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Soundtrap: a user-friendly, online recording and collaboration studio for all devices.

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Soundtrap is an excellent collaborative platform for creating music and podcasts online. Several schools have already been implementing this tool ‘in their projects to foster deep learning and develop student's creative, collaborative and communication skills.’ Students can use it to collaborate on music making. They can use loops, software instruments, record vocals , guitars and many more. The tool is web-based and does not require any software installation.

Soundtrap is also ideal for creating educational podcasts. Students can record audio directly with their computers’ microphone or use the tools integrated software instruments and loops. Everything students create is automatically saved to the cloud so it is accessible anywhere with Internet connection. Additionally, ‘’Students and teachers collaborate via video calls from remote locations. Teachers can create group assignments and coach and help their students from where ever they are. Teachers can also give personal lessons using the built-in video feature and have all practice material ready to be sent out to the students who can add their own parts on top of the backing music.’ Saundra is not not free but it does offer a 30 day free trial to test it out. Watch this video to learn more about this platform.

Open Culture: a curated collection featuring over 200 free textbooks

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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Open Culture is basically a curated collection featuring over 200 free textbooks, or what is conventionally referred to as open textbooks.These materials are written by scholars with expertise in their domain. For ease of navigation, the folks in Open Culture have arranged these textbooks into the following categories : Art History, Biology, Business and Management, Chemistry, Classics, Computer Science & Information Systems, Earth Science, Economics & Finance, Education, Electrical Engineering, Engineering, History, Languages, Law, Linguistics, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, and System Theory.

You may want to spend sometime browsing through the collection to see what works for you. You can also use this handy keyboard shortcut to help you quickly locate one of the categories mentioned earlier: for Mac users click on Command + F, Windows users click on Ctrl+F to bring up a search box where you can type in a word and locate it in the page. This huge collection is a work-in-progress so make sure you bookmark it for future updates.

PiktoChart: a great Chromebook Tool for creating educational Infographics

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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PiktoChart is a web-based application that allows you to create beautiful visuals without the need for any prior design knowledge. You can choose from a wide variety of professionally made templates; customize the text, graphics, charts and color of your infographics, add interactive elements such as charts, HTML output then save and publish to social networks or download as an image.

A great tool for creating animated multimedia maps

Written by Gianfranco D'Aversa.

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History in Motion is an interesting tool for teaching and learning history. As a teacher, you can use this tool to create animated multimedia historical scenarios of people and things moving through a historical space and time. Students can use it in their history projects to create animated events using different multimedia materials. For instance, they can ‘make armies move, cities grow, and fires spread’ all along a delineated trajectory on the map. The site provides access to both present and historical maps so students can easily map their scenarios and share them with others using permalinks.

History in Motion is ver easy to use. No programming or digital cartography knowledge is required. With few clicks students will get started designing their animated scenarios. They can also use it to ‘explore a scenario by moving forward and backward in time at your own pace. Hover on events to see a brief description. Click on them to see the full story. If events are happening outside your view of the map, History in Motion places small blue arrow buttons on the edges and/or corners of the map. Just click on any one to re-size the map to see the events in that sector. Watch this video to learn how to create a scenario on History in Motion.

Gianfranco D'Aversa

Rome // Foggia // Abu Dhabi

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