Thursday, April 30, 2009

ViewAt is a new site which is simply amazing for doing panoramas. Any educator interested in doing photography or digital art should really check this site out.

" was born with the idea of creating a virtual space where anybody can upload their photographic works in panoramic format and relate them to the place where they were taken. For that reason, and with the aid of technological developments that have made it possible to set up this visual manager, we aim to take web surfers to almost real spaces. Unlike traditional photography, the panoramic image creates a wrap-around sensation which we have tried to exploit to the full, thanks mainly to Shockwave Flash player, which allows us to include multimedia elements on the webpage and to fantastic developments such as Flash Panoramas and Google Maps.

Basically, ViewAt is a place where people can share/upload there panoramas and then comment on them. Also, if you choose to set your panorama to "public" it allows people to grab the html code and embed in their site/blog. It's a little bit more tricky then just that and some knowledge of html/code would be helpful.

Words can't do this site justice and I recommend checking it out for yourself by clicking here!!

Below is a ViewAt panoramic example...

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Glogster is a site I have known about for quite some time but never really looked at until I found out about their educational section to it (Thanks JJ).

Glogster is a site where you can make online/interactive posters. Now that they have gone the route of "web 2.0" it has quickly become one of my favorite online apps around.

To get started is simple, in fact you don't even need to register if you want to just create one from scratch. However, for education you can sign up for a free "teachers" account and then register up to 200 students. Glogster generates all usernames/passwords so no student email accounts is necessary.

Once, the accounts are created you are good to go. Creating your own poster is very simple and just click on the text/video/sound etc. button, to do what you want. Everything you put on
your poster is at your control and you can upload media straight from your computer as well.

After your Glog/poster is created you can then share it w/ others or set it to private. Also, you can rate/comment on each others Glogs if you so choose (if that option is enabled). You can even embed your poster into your blog/website too.

For more info on Glogster in education click here.

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Chartle is a new site (very early beta) designed to make online charts/graphs. While I don't think it is as dynamic or flashy as Rich Chart Live, I do think it has great potential to be a useful tool in education.

What separates Chartle from other graph designers is the different categories of charts that you can create. Not only can you do your standard bar/line/pie chart, but you can do: time lines, venn diagrams, maps, guages etc.

One of my favorites is the Radar Chart.

It's still to early to tell how well Chartle will stack up to their competetitors but from what I've seen here they are on the right track.

Check out Larry Ferlazzo's blog which introduced me to this application.

Give Chartle a try by clicking here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Gnatter is a site for doing web-based project management. Those of you that are familiar w/ MS Project will feel quite comfortable using Gnatter.

You can manage everything such as: tasks, resources, and calendars. Also, you have the ability to import/export into MS Project.

There is so much that you can do on Gnatter that you really need to see it for yourself. You can link your tasks, create work-flows and charts, etc etc.

For more info click here.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta] is a site I just learned about from Larry Ferlazzo's (I know I mention his name quite a bit, but he really is a valuable resource and great guy!!) incredible blog.

Simply put, (say that ten times fast) is a site that converts your media (audio/video/photos) into a website w/ a click of a button. It is very easy to use and gives you a URL when the conversion is done so that you can share it w/ others.

Below is a pic of all the conversions that does...

My only complaint is that when I was trying to upload video it didn't work all the time. Actually, it only worked on one of my videos. The other videos I tried uploading gave me the following error...

If you'd like to see my successful photo conversion click here, and I plead the fifth if that is me dressed up as a cowboy (photobooth!!!!)

Try it yourself by going here.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Worio is a new search engine (beta) that I just heard about on the excellent blog, Free Technology 4 Teachers. Worio is interesting w/ the way that it handles searches by working "hand-n-hand" w/ keywords to give you the best results.

For example, when you search using Worio (you can also default by Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) it brings up your hits on the left; on the right you see your related results w/ suggested terms. This is what makes Worio unqiue and probably it's most useful feature.

There is a Web 2.0 component to Worio as you can register an account and then create your own searches, add friends, and Worio customizes itself to give you the best "searching" experience.

Below is a search using "technology integration" notice the difference from the left/right sides!

For more info click here.
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Paint Brush

Finally, a free desktop application that lets you paint/draw. Ever since Appleworks went away I've been looking for a program that would replace their drawing/painting application. Paint Brush is that tool.

PB is very similar to MacPaint or even Tux Paint (minus the Kid Pix type stuff) w/ more options. It's very easy to use and you can even import your own photos and draw over that. It has standard save features such as: png, bmp, jpeg, etc. Also, there is a selection tool, eye dropper, shapes, etc. Anyone familiar w/ paint/draw programs will feel right at home here. While Paint Brush doesn't have all the bells/whistles as say other programs, being that it is 100% free it is definitely worth a look.

