Blog Archive

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Visual Literacy/Photo fun

I am a visual learner so when I first started to fall in love with web 2.0 tools and technology I leaned hard to this side so many of these tools appealed to me. So this post has A LOT of info...

I enjoyed the Gapminder, I thought it looked familiar and it’s because Google allows you to turn your spreadsheet into a Google gadget, called Motion Chart. Google bought Gapminder a little while back and now it operates under their ever growing umbrella of tools and toys.
I also liked the open source photo editing software available now. I’ve used these in my class a lot, but I hadn’t used the ones listed. I love the ones I use, but I can see benefits to all, I don’t like having to download a program which you need to do for Inkscape, but I loved its easy access to Open Clip art.
Here’s a few of my faves, I have used on my own and in class:
Then there’s always seasonal or silly ones like this that my wife and I always send out to our family. This one you can cut your face and put it on a break dancing dog and email it to friends…too funny.
As an aside, flickr is leading the way in web 2.0 photo slideshows and toys/tools for embedding…it’s the google for photos,J.
Picasa...Googles photosharing/editing software
Here’s a great link that has over 60 ways to use it.
3 more great sites…
I love using Animoto..the pedigree of the creators speaks to its “cool factor” I wish they would give you more than the 30 second limit on free vids, but it’s a great way to create a quick video from pics of the day or whatever.I think that a great addition to this site is this great site called soundzabound (free creative commons audio for schools)
I also use audacity to record audio more than a minute long (that’s the default limit on Microsoft recorders) We used it earlier in the year for a buddy reading book club we tries with the Kindies at Ute. It didn’t turn out nearly as cool as I had hoped, but it got us recording our own audio, which was a learning experience.
Jing is great for a lot of things, tutorials being one of them, but I have used it throughout the year to record small group reading and writing lessons for absent students. I record them and then post the links on our wikispace. Example here
I’ve been able to accumulate close to 20 lessons now that I can access next year if need be. I’ve also been able to record sub plans and have them for the sub Example
Another thing I love about Jing is the capturing of screen shots…sometimes when using flash Wordle and graffiti creator the only way to save is to screen capture.
Here’s an alternative to Jing, it’s another screen capture tool. Screen Toaster
The rest of the tools looked awesome, I loved the integration of science with P3D, Blender is great, I just wish I could download it onto the schools computers. Like a lot of these tools, all I can do is introduce them to the kids and if they go home and create, more power to them. Google sketch looks fun; I’m excited to get into it as well. Boy Google is taking over the world…about time, huh?
So much to see and do! And all of it..FREE!!!!!
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