Slide Show Alternatives 1. Animato
This site is so awesome! You upload your photos (or use your online photos from Flickr, etc.), upload your own music or select from their library (great collection) and let their servers do all the work rendering a great video mix. The effects and transitions are professional Hollywood-type effects! Notice for my sample movie that I created title slides in PowerPoint then saved the slides as .jpg files. The free version creates a "quick mix" about 30 seconds in length- about 15 images can be displayed. For $30/year or $3/video, you can create full-length videos and download them to your computer (and burn DVD's). The site will now allow educators FREE access to premium membership for you and your students! Get more information here. 2. One True Media
Somebody's going to look like a creative genius in a few minutes (hint: it's you). It's just so simple to mix your video and photos with our fresh, stylish effects to create wow-worthy Video Montages. Example: http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared? p=8fed44990eeb615879756c&skin_id=801&large&utm_source=otm&utm_mediu m=embed • • •
Registration required Built-in music library Includes a title generator
You find the YouTube (or Google) video you want, upload your PowerPoint, then sync them together so your user sees both at the exact moments you want! Impact on Education: bring in video from YouTube that truly as legitimate educational value. Don’t just show video; teach with it by adding thoughtprovoking questions, pointing out key concepts, and displaying content in multiple formats. As of right now, the service is limited to YouTube and Google Video http://digitalgoonies.com/?p=69#more-69
This may be the Cadillac of online presentation generators. Think of this tool as a simplified Windows Photo Story equivalent. Here you can upload images or import them from your Flickr account. You may then sequence the images, insert captions, add pan & zoom effects, add music from their eclectic collection, add links to websites, create text slides on the fly, overlap images to create smooth cross-dissolve transitions. Finally, you can publish your show and get either the code to embed the show into your blog/wiki or get the link to send to others Example: http://slideroll.com/show.php?s=y8b5r8fn
This great site allows you to display your images in two different modes. The "Story" mode as shown here allows you to add captions, music, and quiz questions to your images Example: http://photopeach.com/album/pjhw9w?ref=est
The "Spiral" mode displays images only in a great interface. Click to see Spiral Example
a fun way to make quick videos
My example http://www.slide.com/r/MZKxSvVR6T_N-9odo6dec5WG9oGUpp3?previous_view=mscd_embedded_url&view=original
1. Voki OK, this is just too cool. Here you can create your own avatar (you get to choose what it looks like, the way it dresses, the background, etc.), add your voice via telephone, upload from your computer, or use their built-in text to speech converter. Then place the avatar on any page that accepts code! Imagine introducing or commenting on a web page in your own voice! Registration is not required unless you want to go back and edit your voki after creating it!
2. Read It! •
http://web.nmc.org/5cardstory/play.php?suit=5card http://web.nmc.org/5cardstory/show.php?id=5101 My example: http://web.nmc.org/5cardstory/show.php?id=6581 Some ideas: • • • •
Create a story using at least one simile and one metaphor. Write a story in the first person, then re-write it in third person. Write a story using nothing but passive voice, then re-write the story using active voice. Create a story based on the images and weave three of this week’s vocabulary words in it.
2. Create your own trading cards • •
3. Publishing Like a Pro! www.issuu.com •
Recently I presented a workshop, and I needed my participants to be able to view some documents that we would be discussing and working with. I made paper copies (I know, how old fashioned of me!), but I wasn’t sure how many people would be attending. I didn’t want to bring a lot of extra copies just in case, so I decided that I’d hand out what I had and anyone who came in late and didn’t get one could retrieve the materials online. Then came the dilemma of “where do I post them?”. I already had the documents in .pdf form, but I didn’t have a quick easy place to store them. I looked around and found www.issuu.com.
4. A.nnotate.com •
Rather than emailing documents back and forth, this is a great way to annotate a document and send it along to another person to annotate, correct, or make suggestions in some way. This avoids having multiple copies of a document and losing track of the revisions and which version is the most recent, etc. The free version is limited, but adequate for most educators. You can see an example, read-only of one of my documents here!
