Showing posts with label Adobe Spark. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Adobe Spark. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Three Ways to Make Green Screen Videos

Making a green screen video can be a lot of fun for students and also a lot of fun for peers, parents, and teachers to watch. Ten years later I still occasionally refere to this video from Greg Kulowiec's middle school class as an example of a fun green screen project. Making a green screen video can seem intimidating at first, but once you've tried it a time or two you'll find that it's not as complicated as it might seem. Today there are lots of tools for making green screen videos. Here are the three I typically recommend and introduce to teachers. 

Make a Green Screen Video in iMovie
If you have access to a Mac or an iPad, this is the tool to use. It's free (provided you already have a modern Mac or iPad) and has just enough features to make a nice green screen video, but not so many features that it takes a long time to learn how to use it. Watch this video to learn how to make a green screen video in iMovie on a Mac. Watch this one to learn how to make a green screen video on an iPad.



WeVideo
For Chromebook users and Windows users, WeVideo is my go-to recommendation. Here's a demonstration of how it works.



Zoom + Adobe Spark
If you don't have a physical green screen to record in front of, you could use Zoom's built-in virtual green screen capability then import that video into Adobe Spark for final editing. Watch this video to learn how that is done.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

A Good Model for Audio Slideshow Video Projects

This morning I was looking for some short videos about the history of Labor Day. In doing so I came across The History of Labor Day as produced by TAPintoTV. The content of the video was accurate and it provided a nice summary of origins of Labor Day. That's not what made me bookmark it. What made me stop and bookmark it was that it provides a good model to follow in formatting an audio slideshow video like those you can make with Adobe Spark

When you watch The History of Labor Day video (embedded below) you'll see that it uses regular transitions every few seconds. You'll also notice that some short video clips have been interspersed throughout the video. Finally, the video includes background music to go along with the narration. 

Frequent Transitions
Students have a tendency to narrate over the same image for too long when creating audio slideshow videos. When the narration goes for too long the audience tunes out. To keep the audience's attention students should try to have a new image or at least a transition effect (zoom in, zoom out, pan) every few seconds.

Video Clips
Including a couple of short video clips within the audio slideshow is a good way to keep the overall video moving along. Obviously, it's also helpful in illustrating a point within the video project.

Background Music
Including some background music helps to keep the video feel like it's moving along. And it's helpful in covering up some of the "uhs" and "ums" that students sometimes make when narrating a video.

Adobe Spark Makes This Easy
Adobe Spark makes it easy to incorporate all three of the above aspects of an audio slideshow video project. Adobe Spark limits the amount of narration that students can record on each slide within their videos. Adobe Spark also includes a library of background muic that students can have inserted into their videos. Finally, students can upload short audio clips to include in their audio slideshow video projects. In this short video I demonstrate how to create a video with Adobe Spark.



Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Three Audio Slideshow Projects for Students to Try

Tools like Adobe SparkTypitoShadow Puppet Edu, and old-standby Animoto make it easy for students to quickly create videos. I often use these tools when introducing video production projects to teachers or students who have never attempted make videos in their classrooms. Here are three types of assignments that you can build around audio slideshow video tools.

Biographical/ Autobiographical Stories
Have students arrange a short audio slideshow about historical figures they're learning about in your classroom. Shadow Puppet Edu offers a built-in image search tool that makes it easy for students to find public domain pictures of historical figures.

Or have students tell short stories about themselves to introduce themselves to their classmates. Students can pull pictures from their personal cell phones or social media accounts to complete this project. (If social media is blocked in your school, ask students to download pictures at home and place them in a Google Drive or Dropbox folder to use in school).

Book Trailer Videos
In place of or in addition to a traditional book report have students create an audio slideshow video about books they've recently read. Students can use images they made or grab images from sites like Photos for Class to use in their videos. 

Video Timeline
Whether they're studying current events or historical events students can create video timelines by arranging images into a sequence that demonstrates the development of a significant event. Ask students to layer text onto their images to include dates and descriptions.

