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Be Cool in School!
AKA: Turbo Charge Your Resources: Fabulous Freebies, Great Gadgets, & Sweet Sites that Go the Distance! Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones
Follow me on Twitter! @gwynethjones

Do you like knowing the latest, greatest, super-cool gadget? Are you a gadget head?
Be cool in school! Do you dig knowing the sweet sites, great gadgets, & the current buzzwords? Like fabulous freebies? Don’t have the time to read every journal, wiki, blog, ning, tweet, or plurk, but still don’t want to be left out in the techie chat cold? This is an ongoing collection of (hopefully!) the latest & greatest stuff to turbo charge your Library Media Program or classroom.
Please visit the companion wikipage - Web 2.0h Tools for websites, widgets & sites that go the distance!

thumb_bestbuy_worst.jpgIs Best Buy Your Best Buy?

Quick Advice About Where to Buy
Find your best price, google search, read the reviews....& ask people! ...honestly though? i usually end up buying from Amazon.com because i like the reviews and the price is usually only a few cents off from a 15 min search for a lower price....and if the thing does NOT work the customer service is so good that i feel safe being a bit daring...finally, sometimes you'll just have to take a chance..be fearless!..and keep your shipping label and paperwork! and please, go back and ADD to the review your thoughts and discoveries...because that's how we ALL learn!!

BEST BUY ALERT: sometimes you gotta just have it NOW! .....you need that instant *techie* gratification... i know, it's ok...i've been there! but do your homework! until they change this bass-ackwards policy the prices online at BEST BUY ARE SOMETIMES (ALMOST ALWAYS) CHEAPER! print out the page with the price and bring it with you!! (after you check to see that it's in the store....LOVE that feature!).....to get that price you have to show your print out to Customer Service....if you go up to the cashier with it they will just send you to customer service.....NOW....IF YOU FORGET to print it out....before you make a BIG PURCHASE....ask the sales asst. to look up the price online - YES in the store! ask nice, smile and they'll do it! YAY! (BUT make sure the URL has BestBuy.com and NOT some fake intranet page) once you determine that they're on the BestBuy.com site have them print out the page with the LOWER price and Voila!! ...that BEST BUY SCANDAL broke a few years ago,....and they are once more in the news with the Lawsuit: Best Buy has "anti-price matching policy"

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Wireless Solar Apple Keyboard

(Yes, there's a WIN, one too) No Batteries Needed!

Logitech's Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac brings Appletastic keys, pastel hues

external image 41jGRo9qP0L._SL500_AA300_.jpgJawbone JAMBOX

$179.99 Bluetooth mega powerful AWEsome speaker for iPad, iPhone, Android, Laptop...basically ANYthing with Bluetooth. Instant pairing with no software needed! Long lasting batteries - this little speaker sounds like a flippin huge boombox! Available in many colours - of course I got RED!
Right now special ONE DAY FREE Shipping!
  • Wireless portable speaker in red connects with mobile phones, computers, tablets, iPods, or any other Bluetooth device
  • Seamlessly stream and share music, movies, games, phone, and conference calls anywhere
  • Two highly powerful acoustic drivers and ultra-small dome produce a wide audio spectrum
  • Can be updated with apps, software and new features via Jawbone's MyTalk portal
  • Up to 10 hours of power from internal rechargeable battery
  • JAMBOX by Jawbone is the smallest, best-sounding wireless speaker and speakerphone around. Just place it anywhere in a room and enjoy pristine streaming audio from your phone, computer, or other Bluetooth devices. Bring music, movies, and all your mobile audio vibrantly to life--all in the palm of your hand

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Angry Birds Speaker Docks!

