Blogging

Microsoft Sway

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Sway_splash

Microsoft Sway is now in preview and open to anyone to try. Microsoft Sway is an online presentation tool that makes embedding and searching for online content much easier and then makes your presentation available on any device in the cloud. Sway is not fully functional as yet and has a few features labelled as coming soon, but playing with ‘Sway’ in it’s current form you get to see the potential of this application. You can choose from different layouts and themes to quickly give your presentation a good consistent look. You can share the content you create with Facebook, Twitter, share a direct link or embed your ‘Sway’ into your website or blog. There is currently an IOS app available and hopefully an android version will be coming soon. Below is a promotional video of what is possible with Microsoft Sway.

link Microsoft Sway

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Glogster Poster Maker Tool

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Glogster is a web 2.0 tool that allows primary students to create posters that is embellished with all types of multimedia content. Aside from the artistic approach, the main purpose of the tool is to increase student engagement, wherein they have a myriad of ways to express themselves and learn from each other. How will this tool trigger and enhance children’s artistic knack?

Mobile Version

With Glogster’s popularity, the company has decided to create a mobile counterpart. This is the developers move to cater the increasing number of students that use smart devices for learning. Recently, it rolled out an update to bring in new features optimised for the iOS 7. For elementary students, they will find the graphics more appealing when using the iPhone 5S with iOS 7. As stated by O2, the handset comes with a Retina display, making the glogs brilliant on App-view feature.

 

From an educator’s perspective

When asking students to create a glog, you are able to incorporate four major skills – speaking, reading, writing, and listening. According to Box of Tricks, creating a glog combines all of these motor skills in a single work of art. Teachers can compile specific lessons through Glogster, which students can revisit anytime, anywhere.

 

From a student’s perspective

Aside from its benefit brought to educators, Glogster imposes more beneficial effects on the perspective of a primary learner.

·         Virtual Collaboration

Students can articulate their thoughts with a great deal of independence. The beauty about creating a poster is that a child can work with his peers, whether in the same or different location. Instead of a single account, you need to set-up a group account for your pupils, which require a different set of passwords.

·         Articulation

The tool makes it easier for kids to articulate their thoughts in a concise manner, as the bubbles don’t offer a vast space for writing. Students will need to strategize to fit their thoughts in a small  space, as they will include visuals, effects, and videos in a limited frame.

·         Freedom

While teachers can offer a rubric that will serve as a guide to making a glog, it’s still in the student’s discretion whether the resulting artwork will be simple or in depth.

 

10-minute Artwork

The beauty about using this web 2.0 facility is that you can create a masterpiece in just 10 minutes. By default, there are about 26 pages of walls that offer a wide selection of templates you want to use. . For personalisation, kids can upload their own photo, and use it as a background.

 

Glogster as a social networking platform

Aside from being a publishing platform, CNET notes that the facility doubles as a social networking site. You can create a learning community, where you can add your students as a friend. There is also a featured section called “top glogs,” where your students’ artworks get a place for comments and ratings. If a user permits, a glog can be embedded on Facebook, Edmodo, and Twitter.

However, the tool doesn’t allow its users to integrate a pre-existing photo or video-hosting service to be used during the process of creating the poster.Students must  upload both videos and images for processing first, before finally attaching them to the final glog.

Despite the absence of a tutorial mode, what makes the web 2.0 tool child-friendly is the glitter graphics, and the easy to navigate tools.

Along with Kizoa, how do you see Glogster being used in the classroom?

About the Author
Jennifer Birch is a TechieDoodlers blogger with a wide knowledge on web 2.0 tools. She dedicates most of her time trying out new applications, especially in unleashing her artistic knack. If you want to suggest a great tool, you can reach Jenni on Twitter.  

murally

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logo-murally-high-res

Murally as their slogan says, is a whiteboard on steroids. This web 2.0 tool is still in beta, but is free to use. Murally is like a giant pinboard that grows with the digital content you add to it. Yo can drag and drop files, photos and video and collaborate with others. A really cool feature is the ability to create a presentation of your content by marquee selecting the content you want on each page. Please find below a video demonstration.

http://beta.mural.ly/link

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Kizoa

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Kizoa is my favourite web 2.0 photo presentation tool. It has a lot of great features that I find helpful as a blogger. Kizoa allows you to edit photos, create fantastic slideshows, add effects, add transitions or create collages. Kizoa has many ways to share your creations or embed them into your blog. I have used Kizoa for two years now and have found it to be an excellent tool to share multiple photos on my classroom blog. The best feature is the unlimited storage of photos, if you purchase the Premium account (US$2.49 per month). This is an attractive feature, particularly for those with limited blog storage. It is also a way of having an online backup of your photos. The free version gives you 1GB of storage and access to the free elements for slideshows, collages and photo-editing. The free version also allows you to share your creations through email or facebook. A good way to look at Kizoa and decide if it is worth going Premium. I have included below a YouTube clip that briefly explores Kizoa’s features.

