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Aviary

    What it is:  Aviary is a website on a mission to make creativity more accessible.  They do this by making powerful image software available online (no download required) and with free versions of the online software.  Aviary has four different offerings: Peacock, Phoenix, Toucan, and Raven.  Because each tool does something different, I am going to break it down into four posts.  Phoenix is an image editor and the first Aviary tool I will review.  Phoenix is an image editor that allows for basic image editing or complex effects, it has many of the same features as that expensive software suite (Adobe) but has the benefit of being based online and free!   There is a rich tool set with features familiar to graphics and image programs like brushes, and blend modes.  Just like the more expensive software, Aviary allows students to work on projects in layers with an intuative, easy-to-use, drag and drop interface.  Images can be imported from other popular sites like Flickr, Facebooks, and Picasa.  Any creation in Phoenix can be imported and used in other Aviary tools.   How to integrate Aviary into the classroom:  Aviary Phoenix is an awesome tool for classroom image editing.  This is a great alternative to expensive image editors, but looks and works enough like the ‘big dogs’ that students who learn how to use Aviary will be able to easily transfer the knowledge if and when they need to.  Aviary currently has 62 Phoenix tutorials.  Students can work through the tutorials and teach themselves the program.  I like this method of self discovery and teaching,  it is an important skill for students to learn that we don’t teach enough in the classroom.  Ask students to create brochures, advertisements, or other graphic media to illustrate concepts in the classroom using digital art.  Aviary is a nice introduction into graphic arts and digital media.   Tips:  It is fun to look through creations that others have made and try to figure out how they used Aviary Phoenix to create.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Aviary Phoenix  in your classroom.

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Password Bird

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Fun & Games, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 30-01-2009

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What it is: Password Bird is an extremelly simple website, but one that I love to use with my elementary students.  Password Bird helps students create a password using a few easy to answer questions.  Students enter a name that is special to them, a word that is special to them, and date that is special to them.  Password Bird takes these and turns it into a randomly generated password.  The ideas is that the password generated will be something easy for students to remember but hard for others to guess.

 

How to integrate Password Bird into the classroom:  In my computer classroom I hear the words “I don’t know what my password should be” a lot.  Password Bird is the perfect place to send these kids.  It helps them create a password quickly that should be fairly easy for them to remember.   Sometimes Password Bird generates great passwords, and sometimes the passwords are not as strong.  I have used Password Bird to generate passwords that we then dissect and decide if it is a strong password or not.  

 

Tips:  Not every password generated on Password Bird will be a strong password, usually this is due to the words that the students chose that make it a weak password.  Use the opportunity to discuss what makes it a particularly strong or weak password. 

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Password Bird in your classroom.

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