Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Essential Tools For The Connected Teacher-Part 4

Over the past 3 weeks we have examined the tools that I think are essential for the connected teacher. So far we have looked at Tools For Communication, Tools For Student Collaboration and Tools for Professional Collaboration. To wrap things up we are going to take a look at 4 tools for you to use, with students to create.

First, a video. Why do students need to create? Can't they just sit and be lectured to and take a test? Hum...see what they have to say...

Week 4-Tools To Create

Animoto-Think of Animoto like Microsoft Photostory on steroids but without the side effects. Animoto is a photo mashup program that has 4 basic steps. Upload your photos, organize and add titles, choose your music, check it over and boom! You have an awesome story that you have told in pictures. There is no having to figure out transitions or other effects, Animoto does all that for you. And now you can upload video. You get 12 seconds per clip which really adds some cool effects to the final product. They have a large library of music to add to your creation and being able to choose the starting point for the music is a big plus.

Here is an example, something simple, that you can do with Animoto

Animoto for Educators offers free accounts to teachers and other educators. All you do is apply with a school provided email address and in a few days you have a 6-month pass for unlimited access. You will also receive a classroom code that you can give to your students so they have unlimited access also.

The Digital Classroom-Animoto is a guide I created, walking users through the sign-up process and through the creation of the first video.

Creating Poems with Animoto
is a great step-by-step on a really cool Animoto project.

Podcasting- With the explosion of portable digital audio players (iPod, MP3, etc) there also came the ability for people to record their own audio and distribute it to the masses. Free programs like Apple's iTunes makes it really easy to subscribe to the Civil War Podcast, All About Couches, or My Cat and Me. After podcasts came iTunes U, which allows Higher Ed. and K-12 institutions to post lectures, projects and more.

Anyone can create a podcast with a $5.00 mic and some free software. (And now most laptops and some desktops come with mics built in.) For a PC there is a great piece of software called Audacity and for the Mac there is Garage Band. Both allow lots of flexibility for recording, mixing and editing.

The beauty with podcasting is that you don't have to have a device to listen to them. You can post them right to your class or school website and they can be played right there. But when you add the device you have endless possibilities, from reading projects to project summaries, there are lots of ways to use podcasts in the classroom.

The PoducateMe Guide To Classroom Podcasting is a very easy to follow, step-by-step guide to recording and posting your first podcast.

The Education Podcast Network is a great place to start when looking for educational podcasts and examples of how podcasts are used in the classroom.

Podcast An Audiobook
To Reach A Struggling Reader is just one example of how to use podcasting in the classroom.

Voicethread- Say what? Never heard of Voicethread? You are probably not alone. Or maybe you have heard of it but don't really know what it is. Basically one of the coolest programs out there. Oh, yea, its free too.

Voicethread bills itself as a Group Conversation application. You upload images to create a show. Then as you are going through the show you can add voice and text narration. When other view the show they can record audio comments or post text comments, for each part of the show. For students, Voicethread really allows for group collaboration and and asynchronous conversations.

Here is an example from the public Education Gallery

17 Ways To Use Voicethread In The Classroom has, well, more that 17 ways to use the program. Tons of great ideas here.

Bill Ferriter of the Digitally Speaking wiki
has some amazing Voicethread resources he as put together along with some examples of how he is using it for global collaboration.

The Voicethread 4 Education wiki has examples from all grade levels, K-12 and curricular areas. There are also some tutorials and a place to connect with other Voicethread users.

There are 1000's of other tools used to Create in the classroom. But there are 3, very easy ways to get started. What others do you know of that teachers would enjoy. Leave me some examples in the comments below.

I hope you have enjoyed the Essential Tools for the Connected Teacher Series. Next week I will post a document that has all 15 so you can download it and have it whenever you need it.


Post a Comment