Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Three Free iPad Apps for Creating Animated Movies

Last night I answered an email from a reader who was looking for a free alternative to Tellagami. Tellagami hasn't been updated to work with iOS 11 so if you've updated your iPad, the app won't work. Tellagami says that an update is coming, but I'm not holding my breath waiting for that. They said the same thing about the Android app and eventually just removed the Android app from Google Play. So if you're looking for a free iPad app to use to create animated videos, try one of the following three options.

PuppetMaster is a free iPad app that kids can use to create animated movies. The app is designed for elementary school students and therefore doesn’t require students to create accounts in order to use it. All movies made with the PuppetMaster app are saved to the camera roll on a student’s iPad. To create an animated movie with PuppetMaster students simply open the app, select a character, and the select a background scene for their movies. PuppetMaster has pre-made characters and background scenes. Students can also add their own background scenes by taking a picture to use as the background.

Toontastic 3D a free app for Android and iOS. 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.

ChatterPix Kids is a free iPad app that students can use to turn pictures into talking pictures. To create a talking picture just snap a picture with your iPad or import a picture from your iPad’s camera roll. After taking the picture just draw in a face and tap the record button to make your picture talk. Your recording can be up to thirty seconds in length. Before publishing your talking picture you can add fun stickers, text, and frames to your picture. Finished Chatter Pix projects are saved to your camera roll and from there you can export it to a number of services including YouTube. ChatterPix Kids doesn’t require students to create an account in order to use the service. Using the app can be a great way to get students to bring simple stories to life.

On Thursday I will be sharing ideas and plans for using apps like these in your classroom. Join me at 4pm EDT on Thursday for 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom. 

Monday, March 12, 2018

Here's the Way That I Recommend Using the Internet Archive

In last night's Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week newsletter I mentioned using the Internet Archive as a source of public domain video clips to re-use in classroom video projects. That suggestion drew a lot of emails from readers this morning. Most of the emails expressed concern about the content that students can find on the Internet Archive. I have concerns about it too which is why I recommend that you use the Internet Archive to find public domain video clips that you then put into a folder to share with your students. By doing that, your students don't have to go to the Internet Archive to find public domain video clips. This evening I recorded a short video to provide a bit more explanation and a demonstration.



If you're interested in learning more about making videos with your students, join me on Thursday for 5 Video Projects for Almost Every Classroom

Three Good Tools for Annotating Images Online

Annotating images can be a good activity for students to do illustrate their understanding of a process by adding information to a blank flowchart. Annotating images is also a good way for students to highlight and identify parts of a diagram like one of a plant cell. I have had students annotate images to identify geological features in images of the Grand Canyon. Here are three tools that your students can use to annotate images online.

OneNote users can annotate images in the web, desktop, and mobile versions of OneNote. You can upload an image to a page in your notebook and then use the drawing and typing tools to write on top of the image. One of the neat things about the web and desktop versions of OneNote is that you can search the web for images right from your notebook.  When using the mobile version of OneNote you can add images by importing them from your phone's camera roll or by taking a new picture with your phone's camera.

Google Keep users can annotate images on their mobile phones and or in the browser-based version of Google Keep. In the browser-based version of Google Keep you have to import images. In the mobile version of Google Keep you can import from your camera roll or take a new picture with your camera. Watch my video below to see how you can annotate images in the browser-based version of Google Keep.



A tool from Classtools called Image Annotator does exactly what it says on the tin. I made the following short video to demonstrate how easy it is to use the Classtools Image Annotator. In the video I demonstrate annotating an image of a map, but you can use it to annotate any PNG, JPG, or GIF image that you have the rights to use.

Timelinely - Annotate Videos With Text and Pictures

Timelinely is a new tool for annotating videos that are hosted on YouTube. I learned about Timelinely through one of Larry Ferlazzo's recent blog posts. I tried Timelinely for myself this afternoon.

Timelinely makes it easy to get started. You just have to copy a YouTube URL into the Timelinely homepage to get started. Once you have entered the URL for a video, a new screen appears that allows you to add tags or annotations to the timeline of the video. You can do this while the video plays or you can simply jump to a place on the video to add annotations. Your annotations can include text or images. As you can see in the screenshot below, I included an image of my friend Tom Richey in the annotation that I made on one of his YouTube videos.

Before you get too involved with Timelinely it's important to note that you'll have to create an account in order to save and share your work. You can create an account by using your Google account, by using your Facebook account, or by signing up with any email address. You can share your annotated version of a video via email and social media. Embedding the annotated version is a feature that Timelinely says is coming soon.

Applications for Education
One of things that I like about Timelinely is the option to include pictures in your annotations. I can see that feature being used to include an alternate example for students to view when watching a math lesson.

I'm not sure that Timelinely is any better than a handful of similar services, but it is nice to have options

1766 Free Lesson Plans for Art Teachers

My refrigerator is quickly getting covered with the art my toddler makes with her Crayola crayons and construction paper. Looking at one of her boxes of crayons over the weekend I was reminded of Crayola's huge collection of lesson plans.

Crayola's lesson plan library contains 1766 free lesson plans. There are lesson plans for every grade from pre-K through 12th grade. As you might expect, the lesson plans incorporate one or more Crayola products, but you could probably substitute in similar products made by other companies. The lesson plans include step-by-step directions as well as a list of standards addressed by in the lesson.

All of the lesson plans on the Crayola site have an art component, but many cover topics in other areas. For example, this lesson plan on storytelling traditions is based upon a couple of brief history lessons. And this lesson plan for high school students focuses on using whiteboards and dry erase markers in group or individual problem solving. You can search and browse Crayola's lesson plan catalog according to grade level, subject area, and topic.