Showing posts with label aviary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aviary. Show all posts

Friday, October 6, 2017

National Audubon Society Offers Great Educational Resources

The mission of the National Audubon Society is to, "Protect birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas, using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation." Their beautiful website is full of resources that could be used in a variety of subjects and with students of all ages.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Binocular guide- provides tips on selecting binoculars as well as a guide to identify birds in the field. 
  • News- numerous articles that focus on science.
  • Ideas for how to get involved and help be an advocate for birds. 
  • Live bird webcams from around the United States. 
  • Education page with information on different nature camps for kids. 
  • Tips and tricks for photographing birds. 
  • Bird Guide with beautiful illustrations as well as bird calls for hundreds of different birds. 
If you want to see more posts about birds make sure you check out Wall of Birds and an Interactive Mural of Birds.

Applications for Education
This would be a great website to use with students of all ages who are researching birds,  conservation, habitats, or who need to identify birds. This site is also a great place to find current event articles. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Aviary Online Image & Audio Editing Ends Tomorrow

As was announced in July, Aviary is shutting down their online advanced suite of image and audio editing tools. September 15, tomorrow, the advanced suite will be closed. If you have image or audio files stored in Aviary that you don't want to lose, download those files today. If you're interested you can read Aviary's closure announcement here.

Click here for five alternatives to Aviary for online audio recording and editing.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Aviary to Close Their Advanced Suite

For the last two years I've been a big fan of Aviary's advanced suite of online image editing and sound editing tools. Aviary's Myna and Roc music editors have been featured in many of workshops and presentations over that time. This evening I received an email from Aviary informing me that they are shutting down their suite of online image and sound editing tools. The closure will be effective on September 15. You can read the whole email here.

Off the top of my head I can't think of another free, online sound editor that is as robust as Aviary's Myna tool. I will be on the lookout for a replacement though and will share it when I find it. If you have a suggestion, please leave it in the comments.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Try Aviary's Awesome New Mobile Image Editor

Last night I received an email from Aviary announcing their new mobile image editing tool. Aviary's new mobile image editor is available as a free iPad app and as a free Android app. I installed it on my Android tablet this morning and gave it a try. Overall, the new Aviary Photo Editor is impressive.

Using the Aviary mobile image editor you can add Instagram-like filters to your images. There are twelve free filters to pick from. The Aviary mobile image editor allows you to crop your images, adjust color saturation, adjust image brightness, adjust the contrast, and flip the orientation of your images. The free app also gives you free tools for drawing on your images, adding text to your images, and adding stickers to your images. When you have finished editing your images you can save on your device, send them out as emails, or share them to Evernote, Google+, Twitter, Picassa, Facebook, and many other social networks.

Applications for Education
The Aviary mobile image editor is a great tool that students can use to crop and enhance images that they want to use in slideshows and videos. I always encourage the use of your own images in presentations, especially presentations that will be shared online, to avoid any worries about attribution.  The drawing and typing tools in the Aviary mobile image editor could also be used by students to create and enhance simple picture stories.

Click here for the free Aviary iPad app.
Click here for the free Aviary Android app.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Roc Out With Aviary's Myna

Earlier today Wes Fryer asked on Twitter for help finding a web-based tool for audio editing in a manner similar to Audacity and Garage Band. I Tweeted back with the suggestion of checking out Aviary's Myna and Roc services. That prompted me to dig up a couple of my previous posts about both of those excellent services from Aviary.

Myna is a free web-based audio track mixer created by Aviary. Using Myna you can mix together up to ten tracks to create your own audio files. The sounds you mix can come from the Myna library, your vocal recordings made with Myna's recorder, or audio tracks that you upload to your Myna account. The video embedded below provides a great overview of the many features offered by Myna.
Using Aviary's Roc you can create your own music loops or samples. After you've created your music samples you can download them, reuse them in Myna, or embed them into your blog. Below you will find a brief tutorial on how to create sound loops using Aviary Roc.


