Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Time Flies

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post. I am going to have to schedule a time to update this blog on a more regular basis before the number of things I want to share becomes unwieldy.
I have been playing around with an on-line video editing app called jaycut, recommended by Steve Dembo from Discovery Education. In attempting to string together some clips from a recent Taekwondo assembly at our school, I found that Windows Live Movie Maker - used with Windows 7 - just didn't work well on my classroom computer. My teaching computer is about 5 years old. It was upgraded to Windows 7 this fall, and while most applications work well, there just wasn't enough memory for Windows Live Movie Maker to do the job. In Jaycut, I got the clips assembled, but I'm still having trouble getting the transitions to show up as part of the rendered video. I also need to figure out how to add title and credit slides. The basis services on the site are free, and it does allow you to download the movies you create, so that's a plus.

Today, one of our science teachers brought her students to the lab to play with goanimate.com. Our media specialist had introduced her to the program, and she decided to have some of her students give it a try. I had heard of the program, but never played with it. Since our media specialist thought it was an easy animation program, I decided to experiment.

Our staff is adopting the practice where we don't have to know a program 100% before we give the kids the opportunity to use it. In fact, students are recommending programs, and we are listening. There are so many new web 2.0 tools available for kids to use in producing projects for their curricular courses that  it's hard to keep up with them all. That's why students as well as colleagues are such valuable resource agents.

Go Animate  is a really neat free program in which one can select a number of backgrounds and props, create a character, and type dialogue for the character(s) into a text area which the program then converts to speech. The kids are going to use this program to create a dialogue between each 8th grader in the program and his/her first-grade buddy from an elementary school in central CT. I am sure the kids will amaze me with their facility with animation. They always do.
Here are the programs that I'm experimenting with:


1 comment:

Cathy Swan said...

Hi Carolyn,
I'm so impressed with your goal to have kids recommend Web 2.0 tools to use. You're lucky to have a faculty willing to try anything before mastery. Brilliant! Your video is adorable (although it scared my cat who jumped up, stared at the screen and ran away). It's a great idea to have kids create these to send messages to kids in other schools. I'll tell our middle school TI and perhaps you two can hook up some of your classes for Christmas messages!
Cathy Swan