Sunday, July 21, 2013

5 Services for Creating & Sharing Audio Recordings Online

Adding an audio message to your classroom blog or website can be a good way to help deliver important messages to your students and their parents. Posting an audio message, even if it covers the same content as a written message, can increase the chances that a visitor to your blog will take notice of something important. Adding an audio message to your blog or website is not difficult to do. Here are five free services that you can use to add an audio message to your blog or website.

Vocaroo is a free service that allows users to create audio recordings without the need to install any software. You don't even have to create an account to use Vocaroo. All you need to provide is a microphone. I used the microphone built into my MacBook to make the recording below. To create a recording just go to, click record, grant Vocaroo access to your mic, and start talking. After completing your recording, Vocaroo gives you the choice to publish it or to scrap it and try again. Vocaroo provides the option to embed the recording anywhere. Vocaroo provides the embed code for you. You can also download your recording, just look for the download link at the bottom of the page (it's small and easily overlooked).

SoundCloud is an online service for recording, hosting, and sharing audio tracks. You can use SoundCloud to upload and share audio recordings that you have stored on your computer. SoundCloud can also be used for directly recording a spoken track. One of the really neat features of SoundCloud is the option to comment on tracks as they are playing. To make a comment just play the track, click on it, then type your comment in the comment box. Your comment(s) will be attached to the spot in the track that you clicked on while listening. June 2020 update: SoundCloud no longer offers a built-in recording option.

Audioboo is a free tool for creating audio messages to share on the web. Using Audioboo you can record messages on your mobile device using Audioboo's free Android or iPhone apps. You can also record messages directly on the Audioboo website. Messages that you create can be shared by embedding your recording into a blog or website. You can also share messages by posting them to Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. Update June 2020: I no longer recommend this service.

Audio Pal is a free service that allows you to quickly and easily record audio messages to post your blog or website. You can record your Audio Pal message by phone, through your computer's microphone, or by uploading a recording. Messages are limited to sixty seconds so you must be succinct. After you've recorded your message, Audio Pal will play it back to you. If you like the recording, keep it. If you don't like your recording, click re-record. When you have a recording with which you're happy, enter your email address and an embed code will be sent to you almost immediately.

Record MP3 is another free tool for recording audio messages. To record a message using Record MP3 just grant the Flash recorder access to your computer, click record, and start talking. When your recording is complete you will get a link that you can post online or email to anyone you want to hear your recording. Update June 2020: I no longer recommend Record MP3.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Picture Manhattan Inside the Grand Canyon

Gus Petro is a Swiss photographer that recently published a neat visualization of the size of the Grand Canyon. He took his pictures of buildings and the Manhattan skyline and used Photoshop to drop them into his pictures of the Grand Canyon. You can see the pictures on Gus Petro's website and in this Atlantic article which is where I found them.

Applications for Education
Gus Petro's photographs could be helpful in getting students to comprehend the depth of the Grand Canyon. Combine your use of his photographs with a Street View tour of the Grand Canyon or this virtual paddling trip through the Grand Canyon.

The Week in Review - The Desert Edition

Good morning from Maine where I am home after spending a few days in Scottsdale, Arizona for the Pearson OLE Authentic Learning conference and one day in Vermont for Discovery's Summer Institute. Thank you to everyone who came out to those events and said hello. And as always, thanks to all of you who continue to share things you find here and tell your colleagues about Free Technology for Teachers. I couldn't do this without your support.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. 500+ Political Cartoons & 100+ Editorial Cartoon Lesson Plans
2. How to Create Flipped Classroom Assignments & Videos With Knowmia
3. 30 Ideas for Using Chromebooks in Education
4. Explore the Eiffel Tower With Google Street View
5. 5 Resources to Help Students Make Healthy Food Choices
6. iStoryBooks - Narrated Children's Stories on Windows 8
7. 7 Ways to Use Video In Your Classroom

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Science Millionaire and Other Fun Science Games for Kids

Jefferson Lab is a good place to find educational science and math games. I discovered this resource a few years ago because one of my 9th grade students was hooked on playing "Who Wants to Win $1,000,000?". The games and puzzles that you'll find are focused on math and science although one word game is thrown in for good measure.

Applications for Education
The games from Jefferson Lab could provide good practice in applying science and math knowledge to problem solving. Jefferson Lab also has a great Teacher Resources page full of lesson plans for hands-on activities, study pages, and reference materials.

Chem Collective - Resources to Teach and Learn Chemistry

Chem Collective is a project designed and maintained by Carnegie Mellon University's chemistry department and the National Science Digital Library. On Chem Collective you will find virtual labs for chemistry experiments, simulations, visualizations, tutorials, and auto-graded problems. Students and teachers can search the site by resource type or by chemistry topic.

Applications for Education
Chem Collective offers teachers the option to create their own Chem Collective pages containing resources and activities that they have selected from the Chem Collective library for their students.