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Create Free Web and Text Polls

Poll Everywhere LogoIncreasingly our staff and students now communicate by text messages or via the Web on their smartphones. Poll Everywhere provides a quick and easy way to gather data from anyone with a cell or smart phone or computer. It lets you ask a question and collect responses via the web, text messaging, or even Twitter. You use it the same way you might use “clickers” or responders with an audience. The polls can be shared by downloading and placing poll slides into your PowerPoint presentation, displaying them from a web page with your projector, or even emailing or embedding them into your web site.

With Poll Everywhere you can create free polls for up to 40 people in just a couple of minutes. Premium plans are available with additional features and for polling more users.

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Create Short URLs and QR Codes

Google URL Shortener

The Google URL Shortener takes long web addresses and generates a shorter version that is easier share via email, twitter or on the Web. It also generates a QR (Quick Response Code) for your web page that can be read by most smart phones and reports statistics on visitors to your site.

To use it, just go to http://goo.gl, enter the full URL and click on the Shorten URL button. The short URL will be created instantly. Note that all these short web addresses are publicly accessible. You (or anyone else) can also view the traffic to the shortened URL by adding “.info” to the end of the address.

Below is an example of a short URL (goo.gl/rLft1) generated this way for the home page of this blog (http://depts.washington.edu/triolive/wordpress/ttt/) .
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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 (http://advanced.aviary.com/)

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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