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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

'Lite Edition' THING 7: Choice of Animoto or ScreenToaster

You made it! This is the end. For this final "Thing", you have a choice between two Web 2.0 tools from the original 17 Things to Chew On program. The first option is to explore Animoto, which allows you to create short video montages using photos, video, text and music. The other option is to create a screencast video using Screencast-O-Matic. Screencasts are great for creating tutorials, demonstrations, or even lectures where you want students to both hear and see what you're talking about.

Here are the instructions for both. Choose which one you want to explore!

Creating Video Shows with Animoto
Animoto is a really cool tool that will create videos using photos, video, and music you upload (or, you can choose from music in their library). Short 30 second videos are free for everyone to create, or you can choose to upgrade and be able to create full-length videos.

You can apply for an Educator account, which will allow you and your students to create videos for free using special codes. Here is the link to the Animoto/educator page: http://animoto.com/education .

Now let's check out Animoto! Visit the site and watch any of the sample videos. Also, Bridget Wilmot and Kirstin Bacon submitted student Animoto projects for their Master Class projects, which you can find on the Master Class page of this blog.
Here are a few student-created Animoto videos I found on SchoolTube:

For this Thing, you should create an account (either with an Educator Access code or not), and then create a video and post it on your blog so we can all check it out. 

To complete Animoto Thing 7:
  • Request an Educator Access code if you would like to create longer videos
  • Register for an Animoto account
  • Watch a sample video
  • Watch the two student videos posted above
  • Create a video and post it to your blog
  • Post about your experience. Did you find it easy? Would you use this with students? Have students create a video as a final project?

Screencasting with Screencast-O-Matic
Have you ever tried to explain how to use a computer program, web tool, or software application to someone? It can be pretty frustrating, especially if you are not actually teaching them in person. Have you ever used an online tutorial when you were learning a new application or taking an online class? What if you could create a video lecture that included images, video or text on the computer for students to watch at home? Screencasting is the perfect tool for these scenarios. Screencasting is a way to create short videos where you can record what's happening on your screen while you're narrating via microphone or webcam.

Unfortunately, the tool I used last year was Screentoaster, which has since closed down. Luckily, Screencast-O-Matic is very similar, and I was able to make this screencast in about 5 minutes (although I didn't have a microphone, so there is no audio).

To complete Screencast-O-Matic Thing 7:
  • View the "Watch a Very Quick Demo" video on the homepage
  • Watch my screencast
  • Record a screencast of something. You'll need a microphone (they have them in the Tech Office)
  • Upload the screencast to Screencast-O-Matic and create and account
  • Embed or provide the link to your screencast in your blog post
  • Post about your experience. Did you find it easy? Would you have students use this or would you record something for them?

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