Students

Enjoy Watching Live Animal Webcams?

Explore.com is a great resource for live video feeds of animals from around the world.  It is  the largest webcam collection in the world and includes bears, cats, dogs, all types of farm animals, ocean life and more. With Spring in full swing, it is a great opportunity to see birds hatching and a number of animals being born.

What Is That Element?

Are you wondering what exactly that element is on the periodic table?  The University of Nottingham has produced a video demonstration of the characteristics of each element called The Periodic Table of Videos.  On their home page, a large periodic table is displayed and each element is linked to a video describing that element.  They are in the process of updating some of the videos and those are highlighted in pink.

“Are You For Real?”

We are constantly bombarded with so many facts, opinions, pictures and ideas, that it can be overwhelming to process the information, much less verify it.  Unfortunately, the task of verification is being left to the consumer more and more.

Fake news can come in a variety of forms:  1) Pure fake news sites that create sensational, intriguing stories to grab traffic for influence, deception or profit;  2) Hoax sites trying to trick readers with false information;  3) Satirical sites presenting news with a funny twist; and 4)Images that have been altered or created to misrepresent reality.

Even reporters can get things wrong.  Their sources may not relay the truth or all of the context surrounding a story.  Without fact checking, they may publish incorrect facts.

For a great overview of the issues involved, check out this short video:

http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-to-choose-your-news-damon-brown

We will be talking about this issue more in the future so we can all learn how to discern real news.

Image Editors and Drawing Tools

  

Favorite Image Editors

ClippingMagic (removes backgrounds)

  

Avatar Makers

 

 

 

Richard Byrne, author of FreeTechnology4Teachers has compiled a great list of sites to use to make music.

5 Tools Students Can Use to Create Music Online

Soundtrap is a fantastic tool for creating music online. The cool thing about Soundtrap is that students can use virtual instruments to create music or they can record themselves playing music on an instrument and then use that recording in conjunction with the virtual instruments in the Soundtrap environment. What makes Soundtrap stand-out from the crowd is its collaboration options. Click the “collaborate” tab in the Soundtrap editor to invite others to create music with you. Soundtrap will work in the Chrome web browser on a laptop, iPad, Chromebook, and Android tablet. In my workshops I often describe Soundtrap as Google Docs for music.

BandLab is a free service that enables you to create music in your web browser or through free Android and iOS apps. In BandLab’s you can create soundtracks using any of the virtual instruments that are provided. You can also speak or sing to record a track. Within the BandLab editor you can mix your tracks together to create a song. If you have existing audio files on your computer, you can upload those to incorporate into your BandLab creations.

Soundation is a service that allows anyone to create and remix sound tracks online. If you have used Apple’s Garage Band, Soundation will look familiar to you. Soundation provides tracks on which you can place music clips and sound effects to mix together. To create your original work you can select from Soundation’s gallery of 400 free sounds, upload your own sounds, or record new sounds using the instruments and keyboard built into Soundation. When you’ve created a product you like, you can download it or share it in Soundation’s gallery.

Beat Lab is a free service through which you can experiment with thousands of sound and rhythm combinations. Using Beat Lab is easy. Beat Lab provides a grid on which you select the sounds you want to have played. You can specify how often you want each sound played and how quickly you want the sounds played. There are twelve default sounds provided in the Beat Lab grid. You can add more sounds by selecting “add more sounds” and choosing from the huge catalog of sounds. If the sound you want isn’t available in the Beat Lab catalog you can upload your own sounds.

Monkey Machine is a web-based program that allows students to experiment with drum set sounds and rhythms. Using Monkey Machine students can customize the selection of drums and cymbals in their virtual drum set. Monkey Machine also allows students to customize the tempo in their drum tracks and the frequency with which each drum or cymbal is played. All tracks created using Monkey Machine can be downloaded as MIDI files.

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words

You may have heard this saying before and it is true.  One picture can tell an entire story without a single word.  If you struggle writing a presentation or report, using pictures may help.  It can help convey your message or just get you started telling your story.  Here are a few tools to help you produce image-based stories:

Canva (http://canva.com) is an easy to use tool for creating infographics, slides and picture collages.  It utilizes templates, drag and drop designs, clip art and text boxes.  You can import your own image or use one from their large library. You can find instructions at: http://bitly.com/ftcanva

PicMonkey ( http://www.picmonkey.com ) can be used for creating collages.  It  provides image filters like those you find on Instagram, image cropping tools, and templates for building collages.

ThingLink ( https://www.thinglink.com/edu ) will make your picture collage interactive. A video tutorial
for that process can be found at ( http://bitly.com/ftcollage ).  Symbols placed over your images will link the viewer to more information, video or online links.

Thematic ( http://www.thematic.co ) is allows you to  build and share visual stories. You can display up to twenty pictures organized around a theme you choose. You can add one line of text to each image in your story.

Try some of these tools to make your projects and presentations more effective and engaging!

 

 

 

 

 

Studying Shakespeare??

You might like to try this free app for both Android and iOS products.

Shakespeare(TM) is a free app with the complete works of Shakespeare (41 plays, 154 sonnets and 6 poems, including doubtful works) and a searchable concordance to find the exact word or phrase you’re looking for (with “relaxed” searching to find words close to your search term).
Shakespeare/ShakespearePro is available for both Apple and Android devices. Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later (Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) and the Android 4.0 and up on your Android device.

 

Feeling stressed?!?

Join us to de-stress with art.  We have both large and small sheets for you to get creative with.

Pages from fellow students are currently being displayed on the wall.  It has added a lot to the room!

 Destress art

 

Thousands of Free Images Available to You

If any of you haven’t seen this news story, the New York Public Library just made 180,000 public-domain items available in their digital collection — including maps, posters, manuscripts, sheet music, drawings, photographs, letters, ancient texts — as high-resolution downloads, available to the public without restriction.  These are wonderful primary resources for history lessons and other special areas.

You can explore the images here.  They are organized visually by the NYPL Labs.   They are sorted by time periods.

It’s amazing to see them all laid out!

 

Noisli Gives Great Background Choices

Noisli.com provides a great variety of sounds that you ca be used to create your own environment for studying and relaxing.   It offers a number of high-quality sounds to promote focus, relieve anxiety or just relax while reading, studying or before going to sleep.  It also provides a color changing background and timer.  You can even mix sounds for your own personalized background sounds, such as ‘coffee shop’ and ‘rain’.  If you  are easily distracted by room noises this white noise may help focus better as you study.

You can create an account for free online or buy the app for $1.99.

How to Cite Social Media

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From TeachBytes & The Daring Librarian

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