 

www.kizoa.com

 

 

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Classroom Blogs to Follow: Mrs. Yollis’ Classroom Blog

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This is the first Classroom Blog I am featuring on Primary Edutech and is one I think you should follow. This blog was one of the first class blogs to inspire me to go on and produce my own classroom blog.

Mrs Linda Yollis is the teacher who runs the blog. She has a wealth of experience and vision for using a classroom blog effectively and building great relationships with other classes around the world. You can find out more about Linda Yollis by going to her ‘Meet Mrs. Yollis‘ page.

This blog has won many awards, the most recent being the Edublog awards 2011 for ‘Best class blog’ and the ‘Most influential blog post’. The posts on this classroom blog provide some fantastic ideas and great examples of how to use a classroom blog effectively. Many of the posts are related to the interactions Mrs Yollis’ class has with their Quad Blogging buddies. Video and photos are used very effectively to communicate each post.

Be sure to check out the following great ideas and resources….

http://yollisclassblog.blogspot.com.au

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Photosynth

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Photosynth is a set of tools you can use to create really effective 3D panoramic experiences. You can share you Photosynths on Facebook, publish them to Bing maps or for most people embed then in your blog or website. You have the option of creating either a ‘Panorama’ or ‘Synth’. A Panorama is a 3D 360° panorama. To create one you need to simply take many photos from one spot, turning in a circle to take photos on three different planes. I personally start with taking photos in the middle plane with about a 50% overlap. Then I do the high plane and then the low plane. Then you need to use a program called ‘Image Composite Editor’ to stitch these photos together. Then you upload this file using the desktop Photosynth Application. There are detailed instructions on this process on the Photosynth website http://photosynth.net/about.aspx. Below is an example of a Photosynth I created of my classroom over a year a go using this process.

A Synth is created to show something in more detail. Creating a Synth is a more straightforward process. You start by taking many photos of the subject or area. Both close up shots and wide shots. These photos are then uploaded through the Photosynth Desktop Application to create your Synth. Below is a YouTube clip explaining this process. I have also added a really good example of a Synth of the Recent Royal Wedding showing how hundreds of photos of the event have been merged together to show you in detail this grand event.

Photosynth is also available as an iPhone app that can also be used on your iPad. This app can create 360° 3D panoramas. The app is free.

 

Photosynth is a great free tool that can be used to share many things in your classroom or events that occur in your school. It is also a great way to give parents and your community the opportunity to have a virtual tour  of your school.

http://photosynth.net

 iPhone app Photosynth

 

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PageFlip-Flap

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PageFlip-Flap is a free way to create flipbooks from your Microsoft Office, PDF, and Movie files. All you need to do is upload your file and then you will receive an email with a link to your flipbook. You can then share your flipbook via facebook, twitter, email or your blog. Teachers could use this to share self produced resources with your students or students could use it to share their work in a user friendly fashion.

http://www.pageflip-flap.com/

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Qwiki

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Qwiki’s aim is to turn information into an experience. Well it certainly achieves that and has many positive implications for education. Qwiki is a search engine that pulls information from a variety of sources from around the web including images, videos, infographics and narrates it back to you in a multimedia experience. Qwiki makes information more accessible for students with learning needs, particularly those student who find reading difficult. Qwiki is also available as an iPad app. I have included below a Vimeo demonstrating the Qwiki iPad app and two embedded Qwiki’s on a search of my home town ‘Adelaide’ and a topic that will be heavily researched in the coming months the ‘Olympics’.

View Adelaide and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

View Olympic Games and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.

http://www.qwiki.com/

Qwiki iPad app

 

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SpiderScribe

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SpiderScribe is an online mind mapping and barinstorming tool. This is the best mind mapping tool I have seen online and the best thing is, it’s FREE! You can add text, images, upload files to be accessed from your mind map, include a calendar of events or special dates or include a map. All the items added to your mind map are called stencils. These stencils can be customized by changing their colour, line thickness etc. You can collaborate with others on the same mind map if you choose. The best feature of all is you can embed your mind map into a blog or website. This allows students and teachers to share their creations through classroom blogs or websites. The Free version allows you unlimited public maps, 3 private maps and 300Mb of file and image space. There are paid options available. Be sure to check out the video tour of this product on their website.

http://spiderscribe.net/

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SideVibe

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SideVibe is a web gadget that can be used to greater guide your students through an activity on the web. SideVibe enables teachers to create an online guide that hovers over the top of the content being viewed on the net. Teachers can add links to content, list questions or host a threaded discussion. Teachers can view the input from all their students or give feedback by going to the SideVibe website and logging in. Teachers can sign up for ‘Free’ allowing them 50 student accounts. There are paid options if you require more accounts. Please view the YouTube clip below for a more detailed explanation of SideVibe.

 

I am looking forward to trying SideVibe with my class on our next project.

http://www.sidevibe.com/

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