Edublog Awards

Lots of links to great educational blogs

See the link for Resource Sharing for cool apps and such.

Horizon Report 2010 Preview

A preview of the 2010 Horizon Report has been released.
Here are a few of the main topics
Here's the link to download the pdf.

Thanks to Shirley for sending me the pdf!

Horizon Report wiki

Big Huge Labs- Make a Magazine Cover

Here's a fun site
Create Posters, Magazine Covers, Motivational Posters and lots more.

My puppy Sheba gets the star treatment at Big Huge Labs.

99 awesome Firefox add-ons for educators

interesting addons

iCyte- save your research

I've talked before about Awesome Highlighter and its nice feature that will copy portions of text that you can send in an email or send as the highlighted page.
This new application iCyte seems to do something similar but maybe goes one better.

From Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day:

"Cyte enables you to highlight and save text on any webpage, allowing you to recall the most relevant information. You can save sections of webpages or the whole thing. Webpages you Cyte are saved forever on the server, letting you return to your research even if the webpage has been deleted or modified. iCyte is free and works with popular browsers. Firefox 3 or Internet Explorer 7 or 8 are required to save webpage content using iCyte."

Myna- mix audio in the cloud

Mix audio online in new app Myna by Aviary
Add sound effects, music and voice. Multiple track editing-looks interesting!


100 Best Blogs for Tech Savvy Teachers

This looks like an interesting link - 100 Best Education Blogs for Tech Savvy Teachers

Masher-create a video mash/BBC Motion Gallery

This sounds interesting. Masher promises to
mix your videos, photos and library clips from BBC motion gallery, mash them by adding words, music and effects and then share by email or social network all for FREE..sounds too good to be true.

Just did a really quick mash. This seems really cool. I'm not sure you can download your final mash; looks like you can only send a link. But I've discovered if you have DownloadHelper as an extension of Firefox, you can download the video clips and music from BBC motion gallery. That in itself is a great resource. But I've just discovered that you can go directly to BBC Motion Gallery for royalty free footage and maybe that's even better !

Social Media Revolution

12 Sites to find Free Images

This is a great link
12 Best Places to Get Free Images
See the link for full details

Here are the basic links

Cartoonerize Yourself- Be Funky!

Ever see yourself as a bit of a cartoon? Well now you can become one. It's free..go ahead cartoonerize yourself at BeFunky

Watch Know Educational Videos

Just found info on this one in FreeTech4 Teachers.
Watch Know is a repository of educational videos collected from various places across the internet. There's a search option as well as category browsing. Videos are from sites like National Geographic and YouTube. If your school blocks YouTub,e you'll be able to access videos here.

Google Advanced Image Search- Royalty Free Image Filter!

Looking for royalty-free images? We all know that if we go to google search we can do a search for images, but which images are we allowed to reuse? Until recently, we didn't know.

But Google has tweaked their image search and now we can find royalty free images!

Here's how:
First click on Image Search. Next to the search bar click "Advanced Search"
Put your search term in and then using the drop down menu, choose whcih type of image you are looking for.

It's that simple. Mostly you'll find images from Wiki Commons and sites like Flickr that have tagged their photos but as more sites begin to tag their images, the pool will increase.

I was happy to discover this today!

ScreenJelly - 3 minute sound and screen capture-Twitter it

This looks like a pretty cool little tool. You can create an up to 3 minute screen capture with sound and either send it in twitter or email.
Just launched yesterday Screenjelly is created by the people at Screentoaster who I've written about previously. I just tried something quick, and the quality looks good. There are lots of ways you could use this, but for education here are a couple: If you have an online course and one of your students is having trouble with an application. You could have that person create a screenjelly. In minutes you could see the exact problem. If you are writing a blog and want to show your reader a concept, screenjelly might be helpful. Check out this interesting ScreenJelly from Bensykes where he demos photo realism in a desktop resume.

Mini-Mizer..not just for Dr. Evil

Dr. Evil has Mini Me, why shouldn't we have our own Mini Me? Reasonably Clever's Mini-Mizer is a simple little application that can help you picture your self in plastic. Try it here Mini-Mizer

Could be fun as a diversion or an ice-breaker. Here's me!

