Things They Don’t Tell You—Fuel Aperture Location

fuelgageIMG_0207Recently, at a gas station, I watched a guy pull up to the pump across from me, get out of his car, swipe his card, remove the hose from the pump, and then realize the fuel aperture was on the opposite side of his car.

Now I am not passing judgment—he may have been distracted, or maybe he was borrowing a car from someone else—but, what he did next makes me think this tip wouldn’t have helped him much anyway.

After discerning this wasn’t going to work, he puts the pump nozzle down on the pavement, gets in his car, drives away with his door held open, and circles back around to the proper position to pump gas. I am beginning to understand why some states don’t allow people to pump gas on their own.

So the key to knowing which side the fuel aperture is on the fuel gauge. For most all modern cars, there is a triangle/arrow next to a fuel pump icon pointing either left or right—the side where the fuel aperture is located. So whether it’s a rental or a friend’s car, you can quickly glance at the gas gauge to see how you need to drive up to the pump.

Now if someone loans you a 1969 GTO, you won’t find this icon, nor will you find the fuel aperture on the left or the right. It’s right where it should be—centered, nicely hidden behind the flip-down license plate—so you can pump gas from either side.

By the way, if you know someone loaning out their GTO—let me know!

Nutshell—New From Prezi

nutshell_logo_rgbNutshell is a new visual storytelling app that combines the simplicity of photos, the compelling nature of video, and the fun of animation to create short, shareable cinematic narratives.

The idea for Nutshell came about when the Prezi team discovered that people were using Prezi’s zoom-able presentation canvas for sharing events like birthdays, road trips, and even marriage proposals—since it’s easy to embed photos and videos, add text and graphics, and use motion to connect the dots and tell stories. These Prezis inspired the company to create Nutshell, a new way to encapsulate life’s moments into stories and easily share them, all from a mobile device.

To use the app, simply snap three photos in succession, and it will animate them into a single movie sequence. It’s also easy to add text and graphics to customize your cinematic vignette. The result is a playful, unconventional twist on traditional photos, which can be shared by email and text message, as well as posted to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

To see Nutshell in action, visit The application is free to download in the App Store under ‘Nutshell Camera.’

Canvas by Instructure

logo_instructureIf you have or are considering a one-to-one program in your school, a learning management system (LMS) will be a key piece in the mix of tools to make it a success. It will bring together many of the digital tools already being used (Turn-It-In, Google Apps, etc.) in one central place.

If you have ever taken an online course, you have already been on the student end of an LMS. Blackboard is one of the most popular but has grown rather complex and stagnated in the area of integrating new technologies. I had narrowed my choices to Canvas and Schoology. Both are very capable systems. Schoology has a bit of a “Facebook” social media feel. This can be both a strength and weakness. Canvas feels more course-like. From a very quick and non-scientific survey, I have found that high school students may have a greater chance of running into Canvas in college and this could be an advantage.

If you would like to try Canvas with a “toes-first” approach, faculty can sign up for a free Canvas account and begin setting up courses in it. These free accounts will allow you to use Canvas with a class with all of the features with the exception of the overall administration and school tie-in.