(click image above for Mashable article & buying info)

Presentation Devices & Office Toys


"It’s hard to get real excited about a presentation remote but they are definitely a must if you do any type of projected presentations through a and this looks like one of the better ones. The remote uses RF to wirelessly connect from up to 100 feet away so you’re not having to walk back next to your laptop every time you need to change a slide. It also features mouse and volume control, a laser pointer, a button to turn off the display to bring the attention away from the scree when needed and you can power the thing off when you’re not using it to save on the AAA batteries. One really nice added feature is that the little RF receiver fits into the end of the remote when not in use so you can always find it when you need it. For approx $62 it might not improve your public speaking skills but you can at least have your gear looking like a pro." Read another great REVIEW
GJ notes: Good for both MAC and PC and no software required! LOVES it!!

external image 41N8dbsDUHL._SL500_AA280_.jpgLivescribe
4GB Pulse Smartpen - NEW~!! Just got this & can't wait to use it in my media center for Tap & Go Audio book reviews! See my blog post or livescribe pencast book reviews wikipage for more!
$169.00 on Amazon
Capture Everything
The Pulse smartpen records audio and links it to what you write. Missed something? Tap on your notes
No Need to Lug the Laptop
The Pulse smartpen automatically captures everything as you write and draw. Transfer your notes to your computer, organize them, and even search for words within your notes. Find what you want in seconds.
Share Your Notes
Transform your notes and audio into interactive movies. Upload your creations online for everyone to see, hear and play.
  • Record and link audio to what you write
  • Listen to your recordings by tapping on what you wrote
  • Search and share your notes and recordings from your computer

Magic-Wand-portable-scanner.jpgVuPoint Solutions Wireless Magic Wand Portable Scanner (PDS-ST410-VP)
available on Amazon for $96.93

from Gizmodo: "The biggest drawback with thick books or albums is the fact that their size makes it almost impossible to scan their contents. Easing out this hitch is the very portable and VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Scanner. It’s fast and so easy to use. To scan a high resolution colored page it takes about 28 seconds, 14 seconds for a high resolution black and white page and 8 seconds for low resolution color and finally 4 seconds low resolution for Black and white. It can store as many as hundreds of images onboard and scans at resolutions up to 600x600dpi while the default resolution remains 300x300dpi.
The scanner has an automatic white balance, utilizes USB 2.0 and is compatible with PC or Mac. The accessory kit includes a USB cable, 2 x AA alkaline batteries, OCR software CD, pouch and cleaning cloth. The VuPoint Solutions Magic Wand Scanner sells for $99." Watch a Demo! BTW, I bougth this for my personal use and it was EASY and AWEsome! See examples of wand scans of my embarrassing teenage photos on my Flickr photo gallery. No snickering!

external image 4971844008_c435cb3d51.jpgMotion Sensored Digital Photo frame displaying kids working, resources, & our special programs!

NEW NIX 8" Hu-Motion Digital Picture Frame, Deluxe frame that turns ON/OFF automatically when it senses you nearby. 2GB memory, Video, Music, Photos & Rechargeable Battery by NIX Around $99.00 on Amazon

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Like the blue/green plasma globe in the back? Get it for around
on Amazon!

This is a fav FUN preso of mine that I constantly update & refresh!
Conference Peeps! Go Back to myDaring Librarian Presents Wiki
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ZAGGmate Apple iPad Accessory Case with Bluetooth Keyboard for Apple iPad

About $75 on Amazon

  • ZAGGmate with keyboard uses a 510 mAh rechargeable lithium polymer battery that will last several weeks of normal use without charging.
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum with a bead-blasted, anodized finish that matches the iPad. Military grade high-density padding for superior drop protection
  • Innovative hinge provides ten angles for viewing and typing in both portrait and landscape mode
  • Embedded wireless Bluetooth physical keyboard. Special function keys for music control, volume control, slideshow, home, search, etc.
  • Whats in the box: ZAGGmate, MicroUSB cable for charging, Quickstart guide, Four rubber feet (optional)

Zaggmate iPad Case with Keyboard Review

Camera's - Digital & Video

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Digital Camera Du Jour - Sony Cybershot

-Search for the latest Sony Steady Shot Cameras
- AVERAGE Price:$144.81

you don't really NEED 12.1 megapixels or even 14! ....i mean, really. 5 or 7 are fine for school use (you're not making lifesize posters are you?) but when it's at this price, why the heck not!
it's only $129 on AMAZON....and no, you don't have to get Pink! LOL

if you need more camera buying info, why not visit my other wikpage?