Capture any website screen and edit it - Aviary

Capture any webpage by adding to the beginning of the URL!
Simple, no application. no sign likey!

Bloggers, this one's for you or maybe not - Zemanta

Here's another "real-time" app. How would you like to enhance your blogs with relevant images, links or tags while you write. The minute you start to write a post, Zemanta will switch on. I'm trying it as I write this post. Well I found their logo, so it saved me a bit of time. This might be useful. It's a simple add on in Firefox. Check it out here Zemanta

Follow up- It's about an hour after uploading Zemanta, and I have already uninstalled it. I saw its icon sitting right up there in my browser window, and it suddenly dawned on me that it also would be providing ideas about content when I'm writing email..that is kind of creepy- big brother.
There now-- I feel better.
Labels: 1 comments | | edit post

Real-time- Edit live EtherPad

I've been reading about a trend in applications called Real-time. It denotes an application that has a usage right now live. These applications can save time and simplify tasks especially if you are working online collaboratively.
With Etherpad you create your own pad and can work with up to 8 people. From their site,"When multiple people edit the same document simultaneously, any changes are instantly reflected on everyone's screen. The result is a new and productive way to collaborate." The upside is there's no sign in; the downside it's out there and anyone could see your work. Of course, if you really want a private network it's $49 per user.

YouTube EDU

Have you seen all of the educational videos on the YouTube EDU channel? If you haven't, it's worth a look. The channel has hundreds of free video clips colleges and universities. You can search the individual institution, search for a specific speaker, or check out the most viewed. Here's the link

Stupified by all the options-STUPEFLIX

A little bit like Animoto, Stupeflix will create professional looking videos out of your pictures and videos. You can upload a soundtrack and text and it looks like it gives you more control than Animoto. Where Animoto restricts the length of your video in an unpaid version and provides open source music, Stupefix seems not to have that length restriction.(but I'm just doing a preliminary investigation now.) As for music, if you want to use Stupefix, you'll have to upload your own.

You can create special effects, overlay elements and animate text. With all this free in beta testing, I'm hoping it can take care of the laundry too. ...Back later perhaps with some example creation.

Wordle- Bringing Your Words to Life

If you have a fondness for words and visuals, you'll love Wordle.

According to Wordle, it is "a toy for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide." I'd suggest that is so much more than a toy. What it does is allow you to see a visual representation of any set of words. In a "Wordle" you can see how frequently words appear in a given text, or see the relationships between column of words and a columns of numbers.

To create your vision of words in Wordle, you can choose fonts, colour combinations and layouts. After you are done, you can print, download or publish your Wordles as long as you note the Wordle URL.

As far as accessing the Wordle gallery, there is a caution. The developer warns that Wordles are not moderated or filtered. As such this may limit its application in K-12. For the rest of us, it's-WORD ON!

Blerp! Say Anything Anywhere- Annotate the web

Released in May, Blerp wants you to layer the web and say anything anywhere.

Currently in "Alpha" stage, Blerp adds a social network over the entire web turning it into one big interactive forum. There will be community blerps where anyone can participate and user-based blerps created for closed groups.

Sounds intriguing and I can see its application in education; however, right now I'm trying to sign up but I seem to be caught in a perpetual spin. It is in Alpha stage, so I'll try to sign up later..more to follow.
UPDATE! I finally was able to sign up to blerp. I'm using a Mac and was on Firefox. It didn't seem to like that so I switched to Safari and bang zoom 0I;m on blerp. I blerped this page, so you can see how it works. Check it out Add a comment to see if it works and answer the poll.

Starting a Youtube Video from a particular spot

Have you ever wanted to show a YouTube video in class and wondered if there was some way to have it automatically start at the spot you want? Someone asked me this today. (Thank you Debbie for the Q) Within a minute I had the answer to the question, and it's easy!

OK, let's say I wanted to show one of my course introductions but I wanted to start at the part where I show the class a montage of the commercials we'll be talking about in the class.

