Tag: Digital Storytelling

Podcast #23: Do This

My latest podcast discusses Tech Fair, some astounding tech news, and podcasts. Remember a few years ago when everyone in education was talking about podcasting? We still should be!

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.

 

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!

Animation Fun with Xtranormal

There are growing numbers of Web-based tools for creating animated stories today. When combined with good writing instruction, these offer a motivating and engaging means for students to publish and share their work. One interesting tool I just discovered, thanks to a teacher at one of my campuses, is Xtranormal. Xtranormal allows users to create animated stories including a variety of settings and characters, computer generated voices, character animations, facial expressions, background music, and more. Stories can be private or public, and they can be published easily to YouTube accounts. The site also includes a rating system, including G, 13+, and 18+, and users can select account settings to allow or block content rated for older audiences.

The user interface is relatively easy to learn. To begin, creating a movie involves selecting a story’s characters and setting (such as animated animals, super heroes, etc.). Within a chosen scene, users are then able to choose various camera angles and specific characters. Once the scene is set, characters are put into action by clicking to select and then typing dialogue. Animated effects and facial expressions are added by inserting the cursor into the desired point in the dialogue box, then clicking on the effects icons and selecting the desired options.

Xtranormal workspace

Xtranormal workspace

I created the video below in just a few minutes. It is included as part one of a series (assuming I get around to creating more), another cool feature of the site.

Overall, I really like the possibilities of Xtranormal. There is one animation effect called “up yours”, and you can probably imagine the accompanying effect, so be forewarned. Other than that, however, it appears to be very kid friendly, and would seem to be particularly useful for upper elementary through high school students. If interested in exploring other animation sites, here are a few more you might want to check out:

TCEA Areas 10/11 Conference Links

Thanks to all who participated in my sessions/workshop today at the area TCEA conference. As promised, here are the links to the resources that were shared and a few more. Let me know if I can provide anything else! Also, if you attended either my own session on Voicethread or another on the tool, please add your implementation ideas to the Voicethread Wallwisher wall below. Thanks again!

Workshop: Collaborative Storytelling with Voicethread

Image collections

Not Again! Presentation Tools That Aren’t Just Another PowerPoint

PowerPoint sharing/collaboration/tools

Alternatives to PowerPoint

Spread the Word: Generating School or Classroom Buzz with Web 2.0

Microblogging

Social Networks

Video Sites for Creating Your Own Channel

Streaming Video Channels

Examples

21st Century Skills Resources

    The Power of Self-Expression

    One of the most amazing things that technology affords us today is the platform it provides for creating and sharing powerful works of self-expression. Through digital storytelling, we and our students can produce compelling works that are meaningful, humorous, therapeutic, touching, and thought-provoking. A quick search on YouTube of recent submissions produced these gems. Enjoy!

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