The knock against tools like Animoto has always been that they make it "too easy" for students to make a video and therefore students don't learn anything by making videos through these tools. As with most things in the world of educational technology it's not so much the complexity of the tool that matters, it's the assignment that you give to students that matters.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Some of my Favorites - Creating Green Screen Videos

This week is school vacation week here in Maine. I usually take this week off to go ice fishing on Moosehead Lake. Unfortunately, that's not happening this year. Instead I'll be "staycationing" and working on some projects around home. While on my staycation I'll be sharing some of my personal favorite tools and tips.


Making green screen videos can be a good way to engage students in researching and planning. That research and planning is fundamental to making a good video. The video is the reward at the end of the process. There are many things that students can do with green screen video production tools. Here are three green screen video projects to consider having your students complete. 

Student Newscasts
This might be the most common use of green screens. Students can create a newscast complete with weather forecast set in front a weather map.

Step Inside a Book
Take the concept of a book trailer video one step further by using green screen production tools. Have students place themselves in front of various backdrops that are representative for settings, scenes, and characters in a favorite book. This is a particularly good strategy for fiction/ fantasy books because students can draw their own backgrounds and characters to use on the green screen. 

Guided Tours of the World
Have students research a collection of places around the world then gather pictures or video clips of those places. Students can then use those pictures and clips in the background as they highlight and narrate the tour.


Free Tools for Making Green Screen Videos
iMovie for Mac and iPad. If you have an iPad or a Mac, you probably already have access to iMovie. It's a great tool for making green screen videos. If you've never tried it, watch this tutorial for the iPad version and this tutorial for the Mac version.





Through the combination of Zoom's virtual backgrounds and Adobe Spark Video it is possible to create green screen videos without actually using a green screen. Watch this tutorial to learn how to do that.



Finally, in the paid version of WeVideo there is an option to create green screen videos. Here's my tutorial on how to use WeVideo to make a green screen video.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Use Zoom and Adobe Spark to Make Green Screen Videos

As I do every year, I'm taking this week off from writing new blog posts. This week I'll be re-running a few of the most popular posts in 2020. 

This year more of us used Zoom than ever before. As is the case with many tools, the more that I used Zoom and answered questions about Zoom, the more I developed new ways to use it. One of those ways was to take advantage of the custom backgrounds option to make green screen videos. In the following video I demonstrate how you can use Zoom and Adobe Spark together to create a green screen video.

Zoom's desktop client has an option to replace your background with any picture that you want to upload to your Zoom account. Host a Zoom meeting without any participants in it, replace the background, and start talking. When you end the meeting you'll have an MP4 that you can import in Adobe Spark for further editing and or combine with other video clips.

Watch my video embedded below to see how you can create a green screen video with Zoom and Adobe Spark.


Monday, July 6, 2020

Three Alternatives to Smore

Over the weekend I answered an email from a reader who was looking for an alternative to using Smore to create online posters and newsletters to share with teachers and parents. Smore is great for some people, but it can get a little too pricey for some people. Here are a few alternatives to using Smore to create online posters and newsletters.

ConvertKit is the service that I use for my Practical Ed Tech Newsletter. ConvertKit offers some nice templates for formatting your emails. I don't use those templates because I prefer to send plain text email, but it's nice to know that I could use those templates. The real reason that I use Convert Kit is because I can easily create different segments within my mailing list to send personalized emails to different groups within my mailing list. That function could be useful to schools who want to send different personalized emails to parents based on the grade that their children are in. ConvertKit has a free plan that allows you to have up to 1,000 people on your mailing list, use all of the templates, and send as many emails as you like.

Canva doesn't offer a mailing list component, but it does offer lots of templates for making online posters and simple webpages to announce events. Once you've published your poster or page, you can email the link to it or post it on your LMS. Here's a video about how to use Canva to create and publish a multimedia poster.


