Monday, May 17, 2010

Picasa as a Photo and Video Editing Tool

This weekend I bought my husband and me a new toy - a Toshiba netbook. It has 3 USB ports, a 250Gb hard drive, 3Gb of memory, and a built in webcam and microphone. I recorded a short (28second) video of myself with the web cam. The file saved as a .avi file - about 828Mb in size. I absoulutely did not want to take up that kind of space on my hard drive, so I remembered that I'd read in another educator's blog post -about PICASA - a free picture editing tool from Google that also works to convert video files from one format to another.
I downloaded the application from the web:
After I installed it, I saw some movie editing tools. I was just experimenting, so I clicked on a film clip icon, navigated to where that webcam video was stored, and clicked on export. It exported to a .wmv file - a format that plays nice with Windows free Movie Maker software, and it was only 28MB in size. When I played the clip in Windows Media Player, I did not notice any degradation in quality from the .avi clip.
I also played with some of the photo editing tools. Picasa is not PhotoShop, but for a free application, it give you some pretty neat options.
I will be experimenting with how Picasa works with other video file formats. Hopefully, it will be another tool in our arsenal for helping kids to download and work with video.

Oh, I figured out where I got the info about Picasa. It is on the Connecticut Blog for Discover Education Network. The folks who blog on that site offer a wealth of hints and information:

Be sure to check it out!!!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Bethany Middle School enters the New Haven Register's "Decorate the Box" contest

Sara Frank's art classes have been busy designing the outside of a New Haven Register newspaper vending box. We would like everyone to vote for Bethany's fabulous design. Click on the link below, look through the entries, and vote for Amity Middle School.

If you are not registered with New Haven Register, you will have to register to vote by creating a username and password. Sorry! Sara and her students appreciate you going to the trouble to do this to make us a winning school.