Be careful to add a "0" into each section of the formula if you are dealing with single digits as in 3 minutes--> 03

Wow..wonderful world isn't it!

Subscribing to Free Podcasts

Right now, I'm working on my major project for ESPY590 Net. The topic I've chosen is to create an online e-learning survival guide. Maybe I'll do a 'littila thisa and a littla thata' and post some things here too.

As a podcaster myself, I love a good free podcast. I've found the best place to go for just about anything is iTunes.

There are two areas where you can look for content. One is iTunes U where colleges and universities post their podcasts. You can get to iTunes U by opening iTunes and going to the iTunes store. (Don’t worry, if you follow my path you will get to all things free.)

Once you are in the iTunes store, you’ll see a link in the box to the right, click “iTunes U” and browse!

The other alternative is to find open educational podcasts. After opening iTunes, go to the iTunes store. In the left column, you’ll see a link “Podcasts.” Click this link. In the left hand column, you’ll see under the heading CATEGORIES a link to “Education.” Click this link and browse.

Here are a few interesting educational technology podcasts:

(Before clicking subscribe, make sure you have downloaded iTunes for your computer.)
  • by Kent Manning is a video podcast that covers topics like using Flickr Creative Commons, Quicktime Pro for video, Camtasia, Picassa and Screencast.
    SUBSCRIBE To Screencast
  • Teacher 2.0 e-Learning Daily by Rod Lucier is podcast to assist educators with e-learning tools to engage learners. He also has a website The Clever Sheep
    SUBSCRIBE To Teacher 2.0
  • E-Learning Insights part of Education Network Australia is to provide academics, teachers, and trainers with interviews on leading tools, technologies and issues in e-learning
    SUBSCRIBE To E-Learning Insights

    Whatever you teach, you'll probably find something in iTunes education.

Ouote of the Day!

I was just reading a case concerning a student who in a computer programming course posted his code to the internet. If you are interested in the open access movement, it's worth a read especially the comments of Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing.

See the article here Student challenges prof, wins right to post source code he wrote for course

The kicker for me was a comment made by "ackpht" posted in response

"The prof here was probably motivated by the antique notion that students should do their own work."

I don't know, but that just cracked me up!

e-culturespeak - The Cultural Dictionary 2009

Q. What do you call the loss of productivity caused by too much time spent on Facebook?

A. Social Notworking

Cramer-Krasselt, a Chicago-based ad agency has published its Cultural Dictionary The dictionary is published (free!) to educate their clients about their consumer behaviour research and to be relevant.

Areas covered are politics, ethics, the economy, envirnoment, technology, social networking, personalities & realtionships, stress & life, street slang and others. Each section starts out with a short overview of trends in the area.

To download a PDF just click the link in the above paragraph.

Learn abour slactivism, excosexuals, popcorn storms and being blackburied!

Kompozer-Open Source Web Authoring

If you want to author web pages and you don't want to buy a program, try Kompozer

From their web site: "KompoZer is a complete web authoring system that combines web file management and easy-to-use WYSIWYG web page editing.

KompoZer is designed to be extremely easy to use, making it ideal for non-technical computer users who want to create an attractive, professional-looking web site without needing to know HTML or web coding."

Watch a video tutorial series. The first link here just tells you the background on Kompozer and what the series will cover.

The second one shows you how to download and install Kompozer

The third in the series gives you a quick Walk Through of Kompozer

The fourth in the series tells you how to set up the program

For a print tutorial on how to use Kompozer try SiteWizard at

Plagium Tracking Plagiarism-Free for now

Checking for plagiarism? Try Plagium by pasting the questionable words in the text box on their site. Free in beta test.

From their site: "Plagium is a service, now in beta test, of Septet Systems Inc. Septet Systems Inc. focuses on the development of innovative information search solutions for consumers, enterprises, government, academics, and healthcare."

