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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Try Pixorial for Online Video Production

Over the last month or so a bunch of people have recommended that I try Pixorial for online video editing. I finally gave it a try today and I like it. The thing that I like the most about Pixorial is that the video creation and editing tools are laid out in an intuitive user interface. At no point was I wondering what any of the editing tools did or what I needed to click on next.

The only part of Pixorial that I found slightly confusing at the beginning was a prompt for installing the Pixorial desktop uploader. It appeared to me that I had to install that uploader, but it turns out that I didn't. The uploader just makes it quicker and easier to upload multiple files to your account at once.

To create a video in Pixorial you can upload pictures and raw video footage then organize that media into the sequence in which you want it to appear. You can insert transitions between elements by selecting them from the transitions gallery. If you would like to add a soundtrack to your production you can select one from the Pixorial gallery or upload your own audio files. Pixorial also makes it easy to add text to each picture or video that you upload. Just click on "overlay text" in the video editor when you're viewing the element that you want to add text to.

Pixorial offers free Android apps and free iPhone apps that can be used to upload images and videos to your Pixorial account.

Applications for Education
Pixorial offers a free plan for consumers. That plan is limited to 1GB of storage. However, educators can register for a free education account and get 25GB of storage along with all of Pixorial's premium features for free.

Infogr.am Lets You Put Videos Into Infographics

Back in June I published a short list of tools that students can use to create infographics. One of the tools in that list was Infogr.am. On Infogr.am you can create an infographic in just a few steps. Pick a theme/ style for your infographic, upload the data that you want display, and then publish your new infographic. Today, Infogr.am announced that you can now include videos in your infographics. You can insert videos from YouTube and insert videos from Vimeo.

Applications for Education
Infogr.am could be a great tool for students to use to create displays of data that they have gathered. If they create videos of their own, students can now include them in their infographics. Or they could simply include videos they find to support positions they're illustrating with their infographics.

Interactive Map-Based College Search

Campus Bird is a website designed to help students locate a college or graduate school that is right for them. Campus Bird provides a great set of search filters for helping students narrow their list of choices. Students can filter their searches by degree type, major field of study, location, campus setting, athletics, and special program offerings. On their own, the extensive list of search filters would make Campus Bird a good college search service, but Campus Bird takes it a step further by incorporating Google Earth.

Campus Bird uses the Google Earth browser plug-in to show students the location of the colleges in which they're interested. For some colleges, Campus Bird offers the opportunity to take a virtual tour of the campus within the Google Earth browser plug-in. Students can also use the Yelp search box located at the bottom of the map to search for restaurants, businesses, and wireless hotspots around campus.

Applications for Education
I've explored dozens college search websites over the years and Campus Bird is one of the best. If your high school's guidance department has a website, Campus Bird should be one of the links on it.

Math Fun with Mudd Math Facts

The math department of Harvey Mudd College has a website full of fun math facts. Mudd Math Fun Facts has an easy to search database of math facts designed to stimulate thought and make students look at mathematics in a different light. Each fun fact is accompanied by a problem, diagram, and short explanation of a fun mathematics concept.

Applications for Education
Mudd Math Fun Facts is designed for use with introductory college math courses, but it could also be a great website for some high school mathematics classes. The math fun facts can be used to expose college-bound students to some higher order mathematics concepts and spark some curiosity about mathematics. If you have a class website or blog you can link to Mudd Math Fun Facts and provide students with a fun fact of the day that they can explore on their own.

StudyBlue Adds an iPad app

Last fall StudyBlue introduced a free app for creating and studying flashcards on iPhones and Android phones. Today, they've released an updated iPad app. The free StudyBlue iPad app is optimized for tablet display.

The StudyBlue iPad app can be used to create flashcards in three ways. You can enter text, take a picture, or speak into the app. The app can be used by students to review their flashcards in a quiz style or by just flipping through their flashcards. And students can use the app to search for public sets of flashcards in the StudyBlue gallery.

Applications for Education
In a world languages class the free StudyBlue iPad app could be used by students to take pictures of objects and attach the correct spelling to the image.

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