Bricabox

Susie Vesper mentioned this site, Bricabox, in a recent post. While I’m on holiday I had some time to investigate it further.

Basically, it allows you create your very own YouTube or other resource site by helping you to build a similar interface and then start populating it with content (there are six ready made templates such as video sites or map sites) or you can completely design your own using their building blocks. I thought it could be handy to have my very own collection of videos that I think are good for education. At the moment, I have been embedding these into a wiki page but I think the interface much better when I create a brickabox to store them in. I signed up for a Brickabox account and then selected the option to make a ‘Video Collection Site’ which I then called  http://edvid.bricabox.com (Susie’s videos)

From there I just used the ‘Add Video’ button to start putting in the content. I simply needed to give the video a name and then use the embed code from the site it was stored in to add it to my own site. I have only put in two so far but can say that the process couldn’t be simpler. There is also an Admin area (like the back end of a blog) where you can change the theme of the template (I chose the blue colour) as well as other aspects of the site. I REALLY like this tool and think it would be great in a school where you could bank great resources without anyone having to go to the sites where they were originally hosted.

I have registered  and created my own collection of videos gathered from my other online subscriptions. It’s easy to create your account and then add videos. Take at look at the beginnings of my collection here.

Just read about a similar site, Start Your Tube (create your own video sharing site in 2 minutes for free!), which could also be useful. If anyone has used this you might like to leave me a comment.

Wikivid

From sujokat via Twitter I have discovered a great resource for video tutorials on a range of Web2.0 software and tools. This looks to be another welcome addition to any ‘newbies’ toolbox.

Wikivid creates video-courses made up of links to free video tutorials from around the web. During our “alpha” stage, content is limited to software tutorials only, but the vision is to add video uploads and more. Add your own video links, edit existing pages, learn, & enjoy!

_Users_lynnecrowe_Documents_wikivid

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

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Slideshows with a Difference

I read about Animoto about a week ago, before it went public, and registered for notification once their site was unveiled which was early Friday morning (NZ time). I registered immediately and was quite excited by what I saw in their promo video. However I haven’t had time to have a play yet but PaulH and RachelB both have. (Where do they get the time???)

As Rachel says, Animoto.com is a fabulous new site that allows you to make a slideshow like you’ve never seen before! (actually like a slideshow on steroids!)

Using Animoto you can make your own 30 sec ‘photo video’ (or movie trailer for your pictures) for free – just upload up to 15 of your own pics (or tell animoto where to find them on the Internet: ie Facebook etc.) and then either choose their music or upload(There is also the option to pay to create longer videos with more images.)

The great thing is that animoto is automatic and it customises the video to your chosen music. You just choose and upload the photos and then choose some provided music or upload your own (ensuring it doesn’t breach copyright!) Every video made on animoto is different and you can even choose to remix your video to create a slightly different show as well.

Check out these animoto photo videos from RachelB and PaulH and Allanah!

And here is the link to my own creation (unable to embed here at present). The short video is of my Year 7s at their final Food Technology lesson.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/46928cc51133af17/46c87432f3d0c6b7/46928cc51133af17/a2be4326/autostart/false/file/20fb661c6f7dc8e40526af025a4f6239" width="420" height="250" wmode="transparent" /]

Why let Students Blog!

From Rachel Boyd,My Journey in ICT & Blogging , comes this.

I have made a presentation on “Why let our Students Blog?” and hosted it on Teacher Tube (also viewable below). I have been meaning to address and this write a post on this for a while: to identify the benefits and reasons why we should have students blogging in our classrooms.

This is a great introduction for teachers who are not yet convinced of the power of blogging for their students.

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Pay Attention

While catching up on my RSS feeds I came across this from Paul Wilkinson. He began by introducing this video with this

Maybe we should change the one laptop per child project to the one cell phone per child? Might get there faster!

But then added,

Actually Now that I’ve watched this twice. I’m not sure I’m convinced. I’ll have to muse on this a bit more but something just doesn’t sit right with me. What about you? What are your thoughts? Is this inevitable? Desirable? Missing something?

Now I’m not sure if I can embed a Teacher Tube video here, so here is the url anyway. I found a You Tube version on the T4-Pay attention website where there are also links to many of the ideas mentioned in the video and other useful resources.

The You Tube blurb reads: Since most of today’s students can appropriately be labeled as “Digital Learners”, why do so many teachers refuse to enter the digital age with their teaching practices?
This presentation was created in an effort to motivate teachers to more effectively use technology in their teaching.

[youtube]aEFKfXiCbLw[/youtube]

I have only watched snippets of this as it is taking forever to load so I’m now downloading in the hope that I will to see it properly. From my few snippets it appears to be a Did You Know type scenario. I will add comments here after I’ve had a proper look.

It’s now well after midnight and I’ve watched the video without interruption and I really liked it. It certainly has a message but the message is aimed at those who aren’t integrating web2.0 tools and ideas into their current teaching and learning programmes. The author has made good use of quotes, thinking skills, etc to support the ideas presented. It’s certainly worth a look.