Enjoy (and I mean that loosely) my xServ example...

For more info click here.
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Polaris is a great little app for monitoring Google Analytics on your desktop. This is ideal for anyone who blogs or does web design as you can have the application running up on your screen w/out having to browse to the website.

It's very simple to install and get going (needs adobe air to run). Once you are setup you can click through a variety of reports that are standard for Google Analytics. Polaris is totally free for those that manage one site. If you manage more then one it costs $15 for multiple sites, definitely worth the investment.

For more info click here.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009


Capzles (Thanks Larry Ferlazzo for the reminder) is a site that has been around for a while which I finally had a chance to test out. After using it, I'd have to say it is probably my favorite online resource for creating Time Lines.

First, of all of these similar type sites, Capzles is easily the nicest looking one. It has a very nice cover flow type feel to it when you are browing your lines.

Second, it is totally "Web 2.0", meaning you can collaborate w/ others on time lines, share, email, embed, etc.

Finally, you can add all sorts of multi-media rich content such as video, audio, photos, etc into your time line which makes it very easy to get the exact look/feel that you are looking for.

Adding background music to your time line is such a great feature!!!

My only concern is about privacy in regards to CIPA/COPPA compliance. They have the typical standard of being 13 to sign up, etc. but I really want to know if there is any filtering/moderation going on.

Below is an example of my favorite time line I've come across so far on Capzles!!!

For more info click here.

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World Digital Library

The World Digital Library is one of the best online resources to find "digital" information on materials from countries/cultures around the world.

Here is an exact quote from their site...


What makes WDL so great is the ability to search the library by: image, timeline, location, topic, etc. Plus, all the resources that come back are in all types of multi-media format: video, audio, photos, etc.

This is definitely worth a look and highly recommended!!!

For more info click here.
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My Hero

I first heard of My Hero from Larry Ferlazzo's blog and I'm glad I did. This is such a great site for creating multi-media rich web pages which are interactive w/in the "My World" community.

Everything must pass an approval process before getting posted online so it abides by CIPA/COPPA compliance.

This is such a great place for students to express their thoughts on influential people in their lives. Plus, w/ the abundance of images/video/audio they have a vast source of information to choose from.

The really great area which every educator should check out is the Teacher's Room. In here you can find lesson plans, links, tutorials, etc.

I highly recommend you check it out by clicking here!!

Below is the actual promotional video on their site.
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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Comet Docs

Comet Docs is a great new site that lets you convert your files online. This is nothing new as there are a bunch of sites that do online file conversion but CD might just be the best.

What separates Comic Docs from other sites is it's ease of use and the ability to convert files of over 50 different ways. For example, you can do: Word to PDF, XLS to CSV, XML, MP3, etc etc. Also, you can do file comparison and information analysis as well.

Once you have selected the file and format you want to convert, just click the send button and your conversion will be emailed to you for download.

What I love best about CD is the great user interface which changes depending on what type of file you choose, so by clicking on an AVI file it will tell you what type of conversion it can do.

Give it a try by clicking here.

Doodle Wall

Doodle Wall is a site I first heard about from Larry Ferlazzo, who has an excellent review of it here. It's basically a site where you register an account that gives you a "wall" that you can draw on. I would compare it to Art Pad in that respect just not as fancy.

After creating some drawings and testing it out I can honestly say, I hope I never see this message again...

Doodle Wall gives you a wall that you can set to public/private which is nice (public lets others draw on your wall), but only allows you to draw on that wall once a day. I'm not sure why that is.

There are other features such as chat and so on. The jury is still out for me on this site but it does show promise.

For more info click here.

BTW, I have an email into them regarding CIPA/COPPA compliance there doesn't seem to be any filtering, but they do require a user to be at least 13 yrs old w/ parent's approval, which is pretty standard.

Below is my poor attempt at drawing...
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Kwout is a nice little plugin I found out about on The Unqueit Librarian, a great blog!! This is a browser plugin that lets you take a screen shot of your page and then cut it out w/ a quote attached.

From there you can either save/download it or upload to your site/blog.

This is easy to use and a lot of fun, a great way to quote your favorite things on the web!!

For more info click here.

"Check this out an actual example of using Kwout direct from their home page!!!"

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Visualizing Cultures

Visualizing Cultures is a site from the guys at MIT (Scratch) designed to illuminate social and cultural history. The closest thing I can describe this site to is Digital Vaults and Europeana but that's not really that accurate.

