Monday, October 26, 2009

P.M. CoverItLive for the Web 2.0 and Digital Natives lecture

CoverItLive for Web 2.0 and Digital Natives

Friday, October 23, 2009

Five (+ 1) Sources for Free/Royalty-Free Music and Sound Effects

WAVImage via Wikipedia

I have been trying to find Free/Royalty-Free Music and Sound Effects and have not been as successful as I have anticipated. What do you use? Here are some suggestions that I have received:

Kathy Schrock
suggests using Soundzabound. She has used it for a few years and have been very happy with it. She says that the company is great to work with and the students really love the loops. They are categorized by broad topic, and students can easily find what they need. It is true royalty-free music and can be used for items in school and on the Web. I should note that this is subscription service where you pay $99/year/volume. Go there to identify the specifics.

Freeplay is a great source, too, but it has certain restrictions on use, as outlined in their policy. Here is the educational use portion of Freeplay. It cannot be used for anything re-published. If I understand this correctly, they charge $500/year to send you a hard drive full of music. That you can then use under their license.

Soundsnap is a membership source that offers royalty-free sounds. Soundsnap has a free membership (allows 5 free downloads/month) and then you have a variety of other membership options.

Soungle is a a free, public domain resource for sound FX and musical instrument samples. It has a growing database of sounds from which you can choose. These sounds are downloadable as .wav files.

Musopen is an online music library of copyright free (public domain) music. This music has expired copyrights so they are recording the music to create sources that have no copyrights. Their mission is to "Set music Free" They even provide the code to embed music:

Larry Ferlazzo
has a wonderful resource for finding The Best Places to Get Royalty-Free Music and Sound Effects in his blog. You should check this out.

What resources do you have for Free/Royalty-Free Music and Sound Effects?


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Off the Grid and Lovin' It!

Getty Grid Warp

Blog this. Facebook that. Twitter your latest thoughts and activities . . .

Do you realize how addicted you are to your social network connections? I didn't until I had the opportunity to sever these connections for a few days.

Mid-June, I had a chance to spend 4 days mountain biking in Utah. This was no small endeavor. It involved riding about 70 miles at 8,000 - 10,000 feet elevation. May not sound like a big thing for my readers in Denver or Santa Fe. Although I ride my bike across Iowa each year along with 15,000 of my best friends (See RAGBRAI and Team Flamingo), Iowa's average elevation is only 1,100 feet. This was my first attempt at mountain biking and I found its demands to be much different than for RAGBRAI.

Utah Easy Downhill ride video

Thunder Ridge (Zion) Steep Downhill ride video

Excuse me, I digress . . .

This adventure was physically challenging but it was culturally challenging as well. I made the conscious decision not to take my laptop on this trip. No work time on the plane (I actually read a book for pleasure on my trip.)
AND believe it or not, I intentionally left my phone in our car.

This may not sound like a big move for most of you, but these were the first 4 days, in recent (and not so recent) history that I was disconnected from the net. I had an MP3 player with me, but I put it away deep into my backpack so that I wouldn't be tempted.

I loved it. It was a feeling of emancipation. I wasn't connected to anyone but the 15 people of my group. It was all about riding our bikes and enjoying the woods. I was riding with my great friend, Jay Foster, and one of his friends, Larry. There were 3 guides and 9 other guys who were out to "beat the mountain."

I don't know what to tell you, but look at the 169 unread messages that you have in your email this morning. Consider the on-going stream of Tweets, IMs and phone calls you have to deal with daily and consider "Tossing It" for a few days. The world will still be there when you come back and you will be all the better for it.


P.S. I might note that I read Dan Brown's 700-page, Deception Point, on this trip as well. I had to spend some of the time in my tent while it was raining and having a great book was a good thing.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Google Wave is Here!

Back on June 2, 2009, I wrote the post "Google Wave: Google Docs Meets Email (& Social Networking)". At that time I was quite excited about this and I still am. They said that it wasn't going to be available until December of 2009, but I just received a Google Wave demo account (Thanks Seth) and it is quite an interesting product. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Google Wave, it is Google’s latest innovation in email.  Google wave is about having conversations, sharing photos and files, working with others on documents, chatting in real time, posting to blogs and lots of other things that I haven’t thought of yet.

Imagine using Google Docs as an email system. You write one version of a communication (i.e., letter) and then you share that with other Google Wave users. This document/communication is called a Wave.

Next, you add contacts. These are the people you want to have access to your new Wave. They can come to the single letter and then read, edit, reply, delete the letter depending upon what you allow them to do. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to send out 27 emails to 27 people, as you would do with today’s email. It’s a whole new concept (one video points out that today’s email system was developed the same year as the lava lamp so . . .)

The beauty of Google Wave is that you don’t have to worry about sending huge files.  They will just be at one site and then people will be able to go to the site and access what you want.  This can also be a place where you can share a large collection of photos or company files or . . . .

The Wave is more than just email. It can be a chat room or collaborative document that multiple people can edit at the same time. I would imagine that the Wave will eventually replace Google Docs. It is the next move towards a single app that “does it all.” 

