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 just spent a little while playing around at ImageChef, and apart from one piece of code for a flash image that just wouldn’t work in my blog, this site is very easy to use, and you can quickly generate a variety of fun images!
It’s as easy as choosing from the menu of background options and typing in the text you want. I just used the templates and images available at the site, but you can also upload your own photos for many of the projects. Registration is optional; you can create and access the resulting html code without signing in. So what are you waiting for? Go try it out!
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.