VC uses the web as a platform to: (1) examine large bodies of previously inaccessible images; (2) compose original texts with unlimited numbers of full-color, high-resolution images; and (3) use new technology to explore unprecedented ways of analyzing and presenting images that open windows on modern history. (this is straight from their site)

After exploring this site I can only say you really need to check it out. The user interface is completely unique, it's totally interactive, and it is filled w/ multi-media videos/images throughout.

For more info click here.
(Free Tech 4 Technology great blog on VC)
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Photovisi vs Fotonea

Photovisi and Fotonea are sites where you can create online collages. Both are very good and easy to use and pretty much do the same thing. However, if being able to customize your collage is your "cup of tea" you might want to go w/ Fotonea.

Fotonea, has more options then Photovisi. Once you upload your pictures from either your desktop or Flickr, you can edit your photos, add text, or even add extra objects/speech bubbles.

Photovisi is a bit more limited in once you customize your collages after uploading the photos you can't edit it when the collage is assembled.

Below are my two examples:



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Photo Face

Photo Face is a site I stumbled across quite a while ago but was reminded of it after reading about it on Larry Ferlazzo's excellent blog. After messing around on it I've decided that this could be a fun way to use technology w/ your students and especially in art/photography type classes.

Basically, you can either use a stock photo or upload your own (head/shoulders profile works best) and then by moving the mouse you control where the picture looks. Also, you can add expressions by clicking on one of emoticons, add audio, and then export/share your video.

Very easy to use and a lot of fun!!!

Click here for more info.

Below is a sample video I made using my oldest's pic from a few years ago. Look out Chucky/eTrade baby!!!
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Bumper Car

I first tested Bumper Car about 2 years ago when trying to find a "safe" browser solution for students. Well, Bumper Car 2 is now out and after testing this out I decided to report back my views.

Bumper Car is a Mac based browser designed to keep kids "safe" on the internet. This is done in many ways, one of which is Bumper Car's unique Start Page design. At this page a student can guide their bumper car to one of the many sections: math, science, fun & games, or into the "Mystery Tunnel" which takes them to a random kid's site.

Another great feature of BC, is the ability to filter/control anything on your browser. You can select a default by Age/School level, home use, etc. and edit the black/white list to your desire so nothing inappropriate can be browsed to. The amount of settings that you can control are mind boggling (time of day can browse, java script, etc.).

For more info click here.

BTW, this is all done at the browser level and not the server the way most filters work, so this is really ideal for home use. I downloaded the demo which lets you try 14 times before having to pay the $29.99 fee.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Visual Dictionary

Visual Dictionary by Webster is such a great resource for schools and in time could end up being the ultimate online dictionary. My only reason I say "in time" is because it is still relatively new and there needs to be more terms/words added before I would use it consistently. For example, I did a search on a bunch of technological terms, and until I made it very vague say w/ the word technology or computer, nothing came up. Although, what VD does have is quite robust; 20,000 terms w/ contextual definitions and 6,000 images.

Visual Dictionary has such an abundance of options for the teacher/student this is a definite resource that every educator should check out. For instance, there is a game section which is great for labeling pictures and so on. Also, there is a School Lesson Plan section on a variety of subjects for ages 4-12 and Highschool. For me personally, my favorite section is the "Tools" section which lets a blogger/web designer grab the code and use any image in their site.

I highly recommend giving Visual Dictionary a look, you'll be happy you did!!!

For more info click here.

BTW, I did test out the filter/content aspect of VD and noticed that you can't pull up any inappropriate images/terms (even bad medical terms). This is great for schools who need to abide by CIPA/COPPA compliance. Although, I would need to see a strict policy in place before I let students start using this un-assisted.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


AlternativeTo is I site (beta) I first read about on Lifehacker. AT is a site where you can find any alternative application to what you are looking for. For example, if you use Windows but need something similar to the Mac app, Garageband this is where you would go. You need an alternative to Photoshop, Picasa, Jing, Comic Life, this is the place!!! Also, you can search via different operating systems such as: Windows, OS X, Linux, and even online resources.

I view AlternativeTo as Version Tracker on steroids. This really is a very useful site and has a very intuitive user interface. I highly recommend checking this site out and see how easy/beneficial this site is to use.

Below is a pic of a search I did for apps similar to iTunes.

For more info click here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wall Wisher

If you like to use stickies or post-it's on your computer, Wall Wisher is right up your ally. I first heard about this cool/ultra-easy to use site from Larry Ferlazzo's terrific blog.

I can't even put into words (well, I'm going to try) how easy it is to get started. Just click on build a wall, create your entry w/ pic/video/audio if you like, and wahhh-laahhh you have your own page of sticky notes.

While this is great, there are a lot of other options which make it even more appealing. You can choose your own theme, add a logo w/ subtitle, and customize your very own URL. Also, you can get the html code to embed in your site/blog.

