Wednesday, October 29, 2008

DJ Is Sometimes a Puzzle

Click to Mix and Solve

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Keeping in Touch

We live in a mobile world. We raise great kids in rural communities and then are forced to see them have to leave to make a living because there are no jobs available to keep them close to home. Older folks in the northern climes seek the sun in winter and travel south and west to more temperate and warmer places, leaving other family behind. With families scattered far and wide, how can they keep in touch and share experiences? Technology has given us some tools like phone and e-mail and now web 2.0 has given us more ways to share our life experiences with those we love.

Today I bumped into a very cool new application Lifesnapz while seeking out projects for our upcoming "More Things on a Stick" that looks to be a winner.

This description is from their web site: "LifeSnapz is a free, easy and secure way for people to record and organize important events, milestones and memories in their lives.

Users of LifeSnapz, can contribute text, photos, and video to describe these events, share them with self-designated groups (like family members, colleagues, schoolmates or youth sports teams) and explore these events using dynamic timelines, maps, and lists.

Our vision is a site where users and groups can keep their memories alive and vibrant so that they can be relived for many years thereafter."

Once signed up, the site itself was easy to navigate, very intuitive for users. You can create a group, then create an event, upload pictures and/or videos, and caption and tag them. Inviting others to join you and giving them either full or view only rights was simple as well. There is a discussion and comments feature. You can list those present at the event by name and they are listed on the page. Photos can be uploaded or imported from your computer, Flickr, Picasa, or Youtube.

Multiple events can then form a visual timeline for you. You can map the location of the events as well with the integrated Google map feature. You can sign up for e-mail notices of updates to your groups and events too. Privacy settings allow you to share only what you want with those you trust.

Simple, but oh so cool. It took me less than fifteen minutes to get started with my first group and event and invite family members to join. I had planned to start a family blog to help us all stay in touch, but LifeSnapz seems like it would be much easier for non-techies to use.

Of course, it's not the same as being together in person, but at least we'll be able to keep up with how everyone looks and share the events that are important in each other's lives.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Trying out Animoto

Test run to see how it works. Not hard to do, but the selection of tunes is limited. If you're going to use it, it would be good to be prepared with your own music.

Jack O'Lantern

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Now It's Fall, Just the Nicest Time of All

I loved pulling children's books out for special displays, be it seasonal, holiday or just because. The tiny Lois Lenski book Now It's Fall was always tucked far back on the deep shelf with larger books, out of sight. When it was put out on seasonal display, tiny hands quickly plucked it up to take it home and have it read aloud, short snippets of fall activities in equally short rhyme, snapshots in time of the season.

In looking for More 23Things I found a Web2.0 application which could be used to make your own little storybook, Showbeyond. According to their web site Showbeyond is a multimedia slidecast creator, online publishing platform, and story sharing community. With Showbeyond you can easily grab your images, and then add your sound and text to create your stories. You can then share your story with the world, or just a few chosen friends. It would be a great tool to use with a class of any age.

I found one shared story which reminded me of the spirit of fall held in Lois Lenski's lovely little book. The title is Autumn Leaves posted by Aseret41 on September 29, 2008. It would make a lovely picture book to share with little ones, and would be great in a story time.