How easy it is to get sidetracked on the web! I was just working on editing my bookmarks in Delicious (one of my 23 Things this week is setting up a Delicious account, and when I imported my bookmarks I was staring at 355 sites to be tagged! But that’s a different post!) when I came across the Bubblr site. I had bookmarked it earlier when we were exploring MashUps, but hadn’t used it yet. I did a quick experiment with it so that I would know how to describe it in Delicious, and here’s what I came up with:
Unfortunately, the text is too small to read here, so if you’d like to see a larger version of my comic strip, go to: Lori’s Blog? by Lori
It was fun, and it took almost no time at all. Bubblr has a Flickr search tool right there on the cartoon creation page, so when you type in your tag(s) it immediately displays matching photos at the top of the screen. Drag and drop the one(s) you want to use into the cartoon frames, drag in a thought or speech bubble, type your text and voila ~ you’re a cartoonist!
p.s. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was having trouble embedding a flash image into my blog. I again had trouble embedding this cartoon, also flash, so this time I turned to The Edublogger for advice. For those of you using Edublogs, Sue Waters does an amazing job of posting explanations of how to do anything you might possibly want to do with your blog. I always search her posts before I go to the forum for help. Click here for her post on embedding code.
I have been working on another Mash-Up project this past week, this time using Flickr and Google Earth. I’m creating a Google Lit Trip for the book How to Bake an Apple Pie and See the World by Marjorie Priceman. Google Earth is a free download that lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings and more. You can explore, save your toured places, and share them with others. Google Lit Trips use features of Google Earth to plot the events in a book so that students can take a virtual tour of the setting and happenings of the story.
The premise of the book I’m using is that when the market is closed one day, a young baker must travel the world to gather the ingredients she needs for her apple pie. I searched Flickr CC (which is an invaluable site for finding Flickr photos released under the creative commons license) for images to include at each stop on my Google Earth journey, so that students can see not only where each country is on the map, but also a photo of the actual area, as well as the animal or plant providing the necessary baking ingredients. For example, at one point our heroine travels to France to get eggs, and I was able to find this photo of a freshly laid egg, actually taken in Bretagne, to include in my trip.
I am currently working on the last step of the project, which is to create a path to link all of the destinations together. Once I have the Lit Trip completed, I will update this post.
Boy, there are some really neat Flickr Mash-Ups out there! This was actually another one of those humbling assignments that made me realize just how much I *don’t* know about the tools that are available on the web. I just keep repeating to myself, “How do you eat the elephant? One bite at a time!”
The first application I played with is Montager, which creates mosaics from Flickr photos that are searched out based on a tag name of your choice. At first I didn’t see a practical use for it, but the more I played with it, the more I realized what a neat tool it is. It would be a new and creative way to compile photos from a particular event and display them on a website, or you could use it on a school webpage to display photos of your faculty and staff. (With their permission, of course.)
Next I looked at the Big Huge Labswebsite and tried out the Captioner application, which allows you to add speech and thought bubbles to your photos. This caught my attention because I thought students would enjoy seeing photos turned into cartoons. (In fact, back in the day, I used to buy caption bubble stickers to use on the “real” photos I displayed on my media center bulletin board!) Here is my creation:
I have two caveats for those who want to use this tool. First, you cannot upload or import Bitmap photos to be captioned; they need to be in the JPEG format. The apple photo that I found at Flickr CC was originally a bitmap image, so I had to convert it in order to caption it. I used my Microsoft Paint program to do that by opening the photo in paint and then saving it, choosing “jpeg” from the Save drop-down file type menu. Easy and free!
Second, you need to start with a large image because the caption bubbles are too big to fit onto a small photo. You can shrink it down after you’ve created and saved it to whatever size you want to use. I had originally saved my apple photo using the “small” option, so I had to go back to the Flickr site and re-save it as a large photo.
I was listening to the latest podcast from the Tech Chicks this week and found out about a new URL shortening service: MooURL! This cute little cow does the same thing TinyURL does, which is to shorten an outrageously long URL into a shorter one. Both sites also give you the option to add the suffix of your choice to the end of your short URL, rather than using the randomly assigned letters and numbers provided by the sites’ URL generators.
So why choose Moo over Tiny? I wanted to shorten my media center URL and use my school abbreviation (ADE) as the ending. That suffix was not available at TinyURL, but Moo came throooo!
p.s. I captured the Moo header (at the top of this post) from the moourl website by right clicking and using the “save picture as” option. Next, I uploaded it into my Flickr account, then used Flickr’s “blog this” feature to create this post.