LMS. Sites like these are making it possible for schools to connect and manage their networks at a district level.

Social networking in schools creates a natural progression for educators to be able to connect with students and parents and to collaborate with other classrooms across the world. Keeping connected through mobile devices while away from the classroom is a great way to keep students engaged and learning in this ever evolving tech savvy world.

2016 Promises to Be the Year of Virtual Reality

Over the past few years, virtual reality (VR) has grown significantly, and 2016 has the potential to be the most important year by far. The dream of experiencing VR will become a real world reality for the masses. Throughout the year a number of powerful virtual reality technologies will be available to consumers, revolutionizing the way people create and view virtual worlds.

Headsets
Some heavy hitters will be throwing their long anticipated VR hats into the ring. PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive will debut in 2016, and with the release of these VR headsets becoming readily available to the public, the potential applications are endless. Vacations without the travel, emergency scenario training, healthcare, and communications are all just some of the areas that VR headsets will be utilized in.

Filmography
For the cinematic aspect of virtual reality, there will be a couple of superior camera options for filmmakers upcoming in 2016. Ozo and Immerge are both spherical video cameras built to create 360-degree videos and pictures. These immersive movies can be viewed on a wide variety of platforms and could potentially be used for communications.

Gaming
Virtual reality is exactly what gaming has been waiting for. Companies are developing games and other experiences to go along with the headsets mentioned above. Games like Job Simulator and Eagle Flight will allow players to experience gaming in an interactive way that was never before possible.

2016 is going to be the year when virtual reality will become a reality for private consumers. The world will be eagerly waiting and watching to see what happens in the VR world. And although not all of the ventures into virtual reality will be successful this year, the advancements will continue to grow. As technology improves so will the advancements and applications for VR.