turning stones

taking for a spin: tools for The Five 8s

Tag Archives: create

YouTube videos minus the hodgepodge

YouTube is a great source of videos for learning. That is why many teachers clamor for schools not to block the site in campus. Because of this, schools are beginning to ease network restrictions for YouTube. When using a YouTube video in class, teachers do not like all the other clutter around the main frame in the YouTube site. The related videos, the ads, the comments and other things may distract students.

Other than downloading or embedding a video, there are other ways of clearing up the clutter. ViewPure is one tool to do just that. Just copy the YouTube URL of a particular video and paste it on to the ViewPure site. After clicking the Create button, the video is displayed on screen without the hodgepodge. You are given the option to choose a white or black background, get its short link or share on Twitter. Try ViewPure now.

This is great to use with Krunchd when you have multiple videos you want students to watch.

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Send an email to the future you

FutureMe lets you send email messages to yourself at a specified date in the future. Send an email and receive it 30 days or even 30 years from today. It’s an email time capsule where you can write yourself anything you like. It may contain what you are currently feeling, your fears, your aspirations, your rants. And then you get to read them months, even years from now. I am sure you will find some value in that.

Even if FutureMe has been in existence for quite some time(almost 1.3 Million emails sent to the future), I just found out about it recently. I actually forgot all about it already when I received the email I sent to 2 months back to test how it worked. For me, it is like a time capsule which serves as a reminder, not only of the things pertaining to the present, but also of the past. And like a time machine, which brought me back 2 months ago and the prevailing conditions then. Now I’m wondering how it would feel to get an email from myself 1, 5, 10 or 20 years from now.

There is an option where you may make your letter anonymously ‘open’, meaning other people can read what you wrote or to keep it private.

Students may email and tell themselves their objectives and expectations of a certain course. It may be a good exercise of reflection. Click here to send your future you an email.

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Create your own Jeopardy Games

Everyone is familiar with the popular TV game show Jeopardy. Some teachers have actually made their own Jeopardy games using presentation software and their students loved it. What teachers did was to download a Jeopardy-themed Powerpoint template and created and run their games via Powerpoint.

Now you can be Alex Trebek without needing to devise a Jeopardy game on Powerpoint. Visit JeopardyLabs to easily create games without the need for software installation, no registration required and it’s free to use. Just nominate a password for your template, generate your answers/questions, save it and remember the URL JeopardyLabs assigns to your game.

To play, you can just go to the assigned URL and start earning points. You may enter up to 12 individuals/teams. At the bottom of the Jeopardy board is where the scores of the teams/individuals are. Just click the +/- signs to add/subtract points just like how the game is played on TV.

This is a great review activity for your classes. You may even ask students to make their own Jeopardy games based on your lessons.

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Direct your own animated movie


Image by Montreal Tech Watch via Flickr

Xtranormal has been around for quite some time and many have enjoyed creating movies online and publishing them. A number of teachers have used them for various class activities. All one needs to do is sign up for a free account and continue on to make movies. It’s pretty easy to use. Just add elements like actors, script, animation, expression, camera angle, scene and music. After it renders, you can view and publish your movie, share it on YouTube or Vimeo, in Facebook or other networks as well as embed it on your site. Visit Xtranormal here.

Here’s a quick movie I created in under 4 minutes.

Thank you to Lee Kolbert for reminding me about this Web 2.0 text-to-movie tool.

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Tell Stories… Your Stories

Showbeyond is a site I learned about from Ana Maria Menezes. A site where you can create a multimedia slidecast and share it online. Sign up for free and start creating. You can easily grab images, add text and sound to create multimedia stories. You can then save and share them publicly on the site, share to friends, post on social networks or on blogs. You may browse the library of slidecasts submitted by users and maybe you can find suitable material for your cl

asses. Here is an example of a slidecast. This is one of the favorite slidecasts in Showbeyond. Find the slidecast I created on the following post.

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Here’s the Showbeyond slidecast I created


Prezi now supports all common video file…

Prezi now supports all common video file formats. Where before, it was just FLV/F4V, now it’s FLV, F4V, AVI, MOV, WMV, F4V, MPG, MPEG, MP4, M4V, 3GP


Wow! Drag and Drop Images to Docs

Two days ago, Google announced a new enhancement to Google Docs that should improve the way users work on their documents when using images/pictures. Before this, there were three ways of inserting an image: uploading it from your hard drive, pasting an image URL and doing a Google Image Search and selecting any of the search results. But sometimes the exact image you need is on your desktop and you just want to add it to your document quickly. The new enhancement lets you do just that: drag images from your desktop directly into your documents… cool!

For now, the drag and drop functionality is available only for Google Docs. Google hopes to add this to Docs Presentations soon. Also, this is only supported in Chrome, Safari and Firefox. It will be enabled on other browsers as soon as they support the feature.

Convert Files Easy, Fast and Free

This free online file converter lets you convert media easy and fast from one format to another. It supports a lot of different source and destination formats. Since it is online, no software installation is necessary. online-ConVert.com allows conversion of the following media files: Audio, Video, Image, Document, Ebook and includes a hash generator. It handles most audio, video and image files created on different platforms. This free web application automatically downloads your new converted file to your default downloads folder/location.

What’s more, when you are converting large-sized files, it offers to send you an email notification if and when the conversion process is done. This way, you can leave the application running on the background while you do other work on your computer. An added feature of the web app is automatically generating a QRcode shown on the site after a successful conversion and download. The QRcode may then be captured with your camera-phone and a direct download link is generated. This allows you to download the converted file(Audio/Video) to your mobile phone. Go checkout the site from here.

A nice little resource for the younger s…

A nice little resource for the younger students. Twisty Noodle has thousands of coloring pages and practice writing worksheets. EED Teachers might have a use for this.

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