This week we explored a number of video creation tools. I selected three specific tools from our sandbox; these include:
I spent the most time creating a Jing about navigating the website for our local public library. I felt like this product would come in handy to post on my mock template for a school website. My Jing is brief, but I think it is effective. Click here to view it. In review, Jing was relatively simple to download to a PC and I was able to get started within minutes. I LOVE the 3, 2, 1 count down which lets you clear your throat before recording begins! You also have to establish a Screencast account (free). This allows you to automatically upload your video so you can simply paste the link into an email or onto a webpage for sharing. Clearly, the first time around there are a few extra steps but it is wonderful for showing someone a click path or explaining components of a website/software program.
PowToon was a tool I heard about at the 2013 Virginia Society for Technology in Education. Membership to VSTE is FREE! Let me repeat FREE! Every media specialist who wants to stay on top of the latest in ed tech tech should consider attending the annual conference in December. It is usually held in Roanoke or Virginia Beach. If you are interested in summer opportunities, there is some great information posted here. However, back to my Pow Toon review. Pow Toon was introduced in a tech session and seemed like a wonderful free tool that helped you compile information in an amazingly professional format. The products I saw at VSTE looked like a corporate video clip that took programmers hours to make! Shortly after, I tried my hand at Pow Toon but did not find it immediately intuitive. This week I took a second look at the product. I’m not sure if something changed but I invested a little more time and was immediately amazed at the number of pre-formatted tools an educator could quickly pull from for immediate use! Please don’t judge my sample but I decided to use one of the formats and quickly plug in some basic information for a potential summer activity program at a school media center. It’s all fictitious and not my best effort but I wanted to see how long it would take me to plug in my information to one of the pre-formatted slide shows. Starting an account and using the tool – 25 minutes tops! PowToons exports to your YouTube account and provides you with a link for viewing. I will DEFINITELY be investing more heavily in this tool in the future. My first basic PowToon product can be viewed by clicking here.
Animoto was the final product that I reviewed. I used it in the past and it seems like the interface is much more friendly and cleaner looking. I am sharing an older product and this is simply an example of what it can do with still images. This was a promotional video I created for the autobody teacher at Charlottesville-Albemarle Technology Education Center (CATEC). Most of these images were featured through a live news segment and these were still photographs that the teacher took at the time. The video features a traveling teacher who visited the vocational center to give students hands-on experiences with air brushing tools. Students also got to see completed professional airbrushing projects through a mini-car show. I selected a song from one of the provided tracks and “ta-da” it was fairly complete! Animoto syncs images and movement to the rhythm of the song and allows you to rearrange images manually as well. Click here to view the Animoto product.
Here are some specific ideas for student use:
- Compile research information for public presentation in a PowToon; research does not always have to be presented in a written paper product. Let’s innovate! 🙂
- Create a digital storytelling product or digital poetry project through an Animoto video; have students compile original images that enhance their story or poem. *Note: Voiceover needs to be recorded separately – visit this blog post for free audio tools.
- Create a media product that focuses on specific Propaganda techniques (i.e. bandwagon, appeal to plain folks; etc.) with PowToons.
- Use Jing to have students explain their revision process in a writing assignment. Students can pull up an initial draft and a final copy and metacognitively discuss what changed about their work.
- Use Jing to explain other content area work such as the conclusion from a science lab. Students can pull up numeric data and graphs that they generated from science probes and explain how the results led them to their final conclusions.
These were some additional tools in this week’s sandbox. I will be revisiting them in the future but want to record them here so I can easily go back to them. If you try them first, leave a comment! Thanks.