Wednesday, November 23, 2011

We have a guest blogger today

Today's tool is being introduced by a middle school student who participates in her school's student tech team. I met her last month and we chatted about what got her involved in the group.  She shared her general interest in learning new things and specifically creating music with family. I suggested she check out Ujam. A couple of  weeks later I heard how she and her brother took a spelling list and turned it into a song. Of course she was proud that her brother aced his test as a result. Naturally, we think your students will get something of value out of today's tool.

Day 22 - Ujam



I am honored to be able to blog as part of the 30 Day Challenge. Ujam is a phenomenal tool that is easy to use. The Ujam.com website allows teachers or students to make their own music and not have to worry about copyright issues. You could use the music you make to put in a presentation or to just have fun and create "study-songs". I will show you how.

1) Once you create a profile, you will see a button that says "Go Jam". Click the button.
2) When the "Go Jam" button is pressed this is what your screen will look like.
If you want vocals, click "record vocals or instrument". To upload a file from your computer click, "upload audio file". To do just instruments click "rejam song template".
3) Once you have clicked your choice and have started making your song or adding instruments, you can change the chords used for that certain tune. To learn more about how Ujam works, you can watch the video.

Your Assignment: In what ways can see yourself or your students using Ujam?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 21 - Fotobabble


Fotobabble.com is a tool that adds a voice tag to individual photographs. With fotobabble you can choose a picture from your photo library , your Facebook account or directly from the web using the images direct URL. Adding your voice is as easy as pressing the record button. In just a few seconds you get a narrated fotobabble to share with the world or a smaller audience if that is what you choose. Let's take a look at how it works.

In order to create "babbles" you need to create an online account. If you have a facebook account, you can easily set fotobabble up to use your facebook login so that you do not need to remember another login. Take a look at this screencast to see how to create a babble.





Below is the babble that was created in the tutorial. I used the embed code given to me and pasted it into the blog.


Features:
  • up to 60 second recordings
  • JPG, PNG, and GIF image support
  • mp3, flv, and wav audio format support
  • images larger than 2MB are resized by server fotobabble before upload
  • one-click share to facebook and twitter
  • iPhone app
Coming soon...
  • slideshow feature
  • multiple voice recordings on the same picture
  • text comments
  • ratings
  • Blackberry, Android and other mobile device support
Here are a couple of Q & A's from the site that may be helpful:

  • Q. What is that message box that pops up that says "Allow", "Deny"?
  • A. Fotobabble uses Adobe Flash to perform the recording of your voice from your microphone. Flash has a built in security feature that asks for your permission before accessing your microphone. To record your voice click "Allow".
  • Q. Can I stop that "Allow", "Deny" box from always coming up when I want to record?
  • A. You can stop this message box from coming up every time by right-clicking (or ctrl-click on Mac), selecting "Settings". On the screen that says "Allow www.fotobabble.com to access your camera and microphone" check "Allow" and "Remember". Then click Close.

Your Assignment:
Comment on how you could use this to enhance the learning of your students. Do you see this as a presentation tool? Would it be most useful as a teacher creation tool or a student creation tool? Please give examples of possible uses.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 20- Voki

Here is a special treat for Day 20.  Click on the play button below:



You can create your own Voki account at Voki.com

There are lots of different Voki avatars to choose from. Each Voki can be customized in terms of appearance, background, player theme, and voice. You can record your own voice or choose from several different digitized voices that can speak in different languages and accents.

Once you generate your Voki, you can embed it in any digital environment by copying and pasting the HTML code. Even better, there are buttons that allow you to automatically embed your Voki in many of the most popular digital worlds, including blogs, websites, and social media sites.

Here's a tutorial to help you get started:



I also recommend that you spend some time exploring the Learn Tab inside of Voki.com

Voki has also recently created a pay service that allows teachers to manage student Vokis online with lots of additional functionality:



Even better, though, Voki has a free lesson plan database that you can search for ideas related to Voki in the classroom. This database is available to anyone without the pay service, so I encourage you to explore and share your ideas as well.

Your Assignment: Create a Voki, explore the Voki resources, and report back with your ideas about how you could use Voki in your classroom or professional practice.