While looking into this online application I began to notice that there is no filtering going on whatsoever. However, when you're dealing w/ stickies you really don't want it to be filtered. So, if this is a wall just for "you" you can set it to private and just use it as that... a place where you can upload your notes and then view them whenever you want. Otherwise, you can set it to public and let others view/comment on it.

Wall Wisher is definitely a fun site to use and worth exploring.

Click here for more info.

Thursday, April 9, 2009 is a great little site (still in beta) that lets you upload photos and then create zoom-able widgets.

It's very easy to use and a lot of fun. Just fill out the registration and get started, below is a pic from their site, just click on it and move the cursor to zoom in/out.

Image Lobe

Image Lobe is an application that I downloaded a while ago but really never looked at. However, after browsing around in my Application's folder, I decided to give it another glance and I'm glad that I did.

IL is a very easy program to use and can best be described as a photo effect tool. It's not as complicated as Photoshop or vast as Live Quartz or Acorn, but if you wanted to add some cool looking effects to a photo, this would be a good place to start.

Just upload a photo, click on the effect you want, and that's it. Photo Booth user's will feel right at home, and it does have a built in camera like PB if you want to take pictures straight from the application.

Below is a quick sample video I put together.

For more info click here.

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Vod Pod

Vod Pod is another site that has totally blown me away. It is a place where you can store/house videos online similar to Fliggo. However, there are things that you can do on VP that you can't do on Fliggo and vice versa. Either way, whichever application you decide to go w/ you won't be disappointed.

VP is very easy to use. Just register, create a "pod" name and you are good to go. To upload a video is easy as 1,2,3, view pic.

VP is ideal and easy to upload videos from online sources such as: blogs, You Tube, Facebook, etc. For example, I uploaded all my videos from my blog (19) into VP w/ a click of a button.

Another nice feature is the ability to create a widget to add to your blog (like I did here, which seems a bit redundant, but I wanted to test it out), and install a "Share Video" button into your browser's toolbar to make adding video that much easier.

What I am bit confused about is, if you have the ability to upload videos from your own computer. This would be ideal for adding student's work, etc etc. Fliggo, does that quite nicely, w/ Vod Pod I'm just not sure.

My last concern if their filtering/moderating policy. Upond reading their terms of service they make it apparent that no "adult/inappropriate" material can be posted, and if it is measures will be taken. This leads me to believe that they have no built in filter. However, you can set your "Pod" site to be Public, Mature, or Hidden which requires an invitation to join. You can also turn on/off comments and adjust other settings as well. I have an email into them regarding CIPA/COPPA compliance.

To view my Vod Pod example click here.
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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Hit List

This will be my last post of the 14 apps that came in the last Mac Heist bundle. I could've done just one post and a short blurb on the items, but I wanted to get in a bit more detail and include the videos/pics that I usually do.... and w/ that, let's take a look at The Hit List.

The Hit List is an app for Mac which is designed to manage lists/to do's/events etc. As most applications for a Mac they have a very nice look and user interface. I was interested to test this out since I usually just use iCal or FC to manage my desktop calendar.

What I like about the Hit List is how many things you can do w/ it such as: iCal syncing, organizing via folders, timers, apple script support, tagging, and so on.

Another great feature is the ability to view your list in a "card" view. This lets you view each event individually (Filemaker users will be familiar w/ this). While I'm not sure if the Hit List will convert me away from my exsisting calendar applications it is definitely a nice change a pace and worth a look.

For more info click here.
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Little Snapper

Little Snapper is one of the little hidden gems that came along w/ the last Heist bundle. Basically, it's a screen grab tool w/ some nice features (web grabs-anyone).

You might be asking yourself, why do I need a screen grab tool when it is built right into the Mac OS, which is true.... but LS makes it really easy to organize your screen shots (which you can't do easily w/ the OS feature) and best of all by typing in a URL (inside of LS) it will take a screen grab of that website.

What separates LS from other screen grabbing tools is that not only can you take a shot, you can then edit it in the LS interface. Think of it as a combo of the Mac OS tool and Skitch built all into one. It really is a nice/useful tool and worth a look.

Click here for more info.
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Peepel is an interesting site (beta) which can be best be described as Google Doc's w/out the "real-time" collaboration. However, there are some nice features to it which u can see by reading the comments below. It is a place where you can create/house your documents online and view them all in one window.

This feature which allows users to view multiple applications in the same window is exactly the reason I like Peepel so much. Not only can you view, documents in the same window but also web pages, calculators, etc.

Also, it's very easy to use and sign up, just register w/ a username and password, confirm the validation email, and then click on the Peepel icon in the upper left hand side of your browser's window and you are good to go.

Below is an example video from their website.

Click here for more info.