Friday, June 4, 2010

Posterous Adds Static Pages

Free blogging platform Posterous started out offering no more than a simple way for people to quickly start blogging. Over the last year Posterous has slowly added some great enhancements including themes and multimedia posts. Today, Posterous added the option for users to create static stand-alone pages as a part of their blogs. Now you can add an about page, a page for your favorite links, a contact page, or any other type of page that you desire. Links to your static pages will appear on your blog's homepage. Adding pages is just as easy as creating a new post in your Posterous web editor. To add a page, click the "pages" tab then select "create new page."

Applications for Education
Now that Posterous has added the option for static pages, it has become a good tool that students could use to create an online portfolio. Students can maintain a chronological blog while also adding pages to highlight particular works they create throughout a course. For example, in the Civics course that I'll teach next fall I could have students maintain a chronological blog about the November elections while also having them create pages to display their capstone projects at the end of each unit.

For more ideas on using blogs as digital portfolios, I recommend reading Jeff Utecht's Blogs as Web-Based Portfolios.

Fotobabble - Turn Pictures Into Audio Stories

Fotobabble is a free service that allows you to quickly turn a picture into an audio picture story. Using Fotoabble is easy, just upload an image to Fotobabble, allow Fotobabble to access your computer's microphone, and start recording your voice. You can comment on your photo, explain what's happening your photo, or tell a story related to your photo. When you've completed your recording you can save it in your Fotobabble account, contribute to a public gallery and or embed it into your blog.

Applications for Education
Fotobabble could be neat little tool for students to use to share brief stories. Students could find pictures related to news stories the record an audio caption about the story depicted by the picture. Over time your class could build a collection of audio captioned news images by embedding each of their Fotobabble creations on a class blog or wiki.

Soundation - Online Sound Track Creation

Soundation is a free service that allows anyone to create and remix sound tracks online. If you have used Apple's Garage Band or Aviary's Myna, Soundation will look familiar to you. Soundation provides five tracks on which you can place music clips and sound effects to mix together. To create your original work you can select from Soundation's gallery of 400 free sounds, upload your own sounds, or record new sounds using the instruments and keyboard built into Soundation. When you've created a product you like, you can download it or share it in Soundation's gallery.

Thanks to Jeff and Dan at Wicked Decent Learning for sharing this great resource. If you haven't heard it before, Wicked Decent Learning is an entertaining and insightful podcast about all things education, check it out

Applications for Education
One of the best ways to avoid any confusion or worry regarding copyright when your students create multimedia projects, is to have them create their own original works. Soundation could be a great tool for students to use to create sounds for podcasts, videos, and other multimedia works.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
5 Resources for Creating and Hosting Podcasts
Myna - Free Online Audio Mixer
Free Guide - Making Videos on the Web

Biggest Stories of the Semester

Today, CNN Student News released their last episode until next fall. As a part of today's episode, CNN Student News takes a look back at some of the biggest stories of the semester. Watch the video below.

The Week in Rap is also wrapping-up for the school year. Instead of focusing on just the last semester, they're wrapping-up the last eighteen years. Watch the video below.

The Last 18 Years In Rap from Week in Rap on Vimeo.