Friday, October 7, 2016

Using Aviary for class

There are so many times in our teaching where we need to work with photos.  Sometimes, we need to edit those photos to make them meet our purpose.   Aviary is a great way to do that without spending money on expensive photo editing software.

Aviary allows the user to upload an image and pull it into a graphic window to do all sorts of different things, such as filters, fades, specific focal points, and even memes.  It's very easy to use.

Being a foreign language teacher, I envision using Aviary as a tool in my classroom.  I can see students writing memes in the target language and submitting them as an assignment or an exit slip.  It's a different way to present something learned to the teacher or even to classmates.

I think it could help with prompting as well.  Wouldn't it be interesting to have a photo edited in Aviary available in black and white and ask the kids to write a description about the colors and what the image would look like in color?  Aviary allows for that to happen with the numerous filters.

I found this site to be very simple to use and I was able to get around it without a lot of need for help.  I understood what I was doing.

It's worth a shot, and since it's free, it's even a little better.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Free online teleprompter tool

Being a former foreign language teacher and a current media teacher, I have often had my students do projects where they record themselves.  Usually, it is difficult for them to do their recordings and have a paper in front of them as a cue or a prompt.   While sometimes, we want them to be impromptu, often, a script is a component we want them to use.  I found a free site that allows you to insert your script and it converts it to a teleprompter so students can be more natural when they present.   It could also be used as a cue for teachers when they do a lesson or a training as well.

The site is called Cueprompter and it's a simple, free way to make your video have a more natural presentation.

Once you embed your document into the white box, you press start prompt.  It opens a new window or tab with a black screen (of course, one can choose the background/ text color).   It also has the option of adjusting speed.   Press forward as soon as you are ready to play and it will start your teleprompt!

I think I will encourage my students to use it for their book talk recordings as well as maybe a lesson they will do for digital citizenship.  I think it will make their presentations more natural and we will be able to see their face and not the top of the head that one gets when they look down at a paper over and over for reference.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Access to free videos for all content areas

I was spending some time on Twitter recently, looking for some ideas for my posts.  I came across a link for a site with free education videos for all content areas.  I was very intrigued and had to check it out.  What I found was WatchKnowLearn. This site is amazing.  It features close to or more than fifty thousand videos about every topic imaginable.  The creators of the site list is a free domain to categorize and rate K-12 educational videos.

It reminds me a little of or pinterest for video links.  It provides teachers the capability of adding links to videos about topics. After adding the links, a team from WatchKnowLearn sifts through the videos and determines if they are right for the site, they are added to a large database where anyone can access them.

I love, love, love how this site it checked and maintained and evaluated for good sources.  There are many opportunities.   Teachers can actually set up a classroom on the site and assign videos to classes and students. There is a step by step instruction sheet as well as a video about creating the account and the classroom. What's even better, all of it is free!  One tip, someone has to be an administrator so talk to people at your school and see who that would be.  Enjoy!  It's a great tool

Friday, August 26, 2016

Primary Access: Projects with Primary Sources

The University of Virginia has established a free site for teachers to use where students can create movies and storyboards with primary sources.  It's called Primary Access. 

One of the reasons I really like this site is the fact that a teacher can create classes and assign students activities to do with the plethora of primary sources available on the site. After students make their assignment, the teacher can view it on the primary access site.  Everything is in one place.  It's so easy to do.

When one creates an account, the directions for adding classes and students are simplified and detailed.  Making assignments are also easy to do.

I can see this being used in a large variety of courses.  Social Studies, Language Arts, Science and Foreign Language definitely, but even some other courses could find value with this site.

I decided that this is going to be one of the tip sheets I share with colleagues this school year because many of them can use this in their classroom.  I think it will be a great PBL tool.