Teen Tech Tip of the Week #8: Screen Capture 
Welcome back to another week of the blog. This week we are looking at cool ways to capture and share what is on your computer screen.

There are a variety of ways to capture what is on your screen and share it with others. This can be a helpful tool when creating demonstrations or instructional videos. Here are two different ways:

Print Screen Short Cuts (Tip #1)
Use these short cuts to take a picture of your screen and paste it into any document:

'Ctrl' + 'Print Screen' - Windows

'Apple Key' + 'Shift' + '3' (all at the same time) - Mac

This free, simple software allows users to capture images or short videos and lets you add sounds from a microphone. Click on the image above for a short video.

Create a video and share the link in the comments sections below for a chance to be featured on the Teen Tech Tips blog.

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Teen Tech Tip of the Week #7: Comics 
I received an email late last week asking me what web software we use at our Make Lab Comics program, and I thought that I would take the opportunity to share my response with the blog. Going along with last week's 3-D sculpting, we are serving up the second part of a one-two punch of digital art projects.

Make Comics with your own digital photographs or drawings. More of a writer than an artist? Make comics using free web-based software stocked with pre-made backgrounds, characters, and props.

GoAnimateómore story oriented

Comic Life
This desktop program was used to create the above comic and is available for use on all Make Lab computers and Teen public computers at various branches.

We have holiday-themed comic programs coming up in November and December, so be sure to check the Tech Connects schedule for upcoming comics programs at the library.

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Teen Tech Tip of the Week #6: Simple, Fun 3D Modeling 
Welcome back to the blog for a bit of fun. This week we will be looking at some really cool free app's that allow you to create digital 3D models on your computer or iPad.

Computer-aided design (CAD) programs have been used since the 1980s for industrial design, automotive and ship building, movie special effects, and architectural design. The rapid evolution in home computers has brought about a rise in simple, hobbyist CAD programs. Today we will look at four free, fun, and simple to use programs. Be sure to check out the tutorial videos listed on each website to help you get started.

Trimble SketchUp Originally as a plugin to Google Earth, SketchUp has evolved into a full-range 3D modeling program created for simplicity.

Autodesk's 123D This desktop hobbyist CAD program is similar to SketchUp, but with more bells and whistles.

123D Sculpt Available on iPad, Sculpt allows you to sculpt digital clay into a 3D model.

123D Catch Available on desktop or iPad, this photo-based CAD program makes 3D models based on photos that you take of an object. You can easily export photos of your model from any angle. The image that you see above was created using iPad photos of the George D. Prentice sculpture located at the Main Library.

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Teen Tech Tip of the Week #5: Trendalyzing 
Welcome back to the blog for a more challenging week. This week we are looking at some web applications that perform trend analysis.

This week's topic is an extremely useful tool that can take your research assignment to the next level. Trend analysis is a form of critical thinking that investigates the connections between patterns occurring simultaneously. For example, it would be interesting to see the correlation between life expectancy and income per person for different nations over time. Seeing correlations like this can lead you develop new and interesting topics for research papers. To do this, I list links for three different, but very powerful online applications.

Gapminder World Owned by Google, Gapminder World graphically presents a large amount of historical data for the development of countries around the world. Topics include population, economy, society, environment, health and more. Change the variables on the x- and y-axes to view a new data set. Click the play button below the graph to watch changes over time. Be sure to check out the Graph Menu for preset graphs.

EarthPulse National Geographic's vital statistic program allows you to compare side-by-side gradient maps of various topics including population density, consumer demand and natural resources. Be sure to check out the essay section.

Global Conservation Maps Powered by Google Fusion Tables, the Nature Conservancy's natural resource maps allows you to compare conservation maps around the globe. Check out the Maps link in the ribbon for featured maps.

This week's topic is meant to be a little more challenging. Check back with us next week for a bit of fun.

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Teen Tech Tip of The Week #4: Free-Use Images 
Welcome back. We hope that you enjoyed a bit of fun with last week's leaf peeping apps. This week's tip shows you where you can get some freely-usable photos and images, like this one from the Apollo 17 mission to the moon.

Images can say quite a bit and can really help to deliver the message on a presentation. It is important to realize that not every image that you find on the web is freely available. Most images are protected under copyright, and the use of these images without permission is illegal. This includes images that you may find on Google Images, Flikr, tumblr., etc.

There are dozens of websites dedicated to freely accessible images and other media that are perfectly legal. Below, I have included a short list, and each site allows browsing and searching for images. Often times, images from these sites are at a higher resolution than ones that you may copy-paste from online.

Wiki Commons
Life Magazine Images Archive from Google
Library of Congress Digital Image Archive
Wikipedia Here you will find a full list of other public domain image repositories.

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