EduCreations the “personal recordable whiteboard for the ipad”

I recently learned about a new app called EduCreations. It’s like a “personal recordable whiteboard for the ipad” that captures user’s voice, digital handwriting, images, and text for the creation of a video lesson or screencast. You can annotate images with handwriting.
Another unique feature of the app is it’s hosting service, which allows you to share any created projects with a class or select # of users.  As a teacher you can create a class and add your students. They can create their own projects once they are in your “class” with the app. The projects they create automatically go into your your class. You can also “push out” lessons to your class.
If you don’t have an ipad- You can used the web-based version of the app that works with any browser. Best Part about the app it’s FREE.
Tons of cool features-
  1. Handwriting and text tool
  2. import multiple images
  3. great editing tools
  4. animated play back
  5. multiple upload or share options
  6. 9 compatible languages
Hope you get a chance to check it out:
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Make a Mini Documentary with WeVideo

Today I was searching the web for a new and interesting way to have my students create the last documentary project about recent U.S. history. I would love to have them use iMovie but my new school does not have Mac computers and the PC’s are not very reliable. I was looking for a web-based program that can create digital movies both at home and school. I discovered WeVideo, which is an easy to use program that is capable of creating interesting student-created documentary projects.


WeVideo allows users to upload video clips and photos, create story-lines, and edit the entire video in the cloud. As a teacher using the cloud is wonderful…. no more issues with the network, no more issues with projects being on a particularly computer, and no more legitimate complaints of students saying they can’t work on it at home. All video creation takes place on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. No software to download and buy. Once the videos are created you can share them in basic interest or HD quality on the WeVideo website or publish and share it online such as Youtube, Facebook, or a teacher website or blog. Every student call now tell a story or make your content come alive. Give WeVideo a try you won’t be disappointed!

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Animoto: Video Slideshows

Animoto is a simple program online to create simple videos from pictures, sound, text, and  existing video clips. It 508971_Genrl-Slide-160x600-22makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. Animoto  is constantly updating its features as well as background options for your video slideshow.  If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto Video Slideshows.


Animoto Video Slideshows limits you to 30 second videos, but you can create longer videos if you apply for an education account and give your students the teacher code. I love to use Animoto early in the school year to introduce my new students to some of the basic skills that will be carried across to more complex video creations later in the year such as Garage Band and iMovie.

Here is a sample assignment and a here is a sample student project: VFW- Interest Group Project



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Educreations: Create and Share Video Lessons

I learned about Educreations,  from Infinite Think Machine; which is a free application for the ipad or a laptop that allows users to create virtual whiteboard lessons. Educreations has a clear audio voiceover, graphics, and the ability to post the interactive whiteboard to any social media website or blog.  This application can be used by students to help a classmate with a difficult math problem or historical time period.

Teachers can create a flipped lesson or assign educreations as a project with any unit of study. As a history teacher, I could see educreations as a useful resource. I think this would be an interesting way to introduce key vocabulary or review for the Regent’s exam. You could pair students together, assign them a vocabulary word, and have them create an interactive whiteboard video about the vocabulary word. You can then embed the videos online to view for homework, a video for class, or a review tool. The ideas are endless.

Here are a few examples:

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HelloSlide- Bring your Presentation to Life

As more and more classrooms move into the digital age, instructors are looking for ways to bring an interesting touch to their online lessons. HelloSlide is a wonderful way to transform a lesson into a audio-rich lesson that seems like a live presentation. I learned about HelloSlide from Richard Bryne’s blog Free Technology for Teachers. To get started using Hello Slide, register for a free account, upload a PDF of your slides, then start typing your narration.

Application in the Classroom: I can see HelloSlide being used multiple ways in the classroom. It could be used to teach a particular concept in class, previewing the night before, teaching a lesson using the “flipped” model, can be translated for ESL students, or even used in alternative assessment projects in which students teach the class a particular concept.

HelloSlide is very easy to use: 

1. You upload your presentation.

2. Type the speech for your presentation and HelloSlide automatically generates the audio. I only wish it gave you a feature to record your own voice with the presentation.

