Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Photo Trail - Jazz up your site

Since we've been looking at photo sites, here's another addition to the list: PictureTrail. This site allows you to upload pics from your computer in order to create custom slideshows with a variety of transition and frame effects. To use it on your blog or website, simply upload the images you want  and decide on your look. Once you've added all the "extras" you desire, PT will generate an embed code that you can paste on your target page.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Photo Editing - with an artistic flair

If you like to have fun tweaking photos you've taken, or you want your class to experiment with artistic effects, take a look at BeFunky. This great site allows you to apply all kinds of effects on photos you've found, or uploaded, and make them truly unique. The range of filters allows the user to generate comic book images, oil paintings, sketches, etc etc. Other little extras include speech bubbles, frames  and text. There is a pay version that gives you more options, but the free package still has a lot of power. Create an account and store your creations on the BeFunky servers. Finished products can be shared (Facebook, flickr, picassa et al), printed or even put on shirts, mugs and other gift-type items through the partner site Zazzle. There's even an iTouch app.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Another way to "see" the news.

For teachers looking for another way to "see" the news, or at least track the big themes, 10x10 offers this unique visual snapshot of the major stories. One hundred images along with the top 100 words give the viewer a glimpse of the news zeitgeist. According to their website:

 "Every hour, 10x10 scans the RSS feeds of several leading international news sources, and performs an ... analysis on the text contained in their top news stories. ... The top 100 words are chosen, along with 100 corresponding images, culled from the source news stories. At the end of each day, month, and year, 10x10 looks back through its archives to conclude the top 100 words for the given time period. In this way, a constantly evolving record of our world is formed, based on prominent world events, without any human input."
A great activity might be to have students create their own 10x10, (or maybe 3x3), of the top stories for their area, municipality, school, hobby etc. The results could be shared as a Powerpoint, a webpage or ... even an art installation!