60+ Video editors

Well it is that time of year again for student projects. Every year I am always looking for new and inventive ways for students to show me what they have learned in class. This year I really wanted to use video. Students always love making videos. It is a fun and engaging way for them to present information. However, video editors are quite expensive and can be difficult to use. So over the course of the past few years here are a some websites  that are not too difficult to use and many are free. This allows all students the ability to edit video. I have had students use many of these websites and have seen some great videos in the past. I just hope to see more of the same this year. Take a look at the following 60+ video editors.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Uses of Augmented Reality in the Classroom

As many of you already know I am a bug proponent of augmented reality. I have written quite a bit about it here on this blog. Recently, as I have been discussing with many of you about having the students bring their own devices to school. This influx of technology in the classroom at no cost to the district could be a real help to developing augmented reality lessons. With that in mind I found a great video that shows many different things educators can do with Augmented reality.  Watch the video below and I am sure you will get some great ideas.

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School Year Resources Part Two: Cartoon Creators and Avatars

ToonDooEX

ToonDooEX (Photo credit: The Daring Librarian)

This is the second post in a series on resources for the upcoming school year.  As I collected these resources to get my own classroom ready for the school year I thought I would share that information with others to ask for advice and see if there are any great resources that I missed.  So, if you know of any other great links or have any helpful information about these please let me know.

Cartoon Creators and Avatars

Over the past couple of years as I have moved into a project based classroom.  I have had many students create some excellent projects using Cartoons and Avatars.  Some were animated cartoons and others were just regular print cartoons.  They have also used Avatars to present what they have learned in the class.  The key to these types of projects for me is the level of engagement that the students had through out the project.  The technology really kept them engaged and excited about learning and my students really enjoyed creating projects using these resources.  Many of these links were found by my students who then brought them to my attention and asked if they could use them for their projects.

Avatar Creators (Create Talking Avatars)

  1. Voki
  2. Blabberize
  3. Evolver
  4. Avatara
  5. Avatar.pho
  6. Doppelme
  7. SouthPark Avatar
  8. Portrait Maker
  9. Marvel Comic Avatar
  10. Face Your Manga
  11. Digimi
  12. Meez
  13. Go Animate
  14. Mixamo
  15. Animeeple
  16. Picasion
  17. LooGix

Cartoon Animators (Create Comic Strips)

  1. Toonlet
  2. ToonDoo
  3. Pixton
  4. Chogger
  5. Comic Creator
  6. Comic Lab
  7. Make Beliefs Comix
  8. Strip Creator
  9. Strip Generator

Video Animation Creators (Create animate video cartoons)

  1. XtraNormal
  2. Memoov
  3. Go! Animate
  4. Dvolver
  5. Digital Films
  6. Aniboom
  7. Fluxtime
  8. Animasher
  9. ZimmerTwins
  10. Scratch
  11. DoInk
  12. MovieStrom
  13. Creaza
  14. Fuzzwick
  15. Staged
  16. Moove Online

Past Posts on this Topic

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Current Textbook Not Cutting It? Create Your Own Flexbook

The CK-12 Foundation was created in response to California Free Digital Textbook Initiative.   This organizations mission is to help reduce the cost of textbooks in education.  They are using an open-content, web-based collaborative model they call a “FlexBook.”   CK-12′s hope is to help teachers create a more focused textbook that will meet the needs of their unique students and state standards.

Currently they have many different “Flexbooks” available on a variety of subjects for teachers to use.  They also provide interactive webinars and video tutorials to assist teachers in creating their own “Flexbooks”.  This is a great resource for all teachers to assist them in creating content that is tailored to their state standards and curriculum goals.

Check them out at the following address.  http://www.ck12.org/flexr/

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An Intriguing Entry Task

This past week I came across a video by Daniel Pink called “Two simple questions that can change your life in 2010”.  This is a video to promote his new book called Drive.  As I watched this video I really began to think about my students and how many of them lack motivation because they do not have a purpose or goal in their lives.  So I decided to use this video as an entry task for my next lesson.  The results were very enlightening and really allowed me to gain some excellent insight about my students.  This is one of those exercises to go into the toolbox for future years to come.

As my students came into my room I told them to get a sheet of paper out.  Once they were all seated and the bell rang I played the video. When the video was complete we discussed motivation and its link to having a purpose.  I used the analogue about a dartboard.  If I do not have a clear goal it is like throwing darts at the dart board with my eyes closed.  I am unable to adjust and get frustrated that I can only hit the board occasionally.  But if I have my eyes open not only do I see what I am aiming at I can make adjustments to increase my chances for success.  After answering questions and making the link between finding what they like to do and using that as motivation to achieve in school.  I posed the following question to them.

“What is your sentence for this year at school?”

