A Great Issuu!

July 3rd, 2010 llcowell Posted in design theory, web 2.0 tools No Comments »

Embedding this digital book to showcase the Issuu digital publishing tool.  There is no doubt that Mike Zimmer did a great job in putting this together.  This is an absolute MUST have tool!

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Aviary Offers Great Accessibility

June 29th, 2010 llcowell Posted in LiteracyRemix, visual learning, web 2.0 tools No Comments »

Aviary (http://aviary.com) offers a free suite of online media editing tools that rivals the pricey software suites many of us are using in our schools.  As educators, we know that student achievement comes with both practice and practical applicaiton, and yet, most students do NOT have access to these same tools at home, and likely never will.  If students are to incorporate the tools we teach at school into their daily lives,  it’s time to start teaching with tools that are more accessible.  The Aviary suite includes:

  • a layer-based image editor (Phoenix) – png, gif, jpg, tif,
  • a vector illustrator (Raven) – svg, eps
  • a swatch editor (Toucan) for creating color schemes using color wheel tools or an image uploaded for inspiration
  • a image mark-up tool (Falcon) in tandem with a image capture browser plug-in called Talon is great for labeling and highlighting.
  • audio remix editor (Myna) (download as mp3, wav or embed)
  • a music creator (Roc) with 50 instruments that allows you to create loops
  • an visual effects editor (Peacock) that Aviary calls a “lab,” this tool provides powerful and sometimes complex tools for experienced artists or a playground for people who want to tinker.

The creators of Aviary software have committed themselves to making powerful tools available to artists in all genre, in an effort to grow both interest and contributions to the creative commons. Images published by the community of members are largely available for REMIX.  These tools promote visual literacy in action and offer a generation of learners the opportunity to participate as media authors as well as audience.

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Pay Attention….

May 13th, 2010 llcowell Posted in mobility, web 2.0 tools No Comments »

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Building a Lexicon with Lexipedia

April 6th, 2010 llcowell Posted in teaching & learning, web 2.0 tools No Comments »

Where a lexicon is the knowledge that a native speaker has about a language, Lexipedia offers us all an opportunity to examine the nuances of meaning that words/related words share…in English and in a number of other languages.  I can imagine uses beyond simple word definition/selection.  Consider having students explore similar words across languages to discover root words and meanings.

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Prezi for Presentation

March 2nd, 2010 llcowell Posted in web 2.0 tools 2 Comments »

I’ve played with Prezi a few times and recently took the leap and used the tool to present both my 2010 School Board Report and information for AP students attending a plagiarism workshop.  The visual impact of the presentation (more like navigating around a room rather than through a linear show) attracts student attention.  Following the plagiarism presention, a number of students have made the jump to using the tool for their own presentations.  It’s so easy to learn and elicits enough “wows,”  why wouldn’t they.  Take a spin through the plagiarism presentation below:

My only issue at this point is the difficulty I’ve had upgrading to an educational account, since I initially signed up as a public user.  Missed my activation email in the daily flood of messages and now I just can’t seem to get that upgrade to go through.

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In a Word Cloud

February 10th, 2010 llcowell Posted in web 2.0 tools No Comments »

In a recent post, Tech Tools & Pedagogy II – Word Clouds, Marisa Constantinides offers a great review of online “word cloud” applications (such as Wordle) that allow learners to analyze word choice and much more.  The comparison chart is particularly helpful if teachers are looking to implement word clouds for very specific purposes. Applications include:  Wordle | Wordshift | Word Mosaic | WordItOut | Tagul.  My samples in order below…using the 2010 Board Report intro :0)





WORD MOSAIC (using my shape)






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TouchGraph…in touch?

February 10th, 2010 llcowell Posted in web 2.0 tools No Comments »

The TouchGraph  javascript app is a nifty little way to explore the how words or websites are related on the web.  Below represents the word “libraryremix.”  touchgraph

Specialized TouchGraph apps allow you to graph friends, shared photos, and connections in Facebook.  A specialized Amazon app will allow you to graph books, music, and movies according to subject, author, etc.  I can see some pretty nifty ways to visualize resources in the library.

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DebateGraph take the Wiki Further

February 1st, 2010 llcowell Posted in transtextuality, web 2.0 tools No Comments »

This visual/concept based Wiki strives to “make arguements on all sides of any public debate freely available to all and continuously open to challenge and improvement by all.”  More than an interesting application of Web 2.0 technology, this tool actually engages students in the behavior it takes to critically think!  The tool would be great for students who want to prepare for debate, forensics, or even classroom discussion.   When users “create and reshape debates, make new points, and rate/filter arguements,” a community develops around them that encourages deeper level thinking.  As the site notes, this creative commons project promises to

increase the transparency and rigor of public debate everywhere—by making the collective insight and intelligence of the global community freely available to all and filtering out the noise….[enabling] us to visualise and deepen our understanding of the ways in which different debates are semantically interrelated, and ways in which these interrelated debates shape, and are shaped by, each other.

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Google’s Real Time Exposes Real Frustration of Web Searching

January 18th, 2010 llcowell Posted in design theory, learning spaces, search engines, teaching & learning, web 2.0 tools No Comments »

I have to say that while the concept of Google’s “real-time” search results in seductive at first (and a bit awe-inspiring to watch)…it’s real value in the classroom probably lies in its potential for illustrating the rapidly cycling, ephemeral quality of information on the web.  The updates cycle so quickly when “latest” is chosen, it’s difficult to remain oriented.  Considering that orientation with information has proven, already, to be a challenge for learners, I can’t imagine how this is going to make things better.  Some things are just too “gee-whiz.”


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BBC Memory Share

November 25th, 2009 llcowell Posted in web 2.0 tools No Comments »

The BBC MemoryShare is an interesting concept, though I’m disappointed that so many of the memories shared are brief.  In historical research (I was once a museum archivist), it’s quickly apparent that in the past few artifacts were saved from the lives of everyday people.  This project notes its long-term goal as  a fully dynamic service which will enable users to find and search BBC content against date, to create content and to share multi-media content with other users.  At this point, it seems to simply represents an attempt to digitally gather those little bits from everyday folks…hopefully leaving a better record for future anthropologists to study (if they can find the needles in the haystack!). I can’t help but wonder if the effort would be better made if the application used to create this were available for everyone to create their own “themed” memory shares.  Great community building possibilities there.

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