Thursday, February 23, 2012

YouTube, Us tube

We have a class YouTube channel to post our videos on. We use it because it is faster to load our webpages if we post them to YouTube then embed them. I used to have a private channel but my students wanted to find their projects without having to go through the webpage. So now the channel is public but any comments need to be approved by me before they are added. They like to comment on other's work and parents want to add their encouragement. Our school is not identified so they remain anonymous to the outside world.

It also gives them a sense of importance and they are always excited to share their work. So far they have legends and novel study videos posted and are eager to make more. It would be nice to have a more public forum for them to post their books as well. They want to embed them in their webpage.

What we need is an app to create public bookcases for students to share with.

QR kids

QR codes in the class. What can you do with them? We use them to connect to our blogs, webpages, and our YouTube channel. We have QR codes in our planners so that we can share our work quickly and privately with our friends and family. We have a class website:

It is easier to share each student's work by having a QR code that takes them right to their own page. As their own sites grow with blogs, assignments, books, and videos they can zero in on the specific page they want to share. The kids all know how to make their own codes so they can update what they want to share.
We have QR kids posted on the classroom bulletin board so we can share with each other and the school as well.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Books, Movies, and

Today we started the voice-overs and it went very smoothly. We have already used iMovie and Garageband to do voice-overs this year so this was much faster and had virtually no learning curve. Compared to My Stop Action and iMovie for making movies, using the iPads and Book Creator took about half the time. The finished product was very different but making books instead of movies is another great way to involve students in their own learning.

• Both projects required the students to work with partners so teamwork played an important role.
• Movie making required more preparation time prior to starting with the technology.
• Students had more problem solving opportunities with the filming project.
• Students thought they remembered more of the content because they needed to use the information .
" When you make a book the information stays moving around in your head."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Blogging Character Diaries

 We are  working on diaries for White Jade Tiger from the perspective of the main character Jasmine.

The students are all into every chapter and they make sure that they don't read ahead to ruin the surprise. We read the novel together and do a vocabulary search as a class as the vocabulary can be challenging for some of them. Our class has many ESL students and like others a range in reading abilities. Before starting this project I worried about the readability of the novel. However, working together to read and explore the vocabulary we are doing great. The students are eager to read each chapter and the online projects, research and book making have spurred them on to great results.

Project based learning has united the class and helped them to take on responsibilty for their own learning as well as encouraged them all to participate. Success for all!!

Working On The Railway

Today we all worked on finding more information for our books that we are making. We are using Book Creator and iPads to publish research on the building of the railway through B.C.

We started by viewing video clips from our project website

Then we took notes and found old photos of the building of the CPR. We saved them to Dropbox, downloaded them to our iPads and used them in Book Creator. Tomorrow we will finish off making the books and adding voice overs.

The students worked in groups of three with Macbooks and iPads to complete this project. It was quick and they learned about the conditions the Chinese faced and the huge undertaking the railway was. They took to Book creator like ducks to water and are ready to take on another challenge.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Problem Solving Is A Team Sport


My students set out to make videos of their last novel. They worked in groups of four and created scripts, backgrounds and characters. They use MyStopAction and iPads to create the stop motion animation and then used iMovie to add the voice overs.

They sprang into action and worked as teams to solve all the problems they came across such as:

• how to set up the iPad so it stayed still without a tripod
• how to get an extra light source (a student's iPhone)
• what to do if the video footage was shorter than the voice-over for a scene
• How to crop and zoom in in iMovie
• how to get the video from the iPad to the iBook using Dropbox

They all got along and all worked together with amazing results.