The Grizzly Den

Knowledge is Power

Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

If You’re Going to Use Images, Why Not Make Them Copyright Friendly and Skip Prison?

Posted by grizzlymedia on December 18, 2008

So here’s the problem: A) You dream of having an attractive blog. B) You want to set an example of copyright adherence for your students and blog followers, be they real or imaginary. C) You can’t get excited about going to prison and/or paying enormous fines for copyright violations. So what do you do to have pretty blog images quickly and easily without fear or guilt? Say hello to my little friends from the World of Web 2.o! You can safely use these sources to create your own images or borrow copyright-friendly images for your blog posts (or for any other school purpose such as your website, handouts, or social network pages). Here are my favorites, and I promise I use them all frequently because they are all so quick and easy that even a novice will find them irresistible:

  • Image Chef lets you create an image in under a minute that not only includes a graphic, but also includes any wording you can type in. OK, this image is tacky, but all I did was go to the site, select an attention-grabbing image, type in my slogan, tell the ImageChef folk I was posting to WordPress, type in my WordPress username and password, and they sent it right to my blog. Not every Web 2.0 utility is WordPress-friendly, but ImageChef passes the test. I have an account, but I didn’t even have to log in.
  • imagechefcopyright
  • GlassGiantworks just like ImageChef. I would show you an example, but it is blocked by our school district because there are also games on the site. As with ImageChef, you can select a design and add your own logo to accompany it. It takes just seconds to send the resulting image to WordPress or your website. You’re going to have to trust me on this one!
  • TypoGenerator allows you to type in some text and make an image with the words you typed. Sometimes your first result is ugly or unreadable. No problem. All you do is hit a button to change your text style, text color, or background. You can also change your format from landscape to portrait. TypoGenerator warns you to be patient because sometimes it moves quickly and sometimes it is a bit arthritic. If you are patient enough, you can get a lovely result. Then all you do is right-click to save the file as a .jpeg, and voila, you have a fabulous image of your very own.
  • copyrighttypo1
  • Kwout is a great way to get a sharp, smooth screenshot of a website to use as your image when you want to blog about a website, or a person who has a website, or a topic related to a website, or…you get the idea. To use Kwout, first go to the Kwout site, and scroll down to the bottom of the page to get the bookmarklet. Right click on the bookmarklet link, then click on “create in links.” You then need to click on “View” at the top of your toolbar, then on “Toolbars;” then if “Links” isn’t already checked, you need to click on “Links” so that it is checked. For Pete’s sake, don’t uncheck it! At the right side of your toolbar, you can then click on Links, where you will now see Kwout. Drag it over to your toolbar. This may sound complicated, but you won’t have to do it ever again. When you want to use Kwout, all you have to do is go to the website where you want to snag a screenshot, then click on the Kwout button you just created. If the button doesn’t want to drag, just click on the word “Kwout” in your links. A box will appear asking you to select the area you wish to quote. You drag your mouse to outline the area and click on “Cut Out.” You are given several options. I always select “embed”  and then copy the code. On your blog post, just click where you want the screenshot to go, then click on the HTML tab, then paste the code. The code will go in the right place, just like magic! The gorgeous  screenshot contains a link back to the site and has pretty, smooth rounded edges unlike a regular boring screenshot. You don’t have to create an account or anything. I know this sounds complicated, but, trust me, it only takes a few seconds to grab each shot.
http://kwout.com/

kwout | A brilliant way to quote via kwout

  • PollDaddy was once all alone and probably lonely out in Web 2.0 land, but then a few months ago it joined up with WordPress and now you can add it to your WordPress blogs automatically without ever even leaving your blog. You can use your poll as your image. Can’t think of anything on which to poll your real or imaginary audience? Oh, please! Get creative! Like take this blog post, for example. I could poll you about your favorite Web 2.0 image tools, or about whether or not you have ever violated copyright in your blog posts or about why you think people don’t laugh more at my posts, or…well, the list goes on. Anyway, you can go to PollDaddy, or when you’re adding a post, just look up a couple of inches and you’ll see a circle. When you mouse over it, you’ll see that it says “Add Poll.” You just type in a question, then a few options for answers. There’s even a choice of allowing your readers to enter their own response. After that, select from one of nineteen different styles. You can even insert images to go along with your poll (keep them copyright-friendly, please!). If you create your poll from the PollDaddy website, be sure to tell the nice people that you are working with WordPress, if you are in fact doing so, so that you get the right code. You can also create great surveys for your patrons, by the way, so they can let you know how well you are doing.
  • Wordle allows you to create a cool image of a word cloud using words related to the topic on which you are blogging, or even all the words from an entire website or blog. For example, I could copy and paste all the words I have used thus far and paste them in. This takes zero time. Like TypoGenerator, Wordle wants to make people happy, so if you hate your results, you simple “randomize” or edit them, which changes font, color, whatever. If you post directly to WordPress, you get a tiny result. I like to do a screen shot, paste it into Paint, cut out the Wordle image, then paste that into a new page which I save as a .jpeg image. This creates a larger image. Again, much faster than it sounds. These are words from the first paragraph of this blog. All this took less than a minute.
  • copyright-wordle
  • Flickr Creative Commons is great for finding photographs taken by people who are willing to share their creativity, usually only asking in return that you give them credit for their work. The site makes it easy to tell what the creators want in return; right this minute there are over ten million pix available for just an attribution. I like to tell our students that the further you scroll down the page, the more people want, so it’s easier to stick to the top of the page. The explanation to the right of the page explains what the photographers (and videographers!) want in exchange for use of their work. Usually if it’s more than just giving them credit, it’s just that you not use their work commercially or that you don’t make derivatives from their work, like adding mustaches to the pictures of their moms. We can comply with that, right? Just click on the “See more” link in the category you decide to search, then type in your search term. And don’t forget to search for parts of speech other than nouns. Sometimes a verb, adjective, or adverb might work. When I find what I want, I save the attribution info in the title, so that if I ever want to use the file again, I will be sure to give the proper credit each time I use it. Here’s a great copyright logo courtesy of MikeBlogs.
  • copyright-symbol-from-mikeblogs1
  • Thanks to Sandi Adams, the Web 2.0 guru of Cherokee County, and Buffy Hamilton, the Sandi Adams MiniMe, for all their great Web 2.0 advice.

