Saturday, March 5, 2016

Spring Break - Fun. Sun. Hikes. Rides...Technology?

Spring Break-Fun. Sun. Hikes. Rides...Technology?
Written By Clay Reisler
Technology Integration Pulaski School District

Believe it or not, you and your family have technology which utilizes apps on your phones that can create a more positive experience on your vacation or “staycation.”

Every mobile device has a camera on it.  However, the best pictures are not always taken due to improper lighting, red-eyes, or any number of errors.  Snapseed can load your images from your camera roll for editing.  It is rated as the “Best Photography App.”  Now, you can adjust any part of the image to “make it perfect.”

The app PicCollage allows you to place multiple pictures together in any collage configuration.  Once multiple pictures are put together with colors, text, or objects, the single collage image can be saved to your camera roll, sent to social media, or dropped into a movie.

While the tool is sometimes portrayed as a negative tech tool, it has some incredible features that could be used to remember a trip. When a picture is taken in Snapchat, the user can draw symbols, arrows, or shapes that can be saved to the “Photos” area of a phone. This will help to preserve the memory of a certain landmark or event. Along with sending it to friends, the photo can be saved to the camera roll for future use in a digital collage or movie!

Instagram is a photo sharing social media tool that utilizes mobile devices.  Instagram images are taken and shared with friends, and privacy settings allow the owner to restrict who is allowed to view the photos.   Instagram is another great way to document places of interest and type specific information about a place or event so that items are remembered.

Have you ever heard a song that you liked, but you didn’t know the artist or title? The SoundHound app will listen to the song with you and provide you with all you need to know.  Within seconds, it will provide the artist, name of the song, and record it in a history tab.  Now when you return from your trip or create a video of your spring break, the song and its title will instantly take you back.  You’ll never forget the memories.

Finding popular local places of interest around you is as simple as opening this app.  Choosing bank/ATM, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, movie theatres, parking, and weather just to name a few will immediately bring you to a list or a map with all of the possibilities.  Distances to the places along with related information will be at your fingertips for easy use.  

Finally, everyone needs a break from technology, even on spring break.  Every mobile device has a timer.  Set the countdown timer to create “a technology-free time zone.”  Look out the window, discuss what you see, add opinions, and enjoy the view. While technology can enhance our lives in so many ways, it’s also great to get away from it.  

So as you’re enjoying Spring Break, use these apps located on mobile devices and try some technology fun, technology sun, technology hikes,  and technology rides.

Submitted for Pulaski News March 17, 2016 issue
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