Monday, November 5, 2018

Five Places to Find Free Music and Sounds for Multimedia Projects

From adding music to a slideshow to adding sound effects to videos to bumper music for podcasts, there are plenty of classroom projects that require free audio files. If you find yourself or your students in need of some free music or sound effects, take a look at these sites that offer thousands of free and legal audio downloads.

Dig CC Mixter is a good place to find music for use in classroom projects like videos and podcasts. The music that you will find on Dig CC Mixter is Creative Commons licensed. And, as I demonstrate in the following video, Dig CC Mixter makes it very easy to give proper attribution to the artists whose music you use.

Musopen's collection of free recordings contains performances of the works of hundreds of composers. The collection can be searched by composer, by performer, by instrument, or by form. You can stream the music from Musopen for free. You can also download five recordings per day for free from Musopen.

The Free Music Archive provides free, high-quality, music in a wide range of genres. The content on Free Music Archive is used under various creative commons licenses. The New York State Music Fund provided initial funding for FMA. FMA seeks to maintain a high-quality resource through the use of selected curators who approve or deny all submissions to the collection. Anyone can download music from FMA for use in podcasts, videos, and other digital presentation formats. The music collections can be searched by genre or by curator.

The National Jukebox is an archive of more than 10,000 recordings made by the Victor Talking Machine Company between 1901 and 1925. These are recordings that were made using an acoustical recording process that captured sounds on wax cylinders. The recordings in the archive can be searched and listened to on your computer. You can search the archives by recording date, recording type, language, and target audience. The National Jukebox has also arranged playlists that you can listen to in a continuous stream. You can also embed the recordings player into your blog or website.

Sound Bible is a resource for finding and downloading free sound clips, sound effects, and sound bites. Nearly all of the sounds on Sound Bible are either public domain or labeled with a Creative Commons license. On Sound Bible you will find sounds for use in blog posts, podcasts, videos, slideshows, or other multimedia creations.

A New and Easy ClassDojo Login for Students

Earlier this fall ClassDojo added new features to their digital portfolio tools for students and teachers. The highlight of those was the option for students to select the items that they want included in their portfolios. ClassDojo calls these student-led portfolios. Today, ClassDojo added a new way for students to sign into their portfolios.

Beginning today every student on your ClassDojo roster has his or her own unique QR code. You can print these QR codes and give them to your students to scan to sign into their individual accounts. Of course, this all assumes that a student doesn't then lose the printed code and or doesn't scan his/her classmate's code.

WWF Together - Revisiting a Favorite App

The World Wildlife Fund's Together app has been one of my favorite iPad apps since the first day that I saw it more than five years ago. The app is beautifully designed to show the stories of endangered or threatened animals around the world. This morning it popped-up on my iPad as a featured app suggestion. So I opened it up to see if there was anything new since the last time I looked at it. I was pleased to discover a couple of new items in the app.

WWF Together now features the stories of sixteen threatened or endangered animals around the world. The stories include facts about the animals' ranges, threats to their habitats, and latest news about efforts to help preserve these animals and their habitats. Within each story there is an opportunity for students to take a selfie with an animal. This is done through the use of augmented reality that lets users place an origami rendering of an animal into any setting including a selfie. And for those who want a hands-on activity, WWF Together includes directions for making origami animals.

The following video is a little dated (it doesn't include every feature of the app) but it is still a nice overview of what WWF Together is all about.

Applications for Education
WWF Together is a beautiful app for students to use to learn about endangered species and their habitats at their own pace. One of the aspects of the app that I have always liked is that the app tries to put statistics about the animals and habitats into a relatable context. For example, the range of an animal is displayed as a distance from wherever the user's iPad is but a map is also used to show an animal's range in relation to where the viewer is.

MyBib is Back

The last time that I wrote about MyBib it was to report that I didn't have any information about when it would be back online, if ever. That was exactly one month ago. This morning I received an email from a reader named Eliza who excitedly told me that MyBib is back! As soon as I read her email I went to check it out and, sure enough, MyBib seems to back and functioning as before.

If you're wondering what all this is about, MyBib is a free online bibliography creation tool. Unlike some other bibliography creation services MyBib doesn't charge a fee for their advanced features like exporting your bibliography to Google Drive or using a citation style other than MLA or APA. MyBib can create citations and bibliographies in a wide range of styles including the popular MLA, APA, Chicago, IEEE, and Harvard styles. Watch my video to see how your students can use MyBib to create bibliographies.

Hopefully, MyBib stays around this time. It's frustrating for you and it's frustrating for me to see a promising service quickly shut-down as MyBib did the first time.