Posts Tagged ‘web 2.0’

Photoshop goes 2.0!

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

Oh yes! Oh yes! The Web 2.0 app I’ve been waiting for is now Web 2.0, free and online. It’s Photoshop Express! (Sign up fast to get the personal URL of your choice. :)

It’s beta and undoubtedly new features will be added, but right now it lets you upload photos, crop, rotate, retouch, etc. The interface seems very intuitive (compared to Photoshop or the Gimp) And, of course, optionally, you can share your photos.

One omission, at first glance, is that they don’t offer a Creative Commons license option. (I’m emailing the suggestion to them.) However, their terms of use (again, at a first quick read) don’t seem onerous like some other content sharing sites.

Bravo, Adobe!

Side benefit of Web 2.0

Tuesday, July 24th, 2007

Here’s a nice side benefit to Web 2.0: When the batteries on your laptop die, you can just grab another one and keep working!

Differentiating Instruction with Mobile Technology

Monday, July 2nd, 2007

At NECC last week, I presented a session called “Using Mobile Technology to Differentiate and Enrich Instruction.” The ISTE folks had wanted to podcast the session, but I wasn’t crazy about the legal agreement they were using. (It wasn’t Creative Commons and gave pretty extensive rights to Apple.)

So….I created my own digital version of this session for folks to download:

Video version (streaming, for viewing in a browser; loads faster, but lower quality)

If anyone is interested in a higher resolution version to share with folks who weren’t able to attend, email me, and I’ll try to send you a CD.

For those who are interested, I audio recorded this with a very inexpensive Olympus WS-100 pocket recorder. I edited the audio in Audacity and brought it all into Windows Movie Maker for editing. The visuals included exported jpgs from my presentation slides and screen-capture videos made with Camstudio. I used HandShare to create the Palm movies (which is the same software I used to present). Creating the whole thing took about 4 hours.

It was a lot of fun making this and was a good way to reflect on my own style of presenting (and hopefully refine it for upcoming events).

I hope this is a useful resource for you all.

Video proliferation

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

I love the recent explosion of user-created video content that’s going on in the world. It’s creative, thought-provoking, and empowering. I’ve also written previously about the great potential of video to help differentiate instruction and enrich student learning.

However [rant coming]…the wide variety of video formats, codecs, etc. is driving me crazy! The more time I spend with video, the more time I spend with conversion tools and help pages about what device and software use what format and what codec, and the more time I spend mumbling about why this *%#%&*(# video won’t play right.

One tool I’ve found really useful for this though is Zamzar. This is a free online converter that works not only with video, but also with images, docs, and audio. One really useful thing this tool does very well is to convert videos from YouTube and TeacherTube, so that you can view them on a variety of devices such as iPods and handhelds. You just upload the video (or a link) and select the format you want. Then they email you a link for the converted file. (They do seem to have some DNS problems with their email system, but I’ve found it works well with gmail accounts, so if you have problems getting an email, try that.)

As with all web-based content, make sure to watch for copyright and attribution issues. And with all Web 2.0 services, you should read the Terms of Service.

And for those who are curious, the name is a take-off on Gregor Samsa, intended to connote transformation. :)

Google tools rule

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

If you haven’t started using Google’s Web 2.0 tools, check them out! They let you create word processed documents, spreadsheets, and more in a browser — no Office suite required. A really cool side benefit of these tools is that you can access your documents from any browser and even collaborate on documents with others. Oh yeah, and they’re free.

I was initially pretty skeptical [my normal frame of mind] about the potential of Web 2.0 type tools to replace Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Now that I’ve used them though, the idea is growing on me.

With the recent announcement of a forth-coming presentation (read: PowerPoint-like) application, this suite suite will be adding a piece we’ve all been looking for.

Another critital piece that is apparently in the works is the ability to sync documents to the desktop for offline use. This is a pretty important piece for schools (many of which still don’t have 100% reliable connectivity) and for those of us who spend a lot of time on planes.

Every time I’m in a school and hear a kid telling some variation on the “the-computer-ate-my-homework” story (“My document was here and I have no idea what happened to it,” “I forgot my USB drive,” etc.), I think about the potential of these tools. Pretty exciting stuff. And did I mention that they’re free? :)

[Image credit: Image courtesy of Google Inc. GOOGLE is a trademark of Google Inc. ]