I have talked about several places to learn a new language in the past, but the guys over at OnlineCollege.org got me beat with their list of 101 Links to tools an resources you can use to learn a new language. I personally believe language is the key to expand our knowledge about other cultures as it enriches our understanding of different subjects and life in general. I remember several yeas ago when I was learning English how exciting it was to go through the process of re-wiring my brain to learn the language. So go ahead and take a peak at this great resource and share it with your students, colleagues and friends interested in expanding their horizons.
101 Links to Learn Any Language for Free – http://bit.ly/LL8XIG
CCleaner has long been a must have tool in the self-service arena to keep PC’s humming along and free of trouble. I am pleased to announce there is now a Mac version of this gem. I must add, Piriform has done a fantastic job in creating a very well rounded product for Mac’s. The best part of it is that is free. You must be asking yourself what this has to do with Instructional Technology, well I can assure you that it has everything to do with it. If your system is not running the right way you cannot communicate with your students. They on the other hand cannot do their handy work, and that open the gates to those e-mails you get on the weekend with stories about how the dog ate the keyboard ect… If you are a Mac user go give this a try by downloading it from the Piriform website, http://bit.ly/KW8xdc
*If you are a Windows user, there is no need to go crying to mama for candy as you can get the version for your OS here, http://bit.ly/KW8FcP
Image optimizer is a free online service to resize, compress and optimize your image files. This service is really easy to use, and it comes in handy for those times when you need to upload an image to your course or a website, and you get the not so friendly popup “Image is too Big and cannot be uploaded” message. Image optimizer will take care of this for you by resizing the picture to your desired resolution, and at the same time give you the smallest file possible without losing any quality on the original image. There is also a desktop version for this webapp but on all of the testing I conducted the web version works fine, provided you have a high speed connection to upload the original file. I recommend to always resize your images for optimum screen viewing across all devices. I recommend using resolutions, no smaller than 800×600, and no larger than 1024×768. This will allow your content to look its best across desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones. You can get Image Optimizer from this link, http://bit.ly/M1iaxo
There is no shortage of Cloud Storage services out there today. You have probably heard about the usual suspects; Box.net, Dropbox, iCloud and Sugarsync. Today I am introducing you to, Cubby a new cloud storage service backed by long time remote desktop application provider LogMeIn. The service is currently available by invite only.
One of the unique features of the service is that it lets you sync an unlimited number of files and folders between computers. You can also share whatever folders you want by dragging them into the cubby app. This in itself makes it a winner because one of Dropbox biggest annoyances is that you are forced to keep all of your files in their folder.
You can also customize the whole sharing experience by sharing with only certain computers, colleagues or by getting a public link for the folder you want to share. You are probably thinking now why did I wrote about it, if you cannot access it. Well, I have 5 invites 🙂 that will go to the first five educators who follow me on Twitter @AnibalPachecoIT, Please tell me about the one technology that has most significantly impacted the way you teach today; be brief you only have 140 characters. I will go over your post and select the winner’s based on their originality and creativity for the message.
Slidepoint is a free service that allows you to convert existing PowerPoint slideshows using a very fast and unique converter. The main advantage in using this product over other converters I have used in the past, was the ease of use, and the speed in which the file was converted. The service also features the ability for you to create presentations online from scratch, and allows you to store up to 10 presentations online.
The thing that impressed me the most was that every one of the links in my presentation worked, and was clickable right from their website player. In order to get more space in their system they use a reputation system to rank members and grant rewards. You can earn reputation points for being active on the site (creating content, as well as viewing and rating other presentations). As you gain reputation points, you earn rewards like extra features and storage in your account. In addition, the highest-ranking members receive benefits such as home page listings, prominent listing in searches, and more. Pretty cool… to find out more please visit Slidepoint
and create your free account. Below you will find my Open Source presentation after it was converted.
Girls Who Code is a new movement working to educate, inspire and equip 13- to 17-year-old girls with the skills and resources to pursue opportunities in technology and engineering. Their idea is similar to Code Club which I posted about couple of days ago except their efforts are geared specifically towards teenage girls. “The numbers speak for themselves. By 2018, there will be 1.4 million computer science-related job openings, yet U.S. universities are expected to produce enough computer science graduates to fill just 29% of these jobs. And while 57% of bachelor’s degrees are obtained by women, less than 14% of computer science degrees are awarded to women.” Please visit their website www.girlswhocode.com and follow them on Twitter @GirlsWhoCode to help spread the word about their efforts.
A new bookmarking service that takes everything I liked about Pinterest to a whole new level. There is huge potential for this to become a great collaboration tool for education. You could use this for your Flipped Classroom assignments and the feature set lends itself to Project Based Learning as well. They have two killer features in my opinion, and many others you will love. Syncboard, allow you to share clipboards with your students and colleagues (requires a Clipix account, but you can invite them by e-mail); Multiboard which lets you create clipboard collections by just dragging them to the clipboard of your choice. The drag and drop functionality makes it easy for you to rearrange stuff and that is a winner as well. Follow this link to sign up for Clipix
One of the biggest annoyances of using YouTube as a source of educational videos is those pesky ads they use to drum up their revenue. The are several services, plugins, add-ons and other tricks to get around the adds, but they all require some sort of tinkering from your part. I have used and tested Radbox for about six months now, and I must say this service is a winner. Oh, before I forget, the service is free, and supports about 25 other content providers. In order to use it all you need is an account, their bookmarklet and an Internet connection. Radbox also has an iPad app you can download from iTunes. So go ahead create an account and start showing ad-free video playlists from virtually anywhere you are connected at.
Sizer is a utility to change the window size of any program in your system to a specific size. Watch the video below for a small demonstration of this pretty cool program. The best thing about it, is that is Freeware just like I like it. Please feel free to leave your comments on the post and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @AnibalPachecoIT. Sizer – BrianApps.net
Earlier this month I posted about testing iSpring converter, a PowerPoint add-on that converts any slideshow, including, animations, transitions and even videos to HTML5. This latest offering from iSpring Solutions is now out of BETA and ready for sale. It normally sells or $99.00 but with your educational discount you can have it for $74.00. That is a really good price considering our tight budgets and everything it allows you to do. The beauty of this add-on is that no coding knowledge is required.
The main features I like are the ability to embed YouTube videos, and Web Objects into the slides. The web objects come in handy allowing you to embed webpages inside of your slides. You can have the pages(s) open inside the slide, or in a separate window. It also allows you to view any published content in an iPad.
Another unique feature is the ability to publish LMS ready content with both AICC and SCORM format support. They offer a fully functional 30-day trial, and the only limitation is that it will add a watermark saying the presentation was created using an evaluation copy of the software. Download the trial by visiting this link; http://bit.ly/MKobfk