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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More on Augmented Reality

As my readers know I am a huge fan of Augmented reality.  I came across a video from PBS yesterday that I thought provides a good definition of Augmented reality and its possible use in the classroom. I have linked this video below for those of you who are still not familiar with this concept. This is a topic that I think we are going to see and hear about a lot in the future of education.

AR  To view the video on augmented reality click here!

If you want more information on augmented reality check out my past posts on        this   topic by clicking here!

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Augment Reality

Over the past week I enjoyed a much needed break from all that is education. Now that I am back and recharged I ran across a great video that discusses augmented reality, one of my many passions. In this video Maarten Lens Fitzgerald the founder of Layar, the world’s largest mobile augmented reality platform discuss the applications and uses of augmented reality. This is a great video to get an idea of the possibilities of augmented reality in the classroom. Watch the video below.

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Argon an Augmented Reality Browser

Here is a great video on an augmented reality application that could become quite powerful in the classroom. It is called Argon and it is an open-source augmented reality browser that will be coming to a phone near you very soon. This browser will allow people to view the real world with their phone cameras and see added content, links, applications and various other information.  All of this information can then be accessed and viewed on their mobile device.  This is a great idea by the people at Georgia Tech.

For more information of this application go to the following websites:

  1. Alcatel Lucent
  2. Another good Video on Argon
  3. Argon – Augmented Reality Browser (q-ontech.blogspot.com)
  4. IPhone Users Get Access to Argon Augmented Reality Browser (pcworld.com)
  5. iPhone users get access to Argon augmented reality browser (macworld.com)
  6. A standard for Augmented Reality? (i-programmer.info)
  7. You: Argon, the augmented reality web browser, available now on iPhone – PhysOrg.com (news.google.com)

7 Augmented Reality Apps for the Classroom

In a quest to look for ways to get my students outside active and learning in the real world.  I have begun messing around with different Augmented Reality Applications.  I have made a couple of games using different programs, as regular readers of my blog know.  If you are a new reader and are interested in these past blogs click here for a list of past blogs on this topic, or click on the Augmented Reality in Schools link on the left side of this blog.

I have had phenomenal success with this type of application in the classroom from the few games that I have created, so I have begun to look for more programs to create these types of applications.  The following is a list of 7 programs that I believe could be excellent for creating location based educational games.

Note: All of these programs require the use of  a GPS enabled device to play like a cell phone, or Garmin GPS device etc.

FourSquare : This application can be used on almost all hand-held devices from the iPhone to Android.  It is very universal and is great for scavenger hunts. Has a large support community and is well maintained. You can download the app from the Android App store.

SCVNGR :  The idea behind this site is to complete challenges at specific locations.  This application is also for the iPhone and Android devices and is well developed.  This application allows users to collect points and easily share information and locations like FourSquare above. You can download the app from the Android App store.

Joyity : Like other location based games this turns your environment into a game space.  At different locations you must complete certain tasks to earn point and accomplish missions.  “JOYity is for use on both Android smartphones and Java (J2ME) phones.” You can download the app from the Android App store.

GPS Mision :  This is a webbased game creator for Windows Mobile phones, Nokia and the iPhones.  This application allows you to create location based games.  You can also download and play games as well.

WhereIGo : Originally designed for Geocaching, this application can be easily converted into location based games. This application is limited to Windows Mobile devices and Garmin GPS devices. Game creator can only be used on specific Windows machines. You can download the app from the Android App store.

Tourality :  This location based game like the others can be played on Andriod, Nokia and Blackberry devices.  You can download the app from the Android App store.  Another great application for multiplayer games.

Layar : This application can be download on most devices. This application is great for overlaying material over the real world using the camera on the device.  Great for showing what something looked like in the past or may look like in the future.  You can also overlay game characters to instruct or provide information for the game.

Here is a great video that shows the type of things that this type application can deliver to students to engage them.

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14 Student Favorite Project Websites

Over the past two years my students have been allowed to create their projects in any format or medium in which they choose.  This had led to some amazing and creative projects that have not only inspired me but opened my eyes to what my students are truly capable of creating. I have noticed however that there seems to be certain sites and programs that they gravitate to every year.  So the following list, are sites that my students seem to use at some point every year and really seem to enjoy.

  1. Glogster: is always a fan favorite since they can add music video and images all in one project.  This virtual poster site is always one that I see multiple times a year.
  2. Photo Story 3: has become a big hit over the past year and a half.  This is a simple video creator that allows students to take a series of images place them in any order and then narrate each image and/or add text to each image. It then generates a movie adding in transitions and panning automatically to the video.  It is simple and creates great short informational videos. They do also have a mac version.
  3. Museum Box: This is a great site for history classes.  Students place items in a box that would help describe a person or event. They can add video, audio, images and text.  This site has led to some great projects.
  4. Goanimate: takes a bit of learning but is a animated video creator that students love to create their projects with.  It generates great animated cartoons that my students have used to explain many different historical events.
  5. Google Search Stories: is a great video creator for quick informational video clips.  It uses the Google search engine and results to tell a story or explain and event.
  6. Picture A Story: allows students to tell stories about history, explain topics or concepts using preloaded images characters and objects.
  7. Flixtime: Is another video creator that allows students to take a series of images ad create great videos to explain concepts or historical events.
  8. Poster 4 Teachers: Is a free program that allows students to create online projects and reports in a poster format.  It also allows them to create simple websites to explain or discuss topics presented in class.
  9. Slideroll: This site allows kids to create simple slide shows to tell a digital story.
  10. Animoto: This site allows students o create professional looking videos projects.  This site is easy and fun for students to use.
  11. Alice.Org:  A animated story creator. That also teaches programming. I have had a few students really get into programming after using this application.
  12. Digital Story Teller: This is similar to Photo Story 3 students can add text and audio to their digital stories.
  13. Kerpoof: Always a favorite site for students to create movies and other digital media.
  14. Fotobabble: This is really a card creator but students have used it in a variety of ways to narrate  a digital story and have used it a segment in other digital projects.

