Icons Anyone?

Often, while updateing the school’s Wiki or web page, I find myself wanting a specialized icon or small graphic to highlight a point, article, or something new. Or, sometimes I just need something cutsie. With all the innovations in designing graphics, a huge number of high quality icons are now available on the web for free. However, finding the right one at the right time can be frustrating and time consuming. Luckily, I discovered a ‘just in time’ solution for that ‘just right’ graphic.

IconWanted lets you search a collection of almost 33,000 icons in 500 different icon sets. The choices range from classic generic to graphics that are down right creative, and whimsical. IconWanted also allows the very nice feature of downloading different sizes and formats of the icon.

If you find yourself needing that little something to spice up your online efforts I suggest you give IconWanted a try. You will not be sorry.


You Tube conversion tools

Our teachers often use ‘You Tube’ content for educational purposes.  Streaming video websites are such a big part education, it’s hard to remember a time when they didn’t exist. In many ways  these websites revolutionized our teaching practice – no longer do we have to download every single video we want to watch – it’s all right there!  But, sometimes, sending a link, embedding a video, or watching it right from You Tube is not enough, and we need the actual file, or only its soundtrack.  And when that happens, the default FLV file format rarely cuts it, or the teacher lacks the proper tools or expertise to ‘snag’ and convert to something more convenient. Below are a few down loaders-converters that make it easy as pie to download videos and convert them into almost every possible format.  I have used all four from time to time, but my favorite is FreeMake, if only because it’s an actual installed program.

Xenra is an easy-to-use web app which both downloads and converts YouTube videos into multiple formats. You can use it to either download whole videos, or extract entire audio tracks from YouTube videos.

ClipConverter is another excellent web app which can be used with multiple streaming video websites, not just YouTube. It can even convert or extract audio from video files you already have on your computer.

KeepTube is another download and convert service which you can use in multiple ways, although only with YouTube videos.

If web apps are not your cup of tea, and you like the feel of a good desktop app under your feet, this is the option for you. Freemake is a fantastic video converter and generally the one I use at home.