Tag Archives: Websites for sharing

You Don’t Have to Work too Hard, Check Out Screenr.

Many people have enjoyed using Jing from one of my prior entries, but were looking for something that allowed for a increased recording time without a great deal of additional effort.  Never fear, Screenr is here.

Screenr allows you to video capture what you see on your computer screen and create a voice over audio file to accompany it.  The site is free and easy to use.  This is a great site for sharing lesson ideas with colleagues, teaching online skills to your students or sharing experiences (perhaps pictures you took and now can add the accompanying story) with friends online.

When you go to Screenr you are given a choice to make an account, or you can sign in with an existing account you have on Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  The choice is yours.  The site is free, no payments required. This is a Web based program, so you are not required to install or download any software.  The only things that is required is that you have Java capabilities on your computer.  Your computer will also need to have  a microphone if you wish to record your voice.  The site works on both Macs and PCs.

When you are ready, click the “record” tab.  A frame will open up on your computer screen.  You can enlarge the frame or minimize it.  You have the capability of recording your entire screen if you wish.  Once you have your size set up, open up the window of the information you wish to record.  The Screenr page disappears, but the frame you wish to record with remains.

Once you have what you wish to record on the screen and know what you want to say, click the “record” button.  The screen will count you down as “3…2…1” and then recording will start.   You do not have to speak throughout the recording, only at the parts you wish.  Whatever you do on the screen within that frame will be recorded for your viewers to see.  You can record from 5 – 15 minutes worth of material.

When you are done recording, hit the “Alt” and “D” key at the same time.   You will then be taken back to Screenr  where you can play the recording  to see if you like how it came out.  Then you can choose to delete it, publish it and/or save it.  If you want to save it, you’ll need to publish it first.  Just click on the button and a little over a minute later you are ready to go.   If you still want to save the video to a device,  just click on the “save” button and choose where you want the video to be saved.

You can also choose to share your video in other ways.  You can upload it to YouTube, but you will need to have a registered YouTube account to do so.  You can e-mail your friends the link, or embed the video into an online Website you have (Facebook, Jupiter Grades, etc.).  Once you embed the video, your viewers will be able to click on the page and watch it right there instead of having to go to Screenr‘s page to view the information.

So whether you are looking to share vacation memories, lesson plan ideas or information you wish for your students to view at home – Screenr might be just the tool you are looking for.

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Ahoy Mateys… Pirate Pad Off the Starboard Bow

There are many Websites out there which allow you to have friends or students post thoughts, ideas and questions on one page; however, it is often the case the site runs slow or has issues.   PiratePad seems to have overcome these difficulties and it is also a free resource.

When you get to the site, you will be greeted by a frog wearing an eye patch.  This page provides you with a quick hint on how to get the site to work better if you are having trouble viewing the page.  Click on the frog to continue.  As soon as you do, you are taken to a page with a Web address you can use.  You are able to immediately start typing onto the pad.

You can give your page a name or change the colors of the text. Don’t worry if you want different colors or other features on different lines.  As you type, each line is designated with a line number to make it easier for you to make changes.   There is a simple “pad options” icon to help you decide how you want your page to look like.

What is great about Pirate Pad is that you can share what you created right away.  So if you gave your students a homework assignment to perform on Pirate Pad, you can literally create the page when the school day ends and the students will be able to interact with it the moment they get home.  You are given choices on how to share the URL.  You can copy the link and create your own e-mail or text to send to people you want to invite to work on the pad. There is also a ready made welcome letter you can e-mail out to those who you want to participate.

This site makes it easy to distinguish who shared what thought.  As each person signs in and contributes to the page, they are assigned a different color.  Their comments as well as their name in the chat window share that color.  This makes it easy for you to scan and see which students have posted and/or participated in the chat discussion.  There is also a timeline you can utilize.  For example, If you require the students to participate three times a week, you are able to verify their number of times logging in with this feature very quickly.

Pirate Pad is a great tool to have your students brainstorm about ideas, discuss issues for debate, work on group projects, review the day’s lesson, etc.  If you have a large class, you might find it easier to assign 4-5 students to a group and have 6 or 7 groups to ensure you don’t run out of colors.

While Pirate Pad may not offer as many bells and whistles as other sites, it does offer many features to make it a valuable resource.  This can be a plus if you have students (or you yourself) are familiar with basic set ups similar to a Word document, but have difficulty with information intense sites.

So whether you are using the site for a lesson or gathering ideas for a friend’s surprise party, Pirate Pad may be just the tool you are looking for.

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