The answers that I received really surprised me.  I found out things that I did not know about my students.  I felt as though I really got to know some of my students and what they really wanted in life.  This was one of those exercises that really opened my eyes and is one that I will refine and definitely do again.  Click the link below to see the video.This past week I came across a video by Daniel Pink called “Two simple questions that can change your life in 2010”.  This is a video to promote his new book called Drive.  As I watched this video I really began to think about my students and how many of them lack motivation because they do not have a purpose or goal in their lives.  So I decided to use this video as an entry task for my next lesson.  The results were very enlightening and really allowed me to gain some excellent insight about my students.  This is one of those exercises to go into the toolbox for future years to come.

As my students came into my room I told them to get a sheet of paper out.  Once they were all seated and the bell rang I played the video. When the video was complete we discussed motivation and its link to having a purpose.  I used the analogue about a dartboard.  If I do not have a clear goal it is like throwing darts at the dart board with my eyes closed.  I am unable to adjust and get frustrated that I can only hit the board occasionally.  But if I have my eyes open not only do I see what I am aiming at I can make adjustments to increase my chances for success.  After answering questions and making the link between finding what they like to do and using that as motivation to achieve in school.  I posed the following question to them.

“What is your sentence for this year at school?”

The answers that I received really surprised me.  I found out things that I did not know about my students.  I felt as though I really got to know some of my students and what they really wanted in life.  This was one of those exercises that really opened my eyes and is one that I will refine and definitely do again.  Click the link below to see the video.

http://www.danpink.com/archives/2010/01/2questionsvideo

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YouTube A Bandwidth Problem? Try This!

In our school district YouTube has been the source of many different conversations and debates.  The amount of good content and the inability to use this content has had many of us teachers frustrated.  So our district unblocked YouTube on teacher computers only.  We were excited about using this resource in our classrooms and promptly began using YouTube.  This brought up another issue within our district and that was bandwidth.  As more teachers began to use this resource we found our bandwidth was often maxed out and the district wide slowdown of our internet service became a big problem.   This became a huge frustration for many teachers wanting to use their new resource.  The answer was simple and only took a little time to decimate the information to teachers to fix this problem.

The workaround was to download the video in the morning and keep it cached or download the video for the day on to your computer.  This solved the problem in our district for now.  Obviously, our hope is that our district will improve our bandwidth, so in the future this will not be an issue.  Until then however this will suffice and keep our teachers moving in in the right direction with technology.   Here are a list of programs we recommend to our staff to download YouTube videos.  (We did tell teachers to only keep them on their hard-drive for the day they were using the video in class and we also discussed copyright laws.)

Get your YouTube Video here!

  1. 3OUtube: http://3outube.com/
  2. YouTube Video Downloader: http://download-youtube-videos.org/
  3. aTube Catcher
  4. YouTube Downloader
  5. Orbit Downloader: http://www.orbitdownloader.com/
  6. KeepVid : http://keepvid.com/
  7. VideoDownloader
  8. DownloadYoutTubeVideos.com
  9. VideoDL: http://www.videodl.org/
  10. YTD YouTube Video Downloader

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Fun and creative ways for students to make online video projects

Over the past year I have begun to transform my class into a project-based classroom.  This constructivist approach to learning has allowed me to really incorporate technology into the classroom.  Students are creating projects that contain many different technologies, and I have been able really become a type of consultant in the classroom pointing out technologies and information for them to use in their projects.  It is my students who have  become quite creative with their projects, and they have begun using a variety of online resources to create videos to show their learning.  They have created all types of videos from short animated videos to fully edited movies.  I have kept a list of the many different sites students have used to create their projects for other classes.  Take a look.

Online video resources for students:

  • Memoov: http://memoov.com/ A unique video site based in Israel. They provide the characters and settings and you provide the audio for each of the characters.  These videos can be created and shared on a variety of websites like YouTube and others. My students found it simple to use and very intuitive. They were able to create interesting videos in just two days.
  • Voki http://www.voki.com/ Voki allows users to create talking avatars to present information.  You can use your own voice or choose from voices provided for you.  This is an easy and fun website to use.
  • Go!Animate: http://goanimate.com This site allows you to create animated stories to present information or quick stories.  They have many different options and objects to choose from and are constantly adding new material.
  • Xtranormal: http://www.xtranormal.com This is a Text-To-Movie site that takes a typed script and animates the voices for you.  Then you add expressions and movement to the characters and create unique videos.  My students love to use this website to create videos. However,      there can be questionable material on this site at times.
  • Dvolver http://www.dvolver.com This site allows the user to pick a scene and characters then type in the dialogue to create your videos.  Simple site with limited scenes and characters,      but with some creativity students can create some great videos.
  • Zimmertwins http://www.zimmertwins.com/ Like devolver this site allows students to create animated cartoons with written dialogue.  Again, it has limited scenes and characters just like devolver.  The quality of the final movies is quite good.
  • Digital Films http://www.digitalfilms.com/ Like the two sites above, this site also creates animated cartoon movies with written text. I have not had any students use this one yet, but it seemed fairly simple to use when I took a quick look at it.
  • Aniboom http://www.aniboom.com Aniboom allows users to create animated characters and create aniumated stories.  This site is a little more complex than others listed here, but it can be used by Jr. High and High School students.
  • Fluxtime http://www.fluxtime.com/animate.php Like Aniboom, this site creates animated cartoons and scenes; however, it does have a bit of a learning curve and may take students some time to learn how to use it.
  • Animasher http://www.animasher.com/ This is a fun site that allows you to create a variety of different types of animated movies with real video and 2 dimensional pictures.  This is lots of fun, and students can really get creative with this website. Students can even load their own video and images.

