Sunday, January 22, 2012

Coffee Hour Tech Talk - Session 7

The instructor for this Coffee Hour Tech Talk, Diane Woodard, will be conducting office hours using Google + Hangout.  I am curious as to how well this will work.

Diigo vs. Pinterest

I was first introduced to Pinterest by my daughter who absolutely loves it.

Many of the Web 2.0 tools today have some component of social media. Social media includes web-based and mobile technologies used to turn communication into interactive dialog.  Andreas Kaplan and Michael Haenlen define social media as "a group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user-generated content." Social media is media for social interaction as a superset beyond social communication.  Enabled by ubiquitous accessible and scalable communication techniques, social media has substantially changed the way organizations communities, and individuals communicate (Wikipedia).

 Pinterest is a very visual program.  That is one of the biggest differences between Diigo and Pinterest.  Pinterest is growing so rapidly lately.  Pinterest is probably going to have to expand their servers, people are signing up so fast.  

Pinterest is very photo based.  Most of the photos are linked to a website.  Pinterest board for iPad Apps for Education.  Both Diigo and Pinterest save websites that you can go back to later.  Pinterest is more social media and Diigo is more social bookmarking.

We will explore, boards, pins, likes, following and dashboard. You do not have to make all boards public.  You can also make boards private.  Diane brought us through the different settings and workings of Pinterest.  While I had already started using Pinterest, this information reinforced what I had learned and I also learned some new things, like that I could put a Pinterest button on my website (see above).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Coffee Hour Tech Talk - Session 6

Chrome Extensions

Daum Equation Editor includes some text editing tools but is primarily an equation editor.  This actually looks like a great extension.  I wish Moodle had something like this and maybe it does, but I haven't discovered it yet.  You can save the file and insert it into your presentations, etc.

Evernote Clearly 

 With one click, you can make blog posts and articles clean and easy to read.  It eliminates all distractions from your online reading experience, and even allows you to browse mutl-page articles in one view.

I use Evernote a lot and this allows me to select the Evernote button on my browser and lets me push this page into my Evernote note taker.  On advantage to this is that I have Evernote on all my computing devices, such as cell phone, laptop and iPad and I can access and print this from anyone of these devices. You can also change the font style, size, etc.

Aviary Audio Editor 

This is a powerful clip editing software. You can trim, loop, stretch and reverse your audio clips.  You can add sound effects or record your own voice.  You can easily add fade-ins, fade-outs, pan from left to right, and modify gain over time with editable control points. You also have the ability to change, reverb, delay and parametric EQ are just some of the effects you can use to customize your sound.

I have to say, this looks like an awesome, easy to use audio editor.  Since I teach Video Production and have Chrome in my computer lab, I think I will have this Extension added to all students' Chrome browsers.  I am really excited about this one!  I want to remember to tell students to save as they go along (this is the case for all of the projects we work on in my classes).  Even save them as different names (i.e., 1, 2, 3) so that you can go back if something doesn't work right.

There is also a Library of music/sounds that is part of the editor.  You have to accept their terms first, but then you will have access to it.  It will save all of your files to the cloud storage and there is a limit there. The Edit button allows you to add effects. Last step is to mixdown so that you can get a file (into one track).  They file you are using in Aviary is a project file. You can download your file (after you mixdown) as an mp3 file or a wav file.

You may need to use ZamZar to do a file conversion.

JamendoJamendo is a community of free, legal and unlimited music published under Creative Commons licenses. You can share your music, download your favorite artists. I have used this with my Video Production students making a link available in the Video Production Moodle.  I also purchased a program for all student computers, Mixcraft, for them to be able to make their own music, but this will be a nice alternative.  This will give them another choice, while still keeping copyright issues in mind.

Soungle - I also have a link to this website in my Video Production Moodle. Soungle is a free site for finding all kind of sound FX and musical instruments samples on our mega online library. As different from most of similar sites, Soungle is NOT a Web search engine. It only searches in their growing monster database. 

Their goals are to keep it simple to use (search, preview and download) and to keep it free.Keyword searches are performed by entering any word or phrase in a search box. The retrieved results of a keyword search are displayed ten to a page. Clicking on play icon allows you to preview a file. Download button instantly downloads the sound effect or musical instrument sample file. A short description of the sound appears on top of every sound , followed by the frame rate, duration and bit rate. All of their sound effects and samples are royalty free for downloading.

