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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Create Picture Stories With Phrase.it

Phrase.it is a free image manipulation service that I tried out earlier this year. Phrase.it allows you to add speech bubbles and some basic Instagram-like effects to your pictures. When I first tried Phrase.it you could only add effects and speech bubbles to one image at a time. Now you can upload and work with multiple images in the same Phrase.it project.

To use Phrase.it just upload a picture and choose a speech bubble. Drag your speech bubble into place then type your text. You can change the font style in your speech bubbles. Click the "add more drama" button to add one of four image shading effects. When you are done adding text and drama to your images click the "preview and save" button to download a strip of your pictures.

Applications for Education
Phrase.it does not require any kind of registration to use which means that students don't have to have email addresses to use it.  Students can download their completed images and use them wherever they like. Phrase.it could be a good service for students to use to create stories in a comic strip style.

Two Free Wikispaces Classroom Webinars

Earlier this year Wikispaces introduced Wikispaces Classroom. Like the standard version of Wikispaces that you may have been using for years, Wikispaces Classroom is for teachers. Next week Wikispaces is offering a free webinar that will provide an overview of how to use Wikispaces Classroom. You can register for that webinar here. At the end of the month Wikispaces will be holding a two hour hands-on webinar for 25 people. You can register for that webinar here.

Wikispaces Classroom simplifies the layout of pages to put only the tools students need in order to edit a page on display and hides the tools students don't need. On the management side of things Wikispaces Classroom is arranged to make it easy for teachers to quickly manage projects, alter settings, and see reports on students' use of the wiki.

Applications for Education
If you're thinking about using Wikispaces with your students when the new school year starts, the free webinars from Wikispaces could be a good way to gain some new knowledge and ideas for using wikis in your classroom. Click here for five ways to use wikis in your classroom.

What Works and What Doesn't Work In Net Safety Instruction

ConnectSafely produces some excellent materials that you can use to teach students how to use social media responsibly. Recently, I stumbled upon a Slideshare presentation from Anne Collier at ConnectSafely. The presentation, titled Digital Citizenship, Briefly, provides a good overview of what does and doesn't work in promoting good digital citizenship. Take a look at the slides below.



Understanding Federal vs. Private Student Loans

Getting into their colleges of choice is just the beginning of the process students and their parents go through to go to college. Figuring out how to pay for college is a huge and stressful part of that process too. Planet Nutshell recently released two videos that can help students and their parents understand student loans. Those videos are embedded below. Learn more about student loans at Borrow Wisely.


Understanding Federal Student Loans in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.



Federal vs. Private Student Loans in a Nutshell from Planet Nutshell on Vimeo.

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