Google Apps for Education users, remember that Aviary's services can be incorporated into your account through the Google Apps Marketplace. This means that teachers and students can save their Aviary creations in their Google Accounts. Below is a tutorial on how to add Aviary to your Google Apps for Education services (note: you have to be the administrator of your organization's Google Apps for Education account to make this happen).


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

10 Sites and Services I'm Using This Semester

Every year in the course of writing this blog I look at and try out hundreds of new services that educators can use. So it's not surprising that usually after I give a "best of the web" presentation at a school or conference people ask me which services I'm actually using in my classroom. The answer changes from semester to semester, but here are the ones my students and I are currently using. This list is in no particular order other than how I thought of them as I wrote out the list.

1. Posterous. My students are required to write a weekly reflective blog post in which they share what they learned and what they have questions about. We're using Posterous because it is very easy for students to contribute to the blog by sending an email.

2. Blogger. I've been using Blogger for years to run a blog for all of my students. MrByrneTeaches.com is where I post outlines, slides, assignments, videos, and other materials for all my students to access.

3. Google Voice. I use Google Voice for students and parents to text me with questions.

4. XTimeline. A good service for creating multimedia timelines.

5. Google Maps. In one of my classes students are using Google Maps to create maps of the westward expansion of the United States.

6. Apture. Apture is a browser plug-in that allows students to highlight words on webpages and instantly access information about those words.

7. We Video. One of my classes has just started using We Video to create videos about the US Government's treatment of Native Americans.

8. Drop It To Me. I use this service to collect assignments online.Students can send files directly to my Dropbox.com account.

9. Todays Meet. This is still my favorite back-channel service because of it's simplicity and ease of use.

10. Aviary. Aviary offers a great online service for creating audio tracks that my students can use in their video projects.

There are other services and sites that my students and I will use this fall but the ten above are the ones that we will use most often.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

10 Free Online Image Editing Tools

One of the challenges students face when creating multimedia projects for school assignments is finding images that are appropriate in both content and size for the project on which they are working. Here are ten tools that students can use to alter images to fit with the goals of their multimedia projects. These tools range from simple resizing tools to an image editing suite that is trying to challenge Photoshop.

Cloud Canvas is a free online image editing and image creation tool. Cloud Canvas fits in a niche somewhere between a simple drawing tool and a full-blown image editor like Aviary. If all you need is a tool for drawing simple pictures and diagrams, Cloud Canvas has you covered. If you need to do some basic work with vectors and layers, Cloud Canvas can help you there too. If you have photos or drawings that you want to edit, you can do that with Cloud Canvas. Cloud Canvas uses HTML5 instead of Flash so you should be able to use it on the iPad. Cloud Canvas integrates with your Google Docs account so that when you save an image edited in Cloud Canvas it is saved and accessible in your Google Docs account. You can also export your images as PNG files.

Psykopaint is an image editing tool that uses the color schemes in your existing images to provide you with a custom palate of colors for touching-up your images. You can also use Psykopaint to draw on an image. To use Psykopaint just upload an image and begin editing. You can adjust the color saturation of an image, blur the edges of your image or the objects within your images. Psykopaint provides a good selection of brushes and color blending tools to get your image looking exactly the way you want it to look.

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.
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.

GooEdit is a free image editing tool that operates as a Google Chrome extension. GooEdit allows you to edit images without having to leave your browser. You can add outlines, flip images, resize images, and do other basic image editing tasks in GooEdit. If you need a simple image editing tool for your students, give GooEdit a try.

Resize Your Image.com is a simple tool for resizing images. The directions for using it are very clear and the advertising is minimal. You can expand or contract your images in just a matter of minutes.

Shrink Pictures shrinks images that are in jpeg, gif, and png formats. You can specify the exact dimensions you want your image to be or use the percentage scale to specify the new dimensions for your image.

Pic Resize offers you the option to re-size pictures on an individual basis or re-size a batch of images at once.

