Category: images/video (page 1 of 9)

Web 2.0 Tools for Creativity, Communication, and Collaboration

More notes from this week’s conference presentations in Cy-Fair ISD. Here’s an ever changing list of some new or fairly new Web 2.0 tools that have captured my imagination.

Google Docs embed a little strangely, so if you’d rather access the document directly, you may do so here.

Pixiclip–Online, Collaborative Whiteboard and More

The video below is a very quick overview of Pixiclip, a free, online whiteboard that is a potentially very useful tool for teachers looking to create online tutorials, particularly for flipped classroom applications. The site allows text, drawing, images, audio, and even webcams to be included in presentations, and it has a very user-friendly interface.

New Podcast: #16–Digital Storytelling-Ric Camacho

In the latest edition of the Moss-Free Show, I decided to show off some local talent. Ric Camacho is a great teacher at Mercer-Bloomberg Learning Center, our district’s alternative high school. Ric decided to give digital storytelling a try with his students this year, many of whom are kids who might struggle with a traditional high school setting. He was kind enough to talk about his experience and the kids’ responses to publishing their writing in such a rich, creative way.

New Podcast: Student Multimedia Projects

Discussion of some alternatives to essays or PowerPoints.

 

Summer Tech Camp Report and Reflections

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Creating video game controllers using MakeyMakey.

Last week wrapped up 3 weeks of summer technology camps. These are the first for our district, and summer tech camps are something I’ve wanted to do for years. We offered students who are entering 2nd through 8th grades the choice between 2 robotics-focused camps or a week focusing on programming and innovation. Each week of camp ran from Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until noon. Camps were offered free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Approximately 80 students attended. Each camp had 3-5 adult counselors and 1-4 high school student CITs (<–callback for anyone who is a fellow Meatballs fan).

Campers build their first robot.

Campers build their first robot.

For the first attempt, each camp went off as smoothly as I could have hoped, primarily due to my phenomenal camp staff. Students were eager and engaged, and discipline issues were few and far between (Amazing how engagement solves so many of those issues, isn’t it?). Each day started with a quick debrief, then counselors either gave a mini-lesson or simply helped facilitate as students got to work. Robotics camp students initially completed a task involving creating a zip line with Legos. They next built their first, basic Mindstorms NXT robots. By the 2nd day, students were using their robots to complete tasks such as navigating a predetermined path on a Twister game mat. Local firefighters specializing in hazardous substance removal visited students to discuss how robots might be used to assist in their work, setting the stage for campers’ final project. Campers created and programmed robots to navigate a mock city (created by our CITs) and carry out specific tasks, such as obtaining simulated radiation measurements or moving hazardous cargo to a safe area.

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SISD Robotics Camp

The final week of camp focused on programming, digital media, and inventing using MakeyMakey and a variety of household items. Students started this week by creating digital movies based upon the book Zoom by Istvan Banyai. They next created short stop motion videos using a free software tool called JellyCam, which I highly recommend. Next, campers explored MakeyMakey and invented their own video game controllers by pairing the devices with a variety of items, from limes and bananas to wires and nails to Play-Do. Finally, students learned the basics of Scratch and created their own video games. An example game by one of our campers is seen below.

I wanted to share a few lessons and observations from this experience, in hopes that they might be beneficial to others planning similar events in the future. I’ve also included a few student and parent comments shared in camp evaluations. I’ve attached both the student survey and parent survey we used.

  • Plan far enough in advance to ensure a smooth, simple registration process. We faced time constraints that made this process very cumbersome. Next year, we’ll be using some form of online registration to streamline things. I’m really intrigued by the Active Networks Camp Manager, which is feature-rich and FREE for organizations whose camps are free.

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    Campers created robots to complete challenges, such as detecting/removing hazardous cargo.

  • There should be a balance between structured activity and creative, explorative play. As an example, I thought that the initial robotics activities were great, but I was never satisfied with the hazardous waste project. I think I’d make that much more open-ended in the future. As one camper stated, “Make challenges more broad, less specific tasks–more thinking.
  • photo3I’m not sure about the age appropriateness of robotics activities for the youngest attendees. I felt as if many of the tasks eluded some of them, and we ended up separating older/younger campers and assigning slightly different tasks. However, one older camper requested that they “be a little more interactive with the younger kids,” and a younger camper asserted, “Little kids can do what the big kids are doing.” Even so, I’m leaning toward creating a very different, separate robotics experience for kids in 1st through 3rd grades next year.
  • I would really like to involve community members as volunteer camp counselors next year, particularly if they have relevant experience with technology (but not excluding those who do not).
  • We needed to create separate Scratch accounts for each student. My thinking was to use a single, camp login, which would put every project conveniently on the same page. Unfortunately, this resulted in chaos due to campers being constantly, unexpectedly logged off. Lesson learned.
  • Efforts should be made to contact families and remind them of camps when registration occurred weeks prior. The further from the registration date a camp was, the lower the percentage of attendance.

