Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Decade in Magazine Covers

Covering the Decade in Magazine Covers is a neat little video that I found on the US History Teachers Blog. The video shows magazine covers containing some of most important and popular stories of the last decade.

Applications for Education
If you and your students can get past the "Mario Brothers esque" music, the video is a nice review of the decade.

If you would like some other decade-in-review videos take a look at 8 Good Decade in Review Videos.

Stupeflix Alters Their Video Creation Options

Stupeflix, a video creation service that I like a lot, has recently made some changes to its service. The first change that current Stupeflix users should note is that Stupeflix has changed its video editor. This means that any video created in 2009 can no longer be edited. Those videos can still be viewed and downloaded, but not edited.

The new Stupeflix editor now offers three themes for displaying your work. A "classic theme," a "scrapbook theme," and a "holiday theme." You can preview the themes here.

The third change to Stupeflix worth noting is the length of free videos has changed. Free videos are now limited to one minute in duration. This is still twice as long as Animoto allows for free (unless you get an Animoto for education account).

Applications for Education
Stupeflix is a good tool for students to use to create video montages of images. Stupeflix is a good alternative to old-style, boring slideshows. The captioning and editing tools are easy to use which makes Stupeflix a tool that most students above age 10 could use.

If you would like to learn about some other free tools that students can use to make videos read Six Easy Ways for Students to Create Videos Online.

Update: I just received this comment from Stupeflix that I think everyone should see:

I am Fran├žois, CTO at Stupeflix.
We are currently preparing a specific offer for education, as a large number of people have expressed their love for our service, including some here at Stupeflix who are involved with the academic world.
We will get it out as fast as possible, sorry for the inconvenience during the transition!

Collaboratively Edit PDFs

Scribblar, a collaborative whiteboard platform that I've reviewed in the past, has recently announced support for PDFs. You can now upload PDFs to your Scribblar room. When you upload a PDF Scribblar will turn it into a editable image that you and your collaborators can alter. The free version of Scribblar will allow you to upload PDFs containing up to five pages.

Applications for Education
This announcement from Scribblar means that if you had older documents or drawings that you would like to have someone else alter you can do that. Scan a drawing, upload it Scribblar, and begin editing. This could be a fun way for art students to see how a change in color or a change of brush strokes alters a drawing or painting.

The Ripple Effect of High School Dropouts

The final segment of today's episode of CNN Student News is about the ripple effect of high school dropouts. The segment explores the financial costs to the community of students dropping out of high school. This segment could be useful in a high school economics course. You may also want to point out to students the shrunken job market for high school age students that exists as a result of the current recession.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English and Other Economics Lessons
Interactive Timeline of the 08/09 Financial Crisis

Google Earth Layer About the Earthquake in Haiti

As announced last night on the Google Lat Long Blog, there is now a Google Earth imagery layer showing the effects of the earthquake on Haiti. The layer is fairly basic at this point, highlighting a few key areas, but it is still useful for showing before and after images of Haiti. You can download the KML file here.

A related item that may be of interest to you is:

Viewing Earthquakes in Google Earth