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Monday, March 13, 2017

SpeakPipe - Collect Voice Messages Through Your Blog

SpeakPipe is a great tool to add to classroom blogs. SpeakPipe allows you to collect voicemail messages through your blog. With SpeakPipe installed on your blog anyone can click on the "send voicemail" button and leave a message for you. When a visitor clicks the "leave voicemail" button she will be prompted to allow access to her computer. Then the visitor can start recording a message for you. Visitors can, but don't have to, enter their names and email addresses for you. You can listen to and download the messages left for you in your SpeakPipe inbox.


Applications for Education
When it is installed on a classroom blog SpeakPipe provides a good way for parents to leave voicemail messages. Having your messages in SpeakPipe lets you dictate a response that can then be emailed back to the person who left the message for you.

SpeakPipe offers another tool called SpeakPipe Voice Recorder. SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder is a free tool for quickly creating an MP3 voice recording in your web browser on a laptop, Chromebook, Android device, or iOS device. To create a recording with the SpeakPipe Voice Recorder simply go to the website, click "start recording," and start talking. You can record for up to five minutes on the SpeakPipe Voice Recorder. When you have finished your recording you will be given an embed code that you can use to place it in your blog or website. You will also be given a link to share your recording. Click the link to share your recording and that will take you to a page to download your recording as an MP3 file.

SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder does not require you to register in order to create and download your audio recordings. The lack of a registration requirement makes it a good choice for students who don't have email addresses or for anyone else who simply doesn't want to have to keep track of yet another username and password.

Students could use SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder to record short audio interviews or to record short audio blog entries.

Teachers could use SpeakPipe's Voice Recorder to record instructions for students to listen to in lieu of having a substitute teacher read instructions to their students.

Pixlr Mobile - Easy Image Editing & Collage Creation

Last week I published a post about Pixlr's suite of online image editing tools. That post prompted a few questions from readers seeking iOS and Android apps for image editing. My first reply to those questions was to take a look at Pixlr Mobile for Android and iOS.

Pixlr Mobile lets you edit your images with eraser tools, cropping tools, drawing and writing tools, and basic exposure adjustments. The app also includes a large selection of collage creation templates. A brief overview of Pixlr Mobile is provided in the video embedded below.


Applications for Education
Pixlr's collage tool could be used by students to showcase the highlights of a field trip or a school event. The image editing tool can provide students with an easy way to touch-up an image to use in a presentation or in a storytelling website.

Google Team Drives Now Available

Late last year Google announced a new Google Drive option called Team Drives. At that time G Suite administrators had to apply for access for their schools. Beginning this week all G Suite administrators can enable Team Drives for their schools.

Team Drives is a Google Drive product designed specifically for team use. Rather than just sharing a single file or folder, Team Drives will give everyone in the team access to everything in the Team Drive by default. This means that if someone creates a file in a Team Drive that file will be available to everyone within that team even if the creator of the file later leaves the team.

It is important to note that Team Drives can only be created by G Suite domain administrators at this time. Admins can click here to learn how to enable Team Drives.

Applications for Education
The default sharing settings in Team Drives might be a bit too open for use by younger students. But it could be great for high school and college students working together on long-term projects. Team Drives could also be a great asset for academic departments that want to have all members sharing lesson ideas and resources.