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).

Interactive Map of Sea Level Rise Estimates

Surging Seas, produced by, is an interactive map of the potential impact on the United States of rising sea levels. The map allows you to click along coastal areas on the east coast and west coast to see how high the sea level could rise. The Surging Seas maps also project the number of people, homes, and land area that could be affected if the projections are correct.

Applications for Education
If you're teaching lessons on climate change, particularly if you're teaching those lessons in US coastal area, the Surging Seas interactive map could be a great way for students to see how climate change could affect them in the future.

H/T to Read Write Web.

Wappwolf - Drag Files to Dropbox and Automatically Convert Them To Multiple Formats

If you're like me and you have multiple devices that you use on a frequent basis, Wappwolf is a Dropbox client that you have to check out. Wappwolf allows you to upload files to your Dropbox account by dragging and dropping from your desktop. Once you have set all of your Wappwolf options you can have specific synchronization and conversion actions applied to the files that you upload.

Some of the automated options that you can apply to your Wappwolf account include syncing to specific folders in you Dropbox account, converting files into various file types (I chose to have all PDFs convert to TXT) syncing files to your Kindle, syncing files to Google Docs (now a part of Google Drive), or automatically convert your files to ePub for viewing on iPads. You can also use Wappwolf to have image files automatically shared to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Learn more about Wappwolf in the video below.

Applications for Education
For teachers and students who use multiple devices and need to be able to access their files in a variety of formats, Wappwolf could be a fantastic tool to use in conjunction with Dropbox. Have a series of audio recordings from your students that need to be converted for use in multimedia projects? Upload them through Wappwolf and they'll be automatically converted in the file format of your choice. Have a series of documents that you want students to be able to read on their iPads, but don't have them in ePub format? Upload them through Wappwolf and have them all converted for you.

Screen Draw - Draw or Type on Any Webpage

Grizzly Ape is a software development company in the U.K. that has built some handy Firefox add-ons. One of their free add-ons is Screen Draw.

With Screen Draw installed you can type on and or draw free-hand on any webpage that you're viewing in Firefox. You could circle elements on a page then type a bit about that element. Your screen drawings can be saved as PNG and JPG files.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for a quick way to create annotated screen images to provide directions to students, Screen Draw could be a handy tool for you.

One way that you might have students use Screen Draw is to have them practice giving written directions. Have students pick one of their favorite websites and write directions for using it as if someone was brand new to using the web. Students (and teachers too sometimes) often assume a lot when giving directions. By starting from scratch assuming that the audience knows nothing, students are forced to slow down and think about the details that they might otherwise assume everyone knows.

For some more screen capture options, please see 7 Good Screen Capture Tools for Teachers.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easier Location Sharing in Google Earth

Sharing your favorite locations in Google Earth recently got a lot easier than it used to be. In the past to share a Google Earth location you had to download the KMZ or KML files. The newest sharing option in the latest version of Google Earth (version 6.2) allows for quicker and easier location sharing. Now when you're viewing a location in Google Earth that you want to share, you can share it by simply clicking the "share" button in upper-right corner of your screen. The sharing options include sharing a screenshot via Google+ or email, sharing a view via email, sharing a placemark via email, or sharing to the Google Earth community. Sharing a view or placemark via email creates a KML file for you. (You do have to be signed into your Google Account to do this).

While we're on the topic of sharing map views, this is a good time to remind you that you can share views from Google Maps by clicking on the "link" icon on the upper-left corner of a Google Maps screen. You can also generate a KML file in Google Maps by selecting the "export as KML" option. Take a look at the screenshots below for directions.

Applications for Education
If you're using Google Earth for lessons with your students, the new location sharing option could be useful for sharing with students who are not in the classroom with you. And if your students are over 13 and using Google+ sharing views to a Google+ circle could be a good way to host a conversation around a particular view or place in the world.