Saturday, January 14, 2017

A Short Guide to Using Adobe Spark in School

I have received a lot of questions about Adobe Spark since I published my latest post about creating videos on Chromebooks. Many of the most common questions about Adobe Spark are answered in the free Adobe Spark Edu Guide (link opens a PDF). In the guide you will find answers to questions about data privacy, using Adobe Spark with kids under age 13, and what each part of Adobe Spark does.

Watch my video embedded below to learn how to get started with Adobe Spark.

The following video will show you how to insert videos within your videos on Adobe Spark.

Here are a few ways that you can use Adobe Spark video in your classroom.
  • 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 year-in-review videos. Use Adobe Spark's video creation tool to make a video of highlights of the year. 
Adobe Spark is one of the tools that I recommend for creating Quick & Powerful Video Projects

SeeSaw Now Supports Text Labeling - 15 Lesson Plans for Using Labels

SeeSaw, a great digital portfolio platform, recently added a new text label feature. The labeling tool in SeeSaw lets your students add text labels to any picture or diagram that they have stored in their portfolios. There are eight pre-made labels that students can apply to their pictures and drawings within SeeSaw. Students can also create their own custom text labels to apply to their drawings and pictures.

Text labels are available in the iOS and web versions of SeeSaw (Android version available later this year). Learn how to use the text label option in SeeSaw by watching the videos embedded below.

Applications for Education
SeeSaw offers fifteen lesson plans that utilize the text labels feature. Those lesson plans include explaining the steps of solving mathematics problems, practicing sight words, and explaining aspects of a piece of art.

The Week in Review - Wacky Weather and Popular Posts

Good afternoon from the Free Technology for Teachers world headquarters in frozen Woodstock, Maine. It was a crazy weather week here as we went from sub-zero to 45F to sub-zero again in three days. The wacky weather provided a great excuse for me to take my daughter on her first visit to Cabela's. She was quite curious about all of the animals that she saw. No matter what the weather is in your part of the world, I hope that you have a great weekend!

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. New Google Classroom Features Focus on Individual Instruction
2. Track Progress Toward Goals With This Google Sheets Template
3. Storyboard That Offers Lesson Plans for Every Month
4. How to Quickly Access Ten Google Sheets Templates for Teachers
5. How to Use Pixiclip to Create Instructional Videos
6. Two Tools That Help Students Analyze Writing
7. 10 Free Ways to Create Videos on Chromebooks

This Wednesday I will be hosting my sixth Wednesday Webinar. This week's topic is Search Strategies Students Need to Know. If you have missed any of the previous webinars, you can now access all of them on-demand.

Need a speaker for your conference? 
Click here to learn about my keynotes and workshops.

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.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
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.
EdTechTeacher is hosts workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Toontastic 3D - Create 3D Cartoon Videos on iOS, Chrome, and Android

On Thursday Google released a new version of the popular animation creation app, Toontastic. The new version is called Toontastic 3D and it is available to download on the Android, iOS, and Chrome platforms. I installed on an Android phone and found it to be easy to use to create animated videos.

To make a video on Toontastic 3D students first select the type of story that they want to create. Their options are "short story" (a three part story), "classic" (a five part story), or "science report." Once they have selected a story type they will be prompted to craft each part of their stories in order. A short description of what each part of the story should do is included before students start each section.

Students can pick from a variety of story setting templates or they can create their own within Toontastic 3D. Once they have established a background setting students then select cartoon characters to use in their stories. Students can choose from a wide array of customizable cartoon characters or they can create their own from scratch. Once characters are placed into the story scenes students can begin recording themselves talking while moving the characters around in each scene. Students can swap characters between scenes, change the appearance of characters between scenes, and move characters from one scene to the next.

To use Toontastic 3D students do not need to have accounts or log into any service. Their completed videos can be saved directly onto the devices that they use to create their videos.

Applications for Education
Toontastic 3D could provide elementary school students with a great way to create videos for a variety of purposes including mini-biographies, retelling of historical events, or to bring the scenes of a favorite book to life in video form.

18 Cartoon Videos About Cyber Safety for Students

Planet Nutshell produces short animated videos to explain products, services, and concepts. One of their series of videos is all about Internet safety for K-12 students. The series is called NetSafe and it has eighteen episodes covering topics like protecting personal information, responsible posting of pictures, and mobile location privacy. The videos are labeled with grade levels so that students in high school don't watch videos designed for K-3 students. A video for K-3 students and a video for high school students are embedded below.

Popular Posts