Google Wave doesn’t work with regular email right now.  It is a system unto itself but they say that they are in the process of developing the interface.

A REALLY cool aspect of Wave is that it has a built in “Translator Robot.”  This means that even an a chat, if I write in French it will appear on other screens in the selected language of that user. I wrote earlier about a system in Second Life that acts something like this. (Language Translators in Second Life.)

I envision this Wave product as the beginning of a new Wave in online communication.  What do you think?

Here is a video which depicts 15 features of Google Wave:

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

David Warlick: PLN; A Gardener's Approach to Prof Learning

Warlick is beginning by talking about the different bloggers that he follows. He talks about those who have good original ideas and those who filter other blogs.

3 aspects of PLNs:
  • Web 2.0
  • Mining the Conversation
  • Mapping the Conversation.

Notes that he uses MindMeister to plan his presentations.

Wikis: He claims that he doesn't understand why he has a Facebook account. He uses his wiki to make his connection with his readers.

Twitter: Says that if he tried to explain it, we would say "why would we use it?" He notes that twitterers love it because they have a direct line to new things. Some people won't go on vacation because they don't want to leave twitter. Used the Twitter Search. Spoke about using TwitterPic to find out about a pyramid that he saw while on a trainride.

Second Life: Talks about the unusual experiences he had when he gave a speech in Second Life.

Nings: turns out that about half of the 200 people in the room don't know about nings. Nings developed by the same guy who developed the first web browser, Mosaic. Just shared the Classroom 2.0 ning. Now shared the learning 2.008 ning for the conference in Shanghai.

Blogs: "The Blogosphere is the exhaust of the human mind." Shows Technorati (Blog search engine). Just did a search of Technorati about "cartography". Technorati allows you to search specifically in Posts, Blogs, Videos or Photos. (this makes it much more functional than Just showed a blog called Strange Maps - hmmmm, interesting.

Delicious: Showed how he is using Delicious to sort and store and search resources.

It has been a good presentation and I like how he is sharing his PLN. Good job, David.

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David Warlick at ITEC: Rebooting the Basics!!! Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century!!!

Sitting in the ITEC Keynote session by David Warlick. He has started his presentation by showing all of the ways in which he is sharing this information with us. He has a wiki that collects all of the blog postings about this session. He has asked us to include the words "Redefine, Literacy, Warlick" in the tags. Hope this works.

Scott McLeod is running a back channel at

His handouts are available at http://davidwarlick/handouts

He says that we spend too much time teaching students to use paper. We need to teach them how to use light and digital.

He has just shown that Wikipedia is filled with warnings about content accuracy. Made the note that these sources are telling you about possible problems but textbooks don't do that. We need to teach about Reading that "Exposes what is true." They need to develop the skills to find information that is appropriate to what is to be achieved.

Says we should stop teaching technology and teach literacy. Today we are working on Literacy: Reading, Writing, Arthmetic. Need to change to new literacy. Part of being literate today is to ask questions - Who wrote this? What is the Source? Who published this? Is it valid?
Literate learners know how to find these answers.

URL Backtrack: Go to the end of a URL and delete the address until we find the sources.

He has just shown us a website about Dr. Martin Luther King. It didn't have the author on it. He used the Webmaster's email address to track it back to the publishers of it,, a White supremecy organization.

Just ran a cloud creator on the text of a number of US president inaugural speeches to analyze them and show which words are used the most. Looks like government is the most used word. Interesting way to analyze text for writing classes. Would be fun to see in

Talking about the Long Tail phenomenon. This is an analysis of the books and movies that don't sell enough copies to warrant store space, but they do sell to some people and make some money. Rapsody makes 27% of its income from Long Tail.

He is now talking about how he uses to publish books. His first book was available for purchase 1 hour after he submitted it to Lulu. Not bad.

Showing a video about sweatshops created by a high school girl instead of writing an essay on why globalization can be a problem. She was supported by Marco Torres in southern California. Music was quite effective.

Warlick just said that we have to include the arts into our definition of literacyl

Warlick's definition of today's literacy:
  • Expressing what's true
  • employing the information
  • expressing ideas compellingly
  • Ethical Use of information
Just showed us his English teacher and told us how she taught exactly the same way for 42 years. We can't do that anymore. Things and students are continually changing.

We will have reached true educational reform when no teachers believe that they can teach the same thing over and over and over again.

Closed by sharing a blog called "We're NOT Afraid."

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Back Channel for "Using Web 2.0 Tools to Create Your Own PLN" for ITEC

Today we will hold a workshop on creating your own PLNs. Lois Lindell (my co-presenter) and I thought that it would be an interesting experience to have a backchannel running during the workshop. This could be a place where the learners could share links to gadgets or widgets or other interesting information resources. It would also be a good place for questions and ideas to be shared.

The CoverItLive back channel (chat room) will be live between 3:00 and 5:30 CDT on Sunday, October 11.   Join us if even if you aren't in the workshop.  Maybe you can share some good resources for our PLNs.