Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Imagine, Create and Share-- A Blogger Bonanza

In the middle of May, 2012 a new application was released.  On November 27, 2012 Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers posted about this app having had it introduced to him through Twitter.  This free service can be used online, as an iOS app or Android app.

Muzy is one of the most interesting applications for creating a blog post I have seen.  It incorporates the use of other apps.  Upon accessing the home page you have a variety of choices.

You can immediately connect to Facebook to like a particular app, sign up or sign in, or create a photobox collection.  Along the top in the upper right-hand corner other visible apps are photo collage, versus and photo pile.  Simply mouse over each to be given an explanation of what they provide.

By clicking on more users can see a display of thirty other applications which can become a part of your Muzy blog.  Some of the additional apps are PicMonkey, Word Play, Thoughts, Photo Quote, Dream Status, Video, Comic, Music MakerBrushes, or Webcam Status.  Simply mouse over each to discover the possibilities.  These applications are heavy on images but allow for text, drawing, audio and video to be added to your blog.

Users of this application need to be at least 13 years old.  To sign up you need to choose a username, give your email address and choose a password as well as read the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy unless you wish to sign up through your Facebook account.  Muzy has a very inclusive Help section which can be located at the bottom of the page.

Upon signing in you are taken to your dashboard (home page).  Immediately your choices are:

  • search for other Muzy posts to like
  • create a new post (new post)
  • go to your blog (my muzy)
  • check for messages
  • enter in a keyword to search for apps, users or posts
  • go to your account (Blog Settings, Invite Your Friend, Help and Sign out)
  • select one of seven apps shown to start a post
  • view Recent posts from you or your friends
  • view posts grouped by Popular, Funny, Creative, Cute, Truth, Awesome, Want or Beautiful
  • view updates under Notifications
Having recently completed a Mock Caldecott unit with fifth graders in my building plus Skyping with fifth graders in Illinois who were doing the same (Katherine Sokolowski) that became the theme for the posts on this blog.  I decided to begin using the Photobox app.  This is a great app; bringing in photos from either Facebook, upload from your computer, Google images, Muzy, webcam, or via a web address.  Each photo can be altered with a variety of filters; enhance, cross process, artsy black and white, old timey and x-ray...or no effect at all.

If you decide you want to change the layout mid-way into your Photobox it is as easy as a mouse click. Added photos can be deleted, edited and dragged from position to position.  There are nine different fonts for the box title.  A full color spectrum is offered for the border.  Four options are available for the photo corners and by checking a box you determine whether you desire shadowing.  When you click the orange Post button you can have it posted to Facebook, Twitter or neither.

Having clicked Post your creation is saved and you are taken to the app choice window again to design another post.  If at any time you wish to see your blog click on my muzy at the top of the screen.  Each post can be liked, deleted or a comment can be left.  There are 19 Muzy themes to choose from for your blog background or you can upload an image from your computer.

Each post is hyperlinked to another window which allows the user to like, repost, comment, or share a URL link for that post or click on the tiny gear located in the middle right-hand portion of the screen.  The options here are to share, edit or delete the post.  If you select share your options are to post it to Facebook or Twitter, send it via email, download it to your computer or copy the URL link.

A person could easily spend hours making posts for their blog with the available choices.  The ease of use, the integration of the apps into Muzy, is a huge plus.  I successfully tried five of the apps.

The link to my blog is embedded here.  (To enlarge each post for viewing mouse over and click.)  When you download one of your posts it turns into a .jpg file.  On the left is one of my posts that was downloaded.

I can see using Muzy to highlight units of study, books read, student projects or activities.  It would be a terrific way to compile top "..." lists.  I know some of my PLN on Twitter are creating memes; they could be posted in a Muzy.  Another of my Twitter colleagues is posting a picture of a book read every day.  Collecting those in a Muzy for her followers would be fantastic.

Muzy definitely has my vote as a great vehicle for quickly making a blog that will get people's attention visually.  Will I put it in my virtual toolbox?  Yes!

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