Web 2.0 Tools 

Kerpoof Studio

You can create movie animations with Kerpoof Studio. The Kerpoof website is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company. Kerpoof is all about having fun, discovering things, and being creative and is primarily for elementary levels. Here are just a few ways that you can use Kerpoof:
  • Make artwork (even if you aren't good at drawing!)
  • Make an animated movie (really! it's easy!)
  • Earn Koins which you can trade for fun things in the Kerpoof Store
  • Make a printed card, t-shirt, or mug
  • Tell a story
  • Make a drawing
  • Vote on the movies, stories, and drawings that other people have made
Snow day today!

Good day to catch up on some working that I have been wanted to do but have not had time.  I am taking an online class called Coffee Hour Tech Talk.  I have not been able to keep up with it weekly so today is the day I will get caught up!  I always learn something new that I can use with my classes.

Coffee Hour Tech Talk - Session 6


The first thing I learned today was a Firefox Extension, called Print Edit.  Print Edit allows editing of the webpage content while in Print Preview Mode.  I think that this can be a great feature allowing you to edit the web page prior to printing which will compact the layout and remove unwanted content such as advertisements, sidebars and blank pages.  The Chrome version of this is called Webpage Screenshot.  This extension includes the ability to draw, edit, cut, change resolution, write comments and share instantly via Gmail.

Two more Chrome Extensions - related to math.  One is called Fractulator. Fractulator is a fraction calculator that will add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions and mixed fractions.

The other math Chrome Extension is CalcuNow. This is a basic calculator with access right on your browser.  It will provide instant results to your math expressions as you are typing them. Handy, if I do say so myself.

Web 2.0 Shopping

Woot!  They sell one product a day.  Once the product is gone, the sale is done.  They have different deals. Favorite one is Deals.Woot!  Good idea to look at what they have posted and head over to and look at the reviews they have on the item.

Yelp!  Is great for helping you shop.  Yelp is a fun and easy way to find and talk about great (and not so great local businesses.  Great way to find a place to eat while you are traveling. It includes reviews and you can had your own.  You can get a map with step by step directs on how to get to the destination.  You can make reservations and place an order on your cellphone or iPad app.  It is for business in the area where you are located or where you enter the zip code or address of where you are looking for a business. You can also get help, directions, ratings and has a social media component.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I was approached by a elementary school teacher to participate in a collaborative project across schools.  While this may not be a global project reaching across countries, I think this will be a good start to flattening our district's classrooms.

When Missoula was Young:                                                                                               
Engaging Students in the Living History of their Community

What do the following people have in common?
  • The first woman representative elected to the U.S. Congress.
  • A revered Salish leader who was forcibly removed from her tribal homeland to an Indian reservation. 
  •  A racecar driver, mechanic, inventor, and rancher who played a principal role in the development of a city airport. 
  • A homesteader whose farm has been preserved by a city as a community treasure.
Third graders will be given this challenge to discover the identities of these and other ordinary and extraordinary individuals who were children in 1883 when Missoula, Montana officially became a town. Thinking and acting like historical researchers, students will use primary sources to reconstruct life in their community in 1883 through the eyes of children living at that time.  They will work with high school social studies and video production students to create a final video that will become a story map of their subject’s life.

In this place-based project, third graders will deepen their understanding of local history through exciting and exploratory investigations that engage them in the learning process while working with high school students in the areas of social studies and video production. After visiting local historic sites, examining photos, family histories, letters and diaries, creating photos, video, and GPS data, and conducting interviews, students will share their learning with other students and members of the community through multi-media photo stories that will be linked to the Missoula city cemetery web site.  Finally, they will create Google Earth Place Tours that will become a story map of their subject’s life.

Goals and Objectives
Project Goals:
·         Engage students in innovative practices that integrate inquiry and place-based learning, higher order thinking skills, community resources, and the use of supportive technologies in the context of core academic subjects while working with high school students in the areas of social studies and video production.

·         Instill in young people that historical figures were, in fact, living, breathing human beings who started their lives just like them.

  • Students will use primary sources to investigate life in their community in 1883.
  • Students will describe the cultural traditions and contributions of the people of the Missoula Valley.
  •  Students will share their learning with other students and members of the community through digital storytelling.