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FlipMinno.jpgFlip-Mino-Camcorder-Minutes-Black (NOT the HD version!)
Yes, i still LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Flip!!
BUT 4/13/11......Smartphones Helped To Kill //Flip Camera//

Cisco Decides to Shut down the production of the Flip! :-(

Check the daily Amazon price...today it came up as:
Flip Mino Series Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Black)- Pure Digital Technologies, Inc.
I also have a Wikipage just for the Flip....
i will resist the expected "i've flipped over the flip" (cause i've already used that!)
....but just barely because admittedly, i have!
we (beth singleton GT teacher and yours truly) wrote a MICCA grant last year lo get these handy little cameras into the hands of our kids...they're awesome!

new version includes a long lasting "Internal Lithium-ion battery that recharges when built-in USB arm is connected to a computer"

**Flip Video - The Official Website**Forget ever having to say "I wish you could have been there" again. Starting today, there’s Flip Video — a revolutionary, simple way to shoot video anywhere ...
Jeff Hastings my tech guru said this about the NEW! HD version in his review on School Library Journal
but honestly....? i don't think in the day to day needs of the classroom or Media Center you really NEED HD....as Jeff said " Before choosing the Flip MinoHD—or any HD camera—ask yourself if you want to spend the extra money, deal with fatter files, and suffer the slower uploads that come with the territory. If you go with the MinoHD, consider customizing it with your school or library logo."
Extras: Thexternal image 41bppPVKwdL._SL500_AA300_.jpge Wide angle lens (thanks to Melinda Heatonwho I met at the METC Conf! )
**Bower VLMWF 0.45x Wide Angle Magnetic Lens for Flip Cameras (Black)**
Don't have much Money? Check out The Digital Wish!

Digital Wish - Putting Technology in the hands of teachers

Digital Wish Grants · Grants Library · Printable Flyers ... Find a School ... Sandie McGehee has bought Flip UltraHD™ 1 Hour Video Camera 2-for-1 for Kyle ...

Whatever you do, whether you buy the Flip or the Small Wonder (see below) make sure you buy an extension USB cable you don't *NEED* it but it makes life so much easier!

& the Flip works with iMovie!!...just make sure to download the included Flip software (inside the camera!) before you try and import the files into iMove...it doesn't have to be *ON* just there..
why? i don't know...i just know it DOES work and the RCA Small Wonder does NOT with iMovie

**RCA** EZ201 **Small Wonder** 60 Minute Point-and-Shoot
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**RCA Small Wonder**
With the RCA Small Wonder, there is no easier way to share and save the moments worth remembering.
Two differences i've found in these cameras with side-by-side video experimenting. RCA small wonders ALL come with tripod attachment ability on the bottom(not all flips do, early ones didn't -make sure yours does!)...
and the RCA Small Wonder has the viewer abilit to turn towards you for easy Vlogging! (PLEASE FLIP!! copy that feature! pretty please!!!!) but what RCA doesn't have is the ability to easily use with iMovie...and as a MacGrrl...i gotta have that!

