This great free app from Adobe allows you to create cool animations from templates. The templates mean that it is easy to use, quick to learn and apply to content.
Thanks to @lhighfill for the great how to video.
Yesterday, in multi I worked through editing my kinetic typography for my website. I was working through my own animation, while watching the Crooked Gremlins tutorial below
One problem that I faced was trying to make sure that the audio matched up to the video. I solved this problem by showing the wave form on the layer with the audio on it. This allowed me to time the areas of silence, and to move the individual layers to this section.
Next lesson, I want to move to trying to implement different layouts within my typography, so that it looks less like plain motion tweens. The following is an example of that:
In regards to my timeplan, I seem to be a little behind (ie, about a period or two). I will need to do some work over the weekend to catch up with my time plan. The following is a short sample of where I am up to at the moment.
Next step: Experiment with different layouts in illustrator to import into After effects for my typography.
Yesterday, I was lucky enough to hear Stephen Ritz speak at PBL world about the work that he had developed with the Green Bronx Project. Stephen is a highly engaging speaker, and talked about starting a small project in the a high school in the Bronx in New York to grow indoor vegetables. This small project evolved into a large scale business, installing and growing indoor and outdoor gardens that have turned into public art…beautifying the urban area, increasing the health of the students and increasing school attendance from 40% to 93%
If you haven’t heard him speak before, take it from me, watch his TED talk. Now.
This area was statistically the poorest area in the state, and this meant that students were taking home grocery bags of fresh fruits and vegetables for their families. It has also opened conversations about the types of food that people eat, increased the health of the students, but also given them the ability to grow food cheaply within their own homes. They also had cooking lessons, with the food harvested from the garden used within the recipes, so that students learnt to grow and then cook healthy, cheap food. This has the potential to change their whole cycle of unhealthy eating within poorer areas. When these were growing, he then realised that they had way too much, and then scaled up production to increase the quantity so that the school canteen, and then the local community could buy their produce. This was all driven by the students, who were choosing the types of vegetables, doing the planning, finance, marketing, sales and production within the business. He gives the example where they produced for a while only green capsicums. Then, students went on an excursion to the markets where they saw that you could get different colours of capsicum and that red and yellow capsicums were worth a lot more money. From then on, they never grew green capsicums again. If you have a look at the photos, it shows the scale of the production. They then moved on to installing gardens within other areas, hiring themselves out to business where they have essentially created public art space. Within NSW, this seems to be a great context for senior Business Studies, Design and Technology and Industrial Technology.
Obviously, you can see links for all types of subjects here, which is why I think this is a great project that crosses so many Key Learning Areas. Health, Food tech, Science, Geography, Maths, Technology…but schools as a TAS teacher, at the moment, what I’m worried about most is the new National Curriculum (cue scary music) in Technology, which seems to, from my understanding, require a compulsory agriculture strand. Most schools will have serious issues with this. Firstly, the space to work this in. Secondly, the knowledge to actually make the gardening, etc, work. However, in Stephen Ritz’ own words “Be the conductor of an orchestra where you can’t play an instrument”. The kid’s research should be around the types of plants to grow, what to put them with in order to reduce pesticides, when best to harvest and sell plants, even what types of plants to grow based on research collected.
This is design at it’s finest! Entrepreneurial activity where students can make money and participate in a real world activity. I’m already scoping out areas of the school for my year 11 Industrial Tech class.
For quite a few months now, I’ve resisted the pintrest craze. Of course, like every new web app that comes out, I can’t help myself but to go online and sign up for an account. Of course, sometimes I use the account for all of five minutes, and then realise that nothing that I’m doing quite at this moment fits in with what the system does. That was me with Pintrest. I’ve sat back for the last few months slowly, as I’ve seen other people using it coming around to the idea that it might be kind of cool. For collecting pictures, or web links. Or curating ideas. Great.
So today, I had to put together a list of tutorials for my year 11 Industrial Tech class for next year. They don’t know it yet, but we’re going to be designing a short animation, for placing before a movie, like the samples here. What I really need them to know is after effects. And rather than having a list of tutorials, I thought it might be good to create a concept board of different places that they could go. Like many other things, like recipes, and my to-do list, Pintrest has been rolling around in my brain for a while and I thought that this might be the time that I pull it out.
