Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Animoto -- an oldie but a goodie

I am a huge fan of Animoto (www.animoto.com)! This easy-to-use software makes videos look very professional with little effort. To create a video just upload pictures, pick a song and style, and the software does all of the work for you. Although Animoto has been around for awhile, they continually upgrade and change the software, adding more features and options.

Creating an account is free, but you only get 30 second long videos. As an educator, you can apply for a free educator account at www.animoto.com/education.

Here is a video I made using Animoto to promote my mom's new children's book series:

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Impressed by Prezi

Several years ago I was introduced to www.prezi.com, a web site that lets users create "zooming presentations." Instead of being linear like a PowerPoint, Prezis zoom in and out on content to convey information. The end result is very engaging, but I was unimpressed by the complication of making the presentation look good. I never had the patience to finish any of the projects I started.

Recently I decided to try Prezi again. I love it!!! The new templates are much easier to use than having to make frames from scratch. Importing pictures and videos is now really simple. There are many more choices for colors and fonts with a great customization option. Creating your path from content packet to content packet could not be more fool proof with the "slide shots" on the left side of the screen. But I think my favorite part is the addition of a feature that lets you import PowerPoint slides. All of those boring old presentations I have on my computer are now cool, exciting, Prezis.

Here is a presentation I created from scratch: Types of Nonverbal Communication

And one created from an old PowerPoint: Putting Communication to Work for You

Another awesome addition to Prezi is their viewer app for iPad. Download from the App Store and show presentations on your iPad or connect to a projector to teach a lesson in the classroom or library.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Making and Sharing Book Trailers

Today's session for the 4T Virtual Conference was about book trailers. I was introduced to book trailers in library school and given the choice between making one or writing a research paper. Guess which project I picked? As a high school librarian I have seen the magic that book trailers can work in getting kids interested in reading. All they needed was a commercial for the book and then they just HAD to read it.

Monday, May 21, 2012

QR Code in Education

Today I presented a session called "Using QR Code in Your Classroom or Library" for the 4T Virtual Conference hosted by the University of Michigan. I love QR Codes! I use them on my business card to give people access to my online workshop resources. There are many educational uses for them. With many districts going to BYOT, QR Code gives teachers an additional way for their students to access contents.

I use www.qrstuff.com to generate the code and my favorite reader app is i-nigma.