FlauntR is a suite of free, web-based image editing tools. There are five tools included in the FlauntR package. In EditR you can touch-up your digital photos. StylR allows you to apply digital effects like backgrounds and frames to you images. PicasR gives you the ability to blend colors, effects, and images. TextR can be used to add text and banners to your images. And PrintR provides a postcard, poster, and printing service (you do have to pay for the printing). Once you've registered for FlauntR you can easily transition between each of the editing services within the suite. To transition between services simply click on the tabs at the top of the page, you're not required to log into each service separately. The images you edit can be sourced from your computer, Flickr, Facebook, or the web. You can also choose images from Picasa, Bebo, or use the sample images provided by FlauntR.

Aviary offers the most complete set of image creation and editing tools of all the services on this list. Aviary provides tools for editing the colors, size, shadows, and other effects of existing images. If creating images from scratch is what you want to do, Aviary can accommodate you too. Aviary provides tools for creating logos, working with vectors, and creating free hand illustrations. If you are a Google Apps for Education school, Aviary can be added to your suite of services to allow students to save their works within their Google Apps accounts.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aviary Offers 30 Days of Roc - New Sounds to Mix

Early last summer Aviary introduced a free tool called Roc for creating and remixing your own music loops. Everyday this month Aviary is adding new sounds to the Roc sound gallery. These sounds can be used to create new music using the online Roc music creator. So far four new sound packs have been added to the gallery. These new sounds include "human beat box," "body sounds," "kitchen sounds," and "around the house."

Roc, which is similar to Aviary's Myna audio editor, is a cloud-based tool for mixing sounds. Completed Roc projects can be downloaded for use in podcasts, videos, and other multimedia projects. Roc can also be integrated into your Google Apps account through the Google Apps Marketplace. Watch an overview of how Roc works in the video below.

Roc 101: Introduction from Mizagorn on Vimeo.

Applications for Education
When having students create multimedia projects, the best way to avoid any concerns associated with Copyrighted music is to have students use their own creations. Roc is a good free tool that students can use to create their own music for their multimedia presentations. And because Roc operates entirely online students can work on their music creations from their home computers, school computers, or public library computers.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

11 Ed Tech Things I Got Excited About in 2010

It's that time of year when we take a look back at the last year. In 2010 I've written more than 1300 blog posts. Some of the things that I wrote about I got really excited about and couldn't type fast enough to share with all of you. Here are eleven ed tech things that I got excited about in 2010. (There are actually more than eleven, but I wanted to keep this post to a manageable length).

Mashpedia is an interesting service that matches reference articles from Wikipedia to materials from other sources like YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Digg, and the web in general. The purpose of drawing materials from multiple sources is to provide users with a comprehensive view of current news stories and reference topics.

Wikipedia, somewhat unfairly, too often gets bad-mouthed by educators that don't understand how the content on it is updated and edited by a community of users. Because of that lack of understanding some educators don't allow students to access Wikipedia at all and are therefore depriving students of a general reference. Common Craft has a video that those educators should watch. Wikipedia Explained by Common Craft uses Common Craft's In Plain English style to explain how Wikipedia works. The video explains how Wikipedia entries are written, updated, verified, and maintained. Watch the video on Common Craft.

ZooBurst is a new website that offers an exciting free service. ZooBurst allows users to create 3D pop-up books using nothing more than public domain clip art and ZooBurst's web-based editing tools. Users can view ZooBurst 3D books in augmented reality by enabling their webcams (click webcam mode) then clicking the ZB button present on each story.

Hoppala is an augmented reality layer creation service that launched late last week. Creating an augmented reality layer is essentially a drag and drop process when using Hoppala. Watch the video here to learn more about creating augmented reality content using Hoppala.
Hoppala could be a great tool for students to use to develop augmented walking tours of their communities. Augmented reality layers could also be developed to complement the content of stories that students write. For example, if students write a story based in their communities they could then create a physical walk-through of that story supplemented with augmented reality layers.

