The Grizzly Den

Knowledge is Power

Archive for May, 2008

Gotta Getta Gizmoz!

Posted by grizzlymedia on May 19, 2008


Are you just itching to create, customize, animate, and share your own three-dimensional talking videos featuring yourself or your friends? Well Gizmoz could be just what you  have been waiting for! Gizmoz characters can be created either as your own self-portrait starting from a single personal photo, or created using images from Gizmoz’s library, all in just a few minutes. The result is a customized digital character that can be used to deliver personalized, lip-synched messages in video clips and other original content. Gizmoz provides you with an exciting, unique option for revealing your creative side on your blog, social networking site, email, or general website. You basically have four options: be a star of one of several movies, compose your own answering machine video (including recording your voice), create a video sticker, your own animated video clips, or design your own gizmoz. The gizmoz are the characters you create by uploading your photos, then selecting costumes, hair, headgear, accessories, makeup, and facial modifications. I became a platinum blonde with blonde aviator sunglasses! Very 80s!

Sadly, WordPress and Gizmoz are not friends, because WordPress and flash are not friends. I was able to email my Gizmoz, post them on FrontPage, iGoogle, Netvibes, and Pageflakes, but, alas, not on WordPress. Sorry, WordPress, but if you want me to say nicer things about you, then do nicer things! We need flash! We need to be able to use animation in our posts! We want fun! Fun is fun! Get with the twenty-first century, WordPress! 🙂

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A New Web 2.0 Newsletter!

Posted by grizzlymedia on May 9, 2008

Web 2.0

Hey! There’s good news, in case you’ve been following The Unquiet Library Web 2.0 Wow! newsletter—and who hasn’t? Well, losers, perhaps, or the uninitiated. But I digress. Anyway, there is a new episode, or should I say, issue, available. I am sending you links to all of them, in case you missed the previous ones. I really hate for you to be uninformed and, worse, unentertained. If unentertained is, in fact, a word. And don’t forget to stay tuned for the final newsletter of the year, which should be appearing sometime later this month. Unless I get busy and forget to finish it or send it out to you. Here they are, in all their magnificence:
Newsletter One
Newsletter Two
Newsletter Three
Newsletter Four

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What’s New at FaceinHole?

Posted by grizzlymedia on May 8, 2008

Create your own FACEinHOLE

Those crazy guys at FaceinHole are having a contest and YOU could be the winner! Just submit your best FaceinHole and the winner will win an entire T-shirt featuring his or her FaceinHole design. OK, so it’s not a million dollars, but what can you expect from a wonderful Web 2.0 site that gives you this much fun for free! And the FaceinHole dudes (did I just say “dudes”? I’m a teacher, for Pete’s sake…) figure most of the reward will be in the fight to the death (not literally!) that ensues. And maybe they’ll give the winner some props on their website!

Here’s some other new news from the FaceinHole newsletter:
– they offer several multiface scenarios
– many new tools are available in the “create” section like brightness, contrast, flip and hue/saturation
– a new section of “Books & Magazines” has been added! Put yourself on the cover like Kayli did here!
– after you create a FACEinHOLE you can add it immediatley to MySpace, Orkut, Hi5, Facebook and other social networks
– they offer a RSS feed that you may subscribe to and be notified when new scenarios are available
– during the last month they have added approximately 200 new scenarios
– they update the site daily, with new scenarios being included every single day

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Use Jott to Jog Your Brain!

Posted by grizzlymedia on May 7, 2008


You know those little reminder thingys they advertise for old people to help them remember to buy cigarettes for their grandkids? Well Jott is like that, only cooler. It allows you to use your cell phone and the Internet to leave yourself text reminders on your cell phone and email reminders on your computer, so you look more like a citizen of the twenty-first century and less like an Alzheimer’s patient. You can also post a cool little audio reminder on your blog or website. Don’t panic if your reminder does not immediately appear; it will take about five or ten minutes before it shows up. But I digress. You will first have to set up your email address and the phone from which you plan to send your messages; I recommend your mobile phone, because it is probably the most convenient. Whenever an idea pops into your brain, you can just call yourself with a reminder. All you do is call Jott, answer their questions about the date and time of your reminder, and what you need to do, and then Jott sends you either a text or email message fifteen minutes in advance. You can also add your contacts to Jott and remind them as well. Online directions are ultra easy! Here are some suggestions from Jott to help make their voice recognition more effective and improve the quality of your messages:

1) Avoid background noise if you can help it:
This seems obvious, but it really does have a huge impact on the quality the transcription. And we’re not just talking Rock Concert category noise (though people have tried jotting there). Even a loud restaurant, or multiple people talking in the background, can lead to bad results.
2) Be aware of accents and pronunciation:
We all say things differently. If you’re having a hard time getting the voice recognition system to understand the name of a contact, try our ‘Sounds Like’ feature. You can find it on the Contacts page on the website. For instance, Jott might struggle with the name Mike Krzyzewski…you might want to put “Sheshefski” or “Coach K” in the Sounds Like field.
3) Try not to mumble:
The clearer you speak, the better the transcription – it’s as simple as that. The reality is that we all sometimes start a Jott, and then figure out what we’re trying to say on the fly. This leads to mumbles, corrections, and lots of “ums” and “ahs”.
4) Spell out proper names and slang
You may know how your co-worker’s last name is spelled, but sometimes we could use help. Is it Miller or Mueller? Just spell it out and it will be transcribed as one word.
5) Speed kills:
One of the great things about Jott is its ability to deal with normal speech. We’ve heard that over and over. But one thing that does degrade quality is when we try to jam a lot of speech into a Jott. So we’ve learned to slow down a little.


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Alert the Media! Kids Want to Learn!

Posted by grizzlymedia on May 7, 2008

Wow! Students actually learning, enjoying it, and asking for more! What a concept! On Monday we worked with Scott Martin’s classes to teach them some Web 2.0 utilities such as Animoto, Glogster, ImageChef, iGoogle, and Google Calendar. My favorite comment of the day was a student who said, “How come no one ever showed us this before?” In almost an entire career of teaching, I never heard a student say anything like that before! A student irate because information had been withheld from her! Who woulda thunk it????

The Web 2.0 world is a fascinating place with something for everyone! There are helpful tools out there to fulfill almost every need you can imagine. Ask and ye shall receive! Students have been coming in since our lesson asking for URLs to get back to the sites! Monica Tillery’s students who did glogs last month can’t stop glogging! If you are a student and you want to learn more about these Web 2.0 tools, see us! If you are a teacher and you want to learn more about these Web 2.0 utilities, see us. If you are a teacher, and you want us to teach your students about these or other Web 2.0 toys…SEE US! Guess what? We actually like to work with you and your students. They will thank you for it! (And their excitement is very rewarding–and contagious!)

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