Sunday, September 9, 2012

Pixlr Grabber - A Simple Screen Capture Tool

Earlier this week I recommended Pixlr to someone who needed a quick way to resize and change the colors of an image. Pixlr offers a large set of image creation and editing tools. One of the tools that can be quite handy is Pixlr Grabber. Pixlr Grabber is Pixlr's screen capture tool. Pixlr Grabber is available as an extension for Chrome or Firefox. Using Pixlr Grabber you can capture your screen, crop the screen image, and print what you like. You can also send the image to Pixlr Editor for further editing options.

Applications for Education
I always find it helps to have screen captures ready to send, post, or print for students to reference when I'm introducing them to new tools. I don't think that Pixlr Grabber offers anything that makes it significantly better than any other screen capture tool. That said, if you're looking for a screen capture tool to add to your browser, Pixlr Grabber will get the job done.

Gmail for Beginners - A Video Tutorial

My Google Drive and Google Sites guides both mention how to create Google accounts, but it doesn't cover how to use one of the most fundamental parts of Google accounts, Gmail. The video below, which I did not create, does a nice job of showing you the basics of using Gmail. I wish the video was zoomed-in a bit more, but otherwise it's a good primer for the first-time Gmail users.

I saw this video Tweeted a few days ago and forgot to note who it was that Tweeted it. If it was you, please let me know in the comments. 

Pinnacle Studio for iPad - Excellent Video Editor

Rarely do I write about apps that are "free for a limited time," but Pinnacle Studio is one iPad app that I think deserves your attention. Pinnacle Studio is a video editing app that is free right now although I don't know how long it will be before they start charging. After giving it a try I have to say that you should not waste anytime and grab it now while it's free.

Pinnacle Studio for iPad reminds me quite a bit of iMovie. In testing Pinnacle Studio I found it to have a more intuitive interface than iMovie (and I've used iMovie on my Mac for years). Within the first thirty seconds of using the app I was applying zoom effects, trimming and combining video clips, and adding a sound track to my project. The Pinnacle Studio editor works in landscape and portrait mode although I found it easier to use in landscape mode. Your finished Pinnacle Studio project can be exported to YouTube, uploaded to a account, emailed, saved on your iPad, or sent to your PC if you have Pinnacle Studio for PC (not a free program).

Applications for Education
If you're looking for an intuitive video editing app for your students to use this year, grab Pinnacle Studio for iPad while it's still free.

The Fotopedia National Parks App is Stunning!

Last week I installed the Fotopedia National Parks app on my iPad. The imagery in the app is simply stunning. Beyond the imagery the app offers photo-stories based on the imagery of the national parks in the app. And just like on the Fotopedia website each image is linked to a related Wikipedia entry.

Fotopedia offers ten other iPad apps including an app featuring UNESCO World Heritage sites. I installed the World Heritage sites app and found it to be every bit as good as the National Parks app.

Applications for Education
Browsing through the imagery in the Fotopedia apps could be a good way for students to learn a little bit about different parts of the world. You could focus students' browsing by asking them to identify geological features and or significant landmarks.

You could also have students use the Fotopedia Wild Friends app to view, discover, and learn about animals from all over the world.