Still on the fence? Can't decide between the Flip and the Small Wonder?
Watch SLJ gadget dude Jeff Hasting's video review!
Click his pic below:


Blue Microphones Snowflake USB Microphone

$43.80 from Amazon
  • Professional quality portable USB for recording on the go
  • Unique design fits on your desktop or laptop
  • Perfect for podcasting, internet telophony, voice recognition software, movie narration, music
  • Compatible with Mac and PC; plug-and-play, requires no additional drivers
  • Includes USB cable


Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger

  • 360-degree rotating plug with 4 locking position
  • Provides complete surge protection through all outlets
  • Offers compact, lightweight, efficient design
  • Features mini-USB cable to charge virtually any USB device including BlackBerry® and Motorola® RAZR phones
  • Comes with Lifetime Product and $75,000 Connected Equipment Warranties


4-Port FOUR High Speed Multiple Color USB 2.0 Hub

with Shipping:$1.79
On eBay!


Universal Apple iPod USB Charger Kit - USB Retractable Hotsync Cable - USB Home Travel Charger - USB 12V Cigarette Lighter Charger

$0.01 cents EACH from Amazon with $2.95 shipping!
  • Compatible with Dock Enabled iPods - iPod 3G, 4G, iPod Mini, iPod Photo, iPod nano, iPod (video)
  • Power to the music with a car charger adapter that allows using your iPod on the road
  • Compact design and retractable coil cord are made for easy storage
  • IC Chip Technology to prevent back-flow current and your iPod from excessive electrical loads
  • Coil cable length: 31.5"


USB Hubs

• 180 degree revolving hub
• Aluminum case body
• Red LED indicator
• Support high power consumption products such as printer
• Size: 106x20x20mm
• Weight: 46g

• Specification:
• Transfer Speed: 480Mbps (USB 2.0/HS), 12Mbps (USB 1.1/FS), 1.5Mbps (USB 1.1/LS)
• Interface: USB 2.0/1.1
• Support OS: Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP, Mac OS X (USB 2.0 upgrade PCI card is required)

USB Hub with On/Off Swtiches : Buffalo does it right
external image buffalo-usb-hub-switches-300x177.jpgIt’s been over a year since I first posted the idea of a USB hub that would let you switch each port on or off. To save energy, avoid peripherals from waking up each time you fire up your PC or simply because you won’t be needing the USB missile launcher today. Soon after that, Brando actually released one, but it wasn’t quite what I had envisioned.
Buffalo seems to have done a far better job, with what look to be decent switches and a power supply in case you need to connect things that need the full 500 mW of power that USB can supply. I’m sure I wasn’t the first person to think of this, especially since the Brando came out a month after my blog post. But it’s nice to see the idea catch on.

Presentation Devices

wiimote.jpgUsing the Wii Mote to Make ANY Surface a Whiteboard
Ok you gadget heads and hackers....can't afford a white board but you like to put things together? for about $100 bucks you can have your own interactive white board using the Wiimote!
Features in a nutshell
  • Open source
  • Runs on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux
  • Simple User Interface available in English, French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish
  • Auto-connects up to 2 Wiimotes
  • Camera Monitor and Calibration Details for better Wiimote placement
  • Right-click support, double-click assistance
  • Mouse cursor smoothing
  • Screen selection
  • Touchpad Mode
  • Update notification
  • TUIO/OSC support for multitouch applications

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for MAC USers please See Uwe Schmidt's Site (also has links to other Wiki's about this, and other tech tips)
For PC Users and Tweaky Tech Tips Check out the Original Johnny Chung Lee Site I will be adding more links here later, as things develop and in case you're wondering, no...i haven't done this yet...but it's only a matter of time! LOL ~gwyneth

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Don't wanna hack and try the Wiimote Whiteboard? Check out the Interwrite Pad!
**Interwrite Learning** – **Interwrite Pad**
Other Related Links:

eBooks & Translators

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SuperPen Translator
by Wizcom SP1000V-Amazon Price**$141.69**
Good for translating English into Spanish and back again. But wait!!!...READ the REVIEWS! some people love it some hate it apparently for what most want it to do ...it works great! however, the software included stinks
...and it's PC only! (boo hiss! says the MAC fan!) here are some advice that came up:
1) You have to get used to holding the pen in correct position so that the content can be properly scanned.
2) You gotta run the SuperPen over the printed text slowly or it will garble the data
3) Will NOT work well if you want to scan data off magazines with glossy pages.

