turning stones

taking for a spin: tools for The Five 8s

Tag Archives: collaborate

Share Videos in Google Docs

Google Docs

Image via Wikipedia

Google Apps has done it again. This time a new feature in Google Docs where you can upload video files and share it with others. Google Docs has actually become an inaccurate label since it kept on adding different file types to upload.

When I visited my Google Docs account yesterday, this message greeted me:

I tried it out today and liked it. Speed of uploading and processing is acceptable(depends how fast your internet connection is). Google needs to process videos that are uploaded since it uses YouTube’s player. Therefore video files supported by Google also have Youtube support. These are:

  • WebM files (Vp8 video codec and Vorbis Audio codec)
  • .MPEG4, 3GPP and MOV files – (h264 and mpeg4 video codecs and AAC audio codec)
  • .AVI (many cameras use this format – typically the video codec is MJPEG and audio is PCM)
  • .MPEGPS (MPEG2 video codec and MP2 audio)
  • .WMV
  • .FLV (Adobe – FLV1 video codec, MP3 audio)

Video files up to 1GB may be uploaded. You have to be very choosy on which videos to upload though. A standard Google Docs account allows 1GB of storage. Unless you purchase additional space, video files can easily fill that up.

After uploading, you can view your videos and share it just like sharing other files in Docs. This is very helpful for schools where YouTube is blocked and for people who, for one reason or another, do not like uploading to YouTube. Now it would be a nice add for Google Docs to include an embed code so that videos can be embedded to another site. Hopefully, next on Google Docs’ list is a feature to upload audio files. That would be amazing.

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Collaboration in a Jiffy

Image representing Wiggio as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Wiggio is another feature-packed collaboration tool available online. Any group looking for an efficient way to communicate and collaborate will surely benefit from Wiggio. I learned about this from Kelly Tenkely.

Watch a short tutorial about how to use Wiggio.

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Yup… twiducate… no misspelling there. twiducate is social networking for schools. Similar to Edmodo and Kidblog, twiducate introduces kids to social networking, blogging and micro-blogging. It’s a safe environment as all activity is controlled by the teacher including listing up of students without the need for individual email addresses. A free platform for creating your own Twitter-like, micro-blogging site for your class. You can post assignments and messages for your students and others you want to invite into the network. Students can reply to you and to each other.

Watch the video to learn more. Visit twiducate here.

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Getting Kids to Blog Safely

The Operation NExT Team has been encouraging Xavier School teachers to blog about their professional life, their experiences in and out of the classroom, the technologies and strategies that they use, their insights and successes as teachers and formators. Also WordPress is being introduced to students from Grade 5 to High 4 for them to build and maintain their individual Personal Learning Websites(PLWS).

It’s a great leap for Xavier School as teachers and staff and students are starting to blog. You should visit their sites and take a look at what they have to say and learn what they are learning.

WordPress is the preferred platform due to its robust elements, which includes wide layout flexibility and its more open commenting feature. It can be pretty demanding to the uninitiated, first time user. But it gets easy as you use it. So yes, we feel that WordPress is appropriate to our 5th graders. However, we can go even younger. As early as when we start computer classes in 3rd grade.

And yes, we have an age-appropriate WordPress version for them. Welcome KIDBLOG! A simple and secure site teachers can use to create space for students to blog. Here’s how it works:

  1. teacher creates an account using his/her email address
  2. teacher enters user names and assigns passwords for each student in class
  3. teacher tells students to go to the class site
  4. students see a drop down list of user names and log in
  5. voila… they can start blogging
  6. teacher may want everything to run by him/her for approval before publishing

KidBlog is secure because kids do not have to have their own email addresses. The teacher can have control over all posts, reviewing them before it gets published. The teacher has control over who can view and make comments on the blog; either named users(class members) only, or all visitors. This is also a good way to let parents know what their children are doing and learning in class(if you choose that path).

KidBlog is easy to use. User can upload pictures, link sites and videos and comment on each others works. Even if it is simple and does not have all of its features, it has the look and feel of WordPress. I create a class site for Operation NExT Team members and I made viewing public so anyone can visit kidblog.org/larrydlpsnextclass.

A great and fun way to learn!

I have an online newspaper

I created my own online newspaper and I had fun doing it. It was easy, took just several minutes and I learned a lot… coolness. View my online newspaper here inthobpas.newscred.comNewsCred is a site where you can create your own newspaper. Their tagline: Create and Discover Newspapers About the Things You Love. Create your own newspaper in 60 seconds.

So how does it work? After signing up for a free account, you are prompted to select the topics you want published in your newspaper. You have control over what kind of content will appear. Preloaded with content from over 2500 news sources and blogs, you can select relevant, high quality multi-media material that interests you. The result, you have an online newspaper displaying news, features and interesting information personally suited to your preference. What’s more, you can write your editorials and really make it your own.

Your newspaper comes to life with high quality articles, blog posts, beautiful images, videos, Twitter buzz and more which you can share with friends. It could be a good project idea for a class where small groups could create newspapers and share with other groups. As owner of your newspaper, you can follow any newspaper in NewsCred.

Here are some interesting newspapers:

http://eflnews.newscred.com/ http://thecrimejournal.newscred.com/ http://entertainingtvnews.newscred.com/

Go create your newspaper and share it with us!

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