Adobe Spark, like Canva, offers an easy way to design and publish simple webpages to use for announcements and updates to share with your school community. One of the things that I like about Adobe Spark is that you can share your designs directly into Google Classroom. Here's my short video on how to use Adobe Spark to create simple webpages.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

How to Use Zoom and Adobe Spark to Make Green Screen Videos

We're halfway through 2020. This week I'm taking some time off from the blog to work on some other projects. The rest of this week I'm going to re-run some of the most popular posts and videos of the year so far.

This year more of us used Zoom than ever before. As is the case with many tools, the more that I used Zoom and answered questions about Zoom, the more I developed new ways to use it. One of those ways was to take advantage of the custom backgrounds option to make green screen videos. In the following video I demonstrate how you can use Zoom and Adobe Spark together to create a green screen video.

Zoom's desktop client has an option to replace your background with any picture that you want to upload to your Zoom account. Host a Zoom meeting without any participants in it, replace the background, and start talking. When you end the meeting you'll have an MP4 that you can import in Adobe Spark for further editing and or combine with other video clips.

Watch my video embedded below to see how you can create a green screen video with Zoom and Adobe Spark.



Wednesday, April 29, 2020

How to Create a Green Screen Video Without a Green Screen

If you have ever wanted to make a green video but didn't have access to iMovie and couldn't make the investment in other video editing software, this new video is for you. In the following video I demonstrate how you can use Zoom and Adobe Spark together to create a green screen video.

Zoom's desktop client has an option to replace your background with any picture that you want to upload to your Zoom account. Host a Zoom meeting without any participants in it, replace the background, and start talking. When you end the meeting you'll have an MP4 that you can import in Adobe Spark for further editing and or combine with other video clips.

Watch my new video to see how you can create a green screen video with Zoom and Adobe Spark.


In the Practical Ed Tech Virtual Summer Camp I'll be covering lots of other ideas for classroom video projects. Registration is open now. 

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Adobe Spark Adds a New Way to Manage Your Projects

Last year Adobe finally added a collaboration option to Adobe Spark. That enabled students to remotely work together on video projects and graphic design projects. Today, Adobe added a new feature that students who are working on group projects may benefit from using.

Today, Adobe announced the option to create and manage multiple brands within your Adobe Spark account. While this is clearly designed for business users, other users could benefit from this. With the new brands feature you can design and save graphics for quick re-use across multiple projects. Think of the brands like folders that contain graphics aligned to one theme.

Applications for Education
I see the brands feature being useful to those who are in charge of publishing school newsletters, social media updates, and website updates. You could have a template or graphic saved and ready to re-use whenever you're publishing. This would keep the school's communications looking consistent from update to update.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Brief History of Yellowstone - A Video Your Students Could Easily Create

National Geographic recently published a new video titled A Brief History of Yellowstone. The video hits almost all of the key points in the history of Yellowstone becoming the first national park in the U.S. Unfortunately, the video isn't terribly interesting to watch. That's a statement coming from a person who will watch PBS documentaries for hours (if my kids are sleeping). My point in this post isn't to criticize National Geographic's video, but rather to point out that your students could make a better video of their own on this or any number of similar topics using the free Adobe Spark video tool.

A Brief History of Yellowstone suffers from two things. First, the narration is flat and the background music is almost inaudible. Second, the transitions between scenes are almost nonexistent. One of these problems can be addressed by using Adobe Spark to create a video. Adobe Spark offers a lot of templates that include excellent transitions and on-screen text placement.

The issue of flat narration is bit harder to resolve. One thing that I recommend students do when creating a video in this style is to practice the voiceover until they know it from memory or at least until they only need minimal notes in front of them. Otherwise, the narration does sound like it is being read straight from the script.

Here's my tutorial on how to get started using Adobe Spark to create a video.


