Thursday, March 3, 2011

Week 6 ~ Online Media

For the past several years I've been photographing flags in Maine.  Recently I had the opportunity to bring these photographs to life using Animoto software!  Animoto lets you take your photographs and create a slideshow  video with music to enhance your photographs!  Please click  HERE to view my first Animoto video.  Don't forget the popcorn!

This week I explored many types of online media. It's amazing to see what's out there for free, and what's available for a small fee.  When you have a moment please check out the following links.

YouTube - is a great site to find video on a plethora of topics, from the normal to the absurd.  You can find videos on pop-culture, current event or education. If you are fortunate enough to use it in the classroom it can be a great tool for students and teachers.

TeacherTube - like YouTube you can find the same type of videos, however I find them to be more filtered and policed . . . one of the features I like about TeacherTube is the Teaching Resources where you can find topics for any grade and any subject as well as class management and organization tool printable's.  So if you're looking for videos on how to add negative numbers to the Civil War, you'll probably find it here!

Vimeo - Is a great tool to learn how to make videos.  There is great information provided in Video School, such as 'Video 101' on how to create a video.  You'l also find additional information within Video School - it's worth checking out.  This is a great tool for students, teachers or the hobbyst who want to study music, art, photography or technology and bring their ideas to life!

Itunes - I went to the Apple store at the Burlington Mall because I don't own any Apple products and it was like going into a casino!  The place was mobbed and it was a great place to go to ask questions and play around with the Apple technology.  This link will take you right to 'Tips for Podcast Fans.'  If you're interested in learning about podcasting this is the place to go!  Podcasting is defined as a way to distribute (multimedia files) over the internet for playback on a mobile device or a personal computer. It can be audio or video.  

Educational Podcast Network - On EPN you'll find a variety of podcasts to choose from.  I did find some problems with podcasts not being available and in some cases there was clutter on the pages where the podcasts were.  There is some good information on explaining what a podcast is and how to find and subscribe to a podcast.

Voice Thread - is a multimedia tool that let's you put your voice to documentation, video, images or presentations or a combination of all of them.  There are five ways to comment and edit your comments. This is a great tool to use to record books or comment on photo's or to use for team collaboration with students.  It can be used to teach foreign languages, it makes a great math tutor, the uses are limitless!  You do need to set up an account and the annual subscription fee is reasonable.

Pandora - is Internet radio.  You'll receive 39 free hours, after that you'll need to purchase a subscription.  About half of the songs I was looking for were not available.  I did find that it was a bit of a memory hog and did freeze several times.  I think it's a nice concept, however I would prefer using iTunes. It's just as easy to purchase and download from iTunes and you get exactly what you're looking for music wise.

Europa Film Treasures - I'm not sure I would use this tool in class because you need permission from Europa Film Treasures even in a school setting.  I also found it difficult to find films in topics I was interested in that were in English.  Films are also only streamed in and can't be downloaded. I would however, suggest this site to anyone who is interested in studying film, as I'm sure they would find it very educational.

Overall, the exploration of these online media tools has been a great learning opportunity.  I have been introduced and exposed to different types of online media that I may not have used before.  Additionally, while I may not use all of these tools I know they are available and if a teacher or a student is interested I know where to refer them. Another benefit to this exploration was learning that most of these tools are reasonable priced and could very easily be worked into a library media center budget.

For your viewing pleasure I've also included my photos from the video slideshow so you can see how Animoto brought them to life! For more details on Animoto check out the bottom of this post!

Animoto will let you create a 30 second video for free and if that's not enough you can purchase the tool by clicking this website  If you'd like to view my video again, simply click HERE!

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