Friday, October 18, 2013

How to Create Audio Slideshows in YouTube

Twice in the last two days at the WLMA 2013 conference I demonstrated how to create audio slideshows on YouTube. Creating audio slideshows in YouTube is a good alternative to using Animoto.

Animoto is an excellent tool for creating audio slideshows. But there are some limitations to it that some teachers don't like. Most notable of those limitations is the time limit (30 seconds unless you get an Animoto for Education account), lack of space for text, and that students have to remember a username and password to use it. The YouTube slideshow tool provides a tool for creating audio slideshows without those three limitations of Animoto.

YouTube Photo Slideshows don't have a time limit other than the standard 15 minute limit applied to all new YouTube accounts (there are work-arounds for this). YouTube Photo Slideshows allow you to specify the length of time that each image is displayed for. After uploading your images you can use the annotations tool to add as much text as you like to each frame of your video. If you're working in a school that uses Google Apps for Education, your students can use their log-in credentials on YouTube so they don't have to create separate usernames and passwords.

The images below show you how to create a Photo Slideshow on YouTube. (Click the images to view them full size).

Step 1: Log into your YouTube account and click "upload" then click "Photo Slideshow."

Step 2: Select images from your Google Account or upload images from your computer.

Step 3: Drag and drop your images into the sequence in which you want them to appear.

Step 4: Choose a sound track and select the slide display duration and transition.

Step 5: Enter a title, description, and tags for your images. Select a thumbnail and privacy setting.

Step 6: Use the annotations tool to add text to each frame of your video. You can specify the length of time that each annotation is displayed for.

Watch my sample video below.

A Global Science Experiment - Testing Foods for Vitamin C

The Royal Society of Chemistry has launched a new global project for students. The project, simply called The Global Experiment, asks students to measure the level of vitamin C in fruits and vegetables. The Global Experiment includes a series of small activities for students to complete. The activities are comparing vitamin C content of foods based on where they were grown, the effects of aging on vitamin C levels, and the effects of cooking on vitamin C levels. After completing the activities students can share their results with the The Global Experiment to see the results from other students' experiments around the world.

Applications for Education
The Global Experiment includes detailed directions for teachers and students to use in carrying out each of the activities. Participating in The Global Experiment could be a good way for students to see if location effects the vitamin C content found in various fruits and vegetables around the world.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

7 Free iPad Apps for Science Lessons

Cross-posted from my other blog iPadApps4School.com

I'm preparing to do a virtual presentation for a small district next month. My hosts asked for a list of some science apps that their middle school and high school students can use. This is part of the list that has free apps.

The Bill Nye The Science Guy  iPad app is a free iPad app on which students can watch Bill Nye videos, play games, and discover kitchen table science experiments to do at home with their parents. The app is beautifully designed. Students enter the app by “scanning” their thumbprints. After entering the app students select an object on Bill Nye’s desk. Each object launches a new element of the app. My only complaint about the app is that in the video section it looks like you have to buy the videos (it’s an option) even though you can watch them for free.

goREACT is a free iPad app from the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago. This free iPad app allows students to virtually create chemical reactions. To create the reactions students simply drag elements from the periodic table to the “reaction area.” The app includes suggested reactions to help students get started. In all there are nearly 300 chemical reactions supported on the app. The app includes pictures and videos related to the reactions that students can virtually create on goREACT.

Powers of Minus Ten: Bone is a neat iPad app for biology students. The app takes students through ten levels of viewing the inside of human bones. Students can zoom through and explore each of the microscopic levels. The imagery starts at the level of viewing bones from the outside and ends with viewing the atoms within the bones. A neat aspect of the app is that students can select “healthy bone” or “broken bone.” By selecting “broken bone” students can view a broken bone and see how it heals.

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Virtual Heart is a free iPad app that allows users to take a closer look at how the human heart functions. The free app lets users speed up and slow down the virtual heart rate. Users have four views of the heart in the app. The views are of the electrical system, the valves, blood flow, and the interior of the heart. Each view can be experienced with or without labels. The first time each view is tapped, a short introduction to that view is displayed.

3D Brain is a free iPad app that features a model of the human brain. he app provides a three dimensional model of the human brain that students can rotate. To look at a specific part of the brain select it from the drop-down menu and it will be highlighted on the model for you to view. Click the “info” tab to read one page summaries about each part of the brain. On the app you can also find some case studies about disorders and brain damage.

Essential Skeleton is a free iPad app that students studying the human skeletal system should download. The app puts a 3D skeleton on your students’ iPads. Students can zoom-in, zoom-out, and rotate the skeleton 360 degrees. When students zoom-in and tap on a bone they will see its name in English and Latin, have the option to hear an audio pronunciation of the bone’s name, learn about the connected bones, and write their own notes about the highlighted bone.

Solve the Outbreak is a free iPad app produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The app is a game that contains three epidemics for students to research. In each investigation students have to read the background, read clues, analyze data, and answer questions. The questions put students in the role of a medical professional tasked with helping to curtail the spread of the epidemic. Points are awarded to students for correct answers.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Try Word Hippo for Definitions, Antonyms, Translations, and More

Word Hippo is a nice little tool that students can use to find definitions, synonyms, antonyms, and translations for words. The service also provides students with verb conjugation assistance, pronunciation assistance, and assistance with prefixes and suffixes. In total Word Hippo offers more than a dozen tools for students.

Applications for Education
Word Hippo could be a good aid to ELL students. Some of Word Hippo's features could be useful for all students. For example, the synonym finder could be useful to a student that finds himself using the same adjective over and over throughout a paper. 

390 Free Online Art History Books

Earlier this year I discovered that the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosts free online art history texts. Today, I revisited that collection and discovered that it has expanded to 390 volumes. All of the books can be read online or downloaded as PDFs (warning, some of them are massive files). You can search through the catalog of books by thematic category, format, and publication type. And, of course, you can search through the books by title, author, and keyword.

Applications for Education
The Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection of art history books could be a great resource for art teachers and their students. Students who are researching artists and or art movements could consult the collection to find reference materials.