Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

Converting Media with Zamzar


OK, here’s the situation: I found this really cool online resource that can be utilized in my classroom only to discover that after I download the file, I am unable to actually open and use it on my computer due to compatibility issues—grrr! I’m sure I’m not the only one that has encountered these circumstances before. So, what’s the solution?

Check out Zamzar, a free file conversion tool, to save the day! That’s right! Reduce your frustration with this web application that quickly and easily changes any document, image, music, video, audio, eBook and/or compressed (i.e. zip) and CAD configurations to the format of your choice. It’s true! Zamzar has the capability to convert hundreds of file types, including Microsoft and Open Office, PDF and get this—Apple Keynote files to MS PowerPoint.

And guess what else? There is no software download or account required, although an email address is necessary because once your new file is ready to go, you will receive a message containing a download link as well as instructions regarding how to retrieve it.

As an added bonus, Zamzar has recently upgraded their upload tool so that users can now drag & drop multiple files into the main window rather than having to select them individually—a feature that is especially handy if it is necessary to convert lots of files at once.

I realize it sounds almost too good to be true, but honestly, I use this “cool tool” frequently—especially in my Multimedia classes—and without fail, the result is always a file type that is playable on my computer.

Classroom Connection:

Zamzar is an excellent tool for educators who have and/or work in schools that use multiple operating systems—particularly in cases when they need to make all types of media available to students (or colleagues) regardless of the computer, laptop or mobile device being used. Others uses of Zamzar include downloading videos from the Internet (i.e. YouTube or Vimeo) for use in classroom activities and/or when students bring a flashdrive to class containing a file(s) that cannot be opened on a school machine.

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Hey, edu-tech gurus!

Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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