Video editing resources online:

  • EditorOne: http://editorone.ideum.com/ EditorOne is an easy online editor that allows students to create videos online and share them with a variety of sites.  This is very easy to use and has some great video clips for students to use.
  • Photo Peach: http://photopeach.com This is an online slideshow creator that students can use to quickly and easily create slideshows to present information or a story.  It’s a simple design and easy to use.  Students can make these slideshows in a matter of minutes.
  • Animoto: http://animoto.com This is a video editing website that allows users to use their own images and video to create their videos.  This website does produce high quality videos that look professional and are well put together.
  • Stupeflix: http://www.stupeflix.com/ It’s another video editing site that integrates well with Flickr and Twitter.  This site, like the others, allows you to create your own videos with your material.
  • Masher: http://www.masher.com Masher provides you with a lot of different footage to use along with your own material.  Also you can add a variety of special effects, and you can share this with many different online services.

Other visual resources:

  • Tiger Film Dub http://www.tigerfilmdub.com/ This site is a lot of fun!  You add the subtitles to Chinese movies.  Kids loved playing with this site, but often got off task. This was so much fun that I often got off task with them as well.  This could be used for projects, but be careful there is some content that is not appropriate.
  • Classic TV http://www.grapheine.com/classiktv/index.php?lang=uk I found this site on Larry Ferlazzo blog, and it goes right with Tiger Films Dub above.  This site provides you video that you can dub over with your own message.  Again, lots of fun, but students can get off task really easily.
  • Overstream http://www.overstream.net This is another site that allows you to add subtitles to foreign movies and to present your own satire or message.  Kids love to play with this site and can get very creative.
  • ToonDoo http://www.toondoo.com This site allows students to create cartoon strips to present an idea or concept.  It’s a neat way to see if your students truly understand the topic discussed in class.
  • Big Huge Labs http://bighugelabs.com/poster.php Here students can create movie posters to show that they understand concepts presented in class.  This is a lot of fun, and, while limited in scope, students can use this to create some neat projects.
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Prezi not just another online resource! Its useful!

So today after reading about Prezi and half heartedly looking at this new online resource, I decided to give it a try in class.  So I took the lesson I had created for today in Powerpoint and began the process of cutting and pasting and put all of the information into Prezi.  I found the process to create presentations to be surprisingly easy.  As a typical guy, I did not read any of the directions or watch any of the how-to videos that they provide and was able to create my lesson quite quickly.  The only issues that I ran into was that image files needed to be GIF format and videos in Flash format.

As I presented the information to the students, they seemed to enjoy the  presentation and were captivated by the zoom in and zoom out functions during the presentation.  As an added bonus, all of your presentations are kept online so that you can access them from anywhere.   Also this site allows you to embed these presentations into your class website and download them onto your computer.  I took sometime to show this to other faculty members, and they to thought that it would be a useful resource for presenting information to their perspective classes.  This is a resource that I know I will use again and recommend for other teachers.  It is simple to use and it enables you to create presentations quickly and easily.  So if you have not already, check out this resource at http://prezi.com.

Note: Teachers be sure to check out the discount rate they offer to upgrade to the pro version.

Mobile Technologies in Education

Really thought that this video brought up some great points on the possibilities and uses of  mobile technologies.  At some point educators are going to have to start harnessing the power and uses of technology rather than focusing on not allowing them in class.  The potential uses for these technologies are endless in a classroom.  Watch the video and let me know what you think about the use of these technologies in the classroom.

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Getting started creating your own Professional Learning Network

The PLN Spirograph

The above link is a great resource for those teachers looking to create their own professional learning network.  The author discusses 10 things to consider in creating these PLN environments.  I have found over the past year the learning network that I have created has not only improved my teaching but changed my attitudes and beliefs about education.  I have grown, struggled and learned so much with my PLN that it has become part of my daily routine.  I strongly encourage people to develop these networks.  The knowledge and ideas you will gain through these networks will leave you wondering how you managed before without them.

The PLN Spirograph

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