Easel.ly (beta)

I have always wanted to create my own INFOGRAPHICS. The challenging part would be to rearrange all the data visually while making it appealing, plus the data needs to flow well from the beginning to the end.

Then I came across EASEL.LY (still in beta mode). The online application claims that it provides the right support, thus the process of creating INFOGRAPHICS will be manageable. OK time to check it out. (by the way, CLICK on Image 1 to go to website)


Image 1: EASEL.LY homepage

After a simple registration, I am brought to the design area. Here, you are given 15 themes in creating your INFOGRAPHICS. The visual themes are awesomely appealing! Of course, you can start with a blank page (provided too). For a newbie like me, I would go for the themes.


Image 2: Templates

Ok. To start off, I picked the Meals template. The interface for the workstation is friendly.  At the top of the workstation will be the editing tools (Image 4).


Image 3:Interface



Image 4:Editing tools.

You can add provided objects to the template, your own background, add text, change colour, undo the previous action, edit the text in the template, change the size of the object/text from the template, rearrange the items from the template and more…

One of the best parts of the application is that you can save your work and continue later. You can also choose to share (Image 5) your work by publishing your pieces via embed link or setting the infographic to public mode for others to view. OR one can choose to download the INFOGRAPHIC. Download file is in .JPG. That is even better in case there is slow connection which will take more than a minute to load the image.


Image 5

How can it be applied in classes? The possibilities are endless.

Ask students to create infographics based on the given set of data. Then the teacher will be able to see different interpretation and also be able to gauge students’ level of understanding on the matter. The usage of infographics is not limited to numbers. It can be used for literature, history, and even language subject.

I do wish Easel.ly has an offline application. Then I don’t have to worry about slow internet connection. Well, wishful thinking.

Anyway, this is one application worth using for teaching and learning.


YouTube Questions Editor

YouTube has come out with a new feature (beta mode) and it will work awesomely great with education.


You are able to add MCQ type question(s) to your video. There is also sub-function:HINT (in case your student needs help to answer)

Then your students can choose the possible answer.

You can add questions along the duration of the video.






To try this great feature, you need to enable it by going to this link: http://www.youtube.com/video_questions_beta

Remember, you must have your own uploaded videos in order to use this function.

Since it is in BETA MODE, some parts are not stable.

Possible activities for this:

Put up a few questions. Ask students to choose answer and use the comment function to provide the reasons for the answer.

If your students are pre-service teachers, you can ask them to create MCQ questions for the video. Take opportunity on the comment and like function to evaluate on that skill via peer learning.

Hope this NEW FUNCTION sticks around for good.

Talking about Office comes to Windows Live – starting today



Office comes to Windows Live – starting today

Today is a real milestone for people who use Microsoft Office or Windows Live. Starting today, a select group of SkyDrive customers will be invited to try out a technical preview of the online versions of Microsoft Office Excel, Word and PowerPoint, also known as the Office Web Apps, integrated right inside their Windows Live SkyDrive experience. Over time, as the final version is released, the Office Web Apps will become available to all 500 million+ users of Hotmail, Messenger and other Windows Live services.

While the tech preview doesn’t have all the cool features that will be available in the final offering, it does show off the exciting potential of having online versions of Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, and how you can easily access and work with your Office documents from anywhere with an Internet connection.

When those of you participating in the Tech Preview upload or create a new document, you’ll be able to view them much like you do today when using the full Office programs—without the loss of formatting or data and with the familiar Office 2007 ribbon. And it will be very easy to share your documents in password-protected folders and give permission to whoever you want to have access – just like with any other SkyDrive files.

Personally, I’m excited that, in the final release of the Office Web Apps, I’ll be able to access Office documents from any PC and then be able to share them, show them, edit them, and collaborate on them with people around the globe. I do a lot of presentations so it will be particularly helpful for giving presentations right from Internet Explorer (or Firefox or Safari). Because I’m kind of an Excel geek, I’ll be able to share my spreadsheets in all their glory – with conditional formatting, charts, and more. In the final release, I will also be able to share notes from OneNote in real-time with others.

Over the coming months here are some of things you can expect to be able to do in later versions of the Office Web Apps:



Why are we making Office Web Apps available as part of Windows Live?

We all use a lot of different services online – e-mail, social networks, photo sites, video sites, and so on. In many cases, we use more than one service for very similar purposes, using Facebook, MySpace , StudiVZ, Mixi or many others for social networking; Hotmail, Yahoo!, or Gmail for e-mail; Flickr, SkyDrive, FotoLog, or Photobucket for sharing photos.

That said, there are certain things we really just want one of. I really just want one place for storing contact info, one personal calendar I can share with my family, one primary mail service that also allows me to check all of my e-mail accounts, one place to get updates from all of my social networks, and one place to store, share, and manage my massive and ever-growing collection of photos, documents, music, and videos.

I can get all of that at Windows Live. And now, with the addition of Office Web Apps, I’ll soon be able to go to Windows Live to create, edit, share, and collaborate on Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, OneNote digital notebooks, and Excel spreadsheets – all in high fidelity and all online regardless of which PC I’m using and whether that PC has Office on it.

I’m super excited about today’s release and the future of Office Web Apps. Over time, we’ll add the OneNote Web App to this experience as well as expand both the functionality and the number of people who get to try out the services.

Today’s a great start on terrific things to come.

If you weren’t one of the folks that received an invitation today, sign up here and we will let you know when you can try it out too.

Stay tuned.

Brian Hall