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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Notion - A Project Management and Reference Wiki

Notion is an interesting service that combines elements of project management with elements of a wiki service. At its core Notion is designed for teams to work on projects together. You can create sections for each of your projects. Within each section you can create a list of tasks. Notion also lets you add sections that include links, videos, images, and documents that you have written outside of the service. Of course, you can write directly on a page in your Notion account too.

You can register for Notion with a Google account or you can create an account by using any email address and password of your choosing. Notion works in your web browser as well as in dedicated desktop apps for Windows and Mac. An iOS app is available too. Once you've created an account you can invite people to join your Notion page(s).

Notion's free plan limits you to 600 "blocks." A block is defined as a piece of content that you add to your account.

Applications for Education
Notion could be a good tool for high school or college students who are working together on long-term projects. Students could build reference pages together that they then consult in writing a paper or preparing a presentation. The task lists component of Notion could help divided and keep track of the responsibilities of each group member.

Scratchwork.io - A Video Whiteboard for Math Students

Scratchwork is a new online whiteboard and video conferencing tool designed with math students in mind. The platform works like many similar services as it provides you with a whiteboard on which you can draw, type, and import images to annotate. Scratchwork is a little different than other services because it includes a Latex editor for writing equations. Scratchwork also offers an option to draw on a tablet and import those drawings. The collaboration aspect of Scratchwork comes into the picture when you activate the video conferencing component built into Scratchwork.

Scratchwork's free plan has a limit of four boards and three collaborators.

Applications for Education
Scratchwork is advertised as a tool for math students and teachers. It could be used for science or any other subject in which drawing a diagram is an important part of instruction.

Draw Chat - Free Video Conferencing With a Whiteboard

Draw Chat is a free service that allows anyone to create a video chat over a whiteboard, PDF, image, or map. To use Draw Chat you just have to visit the site and click "Start New Whiteboard." Once your whiteboard launches you will have the option to enable access to your webcam and microphone. You can have people join your whiteboard video conference by sending them the link assigned to your whiteboard.

Draw Chat allows you to draw or type on a shared whiteboard. Additionally, you can upload a PDF or an image to annotate on the whiteboard. A fourth option for drawing on Draw Chat is to import the URL for a Google Map and draw on that map.

Applications for Education
Draw Chat could be a good service for students to use for remote tutoring. It could also be useful to students to have remote meetings to plan a presentation or edit a project outline.

One of the odd things about Draw Chat is that you're randomly assigned a username in the video and text chat rather than getting to choose something obvious like "Richard." Those randomly assigned usernames could be a source of confusion unless you use the video conferencing aspect of Draw Chat.

ZapSplat - Thousands of Free Sound Effects

ZapSplat is a website that offers more than 20,000 sound effects and songs that you can download and re-use for free. The licensing that ZapSplat uses is quite clear. As long as you cite ZapSplat, you can use the sound effects and music in your videos, podcasts, and other multimedia projects.

ZapSplat does require you to create an account in order to download the MP3 and WAV files that it hosts. Once you have created an account you can download as many files as you like. ZapSplat does offer a "Gold" account. The benefit of a Gold account is that you don't have to cite ZapSplat and access to an expanded library of sounds.

Applications for Education
ZapSplat could be a good resource to bookmark for the next time your students need a sound effect to use in a video or podcast. On ZapSplat they'll find typical sounds like a doorbell ringing and a dog barking. ZapSplat also provides some unique sound effects and recordings like a pilot speaking to passengers and alien creatures eating.