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Putting It Together May 10, 2010

Posted by fafeeley in Uncategorized.
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I had a great day of Web 2.0 learning. I have quite a bit of work ahead of me in these last few weeks as I guide my 6th, 7th, and 8th graders through projects in which they utilize Web 2.0 tools I have learned about in Project Elite.

My primary task today was to prepare the assignment documents for my last projects of the year with 8th graders. I am giving them  the choice to use Glogster or Voicethread. And since it’s so late in the year (and I likely will see them only a few more times due to graduation rehearsals and other end-of-the-year irregularities) this project will not require in-depth research. The students are encouraged to share information or express themselves about something about which they are passionate – a book, a movie, a music group, a cultural tradition, a personal story, etc. I also suggest that they explore Teen Health and Wellness to identify a topic of concern to people their age. I wanted to take one more opportunity to bring that resource to their attention. Here is the two-page assignment as it stands right now:

8th grade Glogster Voicethread project

I fully expect this project (as well as the print information I provide about it) to change. This is the first time that I have tried to summarize directions for how to use relatively complex tools. Between the two of these tools, Glogster is the more complex. I predict that for some students detailed directions and live modeling will be more than they need to use these tools easily and successfully. But I also predict that it won’t be enough for others! I will get a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of this assignment as it stands after rolling it out tomorrow.
In the meantime, what fun I had this weekend in Web 2.0 land!

Last week’s Project Elite assignment required us to use Animoto.com, which creates online slide shows accompanied by music. I am going to use this tool with my 6th graders, who will create “book trailers” of favorite titles. I cobbled together one promoting Savvy by Ingrid Law. Check it out: SAVVY

Exploring Animoto a little more deeply today, I realized that it interfaces with Facebook (and other online photo services). That allowed me to import all the photos from an existing set of photos of a recent family wedding in a few seconds, select a song, and generate a really terrific product in NO TIME. I immediately e-mailed the link to the bride and texted her to check her e-mail when her husband arrived home. And guess what? The bride cried! Success! Click here to see why: KIM’S WEDDING You may notice that I used the same song in both slide shows. There are many, many other song options (available within Animoto or elsewhere) but I just really liked that song!

Looking more closely at Voicethread today, I was further delighted to see that Voicethread also interfaces with other services to ease the importing of images – from Flickr, Facebook, the New York Public Library, and from my own existing voicethreads. In the case of Flickr and the New York Public Library, Voicethread directs users to items that are public domain. This is a very welcome discovery, as it is a very tough sale to persuade students to seek out public domain items over the first thing to pop up in a search of Google images. I can confidently demonstrate the use of these tools and promote appropriate use of others’ work at the same time!

I solved a problem myself today! I realized late last week that my library lab computers don’t allow the window in Glogster to open that is needed to “grab” audio or visual images from a microphone or a webcam. A call to the CPS technology support service made it clear that they had no solution. So I figured out how students can create audio recordings of themselves and save them as sound files (using Microsoft Sound Recorder) and then upload those recordings into Glogster. That felt good! Along the way I discovered the “Snipping tool” that allows the user to create an image file of a portion of whatever is on the computer screen. I am not sure that the “Snipping tool” is an option of the operating system installed on the library computer lab units, but I hope so!

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Fran Feeley’s Blog by Francis A. Feeley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

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Comments»

1. Lisa Perez - May 10, 2010

Fran: You certainly have been busy! Your projects sound exciting and I hope the kids enjoy them. Your animoto looked great, too. I’ll look forward to hearing more.


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