Sweet Search is a search engine that searches only the sites that have been reviewed and approved by a team of librarians, teachers, and research experts. In all there are 35,000 websites that have been reviewed and approved by Sweet Search. In addition to the general search engine, Sweet Search offers five niche search engines. The niche search engines are for Social Studies, Biographies, SweetSites (organized by grade and subject area), School Librarians, and Sweet Search 4 Me (for elementary school students).

Wetoku is a free service for quickly conducting, recording, and sharing video interviews using your webcam. To conduct an interview just log-in to your account, click "start new interview," and send the invitation link to whomever you want to interview. Wetoku records the videos from both participants in the interview. When you embed the recording, the videos of both participants appear side by side. If you want to make your videos password protected, Wetoku gives you that option.

DROPitTOme is a free service that works with Drop Box to allow people to upload files to your Drop Box account without giving them access to the contents of your Drop Box account. For those not familiar with Drop Box it is a service that provides 2GB of free online file storage (by the way, that's way more than the 100mb Drop.io offered). You can access your Drop Box from any computer and most mobile devices. You can also sync it across multiple computers.  Learn more about Drop Box in this video.  DROPitTOme works by synchronizing with your Drop Box account. After connecting the two services DROPitTOme provides a url that you can give to others to upload files to your Drop Box account. You must specify a password that has to be entered before an upload can take place. Give the url and password to those people you want to be able to upload files to your Drop Box account. Learn more about DROPitTOme in this video.

In late spring 2010 Google announced that more features would be coming to Google Apps for Education. In November those features were finally made available. Now nearly all of Google's tools can now be integrated into your Google Apps for Education account. This means that if there is a Google tool that you want the users in your Google Apps for Education domain to use, you can add it in. Learn more in the video here.

App Inventor for Android makes it possible for people without any coding skills to develop applications for Android-powered phones. Initially available to a select group of early adopters, App Inventor for Android was opened to the world earlier this month. App Inventor for Android is a drag and drop program for developing Android applications. Even if you don't have an Android-powered phone, you can still develop an application using the emulator built into App Inventor for Android. App Inventor for Android provides detailed step-by-step directions for building your first application. Watch the video here to see the App Inventor in action.

In the spring of 2010 JayCut relaunched its free, online, video editing service. JayCut has elements of iMovie and Movie Maker in a free online application. JayCut is free to use and your final product can be downloaded to your local computer. Here are some of the highlights of the JayCut editor:
  • Every element of your video can be added through simple drag and drop motions. The play length of each element in your video can be shortened or lengthened by simply dragging the ruler tools.
  • JayCut's API is free and allows you to put the JayCut video editor on your own website. Using their API you can install JayCut's video editor on your PHP-based website. JayCut offers step-by-step directions for installing their video editor on your website.
  • JayCut has options for adding slow motion effects, direct recording from your webcam, a green screen, and color editing.

The Google Apps Marketplace opened to everyone in March. Thanks to Fred Delventhal, one of the first apps that I learned was in the Marketplace is Aviary. Aviary offers free, web-based, image editing services and sound editing services. By offering their services for free in the Google Apps Marketplace, Aviary is allowing anyone using Google Apps for Domains (either education or enterprise editions) to integrate Aviary services into the Google services they're already using. When added to your Apps, Aviary will appear in your list of Google Apps services just like Docs, Reader, and all of your other favorite Google tools. Please note, to install Aviary from the Google Apps Marketplace you must have administrative rights to your domain.
So what ed tech things did you get excited about in 2010?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Put an Image Editor in Your Website

Aviary, a free image editing and sound editing service that I've featured on Free Technology for Teachers a number of times in the past, recently launched a free image editing tool that you can put into your own website. Aviary's HTML5 Photo Editor can be embedded into your own website.

