Tuesday, January 19, 2016


Biteable is a free site that allows users to create short video with very little effort. Users must sign up for a free account and sign in.

Then start by naming a new video Project.

Then the users picks their first scene. There are Animation, Footage, and Image scenes to choose from.

The user then adds text to the scene

To add another scene to the movie, click the green box with the white plus sign. The user will be able to select another scene and add text.

Once all of the scenes have been added, the user can select a color theme and music to go into the video. Looks like users can upload their own .mp3, but why mess with copyright when there is a wide selection of music already available.

Once at the preview, the user can click the I'm done, build my video button to have their video compiled automatically. The website states it takes about a minute per slide.

Once built, the site will send you an email with the link to the video. It will have a Biteable.com watermark which users can pay to have removed, but I probably wouldn't for most projects since it looks like it is payable by account and not video and the price is $99/year.


There is also way to Download the .mp4 video file and a way to easily share your video on Facebook and Twitter.

I can see this being used by classrooms wanting to do some digital storytelling with out all the hassle of a full blown video editor. Students can easily choose their scenes, add their text, select their music, and create their video to share with the world.

Give it a try.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Analyze My Writing

This site, Analyze My Writing, allows users to copy and paste text from their document and have it analyzed.
Users can get basic text statistics, word clouds, common words and phrases, readability levels and much more.

Looks like this could be a great tool for students to use that goes beyond the basic word cloud analysis like Wordle or Tagul provides.

Give it a try with your text or their practice text.


Friday, January 15, 2016


tinypng is a utility that will shrink the file size of your png and jpg files.

From their website:

How does it work?
Excellent question! When you upload a PNG (Portable Network Graphics) file, similar colors in your image are combined. This technique is called “quantization”. By reducing the number of colors, 24-bit PNG files can be converted to much smaller 8-bit indexed color images. All unnecessary metadata is stripped too. The result: better PNG files with 100% support for transparency. Have your cake and eat it too!

I tried it with a few png files I had and it does what it says it will do. I didn't notice too much difference in the images and especially in clip art type graphics no difference. 

Give it a try.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kiddle Safe Search

Kiddle icon

Kiddle offers a safer search engine for students than just a regular Google search. According to their site, approximately the first 7 sites returned are either specifically written for kids or are simple enough for kids to understand and are handpicked and checked by Kiddle editors. After that, Kiddle lets Google safe search take over.

Kiddle also offers big thumbnails which make it easier for young students to scan the results they are looking for. 

There are also ways to suggest site blocking and keyword blocking so as inappropriate results do make it past the safe search, parents and teachers have a way to report that information.

alamo search results
Searched for Alamo. See the pictures and larger fonts.

bikini search results; none returned

Searched for bikini and was not allowed results. However, a search for Kardashian did produce bikini photos.

So is this safer than any other search engine. I think it is as safe as it can be and works to become safer. The responsibility still is there to teach students about digital citizenship and Internet safety. Do your students know what to do when they find a result that makes them uncomfortable or they know is inappropriate? 

Give Kiddle a try and see what you think. http://kiddle.co/

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


One of my all time favorite flash games. But really, I am trying out what happens when you just click the Blogger icon on a website.


Open Side By Side extension

Extension Alice Keeler Open Side By Side extension

A new Chrome extension has come from Alice Keeler that teachers and students should like really well.
Often when using a computer, I like to have two windows open at the same time so I can view them at the same time. Usually my steps are to open one window, right click on the link I want to open and select open in new window, and resize the two windows so they fit on my screen. I can see teachers doing this while reviewing student online work and entering grades into the report card at the same time.
Now all the resizing is done for me thanks to this handy Chrome extension.

After the extension has been installed, from the Chrome browser, right click on any link, select Open Side by Side and open the destination URL on the right side of the screen.

Now you have two windows open. Your original window is open on the left side of the screen and the new window is on the right. 

An extension that is very easy to install and use.

Not sure what the difference between a Chrome app and a Chrome extension? Got 2 minutes?

Monday, January 11, 2016

ocenaudio Audio Editor


For a number of years my go to audio editor has been Audacity. And I feel I have tried many others, but always come back to Audacity because of its simplicity to edit and export.

I recently came across an newer player in the game, ocenaudio. ocenaudio is a "cross-platform, easy to use, fast and functional audio editor. It is the ideal software for people who need to edit and analyze audio files without complications. ocenaudio also has powerful features that will please more advanced users."

Looks like it works on Windows, Mac, and Linux only. It installed very easily with the .exe file and opened very quickly. The controls are intuitive with the red record button, familiar play, forward, reverse, and stop icons. There is also an easy way to drag and drop audio files, folders, URLs... instead of having to import or open.
From the file menu, users can save the file as a variety of format, export a variety of formats, and even create an iPhone ringtone.

So if you are looking for an easy to use audio recorder/editor give this one a try.

Video Tutorial on ocenaudio

P.S. HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hope everyone is having a great start to the year.