App 1–Starting simple with Zamzar

Zamzar.com: http://zamzar.com/

Synopsis: This handy Website is an online conversion tool. Within several minutes, it can convert your Youtube video URL into an AVI file that plays in Windows Media Player or any other media playing software on your computer. Say goodbye to streaming videos! And, what is even better? It is free. However, if you want to convert unlimited files and store them via Zamzar, there is a small fee. For the general user, that feature is unnecessary, though.

To use Zamzar free, simply go to http://zamzar.com/. Either click on the URL link to paste in the URL of a video or audio clip or document you would like to convert OR click on the Browse button and find a file to convert. It can convert any file type ranging from: E-book, video, audio, zip, image to doc/PDF. Next, choose the file type you want to convert it to. Lastly, enter in your email address. In several minutes, Zamzar will send an email to the email address you entered. In the email, you will find a link to a personalized space in Zamzar. Click on that link in order to download the converted file. You can do this for as many files as you want. However, if you would prefer to have them automatically converted on Zamzar (without going through email), you will have to pay.

Integration into the classroom:  Think about all of those Youtube videos you want to show, but either your district has Youtube blocked, or you don’t have enough bandwidth to stream the videos. Well, Zamzar eliminates those obstacles. Now, you can download any video (that is not copyright protected, so be sure to check the video’s copyright status) and convert it to an AVI or similar file for download and playing via your computer. In addition, teachers can convert PDFs to Word documents. With the scanning feature on many copy machines now, old print-outs can be scanned and sent as a PDF via email to a user’s account. With Zamzar, that file can be converted to an editable DOC file. Therefore, teachers and students do not need to fear losing a digital copy of a document anymore. Furthermore, those with Interactive Whiteboards can interact with the editable DOC files. Zamzar helps bridge the communication gap between computers and various types of software programs. It is like the translator of the computer world.

Zamzar is the first of many great file converters available online. Stay tuned for more apps and more integration tips.

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