Friday, July 16, 2010

Simple Diagrams - Free Diagram Creation Tool

Simple Diagrams offers a free tool that anyone can use to create diagrams using a combination of clip art, text, and free hand drawings. Simple Diagrams provides a large selection of shapes and drawings that you can drag and drop into your diagrams. You can adjust the size of each element you place in your diagram. Any element can also be altered by using the pencil drawing tool. The pencil tool can also be used to create a drawing from scratch. View my diagram below (click to enlarge).

To use Simple Diagrams you do need to install the Simple Diagrams software. Simple Diagrams uses the Adobe Air platform which means you can install Simple Diagrams on both Mac and Windows computers. Simple Diagrams offers a free version and a paid version. The free version appears to offer plenty of tools for classroom use.

Applications for Education
Simple Diagrams could be a great tool for creating flow charts and sketches. Using some of the ideas I've discovered in Unfolding the Napkin, students could use Simple Diagrams to create images depicting a problem and their potential solutions to a problem.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Periodic Table of Visualization Methods
Nine Tools for Collaboratively Creating Mind Maps

Follow-up and Sample for Tech Tip Thursday

Yesterday, I posted my weekly tech tip video. In that video I discussed using videos to deliver substitute teaching plans to my students and to the substitute. A few people have asked to see one of the videos I've made for my students. Embedded below is the video from the last time I had a planned absence from school. As you'll see it's short, to the point, and it was effective.

Free Sound Effects Library

Free SFX is a provider of free, royalty-free sound effect loops. The catalog of free sound effects can be browsed by genre or searched by keyword tag. Once you have registered for a free account you can begin downloading any of the free sound effect loops. One thing to take note of is Free SFX does mix in some “premium” results. Premium sound effects are not free to download.

Applications for Education
Free SFX could be a good resource for locating sounds that your students can use in podcasts, videos, and other multimedia productions.

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

ISTE 2010 Explorers and Excellence Slide Show

The ISTE 2010 opening kick-off featured the following slides as people came in and filled the auditorium. The slides featured famous people who accomplished big things and quotes attributed to them. ISTE has made that loop of slides available through YouTube. Fortunately, in the video they spared us the music that accompanied the slides in the auditorium.

H/T to Jim Gates.