5. MixBook •
While MixBooks don't contain audio of any kind, this site is wonderful for creating a virtual book. You can upload photos from your computer or image hosting site. The number of layouts and backgrounds available for the pages is great- they'll have a layout you need. The site's true intention is for users to collaborate on creating a MixBook together and then purchase a printed version. But, the site also allows you to share your book via links or embedding. You may create a book anonymously, but in order to make changes to the book, registration (free) is required.
This site is the premiere online newsletter generator. Users select and edit templates, upload photos (from computer or Flickr) and place in the templates, add text, and publish online. Each template includes a variety of layouts. Registration (free) is required to publish or print the newsletters. While there are limitations to the free membership, users are allowed up to ten newsletters (published) which is more than adequate for most educational purposes. You must be signed in to save, preview, print, or publish the newsletter. While these newsletters can't be embedded into a blog or dashboard, they can be viewed by sending the link to contacts via LetterPops own list of contacts or through conventional methods.These newsletters may be marked public or private and other users may add comments. Take a look at this 3page newsletter about biomes. Registration is required to save, print, or edit newsletters. Email address is verified during registration.
7. PicLits.com •
The idea is to select a photograph from their collection, then use the suggested words to write a sentence, a poem, a haiku, or whatever about the photograph. There is wide variety of photographs and each one has a range of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs specific to the photograph, as well as an assortment of universal words such as a, the, has, my, etc. Think of it as refrigerator poetry on steroids! You make your sentences by dragging words up on the photograph in whatever placement you select. If you want a different version of the same word, you can click on the word and a small pulldown menu appears and you can select a version of the word
www.piclits.com My example http://www.piclits.com/compose_freestyle.aspx?PoemId=50828
DRAW ING TOOLS 1. Wordle •
This great site generates a cloud map based on text that you enter or paste into the field. The more frequently a word appears, the larger it is displayed. You can manipulate the image layout, colors, etc. There is no registration
required. The only downside- you must use a screen capture utility to grab the image! Example: http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/2113428/The_Outsiders
2. http://www.tagxedo.com •
My example http://www.tagxedo.com/artful/535b0f3bd3cd46de
1. LoonaPix • • • •
Put your image into different compositions, frames, etc. Upload image from your computer Images can be downloaded or hosted for 3 months No registration required
2. SuperLame! – Turn •
your photographs into a Comic!
1. Create your own Concert Ticket! • •
http://www.saysit.com/concertticket My example on flashdrive
2. Many others listed here.
1. TypeIt •
TypeIt is a tool that allows users to type more easily in foreign languages. Users can select a language and then type whatever they need to--an email, a blog post, a forum comment, et cetera--and then copy and paste the text. The benefit of doing this is being able to use shortcuts for writing special
characters like ö, á, ¿, «, etc. I would not recommend this for typing long reports because users should be using keyboard shortcuts for editing in those situations, but for short web postings or emails, this could be a useful tool.
2. TypingWeb •
This is a website where users can learn and improve typing skills. The "lessons" can be used with or without a registered account; however, registered users will be able to track progress over time. This includes lessons and assessments!
Miscellaneous Tools 1. Countdown Timers • •
http://e.ggtimer.com This timer is simple to use, you just type in the amount of time you want to give and then it gives an onscreen visual for the students to keep them moving along http://www.online-stopwatch.com I really like this timer a lot! It has several options like countdown, an hourglass timer with sand trickling out, a stopwatch, a calculator, and it has the ability to remain visible if you want to continue using the computer.
2. Turn your • •
computer into a teleprompter with CuePrompter!
http://www.cueprompter.com Use for skits, newscasts, etc.
Put that big URL on a quick slim diet!
Stop sharing URL's that are so long that users can't type them in! This site will shorten any URL. These shortened URL's are so much easier to distribute to others!
