Exciting thing #1. I got approval this week to go to Vancouver to take the 5 days of Final Cut Pro training at the Emily Carr Institute on Granville Island. This is my plug for PD when getting teachers to use technology. Despite using Final Cut Express for the past few years at home, there is simply too much in FCP to know without some serious hands-on PD- the type a book and data DVD just can't give me. This course will also allow me to be one step ahead of my students who are quickly passing me in ability with FCE. Teachers have too often been asked to be a part of new initiatives with technology without proper training. Thankfully, I'm a part of a 1:1 project that is going about things properly and is concentrating on getting teachers comfortable with the Mac platform (again). PD is is now integrated with our PLN's online, which makes for exciting times! It still amazes me that I can iChat with Jim Billings in Little Rock for advice while a colleague of mine, Terry Kaminski Skypes with a contact in Asia and regularly seeks guidance from a 1:1 project in Boston. These are exciting times indeed. You'll have to forgive me if your reaction to this is "been there, done that."
Exciting thing #2. Animoto! What a sweet 2.0 app! Signing up a few days ago I received my authorization for an educator account. This gives you all access for 6 months for free! After that, it's 45 bucks a year. The nice thing about the educator account is you can share the registration link with your students and they can sign up and get the same all access!
Why does this rock for my classroom? The videos produced from the students' uploaded pictures look professionally done! So much so that tomorrow I am going to have my entire class sign up, upload pictures of their author they are researching, and use Animoto to create a cool looking video. Then, after they download the mp4 file version of it, they will import it and post it on their poetry glog page. The idea is to do a multimedia representation of a poem from their assigned author with images and music that compliment the mood tone and meaning of it. One teaching moment that I will have with the students in this crazy tech savvy world is about the importance of giving credit for the photos and music that they use on Animoto. The exported Animoto movies add a music video style credit in the bottom left corner to the artist they have picked and of course, an Animoto.com logo. Possible workaround for this include uploading the original music created by students in Garageband or recorded with instruments and my Blue Snowball USB mic. I'm looking forward to using animoto.com to create an intro for my Apple Educator application.
The final cool thing about Animoto is that they now have an iPod Touch/iPhone app that you can watch and create sweet vids right from your photo library on the coolest mobile device ever!
Check out a sample Animoto video that I created today with some pics of my 6 week old daughter, Madelyn Rhys Nichol! I did one when she was born with iMovie and a Worlde title graphic, but this one is much better, so I'm calling it Madelyn: Redux. Enjoy...