Friday, June 10, 2011

Image Embellisher - Easily Add Special Effects to Images

Image Embellisher is a simple tool for adding some neat display effects to your images. Image Embellisher provides you with a selection of eight special effects to use. To apply one of these effects to your image just select an effect from the menu then upload your image. Image Embellisher will then add your desired effect to your image and provide you with a new file to download and use however and wherever you like.

Applications for Education
Image Embellisher isn't going to revolutionize the way students create multimedia presentations, but it's still a nice little tool that students could use to enhance images for their next multimedia presentations.

History Videos from Khan Academy

Khan Academy is well known for its mathematics videos, but did you know that they have some history videos too? I didn't until I saw them mentioned on the US History Teachers Blog. By my count there are twenty-five videos in the history section of Khan Academy. The videos cover US History from the settlement of Jamestown through the Vietnam War, the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and Napoleon's military campaigns. I've embedded US History from WWII to Vietnam below.

Applications for Education
I watched a few of the Khan Academy history videos and while they're good they're also a little short on imagery. For history videos I like to see a lot of images related to the topics being discussed. The videos did do a good job of providing timeline details. Overall, like most Khan Academy videos, these videos could make a good supplement to your classroom instruction. I won't be using these videos to "flip" my classroom, but I will post them on my course blog for my US History students to watch next year.

Three Note Taking Android Apps I'm Trying

This afternoon while in the waiting area at my doctor's office I installed three note-taking apps on my Android-powered phone. I'm hoping that one of these three will be the solution to scraps of scribbled on paper in my wallet.

The first app I installed this afternoon was Quick Note. Quick Note appealed to me because it has an option for free hand drawing or writing of notes. I'm not sure how much free hand sketching I'll actually do on my phone, but I like having the option. I could see this being a handy option for creating quick mind maps.

Color Note offers the most features of the three apps I installed this afternoon. Color Note offers a sticky note environment, a calendar option, to do list options, and the option to share your notes via email and sms. The video below offers an overview of Color Note's features (the video does not have sound).

The third note taking app that I installed on my phone today was Notepad. Notepad is by far the simplest of the three apps. It doesn't offer anything other than just a plain background for taking standard text notes. The simplicity of the app is what may end up making it my favorite in the long run.

Applications for Education
For students or teachers like me who are in need of a better way to keep track of simple notes and reminders, these three apps could be just what they need. I'll report back on my success, or lack thereof, with  these apps in due time.