Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Create Interactive Images Using Thinglink

Thinglink is a neat tool for creating interactive images. I first wrote about it last summer and have since mentioned it in a couple of webinars and workshops. Every time I show it to people, it is well received. In the video below, I demonstrate how easy it is to create interactive images using Thinglink.

Applications for Education
One way that Thinglink could be used in a  US History classroom is to have students upload pictures representative of  concepts from the Industrial Revolution then tag different parts of the images to link out to further explanations and examples. And here's an example of an interactive infographic created with Thinglink.

Thinglink is currently and advertiser on Free Technology for Teachers. 

Splash - Create Event Pages and Collect RSVPs

Splash is a free service that you can use to create great-looking event announcements and collect RSVPs.

Using Splash you can create a one page announcement of your event. To your Splash page you can add all of the important information that attendees need to know about your event. You can customize your page with your images or use the Splash stock images for your page. Attendees can RSVP through your Splash page. If you choose, you can create an auto-responder and send information directly to an attendees's email address after they RSVP. Take a look at  the Splash page I made for an event at my house in March.

Applications for Education
Splash could be a good way to advertise an event at your school. The RSVP option makes it easy to keep track of how many attendees to expect at your next school event.

H/T to Make Use Of.

Mount Everest, How Tall Is It? - A Mathematics Mystery

Image Credit: Carsten.Nebel
Last night I started to read Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance 1921 which I downloaded for free from Google Books. In the introduction there is a three page explanation of the methods used to measure the height of Mount Everest. An explanation of the differences in measurements is also provided in the introduction. Part of that explanation includes differences in snow fall, cyclical deviations of gravity, and differences atmospheric refraction when observations were made. I'm not a mathematics teacher and will never pretend to be one, but reading that introduction did get me thinking about a possible mathematics lesson.

Applications for Education
Turn to pages 10 through 13 of Mount Everest, The Reconnaissance 1921 and read about the difficulties of accurately measuring Mount Everest in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. It's interesting to note that most accepted measurements were more than 100 feet higher than today's accepted measurement. Tell your students that Mount Everest has shrunk over the last 100 years and ask them to solve the mystery of the shrinking mountain. 

On a mildly related note and on a promotion of a Mainer note, Snow in the Kingdom: My Storm Years on Everest by Ed Webster is one of the best books ever written about Mount Everest. If you enjoy good adventure stories and or stories about overcoming personal struggles, I think you will enjoy Webster's book. For my money, and I own two copies of it, it is far better than Krakauer's Into Thin Air.

TechSmith Announces Changes to Jing Pro

I have been a Jing and Jing Pro user for a number of years because I think it is one of the easiest tools to use for creating annotated screen capture images and screencast videos. This morning, through Stephen Ransom and then through an email from TechSmith (producers of Jing), I learned that Jing Pro is being discontinued. To be clear Jing is not going away, only Jing Pro is being discontinued. You will still be able to use the free version of Jing to create screen capture images. If you are a Jing Pro user now, your subscription will continue until February 2013. Click here to read more about the closure of Jing Pro.

Explain It To Me Explains Iran

I'm kind of hooked on CNN's Explain It To Me series of videos. Each video offers a nice, succinct explanation of topics in the news. One that I watched early this morning is an explanation of Iran's nuclear program and the concerns it causes. The short video is appropriate for use with high school students in a current world news course.

To follow-up on the video above, ThinkFinity has a good list of lesson plans for teaching about nuclear energy. Here is a short video explanation of how a nuclear reactor works.

Video - The Science of Barefoot Running

One of my younger brothers owns a small running company and is a fairly competitive distance runner so I've asked him a couple of times why some people choose to run barefoot. He's explained it to me a couple of times, but this video from NPR provides a good visual of the difference in foot movement between running with shoes and running without shoes.

Applications for Education
This video could be a good little visualization to use in an anatomy and physiology lesson.

11 Web-based Polling and Survey Tools

Yesterday, I wrote a short post about Kwiqpoll. After that post was published I got a few requests for suggestions about other web-based polling/ survey tools. Here are eleven other ways you can conduct polls and surveys online.

MicroPoll makes it very easy to create a poll, customize it, and embed it into your blog or website. To use MicroPoll just enter your question, enter answer choices, and enter your email address. After completing those first three steps you can preview your poll, change the theme (look) of your poll, and get the embed code for your poll.

Flisti is a free and easy-to-use polling tool. Registration is not required in order to create a poll with Flisti. In fact, registering doesn't seem to be an option at all. To create a poll using Flisti just enter your question, specify some answer choices, then click "create new poll." Your poll(s) can be embedded into your blog, website, or wiki.

Quiz Snack offers a free service for creating polls and quizzes to post in your blog or website. To use Quiz Snack you can sign in with your Twitter, Facebook, Google, or Quiz Snack account. Then select one of three poll/quiz formats, type your question(s) and answer choices, and select a template. Then copy the embed code provided by Quiz Snack and place it your blog or website.

Pollmo is a free service offering an easy way to create and post simple polls online. Getting started with Pollmo is easy. Just head to their site, type your question, type your response choices, and select a color theme for your poll. Then just copy the embed code provided to place your poll on your blog or website. Don't have a blog or website? Then just direct people to the url assigned to your Pollmo poll.

Urtak is a free and simple polling service that can be used on any blog or website. The polls you create can have multiple questions, but they must be "yes or no" questions. But Urtak isn't that limited because visitors to your poll also have the option of writing in their own questions. You can get started using Urtak in seconds by registering with your Twitter or Facebook account. You can also use your email address to create an account with UrtakUrtak polls can be embedded into your blog or you can direct people to your poll by sharing the unique url Urtak assigns to your poll.

Using Yarp you can create a simple one question survey or one line event invitation. To create a Yarp survey select "survey" on the homepage, type a question, then select your answer format. All answer formats present only two options along the lines of "true or false" or "yes or no." Yarp invitations use the same format styles as Yarp surveys.

Vorbeo is a free service for creating polls for your blog or website. To use Vorbeo just type your question, enter your answer choices, select a background color, and specify the width of your polling widget. Then copy the embed code provided by Vorbeo and paste it into the html editor of your blog or website.

Obsurvey gives you the flexibility to create multiple choice surveys or open-ended surveys. Setting up a survey with Obsurvey is an easy process. To set up a survey simply select your question format and then edit the questions and answer choices using the text editor. The video here shows you how to set-up Obsurvey.

Polldaddy is one of the most recognized platforms for online polling. The free Polldaddy plan allows you to create polls or surveys containing up to ten questions. Poll/ survey results are displayed in real-time.

Kwik Surveys is a free survey tool that offers a bunch of excellent options. Kwik Surveys gives you the option to mix and match eleven different types of questions. You can administer your survey by posting it on a blog, website, or discussion forum. You can also email your survey to the people you want to take it. If you choose the email option, you can track who has taken your survey and restrict respondents to taking the survey only once.

Using forms in Google Documents you can create a simple survey or poll, gather the data, and then select from any number of gadgets and scripts to create visualizations of that data. You can find directions for creating a survey here. If you're a Blogger user, Blogger has a poll gadget that you can customize and insert into the sidebar of your blog.