Monday, May 2, 2011

Imageoid - A Simple Image Effects Editor

Imageoid is a free, simple service for adding a variety of effects to your images. To use Imageoid you just upload an image from your computer then choose the effect(s) you want to apply to it. You can combine effects if you like. If you don't like the way your image looks with a chosen effect, just click "reset" to start again. Imageoid can also be used to resize your image. Imageoid offers twenty-two effects that you can apply to your image. Below you can see the before and after of one of my images.

The original image.

The same image with the "invert" effect applied to it.

Applications for Education
Imageoid could be a good little tool for students who need or want to alter their images before including them in a multimedia project.

Wikispaces Adds a New Commenting Feature

My US History students are currently wrapping-up an assignment in which they each had to contribute a page to a Wikispaces-hosted wiki about the 1920's. Just in time for me to offer feedback on their work, Wikispaces has introduced a new commenting feature. The new Wikispaces commenting feature is similar to the commenting feature found in Google Docs. You can add comments in the form of sticky notes that appear in the margin of the page and are tied to the word(s) you highlight on the page.

To use the new commenting feature in Wikispaces select "edit" on any page on any wiki you're a member of.
Then highlight a word or words on a page then click the comment bubble in the toolbar to add and edit your notes.
Commenting part 1.

Commenting part 2.

Applications for Education
If you have students building Wikispaces wikis, the new commenting feature will make it much easier for you to offer constructive criticism in a way that doesn't obstruct the original formating the students used. The new commenting feature will also make it easier for students to collaborate on pages and peer edit each others' work.

100 Years in 100 Images

100 Years in 100 Images is a neat little music video featuring images from the Getty Images collection. The images are primarily of events related to US History. As the end of the year approaches for many US History classes it could be a challenging review activity to have students try to identify and explain the event related to each image. The video is embedded below.

Click here if you cannot see the video.

Americans by the Numbers

Last year I shared a handful of resources related to the US Census. My favorite of those were this interactive map from The New York Times and this CBS Fast Draw video about the history and purpose of the US census. Yesterday, CBS Sunday Morning offered a short video that gives us a little more insight into the habits of the "typical" American. Americans by the Numbers is a short overview of how the typical American spends his or her money.

Click here if you can't see the video.

Applications for Education
This video could be the start of small local research project for your students. After watching the video, have your students interview their parents, grandparents, or other adults in their lives to see how they compare to the "typical" American. Then have the students combine their research work to compare their community to the typical American community.

Videos and Articles About the Death of Osama Bin Laden

As I and many other Americans on the east coast slept last night, President Obama announced that a military operation had killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan. If you're just waking up to this news too and thinking about discussing it in your classroom today, here are some resources to explore.

The video of President Obama's announcement is below.

From Millionaire's Son to Most-Wanted is an NPR article that you can also listen to about the life of Osama Bin Laden.

CNN has a timeline and video about Osama Bin Laden and his actions over the years. has a short photographic timeline of terrorist events connected to Osama Bin Laden.

The BBC offers a good categorized break-down of the raid on Bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, Political Reactions around the globe, and what the death of Bin Laden means for the future of Al Qaeda.

And as I expected, Larry Ferlazzo has also started to put together a long list of student-accessible resources on this event. Larry's list has some good videos that you should check out.

Thank You Weekend Guests

Over the weekend I again had a great group of guest bloggers contribute to Free Technology for Teachers. I'm enjoying reading every guest blogger's post and I hope you are too.  Thank you to my guest bloggers David, Jim, Claire, Michael, Jason, Kim, and Hilary. If you missed the guest posts over the weekend, here they are:

Technology in the Music Classroom
Edmodo: The Total Classroom Solution
A Tale of Two Stories: Storyline Online and Storybird
The Long and Winding Road
End of the School Year Approaches - Lesson Ideas and Reflection
Using Teaching as Inquiry to Guide an eLearning Action Plan
Crowd Sourcing Solutions to Teen Pregnancy

If you would like to be a guest blogger on Free Technology for Teachers, please send an email to weekendguest (at) freetech4teachers (dot) com