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In this video Luis shows off using the iPhone 4s VoiceOver feature and Camera App together. Being able to use VoiceOver with the Camera app can aid an individual with a visual impairment take pictures without cutting off the subjects head. This is because face recognition feature of the camera app comes into play allowing VoiceOver to announce how many faces are in the shot. It also tells the photographer where in the frame the faces are located (I.E. “Top Left”, “One Face”…etc..).
In K-12 education finding tools to teach 21st Century Skills can be expensive. There is buying the software, keeping up with minor updates, and the pressure of staying up-to-date every year or so when a new version is released. Even if you are able to obtain a computer lab with a site license of your favorite image manipulation software, what happens when students return home from school each day and do not have access to these tools?
A startup company has created Aviary.com. Aviary is an online suite of tools for artist and photo imaging enthusiasts. The Aviary Suite contains tools for editing images, screen capture, creating and editing vector images, creating visual image effects, image markups, color swatch editor, music creator, and audio editor. All of the tools are accessed via an online account. A gallery is also provided for users to proudly post their art for others to see. For educators this may not be ideal as students may stumble across images that may be considered to provocative or controversial for the classroom. This one reason why Aviary has an education version of its site.
Aviary Education (www.aviaryeducation.com) provides educators a safe environment to allow their students to freely create, edit and peruse other students’ digital art work.
• Create private student accounts
• Manage assignments and projects
• Use the image editor, vector editor, audio editor & music creator
• All content and images are 100% school safe”.
Currently Aviary Education is a free beta program that a teacher would have to request access to for her class to enjoy the the benefits it has to offer.
Recently the creators of Aviary have teamed up with Google to provide access to the aviary tools via your Google Login. Gmail users who use Google Docs to collaborate with peers and colleagues can take advantage of the image and audio editing tools, sharing their creations via Google Docs. Now students can work together on visual projects or audio mixes.
Schools who have signed up for Google Apps access can choose to have Aviary added to their Google Docs. The University of South Florida is one university that has provided access for its students to these tools. Aviary can be accessed by signing into your USF Mail account and clicking on the More link at the top.
The Aviary Tool Set (from http://www.aviary.com):
Below is a list of free educational software that may benefit you in your classroom. It contains tools for audio, web conferencing, editing images, blogging, and other technology educational activities. This list was compiled by a staff member at the Florida Center for Instructional Technology at the University of South Florida.
The inspiration for this list came from this site http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/recommended/.
Now that myUSF has been updated to BB9, many of you may have questions on how to use the new system. IT has developed and released new training videos to help you. Follow the link to access them http://media.edo.usf.edu/teachingonline/
Friday, USF IT announced that Blackboard will be undergoing a facelift. This will not be the standard update. Blackboard will be updated to BB9. The creators have really tried to implement many web 2.0 features such as Drag and Drop info boxes (similar to your Facebook page), less clicking, and a somewhat redesigned grade center. The creators of blackboard have teamed up with NBC/Universal
Studios, to give professors and students access to the NBC News archive (Hundreds of news video footage from local and national NBC stations and affiliates, grouped by subject.) December 18th the new version of Blackboard will roll out, but if you want to see what it looks like now you can visit: http://bbpreview.acomp.usf.edu/
Tutorials for the new blackboard will becoming over the winter break.
Writing is still king in education. The tools have changed but many of the challenges remain. Instead of pen and paper, writers are using the computer and blogs to share their stories, ideas, and experiences. After a time almost every writer in his or her career has experienced a lull in their writing, writers block. Many young writers struggle with writing. The barriers range from understanding the language to identifying and fleshing out a creative idea. Skribit is a social networking tool for bloggers. It allows the reader to make topic suggestions to the writer. Other users can see previous suggestions which should limit duplication of future topic ideas being suggested. Once a topic has been suggested, the writer can quickly provide feedback as to whether they will or will not write about a a particular topic.
This is a great tool for teachers using blogs in their classroom. This is a way for students and teachers to share creative ideas for writing assignments.