After learning about the Aviary HTML5 editor from Larry Ferlazzo, I gave it a quick test. While I was able to get to operate correctly in demonstration mode, I couldn't quite get it right on my blog. I'm sure that's a result of something I'm doing incorrectly rather than an issue with Aviary. I'll continue tweaking it and post proper directions when I get it right. In the meantime, you can see what my demo looked like below.














Applications for Education
Aviary's new HTML5 Photo Editor could be a great resource to add to a school or classroom website. Students could edit their images on the same site that they frequent for assignments and information about their classes.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
GooEdit - Image Editing in Google Chrome
7 Places & Ways to Find Copyright-friendly Images

Friday, July 2, 2010

Get Priority Access to the Aviary Education Beta

Last Saturday I wrote about the launch of Aviary Education. As a thank you to me and to you Aviary has given me a priority access code to give to you. If you really want to be one of the first teachers to try Aviary Education sign up for the beta here and enter the code FreeTeach4Techers01. The code won't give you instant access, but it will move you to the top of the list. Please only use the code if you are a classroom teacher that truly plans to try Aviary Education with your students.

Applications for Education
Here's what I wrote last week about using Aviary's products with students.

This year my students used Aviary's Myna sound editor to make sound tracks for mini-documentary videos they made about the expansion of US borders during the 19th century. Roc is a relatively new offering from Aviary that will allow anyone to create music tracks. You can then take those Roc tracks and mix them with voice tracks in Myna to create an outstanding original sound track for a podcast or video.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Aviary for Education Launches in Beta

Over the last year Aviary's suite of tools has become one of my favorite free resources on the web. This week Aviary took another step up the ranks of my list of favorite free tools. This week Aviary launched, in beta, Aviary Education. Aviary Education will give teachers and students access to Aviary's image editor, music creator, vector editor, and sound mixing service. Aviary Education will allow teachers to manage student accounts, give assignments, and messages all students at once within a private environment. Aviary Education is in beta and you do have to apply and be approved to use the new service. When you apply you do need to provide you school email address as well as the name and location of your school.

You can read about Aviary's sound mixer Myna here. You can read about Aviary's music creator Roc here. In the slideshow below you will see how to use Aviary Roc.


If you're a Google Apps for Education school, you can add all of Aviary's services to your Google Apps. Read about how to do that here.

Applications for Education
This year my students used Aviary's Myna sound editor to make sound tracks for mini-documentary videos they made about the expansion of US borders during the 19th century. Roc is a relatively new offering from Aviary that will allow anyone to create music tracks. You can then take those Roc tracks and mix them with voice tracks in Myna to create an outstanding original sound track for a podcast or video.

The image editing tools offered by Aviary are great free, web-based, alternatives to the offerings of Photoshop.


Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
How to Use YouTube's New Video Editor
Free Guide - Making Videos on the Web
Five Ways Students Can Build Multimedia Timelines

Monday, June 14, 2010

Aviary Roc Rocks! Make Your Own Music Loops

Last week Aviary introduced a new service designed to complement their Myna sound mixing service. The new service is called Roc and it does rock. Using Roc you can create your own music loops or samples. After you've created your music samples you can download them, reuse them in Myna, or embed them into your blog. Below you will find a brief tutorial on how to create sound loops using Aviary Roc.


Google Apps for Education users, remember that Aviary's services can be incorporated into your account through the Google Apps Marketplace. This means that teachers and students can save their Aviary creations in their Google Accounts. Below is a tutorial on how to add Aviary to your Google Apps for Education services (note: you have to be the administrator of your organization's Google Apps for Education account to make this happen).


Applications for Education
The combination of Aviary's Myna and Roc services could be a great way for your students to create their own audio tracks for podcasts, videos, and other multimedia projects. Because your students will be creating original works neither you nor they have to worry about violating anyone's copyright rights.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Soundation - Online Sound Track Creation

Soundation is a free service that allows anyone to create and remix sound tracks online. If you have used Apple's Garage Band or Aviary's Myna, Soundation will look familiar to you. Soundation provides five tracks on which you can place music clips and sound effects to mix together. To create your original work you can select from Soundation's gallery of 400 free sounds, upload your own sounds, or record new sounds using the instruments and keyboard built into Soundation. When you've created a product you like, you can download it or share it in Soundation's gallery.









