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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Best of 2013 So Far... Soo Meta

We're half-way through 2013. Like I've done in years past, this week I'll be featuring some of the best new tech tools of 2013 as well as some of the most popular posts of the year.

Soo Meta is a digital presentation tool from the same people that developed the YouTube remixing tool Dragon Tape. Soo Meta allows you to combine videos from YouTube, pictures from the web or from your desktop, text, and voice recordings to create a presentation. You can also pull content in from Pinterest and Twitter to use in your final product.

The Soo Meta editor is fairly easy to use. Create a free account to get started then open your browser to SooMeta.com/create/ and title your first project. After titling your project add a background image from your computer or from the web. Next pull in a video from YouTube. The video can be yours or any other publicly shared video. You can trim the start and the end time of the video in the Soo Meta editor. To add text just click the text box in the editor and type. Finally, to narrate a frame (Soo Meta calls them chapters) in your project click the microphone icon in the editor and make your recording. Completed Soo Meta projects can be embedded into your blog or website. I created a one chapter story about my dogs and embedded it below (press the green play button in the lower right corner).


Applications for Education
There are quite a few possible uses of Soo Meta in the classroom. You could have students create projects about in which they create book trailers using video clips, images, and their voices. Students could use Soo Meta to create a digital collage of media around a current events topic that they're studying. Soo Meta might also be used by students to create a showcase of their best digital works of the semester.

Best of 2013 So Far... Why Visuals Matter In Storytelling

We're half-way through 2013. Like I've done in years past, this week I'll be featuring some of the best new tech tools of 2013 as well as some of the most popular posts of the year.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Ken Shelton present on a number of occasions. Each time he has had superbly designed slidedecks. I've used many of Ken's presentation design tips in my own presentations over the last year and I think they've helped make my slides better. Recently, Ken shared with me a slidedeck that he made about the use of visuals in storytelling. He made the presentation on Haiku Deck and you can view it here or view it below.


Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad
Applications for Education
One of the things that I love about Haiku Deck is that it intentionally limits students ability to add lots of text to their slides. This in turn makes them focus on the use of visuals. Ken's Haiku Deck presentation can be an instructive model for your students.   

Create an Archive of Google Reader

If you forgot to move your RSS subscriptions out of Google Reader and into another service before Google shut it down yesterday, there is one way that you can get archive of Google Reader. That way is to use Google Takeout before July 15. See the screenshot below for directions.



Best of 2013 So Far...Mind Mapping With Coggle

We're half-way through 2013. Like I've done in years past, this week I'll be featuring some of the best new tech tools of 2013 as well as some of the most popular posts of the year.

Coggle is a collaborative mind-mapping service that is very easy to use. To create a Coggle mind map just sign-in with your Google account and click the "+" icon to start your mind map. After entering the main idea of your mind map you can add branches by clicking the "+" icons that appear next to everything you type. To re-arrange elements just click on them and drag them around your screen.

Coggle is a collaborative tool. You can invite others to view and edit your mind maps. You can also just invite others to view by sending them an email through Coggle. All Coggle mind maps can be downloaded as PDFs or PNG image files.

Applications for Education
The problem with some mind-mapping tools is that while robust in features they don't have intuitive interfaces which in turn causes students to struggle with the process and lose the flow of the brainstorming process. In contrast to that Coggle doesn't have a robust set of features, but it does have a very intuitive user interface so that your students can focus on recording your ideas and not struggle with the formatting of their mind maps.

Best of 2013 So Far...76 Ways to Use Haiku Deck

We're half-way through 2013. Like I've done in years past, this week I'll be featuring some of the best new tech tools of 2013 as well as some of the most popular posts of the year.

Haiku Deck's Education Case Studies Pinterest board contains 76 examples of Haiku Deck being used by students and teachers. If you're not familiar with it or haven't tried Haiku Deck, here's what you need to know. It's a free iPad app for creating slideshow presentations. There are two features of Haiku Deck that stand out. First, Haiku Deck intentionally limits how much text that you can put on each of your slides. Second, Haiku Deck helps you find Creative Commons licensed images for your presentations. When you type a word or words on your slides you can have Haiku Deck search for images for you. The images that Haiku Deck serves up are large enough to completely fill your slide. You can also upload your own images from your iPad or import images from Instagram and Facebook.


Applications for Education
Here's an example of Haiku Deck being used by first and second grade students.

Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

Here's an another Haiku Deck that I like.
Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad

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