Friday, December 7, 2012

WeVideo Further Bridges the Gap Between Animoto and iMovie

WeVideo is a great online video editor that I have been sharing with teachers everywhere for the last year. This week WeVideo launched two new tools that sit in that space between simplistic Animoto videos and full-fledged desktop video editing with something like iMovie.

The new WeVideo YouTube editor and the new WeVideo Chrome video editor offer two creation and editing modes. The "storyboard" mode is designed for beginners who don't have any experience editing videos. The "storyboard" mode features a collection of video themes that users customize by dragging and dropping media into a theme template. The "timeline" mode is for users who have some experience editing video and would like to have a little more control over the timing and transitions in their videos.

WeVideo now allows users to connect their Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Flickr accounts with their WeVideo accounts. This means that users can directly import their images and other media rather than having to upload media from their desktops.

The original WeVideo product is still available too. The original offering offers the most control over all elements of the video editing process. One of the key features of the editor is the ability to have multiple audio and video tracks blended into one video.

The chart below shows all of the features of WeVideo's products.

Applications for Education
A key element of all of WeVideo's products is that they are collaborative tools. Using WeVideo students can work together remotely to create a video production. The three products from WeVideo provide a nice progression from beginner to advanced skill levels. You could have students start the school year using the "storyboard" mode and end the year using WeVideo's full featured tool to completely control the video creation process.

Quickly Edit Audio With the Online Audio Cutter

Online Audio Cutter is a free tool that anyone can use to quickly adjust the length of an audio recording. Online Audio Cutter can also be used to add fade-in and fade-out effects to your audio files. Online Audio Cutter can be used with files that you upload to it. If there is a YouTube or Sound Cloud clip that you want to edit (remember to use Creative Commons and Public Domain content) Online Audio Cutter can work with those files too. Just paste the URL of the YouTube or Sound Cloud clip in order to edit it.

Learn more about Online Audio Cutter in the Tekzilla video below.

Applications for Education
Online Audio Cutter could be a handy tool for quickly editing short audio files that your students want to use in their multimedia productions.

Historical Fiction Written by Students and Published on iBooks

A couple of days ago I saw a Tweet from Matthew Farber about an iBook that his middle school students had created and published. The book that his students created is titled The Corns Visit the 13 Colonies. It's a piece of collaboratively written historical fiction. The story is about "the Corns" who visit the 13 colonies. Each chapter of the book includes 3D images that readers can rotate.

I always like to see student projects because I almost always learn something new from them. This time I learned about Bookry which provides interactive widgets that you can add to your iBooks.

Applications for Education
If you're looking for ideas about how you might use iBooks Author in your classroom, take a look The Corns Visit the 13 Colonies and read Matthew Farber's short blog post about it too.
If you are interested in learning how to use iBooks Author, take a look at this series of 26 iBooks Author tutorial videos.

Resources for Learning About Pearl Harbor

Today is the 71st anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor which brought the U.S. into WWII. If you're a social studies teacher looking for resources for teaching about Pearl Harbor, check out the resources below.

National Geographic has a good resource students can explore to learn about the attack on Pearl Harbor. The Interactive Pearl Harbor Attack Map is a map and timeline accompanied by voice narration. Each stop along the timeline of the attack is accompanied by a short narrated passage. At each stop students can click on the map to read more information about that place and moment in the chronology of the attack.

The National Parks Service offers lesson plans about Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona.

History Animated has a number of animations of military movements in the Pacific during WWII.

Here is a video clip of President Roosevelt giving his "Day of Infamy" speech.

SnagFilms is currently hosting Pearl Harbor: Day of Infamy. This documentary includes interviews with 25 people who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Core of Education Vodcast Episode #3

Yesterday, Rod Berger and I sat down to record our third installment of the Core of Education vodcast. In this episode we talk about where teachers can find and store lesson plans online.