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Archive for March, 2008


I came cross an interesting presentation “Mobile 2.0″ today. The presentation was created by the author of mTrends, Rudy De Waele, and delivered at Plugg Conference in Brussels on March 19, 2008. Plugg is a conference which shares a European perspective on Web 2.0 and focuses on raising global awareness for European start-ups in the Web / Mobile 2.0 field. In his presentation, Rudy discusses the Mobile 2.0 and why you should care. He examines the historical development and explores the latest trends in the mobile web.

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Besides Media-convert.com I reviewed in my last post, there are two other excellent video converting services. They are YouConvertIt and Zamzar. Both of Web services can be one stop conversion shop that lets you covert WAV to MP3, JPEG to TIFF, DOC to HTML, and AVI to MP4. Both sites will convert the file and send you a link via email where you can download the newly converted file. They are free to use and there is no need to download anything.

Zamzar


Zamza
is a free online file conversion tool. Zamzar can convert your video, audio, images, and documents from nearly any format to nearly any format you like. The file conversion process takes only a few minutes. Up to five files can be converted simultaneously. When the conversion process is completed, Zamzar e-mails you a link to the converted file. The files are kept on the servers of Zamzar for 24 hours. The maximum file size is 100 MB, but there are no limits on the number of files converted. If you sign up for an account with Zamzar though you can upload files up to 1 GB in size. ZamZar can convert between 8 image formats, 16 document formats, 9 audio formats, 13 video formats, and 9 compressed formats.

Zamzar is very easy to use and has a better interface and design than Media-convert. However, Media-convert also allows input files to be locally stored or from a URL, saving users an extra step if a file is on the Internet. Also, Media-convert converts the file while you wait, and gives a download link on screen when the process is completed. Since no registration is required, users are not required to give up an email address as they are with Zamzar and YouconvertIt.

YouConvertIt


YouConvertIt
is a Web-based file conversion service with a Web 2.0 touch. Like Zamzar, YouConvertIt lets you upload audio, video, image, or document files and convert from one format to another. All you need to do is select the file from your computer, select your target format, and the file will be uploaded and converted. Once the conversion is complete, you will receive an e-mail containing a link to allow you to download it within 7 days. YouConvertIt offers a large range of file conversions with 8 audio (AAC, MP3, WAV,..) 72 image (JPG, GIF, PNG, …), 13 video (AVI, WMV, 3GP, MP4, …) and 46 document types (.DOC, .PDF, …). You can convert up to 5 files at a time.

Unlike Zamzar, YouConvertIt does not have a file size limit. Furthermore, you can convert measurement units like size, area, distance, time, velocity, mass, etc and has an online media download manager for Youtube, Metacafe and Google videos. To download videos from Youtube, Metacafe and Google, you simply enter the URL of the file and then either convert it directly or download it to your computer.

Both of Zamar and YouConvertIt are fast and convenient. They are useful, particularly when converting flash movies to MP4 for viewing on an iPod. They are great tools for teachers and students who need to convert a file and do not have a good desktop program.

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Media-Convert

Media-Convert is a free Web service that converts audio, video, and text files for you, from and to virtually any kind of format. No software is needed to covert files with Media-Convert. You only need your favorite Web browser. Furthermore, you don’t have to register.  I think this is one of the best media conversion tools for teachers and students.

Converting a file is quite easy with Media-Convert since it allows input files to be locally stored or from a URL. The maximum file size conversion is adequate for 150 MB.  To convert a file located on your computer: Check File mode, click Browse and choose the file, select input format and output format, submit the form. To convert a file located on a Web: Check URL mode, enter the file URL, select input and output format.  Media-Convert converts the file while you wait, and gives a download link on screen when the process is completed.

