We challenge YOU to CREATE! This week: Word Clouds, Mindmaps, Timelines and QR Codes!
Take a look at the preview image below; if you want to learn what these are and how to easily Create them, then Read on (or pass this along to anyone else you feel might be interested)!
For the next 3 weeks, learn how to Create: talking photos, avatars, remixed videos, games, apps, podcasts, etc... and send them to us! In our newsletters, we will feature some of the great stuff YOU have Created!
Here is the breakdown of the next few week’s of newsletters:
-Create Avatars, Talking Photos, Games, and Apps (Get your friends to subscribe, because this one is going to be Awesome!)
-Create Podcasts, Vodcasts, Remixed Videos and Hold Webinars or Online Conferences
-Bring it all together and publish your content, by creating a blog or website
For this week’s newsletter, we will focus on Creating visualizations (Word clouds, mind maps and timelines), which is the top block of 10 (to the right of “Popcorn maker”), as well as the 2 brown icons (QR Code Generators).
Wordle was one of the first to rock the scene with creating word clouds. Just a heads up, that they now have an App! If you have never created a word cloud, I am sure you have seem them around in ads, stores, online, etc... Word clouds take only a few minutes to create and can be highly effective in representing data or information, analyzing data in documents/sites (seeing which words occur most frequently), appealing to visual learners, or for marketing your brand.
TIP: For each of the tools below, you will likely have to have to latest version of Java or a browser plug-in; it will prompt you.
For teachers: 108 ways to use Word Clouds (sorted by different subjects)
For business use: 3 Ways to use Word Clouds as a Business Research tool
Quicknotes: No log-in or subscription required, just use it!
Use the quick “Start now” box and create a word cloud from a website, twitter account, news item or blog. You can also hit “Create”, press “Load” and then type or paste text. Personalize your font, colors, orientation, and then save it as a JPG or PNG.
101 ways to use Tagxedo
This is very similar to Tagxedo. If you sign-up (free), you can upload your own image (e.g. your logo) and the word cloud will fit to the image! Another cool bonus is that each word in your cloud is a clickable hyperlink to a search for that term on Google.
Benefits: No sign-up required. Likely the easiest of these tools to access and use and definitely has the largest amount of pre-created symbol shapes to create your word cloud.
Limitations: Not the greatest for larger blocks of text from sites or documents.
Get the App
Mind maps are a cool way to organize and visualize ideas, showing connections, hierarchy, categories and sub-categories. In University, I used Inspiration and as a teacher I have used Kidspiration, but these cost money, so let us enlighten you and save you a few bucks.
Benefits: Easy to use, timewarp option to go back through the changes you have made, can embed text, photos, links, YouTube or Vimeo videos, and there is a free App , Recommended for kids and families.
Limitations: The free version only allows you to create one Popplet. The Pro app costs $4.99, but it gives you access to real-time collaboration and allows you to create unlimited Popplets.
Benefits: Beyond images and text, you can also include Google maps, excel/word/PDF documents, links and calendar events. Recommended for businesses.
Limitations: 30-day free trial, free if your mindmaps are public, but limited use of space without paying.
This tool doesn’t have all the bells and whistles, but it is simple. You can create mind maps using bubbles and text and export the finished product as an image, all without signing in or creating an account (But, if you want to edit and change your creation, you might want to create a free account).
Creating timelines can be boring for kids or adults, but not anymore! These interactive timeline tools bring time to life and ensures time does not stand still! These are great tools for kids to look at school topics over time, understanding the development of an idea, invention, biography, etc... For businesses, this is a great way to show your progress and milestones.
"For anyone creating an online resume or portfolio, these tools show you are a Tech All-star, while communicating your resume-portfolio in a creative and innovative way." (Tweetable moment)
This is super easy to use, simple, and free (but you will have to put up with some banner ads on your pages - no biggie). Add events on a timeline with descriptions, dates, an image and a link. Once published, you can embed these timelines on a website or blog.
Capzles takes this same idea and has advanced capabilities (add videos, music, Excel/Word/PDF documents, background music) and there’s an App!
QR CODE READERS
I have never understood why companies charge people to create QR codes for you, when you can do it yourself in seconds for free! QR codes have taken off a little, but it is actually quite amazing the cool and creative ways you can use these things.
TIP: For you or others to scan these, you will need a QR reader.
APPS: “Scan” is the most common, but I find “RedLaser” to be the most dependable.
QR Code Readers for:
-Mac Laptops / Desktops (Uses built-in iSight camera)
-Windows Laptops / Desktops (Uses built-in webcam)
-QR Code Reader Website (Access from ANY computer, with no need to download)
QR CODE GENERATORS
Get creative! A few years ago, I had my parents work to get their Christmas present as they were sent on a QR code scavenger hunt around the house! For marketing, you could put these in your window, on your vehicle, on your merchandise, or on your clothes; the options are endless.
If you choose “static”, there is no log-in required. This means that the QR code will go to the website you entered. If you upgrade to Dynamic, you can log in and change where the QR code goes (e.g. people scan it to see your facebook profile, and a week later you can change it to go to your website).
This generator has a few more options (e.g. scan QR code to send a tweet, add your contact info. to their phone), but the key benefit here is that it turns your boring old QR code into a visual code using a library of background images, or upload your own.
QR Code Generator Website (Audio Message)
SnapVu: Create a QR Code, Track its Use, and Change its Navigation as needed
Remember: Send us any of your creations from last week's tools or from this newsletter!
In the next week, we will see how you great subscribers get on and may hold off an extra week to allow you to play and create!
That being said, the next newsletter is, by far, the most fun and interesting one we have ever created. Learn how to Create Avatars, Talking Photos, Games, and Apps! Help us add new subscribers because you will not want to miss this!
ED-venture #1: Welcome
#2 Take Action / Social Good
#3 TECH Websites
#4 TECH Apps
#5 TECH PD
#6 TECH in Social Media