The Future is - OPEN - Lots of Freemium

Nobody wants to pay anymore. It's about Pull not Push
Media Futurist Gerd Leonhard talks about different types of free:

Free= nobody pays anywhere
Feels Like Free= the payment is bundled or hidden
Freemium= all users get real value but some pay for premium sevice (A lot of these new cool ed apps work like this)
3rd Party Pays= Someone else pays because they want access to my data

His prediction- Half of all internet users will create and post their own content by 2012
The future is open. See Media Futurists Gerd Leonhard's presentation here:

Google Wave- Collaboration-a-go-go

See what Google is working on..the Wave..instantaneous collaboration with email, instant messaging and blogs. The video is from May 28, 2009 and is 1 hour and 20 minutes.

For more info see Google Wave

Imagination Cubed - Draw together

This one has been around for a few years but could be useful for any simple collaborative interaction.

Imagination Cubed is a flash site developed by GE that turns your screen into a whiteboard. You can draw or type on screen or even invite friends by email to join you on the board.

Once you have created your masterpiece, you can click replay and see its evolution.

Podsafe Music

Here's a good site with information about MP3 audio that can be used as background or bumpers for podcasts.

Web 1.0 Web 2.0 and Web 3.0

Web 3.0 concepts in plain English and Presentations

Rip: A Remix Manifesto

Copyright or CopyLeft?

See this documentary! Select Play all

Profs Pose as Virtual Students

An article in the Insight section of The Toronto Star today talks about professors who are creating fake virtual identities to join the class online. Some of the profs claim that it helps them connect with their students. Students feel shocked and deceived.

Here's the link to the article.

In a world where some teachers are questioning the ethics of the millennial generation, I find this interesting. Hucksters!

Poll Everywhere with Twitter

Probably most people have heard of and seen clickers in the classroom.

With the proliferation of cell phones and smart mobile devices everywhere, it seems logical that one shouldn't need any other device to take part in an interactive presentation. What Poll Everywhere offers is audience response technology without the hardware. It can be used to poll an audience, for group brainstorming or to allow the audience to add twitter comments to a presentation. Messages can be sent as a text message or online free from any web enabled device.

The basic free service for education in higher ed includes an account with a maximum class size of 32 but an unlimited number of classes. For class sizes up to 400 with mulit-poll reporting, response moderation, and student rosters it's $399 US per semester or $699 US per year.

Here's a link to Use Twitter in PowerPoint

FunnelBrain- I don't think so!

I read about a site called Funnelbrain a day or so ago. That day I tried to access their video demos and got nowhere but decided to try again today.

I'm a mac user and when I'm on email the default browser is Safari.

Here's the message I got from funnel brain while using Safari:
"We're sorry, only supports FireFox 3.0+ and Internet Explorer 7.0+ due technical limitations of older browsers. For the best experience please download FireFox 3"

OK, so they aren't that interested in Mac users. Strike One!
But that's not going to stop me. They bill themselves - "FunnelBrain is an academic question-and-answer site that provides an environment for team based learning and multi-media flashcards. Create FunnelBrain Flashcards with videos photos, audio, text and math equations! "
This sounds kind of interesting and since I just blooged about Cobocards, it's worth a look.

So I click Video #1 Working with FunnelBrain Groups..a whole lotta spinning and never reaching anywhere. Strike 2!

OK. What about Video #2- creating Funnelbrain Flashcards- click--spin spin spin.

Strike 3!
Somehow I find the name "FunnelBrain" most interesting.

Scribd wants to be iTunes for words

Once upon a time it was all free.
Only a couple of weeks ago Scribd was just the most popular free online document sharing service; today it's also an online store that will sell your educational texts.

From their site, "In the Scribd Store you can buy exclusive books, research reports, never-before-released chapters of Lonely Planet city travel guides...for less."

What's the deal? Scribd will take 20% of each sale and give the rest to the copyright owner.
According to eSchool News, Scribd's advantage is that their documents will be able to be read on any type of device. The New York Times says they are turning themselves into a kind of "vanity publisher."

From Scribd's website About Us, "Scribd’s vision is to liberate the written word — to turn everyone into a publisher and create the best possible reading experience on the web and mobile platforms."

