Sunday, March 11, 2012

365 Projects - Now I Get It, Building a Media Library

Ken explains font types
I've seen people doing all kinds of 365 Projects for years now. Some have been focused on taking one picture per day, some have been about creating or capturing sounds, and others have been focused on video. I never really "got" the appeal of these projects until Friday morning when I sat in on Ken Shelton's presentation about presentation design. Ken made a good case for committing to a 365 Project. It's a good way to build up a library of media that you can use in your own presentations.

Applications for Education
I've always told people that the best way to avoid any Copyright issues is to use your own media in presentations. One challenge with that if you're on a tight time schedule, you might not be able to create all the media you need. Another challenge is the weather and seasons. As Ken said in his presentation, "if you want a picture of rain, you have to go out in the rain." By committing to a 365 Project you can build a library of your media that you and or your students can use for creating presentations.

For more advice on designing and delivering presentations, watch these three videos from Guy Kawasaki and Garr Reynolds.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going out to take a few pictures.

Search Stories Makes Documenting Research Fun

The keynote speaker for NCTIES was my friend Ken Shelton. I've known Ken for a few years now and one thing that I know for sure about Ken is that he knows how to design a presentation (more on that in another post). In his keynote, Ken shared a great idea for getting students enjoy documenting the research process instead of groaning about having to document it. Ken's suggestion is to have students create Google Search Story videos.

The Google Search Stories Video Creator allows you to create a short video about the searches that you perform on Google. To create your video you enter your search terms, select some background music, and let the creator render a video for you. Ken showed a video of a search for North Carolina barbecue restaurants. Below is a search story about an Internet-famous wedding dance.

Applications for Education
As mentioned above, having students create short search story videos could be a good way to get them interested in documenting at least a part of the research process.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Make Stop-Motion Movies With JellyCam 4.0

Last spring I discovered the free stop-motion movie maker, JellyCam. I was instantly impressed by JellyCam even though at the time it had limited features beyond capturing images with a webcam and playing them back in stop-motion. JellyCam has made a couple of nice improvements in the ten months since I wrote my initial review of it.

The biggest improvement to JellyCam is the option to up include a soundtrack in your movies. When I first tried JellyCam I could only use images that you captured with my webcam while JellyCam was running. Now you I upload images that you have stored on your computer, camera, or phone. Another nice enhancement in the latest version of JellyCam is the removal of JellyCam watermarks on your videos.

JellyCam runs on the Adobe Air platform. If you don't have Adobe Air Runtime on your computer, you will be prompted by JellyCam to download it. The download is free and it takes just a couple of minutes to install.

JellyCam was created and is developed by one man. You can keep up with his latest work on JellyCam here. I like JellyCam so much that I included it in my best of the web presentation at NCTIES.

The video below will help get you started using JellyCam.

Applications for Education
One way that JellyCam could be used in the classroom is to create a time-lapse video of a lengthy process like osmosis. Take pictures of raisins in water over a period of time to create a time-lapse stop-motion video of the process of osmosis. Your students could also attempt to make a video like this one in which stop-motion is used to show how food is processed by a cow from start to finish.

Four Video Explanations of Daylight Saving Time

Tonight many of us will be turning our clocks ahead one hour. On Monday, some students may be asking why we do this. Other students, mostly teenagers, will just be complaining about the lost hour of sleep. Here are four video explanations that you can share with them. The first two I've shared before, but the second two are new to me.

Week in Review - From Flat to Flying

Good morning from Maine where signs of spring are starting to show despite the snow that is still in my yard. I've had a busy seven days since the last week in review. It started with a flat tire in the pouring rain and ended with a flight home from North Carolina where I spent three days presenting at the NCTIES conference or as Rushton Hurley called it, the Neck Ties Conference. I had the great privilege to speak to many fantastic educators and leaders in the field of educational technology. One of the highlights of the week for me was, after years of reading their works, meeting David Warlick, Tammy Worcester, and Kathy Schrock.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Khan Academy Videos Mapped to Common Core Standards
2. Is Khan Inherently Crap?
3. Bunsella Bedtime Stories - An App for Narrating Stories
4. Resources for Learning About the Iditarod
5. Use Custom HTML and Javascript in Google Sites
6. Audio Memos - A Voice Recorder for iPad & iPhone
7. 10 Awesome Android Uses & Apps for Education

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