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Word Clouds and Screen Captures

Word Cloud of Topics Presented at CUE

(Click for a full-sized PDF version)

This post shows an easy way to create word cloud graphics and screen capture video tutorials. The graphic above is a word cloud generated from topics presented at the CUE (Computer-Using Educators) Conference in California this March. We created it in a few simple steps: Read the rest of this entry »

YouTube EDU and YouTube for Schools

YouTube offers a wealth of educational videos that can be a great resource for presentations and teaching. Unfortunately, it offers at least as much content that is completely inappropriate for educational use. To protect students from this material and to keep them from getting distracted by extraneous videos, many schools now completely block access to YouTube. But this protection comes at a cost to both teachers and students. To help schools safely deliver high quality educational videos to their students, YouTube has created three new sections of their site:

  • YouTube EDU is a sub-section of YouTube that contains hundreds of thousands of  high-quality educational videos from sources like Staford, PBS, TED, and the Khan Academy.
  • YouTube for Schools is a free service that allows schools to configure their networks so that students can watch only YouTube EDU videos and videos that the school has added to an approved list. Comments and related videos are disabled, and the only search results that will appear are for YouTube EDU videos.
  •  YouTube Teachers is a site that shows you how to use YouTube in the classroom and includes hundreds of playlists created by teachers for teachers. The playlists are organized by subject and grade and are aligned with common educational standards.

See how Chicago and other school districts are changing their policies in this New York Times article. To learn more, click the links above, or watch this quick intro video.

Digital Storytelling Resources

In the process of attending the recent 2012 Computer Users in Education (CUE) conference, a number of resources were shared that dealt with digital media production as well as digital storytelling. These resources and those that have come forward from my own experience can provide TRIO programs with some powerful video editing, media resources, and utilities that are either free or very inexpensive. Read the rest of this entry »

The Best Web 2.0 Graphics Software

At the 2012 Computer-Using Educators (CUE) conference in Palm Springs, CA there was a gathering of educators to learn about the latest applications and practices for integrating technology into instruction. One of the many sessions attended was one on quality online graphics applications presented by David Hoerger. This post will share a few of the online applications that are either free or require minimal licensing costs to be used by educational programs. Each of these digital image manipulation applications has the ability to:

  • Provide basic editing tools
  • Apply effects to an image or photograph
  • Provide basic capabilities similar to Adobe Photoshop Elements

The top three graphics application programs with the most features that were found to be of particular interest were:

Aviary (

Aviary is a suite of powerful creative applications that are available just by using your Web browser. This includes:

  •  Phoenix, an image editor that utilizes layers, masks, effects, undo history, and other desirable functionality.
  • Peacock, a powerful effects editor
  • Talon, a screen capture application
  • Raven, a vector editor
  • Roc, a music creator
  • Myna, an audio editor
  • Falcon, an image markup application
  • Toucan, a swatch color editor

In addition, Aviary has a fantastic set of tutorials and supports education by providing classroom accounts for educators. Read the rest of this entry »

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