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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Tweet to Learn History

TwHistory is a great way to engage students in history using today’s social media.  This site allows teachers to conduct reenactments using social media like twitter. The great thing though about this website is that it allows you to use this type of media with out going onto Twitter. Everything is hosted on TwHistory so it is safe and accessible through school district servers that often block Twitter. This is a great tool that could be quite effective in teaching history to students. For more information on this website see the following article in Mind/Shift or check out Larry Ferlazzo‘s website and his “The Best Tools For Creating Fake “Stuff” For Learning” list

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Three New Tools I Have Found Useful

Over the course of the past week there have been three web 2.0 tools that have come in quite handy for me so I thought that I would share these.

  1. The first is Markup.   http://markup.io/ This site has come in very useful with my Interactive Whiteboard.  As they state so well on their website, “Markup lets you draw on any webpage with a variety of tools to express your thoughts, make a point or just simply edit. Yes, no downloading needed.”  This is definitely one to check out and bookmark.
  2. The second is Ding It’s Up.  http://www.dingitsup.com/ This site will let you know when sites are up or down via email, text or tweet.  Very useful when you are waiting for your district to get you website back up or to let you know when sites you use frequently are up or don for maintenance.
  3. The third is Embedithttp://embedit.in/ This site is great for embedding PDF files and other webpages into your exiting website. Helping your students navigate to required information without getting sidetracked or lost on the web. you would like students to look at with out have them go out and get lost on the web.
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16 Great Image Resources For Projects

Image representing Google Images as depicted i...

Image via CrunchBase

When ever I start a new project in class I warn students to be careful of copyright infringement. Students often have this idea that any image on the web is fair game for them to use in their projects.  So I then tell them don’t just grab images for your project off of Google images.  The response is always the same, “What I can’t use Google Images?” I then explain copyright infringement and that they must be very careful when using images from the web and pay close attention to the copyright information on the website that the image is hosted on.

Often times this explanation leaves students feeling as though they can not use any image of of the web and they usually respond with, “Where do I find that copyright information?” So I point out the usual locations of this information on various websites. Then comes the inevitable question, “What if I can not find this information on the website?” My usual response is if you are in doubt don’t use it.  This leaves students frustrated and lost when considering where to go to find images for their projects.  Often times I hear remarks like, “Well I don’t know where to look.” or “I just can’t find any images.”  So to combat this issue I have put together the following list of 15 great resources that students can find images for their projects relatively safely without breaking any copyright laws.

  1. MorgueFile As they state on their website “Free images for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not!” Great collection of images.
  2. Stockvault– Another great resource but you will need to set up an account.
  3. Stock.XCHNG– Great site for general images. Boasts more than 300,000 images to choose from. Does require that you set up an account to use all the capabilities of this website.
  4. Image*After–This site has nice high resolution images on many different categories.
  5. Everystockphoto– This site has a great advanced search to look up images. This site does require that you set up an account to use all the capabilities of this website.
  6. FreeFoto.com–This site requires a link back tom their site for any image used. Good collection.
  7. FreeDigitalPhotos–Another great collection of images.  All high resolution photos must be purchased and to access advanced features of their website you must become s member. Its Free.
  8. FreeRange– This site has nice high resolution images on many different categories. This site does require that you set up an account to use all the capabilities of this website.
  9. Free Pixels– Another site with a good collection of images.
  10. Bigfoto.com–This site has some great images of cities from around the world.
  11. Pics4Learning– This site was designed for students to use in creating their projects.
  12. EduPic– Another site specifically designed for education.
  13. Classroom Clip Art– This site is also geared for education and has a great collection of images for student use in many different subjects.
  14. NEN Gallery– Has a great collections of images for students to use in their projects. This site has many different categories and is well organized.
  15. World Images– This site has a variety of images for educational purposes. It is affiliated with California State University.
  16. Ookaboo- This is a great resource that was brought to my attention by Larry Ferlazzo. Tons of images students can use under the creative commons license.
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Great Teaching Resource “Teacher First”

This past weekend I found a great resource that I wanted to share “Teacher First”.  I have looked at this site before but never really took the time to look at all of the available content.  It is quite impressive and has some great units and lessons that are engaging and well developed.  This site offers a wide variety subject specific resources and can be a great place for teachers to bookmark and visit when developing their lessons. Check it out at www.teacherfirst.com.

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Students Know Technology NO THEY DONT!

This past month I received a set of netbooks for my classroom.  I feel very fortunate to have received these and wanted to incorporate them into my class as much as possible. So I decided to make my class a paperless classroom.  As my classes have begun working in this new digital learning environment I have found that many students really do to know how to use technology and really need to be shown how to correctly use a computer.

So often I hear teachers say things like, “I don’t want to teach kids technology because they already know it all and I don’t.” Or that “the kids know more about this stuff than I do.” To put it bluntly, NO THEY DON’T! This is a myth and in fact I believe that you will find that things like file management, proper email, and using many online tools will be foreign to them.  Although many students will pick up how to use these digital tools quickly we must remember as teachers, students need to be taught how to use many of these tools. Assuming that students can use technology is a pitfall that many educators and schools fall into. Any technology to used in the classroom must be taught to the students before its use to ensure the best possible application of that learning tool.  This is a lesson that even though I knew, really has been pointed out to me in the past few weeks.

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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.