Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Snack" Family of webapps

Earlier I wrote about Flipsnack as a way to present flippable books and magazines. In fact there is a whole family of "Snack Apps" to choose from. I tried Photosnack today and was very happy with the easy of use, and the ability to sign in using Google or Facebook rather than having to create a new account. It is a Freemium service, so to get all the features, you have to pay a little more. But it is a simple way to add a slick slide show to your blog or webpage.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Make Virtual Flipbooks the "Flipsnack" way

You can provide your students with beautiful flippable digital content by using Flipsnack. This great web-based app allows you to upload a PDF and see it rendered as a realistic onscreen book or magazine. You have a great set of choices for formatting and the full-screen view is very readable!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Popplet - mindmapping plus!

Popplet is an easy-to-use mindmap generator that creates slick conceptual maps. Add images, change the colour and embed your results on your blog or webpage. There is even a "play/presentation" feature that makes your Popplet work like a Prezi. Creations can be exported as image files. Worth taking a look at. 

(Psst: It's also available for iPad in a lite version (free) and a paid version that allows you to create multiple boards, not just one.)

Here's a short Youtube demo.

Here's a sample project (Embedded version below)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Panoramas for fun and learning!

What better way to take students on learning journey than to visit world heritage sites, extreme environments or the actual setting of the novel they are studying. All this is possible when you access one of the many "Panorama" sites available on the internet.

These sites are repositories of an amazing variety of 360 VR movies that can transport a class to a place they can only imagine. And the experience has more impact than a simple picture. Teachers can pan across the scene, look up or down, and even zoom in on important details.

Here are four good sites to check out:

And while we're on the topic of panoramas, I have to share the most recent app I've added to my iPhone collection: 360panorama. This handy inexpensive application uses your iPhone camera to make a 360 VR image in the time it takes for you to turn in a circle. The resulting file is uploaded to your free account on their server and can be shared on a webpage, facebook update or email. What a great way to set up instant mini-fieldtrips for your class. This is worth looking at.

(Thanks Nancy for this promo poster - Scribd document)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Audio recording via a Web-based app

The other day I was helping a teacher who wanted to add audio to her blog. Videos are easy (with Youtube), so are documents (using Scribd). What I really needed was an easy way to embed a short audio file without having to launch a recording program, capture an audio segment, save it as an mp3, upload it to some server space somewhere and then embed. My solution was Chirbit. I can easily record a short piece and then get the embed code to pop it into my blog. (There's a video clip on the Chirbit homepage that runs through the features.) Chirbit will also let you grab the audio from a Youtube clip and embed it.

Check this out on Chirbit

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bibme Makes Bibliographies Effortless

The final task that students complain about the most when doing a project, is the bibliography. Maybe because they always forget to get complete bibliographic details when note-taking, or maybe because parsing citing info for websites is such a pain! And of course, who can remember where to put the commas, periods and indents. Writing a bibliography is an arcane art to most kids.

Enter "" This site takes all the fuss out of creating a citation, automating the process almost completely. Scan the ISBN of your reference, or type in the title, and presto, it's added to your list. Create a free account and you can even return to your growing bibliography to add references on the fly. Need APA instead of MLA? No problem: switch at the touch of a button. The site even extracts the relevant bits from URLs and adds them. Every student needs to know about this easy to use tool.