To my credit, I spent about an hour or so, after re-loggin in, looked shamefully at my two things that I had pinned since drawing, and with excitement created four or five boards for stuff that I’m currently curating….ipad apps, elearning websites, and of course, my after effects tutorials. I installed the “Pin it” button on my browser, then spent some time reorganising my links, realising that if I could pin stuff, I could then delete some stuff off my favourites. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m an avid delicious user for my links, and since Alan November came out to our school to talk to staff in September, I’ve been importing all my links over to Diigo (okay, I haven’t touched them since). But what I really wanted was something visual.
So, I needed a different solution. I checked my trusty google and found some other options:
ZooTools was pretty good, it worked easily. An easy sign up process and a nice interface. More importantly, you could save pages that didn’t have any images. I spent some time playing around with this and came up with a half decent collection. I have of course, now discovered that I am extraordinarily picky and didn’t like that you had to click on the image to see the link, and then click onto the “referrer” in order to get to the website. Most of my kids aren’t going to realise what that means. It does however, look quite nice, and embeds well, which was another of the requirements that I had floating around the back of my brain.
I then checked out Larry Ferlazzo’s blog post about Online Virtual Corkboards. I ruled out his first suggestion, Wallwisher, straight away for what I wanted. Wallwisher is a fantastic resource where you can share a wall and get student input on questions, thoughts, etc. I use it quite a bit in my teaching, but it wasn’t quite what I wanted in terms of posting links. Essentially, I decided, that I wanted a created website where I could add post it notes for comments, where it looked well designed, I could post what I wanted, and change images and descriptions.
CorkboardMe had potential, but then it said I couldn’t embed videos. Although I dont’ really want to do that now, I do want something that was going to go the distance, and expand with me when I wanted to try something else. So I didn’t actually even try that out. I’d love to know in the comments whether people had tried it or not.
LinoIt was my next experiment, and I quite liked that, but again…I quite liked the look, but it didn’t really do what I wanted.
My next experiment was with Mural.ly. And here is where I finally hit the jackpot. It was easy to do. IT really looked, when I pinned something, like I had taken a polaroid and thrown it on a table, which was pretty much exactly what I wanted. You could move, resize, rotate, and change the pictures that were pictured in the preview, and even add pictures that were not on the website. Or, if you didn’t have any pictures on the website, you could post the link without a picture, or do what I did with the creative cow link below, and just grab a related picture from somewhere else (of course being careful to ensure that you’re not breaking copyright. I then realised that I could add notes with sticky notes, stickers to make it look cooler, or to emphasize different things, and even embed.
There is also a great feature called “spaces” which has some interesting templates. I think I’m going to use the calendar for my next Project planning meeting, so that I can put notes or links with checkpoints within the projects listed on them. This way, all project planners could collaborate in the space. As I’m writing this, I’ve also just realised that there’s a Prezi-style frame feature where you can guide people through parts of your corkboard in order to follow a sequence, an option to drop google docs onto it AND an integrated google image search. I’m alot more impressed with this. See the finished pinboard here
You’ve had a fantastic lesson, including a demonstration that is essential to students’ understanding of the content. Wouldn’t it be great if the students could take home your explanations of content, or demonstrations so that they can listen to you over and over again? Students use iPods now as an extension of themselves and we worry and curse about how often they have earphones in. If we could access that tool in order to get students to study, in a way that is both visual and audio, in a quick and easy way, this must surely lead to greater success in retention of information. There are now a number of methods to do this through the use of easy to use video tools: You Tube, screen casting, document cameras and Powerpoints.This video combines all three as a sample:
In the interest of practicing what we preach, all of the following has been recorded and placed on YouTube. You can access the pre-recorded demonstrations and all the following links by going to http://www.shortcomp.edublogs.org/STANSW
There are a number of examples on science demonstrations on You Tube that can be used within the classroom, for pre-reading or homework activities that get the students to visualize what should be happening as well as reading it. Students can be asked to watch a video as a precursor to what will be happening in the classroom, and asked to take notes on observations that they made during the video, questions that they had or can be asked an exam style question that requires them to analyse the information presented within the video.
