Monday, May 25, 2009

Audio From Youtube

Occasionally, I'll find a Youtube clip of a lecture or presentation that has an audio track I want to listen to on my iPod, or perhaps I want to add a little piece to an iMovie I'm making. The "low-tech" way is to plug in earbuds, hold one earphone up to the computer's mic, and "play" the clip while iMovie records it. It works, but it's pretty low fidelity! Enter "ListentoYouTube": this site allows you to extract the audio as a downloadable mp3 file.

There is an advisory on the site that there are have been problems with the latest Youtube version, but I used LTYT successfully this past week: it worked like a charm.

(BTW, there are some pop-ups associated with this site, so you might want to have your pop-up blocker set to "stun"!)

You paste in the URL of the clip you want. The app chugs away for a bit, and then you'll get a link to click. This will open a new page; choose the ">>download mp3" link and you're in business. If you're on a Mac, you can choose to open the file in iTunes, and then put it on your iPod....or what ever.

It's really useful if you come across a Youtube clip of a lecture series, and you want to "take it with you" for listening later.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Schedules and Choices: Doodle

Have you ever tried to get a number of people to agree on a date by sending them an email? After multiple mail messages, each with its own history or updated status, everyone can be quite confused about the final date (or time.)

The same can be true with asking a group to make a choice: Chinese food, Italian or Spanish? Vacation in Maui, Montreal or Europe? What's the best gift for Mom and Dad?

My suggestion is to try DOODLE. You create a set of choices and then email the URL to all participants. They can then add themselves, add their choice and the app keeps track of the results.

You could use this with a class to help them define a study question or refine a project direction. Or even for students to arrange a get-together for teamwork.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

TIMEGLIDER - timeline maker

TIMEGLIDER is an easy-to-use, fully featured timeline maker that makes professional, scalable graphic representations of chronological events. Perfect for a student to use, and suitable even for a professional "stand and deliver".

You can add dates, images and links and even view 2 timelines simultaneously. How could you use this? A student could map events in a novel against real world events in the same time period, compare the rise of two civilizations, or show the unfolding of a major historical incident.

In order to use this great app, you will need to create an account (an email address is required.)

The Worldbook online (available in many school districts) also has a timeline gereator that has some similar features.

Timeline generators are just one more interesting way to allow kids to demonstrate their learning and thinking.