My example: http://www.palaciosisd.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Palacios %20Junior%20High%7CTeacher%20Pages%3E%3EAnderson, %20Kathryn http://tinyurl.com/3yuha74
Virtual Sticky Notes
5. “If it’s on the internet, it must be true!” OK, so it’s a ridiculous statement. But I guarantee that students think like this! Even my 10 year-old daughter gets caught up in this when her friends pass on email chain letters promising great fortunes. (By the way, I monitor her email using epals.com… that’s right, no privacy in my household!) Students have a tough time discerning the validity of a website. Even for
many adults this can be a real challenge! I have created this lesson (Revised-Expand Your Horizons) to demonstrate for students that you can’t always believe everything you read. In short, students will form groups with each group investigating one of the following fake/hoax websites:Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus (save the endangered tree octopus) Dog Island (send your dog away to eternal bliss to roam free and natural on this paradise island) Lacuna Inc. (erase problem or painful memories)
Dream Tech International (human cloning- choose your DNA) DHMO.org (research page for Dihydrogen Monoxide, better known as water) The groups will research each of the sites using the sheet as a guide. They will then present their findings to the class, followed by a Q & A. What a bluff! Students fall for this all the time. It’s up to you when to let the cat out of the bag and discuss how to evaluate their findings. You might want to refer to Teaching Zack to Think, an article by Alan November. It’s an outdated article (1998) but has some great methods for evaluating websites for validity! PHONE TOOLS
1. Dial My •
Calls- your own personal calling system!
The free version of this service will allow you to record a message (via phone, by uploading MP3 files, or using built-in text-to-speech). The site will then call the numbers of your designated contacts and play the message immediately or at a designated time. In addition you can view a report after the call to see which calls were answered, which ones went to voice mail, busy signals, etc. Registration is required. The free version is limited to one phone call per day for up to 25 recipients! https://www.dialmycalls.com
2. Sly Dial - When you don’t want to talk, but just want to leave voice mail… • • • •
Use any mobile or landline to secretly go directly to a mobile phone's email. No registration required Note: does use your minutes and standard long distance charges apply Free version has quick add before patching you through to voice mail (less than 10 seconds)
STUDY AIDS 1. www.mathplayground.com 2. Quizlet- A must have for students learning vocabulary! Among the sea of homework helper websites and study tools, Quizlet floats at the top! A student, or better yet- an inspired teacher, can enter vocabulary terms which will appear on one side of the card. Suggested definitions will automatically display from which to choose (or if you must, type your own)! And what’s even better- suggested images that match the term will be displayed (or you can upload your own). Once created, students can choose from the following activities:
And these aren’t just plain flash card flipping reviews! The Test activity displays questions in a variety of formats… … such as multiple choice, fill in the blank, etc. The Space Race scrolls the definition and image across the screen- students must type in the term before it gets to the other side. Scatter, one of my personal favorites, challenges students to clear the board by dragging terms to the correct definitions/images in a timed game. But wait! That’s not all! If you happen to have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can download the cards (minus the images) into a free application that allows you to review the terms and definitions by flipping and sliding! See the Touchcards Free application page. To play the above example click here!
TIMELINE GENERATOR 1. Timetoast Interactive Timelines in a Flash! What an awesome way to present lots of information in a small but organized space! Rather than just sequence some events on paper, how about creating a sharplooking, painfree timeline. These gems are easy to create and share! There are a couple things you should consider though… • • • •
While each event can contain text, a graphic, and a link, it cannot display video or play audio The date format requires specific dates, not just years Unfortunately, the timeline color scheme is not editable Why is there no place to put a title for your timeline?
So there you have it it does have some limitations. But, hey, it’s free, it’s easy, and students love it!
Alternative to Student Email Addresses Some of the Web 2.0 tools we have discussed in this blog require you to register with a real email address. Some of you may have assigned email addresses for students, but many of us do not, particularly at the elementary level. Although there are some products out there that provide free email addresses for students (epals.com and gaggle.net as well as others), we have found a quick and easy method to manage this problem… piggy-backing on a gmail account! Create a gmail account with a name you can share with students such as firstname.lastname@example.org. This probably isn’t the place to share your email@example.com account! Students can then piggy-back off your account by adding anything after a + sign. For example: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Each of these will create a unique email address that the student can use to register for a Web 2.0 tool. The email will still go to your gmail account, but students will not be able to log into your gmail account, or ever actually receive any emails. If the login requires you to click on a link to activate the account, you’ll still have to click on each of the emails sent. This may be a little time consuming if you have a lot of students, but you know you are keeping your students safe and allowing them to create cool projects that you might otherwise have to pass on!