Some examples that already exist on the web:
• Dr Carlson
• They Might be Giants (who can forget the elements song)
They Might be Giants
• Steven Spangler Science
Screen casting is a useful tool for showing content that is available in digital form. This allows you to essentially videotape anything that is shown on the screen. This is particularly useful when doing demonstrations of software, but can also be used to model writing skills within a word document, or by recording your interaction with programs such as Google earth, where you can point out particular land features or even just explaining an assessment task. This means that not only do all students across a year group get the same message, students can be just-in-time learners where they can access the content when they need to know, which makes it more relevant for their learning. These are also good when there are common misconceptions about a topic you can explain, or questions that are repeated from a number of students.
There are a number of tools for screencasting that are freely available for both Mac and PC users. Jing is the most common, which is a free downloadable program, but this limits the recording to five minutes. It is, however, very easy to use, and simple to install. The process of using Jing has been recorded and published on You Tube.
Other programs include Camtasia for Windows, Screenflow for Mac (my personal favourite, because it allows you to edit in screen) or even just Quicktime, which has a new recording feature.
Document Cameras are a form of webcam that plugs into your computer to allow you to record yourself writing and drawing on paper. This is similar to an overhead projector that you can either project on the wall while you are in class, or pre-record. This is very useful when it comes to doing things like drawing mind maps, diagrams, solutions to problems (exams, homework), annotation of documents or focusing on writing skills for literacy. You can also use these as a macro lens for viewing very small items on a large screen for close ups when the class is previewing items. You can use any web cam for this task and make your own tripod, or purchase one for a classroom, but the most economical and portable way to do this, is to use a Point-to-view camera (link). This will cost you about $80 (link) and comes complete with a mini tripod that allows you to direct the camera directly at the page that you are writing on, plug the camera in and record directly using software such as Quicktime.
You can capture a lecture given, either prior to the lecture or in class. An example is…. This is very easy to do, particularly if you have a mac, using keynote. When you play the keynote, instead of going to Play→Play Slideshow, you run the slideshow by going to Play→Record Slideshow. This will record your timing and progression through the slideshow and also your voice as you speak during the lecture. When you have finished, you simply go to File→ Export and use the settings on Image 4. The full process has been recorded and available on the link above. If you are using Powerpoint, the process is exactly the same, except instead of File–> Export, you need to go to file–> Make Movie.
In addition to cleaning up my blog, I’ve also decided to clean up my Google Reader account, which I have had pretty much since the first syndicator came out (prior to Google Reader even existing) and my facebook friends. I feel somewhat more organised after doing this…since I had more than 1000+ articles yet to be read in my reader. I have marked all of them read, and am going to process them every day, unsubscribe to those things that aren’t worthwhile, and folder it all up properly.
In addition to this, I’m also going through my facebook friends, as there are people on there that I have no idea who they are. Is it logical that I have 247 friends? I couldn’t name that many people I know I don’t think!
Looking back on my blog, the last few years has been…ridiculous…so, it’s my new financial year resolution to update it, to blog more often. So, in honour of my financial resolution, I have updated my profile, so it no longer has the job that I left nearly three years ago, a new haircut (okay, a new profile) and hopefully, more updates.
So, what have I been doing in the last three years? Well…I moved schools. I left the school that I had been at for almost ten years, for a new position at Parramatta. The school that I am at now is highly innovative, actually uses IT in the classroom in a pedagogical focus, integrating project and problem based learning over all subjects, using models integrated from the Buck Institute, and Republic Polytechnic Singapore. I’ve been trained in both models, which was very exciting, my first trips overseas, and am returning in about two weeks to Grand Rapids, Michegin to complete the Train the trainers course for Project Based Learning, so I will be certified to teach teachers how to integrate PBL.
Instead of teaching IT, I am now teaching Cath-tech, which integrates Information and Software Technology and Religion. So, students complete 10 periods a cycle of Cath-tech and they do say, Images of Jesus using Photoshop in integrated projects. To give you a better idea, here are some work samples from our current project where students, in groups must present a 30 minute conference session on Ecumenism titled “Call to Unity” and each student individually creates a logo for the conference, and a logo for their individual session. At the moment, we are voting on which logo is the best, to print a large scale banner, and represent us at the Call to Unity conference.
I was trying to get a good site that would allow students to vote on individual images, but in the end, I just ended up displaying them all with a number, and using a moodle questionaire. If anyone has a good site that would allow you to vote on images, I’d love to see it in the comments.
Well..here’s hoping my resolution will come to pass!
I have been working recently on some dreamweaver tutorials for year 10, using screenflow.
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