Thanks to Jeff and Dan at Wicked Decent Learning for sharing this great resource. If you haven't heard it before, Wicked Decent Learning is an entertaining and insightful podcast about all things education, check it out
.

Applications for Education
One of the best ways to avoid any confusion or worry regarding copyright when your students create multimedia projects, is to have them create their own original works. Soundation could be a great tool for students to use to create sounds for podcasts, videos, and other multimedia works.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
5 Resources for Creating and Hosting Podcasts
Myna - Free Online Audio Mixer
Free Guide - Making Videos on the Web

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to Add Aviary to Your Google Apps Services

Earlier this week the Google Apps Marketplace opened to everyone. Thanks to Fred Delventhal, one of the first apps that I learned was in the Marketplace is Aviary. Aviary offers free, web-based, image editing services and sound editing services. You can find some of my previous posts about Aviary's services here, here, and here.

By offering their services for free in the Google Apps Marketplace, Aviary is allowing anyone using Google Apps for Domains (either education or enterprise editions) to integrate Aviary services into the Google services they're already using. When added to your Apps, Aviary will appear in your list of Google Apps services just like Docs, Reader, and all of your other favorite Google tools.

Please note, to install Aviary from the Google Apps Marketplace you must have administrative rights to your domain. For those interested in adding Aviary to your Google Apps domain, I've included a short tutorial below. You can also read the directions on the Aviary blog.


Here is a video produced by Aviary about using their services in Google Apps.


Aviary isn't the only service with educational uses in the Google Apps Marketplace. You can also find some free scheduling tools, document synchronization tools, and security applications. Most of the offerings in the Google Apps Marketplace are not free. Hopefully, in the future there will be more companies like Aviary who see the value in offering their apps for free to educational institutions.

Applications for Education
Integrating Aviary into your Google Apps will provide your students with a free, easily accessible alternative to Photoshop and other expensive images editors. Aviary's sound editing service also provides students with the ability to work on sound mixing projects from multiple computers.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Could Aviary Challenge Photoshop in K-12 Settings?

For the last couple of years Aviary has been steadily rolling out a slew of web-based image editing tools. With only a handful of exceptions these tools have been completely free to use. Ten days ago Aviary announced a change to that policy and is now giving free, unlimited, access to all of their editing tools. These tools include a vector editor, color editor, image editor, effects editor, image markup tools, screen capture tools, and sound recording and mixing tools. Embedded below is a fast-paced overview of Aviary's image editor.


Applications for Education
Aviary probably won't replace Photoshop in commercial settings anytime soon, but for schools Aviary could be a great way to introduce students to the principles of image editing, markup, and vector editing. Aviary's sound recording and mixing tool that they offer is an excellent free alternative to Garage Band that I've used in my classroom.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Aviary Offers a New Option for Screen Captures
A Very Simple Way to Make Screen Captures
Myna - Free Online Audio Mixer

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Myna - Free Online Audio Mixer

Apple's Garage Band is one of the few pieces of proprietary software to which I honestly couldn't offer a comparable web-based alternative. That could change very soon if Aviary's new Myna service continues to perform as well as it did in my short test drive this evening.

Myna is a free web-based audio track mixer created by Aviary. Using Myna you can mix together up to ten tracks to create your own audio files. The sounds you mix can come from the Myna library, your vocal recordings made with Myna's recorder, or audio tracks that you upload to your Myna account. The video embedded below provides a great overview of the many features offered by Myna.


Applications for Education
Myna could eliminate the need for installing any kind of audio mixing software on your school's computers. Myna is completely web-based which means your students can start a project on a school computer and finish it on their home computers.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
5 Resources for Creating and Hosting Podcasts