Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Use for a Favorite Resource

As I was watching an animated poem on Open Culture I was struck with a new idea for using Animoto. For those readers that are not familiar with Animoto it is a simple video creation tool. Users select or upload images and select or upload audio tracks then Animoto mixes them together to make a very professional looking music video. Animoto for Education gives teachers and students all benefits of a premium account for free. You can read more about Animoto here, here, or here.

Applications for Education
In the past I've presented ideas for using Animoto videos to promote or introduce students to a new topic. I've also suggested having students create Animoto videos are part of a presentation assignment.
Here is my new idea for using Animoto in an English/ Literature course. To get students excited about studying and or writing poetry have them select a poem, record an audio track of the poem being read, then use that audio track as part of an Animoto poetry video. Alternatively, you may try simply having students select music and images that they feel captures the tone and message of a poem.

New Podcast - When Technology Fails

In this episode I share my experience of going to plan “b” when the technology I had planned to incorporate into a lesson fails. The lesson I was reminded of is that as much as I love to incorporate technology into my instruction sometimes the most memorable lessons for students don’t involve any technology at all.

Free technology mentioned in this episode:

X Timeline

Google Maps

You can listen to the podcast using the player embedded below or use the widget embedded in the right hand column of the blog. The player embedded in the right hand column of the blog is where you can find all of the previous podcast episodes.

National Student/ Parent Mock Election

The National Student/Parent Mock election is being held on October 30, 2008. You can register your school to participate on the School Perceptions website. Even if you're school doesn't participate in the national mock election, you should still explore the curriculum materials that found on the National Mock Election website. In the curriculum section of the National Mock Election website teachers will find pdf's of lesson plan resources as well as a short animated movie and quizzes for students.

Applications for Education
The National Student/ Parent Mock Election provides a number of ways to get involved. If you're a classroom teacher I encourage you to visit the "how to get involved" for educators page for ideas about carrying out the election in your school. One way to get parents involved and modeling good citizenship would be to have mock election ballots available when they drop their students off at school.

Play Flash Chess 3 Online

Flash Chess is, as you might expect, an online chess game. Flash Chess games can be played at three levels, novice, casual, and advanced. I typically don't link to online games unless there is a clear correlation to an academic area, but in this class I've made an exception. I've made the exception because two of the best physics and math teachers I know both strongly believe that playing strategy games help students develop logical reasoning skills.