 

Interested In Augmenting Your Classrooms Reality?

AR Game

Over the past year I have begun exploring different Augmented Reality learning environments for my students.  I had the good fortune of receiving 30 GPS enabled cell phones for my class that I could experiment  with the last three months of last year.  In that time I was able to piece together some Augmented Reality games for kids to play on our football field.  The results were astounding, the level of engagement and the conversations among students were highly educational and inspired me to look into this type of learning environment more. As I surfed the web I came across games such as:

I began to wonder why could we not use this type of technology in our classrooms.  Getting the students into the real world and interact with virtual items or people to solve real world problems.  While the games I employed were simple and crude do to the time frame that I was under last year I did find that the learning and engagement of the concepts I was trying to teach increased in all students.  Also the post game discussions about the topic were much more productive since all of the students had a stake in the conversation due to the experience they just had playing the game. So this summer I have been looking at creating different types of Augmented Reality learning environments to use in my classes next year.  If you are looking to create these same types of learning environments or know someone who is please contact me.  I would like to know what you are looking at creating.

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Augmented Reality Post Five: Review of “Manifest Destiny” Game

Yesterday, I finally got to try out my Augmented Reality game, “Manifest Destiny“.  I was excited to give this a try and see how this new type of learning environment might work  with my students.  In the past I have run some short trial games to see how the software worked and all of the those tests the students seemed to really enjoy.  This was the first complete game with a specific learning target in mind that students had to completely discover on their own.  Students had no prior knowledge of the topic of “Manifest Destiny”.

GAME SETUP

The learning target for this game was: Students will be able to describe and define Manifest Destiny?

Students were given four questions to answer as they progressed through the game.

  1. What is Manifest Destiny?
  2. What are the three political factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
  3. What are the three social factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?
  4. What are the three economic factors influence the development of Manifest Destiny?

Students were placed into groups of three and each student was a different character in the game. At each location each member of the team met a different historical figure.  The historical figure presented each student with some information. After the students listened to their historical character the students must then discuss what they have heard in their groups to get a complete answer.  Each member of the group received vital information that must be incorporated into the answer to each question.  Once they have answered their question the group then moves on to the next location.

Student Reaction

Students seemed to be very engaged in this type of learning environment.  They quickly learned how to use the device and how to use the interface of the program.  Both of these were concerns for me at the beginning of this exercise. Students really seemed to be enjoying themselves and all said that they would like to do this type of thing again.  Some of the complaints were that the questions were to hard.  They stated that they would like to just receive the answer and not have to try to figure it out at each location. Some said that they would like more interaction at each location.  they did not just want to be presented information at each place but rather interact with the device.

Assessment

In grading the assignment that went along with this activity all groups received a 70% or higher on the questions.  I felt as though the main learning target had been met by a majority of the class.  Something that might have worked out better was to not have the questions on the device but on a separate sheet of paper.  I did find that student engagement and motivation was very high for this activity.  However, the fact that this was a new activity with new technology might have a big part in the motivation.  All in all I thought that this type of learning environment showed a lot of promise.  I will be looking at doing another game shortly based off of what I learned from this game.

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Augmented Reality Experiment Post 3: “My First Game”

Mystery Animals

My First Augmented Reality game.

On Monday I tried out my first Augmented Reality game.  The objective of the game was for my students to learn a little information about the three major fur bearing animals of the Pacific Northwest.  The purpose of this game was two fold.  The first was that I wanted them to test the technology to see if they could interact with it.  The second was an introduction into our next unit on the fur trading era of the Pacific Northwest.

The only directions I gave them were on the purpose and organization of the game.  They were told that they were to discover three animals on the back football field.  At each location on the map they would find a description of an animal and an audio recording of the sound that animal makes.  It was their task to discover the name of that animal and convert that name into a code to unlock the next location on the map.  The hint for the code was A=1.  Students then went outside, opened the software, and began navigating the game, once they obtained a satellite signal.

Students seemed to have no trouble using the software to navigate through their game.  They were highly engaged and had to be persuaded to come into the building, when it began to rain.  Students were very motivated, almost driven, to get to the end of the game.  This was very interesting to me, since some of these students are not often motivated in class.   While I assume that some of the motivation was in the novelty of the situation, the game atmosphere did seem to motivate many of the students.  All students were able to eventually navigate the course and complete the game.  As students entered the classroom after completing the game, there was a lot of discussion about the three fur bearing animals and how they came to their conclusion for each animal.  The discussion in class went extremely well.  They really enjoyed talking about the games and the information that they discovered about each animal.  Every student I felt achieved the learning target for the day, and they truly seemed excited about the possibility of doing this type of exercise again.  All in all I would have to say my first game, while not overly complex, was a complete success.

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