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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Vizia - Create Interactive Video Quizzes

Vizia is a free tool for creating video-based quizzes. On Vizia you an import a video from YouTube or from Wistia and then add questions along the timeline of the video. You can ask multiple choice questions as well as short answer/ open-response questions. Adding a poll question into the video is also a possibility in Vizia. All of the responses to your questions are collected in a spreadsheet that you can download and or open in Google Sheets.

When you create a Vizia video quiz you have the option to require that viewers enter their names and email addresses before they begin. Alternatively, you could make the first question in the video a prompt to enter a name.


Applications for Education
Vizia could be a good tool to use to create short flipped video lessons in which you ask questions to check for understanding. One way that I might use it is to put a campaign commercial into the Vizia editor then create questions that ask students to identify the persuasion techniques that are used in the commercial.

Try my Vizia video quiz as embedded below to see how it works.

How Much Does It Cost to Run for President?

Now that the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign is in full swing it's a good time to take a look at how much it costs to run for President. In the video below the folks at Brain Stuff have done a nice job of explaining the cost of running a campaign.


More resources for teaching and learning about the 2016 U.S. Presidential election:

A large portion of the money that candidates raise will be spent on television advertising. The Living Room Candidate offers a history of campaign commercials dating back to the 1950's. Students can watch old commercials and read the transcripts of those commercials.

PBS Election Central is a collection of educational resources related to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election. The collection includes interactive maps, virtual field trips, and videos. Within the PBS Election Central collection there are resources appropriate for elementary school, middle school, and high students.

C-SPAN's 2016 Electoral College Map shows the number of Electoral votes each state has in 2016. The poster also includes the Electoral vote and popular vote tallies of the every election dating back to 1900. You can get a copy of the poster here. The poster on its own is nice, but students will need some guidance in understanding what all of the information really means. To that end C-SPAN Classroom offers a set of guiding questions to use with your students in conjunction with the 2016 Electoral College Map.

This TED-Ed lesson offers a short explanation of the Electoral College by answering the question, "does your vote count?" The video for the lesson is embedded below.


Common Craft offers The Electoral College in Plain English.



Create Animated Videos & More With Animatron

Animatron is a nice tool for creating animated videos and images. I learned about it from Larry Ferlazzo a couple of weeks ago and I finally got some time to try it this morning.

The concept behind Animatron is similar to that of Wideo and Powtoon. You drag and drop characters on a background scene and then choose how long each character will be displayed on the screen. You can also set the length of time for each character in a scene to be in motion. By using Animatron's timeline editor I was able to make objects appear and disappear from a scene. The best feature of Animatron is that I can record audio directly over the animation. The built-in recording tools lets you see the scene while you're recording so that you can precisely synchronize each scene with its audio track. Larry reported that the audio wasn't great, but I found it to be fine when I recorded with my Blue Snowball microphone.

Scenes created in Animatron can be downloaded as videos and or as GIFs. Animatron's free plan limits you to ten seconds of download time. The free plan will let you embed and or share longer scenes via social media. The other limitation of the free plan is that you can only create five projects before you'll have to delete one.

Applications for Education
Animatron could be a good tool for students to use to bring written stories to life in animated videos. The user interface on Animatron takes a while to understand and it could frustrate students younger than age 13.