Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Creating A Book Trailer

I created book trailers with my grade six class early last year. Below are the steps we followed.

1. Choose a book.

2. Answer the five basic 'W' questions and how. My student planning sheet looked like this:

3. Pick 9 important events in your book's plot using your W question answers for reference. Make sure not to include the ending of the book. I tell the students this is like an advertisement for a book. Below is the document the students used to record their plans.

4. Choose an image that represents each point and one picture of the cover of the book.

At this point we went on the computers and went to to find our pictures for the images. I insist that students go to Advanced Search in Flickr and choose the Creative Commons option. When they find an image that works the student must choose at least the Medium 640 size option or the pictures will be pixelated. See the difference of quality in the videos below.

First Version

Second Try

I also require students to save the name of the photographer for their credit page. Here is how I evaluated.  As this was a part of a computer class I evaluated on the skills needed to create the video, if this had been a Language Arts project then the evaluation would have been more focused on those outcomes.

5. When the students found all their images then we used Live Windows Movie Maker to create our trailers. In our division the students could not use pictures saved to a drive on the computer for Movie Maker so we used USB sticks. The students saved all their images to their USB stick before they started.  Movie Maker is a fairly easy program to use.  Students sometimes found that captions stayed on the screen over two pictures so they needed to adjust the length of time each picture was shown. In Movie Maker students may type out their captions or record them. My students did not record their voices.

6. Finally students chose music. We used a royalty free music site called  Incompetech
It allowed students to choose by genre. The music is all instrumental, I believe, and comes in various lengths. The students needed a piece of music that was around one minute long. Students could preview the different pieces and then downloaded the one they wished to use. They needed to make sure it was downloaded to their USB stick. The students again needed to adjust their slide lengths so the music played through the entire trailer. The students also needed to credit the music they picked on their credits slide. Below is an example of a finished Book Trailer using Movie Maker:

7. I did this project later with my grade three class and they used PhotoStory. I had them record their voices as part of their projects but they used the create your own music feature instead of finding royalty free music. Also, they put their photo credits on each slide instead of at the end.  Here is an example of a Book Trailer done in PhotoStory:

8. Finally, when the trailer is complete you should save it at the highest quality possible. Then you can upload it to YouTube to post on your class or school website.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Setting Up Our iPads

I found that setting up our iPads was a bit of a one step forwards, two steps back proposition, in that some things I had read should be done for safety are not practical for a class set.  Below are the steps I used to set up our iPads.

1. I created a hotmail e-mail account for each classroom teacher.


2. I set-up an AppleID for each classroom teacher using the above accounts.  You can set-up an account without a a credit card if you download one free app and when asked for credit card information you choose the none option.  It is fully explained at the How-To Geek blog. The students will not be given the information for this account just the homeroom teacher.

3. Each class has a cart with a mini Mac for syncing at school so I (or the classroom teacher) downloaded our recommended apps (see my previous post) and then I synced the teacher's iPad with the cart.

4. I added all the student's school pictures to the syncing station in the iPhotos section and added them to the classroom teacher's iPad.

5.  Next I synced all the student iPads.

6.  On each student iPad I:
           a) set-up the student's e-mail account (we have school division accounts provided for each student) 
           b) set-up iCloud using the classroom AppleID and password (I found it works more often if you click sign-in and not return) and okayed Find my iPhone
           c) I added the students' pictures as their screen backgrounds by going to Brightness & Wallpaper in settings and clicking on the wallpaper arrow and then going to Photo stream and choosing the picture and finally setting to Both (in the upper right corner)
           d) In General I went to Restrictions and I did the following:  -->
                   i) enabled restrictions by adding a four digit code – I used the same one for all the school iPads
                   ii) in ALLOW: I turned off the bottom 5 FaceTime, iTunes, Ping, Installing Apps, and Deleting Apps
* I realized later I shouldn't have turned off Installing Apps because you can't sync new apps with that turned off so I ended up turning it back on.
                   iii) in Allow Changes we set LOCATION to Don’t Allow Changes
 * I originally turned this off for safety reasons but I realized later I shouldn't have done this because you need the location turned on for a variety of apps to work, so I ended up allowing changes. As all of our iPads are for students in a school I don't really think it is a security problem as anyone can find our school without too much difficulty.
                   iv) in RATINGS Allowed Content I made the following changes to the settings:
                         Ratings For:  Canada
                         Music & Podcasts:  Clean
                         Movies:  G
                         TV Shows:  G
                         Apps:  All

At this point the iPads were more or less ready for the students.

iPad Apps - Kid in a Candy Store

        In June 2012 my staff decided to become a one-to-one school using iPads as our device as choice.  My next step was to decide what apps we should put on each iPad.  I spent many hours pouring over lists of recommended apps and curriculum topics and outcomes to arrive at the following lists:

The Basics for Everyone in Grades One to Six  
Pages (Inkpot with pen) $9.99 - word processing
Keynote (Podium with papers and mic)  $9.99 - slide presentations
Book Creator (book with scissors on tiedye background) $4.99 - can create a book with text, illustrations and audio which may be uploaded to iBooks
Accelerated Reader (blue with white stripes) FREE - allows students to take book quizzes but not to do Star Reading tests (yet)
Show Me Interactive Whiteboard (Show Me on screen) FREE - can create slideshows/video like presentations
Google Earth (blue and white earth) FREE - reference
Rover (skateboarding dog) FREE - allows iPad to play Flash sites
i-nigma (iphone - orange and red pattern) FREE - QR code reader
NearPod Teacher & Student  (orange/blue nearpod) FREE (2 apps)  - a student response systemwith limited storage - extended storage expensive and has an annual fee
Teacher Kit (t on green chalk board)  FREE  - attendance, grades, behavior recorder and tracker
Evernote  ( elephant on green) FREE - bookmarking system
DropBox  (blue box icon) FREE - storage of documents 
Typing Fingers (student and keyboard) FREE - keyboarding
iPaint (paint can) $0.99 - drawing app
DrawFree for iPad (paint pallet and brush on black)  FREE - drawing app
Stop Motion Studio (colorful camera on clapboard) $0.99 - digital storytelling
Animations Express (name on clapboard) FREE - digital storytelling
Puppet Pals (clouds in front of curtains) FREE - digital storytelling

Apps for Grades K – 3
BrainPOP Jr. Movie of the Week (Moby & Annie)   FREE - reference
Audiboo  (iphone purple microphone) FREE - audio recording
Chicktionary (three chickens)  FREE - word game
Dinosaurs:  The American Museum of Natural History Collections (T-Rex skull skeleton) FREE - dinosaur reference
Fotobabble  (f in red speech bubble) FREE - record audio for a photo
Four in a Row (2 orange and 2 blue circles) FREE - strategy game
Math Tappers:  Find Sums  (iphone symbol on green) FREE - Math
Math Tappers:  Numberline  (iphone symbol on green) FREE - Math
LinguPingu  – English French/Francais Anglais (penguin) $1.99 - French
NFB PixStop  (words) FREE - digital storytelling/video creator
NG Word Builders  (abc blocks) FREE - phonics and spelling
Phonics Genius (words) FREE - phonics
Scribble Press  (scribble on orange) FREE - book creator
Sock Puppets (sock puppet on green background) FREE - lip-sync video creator
Story Wheel (student with book and grad cap) FREE - story game
Virtuoso  Piano Free 3 (piano keyboard) FREE - piano
Word Wall HD (card and title) $1.99 - reading
Learning A-Z (Rooster)  FREE - reading
Rocket Speller  (rocket ship) FREE - spelling game
Doodlecast  (cat) $1.99 - drawing with audio recording
Image Chef (typewriter and flower) FREE - photo and video fun
Sentence Builder (green with name) $5.99 - helps build grammatically correct sentences
Language Builder (yellowish green with name) $9.99 - helps build grammatically correct language with auditory playback and audio clips
Audiobooks (book with earbuds) FREE - over 5000 free audio books

Grades 4 to 6
iMovie (Star on brown background)
Garage Band (Guitar)  $4.99
BrainPOP Featured Movie (Moby) FREE - free educational videos
The Star Phoenix (Black SP on blue) FREE - Local Newspaper
SaskTel Rider App (Green Rider Logo and SaskTel) FREE - Provincial CFL team
Tourism Saskatchewan HD (camping scene) FREE - Provincial information
Tap Quiz Map World Ed (map and words The World) FREE - Quiz of place names
Podcasts (white microphone on purple) FREE - a podcast player
Stack The Countries Lite (happy face on a globe) FREE - a geography game
Wordventure! (Red W and !) FREE - a MadLib type game
SimpleMind+ (teardrop) FREE - mind mapping
FunWithWords (green name on black) FREE - MadLibs type game
NASA App (White NASA on blue circle) FREE - official NASA app
Unblock Me (orange and red rectangles on brown) FREE - logic game
Dictionary.Com (white D in circle with rays) FREE - dictionary
Evernote (elephant on green) FREE - bookmarking system
Atlas for iPad (white atlas over map) FREE - atlas
Voicethread (black vt in white circle on black) FREE - collaborative recorder
Sudoko Finger Arts (S on scrabble tile 2) FREE - daily sudoko puzzles
Image Chef (typewriter with pink flower) FREE - photo editor and picture creator
Draw Something (yellow pencil on blue) FREE - Pictionary type game
Angry Birds HD (red angry bird) FREE - game using physics and math skills
Words With Friends HD (W on yellow tile) FREE - word game

      Out iPads are going to travel with the students up through the grades so I had teachers install the first apps above on all the iPads and then I had the bottom two lists specific to each division.  Teachers were also encouraged to add any apps they thought might be useful.  Each teacher was given a $50 iTunes card, paid for by the school, to purchase those apps that came at a cost.