The conversion formats supported by Media-Convert is very impressive. There’s a good chance Media-Convert supports almost every document on you computer, including most popular video formats (3G2, 3GP, AMV, ASF, AVI, DPG, DV, FLI, FLV, GIF, GVI, MKV, MOV, MP4, MPG, NSV, OGM, RM, SWF, VOB,WMV), audio formats (WAV, WMA, 3GP, MP3, OGG, AAC, AMR, FLAC, MPC, MMF, AU, AIFF, QCP), over 60 image formats, compressed archives (7Z, BZ2, BZA, CAB,GZ, LHA, LZH, RAR, TAR, TGZ, YZ1, ZIP), and documents from Microsoft Office, OpenOffice.org, Lotus 123, raw text, HTML, XHTML and more. In addition, you can insert a PDF into your Web page by converting it into an Adobe SWF Flash movie. You can also capture Web pages as images and convert Microsoft Access databases to Excel spreadsheets.

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2008 SITE Conference

The 19th Annual SITE (Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education) International Conference was held in Las Vegas, Nevada last week. I delivered two presentations at the conference and thought both went well. Here are my presentations on Slideshare:

Web 2.0 in Education

 

 

A Guide to Publication in Educational Technology

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Ptable

The periodic table, provided at Ptable.com, is dynamic, letting users to see what each element does at various temperatures. The periodic table is fast and efficient. It is created in XHTML which gives the scalability and accessibility of a normal web page while looking as good as any image or Flash out there. It also offers links to PDFs in letter, legal, and A4 paper sizes as well as a large image in the PNG format.

I am impressed with this dynamic periodic table. I wish I had this site when I was a high school student taking chemistry classes. This should be a useful site for teachers and students in high schools and colleges. The periodic table is linked directly to Wikipedia that allows you to view the encyclopedia entries as small pop-ups. You can also drill down on any element’s info and view the data with color coding based on which group the element resides.

Ptable

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I came across a great site, GoToWeb20.net, devoted to tracking and tagging Web 2.0 sites. It is a directory of over 2100 Web 2.0 applications and services. The site allows you to sort all Web 2.0 applications by name or by date. It also allows you to search for a Web 2.0 site using a tag cloud. I think Go2Web20.net has done an excellent job of putting together a collection of Web 2.0 Sites. The site has a very good user interface and is organized neatly with a Semi-Flash based liquid layout.

Go2Web20

Here are some of the facts provided by Go2Web20.net on its site

  • A directory of web 2.0 applications and services
  • Born around mid 2006
  • 2143 logos as of Sunday, March 04, 2008
  • As a visitor, you are probably active in the web 2.0 community and you are one of those labeled as ‘early adopters’. Are you?
  • Thousands of visitors every day
  • There’s a higher chance that you’ve been here before than that this is your 1st visit here
  • Converges both Flash and AJAX technologies

In addition, a book containing a complete listing of all Web 2.0 applications can be generated at http://www.go2web20.net/book.aspx

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Scribd is a free, web-based, document sharing community and self-publishing platform. A kind of YouTube for e-books, Scribd lets you publish, distribute, and share your own documents with the world.

Scirbd

Scribd is a great tool for teachers and students. It lets you publish and discover documents online. It is like a big online library where anyone can upload and download. You can upload one or more documents without even signing up. Scribd supports PDF, Postscript, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenOffice, Rich text, plain text, and other OpenDocument formats. After you upload a document, Scribd converts it to an iPaper format so that it can be viewed inside a web browser or embedded into your Website or blog. Scribd can also convert your document into several downloadable formats including PDF, Microsoft Word, and plain text. You can print your document, view it full-screen, and even hear them read aloud. If you do sign up, you can see various analytics about your documents, such as how many people read them and from what locations.

scribd

Like the YouTube video player, the iPaper viewer utilizes Adobe’s Flash technology. Originally, Scribd used FlashPaper technology developed by Macromedia. Since Adobe brought Macromedia in 2006 and discontinued the development of FlashPaper. As a result, Scribd developed its own iPaper from the ground up – with better document fidelity, better features, and a better interface. Unlike traditional document formats, iPaper is viewed inside a Web browser and does not require additional software. Furthermore, the iPaper is fast, lightweight (about 100 KB and is 1/1000th the size of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader), and is designed with Web users in mind. In my opinion, iPaper is an outstanding document viewer which could be a total Acrobat killer. To see an example of iPaper, you can view my Call for Chapter Proposals on Scribd or the iPaper file as shown below.

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