Thursday, February 12, 2009

Animoto is Awesome!

Last week I posted a Top 10 List of Web 2.0 tools. A couple of the tools, I had not played with before. was one of them. Well, I'm in love with this tool! Here are my reasons why:
  • Too easy to use!
  • Perfect tool for digital picture projects
  • Has an educator's version!
  • Level of effort hardly reflects the sophisticated result.
I have applied for my educator's site on animoto. They take a couple of days to respond/review. But, in the mean time, I played with the regular version. This is a 30 second video. You can create 30 second videos or full length (haven't tried full length yet). Animto walks you through the process - it really is quite easy. Frist, I grabbed some pictures that looked like they had to do with the Eighth Floor. Second, I choose music that they provided. You can supply your own if you want, but they have a pretty good collection. Finally, I hit finalize and waited a few minutes for this:

I can't wait to get into the educator's version. If all goes well, I am going to incorporate this tool into the Digital Picture Projects class.

If you do one, share it!

Lee Anne

Digital Picture Projects
Feb 25 from 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Apr 22 from 8:30 - 11:30 am

We Shouldn't Ignore the Wiki Challenges

I wanted to share an article from Campus Technology, “3 Challenges to Wiki Use in Instruction”. I was impressed that they narrowed it down to three! (smile). I’ve been using and teaching the use of wikis in the classroom for several years now. I knew when I started developing classes using Web 2.0 tools that we were perhaps ahead of the curve – and we may still be – but not surprisingly, being ahead of the curve is part of our mission. I’ve been sharing the benefits of wikis for some time, things like collaborative environment, shared construction of knowledge, self-directed teams, facilitates higher level thinking, etc. I’m not so sure I always share the challenges. And I should!

The author, Ruth Reynard, gives it to us something like this:

Create meaningful assignments. Often teachers are unfamiliar with the potential of the tool. That’s okay, that comes with experience, but we need to keep in mind creating a connection to the overall purpose.

Grades reflect the process along with the product. I’m not sure this isn’t more of a “Boomer” need than a “Net Gen” need, but never the less, a great deal of work and learning happens in order to get a result in this sort of collaborative environment. It’s much easier to grade a product, don’t I know, but the process is actually just as important here.

Collective knowledge use. How will this be used to reinforce learning? Reynard says, “rather than simply an argument or debate, a paper, or a project, a wiki-based assignment can illustrate stages of development in thinking, collaboration, synthesis, and application. This helps to contextualize the learning that has taken place for immediate benefit to students and for future use in learning.” Is this project relevant?

I like this discussion of challenges. It’s relevant!

Just Sharin’
Lee Anne

Eighth Floor Class on Wikis:
Wiki When You Wanna
Feb 17th from 1:00-4:00 pm
April 1st from 8:30 -11:30 am