Thanks to The Adventure Blog for the Nat Geo video. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Adobe Spark Now Has a Collaboration Option

Adobe Spark has been one of my favorite video creation tools since its launch in 2016. It can also be used to make simple web pages and graphics. Adobe Spark is a versatile tool that I've used to help students make video book trailers, to create video biographies, and to showcase the highlights of their digital portfolios. But until now there was one thing missing from Adobe Spark. That thing was a collaboration option. Today, Adobe addressed that need by adding a collaboration option to Adobe Spark.

The new collaboration option in Adobe Spark will let you invite people to edit and comment on your projects. To invite collaborators you'll simply enter their email addresses and they can then jump into your project. Projects that you have been invited to join will appear under a new "shared with you" tab in your Adobe Spark dashboard.

There are a couple of important items to note about the collaboration option in Adobe Spark. First, only one collaborator can work on a project at a time. That is done to avoid conflicting edits. Second, the collaboration option only works when you are using Adobe Spark in the web browser on your desktop or laptop computer. Support for collaboration in the mobile version of Adobe Spark is coming later this year.

If you haven't tried using Adobe Spark to make a video, watch my short tutorial to learn how to get started.


Applications for Education
As I mentioned above, Adobe Spark can be a great tool for students to use to create videos about books they've read, people they've studied, or highlights of a school event. The new collaboration option will empower students to work together to make videos about shared experiences like a field trip or to showcase the fruits of a group research effort.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Three Ways to Create Digital Collages to Summarize the School Year

The sun is shining, the weather is warming, and kids are getting antsy. That combination means that the end of the school year is drawing near. Last week I shared five ways to quickly create audio slideshow videos for end-of-year events. I wrote that thinking about teachers making the videos to play at events at the end of the school year. Students could also use make the videos. Or you might have students make digital collages to showcase their personal highlights of the school year. These are my three favorite tools for creating digital collages.

Pic Collage & Pic Collage Edu
Pic Collage is a free app that I have had on my phone and iPad for many years. The app provides lots of free, customizable templates for making collages. To create a collage simply open the app, choose a template, and import pictures from your phone or tablet's camera roll. You can pinch and zoom to change the size of your pictures, you can add digital stickers, and you can draw or type on your collage.

There is an EDU version of the Pic Collage iPad app, but that version costs $1.99.



Canva
For the last five or six years Canva has been my go-to online tool for making graphics and collages. Canva offers tons of free templates for making collages that you can post online and or download as PDFs to print. Canva can even make people like me who have no graphic design skills look good.


Adobe Spark Web Page
Web Page is a part of the Adobe Spark suite of tools. With Adobe Spark Web Page your students could create a simple web page to showcase their personal highlights of the school year. Adobe Spark Web Pages are displayed in a simple linear view. The pages that students create can include pictures, text, and videos.



Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How to Find More Free Images to Use in Adobe Spark Videos

Adobe Spark is one of my favorite free tools for creating videos. It works well on Chromebooks and any other laptop that is using a modern web browser. One the excellent features of Adobe Spark Video is the integrated image search tool. When students use images found through the integrated search, the image is automatically added to a credits screen at the end of the video. While the default image library in Adobe Spark is good, it is possible to expand the size of the library in your Adobe Spark account settings. Watch my video to learn how to find more free images to use in your Adobe Spark video projects.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Best of 2018 - Adobe Launches Spark for Education

This week is a vacation week for the vast majority of readers of this blog. As I do at this time every year, I'm going to republish some of the most popular posts of 2018. Here's one from April.

Earlier this year at the BETT Show Adobe announced that they would launching a new version of Adobe Spark designed specifically for school use. That new version is finally here. Earlier today Adobe launched Spark for Education.

Spark for Education is a free service that Adobe has launched to address the concerns that schools have had about Spark since it's launch a few years ago. The biggest of those concerns being use by students under the age of 13. Spark for Education is designed for school-wide deployment (much like G Suite for Education) in a manner that is COPPA compliant. The school will be able to manage student and teacher use of Spark including access to the service itself. Additionally, Spark for Education will provide students and teachers with free access to all of premium features of Adobe Spark.