Here is a sample project already created on HelloSlide: 


HelloSlide provides key advantages over the video format:

  • Easy to create. Just take the PowerPoint slides already sitting in your computer, write the speech for each slide, and share them with the rest of the world. There’s no need to record any audio.
  • Editable presentations. Unhappy with the audio of your slides? Want to fix mistakes or improve the content? It’s easy: just press edit and tweak the speech until you’re happy with the result. No need to re-record the audio.
  • Auto translation. Make your presentation available in 20 different languages, with no additional effort. Just write the speech in English, and press translate.
  • Searchable content. You can search for audio keywords across all presentations, since everything is text-based.
  • Wider exposure. Your presentation is more discoverable on the web, since search engines can index the audio content more thoroughly.

Citation:  Hello Slide

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Record with QuickVoice

QuickVoice is a useful recording application that is easy to implement into your daily life.  You can record new ideas, voice memos, shopping lists  meetings, classes, interviews, teacher evaluation, or even an entire class period. This can be used in the professional, educational, and/or personal setting. It could even help students with studying such as recording useful information for a test or a classroom lecture.

QuickVoice can be used in multiple capacities in the classroom or in your own daily lives. This application is easy to use and implement.  According to QuickVoice it is “the most popular, full-featured iPhone/iPad/iPod voice recorder available.” Check it out today!

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Use Podcasts in the Classroom with Witness to History

I stumbled upon BBC’s Witness to History when I was searching for primary documents to use in my U.S. history classroom. The BBC Witness to History blog updates new primary source eyewitness accounts and voices from the BBC archive daily. The website takes listeners back in time to key events in history.  I don’t think I could think of a better way to learn about history other than to hear first-hand accounts of people who experienced each event.  Check it out today!

Here is a sample Witness to History: Pearl Harbor 


Photo Credit 












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What is Digital Storytelling?

I am presenting “Teaching History in the Digital Era”  Friday December 2, at 2 p.m. at the National Social Studies Conference held in Washington D.C. The presentation is designed to help teachers bring the past to life by incorporating multimedia resources into their teaching. Participants will learn new Digital technologies to make history come alive. 

The ancient tradition of storytelling meets the digital age. When students create a movie or interactive slideshow to tell their story, learning becomes personal. By incorporating digital storytelling projects into learning, you can reach today’s students and, at the same time, help them to develop the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century.


Digital storytelling learning projects may not be a cure-all for reluctant learners, bored students, or students who have trouble retaining information, but the digital storytelling experience in the classroom confirms this approach is exciting and a compelling way to engage students in the learning process and to inspire them to become lifelong learners.


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Make Videos Student Friendly with EmbedPlus

I have enjoyed using Tubechop, but I recently stumbled upon another program called EmbedPlus. Embed Plus allows users to share YouTube videos more effectively.  EmbedPlus allows users to seamlessly and freely upgrade video embeds with attractive features that the standard YouTube player does not currently offer. Given a YouTube link and a few seconds, it applies APIs to generate enhanced embed code that adds features like: DVD-like controls, “chopping”, real-time Internet reactions, third-party annotations, and more. EmbedPlus could be useful to anyone wanting to offer viewers more without having to actually alter original video content.

Using EmbedPlus is very simple: 

1. Enter the URL of your You Tube video

2. You can then use the EmbedPlus features to make the youtube video like a DVD control such as scene skipping, movable zoom, third party annotations, slow motion on-demand, and instant replay. You can even set a start time as well as fast forward to a specific scene. Teachers can even add words to the video to explain a particular scene.

3. When finished, click “get code” and either copy the new url for your video or embed the code into your website or blog to share with others.


Here are some ways teachers can use Edmbed Plus in the classroom: 

Chapter/Scene Skipping

Videos often have specific segments or turning points that viewers may wish to jump back and forth to, especially after the first view. A video could span multiple topics and/or contain different speakers. Teachers can mark each turning point for easy navigation using the jump buttons on the player. Alternatively, if a video has certain ‘skippable’ parts that are not relevant to the desired lesson, the beginning of the relevant parts could be marked for direct access to them.

Movable Zoom and Slow Motion

These are the other DVD-like controls. They can be particularly valuable for science and nature videos in which students are to make observations. To illustrate, a video might contain experiments and chemical reactions that may happen too quickly for normal playback. Slow motion and zoom offers students a chance to get a closer and clearer understanding of the event. They can also provide greater accessibility that some students might need for viewing text and other objects within a video.

