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Free Web Resources for
Teachers & Webmasters

Introduction

There are plenty of free resources available to teachers and Webmasters at Northside. This short lesson includes just a few of the many "freebies." There are many more out there, and more are being added every day.

Picnik.com

Picnik.com is a free, Web-based, picture editing program. Unlike some other programs of its type, there is no need to register or sign in.

The Good:

  • No account to create! - Just go to the website, upload a photo, make your edits and save to your computer.
  • Easy to use!
  • Good editing tools - Picnik.com's free editing tools are quite powerful. You can even fix red eye, remove facial blemishes, and add text.

The Not-So-Good:

  • Must be 18 years old to use - According to the Terms of Use, users must be of legal age to accept the Terms (which you do by using the site).
  • No picture hosting - Picnik does not store your pictures for you. For that service, create an account at Photoshop.com.
  • Most advanced tools require a paid membership - Want to use the Airbrish Tool? You'll have to pay. On the other hand, the free tools are enough for most users.

Picnik is at: http://www.picnik.com/

Download a manual (PDF format).

Some sample pictures to use with Picnik:
Sunset in Hawaii Apple Flowers F/A-18 Hornet Dog

Animoto.com

Animoto.com is a tool for creating quick and easy videos, using photos and music. Register to make free videos up to 30 seconds in length.

Animoto videos not only look good, but they can be embedded easily in Web pages.

Animoto can be found at: http://animoto.com/

Download a manual (PDF format).

Some sample pictures to use with Animoto:
Mission San Jose Mission San Jose Mission San Jose Mission San Jose Mission San Jose Mission San Jose

Photoshop.com

Photoshop.com is a website where you can upload, store, and edit images. It does not have as many tools as Picnik, but it is easy to use and offers free storage space for images.

One great feature of Photoshop.com is that it is easy to use pictures stored there in CMS Outreach pages. need to register or sign in.

The Good:

  • Easy to use! - More intuitive than Picnik.com.
  • Free image storage - Pictures can be stored and shared easily. Send a Web address to someone, instead of an attached image. Images in Photoshop.com can be placed in CMS Outreach pages.

The Not-So-Good:

  • Account required - A free account is needed to use Photoshop.com. The account is very quick and easy to set up, however.
  • No GIFs - Photoshop.com accepts JPG images, but not GIFs.

Share a Photoshop.com Image, or Use in CMS Outreach

  1. In your Photoshop.com Library, put your cursor on the bottom edge of the picture to see the Photo Options link.
  2. Click Photo Options and select Share Media.
  3. To copy the Internet address:
    1. Click the first icon under the thumbnail image (1). This will copy the address into the computer's memory.
    2. Paste the address into an email message.
  4. To place the image in a CMS Outreach page:
    1. Click the second icon under the thumbnail (2). This copies the code to embed the image in a Web page.
    2. Click [Close].
    3. In CMS Outreach, open the Edit window of you page.
    4. CMS Outreach HTML buttonAt the bottom of the Edit window, click the HTML icon (circled in red).
    5. Find the place where you want to embed the image. Right click, and select Paste.
    6. At the bottom of the Edit window, choose the Normal icon to return to the Normal editing view.
    7. Click the image.
    8. CMS Outreach Justify buttonsClick the Left Justify or the Right Justify buttons (circled in red, to the right) to wrap the text around the image.
    9. Click Save and Set Active.

Photoshop.com - Share Media

Fireworks

Fireworks is a professional-grade image editing program. Secondary campuses in Northside have a license for Fireworks. A simple Technology Workorder is all that's needed to have Fireworks installed on a secondary campus.

It is similar to the professional version of Photoshop (not Photoshop.com). Fireworks is more powerful than the common program Photoshop Elements.

To learn the features of Fireworks, including working with layers (!), you need to attend a training session. Technology Training & Development offers occasional sessions on Fireworks.

Cartoon Yourself!

Marlo as a South Park character
Marlo as a
South Park avatar
Northside's District Website Standards state that individual photos of faculty, staff or students are not to be posted on the Web -- other than group or activity photos. One way to deal with this is to produce a cartoon character, avatar, or other image to represent yourself.

The image to the right was created with a South Park character generator and then modified slightly in Fireworks. Be warned that while the South Park character generator can be used to make "family friendly" images, it is not strictly family friendly, as characters can be created with swords, axes, etc. in their hands. Please don't visit it with a Northside computer.

Another option is to draw your own image or to have a friend draw you. Just be sure that you have permission to use the image online if it's the work of another person.

The link below leads to a selection of websites where people can create cartoon characters or avators for their own use:

12 Sites To Create Cartoon Characters of Yourself

SlideShare.net

SlideShare.net - Upload
Fig. 1: Upload a slideshow (red oval)
SlideShare.net makes it possible to embed PowerPoint presentations in Web pages, in much the same way that YouTube videos can be embedded.

You will need to create a SlideShare.net account, as the presentations are stored on their server. The advantage is that these presentations can be embedded almost anywhere, including CMS Outreach pages.

The process is easy:

 A.  Upload Files

  1. Create an account and Login to SlideShare.net.
  2. Click the Upload link (shown circled in red, in Fig. 1 above) on the Home page.
  3. From the Upload page, choose the orange Upload button, and browse to a PowerPoint presentation that you'd like to upload. Click [Open] to upload it.
  4. While the file uploads, you have the opportunity to choose a Category and other information, and to select whether users will be allowed to download the file. Remember that any presentation you post on SlideShare is publically accessible, so be careful what you upload.
You can see your current PowerPoint presentations at any time by putting your cursor on your username in the upper-right corner and selecting My Uploads.

 B.  Select a Presentation and Copy the Embed Code

  1. Hover over your username in the upper-right corner and choose My Uploads. All of your presentations should appear.
  2. Click the presentation you wish to embed.
  3. Look for and select the  <> Embed  button (green oval, below).
  4. Click the  Copy  button to copy the embed code into the computer's memory.

Copy Embed code
Fig. 2: Copy the Embed code

 C.  Embed the code in a Web page

  1. To embed the code in a Web page, find the place where you want the slideshow to appear.
  2. Switch to the HTML view of whatever editor you are using.
  3. Right-click and select Paste.
Important:
The presentation must remain in SlideShare for the presentation to be visible in a Web page. If you delete the presentation in SlideShare, it will disappear from your Web page!

To embed a SlideShare presentation in CMS Outreach:

  1. Login to CMS and select Edit Page.
  2. Choose Configure Page and scroll down to Modules:.
  3. In the New Module Type menu, select Main (HTML).
  4. In New Module Name, type Presentations.
  5. Click Add Module.
  6. Move the Presentations module to the Side Content Pane.
  7. Click Save.
  8. In the Side Content Pane of the page, scroll to the Presentations module and select Add Content.
  9. In Body: editing window, select HTML and Paste the Embed code.
  10. Click Save and Set Active.
  11. Click View Page to see the slideshow.

Free, High-Quality Images!

Friends don't let friends use bad clip art in their Web pages, PowerPoints, or lesson plans.

Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org)
Free or Fair Use images. Browse for any subject and click any image you see to find out if you can use that image. Many of the images are either Public Domain or are available for Fair Use for educators.

morgueFile (www.morguefile.com)
Free images. The morgueFile database is quite extensive, and images are searchable by subject.


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