Applications for Education
From a previous post that I published about Adobe Spark, here are ten ways to use Adobe Spark.

Post:
Post is the part of the Adobe Spark that lets you create graphics like posters, announcements, and Internet memes.
  • Students and teachers can create simple posters to print and post in their schools to announce club meetings, campaigns for class elections, or to post encouraging messages to students.
  • To help students understand and show that they understand what propaganda messages look like, I have had them create simple early 20th Century-style propaganda posters of their own. Adobe Spark has built-in Creative Commons search that can help students find pictures to use for those posters. Students can also upload pictures they've found in the public domain.
  • Create a meme-style graphic to share on your classroom, library, or school website. The graphic could be intended to encourage students and parents to remind each other of an upcoming school event. You could also create a meme to encourage students to continue reading over the summer. 
Video:
As the name implies, this is the Adobe Spark tool for creating videos. Videos are created by adding text and images to slides. You can record yourself talking over each slide. A library of free music is available to layer under your narration or you can use that music in lieu of narration.

  • Create a short flipped-lesson with Adobe Spark. The recording tool makes it easy to precisely record your narration over the slides in your lesson. 
  • Have your students create video lessons. The slide aspect of Adobe Spark's video tool lends itself to students creating short Ken Burns-style documentary videos. Have them use Spark's search tool to find images to use in their videos or have them use a place Flickr's The Commons to find historical images. I've had students make this style of video to tell the stories of people moving west across the United States in the 19th Century. 
  • This is the time of year for end-of-school assemblies and celebrations. Use Adobe Spark's video creation tool to make a video of highlights of the school year. Rather than narrating the video you can use music from Adobe Spark's library. 
Page:
Page is the tool for creating simple web pages to showcase pictures, posters, videos, text, and links. 
  • Create an event invitation page. Create a page that outlines the highlights of an upcoming school event like a fundraiser or open house night. Include images of past events, images of prizes, or include a video about the event. Should you need people to register for your event, include a link to a Google Form. (Learn how to use Google Forms).
  • Create a digital portfolio. Spark pages provide a great format for digital portfolios. Students can organize their pages into sections to showcase videos they've made, documents they've written, and their reflections on what they've learned. 
  • Make a multimedia timeline. While it wasn't designed specifically for making timelines, Spark Page's formatting does lend itself to timelines. Ask your students to research a series of events, find media representative of those events, caption the events and media with dates, and then place them into the proper order.
  • Write an image-based story. Students can write a story about themselves by using pictures they've taken placed into a Spark Page. Another way to think about image-based stories is to have students search for images and use them as writing prompts. Ask them to choose five pictures and write a story that connects the images. 

Adobe Spark works in your web browser including on Chromebooks. Adobe Spark is also available as a series of iPad apps for Page, Video, and Post. 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

How to Use Adobe Spark to Create Videos

Since the first day that it launched two and a half years ago, I knew that Adobe Spark would be a great tool for students to use to create videos. Like any good product it has evolved over the last couple of years by adding more features without eliminating the core features. Some of the outstanding features of Adobe Spark include an integrated image search, a simple voiceover capability, and the option to insert and edit existing videos for inclusion in a bigger project.

This morning I made an updated version of my Adobe Spark video tutorial to replace the popular one that I published a couple of years ago. My new Adobe Spark video tutorial is embedded below. You can also watch it on my YouTube channel.




Learn more about classroom video projects in my upcoming Practical Ed Tech course, Video Projects for Every Classroom.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Add Adobe Spark Creations Into Book Creator eBooks

Adobe Spark and Book Creator are two of my favorite multimedia production tools. And now you can combine the two! Earlier this week Book Creator announced that you can now embed videos made with Adobe Spark into the pages of Book Creator ebooks. But it's not just Adobe Spark videos that you can embed into your Book Creator pages. You can include graphics and even webpages made with Adobe Spark into the pages of Book Creator ebooks.

