Animoto is a site that turns ordinary slides shows into engaging videos. Sign up for a free account (all you need is an email address) and you can create 30-second videos with images and sounds. Krista Rosensteel used Animoto to have her 8th graders create digital stories of individuals from the Civil War. You can use music from the site or upload your own (keeping copyright in mind). Krista’s students created soundtracks with narration and music in GarageBand and then uploaded them for their finished videos. You arrange the order of your images and then Animoto designs the look and feel. If you want more features and longer videos, there is a fee-based service as well. Animoto won’t take the place of Movie Maker or iMovie for longer projects, but for short, image-rich projects this is an easy way to allow students to present what they’ve learned. (http://animoto.com/)
Graphing may seem to be an activity limited to Math classes, but there are many opportunities to uses graphs across the curriculum. Create A Graph is an easy way to make all kinds of graphs online. Finished graphs can be printed from the site or saved as jpgs or pdfs. This is a quick and easy way for students of all ages to show data in a variety of ways. (http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createAgraph/)
Just another reminder to be sure to save all of your important files to the network before leaving for the summer. Beth Bard has directions for doing these backups here, but as always, just let us know if you need help. (https://weblog.mbgsd.org/weblog/bbard/)
You can now register on the 48 Carats site for the summer technology sessions. If you haven’t used 48 Carats before, email Dianne McGowan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she’ll get you started. These sessions are open to everyone who works with students…teachers, instructional assistants, library aides, etc. Hope to see you there!