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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aviary to Close Their Advanced Suite

For the last two years I've been a big fan of Aviary's advanced suite of online image editing and sound editing tools. Aviary's Myna and Roc music editors have been featured in many of workshops and presentations over that time. This evening I received an email from Aviary informing me that they are shutting down their suite of online image and sound editing tools. The closure will be effective on September 15. You can read the whole email here.

Off the top of my head I can't think of another free, online sound editor that is as robust as Aviary's Myna tool. I will be on the lookout for a replacement though and will share it when I find it. If you have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments.

Five Tools for Modern Postcard Lessons

Yesterday, I found a postcard creation tool and lesson on Read Write Think. The RWT Postcard Creator walks students through the process of addressing, writing, and mailing a postcard. It's a nice little activity, but as I was trying it I couldn't help but wonder how relevant it is to today's students who may go never send a postcard because all of their communications happen digitally. As I thought about the RWT lesson I started to brainstorm a list of tools that can be used by students to send virtual postcards to their friends and family.

Instagram was the first option that came to mind even though it can't be used by students under 13.

PicMonkey is a free photo editing tool that can be used by anyone without registering on the site. Using PicMonkey you can apply many different frames and effects to your images. PicMonkey has text editing options that could be used to create a greeting on your image.

PicSay is an Android app (free and pro versions available) that students can use to add text and special effects to their images before sharing them with friends.

Animoto could be used by students to create and email short video postcards.

AudioBoo can be used to record short audio messages. Images can be attached to the messages. AudioBoos is available on the web, on iOS devices, and on Android devices.

Applications for Education
All of these resources could be used in a "back to school" activity that students complete to introduce themselves to you and their classmates. Students can work with images to create short introductions that highlight their favorite people, places, and things.

This Week's Most Popular Posts on Free Technology for Teachers

Good morning from Maine where I am home and relaxing after a week of workshops in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Ed Tech Teacher. Thank you to everyone who joined us. Next week I'll be in Limestone, Maine to run some Google Across the Curriculum workshops. If you're interested in having me run a workshop at your school, please click here. Thank you to all of you who have helped make these opportunities available to me.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Save Your Gmail Attachments in Google Drive
2. Listen and Read - Non-fiction Read Along Stories
3. Four Good Resources for Learning to Write HTML
4. Two Books to Read Before School Starts
5. A Great Timeline for U.S. History Students
6. Animated Science Lessons for Children
7. How to Easily Blur Faces in YouTube Videos


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