Author: lbrown

iMovie for iOS

iMovie for iOS is a super powerful app, although it does differ from iMovie on the MacBook. The following video is a good place to start if you’ve never used iMovie for iPad. It’s only 9 minutes and well worth a look! You may need to rewatch certain sections of the video, so I have included times so you can easily skip to the section you’re looking for.

This introduction video shows you how to:

  • import footage from the media library (1:38) and delete what is not needed (1:50)
  • split clips or reorder them in the timeline (2:30)
  • screen jestures (3:10)
  • add music (3:30)
  • picture-in-picture (4:15)
  • add titles and transitions (5:33)
  • colour-correction and filters (add to individual clip or entire video) (6:07)
  • Adjust volume levels (7:13)
  • Add in fades for clips and/or audio (8:15)
  • Export (8:58)

If you’ve already use iMovie on the iPad, this second video might be more useful for you. Learn how to master iMovie for iOS with these top 15 mobile editing tips and tricks.

The tips highlighted include:

  • Use quick-snap feature to quickly see the start or end of your video
  • Split clips
  • Add and delete freeze frames
  • Apply filters to your clips (video or images)
  • Rotate clips in the viewer
  • Apply audio fades
  • Crop or re-frame clips
  • Use theme transitions
  • Keyboard shortcuts *applicable for those with Bluetooth keyboards

 

Strip Designer – Comic Strip Creation

Strip Designer is now available on our iPads! It’s a great app that allows students to create their own personal comic strip using photos from the photo album on the iPad or hand-drawn sketches. You can add simple image filters, speech bubbles, stickers and effect text like this – OMG!

While you edit your comic you can freely zoom and pan to manipulate even small details. When you are done, save the resulting image to the iPhone’s photo album, email it or share via Twitter or on the student blogs! Another cool alternive could be to use Book Creator an export to iBooks as full blown eBook for sharing.

There are loads of benefits to having students create comic strips in your classroom. Plasq Education describes the following as reasons to incorporate comic strip creation into your classroom:

  • They are a great visual representation of knowledge
  • Presents what is essential
  • Easier to remember a visual graphic containing key information
  • Engaging through thinking, creating and writing.
  • A perfect avenue for writing dialogue
  • Incites students with a low interest in writing
  • Helps organisation through storytelling and storyboarding
  • Using visual images convey meaning to a story or topic
  • Develops creative and higher level thought processes
  • Develops composition techniques through visual-verbal connections
  • Enriches reading, writing, and thinking
  • Serves as an assessment and evaluation tool
  • Sequencing promotes understanding

How do I use Strip Creator?

This app is simple to use but it also has the ability to use some more complex features. The following series of videos outline these features. Begin with the introduction and from there it’s easy to get started! If you’re keen to know more about a specific feature,  including image options, stickers and effects and cells, continue to view that video accordingly.

Introduction

Image Options

Stickers & Effects

Cell Adjustment

Now go, have fun and make comics! Be sure to share student exemplars with the Ed Tech team (and with the world via Twitter #learnISB) so that we can publish them here to share with others. Any support you might need, don’t hesitate to ask.

Enjoy!

Made by Laura in approximately 60 seconds!

 

 

VideoScribe – The Whiteboard Animation Tool!

VideoScribe is a super great app for creating whiteboard animations. The application allows you to create fun, energetic and animated presentations without the fuss of having to draw on your own. The final product makes it look like you are drawing the illustrations and text – it’s impressive! Every time I’ve created and presented a VideoScribe video, I’m asked “Is that your hand?” – the answer, no! In addition to the simple and effective means to creating an engaging, scribed presentation, the app allows you the option to zoom out, at the completion of the video, and provide the audience with an overview of the story having just been told. This is an added bonus as presentations can essentially double as both video and print based media. This adds an additional challenge for students – What will my presentation look like in print? Will it tell my story without the need for audio or the structured flow of a video?

Here is a short video, created using VideoScribe, that outlines the many benefits of using video as a powerful tool for communication, in particular, the effectiveness of whiteboard style multimedia.