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Ball Clock: A Cooler Way To Tell Time

Posted by grizzlymedia on November 14, 2008

[clearspring_widget title=”Ball Clock” wid=”48ce7cdc6af09c41″ pid=”491e2eb101e14d85″ width=”280″ height=”210″ domain=”widgets.clearspring.com”]

I found out about this cool gadget from one of my Twitter friends, a fourteen-year-old blogger named Xavier Lur from Singapore who calls himself Kid Tech Guru. He blogs about cool Web 2.0 tools and tech websites. You can visit his blog here for more cool tips. Kid Tech Guru got the idea from a programmer named Adam Bowman. You can visit Adam’s site here where you can copy the code for the clock so you can embed it into your blog (even WordPress!!!!) or social networking site. According to the site, you can edit the colors of the balls, lines, and numbers. I was only able to change the colors from black to white and vice versa. I wanted to change them to lovely green and blue Creekview colors, but, sadly, they refused to cooperate. Maybe you’ll have better luck. I case you haven’t figured the clock out, the hour is on the bottom line, and the minutes are on the middle and then the top line. Each ball in the middle row stands for five minutes. Thanks Xavier and Adam!

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Teacher Retirement live from COMO!

Posted by grizzlymedia on October 17, 2008

OK, here goes another live blog on Teacher Retirement from Georgia COMO

Click Here

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Hulu: As Much Fun as a Hula Hoop?

Posted by grizzlymedia on October 16, 2008

Have you discovered Hulu yet? Don’t have a television or cable or satellite access? Or maybe when those crazy television execs choose to broadcast your favorite program or movie isn’t when you have time to watch it. We do have to go to school and study and stuff, you know. Well, no problemo! Hulu allows you to watch your favorite television shows from the comfort of your computer screen, whenever and wherever you want. You can check out your favorite channel, most popular programs, collections, the HD gallery (Hulu will tell you the system requirements), or check out their special features, like “Huluween” or Election ’08. Don’t see your favorite show in any of these lists? Just type the title into the search box and look for it there. They probably have it. And the good news is–it’s all free, free, free! There’s a huge selection of content from over 100 providers such as FOX, NBC Universal, MGM, Sony Pictures Television, Warner Brothers. No slackers here! You can select from over 900 current primetime hits. We’re not talking about lame stuff from the sixties here, people! Here’s the deal, according to the Hulu website:

Hulu is focused on quality and convenience and strives to create the best possible online video experience.

  • Hulu gives users the ability to customize their viewing experience online.
  • Hulu allows users to watch favorites or discover new shows anytime — at home or on the road.
  • Hulu’s search feature helps users find any premium video online even if it is not directly available on Hulu.com.

Hulu is easy to use and share. Simply go to www.hulu.com, and click on a video to watch right away.

  • Hulu does not require a download of any software. Users only need a Flash 9.0 enabled computer and an Internet connection to enjoy.
  • Hulu offers the freedom to share full-length episodes or clips via e-mail or embed on other Web sites, blogs and social networking pages.
  • Hulu’s clipping feature allows users to select a portion of the video they would like to share.

Hulu is free and legal through an advertising supported model.

  • Videos are available for unlimited streaming; watch favorite shows and clips over and over, for free
  • Videos contain fewer ads than on TV. Advertisements appear during normal commercial breaks
  • Hulu acquires the rights to distribute its videos, making them available to users legally.

Have I steered you wrong about a Web 2.0 tool yet? I think not! So scoot on over to Hulu today and start wasting some time!

