Wednesday, December 2, 2015

ToonSpaghetti Teaches Kids to Make Movies on iPads

ToonSpaghetti is a free iPad app designed to teach elementary school students how to develop movies. The app kind of takes a Mad Libs approach to movie making. In ToonSpaghetti students are shown a the beginning of a narrated story. Students have to add music and sound effects to the narrative to create their movies. Three music tracks and four sound effects are available to students at the beginning of the story. Each story is divided into three sections. In each section a new set of music tracks and sound effects are available to use.

Applications for Education
ToonSpaghetti teaches students about the roles that music and sound effects play in shaping a movie. As they add music and sound effects to their movies, ToonSpaghetti gives them feedback on whether or not their chosen music fits with the rising or falling action of the story.

ToonSpaghetti does not require students to register in order to use it. Movies that students create on the iPad app can only be shared by teachers and or parents.

How to Print a Poster With a Standard Printer

Block Posters is a web-based tool to which you can upload a high quality graphic then divide it into letter-sized chunks for printing. Print out each section and put them together on a poster board to make your own poster. If you find a great infographic or poster that you want to display in your classroom, Block Posters is a good tool to use. Block Posters is also good for creating large jigsaw puzzles. In the video embedded below I demonstrate how to use Block Posters.

How to Share & Print Grades Through Flubaroo

This morning my inbox contained a bunch of emails from readers who had questions about the new grade sharing and printing options available through Flubaroo. The best way to answer those questions is with a video. The video embedded below provides an overview of how to use the new grade sharing and printing options available in the Flubaroo Add-on for Google Sheets.

A Crash Course on Political Campaigns

Turn on the nightly news, open your Facebook feed, or walk down the street in the U.S. right now and you can't help but be reminded that we're choosing a new president in 2016. Why do presidential campaigns start so early? Who funds them? And how do candidates reach out to voters? These questions and more are answered in the Crash Course video on political campaigns.

Applications for Education
The first half of the video is focused on campaign organization. The second half of the video is focused on funding of campaigns and the laws regarding campaign contributions. These are some discussion questions that I would pose to my students:
1. Which outreach methods are best for each of the following age groups? 18-35, 35-50, 50-65, 65+
2. If you were a campaign manager how would you choose where to spend advertising money?
3. What are the pros and cons of limiting campaign contributions? Would you close the 527 loophole?

PBS LearningMedia Seeks Digital Innovators

PBS LearningMedia is once again hosting their Digital Innovators program in 2016. The program is designed to recognize K-12 teachers who excel at using digital media in their classrooms. There is also a leadership component of the program as PBS is searching for people who can be leaders in helping other teachers utilize digital media. Teachers selected as PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators will receive a trip to Denver, Colorado for the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Summit and the ISTE conference in June, 2016. 54 teachers will be chosen.

The deadline to apply for the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program is February 8, 2016. Application requirements can be found here.

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