Muddling through the blogosphere

July 2, 2008
by blogwalker

Digital Storytelling with Arnie Abrams

Arnie Abrams is opening the session by stating that digital storytelling should be more about the writing – and the writing process – than about the technology.

Benefits of digital storytelling:

  • can be made interactive
  • provides real audience
  • works for the “YouTube generation”
  • helps develop visual literacy
  • helps to understand mass media
  • requires presentation skills
  • develops writing skills

We can now do digital storytelling 2.0 – interactive (VoiceThread – my idea, not his;-)

Ten step development process:

  • start with a good story
  • write an outline/script
  • storyboard
  • brainstorm visual ideas, music
  • findavisual, shoot
  • edit visulas
  • add title , graphics
  • record narration
  • match visual to audio. add music
  • produce, revise, present, distribute

Meg Ormiston quote “Without a structure students will focus on adding images, music, and other elements instead of focusing on the content and organization”

Storyboarding – recommends using index cards so kids can move slides around.

Ways to build a digital story:

  • Stills in a folder
  • PowerPoint (export PNGs)
  • Slide show programs – Photoshop Elements
  • Video editing programs
  • Flash
  • DVD authoring

Software options:

  • iPhoto – Mac only and lacks features, such as titles
  • Photoshop Elements – has slideshow option – with 2 audio tracks! And nice pan and zoom effect; add clip art on top of images via drag and drop; good edit control – but only makes WMV format – appropriate for 5th grade on up
  • PhotoStory 3 – Windows only. You can work only with stills – and doesn’t run with Vista. You can bring in your own music – or create your own copyright-free music.

Video Editors:

  • Corel VideoStudio – appropriate for 6th grade up – Windows only. Allows importing music and video from DVDs. Bottom third option for text. Has 5.1 surround sound – nice for exporting to DVDs. Also allows exporting into all the basic formats (mov, avi, etc.)
  • iMovie – previous versions great, but iLife 08 pretty much sucks – but you can download previous version.
  • Clicker – works on Mac and Windows – Arnie has developed storytelling templates to get kids started. Appropriate for primary kids. Includes text reader, but they can also use microphone option.

Tip for copyright issues: Include a disclaimer on your site with offer to remove images, etc., by request. Here’s a sample one from Arnie:

“Many of the digital stories on our site include images and audio found on the Internet using commonly available search engines. The stories have been created for non-profit, educational use by students and teachers and we hope are within the fair use protection of existing copyright laws. If any copyright owner objects to the use of any work appearing on this site, please contact us and we will remove the work and review the propriety of including it.”

March 9, 2008
by blogwalker

Reflections on CUE 2008 – Day One

Starting with Wednesday’s Edubloggercon and ending with the Friday poolside reception, the trip to Palm Springs to attend the 2008 CUE Conference was well worth the trip to Palm Springs! Despite some lousy connectivity issues for both presenters and participants, I walked away with new ideas and resources from every session I attended. Here are some snippets from Day One – Thursday:

Technology to Bring the Past Alive – Mike Lebsock: Well right off the bat, when you meet an 8th grade history teacher with the guts to dress in colonial attire, that’spodguy.gif sort of an indicator that he’s all about engaging students with the past. I valued the resources he shared (in his demonstration and handout) and, even more, his sharing of how he structured the introduction of and integration of podcasts in his US History curriculum. Before having students create collaborative podcasts on the Declaration of Independence, for instance, his students listen to professionally done podcasts hosted at the Colonial Williamsburg site. After listening to actors readings of historic documents, the students are ready to start recording their own versions. To build on comprehension, Mike also has students include images with their podcasts. Excellent presentation! (Note to self: Notify CUE staff that you were not totally focused when filling out the evaluation for Mike’s session – and might have marked all 1’s instead of the well-deserved 5’s.)

Blogs and Wikis: Writing Across the Curriculum – Brian Bridges: This was my first time to hear Brian Bridges present. Even though he has posted all his handouts online, his hilarious presentation style made it a memorable hour. Since I am always looking for royalty-free music for students projects, I was glad to learn that Jamendo, a site I looked at a year ago, now has over 7,000 albums online, with artists offering them to the public royalty free. (Note to self: send link to Jamendo to all DOLCHE project teachers.)

Integrating the Internet into the Primary Classroom: Gayle Berthiaume – One of my goals for this school year is to take a closer look at technology integration in the primary grades, so I’m glad I caught the tail end of Gayle’s presentation. I’ve always been a fan of Scholastic products, so it’s no surprise that they offer a ton of resources for the younger student. (And thanks to a little prompting from Alice Mercer, they be adding RSS feeds to their sites.) Besides sites like Scholastic’s Go Buggy, Send a Letter to Clifford, Publish Prehistoric Tales, and the spinning wheel of computer lab favorites, we also toured fun sites such as Giggle Poetry and very promising sites such as Panwapa – where students can make their own avatars, play many learning games, and make safe “connections” with students around the globe. Here’s a link to Gayle’s favorite primary sites – to self: start putting together workshop for primary teachers.)

Digital Imaging and Tips & Tricks for Photoshop & Photoshop Elements – Arnie Abrams – I would love to do a hands-on workshop with Arnie Abrams. He is a master at simplifying all things Photoshop. I’m still working with PSE 3, but am tempted to spring for PSE 6, based on the Photomerge Group Shot option and the right click ability to send photo to a Google Maps.

Coming up next…Reflections on CUE 2008 – Day 2

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