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Apps for Summer

Happy Last Day!

I hope you enjoy this last day with students and look forward to some time to relax and rejuvenate.

Whether you’re headed out on vacation or heading out to the back yard, here are a few ideas to play with:

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Tuesday Tech Tip: Web Albums Revisited

It’s getting close to June, and the time to start packing up classrooms is near.  As you’re thinking about what to do with those paper files, you can also think about what to do with those big digital files.   Why not take them with you wherever you go?

Why online photo storage makes sense:

  • Your photos are safe.
  • Your photos are accessible from anywhere you have an internet connection.
  • You can decide how to share your photos and entire albums.
  • Your files aren’t taking up space on your hard drive.

Sounds like GoogleDocs, right?

Here’s a quick video about online photo sharing.  And here is a slightly updated version of how to use Picasa 3 to organize photos and upload them to Picasa Web Albums.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Copyright Friendly Music

It’s May and that means end-of-the-year projects and assemblies!  Students and teachers are creating multimedia projects to share in the classroom, in the school, and with the world.  I wanted to pass along some good resources for copyright friendly music and project creation tools that have soundtracks built in.

From the FAQ on Soundzabound (abridged):

Q: Someone once told me that we can legally use 30 seconds of copyrighted music for our school projects or presentations. Is this true?

A: You may use 10% of a copyrighted piece of music for face-to-face instruction directly related to your course content. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

Q: I purchased a song legally from iTunes. Can I not use it in my video at school?

A: No. You purchased the song for home and personal use, not for public or educational use. You do not own the rights to the music; the copyright holder(s) own the rights to the material.

Q: What about for educational use?

A: The Fair Use Guidelines for Education were written in 1997 and have become antiquated by the digital age. Technology is moving too quickly, and the guidelines have not been re-visited in all these years.  It is best that 10% of the material used is for related course content, and conducted face-to-face in a classroom setting. By synchronizing with video, PowerPoint, pod-casting, broadcasting, or putting on a website, you are subjecting yourself to a lawsuit.

So what are a teacher and student to do?  There are a growing number of resources available that come with their own library of licensed tunes.  Use the entire song, use them for public performances, use them for broadcasting online, use them freely—permission is already granted!

Animoto and Photostory have their own built in libraries with hundreds of choices.

Websites like freeplaymusic, Incompetech, and ccmixter have thousands of songs with various lengths, themes, and styles.

Soundzabound is another great resource.  It’s available through BadgerLink.  Because the state purchased a license so that teachers and students can download all the music, you need to access it through BadgerLink.  Just going to soundzabound.com isn’t going to tell them you’re from Wisconsin.  Here’s how to get there.

DeForest home page >> For Students >> Student Learning Links >> BadgerLink (toward the top of the page) >> Soundzabound (under ECB VideoLink)

 

This week’s winner is Bill Porter who completed the TED-Ed flipped video!

Tuesday Tech Tip: TED-Ed!

As you know, I’m a fan of TED.  But even if I weren’t, I’d definitely pass this along… TED-Ed has launched a website that has some really great possibilities

There you’ll find the tools to:

  • Watch great educational videos, created by teachers and animators.
  • Nominate a fellow educator!
  • Each TED-Ed video has a supplementary lesson…
    • Take a multiple choice Quick Quiz while watching the video (with video hints!)
    • Find open-ended questions in the Think section.
    • Dig Deeper to find more resources
    • Save your answers

But here’s the coolest part… you can “flip” any lesson!

  • Customize the quizzes, write your own open-ended questions, and modify the resources.
  • Grab your finished lesson’s unique web address and share it with students.
  • Track your students’ work.
  • You can flip any video from YouTube using the TED-Ed platform, including ones you create!

Watch the tour:

Want to win a prize?  Create an account and participate in my flipped lesson here!

Tuesday Tech Tip: Browser Basics

What is a browser?

Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome are browsers.  They’re windows through which we look at content on the internet–content like Google Mail, Docs, Skyward, and other web pages.  Each browser is a little different and each has its unique quirks.

Here’s the skinny on browsers, tabbed browsing, and bookmarks.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Search Tools

While “Google” is now a noun and a verb, most people don’t regularly use Google Search to its fullest potential.   Here are a few tips on how to use Advanced Search to sort your results by reading level and by copyright license.

Here’s a quick video overview of Google Search

A Google A Day:  It’s a daily search task to sharpen skills… give it a try!

A well-recommended kid-friendly search engine: Duck Duck Go

WolframAlpha is also an excellent reference and computational search engine.  Here’s a few ideas for using it.

One more… If you’re a fan of Calvin and Hobbes, you’ve got to try this.

Tuesday Tech Tip: Quietube

Today’s Tip comes from Ashley Nowak at EPES.  She shared a nice tool for watching YouTube videos:  Quietube.  It’s a tool to remove all the distractions like comments, related videos, etc., and especially nice for projecting videos in the classroom.  Here’s an example.

The thing I like best is that there’s a Chrome extension for it.  Just install it in your Chrome browser and whenever you’re on a page with a video (Vimeo, YouTube, etc.) you’ll see a circle in the address bar.  Click it and viola!  You can even link to this page instead of the original video if you’re sharing the video with others.

(image credit: Dominic’s Pics via Flickr)