In the following video I provide a complete overview of how to create an ebook on Book Creator.



And watch the following video for an overview of how to create things on Adobe Spark.



Applications for Education
For years I have been saying that Book Creator is a good tool for students to use to create digital showcases of their best writing, drawings, pictures, and videos. And since its launch a few years ago I have loved using Adobe Spark to make videos. The integration of the two services provides a great opportunity for students to create videos then include them as part of a larger work that they publish through Book Creator.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Adobe Spark Post Now Available on Android

Adobe Spark Post is a free graphic design tool that has been available online and as an iPad app for a few years. Last week it finally became available for use as an Android app too. You can use Adobe Spark Post to create photo collages, to edit your images for sharing on social media, to make announcement graphics, or even to design great-looking slides.

Adobe Spark Post provides a huge gallery of design templates that you can use or you can go on your own to design from scratch. One of the thing that I like about Adobe Spark Post is that even if you don't work with a template it will make suggestions for color schemes and font choices when you import your own images.

Get the Adobe Spark Post Android app here.

Applications for Education
  • Students and teachers can create simple posters to print and post in their schools to announce club meetings, campaigns for class elections, or to post encouraging messages to students.
  • To help students understand and show that they understand what propaganda messages look like, I have had them create simple early 20th Century-style propaganda posters of their own. Adobe Spark has built-in Creative Commons search that can help students find pictures to use for those posters. Students can also upload pictures they've found in the public domain.
  • Create a meme-style graphic to share on your classroom, library, or school website. The graphic could be intended to encourage students and parents to remind each other of an upcoming school event. You could also create a meme to encourage students to continue reading over the summer. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

Padlet, Spark, and PhET - The Month in Review

Good evening from Maine where the snow that coated my yard on many mornings in April now all gone. Another sign that spring is here can be found in my TV viewing habit of quickly jumping between three channels to watch the Bruins, Celtics, and Red Sox play on the same night. Two of the three are winning as I draft this post.

As I do at the end of every month, I have compiled a list of the ten most popular posts of the previous 30 days. This month's most popular post was a response to the changes to Padlet's free plan. That post was just slightly more popular than this one about the launch of the Adobe Spark for Education. Take a look at the full list below.

These were the most popular posts in April, 2018:
1. 5 Alternatives to Padlet
2. Adobe Launches Spark for Education
3. Reminder - The Library of Congress Seeks a Teacher-in-Residence
4. NASA's Interactive Guide to the Solar System
5. Now You Can Include Google Slides In a Google Document
6. PhET PowerPoint Add-in - Add Science & Math Simulations to Slides
7. 1766 Free Lesson Plans for Art Teachers
8. Jungle Jeopardy - A Game About Ecosystems
9. TED-Ed Lessons About Every Element on the Periodic Table
10. Tube - A Distraction-free Way to Search and Watch YouTube

Online PD Opportunities
On May 7th I'm launching a self-paced course about classroom video projects. This is in addition to all of the other on-demand webinars and self-paced courses currently available on PracticalEdTech.com.

Book Me for Your Conference
I’ve given keynotes at conferences from Australia to Alaska for groups of all sizes from 50 to 2,000+. My keynotes focus on providing teachers and school administrators with practical ways to use technology to create better learning experiences for all students. I like to shine the light on others and so I often share examples of great work done by others as well as my own. Click here to book me today.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
MySimpleShow offers a great way to create animated videos for free.
University of Maryland Baltimore County offers a great program on instructional design.
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
QuickKey provides an efficient way to conduct online and in-person formative assessments.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Adobe Launches Spark for Education

Earlier this year at the BETT Show Adobe announced that they would launching a new version of Adobe Spark designed specifically for school use. That new version is finally here. Earlier today Adobe launched Spark for Education.

