Free music for student projects now on YouTube

I have been trying to teach the students good digital behaviours. When students are trying to create multimedia presentation we remind them about Creative Commons licences. When shown where to find images, sounds, videos that are allowed to be used they are more than happy to do the right thing. There are many times our students are looking for sounds or, more often, music to put the final polish on their multimedia project. There are a few I put onto a list available via our school intranet and linked to the sites. I often have to remind the boys about these sites so I was very pleased to learn the other day that YouTube is now offering music through their YouTube Audio Library. It is not a comprehensive library at the moment with about 150 royalty-free instrumental tracks people can use for free, indefinitely but it is a good start and on a site/platform that many students are very familiar with.


The music embedded in the YouTube Audio Library is music that you can download to use in projects both online and offline. You can search the library of music according to:

  • Genre – Some of the genres you can choose from include: Alternative & Punk, Classical music, Country & Folk, Hip Hop & Rap, Jazz & Blues, Pop, Reggae and Rock.
  • Mood – Students are often interested in finding music for mood. Some of the moods represented musically include angry, bright, calm, dark, funky, happy, inspirational, romantic,and sad.
  • Instrument – Allows you to search for music according to the instrument being played in it. These include: Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Drums, Electric Guitar, Organ, Piano, Strings, Synth and Trumpet
  • Duration – Where you can search for clips ranging from 1to 25 minutes

You can listen to the tracks before downloading them as MP3 files. To download any tune you click on the arrow pointing downwards put on the line that has the title. You can also click on the star button next to it to add the tune to your favourite list. It really is very easy to use. I look forward to sharing it with our students next term.


There is also an opportunity to have a look at the most popular hits that people have downloaded by using the favourites list.


What digital natives want from their library

Out of the mouth of a baby! This is a lovely video to open a conference.

This video of 3 year old Abbey was used launch the 15th Biennial VALA Conference and Exhibition in Melbourne Australia. #VALA2010

From VALATV: “This is actually Abbey’s voice, she sat in front of the camera and said these things. While Abbey was following a script, she really does like libraries (and books and story time). Actually, she willingly gave up an afternoon playing with friends on the beach to go to the library and make this short film.”

Cirque Du Freak : The Official Trailer

There is now a movie based around one of our library’s popular series, The saga of Darren Shan. It  is a well read series, with the borrowing being reasonably constant over a number of years. Many of our boys enjoy this series and the Demonata series. The first book, Cirque du Freak, is the compelling saga of a reasonably normal teenager’s journey into a much dark world than he has been living, the world of vampires. Darren and his friends go and see the banned Cirque du Freak. The Freak Show scene is really quite creepy. It is not just the blood, but also the way that the ringmaster manipulated the audience. After show has to make a choice/deal offered by Mr. Crepsley (Vampire) that will end in him saving his friend ‘s life but Darren himself becoming a vampire. He enters a world filled with grotesque creatures, murderous vampires, and there is an unexpected ending.  The first 3 Darren Shan books Cirque du Freak, The Vampire’s assistant and Tunnels of blood are part of the Vampire Blood Trilogy. There are 12 books about Darren Shan in total. The horror genre has continued to bubble along with its devotees being a very loyal band so I think there is a ready-made audience for the new film.   I will be interested to have a look at how the film makers have handled the stories. I liked some of the quirkiness in the later part of the trailer.

For you interested students, you can visit Darren Shan’s Official Website here and there is also the Darren Shan YouTube site that is worth a look at as well. Harper Collins also have the Darren Shan BEBO site  as well to tell you all about the author, his books, his book talks, any competitions, etc.

UC09 – Will Richardson Breakout Session

eWill Richardson gives another great presentation about using social media in (for) education. The example of some student work (via YouTube) he puts up for discussion is good way to start. The whole presentation is worth a look and/or a listen. It certainly has a lot of information about how young people can learn today and how we can assist them. If you were at the SLAV conference earlier this year you might remember some of the sites and ideas but he has expanded on that presentation. 

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Navify – Searching Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube

My colleague Tania found this tool via the Free technology for teachers blog. I had seen Nibipedia, but Navify was a new tool for me to look at. It is a mash-up of Wikipedia, Flickr, and YouTube.

We all know that many of our students use Wikipedia,which may be developing into the world’s most extensive encyclopedias, as people continue to build on the information it contains. It does sometimes lack visual content, ie. pictures and more often videos, to assist with the written explanations. This can, at times, place a limit on its informative value. 

Navify seeks to redress this problem. Like Nibipedia, it attempts to match videos and images to Wikipedia articles.



To use Navify:

Go to the Navify site and do a standard Wikipedia search (no log in required) by simply entering your search term, just as you would in any search. The results will be returned in a tabbed form displaying:

  • Wikipedia article
  • related images and
  • related videos.

The images tab offers photos added by Wikipedia (or Navify users) and those automatically discovered on Flickr. It is very new at the moment but, as more users come on board, I can see this becoming a great source for relevant and useful images.


Video tab

Video tab

The videos tab works exactly the same way except that it finds related videos from YouTube.

Commenting on articles is also allowed. Navify is also supporting these comments using Disqus, so you will be able to read what people are saying about the Navify article pages.

The service is also planning on offering a music player so that users can listen to full related songs and audio content. So far I have found with my searching that Navify enhances the Wikipediaoption. It is still developing but has potential to become much greater. There seems to be no end to what tools people are thinking up to try and create better searching options. They won’t all survive and it will be the users who decide, in many cases.  It is a very interesting time for those of us interested in information searching.

Keeping your profiles in Sync. – AtomKeep






I, like a lot of people, am now joining/using quite a number of social sites.

Today I read about AtomKeep,which is a tool that attempts to rectify the problem of keeping all your profiles up-to-date. It supports a large number of sites (Twitter, Technorati, Facebook, Digg, Ning, Flickr, WordPress, Blogger, YouTube and more) and they are adding more sites all the time. Partial support of MySpace started towards the end of last year. 

I really like idea that I can enter an update for my profile into AtomKeep and, when I use the “sync”, the data in my other profiles is updated at the same time. As a professional tool this is a good way to keep everything updated and accurate.

There is another thing that is possible. I find filling out profiles for new sites fairly boring and irritating. You know what sort of information you have to fill out: Name & Address, Contact, Education, User Image, Work, Professional Summary, etc.  Atomkeep offers a useful alternative to this because it can fill them out for you. Bonus I say!

Reading about the tool, it warns that, if you do choose the “sync” option, all sites will be changed, therefore if, for example, you have a different photo on different sites, they will all change to the new one, but I don’t think this is a major problem and of course it can be changed back again by you. So I’m going to give AtomKeep a try and  see how it works.

Sites gone but not forgotten


We are about to start a new year but already we have been hearing about the demise of various tools, one being Google Notes. There are many websites that are no longer with us.  It Died  tries to keep track of them. It itemises sites that have been (or will be) taken down or have just disappeared. It also discusses features that have been dropped from those sites that are still around.

The description for Google Notes:

Google Notes: The service allowed you to annotate Google search results by linking and creating notes. Google has various offerings that replicate but don’t fully replace this offering, which obviously didn’t have enough uptake to develop. The service won’t stop working for those using it, but no one can newly sign up for Notebook, nor will development proceed.


The site has only been around since late last year and is edited by Glenn Fleishman. Edited by Glenn Fleishman. You can send tips or news to So next time you can’t find some site, you could try this, and you might find some explanation. At least until it too no longer exists!

Speaking about things that have died but remembered (and other silly things), the world famous Dead Parrot sketch, here, in its entirety!

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