Hold your breath… I’m going to violate one of my own rules that I laid out at the beginning of this blogging adventure. In the beginning, I said that I wouldn’t post things that must be purchased, downloaded, or installed as a browser plug-in. This posting violates two-thirds of the rules. Yeah, it’s free. But it’s both- a download and browser plug-in! At least it does work with PCs (Firefox, IE, Chrome) and Macs (Safari).
Simply put, this cool little plug-in/add-on turns your desktop into a cool photo and video browser. it allows you to look at a collection of images/videos either on your computer or at various websites (such as Flickr, YouTube, Google, Bing, etc.) in the form of a very cool scrolling wall of images like this (this is a wall full of images from Costa Rica via Flickr):
I embedded a wall here for you- which is another cool thing you can do with it! But it’s easier than that to use. If you are on one of the supported websites, you’ll notice a little CoolIris icon in the lower left of an image on the page. If you click on that image, it will open CoolIris and show you the wall full of photos from the site you are currently browsing.
Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself! It sure makes hunting for images a lot more fun!
This site is a God-send to teachers who want students to blog but want to protect them from giving out private information to the world. It’s also great for all you micro-managers and control freaks! The dangers of blogging are obvious, so I’m not even going to go into all that. But this free site (with phenomenal customer support) allows you to set up blogs for your students then lock down the blogs as much as you want. Check out these privacy settings:
What can students put into their blogs? Just about anything!
- images (from URL or uploaded)
- video (from URL or uploaded)
- documents and other media
HTML? That’s right! Students can embed HTML created from Continue reading
Have you ever needed a quick set of facts, but didn’t want to search through a million different websites to pull the facts together? That’s where Google Squared comes in. Google Squared (sponsored by Google of course) is a “smarter search” for facts. For example, if I needed facts about the different rain forests of the world, I could do a regular search which would probably give me what I need, but I’d have to compile the results from a few websites, or I could do a Google Squared search.
Finally! A great source for free, that’s right, free clip art! The Microsoft Clip Art gallery is OK at best- and that only suffices for your Office documents. But if you, like most educators, are in need of other clip art that you are free to use without worrying about violating copyright, then this site is for you! The site currently features over 30,000 pieces of searchable and browsable clip art graphics. Every one of these graphics are in the public domain, having been put there by the authors/designers. Here are a few examples (images that remind me of summer):
Each of the graphics can be downloaded in either the SVG format or the PNG format. For those of you unfamiliar with SVG, it stands for scalable vector graphics. If you don’t know the difference between a vector and a bitmapped/raster graphic, you should click here to find out more about these. Essentially, vector graphics can be scaled to any size without any loss of quality since they are drawn on your screen according to mathematical algorithms.
So there you have it- another great free resource for your projects.