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PlayAway Books: The Pre-loaded Digital Audio Book a Review

GJ---LOVE these! i think that they are WELL worth the price! CD's scratch, get lost (though recorded books will sell you a replacement single CD!)
and they require a cd player or computer....whereas the playaway is all inclusive! and you can also connect computer speakers up to the playaway so that classrooms can listen to the book, too! so, though it seems initially expensive, in the long run i think they're worth it!
here's another review if you're not convinced by now!

Sony Reader PRS-500 Ebook Reader - a review

external image 31660696-2-120-overview-1.gifFirst and foremost i am a librarian.....i LOVE books...the smell the feel, the portability....but let's look at this and see what we can see about it...because i'd be lying if i said i didn't read a lot LOT of text online...cause i do!
Read the review watch the video and think about it...

Kindle -external image 41nB%2BqAapcL.jpg The Latest Generation: a Revolutionary Way to Read

In 2008, when i preached about this holy gadget ...i mean about the Kindle, it was $399...last spring it was the Kindle 2 and it was $359....

Last fall it was the NEW Latest Generation and it's $259 with a 6" display - I have a 9" Kindle DX -- but now I want the new Graphite for $139!!

3G browsing for $189 - Battery life - a MONTH!


simplifii.jpgGriffin Simplifi Dock for iPod and iPhone, Media Card Reader, and USB Hub in One Device (Aluminum) $40.77 on Amazon

  • Charge/sync hub for dock connector iPod models, and, through its built-in USB ports, with 1st and 2nd generation iPod shuffle
  • Reads and writes the most popular digital media cards, including Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, SD, xD and CF (CompactFlash)
  • 2-port powered USB hub, using included AC adapter
  • A simple, versatile way to de-clutter your desktop

**SanDisk** SDMV1-R **V-Mate Video Memory Card Recorder**

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"Sure, portable media players, PSPs, and cell phones can play video, but what if you want to watch something longer than a movie trailer or more compelling than a music video? What if, dare I say it, you could choose the content you watched while on the go? A product like the V-Mate Memory Card Recorder—which captures incoming video onto a memory card and has a programmable timer and the ability to change channels—harkens back to the VCR. But, in this digital age, SanDisk has made the experience far more graceful. Much of the work is already done, thanks to a series of onboard profiles for various playback devices. All you need to do is set the recording parameters according to the type, brand, and model of the player you'll be connecting the V-Mate to (rather than the individual file format). This frees Joe Cell Phone from worrying about the correct codec for his particular hardware." Read the Review

kingstoncardreader.jpgKingston 19-in-1 USB 2.0 Flash Memory Card Reader
$11.58 from Amazon My NEW LOW Price Favourite!

Kingston's new Media Reader moves files seamlessly from a digital device to your computer. It supports 19 card types, including SD, MMC and CF formats. With the self-contained USB cable and an additional 3-foot cable for stationary use, it's easy to travel with and backed by a two-year warranty and 24/7 tech support.

Sandisk ImageMate 12-in-1 USB 2.0 Hi-speed Reader

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I LOVE this gadget!! i use it all the time...and the single one, too!

SanDisk ImageMate 12-in-1 Card Reader/Writer (you can pick it cheaper online now).

