Tuesday, March 30, 2010

JayCut Launches New Video Editing Platform

I first learned about JayCut last summer and was actually excited about using it in my classroom as a lightweight web-based video editor, but then it went offline for a while as JayCut was retooled. Today, JayCut relaunched its free, online, video editing service. After my initial testing of JayCut I can say it was worth the wait.

To use JayCut online you will need to join the JayCut community. Once you've joined you can immediately start creating a video. The JayCut editor allows you to use two video editing tracks, an audio track, and a transitions track to create your video. JayCut provides some stock video and stock transitions that you can use, but the best option is to upload your own images, video clips, and sound tracks. By all appearances the limitation for video length is thirty minutes. The videos you create can be published online on the JayCut site, published directly to YouTube, or downloaded to your computer.

The user interface of JayCut's video editor is one of the most intuitive I've seen on a video editor. Every element of your video can be added through simple drag and drop motions. The play length of each element in your video can be shortened or lengthened by simply dragging the ruler tools.

Applications for Education
JayCut's new online video editor could be a great alternative to iMovie or Movie Maker. The clear advantage of JayCut over other online video tools like Animoto or Stupeflix is that you can add more media clips and make longer videos than you can with Animoto or Stupeflix.

Here's a quick video that I put together using audio from Sound Bible, stock video from JayCut, and some images from my computer.

Freeology - Free Printables for Teachers

Freeology is a site that provides dozens of printable forms teachers. Freeology offers dozens of free graphic organizer forms, calendars, awards forms, and coloring pages. Teachers can also take advantage of Freeology's free math worksheet creator and free wordsearch generator. All of the forms on Freeology can be downloaded as PDFs.

Applications for Education
Although I advocate for doing as much digital work as possible, I still recognize that in many schools access to computers is still quite limited. In those situations teachers don't really have the option to "go paperless." For those teachers, Freeology is a good resource for ready-made printable forms.

Thanks to Fred Delventhal for sharing the link to Freeology in his daily links post.

Interactive Bills and the History of the US Mint

The US Mint has some good online games and activities for young students (elementary grades). Two of the resources that stand out are an interactive look at the security features of US currency and an interactive timeline of the history of the US Mint. The interactive bills allow students to explore the counterfeiting-prevention elements installed in five, ten, twenty, and fifty dollar bills.

The interactive timeline of the US Mint is one of five activities hosted on US Mint Kids. The timeline traces the history of the US Mint from the creation of the US Mint through today. On the timeline students can explore both the political developments at the mint and the technological developments at the US Mint.

Applications for Education

One of the great things about money is that most students are attracted to it. In turn that makes teaching economics lessons a little more fun for teachers and students. The interactive activities for kids from the US Mint are appropriate for introductory lessons about money as they focus on physical currency rather than economic theory.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
The History of Credit Cards in the United States
Saving Money in Plain English
A Pictorial History of Money

Live Webinar Tonight with Sir Ken Robinson

Just a quick reminder, tonight at 8pm EST, 5pm PST The Future of Education is hosting a free webinar with Sir Ken Robinson.

Here's a primer to get you ready for tonight's webinar.

Tour the Sistine Chapel Online

Most of my students will not visit the Sistine Chapel anytime in the foreseeable future, but that doesn't mean they can't explore the frescoes and paintings of the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museums website hosts a fairly detailed virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel. The tour allows visitors to zoom in on small areas and details of the interior of the Sistine Chapel. Visitors to the virtual tour can turn 360 degrees to view the interior of the Sistine Chapel from various angles.

In addition to the tour of the Sistine Chapel the Vatican Museums host virtual tours of five other places and exhibits. Those tours are the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, the Gregorian Etruscan Museum, Raphael's Rooms, Pinacoteca, and the Ethnological Missionary Museum.

Open Culture provided me with the lead on these virtual tours.

Applications for Education
You could search the Internet and find many of the images that are seen in these virtual tours. However, the virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel allows students to explore at their own pace. Students using the virtual tour can zoom-in on images to gain a better view of the details than they would find in most images on the web.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
ArtsEdge - Podcasts and Lesson Plans
Blogs for Art Teachers
The Bayeux Tapestry Animated