Parent comments:

  • “He was challenged and learned more about what computers can do.”
  • “He learned how to make anything control a computer and he’s happy with learning some programming.”
  • “I have been wanting to get my son started on tech knowledge, but I didn’t know where to start. This is a good launching point.”
  • “…make it a full week or 2 weeks at least”
  • “My child came home every day very excited about what she learned daily at camp. It’s great to hear that this camp sparked such an interest with her. Thanks!”

Overall, I was very pleased, and the many requests from parents for another opportunity next summer were very gratifying, as were the requests to incorporate more, similar experiences into the curriculum. Ultimately, I think this gave our students some valuable experiences, and we’ll hopefully see the fruits of the seeds we planted down the line.

Presentation Notes: What’s New in Web 2.0?

At the risk of having the entire group focus on their food and ignore me (ahem) the following are some useful resources I’ll be sharing with Highland Park ISD teachers during lunch on Thursday.

  • Learni.st –create & share online “boards” around any topic or area of expertise. 
  • Gooru –powerful new search tool for education that returns results that can be filtered by type (e.g. notes, handouts, quizzes, interactives, etc.). Can also create collections, virtual playlists for students to use.
  • Aurasma —partly a Web 2.0 tool, Aurasma’s key component is an app that uses a phone’s camera to access images, videos, etc. that have been linked to an image of a particular object.
  • Tynker –online tool that lets students learn the basics of programming and lets teachers manage students, create programming assignments, assess, etc.
  • Videonot.es –watch videos and take notes as you go. Notes are saved to Google Drive account.
  • Checkthis –great, free tool for quickly creating sharp-looking websites, including text and many types of embeddable tools (maps, videos, web apps, etc.).
  • TubeChop –very practical tool that allows users to select and share specific snippets of YouTube videos.
  • Knovio –share your PowerPoint presentations online PLUS add video clips of yourself providing narration.
  • Comicmaster —really cool tool for creating graphic novels online using click-and-drag interface. Products can be saved and printed.
  • Marqueed –collaboratively share and discuss images, website screen captures, more. Includes a useful history tool to keep track of conversations and works nicely with Google Drive.
  • Thinglink –create and share interactive images, maps, etc. Add an image, add a trigger, and link it to content (video, podcast, website, Wikipedia, etc.).
  • GroupMap –create and share very collaborative mindmaps. Simple interface, let’s users have easy control over privacy.
  • Infogr.am –free, collaborative tool for creating infographics. Uses handy click-and-drag format and includes numerous templates and graphics to get you started.
  • Easel.ly –another tool for creating infographics online, Easel.ly also has an easy interface, great graphics, and ability to create collaboratively.
  • Phrase.it –simple tool lets users add speech bubbles to upload images and save or share in a variety of ways.
  • BiblioNasium –create a safe social network for students that is centered on reading. Teacher can create recommended book lists and monitor student progress, students can engage in book discussions, parents can monitor children, much, much more.
  • Portfoliogen –create sharp, professional-looking online portfolios.
  • DoSketch –very simple, free drawing tool. Unlike many similar sites, drawings can be downloaded and saved!
  • GeoGuessr/GeoSettr –fun and engaging geography guessing game using Google Street View. GeoSettr lets users create and share their own games.
  • Remind101 –create text-message class contact lists without ever seeing student numbers.
  • Presenter –online presentation tool still in beta. Good tool selection and interface, but has been a little buggy (That’s why it’s in beta.). Still, it has a lot of potential, the development team is very responsive to questions or suggestions, AND it creates presentations that are mobile-device friendly!

Teaching Kids About Copyright and Fair Use

Copyright was the topic of a recent discussion I had with a group of educators, so I felt inspired to create a couple of resources addressing the topic. I hope you find them useful. The podcast is an overview of Fair Use and some tips and tools for teachers to use to teach students about copyright.

Resources referenced in the podcast include:

The video is a quickie tutorial in using Google Advanced Search to find resources that have been specifically licensed for reuse or are part of the public domain.

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