Wikipedia Hoax- Why we so readily believe

I have to admit it-- I often go to Wikipedia for information but I generally check the sources at the bottom of the page to either find more information or verify the information.

Early this month as part of a social experiment involving globalization, Irish student Shane Fitzgerald added a fake quote to the Wikipedia entry for composer Maurice Jarre.

Here's the quote, " One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head that only I can hear."

Jarre had just died. Quickly the quote was included in obituaries around the world - in major newspapers. Fitzgerald waited a few weeks before he reported that the quote was inaccurate. What surprised him was that it so quickly appeared in major print media. He had thought it might make blogs and websites. Corrections were printed in some papers and it was removed by Wikipedia but it remains out there uncorrected in printed and online form.

So why was this quote so quickly picked up and passed around? Here's my take. First, it's timing. The quote appeared right after the death. It was convenient and easy to find and use. Second, it was a great quote- the kind of quote you wish you had said if you had been a musician. Third, it's a great romantic notion that one will dance on to beautiful music in some ethereal space.

Fourth, we want to believe.

Fliggo- Free video community

In a recent blog post, I talked about TeacherTube's MySite, a paid place to create a site for your videos.

There are sites besides YouTube where you can create a site that includes your own videos and videos hosted elsewhere.

Once such place is Fliggo. On Fliggo you choose between a Community blog where members can contribute by uploading videos and adding comments or create a Video Blog where you are the only one who adds videos, but others can comment. Your site can be open, moderated (you have to approve their membership) or closed (by invitation only.) You can customize the look and feel of your site too and there are no ads.

Their site promises that it is "grandma friendly." Not sure I approve of that language!

What's the catch? The add on features will be extra. For the extras there's an introductory price of $14.95 a month. It includes a custom domain, no fliggo logo and an increased video length limit.

Fliggo looks like it could be useful for a class video community or for a group project. It could also be useful for teachers who are looking for a channel on one particular subject. Here's one example of a compilation of videos with a georgraphy theme GeoTube

This looks like something I'll recommend to my students for group projects.

Prezi- A 70s Acid Trip Without the Drugs

Are you sick of boring PowerPoint presentations?

Well Prezi may be your answer. With Prezi you can create a mind map that takes your viewer through ideas, images and videos. You can zoom in and flip and zoom out again all through the use of a simple navigation path.

The basic version of Prezi allows you to create and download your presentation. If you want your hamburger with the works, you'll have to sign up and pay 39£ for 500MB space, no logo and an offline player; or the Pro version that includes more space and an offline editor for 119£ a year.

The site contains a couple of basic tutorials that teach you how to place objects zoom in and out and create a path. I have to say though that after a couple of views I did feel like I was on a bit of an acid trip.

Still, it looks like it could be a cool little tool. Here are a couple of videos

Learn Prezi Tricks

Prezi Editing: Ice Cream for everyone

Yes Prezi looks cool, but I think you really need to have a solid plan and really think out what you intend to do. Zooming and flipping are lots of fun, but do you remember the PowerPointers who used every zip and zap and zoom and zip..they kind of made you crazy. With Prezi, I could see some going a bit wild. So consider those of us who have visual issues. My imitrex is at the ready!

TeacherTube MySite - Build your own site

TeacherTube the teachers' version of YouTube has just announced "Teacher Tube MySite."

You can now create your own site to post videos, audio or documents, customize the look and feel of the site, decide who is allowed to upload, and customize privacy.

The site can be updated by one person or a collaborative team. It looks like you can create a specific site for a class for them to upload their work. And- No ads!

On the down side, for 20 members it's $99 US per year and the cost increases by number of members.

This sounded great until the cost. I'm not sure that you couldn't do all of the above for free on YouTube. Except maybe you'd have to put up with the small ads. Check out their TeacherTube's pitch here

TeacherTube is a nice place to find other educational videos, but I've found that sometimes the videos are very slow to load. I like their MySite concept, but I think it would have been better to offer it free with small educational type ads.

Be Careful what you Tweet!

