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Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Very Simple Way to Make Screen Captures

The high-quality online image editing tool Aviary recently announced another new method for easily creating screen captures of webpages without having to install any software. To use this method simply type "aviary.com/" before the url of the page you're viewing. Doing this will launch the Aviary image editor at which point you can draw, highlight, and crop the screen capture. When you're done editing you can save the screen capture to your computer. To read full instructions on how to use Aviary to create screen captures click here.

Applications for Education
This screen capture method from Aviary could be useful for netbook users. Without adding any software to your netbook or adding anything to your browser you can still create very good screen captures. If your school uses netbooks this little trick from Aviary is worth sharing with other teachers that need to create screen captures for teaching.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Four Free Tools for Creating Screencasts
Aviary Offers a New Option for Screen Captures
Resize Images Without Installing Any Software

Alight Learning - Discovery Together in Fall 09

As I've previously mentioned, one of the highlights of NECC 2009 is meeting new people in the educational technology world. At the EduBloggerCon meet-up hosted by Wikispaces on Saturday night, I met Andy Pethan from Alight Learning. Andy and his partners are college students in Massachusetts. They are developing a suite of free services for the purposes of collaborative online learning. Andy's purpose at NECC was to talk to teachers about what they think are essential tools for online learning. When the Alight Learning goes live in the fall it will include an environment for real-time instruction, a platform for hosting and sharing lessons, and the opportunity for teachers to network.

Applications for Education
Alight Learning is using a great approach to their product design by asking teachers for their input. If you're interested in being one of the first to use their products and want to be alerted when they go live, sign up on their site now.

Preliminary Reflections on NECC 2009

The new websites and technology resources that I learned about at NECC 2009 will come later this week in the "normal" style that you've come to expect from me.

NECC 2009 is concluding as I begin to draft this post. Without any exception, NECC 2009 was an absolutely amazing, at times almost surreal, experience made possible by all of you. It was especially made possible by those of you who donated to the fundraising effort. And a few more huge thank you's to Beth Still who organized the fundraising, to VoiceThread which essentially matched all of the donations, and to Lee Kolbert who made the connection between VoiceThread and the fundraising effort.

As Jeff Utecht and others have noted, some of the most valuable experiences at NECC, particulary for early adopters is the conversations that take place between educators. Those conversations could be planned or impromptu, but either way they are valuable. For example, I had innumerable conversations with people about the value of creating a personal learning network or PLN. None of those conversations were planned, yet each one was experience in sharing and learning.

In the end the best way that I can describe the NECC experience is as an opportunity to build your own professional development. If you're the type of person that enjoys going to seminars to learn, you can do that at NECC. If you're the type of person that enjoys learning through conversation, you can do that at NECC. If you want to experience a mix of those two styles, you can do that at NECC too.

Throughout the next week, as I have more time to reflect (and rest, I'm not home yet), I will share more of my thoughts about the NECC experience.

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