Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Forvo | A Pronunciation Guide

Forvo is a site that provides many words in many languages, pronounced. Keep in mind that this is not a translation site, but rather a pronunciation guide. If you know a word, but aren't certain on how to say it, this is a great place to visit.

All you have to do to get started is search for a word, by default it will search all languages for the word, or you can select the language. You will then see a display of pronunciations, including a map of where these words were recorded...pretty cool. Click the play button next to a word to hear it (view example, this search was for the word "school").

If you want to see more about the languages with pronounced words on the site view this page. The site currently states that it has "1,094,357 words 1,169,294 pronunciations 281 languages" and this number is growing by the minute (see what it is when you visit and compare!). Check it out by clicking here!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Earth Time Lapse from the ISS

So I know it's a little late, and I'm sure many people have seen this video by now, but I couldn't let this "Webby Wednesday" pass without spotlighting it. What a great opportunity to discuss the world/time zones/weather in the classroom! If you view the video from Vimeo, and scroll down a bit you will see the shooting locations in their order. Super helpful indeed! =)

Earth | Time Lapse View from Space, Fly Over | NASA, ISS from Michael K├Ânig on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Virtual Tours with Photosynth Panoramics

I want to share a super cool tool that I have come across that provides a great platform for virtual tours. It's fast, easy, and would be wonderful for classroom tours and creating virtual field trips. Microsoft Photosynth is a free tool that I have known about for a while, but recently I found an aspect of it that makes it even better to use than before (at least to me =).

Photosynth's purpose is to stitch together pictures in order to create virtual environments. This can be done by making a regular synth or a panoramic. See this page for more of an explanation of the difference. My new (to me) finding is the panoramics. They create a smooth environment where you can rotate 360 degrees around a room or space. See some awesome samples here or check out my (not quite as cool but still neat) panoramic below.

There is one little bobble in this panoramic with the trees in sky, but I thought overall it did great, 
and I literally did this in no more than 2 minutes!!

  1. To get started with Photosynth you do need to create an account using a Windows Live ID (you can also create a Windows Live ID from this page). Just go to Photosynth's main site and click Create Account at the top of the page.
  2. Once you have an account you have a couple of options on creating your Panoramic. You can either use pictures taken from a digital camera and upload them using Microsoft's Composite Editor. After creating your Panoramic just click the Publish to Web button to have it publish to the Photosynth site.

    OR - If you have an iPhone or iPad - by far the easiest option is to download the FREE Photosynth app (they say a Windows Phone app is coming soon, but for you Android users that just went awwww try using this app instead (thanks Ricky!)).

    The iPhone app for Photosynth is so easy to use (it is what I used for the panoramic above). You just launch the app, tap to start, and then start moving your phone, holding still briefly when you want it to snap a pic (the Photaf app for Android looks to work similarly). Easy peasy!!
  3. When you're done making your panoramic it will publish to your Photosynth account and you can view it there by logging in. You can also choose to make your panoramic listed or unlisted (use this option if you don't want people to be able to search and find your panoramic), add highlights, and share your panoramic through email or Facebook.

I hope you try it out and have some fun!