Posted in Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Online Teaching for Media Specialists: Why and How

Posted by grizzlymedia on October 16, 2008

Here’s another new post from the COMO convention. This is a presentation by Jane Zahner of Valdosta State University on “Online Teaching for Media Specialists: Why and How.” All the sessions have been great! Click on the link to see the presentation I created live using CoveritLive, a new Web 2.0 tool I learned about from Mrs. Hamilton.

Click Here

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Free! Alternatives to Expensive Technology Live from COMO

Posted by grizzlymedia on October 16, 2008

This was a live post from COMO, the Georgia Council of Media Organizations convention in Athens which I am attending this week. The presentation features Andrew Shuping from Mercer University discussing Free Alternatives to Expensive Technology. The presentation was posted live via CoveritLive. I’ll blog later on this cool free Web 2.0 tool! Click on the link to view my live post from the presentation.
Click Here

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I’m Stuck on Stixy

Posted by grizzlymedia on September 25, 2008

 

 

Why haven’t you tried Stixy? Don’t you know that Web 2.0 applications get lonely, too? Well, apparently they do. I signed up a while back for Stixy, forgot that we were friends, and then Stixy sent me a needy email begging me to come back and play. So I, being a kind person, did. You can post “stuff” onto stixy boards and allow your friends to view them so that you can share information such as pictures, documents, post-it notes, and  to-do lists. As with many Web 2.0 sites, you can invite your friends to join you. Stixy works sort of like a wiki in which all the friends can share and edit each other’s information, only prettier.  Once you decide if you want a note, picture, document, or to-do, you just drag it onto your stixyboard. You can resize it, change the color or font (except not on the to-do note—apparently they are always sacred pink!). Then upload the document or picture you want onto your document or picture area. You can even do all four options in one stixy! Then you click on options and save your stixy, decide if it is public, whether or not you want to invite friends, save the URL if you wish, and voila! A star is born! Well, maybe just a planet. Or whatever they’re calling Pluto these days. 

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How Are You at Juggling?

Posted by grizzlymedia on September 25, 2008

We all know that you’re more likely to accomplish your goals if you write them down. Likelier still if you tell someone about it. So why not tell millions of strangers? Oh, come on; they’ll cheer you on! That’s what 43 Things is all about. You can create a list of up to 43 things you want to do with your life. You can encourage the hopes and dreams of others, and they (maybe?) will encourage your ambitions. Don’t have any purpose in your life? That’s OK. You can study everyone else’s and then be a copycat. Sure you’ll feel like an underachiever for not thinking of it sooner. But at least you’ll be on your way to accomplishing a goal you needed to complete. After you set your goals, you can also look at comments from those who say “I’ve done this” (Who knows if they’re telling the truth…) and get some advice, for better or worse. You can give advice, too, on goals you’ve already accomplished. You can share your progress, and follow the progress of others with the same goals, or interesting goals. One of the guys who cheered my goals is studying Latin and Ancient Greek! Is that cool or what! I feel like such a slacker now… 

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Meister Your Mind!

Posted by grizzlymedia on September 25, 2008

 

You know, you can never have too much brainstorming. Sure, you’ve got your Inspiration. And maybe you remember bubbl.us from a previous Web 2.0 newsletter. But suppose you want more? Enter Mindmeister! And now there are cool new features on Mindmeister, such as the ability to add task information to your ideas: things like priority, completion, due date, and owner. You can also add attachments to your ideas. Upload file attachments to ideas and preview images through inline thumbnails. “Wunderlink” allows you to magically add links via an invisible Yahoo! background search. “Wundernote” uses a freebase database lookup to enable you to add notes to your ideas. The geistes blitz feature lets you insert ideas directly into your mind map from your Windows desktop with brilliant speed. There’s also an automatic text wrap feature, email support, and the ability to share maps. There’s also a better printing option, more formatting options, and…well, some more stuff. It is a cool and fun option for your own mindmapping or to share with your students, if you are a teacher-type person. Because their lovely little brains need to stay in shape!  

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Sputtr Doesn’t Stutter

Posted by grizzlymedia on September 25, 2008

 

Ahhhh, Sputtr. You are so pretty, customizable, clean, and simple. And fast. But not in the way your Mama warned you about. Sputtr is this cute little search engine that is really three dozen search engines in one. You just type in what you want to search for, then click on the appropriate button for one of thirty-six different sites, and then you are immediately searching for your topic on that site. Not happy with the 36 choices that make Sputtr happy? Not to fret! You can customize this lovely little site and delete any of those, or add dozens more. Still not happy, you demanding person, you? Well, then, you can submit even more sites to Sputtr, and if you ask nicely, they just might add your favorite site as an option. Maybe. And don’t forget to save your page when you’re finished customizing. You can even ask the nice Sputtr people to open your searches in a new window. I like to do that; I don’t know why. I guess I’m just a multi-window type person.

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