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Free Stuff

OKAY SO I’M NOT ACTUALLY OFFERING ANY FREE STUFF MYSELF BUT… I do think a lot of money is spent on gadgets when, increasingly, canny use of free facilities online can fill a lot of gaps and make us all look good, not to mention improving the learning of the students. Hence, this page is devoted to some little reviews and a demonstrations of simple online tricks to enhance your teaching and all for free.

It’s been a while since I visited this page, but pictures have been abiding concern for me, leaving aside the sheer folly of trying to use pictures from films. copyright on images is increasingly a problem. In fact it is a nightmare of law, fair use, international differences and greedy companies trying get money out of anyone who uses an image -not surprisingly then there are an increasing number of photographers, amateur or otherwise uploading photos free to use for presentations, education and sharing. Needless to say, none of those photographers would want you to make a fortune out of their photograph by framing it and selling it, and a credit polite, but in the interests of good presentation here are a few free sites.The above images come from a site offering free images for most purposes, certainly educational, click on the links below to explore or click on the images themselves – meanwhile I’m off for a cup of coffee.

minicoffee_3minicoffee_4

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http://www.morguefile.com
http://freerangestock.com/popular_photos.php

http://www.stockvault.net

http://www.sxc.hu/home

First up  was ANIMOTO now PREZI.

In Cold Blood Road Trip

SO once again this is a Flash driven facility, which means I can’t embed it in my free version of WordPress, which is, of course another highly to be recommended facility (hi WordPress). Anyway I have done the same here, I have copied an image and linked it to the presentation. This is a presentation I do for students of WJEC English Language and Literature AS Level, who are studying the novel In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. PREZI is a bit cumbersome, I have found it difficult to make it pretty, but easy to make it move, and that’s its main advantage, it is a powerpoint that flies. You type in your words, upload your pix, arrange them within the template hierarchy, set a path and the presentation will animate following that path, swing it about enough and you can make everyone feel a bit dizzy! This is definitely a facility that needs a little time to explore and that is not easy to come by these days, but if you keep simple, you can take a break from the old fashioned PowerPoint!

Click the pic to go to the video

IT IS THAT EASY, just one or two pointers though: when you sign up it will ask you to choose a template and then in very large type it will say BUY VIDEO – underneath that in tiny, tiny, type it says “or get 30 seconds free” and thirty seconds is plenty of time. In addition you can EMBED in many blogs, social media networks and the like but not in WORDPRESS  which this blog is and that is because the file is a Flash file so some places won’t embed and it won’t read on an iPhone or iPad. I am a faithful Mac User but there is a Betamax (HTML5) Flash (VHS) war going on that does get in the way of some of us making progress. Anyhoo get round it for blogs by doing what I did, put an image in and hyperlink the image to the ANIMOTO site, you can loop  your video but only if you embed it and  you can use your own music, but be careful of copyright. More on free music another time.

You can also pay for n upgrade so that you can have the file and do more with it, as well as make longer videos, it’s not free but it’s not expensive either and there is an education section. Have fun!

Oh and here’s one I prepared earlier!

Click on the pic to play – same music different template!

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