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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: Spam & ide@s

Today’s Tip has to do with spam, and the Tool is another resource for images, videos, lessons, and more.
Your Tip:
You’ve all experienced the rare spam message sneaking through Lightspeed.  What can you do?  Better than deleting it, you can teach our filter how to work more efficiently.  Simply forward the email as an attachment to spam @ lightspeedsystems.com (no spaces) and the filter will “learn.”  See this document for more about spam.
Your Tool:
If you’ve never explored the ide@s website, you’re missing a great resource for copyright friendly images and video, plus hundreds of lesson plans and news links.  Search lessons by grade level, subject area, and State Standard.  Scroll down to find a list of assessment resources.  Do you have your students take photographs?  There’s a photo contest as well.  Check it all out here:
To be entered in this week’s drawing, answer this question:
Which retired DeForest School District employee has contributed a major resource to the ide@s website, and what is it?  Send me an email with “Answer” in the subject line before Friday, November 19 at 4:00pm.

Spring Cleaning ’09

Spring Cleaning Tips

Each year about this time, we ask people to do a little spring file cleaning . . . You might have student slide shows on the J drive, pictures hanging out on your H drive, or files from years ago that you don’t need any longer.  A couple of cleaning tips:

  • Pictures? Upload them to Picasa Web Albums. You can keep your albums private or share them with the people you select. The nice part about moving your pictures off the network to the web is that they are available whenever and wherever you need them. Picasa software is also available for use on your desktop. Click on Start >> Graphics & Layout to install it. For more information, try this handout: Using Picasa or Picasa’s Getting Started Page.
  • Moving Files from the Network? If you’ve had your computer replaced recently, you can put older files on a CD. Here’s how. If your computer doesn’t have a CD burner, look in a lab or LMC and you’ll find a CD-RW. Besides the label on the drive, you might also see a label on the monitor.
  • Student Work? If you’ve asked students to save work on the J drive and don’t need it any longer, it should be moved (a CD works well!) or deleted.
  • Your Desktop? If you have files saved to your desktop, move them to your H drive where they are backed up. Moving those file might also improve your login time.
  • Duplicate Files? If you have files saved in two places, maybe J and your H drive, do you need both? Delete those duplicates you don’t need.
  • Large Files? If you have a file that’s too big to send through email, try web sites like SendSpace.

Cameras?

If you’re thinking about a new camera for yourself in December, check this New York Times article. Each December, they test cameras under $300 and explain what makes them good and bad. For example, the article explains that sensor size and not megapixels are what you want to shop for. And those cameras promising HD may be using a little bit of hype to make the sale.

The new(er) Sony cameras we recommend for school use are on the list. If you’re interested in purchasing cameras for school use, we have a list of recommended models that include still and video cameras: DASD Camera List.

Windows Moviemaker

Moviemaker is available on all Windows XP computers. You can use it as a replacement for PowerPoint or Photostory. If you have video footage from the Flip, you can import it and add titles, transitions, and effects.

Resources for using Moviemaker:

Photo Tools Galore

#31: Today’s Technology Tip is all about pictures.

These web sites can help you to find copyright-friendly images and make changes to your photos for web sites, Moodle, or classroom presentations.

1. Ide@s Wisconsin has just unveiled its new image search tool (ideas.wisconsin.edu/imageideas_browse.cfm).

Not only are the images copyright-friendly, they are organized by subject, grade level, and keyword. Many of the images were contributed by WI teachers and are free for educators and students to use. As you or students search for images, you’ll find useful related links as well.

2. Picnik (www.picnik.com) The weather may not be good for a picnic, but spell that word another way, and you’ll be in a much sunnier place. Picnik is a site where you may edit photos with such ease, it’s astounding.

One excellent feature of Picnik is that it is much easier to determine the size of an image. When you click on the Edit tab >> Resize, you’ll see the exact dimensions of the image. For example, for most web pages or Moodle images, 100×100 pixels is perfect.

Even without registering a paying the $24.95, you can upload a photo and make changes, like cropping, resizing, fixing the color, adding graphics and borders. When you’re done, you can save the image back to its original location by selecting Save and Share.

3. Photoshop Express (www.photoshop.com/express/landing.html) Adobe is making many of its Photoshop tools available online . . . crop, rotate, add effects, fix white balance, and much more. This site requires registration.

This tool was just released, but one feature that’s an immediate improvement is that you when you choose a tool or effect, the work is done for you. It’s kind of like the difference between manual and automatic transmissions. Photoshop Express presents you with a series of possibilities. All you need to do is select the image that you like.

4. Big Huge Labs (www.bighugelabs.com/flickr/) has some select tools for editing or modifying images, like a press badge template.