Recently, I have been working with a High School EAL class on a digital storytelling unit. One of the three tasks within this unit, was to develop a persuasive piece, using VideoScribe, on a current political issue, from an English speaking country. The planning process was significant in that, not only did students need to storyboard their persuasive argument, they also needed to consider how they would use the app to effectively convey their message. This included:

  • the selection of appropriate images and key words
  • the right balance of images vs. text
  • a clear and concise script for the voice over
  • selection of an audio track that would assist in conveying the message
  • the visual layout of the information (text and images) at the completion of the video (zoomed out view)

Wumian from Grade 9, choose to research and present his persuasive piece on the current debate in Australia: Should the date of Australia Day be changed?  This is his presentation:

This is another example of VideoScribe being used in the classroom. This time, a Grade 8 student explains the Syrian Revolution. Emily (Grade 8) says “The bloody Syrian Revolution is still going on and people to this day are dying. We think that not a lot people know about this subject, which is why we made this video.”

VideoScribe is now available on the iPads in the Middle and High School and will soon be available on the ES iPads. If you’re keen to offer this app as an alternative option for video creation, or perhaps use this app to create your own flipped learning content, let me know you need any assistance. The VideoScribe website offers a series of tutorials to help get you started. These include adding text and images, change draw and pause times, adding audio and soundtrack files, and publishing and sharing your scribe. I encourage you to give it a go!

Reinvigorate Your Classroom with these 3 iPad apps!

On Wednesday (Jan 17th, 2018) I lead a TTT (Teachers Teaching Teachers) for staff, from PreK-12, on iPad Tools for Creative Teaching and Learning. The purpose of the TTT was to introduce teachers to three apps that are now available on our (brand new!) iPad Pro 2 class set in the library. The apps will soon be available for Elementary classes which is why teachers from across the school were invited to attend (and are encouraged to continue reading if you happen to be an Elementary teacher!)

The apps covered in Wednesday’s TTT were Explain Everything, Stick Around and Apple Clips.

Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an awesome tool for creating instructional and explanatory videos using visuals, annotations and narration. I’ve used this app in the past for blended or flipped learning, providing feedback to students and most often, for students to showcase their understanding and share with their peers. I’m currently working with Monique Cover and her EAL class for a digital storytelling unit. Then first project, in a series of three, has students developing an instructional, informative style tutorial using, you guessed it, Explain Everything. Students are required to develop a tutorial on a topic covered in either Science or Social Studies from last semester. Students will seek feedback from their teachers and make improvements before the final export. The idea is, students will “present” their completed tutorial to their teacher for use in future years. I’m also hoping that they will see what these students have been able to create and ask the question: “How do I do this with all of my students?”

Here is an example of an Explain Everything video created by on of my Grade 7 Science students from Caulfield Grammar School: Scout Squire.

Stick Around

The second app we looked at was Stick Around. Stick Around allows users to create puzzles using drawing tools and/or photos and add stickers with text, images, sound, arrows and/or drawing. Teachers could create puzzles for students (great for formative and timely feedback) or alternatively, students can create puzzles to communicate their understanding and share with their peers. Ideally, if students were creating the puzzle, you’d have a range of topics, so that on completion, all students can benefit from the creations. I’ve managed to set up a folder on the server which will store all Stick Arounds created. This allows them to be downloaded, once published and shared by the creator, by anyone with the Stick Around app. The only downside that I’ve picked up on, is that the puzzles can only be viewed (and played) through the Stick Around app. The files can be shared without a problem, but opening the puzzle is limited. The following video is an example of what a puzzle looks like to play.

The creation of the puzzle itself is surprisingly easy. I was pleased that two Kindergarten teachers that attended my TTT, Sally and Elizabeth, both expressed possible applications for their classrooms. They were also confident that their students, with minimal assistance, would be able to manage the intricacies of the app. This app is not only a great tool for labelling diagrams like in the planet example above, it’s also great for having students complete Venn diagrams, quadrants, tables etc. There are a number of templates that are built into the app which make creation of puzzles even more straightforward forward and accessible. The general steps involved in the creation are:

  • Design a background or select a template to use
  • Create the stickers – these can consists of images, video, weblink and even audio which is great for the littlies.
  • Set the answer scheme.
  • Publish and share the puzzle!

