Friday, December 12, 2008

TimeRime Multimedia Timeline Builder

TimeRime is a new addition to my list of excellent multimedia timeline creation tools. TimeRime is similar to one of my favorite timeline builders, Xtimeline. TimeRime allows users to create timelines that include text, images, audio, and video. One of the better features of TimeRime is that you can have more than one type of media for each event on your timeline. TimeRime users can also select which media type they want as the feature piece of each event. As we've come to expect with any web 2.0 tool of this type, you can embed the timeline in a blog or share it via email. I've embedded a sample TimeRime timeline below.

Applications for Education
Timelines have been a staple in the Social Studies teacher's handbook for years. TimeRime and resources like it, put a 21st century spin on the standard timeline project. One way to really take advantage of TimeRime would be to have students role play events in history, film the role play, then post the video on the appropriate place along a timeline.

Another Method for Sending Video Greeting Cards

Last week I shared that Animoto added the capability to create and send video greeting cards. Today, YouTube reminded us that you can also create greeting video greeting cards through their service. You use existing videos on YouTube for your greetings or you can upload your own video. Creating and sending video greeting cards through YouTube is easy, but I don't think the finished product is as good as what can be produced using Animoto.

Applications for Education
Using the YouTube greeting card service could be a good avenue for students to develop video creation and editing skills with a clear objective. The objective being the development of a greeting and meeting a deadline.

The Week's Most Popular Content

We just had our first real winter storm of the season here in Maine. It's been another busy and exciting week for Free Technology for Teachers. This week the number of subscribers soared to a new all-time high of 1388.

Here are the most popular items of the last week.

1. 10 Teachers to Follow on Twitter
2. If Only Every Student Loved Math This Much
3. For Math Teachers... When Are We Ever Going to Use This
4. Moodle Tutorials and Other Moodle Resources
5. SpellTube - Customized Spelling Video Lists

Today, I purchased the domain and unfortunately that means that readers will have to re-subscribe. The good news is that using either the new url or the old url will bring you to the same content. Hopefully, everyone can make the migration with me and will continue to read this blog.

To subscribe via RSS please use this link.
To subscribe via email please use this link.

New Subscription Options

Today, I purchased the domain Entering either or with get you to the same content. That's the good news. The bad news is I had to establish new subscription options through FeedBurner. So that you can continue to receive all of the updates please renew your RSS subscription or your email subscription.

To subscribe via RSS, please use this link.

To subscribe via email, please use this link.

Thank you for reading, subscribing, and sharing. Free Technology for Teachers has grown to reach almost 1400 subscribers because of you.

Fighting Plagiarism, A New URL, and Lessons Learned

Special Note for Subscribers
The transition of domains may cause a need to renew to your RSS or email subscription. I'm not sure yet, but I will know in a couple of hours. When I know, I will post an update. Either way if by Sunday or Monday you haven't received any updates from me, please re-subscribe.
I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause for you.

The Reason for the new domain
As those of you that follow me on Twitter already know, last night I discovered that there someone copying all the content of Free Technology for Teachers verbatim and passing it off as his own on his splog (see definition here). Obviously, I was more than a little annoyed by this. I have no problem with people re-using my RSS feed through an RSS widget, in fact I'm happy when people do that. The difference between re-using an RSS feed through a widget and what this person was doing lies in linking and attribution. Displaying an RSS feed provides a direct link back to the original source. Copying and pasting someone's content without giving any links or attribution is stealing.

What I've done to prevent future theft of content.
1. The first thing I did was send out a message on Twitter asking for help finding out who owned the domain that was copying my content. Thank you Michael and Karen for your help with that. After finding the owner of the domain I sent him a strongly worded message asking him to stop. As of this morning some of the content he stole from me has been removed.

2. I did something that I should have done a year ago, I registered my content with a Creative Commons license. Then I posted the license on the blog.

3. I purchased the domain I looked at a few different options for doing this, got advice through some people on Twitter, and read many articles comparing the options. Some people suggested that I change to WordPress or Moveable Type and host on my own, but in the end I purchased the domain through Google/ Blogger. Purchasing the domain through Blogger was fast, easy, and will automatically point visitors to the new domain. It also didn't hurt that one of the popular Silicon Valley bloggers that I read and respect is Louis Gray. Louis Gray has 3600+ subscribers and uses the Blogger system.

Why I purchased the domain
The incident of seeing all the content that I've worked hard to write blatantly stolen made me aware of two things. First, there are a lot of people looking at this blog. Second, there is a chance that someone might try to buy the domain and copy all of my content which would really leave me high and dry. Someone suggested that I could take legal action, but I'm a poor school teacher and couldn't afford one hour with an attorney let alone the time for copyright dispute.

What does this mean for readers and visitors?
The migration from to should be seamless and invisible to most visitors. The transition should be complete by Sunday. Entering either url into your browser will lead you to the same content.

Special Note for Subscribers
The transition of domains may cause a need to renew to your RSS or email subscription. I'm not sure yet, but I will know in a couple of hours. When I know, I will post an update. Either way, if by Sunday or Monday you haven't received any updates from me, please re-subscribe. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause for you.

A big thank you to everyone who offered advice, encouragement, and support through this process. Particularly Michael, Karen who helped me with ISP location and Karen who gave me great advice regarding copyright infringements.

Blogger Adds a Useful New Capacity

Blogger, the platform I use to write this blog and until October used for my classroom blogs, has added a new import/ export capacity. Now Blogger users can import content from existing files on their computers or content from their blogs to their computer.

Applications for Education
The new import/ export feature could be useful for teachers in two ways. First, if you would like to keep a physical record of what you have posted or your students have posted you can now export that content to a local hard drive. Second, if you ever find yourself in a situation where your school district decides to block access to the domain (as happened in my district's elementary schools) you can quickly export your existing content and transfer it to another free blog platform.

Thanks to Mashable for alerting me to this Blogger update. The Blogger team has posted instructions for using the import/ export feature here.