Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 19- Issuu

Today's challenge is issuu.

Would you like an EASY way to turn a document into a beautiful online flip style book?

If so, issuu is the free service for you. The process is hassle-free; just select any document on your computer and upload it to issuu.

Get started by opening an account with issuu.
Select create account located in the upper right corner of the website. Enter all of your information. You must select the box at the bottom of the form to accept the terms of service.

Upload a document to issuu by selecting Upload in the upper right corner. Select the blue Browse button to locate the document on your computer. Note: Document size is limited to 500 pages and 100mb per publication. Issuu supports PDF, DOC, PPT, ODT, WPD, SXW, RTF, ODP, and SXI file formats. Documents must be single-page layouts.

Fill out the General info portion of the page and select the blue Upload file.

Once converted, your book will appear on a shelf in My Library. To find your library, select the blue triangle icon next to your username in the upper right corner of the website. Select My Library from the drop down menu. Sharing your publication is as simple as selecting the share button and typing recipients' email addresses into the box (red arrows). Issuu provides you with an embed code if you would like to post your publication to any website, blog, or wiki and a direct link address to your publication. The direct link is located at the bottom of the share screen (blue arrow).

Issuu would be a great application to publish class newsletters, newspapers, or student work in a stylish format.

Your assignment: On the blog share your thoughts about how issuu can be used in your classroom.

Happy publishing!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 18 - Capzles

a storytelling tool (similar to Photo Story 3 and the like) disguised as a timeline (not unlike Xtimeline and TimeToast) with a built in blog.  And if that weren't enough, Capzles' storylines have the potential to be collaborative in that viewers can comment on "Moments" in the "Capzle" or on the storyline as a whole.

Before we proceed, let's cover some Capzles specific terminology:
Capzles the container that holds the storyline. You can title it, tag and categorize it, add a description, fill it with content, and personalize its design.
Moments the content in the Capzle: documents, photos, videos, blog entries or audio files that are uploaded to the Capzle. You can also add titles, descriptions, tags, date/time, privacy settings and location to each item. Moments appear as a thumbnail image on the timeline.
Stack a collection of moments that are "stacked" by event or theme. The first item in a stack is the thumbnail image on the timeline. Each item can have specific information attached to it just as you do for moments.  By clicking on a stack in the storyline you open the set for individual viewing.  This provides potential for using Capzle as a digital portfolio for multiple projects.

There are a number of ways you can share
a finished Capzle with others. The most
basic being using a link. When you are finished,
the share icon highlights the compatible social media
options as well as indicates that you can embed
a storyline like the one at the top of this post
or send an email to recipients.
The Create tab is where the magic happens--once you open this tab you notice an intuitive menu on the left side of the screen.

Files formats that can be uploaded into a Capzle:
Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDFs for documents
JPG, GIF, PNG, BIT files for images (make sure these are oriented correctly before uploading)

MP3 files for background music or audio
MP4, AVI, MOV files for videos

Note: There is a button the claims you can
"Watch a video tutorial" but it doesn't work
so I've included a video later in this post.

Once you join the site you can build your profile. This is where your current projects and recent activity are listed. Here you can also store favorite Capzles and Moments, keep a list of friends and communicate with said friends.  All of this is located under the My Stuff tab. Imagine you create a Capzle as a digital textbook for a unit.  You can always go back to it and edit at anytime. The same is true if you are using the tool for a digital portfolio. When you have new content, just go to My Stuff, select My Capzles and you're ready to edit.  Flip roles, and as a teacher who has assigned his students Capzles for portfolios, you can favorite each student's Capzle so that when you go to My Stuff you can see all their work on a convenient list.

Some standout details:
The built in blog ranks high on my list of impressive features.
You know we only include free tools in this challenge so that's a given, but Capzles also offers unlimited timelines

Students could share their work on their favorite social media tools.  Does your school have a FaceBook page yet? If so, what a great opportunity for publicly displaying student work!

There's an app for that!

Trying to imagine what's possible with this tool?
Kelly Tenkely, "iLearn Technology" blogger and educator, shares how she integrated Capzles into a science unit.
Amy Oelschlager, blogger of "Confessions of a Nerdy Teacher", used Tenkely's screencast tutorial to get started with the tool and shares two of her favorite Capzles found in the site's archive. You might check out the Explore tab yourself and look at the existing categories. 

