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Monday, May 23, 2016

12 Tools for Creating End-of-Year Review Activities

This is the time of year that we think about activities that we can do to help students review the school year. At this time of the year I frequently receive requests for suggestions for tools to create review activities. The tools presented in the slides below can be used to create online games, iPad games, video quizzes, and interactive classroom exercises that engage students in reviewing the year's lessons.

Why We Make Irrational Decisions

The Psychology Behind Irrational Decisions is the title of a relatively new TED-Ed lesson that I watched over the weekend. The lesson focuses on the role of heuristics in our decision making processes. Of course, to understand the role of heuristics in making decisions students first need to understand heuristics. The lesson does a good job of defining heuristics for students. The video from the lesson is embedded below.


Applications for Education
A possible extension for this lesson is to have students think about and find examples of how heuristics can influence the statements people make in political discussions.

5 Good Options for Creating End-of-Year Audio Slideshow Videos

Over the last week I have had at least five people ask me for suggestions for a tool to create an audio slideshow video for an end-of-year assembly or similar exercise. The following are the audio slideshow video creation tools that I suggest more than most.

YouTube's audio slideshow creation tool is my first suggestion for people who have Google Accounts to which they have been saving a lot of images. YouTube's audio slideshow creation tool allows users to quickly import batches of images from their Google Drive accounts and or from their Android devices. The tool offers a large collection of Creative Commons licensed music that you can use in your videos. Watch my tutorial embedded below to learn more about how to create an audio slideshow in YouTube.


Stupeflix doesn't require users to register in order to produce a video. Stupeflix could be a good option to use with students who don't have email addresses that they can use in school. Like YouTube's audio slideshow tool, Stupeflix offers a library of free music. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Stupeflix to create a video without registering on the site.


Sharalike is another option to consider when you want to create an audio slideshow. The concept behind Sharalike is much like the one behind YouTube's Slideshow Creator and Stupeflix. To create an audio slideshow on Sharalike simply import some images from your computer, your Android device or from your iPad, drag them into the sequence in which you want them to appear, and then add some music. Sharalike offers a small collection of stock music that you can use or you can upload your own music.


Magisto is a video creation tool that allows you to quickly drag videos and images from your desktop and or Google Drive account to your Magisto account. From the videos you upload, Magisto will select the best portions to remix and blend with images. After you've uploaded the media that you want mixed, select a theme and music for your video. Magisto creates your video after you've completed the steps of uploading media, selecting a theme, and choosing music. The final video is emailed to you. In addition to a web-based tool Magisto offers a Chrome app, a Windows app, an Android app, and an iPad app.


Finally, Animoto is the standard in this category of video creation tool. Animoto offers a web app, an Android app, and an iOS app. All three apps let you quickly add music to a selection of your favorite pictures. You can upload pictures or import them from a number of social networks including Instagram.