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Friday, June 17, 2011

Best of 2011 So Far - Flubaroo

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Flubaroo is a free script that you can use to grade the quizzes that you administer through Google Docs. Flubaroo provides great step-by-step directions for using the script. I'll give an quick overview of how it works. First, create your multiple choice quiz using Forms in Google Docs (get directions here). Then take the quiz yourself and have students take the quiz (you can embed it in a webpage or direct students to the URL for your form). Now instead of trying to grade the spreadsheet cells you will insert the Flubaroo script by selecting it from the "insert" menu in your spreadsheet. Once the Flubaroo script is inserted just select it and it will grade the quiz for you.

Applications for Education
While multiple choice quizzes definitely don't fall into the category of authentic assessment they are still used by teachers for a variety of purposes. If you use multiple choice quizzes for any purpose, giving that quiz through Google Docs and grading it with Flubaroo could save you a lot of time that you can put to better use on other tasks.

Best of 2011 So Far - Daqri Augmented Reality

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Daqri is a service for creating augmented reality layers for your mobile devices. Daqri will enable users to create augmented reality products without writing any code. The service is so new that it isn't open to the public yet, but it is accepting sign-ups for their private beta. Learn more about Daqri in the video below.


Not sure what augmented reality is? Watch the video below from Common Craft.


Applications for Education
One of the potential uses I see for build your own augmented reality services is having students create layers of information about important buildings and landmarks in their towns. Students could use a service like Daqri to create walking tours of their towns that people can follow by using their mobile devices.

Best of 2011 So Far - Zoom.it

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Zoom.it is a neat application for displaying large images in blogs, wikis, and websites. Zoom.it creates a display of your images in a format that allows you to zoom in, zoom out, and scroll around a large image. To use Zoom.it your image does need to be hosted online somewhere (Flickr and Picasa work fine). Then to create your zoomable image just copy the url of your hosted image and paste it into Zoom.it. You can then share your image by giving people the direct link to it or embedding the image into your blog or website. Check out my zoomable image below.


Applications for Education
Zoom.it could be a useful tool for displaying large images that students have captured with a camera or created by hand in an art class. If students are doing work with textures and you want to be able to displayed their textured work online, a high resolution image is necessary. Unfortunately, large high resolution images are hard to display on most blog, wiki, and website pages. Putting that high resolution image into Zoom.it will make it possible to see the textured details of a high resolution image.

Best of 2011 So Far - Qwiki

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

Qwiki is a multimedia encyclopedia containing more than three million entries. Qwiki publishes narrated, illustrated, interactive reference entries. To use Qwiki, enter a topic in the search box or select a topic from the featured topics on the homepage. Then watch, listen, and read the Qwiki entry for that topic. Below your chosen Qwiki you will see a selection of related Qwiki entries. You can also find related materials by clicking the "Q" symbol that appears at the end of the Qwiki play bar.

Qwikis can be embedded into your blog or website. Below I've embedded a Qwiki about archery.


And as the "wiki" in Qwiki implies, registered users can suggest videos and images to improve the reference entries. In the future registered users will be able to create their own Qwiki entries.

Applications for Education
Qwiki could be a fantastic way for students to all kinds of information. For a lot of "standard" curriculum topics, Qwiki's entries provide a more engaging format for learning about those topics than that offered by textbooks. What I'm really looking forward to though is the day when Qwiki lets users create their own entries to display on blogs and websites.

Best of 2011 So Far - Jelly Cam Stop Motion Movie Creator

Now that my school year is over I'm taking a short fly fishing vacation. The posts for the rest of the week highlight my favorite resources of 2011 so far.

JellyCam is a free program for creating stop motion movies. Using JellyCam you can create stop motion movies using images from your computer or images that you capture via your webcam. Once you've selected images you can quickly arrange them into a sequence. After the sequence is set you can specify how many images you want per frame.

JellyCam uses the Adobe Air platform. If you don't have Adobe Air Runtime it takes just a couple of minutes to install.

Below you can watch a video overview of JellyCam narrated by its creator. (The first few seconds of the video are blurry).


This is my first stop motion movie made with JellyCam.


Applications for Education
JellyCam doesn't offer an option for including sound yet, but it could still be useful for making time-lapse videos of a time-consuming process. For example, a game of Chess could be turned into a video that just shows the moves made by players. In a more classroom-oriented example would be to make a time-lapse video of the process of osmosis by capturing pictures of a raisin in water over time then arranging them in JellyCam.

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