Search for Web 2.0 Tools

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Create and edit art, music, audio, and visual affects with Aviary's suite of tools

Unfortunately Aviary has shut its doors.  It's too bad.  The software and integration with Google was awesome.


Now that many districts are headed toward the "Cloud Computing" phenomena, educators need to rethink the idea of "installing" software.  Districts everywhere are saving money by having other websites host their data.  It saves on man power and equipment.  The problem some educators are finding though is that for the last 17 years they have been installing software to help them perform great and wonderful educational tasks, but they are not having that same ability that they once had to install software.  Cloud computing is awesome for many reasons, one of them being that students, teachers, and parents can access school assignments from anywhere in the world, and this only happens if their "document" isn't located on a single drive.

I was recently approached by a teacher who asked why a certain graphics program wouldn't work on her iMacs.  The answer was that the program is formatted for a PC.  The consideration is to then go and buy software that is compatible with the iMac.  I suggested that instead she uses some simple web 2.0, cloud hosted sites that allow student to have the ability to create and edit music, graphics, photos, drawings, visual and sound effects.

Today I would like to highlight an awesome tool that does all of these things and more called "Aviary."

Before I get in too much depth with what Aviary does, I would like to mention that it can be seamlessly incorporated with the Google Apps for Education suite.  If you are a district that already uses Google Apps, then talk to your system administrator about installing the Aviary for Education suite right onto your Google apps.  Advantages of this are that your documents that you create are found in your Google Docs folders, which make it very easy to access.

What is Aviary?
  • Aviary is a suite of creative tools that allows you to draw, manipulate photos, create music, create sound affects, contains screen captures software, and can even help create podcasts.
  • Here is a really short show and tell video showing off some of the tools you can use.



What are the advantages of using Aviary to other web 2.0 tools?
  • I like the fact that you have so many tools available on one website.
  • You can embed much of your work.
  • It can integrates with your Google Apps.
  • The tools that it has are pretty high end for an internet site.
  • As far as I know, there isn't any cost associated with any part of the site.

What are some disadvantages of the site?
  • Because of the high end tools, there is a learning curve.  You really need play and use the software to learn all the cool things you can do with it.  This of course, in my opinion really isn't a disadvantage.  Of course I look at all technology like that.


Tutorial

1.  There are really two ways to get to the Aviary suite.  One is to go to http://advanced.aviary.com/tools and if you have the tool integrated with your Google Apps you can go to your "More" option and click on the "Aviary" link.






2.  Once you are in to Aviary you will notice a different look depending on which version you are using.  Don't worry about which one because I haven't seen any difference between Aviary for Google Docs or just the plain Aviary, yet the intro pages look different.

Google Docs integration View.




Regular Aviary Site View.

















Normally I would give a tutorial about the site, but because there are so many tools and so much that has to do with each tool, I will just post a few Youtube videos that will give you an idea about what each web 2.0 tool can do.  I do want to say one more thing and that is these tools really are worth taking a look at and find engaging and interactive methods that you and your students can use them in the classroom.

Aviary Image Editor


Aviary Music Creator 


Aviary Audio Editor



Aviary Vector Editor


Aviary Effects Editor (Not a tutorial, but this will show you a nice final project.)