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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How to Use SeeSaw's New Messaging Option

SeeSaw is a great digital portfolio tool that works on Chromebooks, iPads, Android tablets, and any computer with a modern web browser. Earlier this year at the ISTE conference SeeSaw announced some new features including a new messaging option. The new messaging option is now available to all teachers. In the video embedded below I provide a demonstration of how to use the new SeeSaw messaging option.


It is important to note that while students and parents can receive announcements via SMS and push notifications only can reply to a teacher's announcement.

Disclosure: SeeSaw is currently an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

An Augmented Reality Hackathon for Teachers

Earlier this week I shared some ideas for creating and using your own augmented reality experiences in school. Metaverse is the free platform that makes it possible for teachers and students to create their own augmented reality experiences. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend taking a crack at making your own augmented reality experience. As some participants in my workshops this summer demonstrated, you really can create your own augmented reality experiences in as little as ten minutes. Of course, the more time you spend using Metaverse, the more complex and robust you can make your augmented reality applications.

This weekend Metaverse is kicking-off a hackathon for teachers. The Metaverse Hackathon starts on Saturday, August 19th and runs through Saturday, August 26th.  The purpose of the hackathon is to showcase the creative augmented reality experiences that teachers make for educational uses. The winner of the Metaverse Hackathon will receive $200 in classroom supplies. You can get all of the details and register for the Metaverse Hackathon here. I can't wait to see what everyone creates.

Disclosure: Metaverse is an advertiser on FreeTech4Teachers.com

Book Creator is Now Live for All Chromebook Users

Earlier this summer Book Creator, a massively popular iPad app, was made available in a beta version for teachers to try on Chromebooks. As of this week the Chrome version of Book Creator is available to all teachers and students. You can access the new Chrome version of Book Creator at app.bookcreator.com.

Book Creator's Chrome version supports creating multimedia books containing videos, images, drawings, and text. To create a book on Book Creator's web app just sign and choose a layout for your book. There are comic book layouts as well as traditional book layouts. After you have selected a layout for your book's pages you can add pictures and videos by either uploading them, by using your webcam, or by using a new integrated image search tool. You can add text and drawings by using the drawing and typing tools built into Book Creator. Your completed book can be saved as a ePub or published online with a private Book Creator link.

More features are promised to be added by the Book Creator team. Among those features are a Google Classroom integration and improved printing options.


Applications for Education
Students can use Book Creator to create multimedia fiction stories, to publish non-fiction stories, or to create digital portfolios of their best work.

The History Project Has a New Name

The History Project is a great tool for creating multimedia timelines. This morning I went to use the service and noticed that it's name has changed to Enwoven. I can still log-in using my credentials for The History Project. All of the tools for making and publishing multimedia timelines that were found in The History Project are still there in Enwoven. So it seems that nothing has changed except the name. My video embedded below provides a short overview of how to use the tools within Enwoven (formerly known as The History Project).


Applications for Education
Enwoven is completely free for teachers and students to use to create multimedia timelines. It is a collaborative tool which allows your students to work together remotely to create and publish a timeline.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tools for Creating Stop Motion Movies

Kevin Hodgson recently updated his excellent Making Stop Motion Movies website on which he features examples of student projects and provides good information about the process of making stop motion movies. I particularly like the page about claymation movies. Looking at Kevin's site got me to revisit some of my own posts about tools for creating stop motion movies. Here are four that I have used at various times over the years.

Stop Motion Animator is a free Chrome app for creating stop motion videos. The app is free and easy to use. It does not even require students to create accounts in order to use it.



JellyCam is a free program for creating stop motion movies. Using JellyCam you can create stop motion movies using images from your computer or images that you capture via your webcam. Once you've selected images you can quickly arrange them into a sequence. After the sequence is set you can specify how many images you want per frame. A soundtrack can be uploaded to your video. JellyCam uses the Adobe Air platform. If you don't have Adobe Air it takes just a couple of minutes to install it on your computer. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use JellyCam.



Parapara Animation is a free animation creation tool developed and hosted by Mozilla. The tool is easy to use and it does not require registration in order to use it. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to create an animation with ParaPara Animation.



Stop Motion Studio is a great app for creating stop motion videos. The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac operating systems. The basic (free) version of Stop Motion Studio lets you take as many pictures as you like and string them together in a sequence that plays back at a frame-per-second rate of your choosing. Each frame can be edited individually before you produce the final video. You can also add narration to your video in the basic version of the app. Completed projects can be saved to your device and from there you can share them on YouTube or on your favorite social network.