Adobe Voice is an iOS application which allows you to easily present ideas and information in an engaging manner. A part of a suite of mobile only apps created by Adobe, including the website creation app Slate, it provides connections to range of content to create slick and stylish presentations in minutes. Once finished, you can upload videos to and share via Adobe Creative Cloud or download them to the camera roll and publish elsewhere.
One of the best features of Adobe Voice is the access to range of Creative Commons content. Whether it be images, icons and music, each of the different sections provides the option to search from within the application. This means that you do not have to leave the application in order to find appropriately attributed content. The issue though is that, like with much of Creative Commons content, it can be hard to filter out inappropriate images. It is often for this reason that many popular sites are blocked in schools. My own workaround has been to simply use original content gathered via the iPad camera. However, this then limits the potential of the app.
Some possible uses for Adobe Voice are:
Create a video timeline
Record a picture book
Develop an instructional guide
Gather together different reflections
GIF stands for graphic interchange format. It is a type of loop-able image that lasts for only a few seconds. Andy Rush explains that originally they were designed for practical visual indicators, such as under construction signs for a webpage or animated email buttons. However, as with most things with technology, as time has passed, GIFs have developed a life and purpose of their own.
A key to the success of a GIF is repetition. Sometimes this is because the image creates a closed loop continually repeating. However, GIFs also have a potential to tap into our curiosity of storytelling, where although the clip may not necessarily create a closed loop, the engagement with the moment keeps the viewer watching again and again. Mariana Funes provides a range of reasons for GIFs, including the creation of the impossible, a representation of how we think, an act of becoming. While Clive Thompson explains,
The animated GIF lets us stop and ponder a single moment in the stream, to resee something that otherwise would zip by unnoticed.
What differentiates a GIF from other short video forms, such as Vine, Twitter and Instagram, is that there is no sound.
In regards to creating a GIF, there are many programs that you can use to make them, including IMGUR, Photoshop, and Camtasia. Common Craft provide a range of options, both free and paid, in their thorough guide. However, a site that often overlooked, that allows you to make GIFs quickly and easily is gifyoutube.com.
Basically, you put ‘gif’ in front of any YouTube video in order to convert it. The site provides a few options, such as adding captions, deciding start time and setting the duration. Although you can search the site for published GIFs, I prefer to publish animations at Giphy, a site best understood as the YouTube for GIFs.
Some possible uses of GIFs in education include:
Providing comments and captions over the top of a short clip
Creating a visual story (see Nathan Bransford explanation of the writing process)
Make a provocation to discuss what might happen next
Developing an explanation for a skill or instruction
GIFDeck – A site that allows you to turn Slidedeck presentations into a GIF.
GIFs as Disinformation Remedy – Mike Caulfield discusses the idea of generating short instructional sequences to post in comment threads of fake material (i.e., how to fact check) rather than just Snopes-ing people.
Verso is an application designed to engage thinking through the use of questions and provocations. What is different though to other applications is that the students’ identity remains anonymous, meaning that the focus is solely on the ideas and information. While at the same time providing teachers with a range of data and statistics associated with the activities through the dashboard.
Unlike other applications, which only gather the initial response, Verso provides deeper engagement by providing the means to follow up from the initial prompt. Once students have provided a response, they are given view of all of the other responses. From there they are able to interact with different ideas through the use of likes and comments.
The basic Verso account is free. This allows teachers to create classes, activities and review the data and statistics. However, there is also an opportunity to engage with a ‘campus’ subscription. This offers the ability to tie together an entire school of teachers, with features such as sharing activities, the ability to upload via web browser and access for coordinators to see statistics across all teachers, subjects and year levels. Pricing for this is dependent on the size of the school.
Kevin Zahner has written a post which outlines some possible uses for Verso including:
Analysing an image and providing an account of what is seen.
Gathering questions associated with an inquiry topic.
Brainstorming anonymously in silence.
Reflecting and evaluating progress of to learning.
In regards to data and policy, Verso requires only an email address, first and last name, and the school name from teacher users. For student they require first and last name, and a username. Other than that, they do not require any further personal information.
All of the data within the Verso App is securely stored in the AWS Cloud infrastructure and all interactions are handled via secure HTTPS.
Student information is used solely within the Verso application. Teacher users will also receive occasional emails from Verso to let them know of changes within the application, from which they can unsubscribe at any time.
Here are some additional resources:
Verso Blog – A collection of resources and reflections associated with Verso
Thinglink EDU is a platform for making interactive images. Whether it be video, audio or text, it allows you to provide links to additional information. Creating an interactive image involves three simple steps: find an image to use as the background, add links using a range of icons and then share the finished product, whether it be as a link or by embedding it in a blog or a website.
Like many programs with educational support, there are two subscription options. Firstly, a free account, which provides you the basics, including 100 student accounts, simple tagging and a small range of icons. While the premium educational version allows for almost unlimited student accounts, Google Drive integration and over a hundred different icons, including the option to use custom icons.
One of the other great features of Thinglink EDU is the ability to remix. No matter which interactive image it is that you find, you can make it your own, adding your own elements and republishing a new version.
Some of the possible uses for Thinglink EDU include:
Making an image with a series of questions for students to then remix and answer.
Developing a map with links to mark a journey.
Annotating a piece of work, using icons to highlight different features.
Creating an interactive portfolio with links to different references.
Finding an image that allows you to tell a story.
In regards to data and policy, Thinglink EDU requires only an email address, first and last name from teacher users. For the Premium account, payment details are also collected. Data is stored and processed on computers located in USA or EU.
Thinglink collect information for the purposes of providing and developing the service. Some of the features offered might rely on the use of information we have collected from you in order to ensure that the feature in question is customised and targeted for your specific use. The personal data provided can also be used for direct marketing unless you let Thinglink know that you do not wish to receive such content. The personal data can also be used for contacting you if required for the provision of the service.