Visual Hub

Fred Bartels recently post on the ISED listserv about this tool. I can see the benefit of having this tool in the growing digital toolkit as we adjust from being a text  based learning environment to a digital audio and video learning environment. It costs $23.32 and is available for free trial download that is limited to 2 minute video.

Here is Fred’s post.

A wonderful little program for doing video conversions is VisualHub http://www.techspansion.com/visualhub/ It is Mac only, and for those familiar with Macs, it is kind of a video equivalent of Graphic Convertor.
VisualHub will create Flash video files, so you then just need to find the video player piece. BTW, VisualHub makes use of all 4 cores on our Mac Pro tower so it’s really fast doing compressions. For those of you starting to
play around with HD video, VisualHub is a great tool to compress file sizes down to reasonable sizes while maintaining that great HD quality.

Red Hat Films Us Moodling/Learning

Red Hatted Students

Red Hat software was here today to film Mrs. Ward’s 8th grade science class using the DAILE Moodle. The students were studying clouds and used the assignment, quiz, web page modules to study and identify clouds. Red Hat was here as being an open source software company they are keenly interested in how Moodle is being used in schools. They see Moodle as an essential technological tool for any successful one to one laptop program. I could not agree more. At the end of the period, all students were given Red Hat swag. Look for our video on the RedHatMagazine web site soon. Thanks to Mrs. Ward for jumping on board to show how DA uses Moodle. What role could all of this open source software play in our future?

Lady Red Hatters

The Constitution Project

For the 8th grade History Project, we will use the web sites that Mrs. Longee has shown you during your time in the library. As Mr. Dahlgren and Mr. Costello have outlined the project:

Over the next several days, you will be working to produce a  project demonstrating an understanding of the Constitution of the United States.
You may choose what type of technology that you like in your production of this Constitution project.  From Power Point or Keynote, to a Podcast, to using Word to create a booklet or diary, ing the software “Pages” to create a flyer/brochure , Comic Life to create a book, to iMovie (using still images) or even a colletion of songs created from Garageband, your work needs to answer specifically assigned questions on the Constitution.  If you choose a podcast, movie, songs or even a Power Point /Keynote presentation, you need to produce a script before beginning production.  Think about your comfort level when choosing the type of product. Challenge yourself, but do not take on more then you can do in the time you will be given. 

In your Constitution project, whatever the form, the following topics need to be covered:

1)  The purpose of the Constitution?
2)  When, where and by whom was it written?
3)  Identifying and defining the parts of the Constitution
4) The idea of Separation of Powers
5) The system of Checks and Balances
6) The principle of Federalism
7) The importance of the Bill of Rights
8)  And finally, a brief assessment of why the
Constitution is important in our study
“FROM SUBJECT TO CITIZEN

Web Sites to use:

Ben’s Guide 

Library of Congress – American Memory 

Wikipedia – as a secondary reference. There are good links to images and other sites as well.

Teacher Tube and NextVista

You Tube is wonderful, but you can see as much junk as you can pearls. Check out Teacher Tube and include some of the videos. In fact, you can add to the library with a class project or a video of a topic you are passionate about. NextVista is another video sharing site for schools. These videos are vetted for so teachers can be assured the content is appropriate and accurate. They have 3 different types of video: LightBulbs (Introductions to topics by students and teachers. These are another avenue for exploring a wide variety of topics), Global Views (Descriptions of life and activities in schools and communities around the world, made by and for teenagers), and Seeing Service (Profiles of those who make life better for others. These are to remind us that there are good people all around us).

10 Questions for Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia

Time magazine gave readers a chance to ask him 10 questions. I thought his answers were relevant to our use of Wikipedia here at school.

“How can I persuade my teachers to allow me to use Wikipedia as a legitimate research source?” Kaitlyn G, Medina OH asked. Jimmy’s answer may surprise many but here it is: ” I would agree with you teachers that that isn’t the right way to use Wikipedia. The site is a wonderful starting point for research. But it is only a starting point because there’s always the chance that there;s something wrong, and you should check your sources if you are writing a paper.”

I was really glad to see him express this since I feel that Wikipedia is a great resource to use but should not be the only source used nor should it be used instead of our online subscriptions.

YouTube Download Tool/Website

There are some great videos on YouTube or even Google Video that can be used in the classroom. A web-based solution that allows you to download a YouTube video to use in your classroom is available from Vixey.net. Simply copy and paste the URL from the video and select the format you want. The web site will do the rest. A software solution for a Macintosh is TubeSock.

For more information, see Around the Corner MGuhlin’s Wiki.

15 Frames of Fame!

While at MacWorld in January I was interviewed by Chris Walsh of The Infinite Thinking Machine Podcast/Blog. Most of my interview did not make it into the podcasts, but I have at least 15 frames worth of video! I was asked about my wish for the new year, cool tech tools and what my students would do with an iPhone. Check them out at ITM Look for espisodes entitled Make a Wish, and ITM MacWorld Extra!