Third Party Annotations

Teachers might wish to offer additional information beyond what is presented in a video. Such information could be effectively displayed using annotations that popup at user-defined times. EmbedPlus offers such a feature for third-parties–i.e. anyone that wishes to embed a video. While annotations/captions are also possible through YouTube, they can only be added by a user with access to the video’s channel. EmbedPlus complements YouTube in this way. You will also find that with EmbedPlus’ annotations, the control bar of the player displays the text to avoid blocking the video screen and possibly distracting viewers.

Real-time Reactions

This optional feature displays YouTube and Twitter reactions right inside the player. We are speculating that some comments from YouTube and Twitter can offer students useful viewpoints from others that have viewed a video, particularly those outside the students’ classroom. This of course depends on the nature of the commenters and tweeters.


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Nota- Collaborate with online presentations

Nota is a unique, cutting-edge collaborative web platform that allows users to create, share and collaborate on presentations and virtually any other form of online material. Using Nota’s proprietary toolset, users can instantly integrate text, video, maps, clip art, photos from web album or on the local computer, or license-free images from Flickr, and material from an ever-expanding array of sources. Users can then instantly embed their work in Facebook or blogs, and can share and collaborate with friends.

  • It’s easy to use, even for someone with no computer experience.
  • Fast load times mean near instant co-creation.
  • Embed anywhere including your blog and social networks – and it automatically pushes changes to all of these in real time.
  • Also, it is purpose-built to work well with touch interfaces.

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Pixlr- the new online photo editor for FREE

I can take absolutely no credit for “discovering” Pixlr. One student in my class was working on his interest group public service announcement and I was watching him edit a photo through Pixlr. He said he prefers Pixlr because it’s a free photo editing online software. When I got home, I played with it and discovered it’s fairly simple to modify any image.

What is it?

Pixlr is the creator of online, mobile and desktop image tools and utilities. They provide screen-grabbing tools Pixlr Grabber and one click photo sharing The pixlr services is built for both non-professionals and professional users with editing needs such as editing web images to be posted on social networks like Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, or image sites like Flickr, Fotolog, Photobucket etc. It’s also widely used by professionals for fixing images for news sites and blogs etc. Check it out today!





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Record Audio with Audioboo

I learned about Audioboo from the Engaging Educators Blog. Audioboo is a simple website that allows users to record free of charge online. Students can even download the app to their Droid or iphone to turn their smartphones into a recording device. Audioboo seems very easy to use in the classroom. It could be used with storytelling, interviews, radio shows, foreign langage assessments, and personal messages for families. The ideas are endless!

How it works? 

Students can record any audio and its turned into a podcast also called a “boo” You can share the podcast on a social networking website or email it to a friend. You can also play it directly from the web or embed it into your blog.

Poetizing Life: September 11 We Remember (mp3)

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Create a Flipbook from word or pdf

I learned about Page Flip-Flap from Make Use  Flipbooks, where you can flip the page instead of scrolling down, is quite the trend nowadays. PageFlipFlap lets you use this sleek format by helping you convert any Word orPDF document and even images into a flip book. All you have to do is upload the documents or images and provide an email address when you want to receive the link to your flip book.

Once the flipbook is created, you will receive an email with a unique URL. You can use that to view your flip book and share it with the world, for example on Facebook and Twitter. You can search your flipbook, zoom in and out, download it as a PDF and even email it to friends. The display can be customized by switching to a full screen view or a thumbnail view. The interface is cluttered with advertisements but the functionality is nevertheless quite awesome. Great resource for articles and interesting documents you want to flip.


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Create a Video with Slideroll

Slideroll™ is online slideshow software that allows people to create smooth, video-like slide shows and publish them on the web. It is unique because it has all of the power of a desktop application, plus all of the connectivity benefits of being online. Slideroll even allows you to easily put Flash movies on your site without having to learn Flash. Check it out today!

Slideroll is slideshow software that publishes online, and is always available from any PC connected to the internet. That means you can create and edit slide shows from anywhere you have a computer with internet access. Slide shows are published online so everyone can see them, and post comments on them if you wish.

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