Thursday, February 21, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Graphita - Easy, Free, Fun, Photo Editing

Graphita is a new photo editing website. It is free and simple to use. Many of the features are similar to the features of Photo Shop. Graphita lets users upload their own images or use stock images. (The picture to the left is a stock image I edited). Graphita users can draw, add captions, erase, overlay images, and more. Graphita is funded by offering for sale tee shirts and mugs with your custom made image.

Below is a video introduction to the Graphita service.

Applications for Educators
Graphita is a great, free, alternative to Photo Shop. Graphita gives students an opportunity to enhance their visual presentations. Graphita's pricing for tee shirts and mugs makes it an affordable option for creating fund raising materials for classrooms or student councils.

Free Technology For Teachers: Bill Gates Reminds Us That It's About People

Earlier this week in an interview with CNET News Bill Gates spoke about Microsoft's bid to take over Yahoo. As an educator what I found interesting was Gates's statement about the value of Yahoo being the staff of Yahoo engineers not Yahoo's current technologies, market share, or list of advertisers. Click here to read the full transcript of the interview.

Application for Educators
Gates reminds us that technology is very useful, but the people developing and using technology are what is really important. Gates is not interested in buying Yahoo for its current technologies instead he is after what has not yet been developed. Preparing students to be innovators and developers is an important aspect of our jobs as educators. Yes, we need to teach students to use and understand what is already available, but we also need to teach them to think outside the box.

Free Technology For Teachers: Lunar Eclipse

If you missed last night's Lunar Eclipse, don't worry because thousands of people around the world filmed it and are already sharing it on the web. Below I have embedded two videos of last night's Lunar Eclipse.

Applications for Educators
Videos of last night's Lunar Eclipse demonstrate the utility of video sharing websites for educators. Within minutes of the eclipse's completion videos were available to use in the classroom. Near real-time video of the eclipse makes learning more relevant and meaningful than having students look at years old videos or pictures.

Use the current videos of the Lunar Eclipse in conjunction with one the free space exploration simulator programs reviewed last month.

2008 Lunar Eclipse - Washington, DC from Will Brown on Vimeo.