Sunday, October 21, 2012

Snapify - Quickly Find Definitions and Explanations

Yesterday, during my presentation for the DEN Virtual Conference I included a bunch of my favorite tools. One that I want to highlight again this evening is Snapify. Snapify is a handy little Chrome extension that allows you to highlight any word or phrase on a webpage and quickly find definitions, videos, Tweets, and webpages about that word or phrase. See it in action in the video below.


Applications for Education
Snapify could be a great little tool for students to use when they're reading articles online. Anytime students come to a word or phrase that they don't understand they can simply highlight it and click "snap it" to find definition or explanation.

The 1900 House Living Without Technology Challenge

The 1900 House was a PBS television series that aired a few years ago. The show is no longer on the air (you can purchase it on DVD still), but the companion website is still live and quite useful. The 1900 House website offers virtual tours complete with video clips of a Victorian Era house. To complement the virtual tours of the house, PBS offers two lesson plans designed to get students to compare their lives today with how they would have lived at the turn of the 20th Century.

Applications for Education
 The 1900 House lesson plans are designed for middle school use. Our Town 1900 asks students to search their own towns about where people lived and the type of work they did in their towns at the turn of the 20th Century. The Living Without Technology lesson plan challenges students to live without modern conveniences for 24 hours to experience life as they would have 100 years ago.

Tackk - Quickly Create Simple Webpages

Tackk is a free service that you can use to quickly create simple webpages. Using Tackk you can create a page to announce an important event, to advertise an event, or to show off your best digital works.

To create a Tackk page you do not need to register for an account, but unregistered Tackk pages expire after seven days. If you register for the service your Tackk pages stay up indefinitely. I registered for the service before creating my first Tackk page. Creating my Tackk was a simple matter of uploading an image then adding text in the customizable fields above and below my image. Tackk pages can accommodate videos, audio files,  and maps, but I did not include those items in my first Tackk page.

Applications for Education
Tackk could be a good tool for students to use to quickly create a page to show off some of their digital photography, video creation projects, or audio files. Student groups looking to create a landing page for a fundraising event may want to give Tackk a try too.

H/T to David Kapuler.

College Students Can Now Get 5GB of Free Dropbox Storage

The online storage service Dropbox is giving away an extra 3GB of free storage to college students who sign up for the service between now and December 10, 2012. This means that students who sign up using their university/ college email addresses will get 5GB of total storage for free.

The extra free storage is part of Dropbox's Space Race promotion. To get the free storage students do need to be at an institution that has at least 25 Dropbox users. So if you're a student who wants to make sure that you get the free storage you need to refer classmates to Dropbox.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Six Multimedia Timeline Creation Tools for Students

This week I ran a workshop on mind mapping, brainstorming, and timeline creation. These are the timeline creation tools that I included in the workshop.

Meograph offers a nice way to create narrated map-based and timeline-based stories. Much of what Meograph offers can be accomplished in Google Earth. However, Meograph is browser-based so that students can create stories even if they cannot install Google Earth on their computers. August 2019: This tool is no longer available.

Dipity is a great timeline creation tool that allows users to incorporate text, images, and videos into each entry on their timeline. Like most good web tools, Dipity has a collaboration option and has multiple options for sharing your timelines publicly or privately. Each entry to a Dipity timeline can include multiple types of media which allows users to add more detail and information than can be included in a traditional timeline. If you want to import Tweets and other social media messages, you can do that too on Dipity. Dipity will work on your iPad. This tool is no longer available (August 2019)


myHistro is a timeline builder and map creation tool rolled into one nice package. On myHistro you can build a personal timeline or build a timeline about a theme or event in history. Each event that you place on your timeline can be geolocated using Google Maps. myHistro timelines can be created online or you can use the free iPad app to create events on your timeline.

I like XTimeline because I find it to be a great service that is very accessible to high school students. Using XTimeline students can collaborate, just as they would when making a wiki, to build a multimedia timeline. Timelines built using XTimeline can include text, images, and video.XTimeline will accept dates in A.D./B.C. format. Update 1/20/2014: XTimeline appears to have gone offline. 

TimeGlider offers some nicer layout features compared to XTimeline, but is not quite as intuitive to use as XTimeline. The layout features that I like about TimeGlider is the ability to stagger or indent events below each other in a sequence. TimeGlider also makes it easy to display the relative importance of an event by increasing its size in comparison to other events on the timeline.

Time Toast is easy to learn to use. Time Toast does not have the more advanced editing options that XTimeline and TimeGlider offer.