Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Multimedia Aspect of Research

Research is a big part of academic life, and this project was created to explore how the massive amount of information available through multimedia can be used to justify and bring a new perspective to a claim. All of these presentations started off with a yes or no question to be answered, and the question could be on whatever topic the author was interested in. They were created along with a formal, cited written paper.

The rubric for the project calls for interviews, connections to book club books, background music, connections to video clips, recorded audio tracks, and information from recognized, non-biased, and cite-able web-pages. They were also designed to relate to the unit theme of social justice. I also offer extra credit for anyone who got some usable outside filming related to their topic.

Of particular interest is how students use different ways to tackle the same claims. Motivation was a big question this year (2013), and while one student put together a series of audio recordings relating to psychological studies he read, another student recorded an interview on Skype with an authority with lots of life experience.

There is a great sample below from a student interested in the evolution of football, and you can see the variety that comes from offering students choice by looking through them all at the blog I put up here.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Doctopus on Google Docs

http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2013/06/three-google-sheets-scripts-that-help.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+freetech4teachers%2FcGEY+%28Free+Technology+for+Teachers%29#.Uc95Fvk3tqU This will make life so easy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Audio Slideshows

Copied from Free Tech For Teachers

Somewhere between a PowerPoint presentation and a full-fledged video is the audio slideshow. Creating audio slideshows can be a good way to add meaning to slides that otherwise might not mean much without a presenter. Here are some ways that students can create audio slideshows.

Narrable is a neat service for creating short narrated slideshows. To create an audio slideshow on Narrable start by uploading some pictures that you either want to talk about or have music played behind. After the pictures are uploaded you can record a narration for each picture through your computer's microphone or by calling into your Narrable's access phone number. You can also upload an audio recording that is stored on your computer. Narrable projects can be shared via email, Facebook, or by embedding them into a blog.

UtellStory is a service for creating and sharing audio slideshows. To create and share your story through UtellStory you can upload pictures, add text captions, add audio narration to each slide, and upload a soundtrack to support your entire story. Completed projects can be embedded into your blog, emailed to your friends, or shared through your favorite social networking sites. Watch UTellStory's introduction here. Creating my first UTellStory project, available here, took me about ten minutes after registering on the site. To create my story I uploaded pictures that I had saved on my computer, but I could have also pulled images from Flickr. Then I added the narration to each slide. In the free version of UTellStory you have thirty seconds per slide and up to two minutes of total audio. I rearranged my slides after recording by simply dragging them into the sequence in which I wanted them to appear.

Present.me is a handy service for recording video and or audio to accompany your slides. Present.me allows you to sync your recorded audio and video to your slides then publish everything as one complete package. Here's how it works; upload a set of slides to your Present.me account, then use your webcam to record a video of yourself talking about those slides. Your video and slides will appear side-by-side when you have finished recording. If you don't want to record a video, you can simply record audio only. Present.me accepts a large variety of presentation file types. And if you sign-in with your Google account, you can import presentations to Present.me from your Google Drive account.

Hello Slide is a tool that you can use to add voice narration to slides that you display online.Hello Slide is different from services like Slideshare's Zipcast (which requires a paid subscription) because instead of recording your voice you type what you want the narrator to say. Where you might type "speakers notes" in other slide programs, in Hello Slide you type out the narration. Hello Slide creates the audio and narrates your slides for you. While the voice is slightly robotic, it is much much better than most text to speech services.To get started using Hello Slide, register for a free account, upload a PDF of your slides, then start typing your narration. It's very easy to use Hello Slide.

In my mind one of the original audio slideshow tools is Animoto. It's been around for a long time (in web 2.0 terms) and it is still a good tool for students to use to bridge the gap between slideshows and videos. Animoto makes it possible to quickly create a video using still images, music, and text. In the last year Animoto has added the option to include video clips in your videos too. If you can make a slideshow presentation, you can make a video using Animoto. Animoto's free service limits you to 30 second videos. You can create longer videos if you apply for an education account.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Booktalks Blog Up

I have had students recording book talks as a form of book review for the last two semesters. I envision it as a place for other students to turn to when they are looking for a new book to read. I am still managing the last round of recordings, but there are over a hundred up now. I'll include one of the best below, but you can peruse them all by book title or author at the site. The best ones from each round get a gif and a special listing.


by Barry Lyga

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sugata Mitra does it Again

This guy has the right idea. If I could do this more, I would love it. Maybe the research projects could be more like this. Or, at least that is another way to approach this - self-organized learning.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Coding as Expression

Here is a good argument for teaching coding as a part of the English Language curriculum. Are we not attempting to teach students new ways to express themselves? Wouldn't it be great if we could teach them many of the skills they will need to be creative in the 21st century while also teaching them how to express themselves in a new way, a way that is project based and for which many of the skills are instantly recognizable as necessary to accomplish the task? I'll have to check out scratch in more detail and see if I can't figure a way to incorporate this into my multimedia research project in some way.