There are some fantastic resources out there to support this product. This is a thorough user guide and see this URL for a range of really great tutorial videos. I love this app!

Apple Clips

The third app we looked at was the new Apple Clips . This is a quick and easy way to create and share fun videos with text, effects, images, stickers and more. There are so many ways that a tool like this could be used in the classroom: explaining a topic, givingformative feedback, examination and explanation of photos or diagrams, explaining the steps in a process, public service announcement or commercial, to name a few. Check out this awesome site that showcases 5 ways to use this app in the classroom and is well worth a look. Essentially, a video comprises of clips and each clip can be edited differently. For example, on clip might include a voice to text option. Another, might use a photo or video from the photo library. To work Clips you must press and hold the red record button. You can also hold the record button and swipe left to lock the record.  A lock symbol will appear.  This is useful for complicated or longer shots. From there you can add:

  •  Live titles – to create these, a voice to text option is available of which I’m impressed with it’s accuracy.
  • Add filters like comic book or ink, stickers and emoji
  • Add overlays – this could be useful for labelling or drawing attention to a particular element
  • Export your video and save to your photo stream

Here is an example of a short movie I made using Apple Clips.

As you can see, Explain Everything, Stick Around and Apple Clips are some pretty awesome ways to create and share authentic learning.  Although you may not feel completely comfortable in using an iPad in your classroom,  Ed Tech is here to provide you the necessary support to take up learning opportunities, like these, for your students. Please send me an email if you’d like to chat further, or even better, if you’re keen to start using one of these apps.

Laura

Virtual & Augmented Reality

“The immersive nature of virtual reality brings depth to educational content by engaging the senses and allowing exploration to a degree that would be difficult to duplicate within the confines of a classroom, making it an ideal catalyst for curiosity and true learning.” (Ashley McCann, TeachThought) So what is VR and how does it work?

On Thursday 16th of November, I ran a TTT on virtual and augmented reality. We started by engaging teachers in a Google Expedition of the Great Barrier Reef. Google Expeditions is a virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world — get up close with historical landmarks, dive underwater with sharks, even visit outer space! There are currently over 700 expeditions available free for use. I have since found this incredible resource which documents details of all currently available expeditions. It is updated regularly and includes links to lesson plans created by teachers around the world. For those of you interested in running an Expedition in your class, browse this resource and then touch base with me about the expedition you are looking to run. Alternatively, provide me with a brief outline of your unit and I’ll do the research for you. We have 20 VR headsets for use – students will need to use their own phone with Google Expeditions app installed.

Last week I assisted Brian Germain in running two expeditions in his High School Psychology class. The theme was the nervous system so we began with a VR tour of the brain stem, limbic system, cerebrum and cerebellum, a neutron and synaptic transmission. What I enjoyed most, was the second expedition, to Everest, where Brian asked students a series of thought provoking questions, which has them thinking about the science they’d just explored. e.g. standing in the cold at base camp, what part of the brain is responsible for…? What a great way to make content meaningful.

There are so many great VR apps out there – Discovery VR, Sites in VR, New York Times VR and YouTube 360 just to name a few. There are also some excellent iOS apps for VR purposes.

During the TTT we also spent some time looking at augmented reality (AR). AR is the layering of virtual information over the physical world, or reality, using software and devices. Take a look at this Ikea Concept Kitchen to see AR in action!

One of the most impressive educational apps I came across when looking for AR content was Quiver Education. Essentially, students are provided with one of the colouring in sheets and then, using the app, bring their work to life. The Quiver app is free, however, the Quiver Education app (which is now available on the MS/HS Library iPads) does cost. Quiver Education provides the same magical augmented reality coloring experience, but with a greater focus on educational content than the awesome Quiver App. During the TTT, teachers attempted an AR quiz using a plant cell, explored the habitat of the Kiwi bird though sound and watched as a volcano erupted in front of their eyes!

If you are interested in introducing some AR or VR material into your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact me or any member of the Ed Tech team!

