As I have shared with you in the past, I have very severe dyslexia, but luckily, I also have Learning Ally. For years now, I have used Learning Ally’s audiobooks, which has made it so much easier for me to keep up with my textbooks for school, as well as being able to listen to all sorts of books just for fun.
Learning Ally has a great website with lots of audiobooks and resources, so if you haven’t checked it out, be sure to soon. (The have a great iPhone and iPad app that I use to listen to my textbooks.) But now Learning Ally has even more to offer. They’ve started a new site called The 1 in 5 Initiative.
Their site is all about dyslexia. But it’s even more than that. It’s an interactive site where you can do all sorts of things like create blog posts as well as videos about yourself and your experiences with dyslexia. My “Commander Ben’s Dyslexia Story” video is also featured on their Being the one stories page.
Oh! I almost forgot…you may be wondering…Why do they call the site “1 in 5”? That’s because it is believed that 1 out every 5 people has some form of dyslexia.
So be sure to check out the 1 in 5 site soon. I think you’ll really like it.
For too long, invasive species have crowded out native plants and chased away citizen scientists seeking to report them with pen and paper. Now, the Texas Invaders mobile app brings new technologies to help invasive hunters protect their ecosystems in the Lone Star state and beyond.
Download the Texas Invaders app featured in the video, attend an Invaders of Texas Workshop, and get started reporting invasive species:
There are a lot of great mobile apps to learn about and report invasive species. Mr. Chuck Bargeron, technology directory for the University of Georgia’s Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health (also known on the web as Bugwood), has created many apps about invasive species.
Here are some of the apps that Mr. Bargeron and the University of Georgia helped to create for citizen scientists on the hunt for invasive species. In the following listing, I’ve include links for you to download the iPhone (iPhone and iPad) and Android app versions and a brief description of the apps from their web pages:
EDDMapS West iPhone | Android
EDDMapS is a national web-based mapping system for documenting invasive species distribution.
Forest Insect Pests iPhone | Android
The photos present in this app are intended to help foresters, urban landscaping employees, or others working with trees recognize some of the common pest insects affecting trees in North America and understand their life cycles and how they damage trees.
IveGot1 iPhone | Android
Submit invasive species observations directly with your mobile device from the field. These reports are uploaded to EDDMapS and emailed directly to local and state verifiers for review.
Outsmart Invasive Species iPhone | Android
The Outsmart Invasive Species project is a collaboration between the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (MA DCR), and the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at the University of Georgia.
What’s Invasive iPhone | Android
One of the greatest dangers to natural areas is the spread of invasive species. This app accesses local lists created by National Park Service rangers and other professionals to show you top invasives species in your area.
These are some of the apps that I’ve tried out on my iPhone, but there are more out there too, including:
Texas Invaders (TX Invaders) iPhone | Android
The Invaders of Texas Citizen Science program collects species observations from volunteer citizen scientists trained to use a specially developed Invasive Species Early Detection and Reporting Kit.
I’ll have a special blog post on this app for citizen scientists to report Texas Invasives soon. 🙂
The video concerns a young, ambitious native plant defender who, with the help of the smartphone app, “How to succeed in hunting invasive species without really trying”, rises from a budding environmentalist to a fighting naturalist.
Commander Ben goes to high school
I have great news to share with you! I’ve been accepted into St. Michael’s Catholic Academy for high school in the fall. I’m very excited, since I’ve been studying hard and took the ISEE exam to get in.
Last year, the drama team at St. Michael’s put on a play, “How to succeed in business without really trying“. It was a musical comedy with lots of great student actors, and this got me thinking about making a fun video with invasive species that’s similar to the opening of the play.
Using Vine and Twitter at UT Austin during Explore UT
I didn’t think I’d get a chance to attend Explore UT this year, but I was able to visit UT Austin yesterday to listen to a few talks, enjoy a few exhibits, and be part of the event that they call the “biggest open house in Texas!”
I wanted to try out the new Vine iPhone app for creating short six-second videos for posting on my Twitter account, @InvasiveHunter.
Here’s how I used Vine to make short, looping videos with my tweets:
Held my finger on the touchscreen to create the video.
When done, created a tweet with the video.
Uploaded the video to both Vine and Twitter. (There’s also an option to upload it to Facebook.)
Tips on using Vine
Unless someone is filming talking about something, try to film different video segments on the same topic instead of just one continuous video. The different shots are more interesting and will keep people entertained.
Make sure to remember to take your finger off your phone when you’re done shooting the video, both off the touchscreen and definitely off your camera lens. (Not that it happened to me. 🙂 )
Remember that you can’t edit your video. Make sure that you get what you want when you film. If not, you can always start over.
One downside is that if you get a really great shot and a not so good one, and you need to start over, you lose your entire video, but that’s a minor thing.
This app is definitely very easy to use. With all the complicated mobile apps these days, it’s wonderful to have something so simple to use with Twitter.
I liked adding video to my tweets. You can use videos to convey more information than just a tweet or picture. It’s fun to create videos and watch videos from others too!
Here are a few of my tweets and Vine videos from yesterday:
Using Vine and Twitter at the UT Austin Jackson School of Geosciences
Using Vine and Twitter at the UT Austin Texas Memorial Museum
Thanks @UTAustin for replying to one of my tweets during the Explore UT event:
UTAustin replies to InvasiveHunter Tweet during Explore UT
Videos from last year’s Explore UT event
Here are the blog posts and YouTube videos that I created from the 2012 Explore UT event: