Archive for the 'Software Review' Category

eTwinning Netiquette

Online Photo-Books: Mixbook

I remember an advert from Kodak from a few years back, which highlighted the importance of taking photos of special occasions and events in our lives, as to cherish and treasure the moment forever. Nowadays of course, getting hold of a camera and taking photos is a tad easier than it was in those days; and the emphasis has shifted from actual photo-taking to photo presentations. How are we going to store and share the photographs that we have so lovingly taken? How can we embed them in an innovative and interesting way on our websites or blogs for others to see? On this blog I have often dealt with online applications whose purpose varies from sharing photos (Slide, Animoto, Flickr…) to applications which help us edit pictures online (Picnik, Picasa…). The application which we are going to view today, Mixbook, allows users to create interesting online scrap-books with their favourite photographs, essentially creating embeddable online books for sharing or printing.

Continue reading “Online photo-books:  Mixbook” on Teachers and Computers… 

Smile: It’s a Smilebox Creation!

I remember a time when I was pretty young, when taking a photo was a rather stately affair. We only had a small camera which produced tiny squarish photos, you had to change the flash light often and developing photos was rather costly in itself. A far cry from today: you can say that nearly everyone owns a camera or at least they are able to take pictures and videos using their phones. Traditional photo developing is a thing of the past: photos can be easily printed off at home, and of course, one may also choose not to actually make a hard copy of one’s photos, but use them creatively to create an interesting slide-show or collages to be shown on a computer. The Internet is rife with free programs that enable one to make impressive photo presentations with the mere click of a button. Today we will explore Smilebox, an animated PhotoAlbum, Scrapbook and Slideshow creator, which allows very creative use of media by allowing users to browse through different designs and create some impressive digital presentations.

Continue reading Smile…it’s a Smilebox Creation! on Teachers and Computers…

A presentation about the New eTwinning Portal

Let’s Write a Story – Storybird

Children all love a good story. They like to discover, to listen, to read. And in the course of their classroom lives, they might also be asked to produce stories of their own, either on an individual, group or classroom basis. Teachers use stories as lesson starters, to enhance listening and reading skills and to engage their students. And if the students get to use their imagination a bit and create stories of their own, so much the better.

Storybird is a service that uses collaborative storytelling to connect students and teachers around the world. Two (or more) people create a Storybird in a round robin fashion by writing their own text and inserting pictures. They then have the option of sharing their Storybird privately or publicly on the network. The final product can be printed, watched on screen, played with like a toy, or shared through a worldwide library.
Continue reading Let’s Write a Story – Storybird at Teachers and Computers…

Prezi: An Innovative Presentation Application

prezi_logoWhen one thinks of presentation software generally, the thought tends to drift immediately to PowerPoint, within the MS Office Application Suite. While one agrees that PowerPoint has its merits, it is not the beginning and end of all presentations: there are various other applications available which can do an similar or an even better job of presenting your work. Mashable.com gives a whole list of alternatives that can be used and these include Google Docs, Ajax, Thinkfree and Zoho. (The full list can be accessed online at http://mashable.com/2008/02/16/forget-powerpoint-online-presentations/). One such free, web based presentation application is Prezi.

Prezi is a web-based presentation application and story-telling tool. Instead of using the traditional slides which come one after the other, Prezi gives the user a single canvas which can be filled with words, pictures and videos. The user can fill up the canvas as he or she desires; then, one has to create links from one “item” to the next, to create a free-flowing presentation. The result is a non-linear presentation, where users can zoom in or out of a visual map. The end result can be quite stunning visually. Prezi also allows multiple users to work on the same presentation (by email invitation), making it an excellent collaboration tool.

Online Publishing: Issuu

issuu-logoWeb 2.0 has changed the way that ordinary people look at the Internet. In the times of Web 1.0, the Internet was read-only, static, authoritarian: and most importantly, it was only the people whoknew how to who could upload and share their information online with others. This has of course changed with the advent of Web 2.0 and a more collaborative, user-generated content web. Along the years, a number of online media depositories – some of course more popular then others – have sprouted on the Internet: for example, YouTube and Vimeo for online video sharing; SlideShare for presentations and documents; Picasa and Flickr for sharing photos, etc. The list is ever-growing, and the trick is to find something that not only works well for you, but, in the case of educators, works well in the classroom as well. Today I am going to take a look at Issuu, an online service that allows for realistic and customizable viewing of digitally uploaded material, such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media.

Continue reading Online Publishing:  Issuu on Teachers and Computers