Spark for Education is a free service that Adobe has launched to address the concerns that schools have had about Spark since it's launch a few years ago. The biggest of those concerns being use by students under the age of 13. Spark for Education is designed for school-wide deployment (much like G Suite for Education) in a manner that is COPPA compliant. The school will be able to manage student and teacher use of Spark including access to the service itself. Additionally, Spark for Education will provide students and teachers with free access to all of premium features of Adobe Spark.

Applications for Education
From a previous post that I published about Adobe Spark, here are ten ways to use Adobe Spark.

Post:
Post is the part of the Adobe Spark that lets you create graphics like posters, announcements, and Internet memes.
  • Students and teachers can create simple posters to print and post in their schools to announce club meetings, campaigns for class elections, or to post encouraging messages to students.
  • To help students understand and show that they understand what propaganda messages look like, I have had them create simple early 20th Century-style propaganda posters of their own. Adobe Spark has built-in Creative Commons search that can help students find pictures to use for those posters. Students can also upload pictures they've found in the public domain.
  • Create a meme-style graphic to share on your classroom, library, or school website. The graphic could be intended to encourage students and parents to remind each other of an upcoming school event. You could also create a meme to encourage students to continue reading over the summer. 
Video:
As the name implies, this is the Adobe Spark tool for creating videos. Videos are created by adding text and images to slides. You can record yourself talking over each slide. A library of free music is available to layer under your narration or you can use that music in lieu of narration.

  • Create a short flipped-lesson with Adobe Spark. The recording tool makes it easy to precisely record your narration over the slides in your lesson. 
  • Have your students create video lessons. The slide aspect of Adobe Spark's video tool lends itself to students creating short Ken Burns-style documentary videos. Have them use Spark's search tool to find images to use in their videos or have them use a place Flickr's The Commons to find historical images. I've had students make this style of video to tell the stories of people moving west across the United States in the 19th Century. 
  • This is the time of year for end-of-school assemblies and celebrations. Use Adobe Spark's video creation tool to make a video of highlights of the school year. Rather than narrating the video you can use music from Adobe Spark's library. 
Page:
Page is the tool for creating simple web pages to showcase pictures, posters, videos, text, and links. 
  • Create an event invitation page. Create a page that outlines the highlights of an upcoming school event like a fundraiser or open house night. Include images of past events, images of prizes, or include a video about the event. Should you need people to register for your event, include a link to a Google Form. (Learn how to use Google Forms).
  • Create a digital portfolio. Spark pages provide a great format for digital portfolios. Students can organize their pages into sections to showcase videos they've made, documents they've written, and their reflections on what they've learned. 
  • Make a multimedia timeline. While it wasn't designed specifically for making timelines, Spark Page's formatting does lend itself to timelines. Ask your students to research a series of events, find media representative of those events, caption the events and media with dates, and then place them into the proper order.
  • Write an image-based story. Students can write a story about themselves by using pictures they've taken placed into a Spark Page. Another way to think about image-based stories is to have students search for images and use them as writing prompts. Ask them to choose five pictures and write a story that connects the images. 

Adobe Spark works in your web browser including on Chromebooks. Adobe Spark is also available as a series of iPad apps for Page, Video, and Post. 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Important News About Adobe Spark

Adobe Spark is a great tool for making videos, storytelling websites, and simple graphics. It has been popular since its launch a few years ago. Also since its launch there have been many questions about whether or not it can be used with students under the age of 13. For while Adobe's guide for educators indicated that it could be used with students under 13 with the right supervision. This week at the BETT Show, Adobe made an official announcement about the use of Adobe Spark by students under age 13.

The announcement states that beginning in April students under the age of 13 will be able to use Adobe Spark with Adobe's school ID integration.

In the same announcement about age restrictions, Adobe announced that starting in April all of the premium Adobe Spark features will be available for free to all schools and universities.

Applications for Education
Adobe Spark Video is one of the tools that I feature in Teaching History With Technology because I believe that it provides a good way for students to create short historical documentaries. Ten other ways to use Adobe Spark are featured here.