Whether it’s totally the way schools will go, I’m not sure. The whole acceptance of cellphones in a school setting is a debate in itself, let alone i-pods and the like. They bring with them further issues regarding appropriate use, care and security…. But it will happen especially in the forward thinking schools.

BTW Weley Fryer has a new post, Embrace the constructive uses of cell phones in the classroom for learning, which makes interesting reading. Here is a quote from his article,

We need teachers in our classrooms who are willing to take on the challenges of “wicked teaching” with technology, rather than those who prefer the easy road of pulling out overhead transparencies which have been “working” with kids for the last 10 to 20 years. Readers of this blog are more likely to fall into the first group, but working as I do in “the real world” of K-12 education away from the bells, whistles and magic of educational technology conferences, I know there are PLENTY of teachers in the latter group who do and will likely continue to balk at the suggestion they should find ways to use cell phones (or other types of digital technologies) with students for instructional and learning purposes.

 I can only wonder at how long or if ever school administrators will see teaching in the same light as Wes.

Did You Know 2

I didn’t blog about the original or the revised version of Karl Fisch’s, Did You Know. Now there is a newer version out.

From Chris Harbeck: There is a recent “Did You Know” mashup. Original Video created by Karl Fisch, and modified by Howie DiBlasi. -Modified for Florida Educational Technology Conference. 21st Century Learning ,Global Economics and The Information Age. Technology Information & Global information- Developed for Educational Presentations…

I like the last few minutes of this movie and for what it says about todays students…. and educators. My recent experience with students and letting them have control over their product makes me firmly believe as I paraphrase David Warlick

Students need to be amplifiers of knowledge not mirrors reflecting back what we teach.

[youtube]65wE6yFYgP8[/youtube]

Teacher Tube

If you haven’t already heard there is a new video site available for educators. This may be just the thing for those schools you find You Tube is blocked by their filter. I have viewed videos on Teacher Tube but was a bit frustrated by the inability to download a video but I have just read this…

TeacherTube community members can now save a TeacherTube video to his or her computer and not have to worry about band width issues, connection speed, or buffering. It’s important to know that the Terms of Use state: “TeacherTube provides the ability to download videos to your computer for personal or classroom educational use only, provided you give a link back to TeacherTube in any presentation, website, or other form of media in which the downloaded video is included.”

The new feature is available just below the Channels designation to the right of the video player. Simply click on the video name and choose Save. The video will be downloaded as a Flash file, which makes the download much faster. If you need to convert the file to another format for playing on your computer, try out one of the easy to use online converters such as Zamzar or Vixy or Media-Converter.
Source: TeacherTube Blog

 

Teacher Tube

The edublogosphere (yes, it’s a word….sort of) is all abuzz about TeacherTube, a YouTube clone that aims to make video sharing in a socially networked way safe for school settings. Alright, so maybe it won’t be completely safe, but what tool on the web is besides some fee-based service that is completely closed off and uninviting? While I’m definitely a newcomer to news of this site, I’m glad that it’s here. Quite some time ago I made a quick post about the power of YouTube in the classroom for sharing firsthand experiences and for preserving memories that are swiftly passing from living knowledge, especially with all of the World War II veterans passing away.

So it was with great amusement and fanfare that I sifted through various videos on how to solve difficult math equations, mid-80s produced videos on literacy, and lectures from many professors. What a treasure trove this site is. All of the public videos are free to view, and if the publisher of each video wants to, they can even choose to make the video “share-able” in much the same way YouTube does. A little code for embedding the video on other sites can be included with each video, so teachers don’t even have to take kids to the site, they can just embed the videos elsewhere. And with tags like Inspiration, Math, Multimedia, Science, Literacy, and more it’s a no brainer for finding videos that are pertinent to your needs; very much unlike YouTube, where a search for those same topics might bring up a host of videos that have little to do with solving math problems, or helping with literacy. It’s the best of YouTube with just the right amount of focus and importance on community standards and safety that any school would find hard pressed to block. And best of all? It’s FREE!

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Video Games

After hearing Dave Warlick speak about the use of video games in education at the recent Learning@School conference I was must say I was a bit sceptical. Today I received this from Derek Wemoth and I think it’s time for a mindset change from educators re using video games in schools.

Here’s a cool video clip that I came across on Google Video today. The topic is video games in education – it’s 23 minutes long, and is produced by the Orange County District Office of Education in the US. It provides a pretty good overview for educators who haven’t been exposed to thinking about the use of video games in education, or for those who want to understand more about the potential for learning of these games. There are some useful comments in the video by acknowledged experts in the field, including Dr James Gee and Dr Henry Jenkins, Clarke Aldridge & others.

[googlevideo]6117726917684965691&hl[/googlevideo]

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You Tube & the BBC

YouTube users now have access to a great service. BBC have announced plans to work together with Google (owners of YouTube) and allow clips of its news and other programs to be made available to
users of YouTube. This means that you will be able to access clips from news events, natural disasters etc and use them in your classroom (if it’s not blocked).

This is great news to us because after having You Tube blocked by the school filter last year we have just discovered that this is no longer the case and students can now view You Tube videos in the classroom. Great Stuff!

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