Jean Anieu Fernandez, a self-confessed computer geek in Guatemala, has been arrested and had his computer confiscated for posting this tweet on Twitter, "First concrete action should be remove cash from Banrural and bankrupt the bank of the corrupt."

His tweet was in response to the murder of a Guatemalan lawyer. The lawyer had left a recorded video statement explaining that if he were to turn up dead, it would be under the direction of current president Alvaro Colom.

Fernandez is being held in jail for inciting financial panic He must pay a $6,500 fine and await trail under house arrest.

Twitterer's are collecting funds to pay the fine and of course resending the same message themselves.

Collaborate with Flash Cards- Cobocards

This app sounds like it could be interesting to use as a flash card quiz or for use in group or individual study. Similar to a lot of these new applications, the basic version is free.

Here's a summary of what you can do:

  • Create flashcards with two clicks. Format Text and add pictures
  • Study alone or online with others using Skype or chat
  • Print flashcards for offline use
  • Work in team, comment on others flashcards, track your knowledge
  • Publish your cards to share online with others

25 Tools: A Toolbox for Learning Professionals 2009

SlideShare Presentation by Jane Hart:
See Jane Hart's 25 Tools- Full Article

Google Killer? Wolfram Alpha

The internet is a buzz with talk of the latest so called Google Killer-WolframAlpha.

Based on the software program Mathematica and created by Stephen Wolfram, the computational knowledge engine is expected to launch this week.

What's different about WolframAlpha? Well, what it tries to do is allow you to ask questions about data.

For example, you might want to compare the yearly weather of one city to that of another city. WolframAlpha will compile that data and create a chart where you can easily see the differences. It will also solve calculus equations and show the steps to solve them.

According to Laurie Sullivan of MediaPost, "Despite its potential, the WolframAlpha has challenges. Unlike Google, the search engine does not index Web pages...but rather draws information from databases packed with information. It relies on humans to update data and algorithms to keep the information current. It can't find stores that sell Jimmy Choos or Canon cameras, but quickly computes and spits out facts to questions such as how many Nobel Laureates were born on a full moon or the magnitude and location of earthquakes worldwide within the past 24 hours."

You can view a 10 minute video introducing Wolfram Alpha on YouTube or view what others who have access to the beta version are saying about it.

It sounds interesting, but I'd have to agree with the creator that it's not meant to be a Google Killer. The search for a product is different from the search for the method to solve a quadratic equation.

"It has the potential to be the smartest search engine on the web, if only the people using it are smart enough to know how." Rafe Needleman, Editor CNET.

See CNET's overview here

A Bit About Captioning

Most colleges and universities have policies that require multimedia to be accessible to all. The more multimedia you use, the more this means you'll have to get help getting videos captioned or caption them yourself. If you decide to do some captioning yourself, there are a few free and inexpensive programs that make the process easy.

Before you begin, you should decide how you would like your captioning to appear. You have two choices: open or closed captioning. Open captioning means that the captions are burned into your movie file for every viewer to see; whereas, closed captioning means they are embedded within the movie and can be made accessible on demand.

Personally, I prefer closed captions especially if the materials are online. Let the viewer make the decision! You may have noticed that YouTube now has a closed captioning option. See a short video here Explanation of Captioning in YouTube

If you have YouTube videos posted, you can also try CaptionTube . To use CaptionTube you need a Google email address to log on. Once logged on, select the upload personal video (from YouTube) and then select edit. It's a fairly straight forward process from there on. When you are happy with your captions, select Export Captions. There are several choices here. You can export captions as a file or export your captions as either a "sub" or "srt" file. For YouTube select "sub" and download it to your computer. While on the same screen now select the link "Captions and Subtitles page." This takes you to your video at YouTube. Now you can just upload the file and add it to your video. Presto! Your video is closed captioned.

If you are of the Mac persuasion, there's another simple program that captions Quicktime movies at a reasonable price -MovCaptioner. You can download a demo at There are several nice features in MovCaptioner. You can import a text file or caption as you watch. As well as your captioned video, you can download different types of files and a transcript of your video.

