Thursday, May 27, 2010

Student Created Movies

Two big ideas for making a great student created movies.

  1. Use close-up shots
  2. Trim the shots – only keep the key action

While there are 100’s of factors that chance a good video to a great video.  This post shares two key ideas for elementary students to focus on when making movies.

Use Close-up Shots

Close-up shots are the key to a great video.  They engage the audience, let us get to know the characters in the video and display emotion.  Take a look at this photo, the close shot gets the viewer to wonder about what is the boy thinking?

close up by Jess ☆

In this shot below, it is called a ‘full’ shot.  Use these types of shots to set the scene or display some action.

Human children and pig child by surfzone™

Trim the shots – keep the cuts short.

Keep the shots short.  Try to limit each shot to 5-10 seconds, focus on the action and delete the rest.  Here is a short lego star wars movie.  Most of the shots are under 10 seconds.

Sharing the Video

Sharing and distributing videos with traditional methods such as DVD’s is very challenging and time consuming to create the disks.  Many of these issues can be solved by hosting the videos online.  There is a privacy feature of vimeo that makes it my preferred hosting service.  Of course, when sharing video of students, privacy is key.  Having parents sign a public release of photos and video form is an essential first step.

Here are recommended settings to password protect a video.  You could then email parents and let them know the password to view.  Another great feature is that you can embed the video in your website and still password protect.

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See the video below that is locked.  Open to view by entering the password ‘piano’.

 

I wrote this post as I’ve been invited to work with a group of elementary students doing a year-end video project.  What advice would you give to a students?

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credits: boy photo by Jess, children chasing pig by surfzone

Friday, May 21, 2010

Websites for Elementary Teachers and Students

Here is a list of websites that teachers could use to explore in a classroom with students.  There is lots to look at and discuss on these sites.  Hook up your LCD projector, speakers and enjoy.

 

Human Body and Mind from the BBC

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  • Flash based site that lets you place organs or muscles in the correct location.

Earth Explorers – Wildlife from the BBC

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  • Stories and information about animals from around the world.

CyberSafety Videos from LearnNowBC

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  • keep yourself and students safe on the internet.
  • facebook overview and more

Oxfam – mapping our world

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  • nine different activities for students to explore our globe

Life Size Blue Whale

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  • size works great on a SMARTBoard as you can use your hands to explore a blue whale

Panoramas – 3D views of cultural and geographical amazing places

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  • view amazing locations from around the globe.

Newseum – Front Covers from Newspapers from around the world

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  • Front covers of 1000’s of newspapers
  • Many different languages

Math Illuminations: Interactive math tools

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  • Interactive math lessons like the Bobby Bear one in the picture above.
  • Search by grade or topic.

TumbleBooks

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  • Must access from your local library.  Ex. I live in Port Moody so go to the Port Moody Public Library.
  • Books that are read aloud by the author.
  • Some animations and games

World Book

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  • Access through your school website.
  • Can have text read aloud
  • Different views for different grade levels.

Looking for more?

Check out all shared bookmarks on delicious!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quit Facebook

facebook - quit2Could you do it?  Could you actually go cold turkey on facebook? 

Seem like there is a growing movement of people willing to unplug, disconnect and delete their account.  On the site quitfacebookday.com they have set May 31, 2010 as the quit day.  So far they have 5146 people committed to quit.  Considering there are an estimated 400 MILLION users, this is 0.000012865% of the users.  Maybe this is more of a media event as a quick search on Google News returned lots of papers reporting on this issue.  My favourite article has to be the one titled ‘Facebook Revolt’ from TMCNET.com.

It seems that all the hullabaloo has to do with privacy concerns and the challenge of keeping photos, thoughts and other facebook activities private rather than public.  Facebook has had a number of revisions of its terms of use that make is difficult to understand who can and can not access your information.

Well, if you actually decide to quit or at least explore the option, here are a few things to know.

How to quit facebook

On the top right of the page, hover over account and select account settings.  Click on deactivate account.  Don’t worry if you aren’t sure there is another screen with the ominous warning and question “are you sure you want to deactivate your account?”

I got a list of five friends (faces blured by me) that facebook claims will miss me and then probing questions on “Why are you deactivating?”

facebook - quit image

At least facebook as the option of letting them know that you have a privacy concern.

One word of warning, if you do actually deactivate, be sure that you don’t log back in for at least 2 weeks.  If you are tempted to check back in, your account will be restored.

Your privacy settings

Perhaps a less dramatic, but still effective way to control your imageprivacy is to dive into the facebook privacy settings.  While they are nearly as many layers as an onion, here are a few things to look for.

Hover over account and click on privacy settings.  Start with the profile information.  My recommendation is that you want to have it locked to ‘Only friends’.  The same applies for contact information.  If they aren’t a friend, do you really want them to have your phone number… etc?

Applications and website is where things get a bit more convoluted.  For example, on ‘What your friends can share about you’ allows your friends to link and share through facebook information that might have thought was for your friends only.  It is best to uncheck almost everything here.

Leave a thought or comment here on this blog

Will you quit facebook?  Why or why not?

Monday, May 10, 2010

How to Start Blogging

I attended the most amazing conference last week called Northern Voice 2010.  Keynote by Bryan Alexander, here are visual notes. Bryan Alexander's Keynote by Rachel Smith.

The conference focused on personal blogging.  I’ll be sharing many of the ideas here over future blog posts.  The one big idea that I wanted to share today is how to get stated with blogging.  I’ve really enjoyed having a blog and realized that many others might be interested in the details on how to get started.

A few ‘easy’ steps:

  1. Choose a blog topic, find your voice.  What are you interested in? Take a look at the slideshow below from Monica Hamburg for some great ideas.
  2. Create a blog.  There are lots of free servers for blogs.  I’m happy with blogspot, might also consider edublogs or wordpress.
  3. Use a blog editing tool.  While it is possible to write the blog directly through the web, I use an amazing free tool called Windows Live Writer (featured in a previous blog post).
  4. Start writing – put up your first post, share the link below.

Finding Your Online Voice by Monica Hamburg

While I was sorry to miss this session.  The twitter feed from Monica’s session was amazing and help me find the link to her presentation.

credits – mind map of keynote by Rachel Smith

How to Start Blogging

I attended the most amazing conference last week called Northern Voice 2010.  Keynote as Bryan Alexander, here are visual notes. Bryan Alexander's Keynote by Rachel Smith.

The conference focused on personal blogging.  I’ll be sharing many of the ideas here over future blog posts.  The one big idea that I wanted to share today is how to get stated with blogging.  I’ve really enjoyed having a blog and realized that many others might be interested in the details on how to get started.

A few ‘easy’ steps:

  1. Choose a blog topic, find your voice.  What are you interested in? Take a look at the slideshow below from Monica Hamburg for some great ideas.
  2. Create a blog.  There are lots of free servers for blogs.  I’m happy with blogspot, might also consider edublogs or wordpress.
  3. Use a blog editing tool.  While it is possible to write the blog directly through the web, I use an amazing free tool called Windows Live Writer (featured in a previous blog post).
  4. Start writing – put up your first post, share the link below.

Finding Your Online Voice by Monica Hamburg

While I was sorry to miss this session.  The twitter feed from Monica’s session was amazing and help me find the link to her presentation.

credits – mind map of keynote by Rachel Smith

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