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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

That Darn Economy

The recession has definitely started to hit the Internet as evidenced by the closing of several online tools recently. In the past week or so I have gotten e-mails from Circa Vie (timeline tool), Looky Book (online picture books) and Flowgram (slide presentations and tutorial creator) all saying basically the same thing. Due to a lack of money and an inability to generate revenue, they are closing their virtual doors. This is not surprising but always disappointing to see especially when it impacts great resources like these. This is definitely a reminder that "free" usually doesn't mean forever unless a source of funding can be established so we can never become too tied to a particular tool. Thankfully, there are other options out there that offer similar services and options. You can check out some of those tools by exploring the links below.

Timeline Tools
  • Dipity allows you to include images, videos and text in your timeline. You are also able to embed your finished timeline and share authorship with others so that they can add events to is as well.
  • AllofMe markets itself as a tool you can use to create a personal timeline of your life but there's no reason you couldn't use it to create timelines for a variety of other purposes as well.
Storybook Sites
  • BookPALS Storyline has a variety of popular children's books read by different actors that students can listen to. It's a great way to provide students with a chance to be read to by many different people.
  • SillyBooks allows children to upload their own writing to this site and read stories uploaded by other students as well. Each month a student story is selected and then turned into an animated movie and featured on the site.
  • Big Universe allows students to create their own online picture books as well as explore books that have been created by other users. You can embed your finished products in different websites and blogs once you are finished.
  • Tikatok is another tool that allows you to write, publish and embed your on book online. You can also order a print copy of your book for a price.
Slideshow Tutorials
  • Voice Thread allows you to upload entire Power Point presentations, add audio or text-based comments to your slides and even "doodle" on the different slides. Students can view the slides and add their own comments if you want them to.
  • Slideshare is a simple presentation tool that you can upload an entire PowerPoint presentation to for online viewing. You can also upload an MP3 with narration for your presentation if you want to add audio.
  • Vcasmo is an online tool that has many different features that can be used to create a multimedia rich presentation. You can include video, music, links and much more to enhance your presentation.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Thanks for these links!
I especially appreciate the storybook sites. This was my first introduction to them but already have ideas for their application.

We often overlook the online effects of recession. After reading your post I got to thinking that there really is no difference between an abandoned building that once hosted a coffee shop, and a URL that reads "Page no longer exists" that once hosted a favorite web page.

Thanks again for spreading the links.