To view an 8 minute tutorial on MovCaptioner see

I have to warn you that the demo version doesn't last long, so if you want MovCaptioner, you'll have to pay the $25 US. The simplicity and options made it well worth the price.

If you use a PC there's a free app, you might try called URUWorks
For a good site with lots of information on captioning see Caption it Yourself

Happy Captioning!

Animoto- Pictures to Movies in a Flash

I've been experimenting with Animoto a simple online program that will take your images and music and create an interesting little movie.

The free version limits you to a 30 second clip, but just the same it gives you a unique way to present a topic. If you aren't happy with the way they put it together, just press remix and they'll give you another version. Since 30 seconds didn't seem to be enough for me. I created a few animoto clips, put them together in Quicktime Pro, then imported them into iMovie to tweak my little movie on the 50s.

Here's the result

You can sign up for an educational account and use it for classes, sign up and pay for the professional account, or just use it to create 30 sec clips for free. To learn more see their 60 second video here Learn More Animoto

You Light up My Life- AwesomeHighlighter

Here's a useful website- The AwesomeHighlighter

Would you like to send only the important parts of an online article to someone or save parts of an article you find interesting? Maybe you want to send someone a web page with selected parts highlighted? If you have ever wanted to do this, The Awesome Highlighter makes it pretty easy.

Below is a screen capture of the site.

All you have to do is plug the URL of the web page you want to highlight into their browser bar. Highlight the parts of the page you want. Click done and then you have two options. You can either send the highlighted sections in an email to someone else or yourself, or just copy the URL that AwesomeHighlighter has created. When you plug the URL into your browser you'll see the exact page as it has been highlighted.

Nice, simple, no download, and best of all free.

Screentoaster vs Jing

Do you need to capture what you are doing on your computer screen, maybe demonstrate how to use some software?

Well if you don't want to spend money on something like Camtasia, or you don't want to download an application then Screentoaster may be your answer.
It's free and you can use it on any computer (Mac or PC), anytime. It uses a simple Java applet to capture your screen. You can record audio that plays during the capture or you can do a voice over with your internal mic.

The file can be saved as either a swf or a mov file. If you have joined Screentoaster you can download the file right from their website. Within minutes you can download a zip file of your capture.

You can import that file into other programs and edit it or edit it directly with Quicktime Pro. In my previous post, I used Screentoaster for the introduction to Twiddla. The only downside I can see is that it makes a rather large file, but the resolution is great. You might want to compress the file a bit if you are going to post it anywhere.

So how is Screentoaster different from Jing?

The basic unpaid version of Jing is also kind of cool. To use the program you have to download the application and sign up. It has some interesting features but it does have limitations.

The first problem is it will only create a swf file which makes editing more difficult. You are also limited to a 5 minute recording. It seems to me that they really want you to sign up and pay for the bells and whistles of Camtasia. So if you want something free that you can use anywhere anytime then Screentoaster is the way to go.

Make an Interactive Meeting Online with Twiddla

Twiddla is an online easy to use web-based meeting application. There's no download involved. You can create a meeting space and invite people by either an email invitation or just share the URL. You can upload images, documents, Powerpoint or browse the web. You can draw on or markup whatever you place on your whiteboard. If you allow it, your participants can draw on, type or erase anything on the board. Here's my mini movie on Twiddla.

This was captured using Screentoaster.

PDF to Word in a minute!

Ever want to convert a PDF file to Word? There are a lot of sites that will do this for free. They all sound good but a lot are pretty lame. Who has the time to wait and wait.

I tried a few and got fed up waiting. Zamzar is usually a pretty good site for file conversion. So I tried it. With Zamzar you have to provide an email address and then wait for an email that links you to the download. It uploaded fast but then waited and waited. It's 15 minutes so in the meantime, I came across PDF Online.

I uploaded my file and presto in less than a minute I downloaded it, no email, no wait. The PDF has lots of text and images and it looks great.

Here's the direct link to convert PDF to word pdfonline PDF --> Word

As a follow up, after more than an hour I got an email with a link to Zamzar's conversion of my PDF. What a difference! The images were terrible barely recognizable. PDF online is the way to go!