Laura

 

Online Discussions & Blended Learning

Online classroom discussion, when done well, should encourage student participation and interaction. With minimal effort on the teacher’s part it is possible to engage students even with little to no face-to-face contact. By adjusting the way the question is posed, or by asking students to answer questions collaboratively, can make for a much more meaningful learning experience.

Many of us are now looking to engage the use of Dragons’ Exchange (DX) as a powerful blended learning tool, with online discussions, playing a significant role. So how can we use online discussions, like those in DX, to promote sustained engagement and participation?

Convergent Thinking 

The “how” or “why” questions, although they essentially promote convergent thinking, certainly have a place in online discussion. Post an article, Podcast or video and ask a question of this nature. Rather than invite students to piggy back on the response prior to their own own, hide comments for the time being and once all students have responded, unlock for all to see. Students can now engage in discussion by responding to one another. These types of discussion questions can often lead to sustained debate, particularly once differing options are revealed.

Divergent Thinking 

Questions that get students to think about the outcome or consequences associated with certain events have the potential to sustain ongoing interest since it empowers students to take a more creative approach in responding to the question. For example: Pose a scenario related to the ethical concerns of genetic testing. What are the implications of the choices made in this situation? Posing the question as a scenario encourages students to connect with the situation and engage more meaningfully with the discussion.

Evaluative Thinking 

Why not try a collaborative online debate to promote evaluative thinking? Pose a debate topic and separate the class into two groups – those for and those against. Any online response to the topic of conversation must be either for or against. You could even look to create a third group, those that can pose questions to either argument. This type of online discussion can promote healthy competition while maintaining ongoing dialogue.

Online class discussions have the ability to:

  • Build communities
  • Encourage reflection
  • Promote critical thinking
  • Demonstrate knowledge of key concepts
  • Promote consensus building

Online discussions complement and improve the interactions that occur in your classroom by providing students with the opportunity to thoughtfully engage with ideas and with each other. Blending these discussion opportunities into your instruction can also be a powerful alternative to traditional homework.

Blending online discussion opportunities into your face-to-face instruction is an excellent alternative to traditional homework, also complementing and improving face-to-face discussions. It gives all students the opportunity to thoughtfully engage with ideas, and with each other. For further information on the benefits to students and their learning, see Eric Brunsell’s article Blended Learning: Adding Asynchronous Discussions to Your F2F Classrooms

Creating Stories in DX

The following tutorial steps students through setting up a Story for a specific class in DX. Stories can only be set up by students and shared within your class. Sharing can be between you and the student, the student and selected students or between the student and the entire class. Content that can be shared using a story includes text, images, video, audio and other files linked from OneDrive.

How can I use DX Stories in my class?

  • Stories can be useful when established as a journal, updated regularly by the student.
  • They can be used as a way to collect and share ideas with the class.
  • They can be used as way to receive feedback from the class when making decisions about a topic for further investigation.
  • Digital storytelling

GarageBand – Podcasts

This tutorial will step you through recording your voice, using GarageBand, and adding loops for background music and sound effects.

How can I integrate Podcasts in the Classroom?

Here are some specific ideas for integrating audio recording into your curriculum:

  • Students interview relatives about their life stories, and then combine the audio interview with family photos in a video project.
  • Students write a radio drama based on a historical event and incorporate sound effects and music to enhance the story.
  • Learn about different provinces in China  by interviewing locals. Record the interview and then create a digital album showcasing that province.
  • Students create an advertising campaign to highlight a current event in a persuasive manner.
  • Write and record short stories and add music and sound effects.
  • Teacher records a tutorial that students listen to on their own – share via DX and invite students to reflect on their learning in a discussion forum.
  • Present a piece of writing as a class radio drama or a poetry slam.
  • Teacher records and broadcasts group discussions – share with other classes discussing similar topics.
  • Teachers might record students reading a story as a fluency assessment, or as a foreign language pronunciation activity. Students listen to their recording and self assess.
  • On a field trip, students use an iPhone or iPad with voice recorder app to take notes and photos. They then create a guided tour using iMovie.

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