Monthly Archives: December 2009

Flip Video & Kids With Cameras

My other idea for a final project was to add many tech elements to an existing literacy unit built around versions of The Three Pigs. I am NOT doing this for my final project, but I did do some of the pieces just to try new things. I had already thought of the ideas, so why not try them out. To read about my final project see my last post directly below this one.

I brought in my Flip digital video recorder from home. I had used it once. Usually my husband uses the Flip at special events and I take the photos.

I had the students act out a retelling of The Three Little Pigs with puppets. I have done this before, but never video “taped” it. I do it once a class session for as many days as it takes for each child to get a chance to be in the play. This activity takes less than five minutes (a class session) to do. After recording the groups, I had all the children watch the compilation video. My students enjoyed seeing themselves on the screen. I had a hard time getting students to speak up enough to be heard.

I also let the children use my old digital camera that I keep in my classroom. We were making a position word book using a pig puppet. Each child got to hold the pig and be a model illustrating a position word. Each child also was able to be the photographer for one photo for the book. I never thought of letting the students use the camera until reading an article handed out by my professor the first week of our tech. class.

I was very afraid that the children would drop the camera and break it (which didn’t happen). Most didn’t even need instruction on how to use the camera. A couple just needed to know what button to push to take the picture. A few needed instruction on how to use the little screen to make sure they weren’t cutting off their model’s head and that the pig was also in the picture. It did take a lot of my time (which I had to take out of pre-reading one on one skill work time) to help each kid set up their scene for different position words and oversee photographer. The kids enjoyed being allowed to use the camera.

I have got to sign off. I am falling asleep.

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Final Project

I had two ideas for my final project. It was a tough choice. I went with creating an iMovie as a general introduction to my Pre-K classroom. This is not meant to be an in-depth presentation. I plan to use photos I have taken in the last year and a half with my digital camera in the classroom. I hope to add an audio track with narration and background music. I am worried about syncing up with audio and images. I know (from playing around with my sample) I can do just an audio narration using features in iMovie. But to do narration and background music, I will have to do the work outside iMovie and import it and get the timing synced. But I am going to try.

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Atomic Learning & iMovie

Some of these had audio and video and some just had audio. Of the tutorials that had both, none of them looked like the version on my computer. I did watch the ones I could. I did pick up a few things, but I wished I could see tutorials with a version closer to mine. iMovie really intrigues me. I can envision some interesting uses for it in the classroom. Such as older students creating some powerful multi media reports with it.

I can definitely see the potential for using iMovie in my professional life. I could use it to make movies of our field trips for the children to watch after the trip as part of a wrap-up activity. I really want to make one for our Pre-K orientation to give the parents a glimpse of what Pre-K is all about.

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Atomic Learning & End Note

I had the same problem with End Note as with Audacity–audio and no video! Which makes it pretty useless as a teaching tool. I was very disappointed. I really wanted to know how End Note could help me with research and APA bibliographies. Especially, since I was very confused when I was on the End Note site after I recovered from the flu. This site seemed to be written in another language to me. I couldn’t figure it out on my own : ( Maybe Atomic Learning will fix these bugs if it is on their end, maybe it’s a Mac thing, or maybe it’s me (or my laptop). Hope to be able to watch these.

From what I have been told about End Note, I think it could be very useful to me as I write papers for grad. school.

I would like to learn more about End Note when I meet with my professor during our make-up meeting.

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Atomic Learning & Audacity

Atomic Learning tutorials are great when they work! I had audio, but no video. And for this type of learning, you really need video to understand what to do and how to do it. A frustrating problem, since I have no idea how to use this new application I downloaded. C’est la vie. Sometimes technology is like that.

If I can figure this program out, I can see myself using it to add audio to Power Point creations so they would be more Pre-K friendly. I could also use it to add custom narration to an iMovie.

I wouldn’t mind seeing a short how to on Audacity during our make-up meeting.

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Atomic Learning & Power Point

The tutorials were alright, but I couldn’t practice anything, since every time I open Power Point on my laptop it crashes. I watched all the tutorials for my version (which I was able to find out in finder). I found them interesting. I really wanted to play in Power Point, but I guess my laptop won’t let me. I have never used Key Note either. Now, I know where to find tutorials, if I want to play with this instead sometime. I also enjoy the details in these tutorials. I am such a nerd–I thought it was so cool that users would be able to type (c) and Power Point would automatically turn it into the copyright symbol. I told you I was a nerd. If I get a little skilled with the computer, maybe I can be a geek too. Thanks to my technology class, Atomic Learning, and forcing myself to try new computer skills and programs. I often won’t try because I am afraid it will be too hard or that I will somehow “mess up” the computer.

When I see myself using power point, I see it being used in presentations. I could use it if I had to address my grade level team at a district meeting, or my PLC group, or possibly at a staff meeting in my capacity as a Leadership Team member at my school. I do not see myself using this with my students (at least without audio) since they are so young. Maybe this shows my lack of imagination in this area. The tutorials I watched did not address adding audio to the slide show. I only know that audio can be added because of something my professor typed on the make-up assignment page.

If I had the ability to open Power Point, I would love to know how to add the audio–that would make this program more useful and flexible for Pre-K.

P.S. If anyone from Atomic Learning reads this 3 of the tutorials I viewed were incorrectly labeled. The content and titles were mixed up.

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Atomic Learning & Kidspiration

I enjoyed watching these tutorials. They are helpful and cover the basics. I like that they are short. It keeps your focus better and gives the viewer a more manageable amount of info to work with. I had never used Kidspiration, so watched some of the tutorials multiple times trying to follow the “simple” directions. The version of Kidspiration that is on my computer is older than all of the versions that were featured in the tutorials. So I viewed the oldest one available. I still have a hard time especially with those “sticky” connecting line going where I don’t want them or pointing the wrong way. But the tutorials made it easier to play with.

I think this could be used in a Pre-K classroom to create character web. I could also use it to make signs for the classroom, for example a sign that illustrates the various activities available to the students at free choice time.

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