Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Week 6 - Play Week!

I hope you enjoyed working with the different online photo tools last week. I think they are very powerful for sharing photos with your students, parents, and the community. They are also great for sharing personal photos with your family as well.

This week is “Play Week” in our 21 Things workshop. I have three “things” for you to explore and play with to see if you find them useful (or just fun) in your work or personal life. If you are feeling behind, this is a week for you to catch up on the other “things” in the course so far. Once you get caught up, you can go back and play with these tools.

Thing 13 – Online book cataloging and sharing with Shelfari, GoodReads, and LibraryThing

As a librarian, I can’t help but share with you some great online tools that allow you to catalog and share your own personal libraries.  :)  I used Shelfari for a long time (you can visit my page at http://www.shelfari.com/o1514418329), but have recently switched to Good Reads (my pages is at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3581884-cynthia-matzat) as is seems to be the new dominant tool. All three sites are great. I use them to keep track of what I read, share what I’m reading with the teachers in my building, and I use it to get book recommendations from other readers. Each of the sites below has an online tour on the main page to give you an overview of the site. Pick the one you like the best, sign up for a free account (I always use my gmail account when I sign up for free stuff), and give it a try!

Note: These sites should not be shared with elementary students. They can get to book content that would not be appropriate for children, and people’s reviews may also be inappropriate. If you have high school students, this could be a great way for them to share what they are reading and write reviews of books.


Thing 14 – Fun Image Generators with FD’s Flickr Toys

Big Huge Labs/FD’s Flickr Toys
This is a fun site that allows you to create things like movie posters, magazine covers, and more with your photos. You just upload the photo you want to edit, and follow the prompts to create your new graphic.  You can then download the graphic and use it on your blog, website, or you can print it. Explore some of the fun options, and if you create something interesting, post it on your blog post this week. :)

Note: If you like this site and want to use it with students, be sure to sign up for their free educator account. It will get rid of ads and will allow students to sign in without and email address.

Thing 15 – Screencasting with Jing

Jing is not actually a website, but rather free software that you download on your computer. It allows you to take screenshots of anything on your computer and share those images with others. You can also record what you are doing on your computer and make a video/screencast of what you do, complete with audio (similar to the tutorial videos I create for you and post to YouTube). The video files are flash files, so they can’t be uploaded to sites like YouTube, but you can email them to others or put them on the shared drive. I use Jing all of time to when people need help with a quick computer task. I just model on my computer and have Jing record what I’m doing, and then I share the file with them. I also use it to take screen shots of websites I want to share, especially when making a handout for a workshop. Here’s a tutorial video that shows you how Jing works (not made with Jing – it limits the length of the video and I need more time than it allows <grin>).

How to use Jing for screen capture:

How to use Jing to create a screencast:


If you think it is a tool that would be useful to you, go ahead and download it and sign up for an account. Give it a try and see how easy it is to make your own screencast or capture and image.

Week 6 Reflection Task:

Write a post on your blog sharing your thoughts about the "Play Week" tools. How could you use them in your professional or personal life? If you created an image on Big Huge Labs, or did a screen capture or screencast with Jing, add them to your post so we can see your great work. :) Be sure to visit your colleagues' blogs, read some of their reflections, and post a few comments with your thoughts on their reflections for this week.

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