"Billed as a 'Hi-Speed USB 2.0' device, the reader/writer can actually read a grand total of 19 formats, which are (takes deep breath):

external image sandisk-image-mate-12-1-lg1.jpg1. CompactFlash
2. CompactFlash II
3. SD
5. miniSD
6. miniSDHC
7. MultiMediaCard
8. MMCplus
9. MMCmobile
10. RS-MMC
11. RS-MMC Dual Voltage
12. Memory Stick
13. Memory Stick Duo
14. Memory Stick PRO
15. Memory Stick PRO Duo
16. SmartMedia
17. xD
18. xD Type M
19. xD Type H
In use, the SanDisk did exactly what it said on the tin, transferring images from every card we threw at it, all zipping across at a fair rate of knots without any problems. A handy status orange light tells you that the unit is connected to a USB port, while a green light acts as confirmation that a card has been inserted in each slot. This blinks when data is being transferred." Read the Review!

sandiskNEWbutflawed.jpgDo NOT be lured by the NEW (and slightly LESS expensive) Sleek Black one! Looks cool....work great? Not so much!

From the Amazon Review site:
2.0 out of 5 stars Fast reader, external mechanical design needs help, February 27, 2009
**Comet "Comet"** (USA) - See all my reviews
The internal and electronic operations are excellent. However, it seems this is the case when the aesthetics of the design have overridden the utility of the device. I have two criticisms:

1. The totally black color makes it difficult to see the slots. The identification of the slots is in tiny print; I measured it: perhaps 3.6 point type.

2. the light weight stand attaches magnetically to the card reader. Because the stand is so light the slightest movement will knock over the card reader and the stand.

The card reader looks nice but the practicality of the design makes it difficult to use.

It looks to me that if there were design debates between those controlling the aesthetics and those controlling the ergonomics and utility, the aesthetic people won. The result is an attractive design but one that is very difficult to use.

external image 11nE5FKo68L._SL500_AA154_.jpgElmo Document Camera

from Amazon.com $692.00
Product Description

"ELMO introduces the TT-02S Teachers Tool, a presentation solution that enables you to bring the same exciting visual technology into your classroom presentations for the benefit of your students. Research shows that stimulating visual displays are easily grasped, retained and absorbed by students. Whether a scientifically based instructional program or math lesson, the TT-02S will gain the attention you need to achieve positive results."

**PodcastStudio** USB Bundle

external image 000008530.jpgBehringer unveils, at the NAMM Show 2007, PODCASTUDIO USB BUNDLE - everything you need for professional podcasting, music production and digital home recording. Amazon priced at $100
Get a full recording studio "out of the box" including:
  • High-resolution 2 In / 2 Out USB audio interface with plug-and-play for Windows XP and Mac OS X operating systems
  • Studio-class 5-input 2-bus mixer with premium mic preamp and 2-band "British" EQ
  • Dynamic broadcast-style microphone with 2-stage pop filter
  • High-performance studio headphones with ultra-wide frequency response
  • Table microphone stand, XLR microphone cable and 2 stereo RCA cables
  • Powerful DAW software (Kristal Audio Engine multi-track sequencer and Audacity audio editor)
  • Comprehensive podcasting software (Podifier, Juice, PodNova, Golden Ear)

GJ- But honestly? i just use GarageBand for all of my podcasting....ever since my beloved ODEO went borky!

Sometimes the best gadgets are online! FREE (or cheap) sites that make your life more interesting, or provide a service that is just so cool you gotta share it. These are those sites. The Web 2.0 Tools site below has even MORE cool thingsi just had to share them with you!



Learn about cool websites that offer AWESOME gadgets and resources on the Web 2.0 Toolsand a sampling below!

Gadget Tool Review Links..Keep up on all the cool news!

Older Gadgets that i don't want to delete but also not feature up top...

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License Plate Flash Frame

Seen on I Want That! Tech Toys (HITEC-104)

Available at Perpetual Kid

Sources & References

  • Web 2.0 Tools Site adapted from a Selena Ward Collection site
  • MICCA_09 - Notes from the 2009 MICCA Conference
  • Notes from the 2008 MICCA conference

Disclaimer about Prices: Prices were good the day i added them to this wiki...however, i've seen prices go up...and go down...all in the same day.
i can only do my best....so don't yell at me if a price has gone up or a "gadget" is now not available. Thanks!

©gwyneth anne bronwynne jones

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