Your assignment: Share how you could use Capzles in your work. Try to be specific as I've shared general ideas in this post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 17- SlideRocket

Today's challenge is an amazing online presentation tool called SlideRocket:

There are a lot of reasons why we like SlideRocket. First, it is collaborative, so multiple people can work on the presentation. Second, it includes lots of interactive features that create a more engaging presentation experience. Third it is hosted online, so your presentation can be shared in all kinds of ways. Finally, SlideRocket is a powerful tool that is completely free to you and your students via Google Apps for Education.

So, you and your students can access this free education version of the software, using your EVSC Google IDs.

To access SlideRocket, choose the drop-down menu titled "More" on your Google Docs home page.

Then, click on the link titled "SlideRocket." This will open the SlideRocket interface.

Once you open SlideRocket, you will be invited to explore an interactive demo and video. I encourage you to "take the tour."

Here are some links related to using SlideRocket in the classroom:

Enriching Learning in Any Subject with SlideRocket
Making a Video with SlideRocket and Jing
SlideRocket YouTube Channel
SlideRocket Slide Design Guide

Also, SlideRocket has created a Player App for the iPad so you can show your amazing SlideRocket presentations directly from the iPad that you may win by participating in this challenge.

Your assignment: Explore the SlideRocket program. Take the tour. Try creating a SlideRocket for your next bellringer or mini-lesson. Then, share your experiences. What did you like about the tool? What is missing? How does SlideRocket compare to other presentation tools you've found? If you've used SlideRocket before, share a link to a SlideRocket you've created. Most importantly, how do you imagine this might impact your professional practice?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 16 - Little Bird Tales

Your Assignment: Go through the Prezi above to learn about today's tool. Little Bird Tales is just one of many digital storytelling tools. Consider the different skills you are teaching within your content.  How could you integrate a resource like Little Bird Tales?

Additional resources for setting up a FREE teacher account are included in the following PDF.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

15 days down, 15 days to go.

Congratulations to those of you who have put forth the determination to live up to the challenge and made the halfway point! With 6,000 pageviews from more than a dozen countries, we feel that this has been a very worthwhile experiment. Kudos to our blog posters who have put some amazing new tools in our hands, and many thanks to our readers who have made some great contributions as well. In imagining this project, we really felt that the posted comments about classroom application would be a powerful component for teachers who visit long after the challenge is over. 

Today is also a landmark because the coveted prize has arrived on my desk. In a few short weeks, one of our EVSC teachers will win the iPad 2 that I hold in my hands! Because there is much at stake and because your comments are valuable to us, I want to take this opportunity to clarify what we are looking for.

The answer is ‘practical application.’ From this point forward, new comments will be judged strictly on whether or not they provide an idea for how you might use the tool with your students. If they don’t, they don’t get you in the drawing. And notice that I said ‘might.’ We certainly don’t expect that you would put each of these tools into practice in a few weeks and report on their use. All we ask is that you think about how you might use it, and share those ideas with us. Learn on!t! s into practice in a few weeks and report on their use. All we ask is that you think about how you might use it, and share those ideas with us. Learn on!

Day 15 - Prezi

Congratulations and way to go! Welcome to Day 15!

"Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them. The result: visually captivating presentations that lead your audience down a path of discovery."

At there are a few quick tutorials to get you started. The Prezi people pride themselves on making the software intuitive and easy to use with simple, yet powerful tools.

There is even a feature that will help you convert any Powerpoint or Keynote presentation into a editable Prezi.

Click here for a Sample Prezi.

Opt for the Free "Edu Enjoy" subscription!
Prezi, like many other web 2.0 tools, offers its software as a free "Public" version in addition to its two tiered subscriptions ("Enjoy" and "Pro") that are paid annually. For first time users, you may subscribe directly to the Edu Enjoy subscription for free. For those of you that have already created a Public account, you can upgrade for free to the Edu Enjoy subscription! Edu Enjoy gives you 400mb of additional storage over the Public account in addition to premium support. With Edu Enjoy you can also make your Prezi's private and share them only with whom you choose.

iPad Friendly!
As an added bonus, Prezi also has a free "Prezi Viewer" app in the iTunes Store made for the iPad.

Your Assignment:
1. On create an account if you don't already have one and make a Prezi.
2. On the Blog...share your thoughts about how Prezi can be used in the classroom.

Optional: Share a link to your Prezi for others to see/use.