Tubechop

A few weeks ago Alec Couros was presenting to our EC & I 831 class.  He had us watch a few videos that he had shortened using TubeChop.  I decided that I needed to try this out it and it is so easy.  All you do is take a video from Youtube and past the URL into Tubechop.  You mark the time that you want the video to start and stop. Simple!

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I used a video of my daughter singing  We’re All In This Together.

I will definitely use this tool in my classroom!  It is a great editing tool.  I think sometimes I turn the video off because I don’t know where things are going.  Now I can capture more moments knowing I can chop out what I don’t want or need.

Have you used Tubechop? 

What tools do you use to edit videos?

One Of My Favourite Apps!

I read somewhere (Twitter) “that reading is a social act” and “we aren’t done with a book until we pass it on.”

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As an avid reader, I truly believe these statements to be true.  I am a huge book lover.  I worked for the Regina Public Library during university. I started my teaching career as a teacher librarian.  After being in the classroom for ten years, I would love to return to a library position.

During university I kept a book journal and recorded all of the books that I wanted to read. I would then highlight the title once I had finished reading them. Now some genius has developed the goodreads.com website.  I don’t use the website but I am obsessed with my Goodreads app on my phone.  I have some family members and friends on Goodreads and I can see what they are reading and what they want to read.  I can read their reviews and their ratings.  I can search books by authors and titles.  Goodreads sends me book selections based on the books I have read.  When I am out and I come across a book I want to read I just scan the barcode and it will bring the book up and I can store it in on my “to-read”shelf.  I have even had an author send me a message because I added his book to my “to read” shelf.

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Looking at the classroom, kids love to share things that they have read.  Funny things, mysterious things, factual information.  We must encourage our kids to share, talk and listen about others book choices so that they will develop a love a reading.  If they don’t love reading then chances are they haven’t found the right book.

 A classmate from EC&I 831 mentioned her students using Aurasma to create book reviews for the library at her school.  Students recorded a review and then she placed a sticker on the book showing a review had been done.   I looked at this program and it seems like a great idea.  Here is a a video of someone doing a quick review.

How do you have your students share books with other students?

Do you have kids rate the books in your classroom and if so, how?

My Blogging Journey

My blogging journey has been a slow journey and I have been trying to figure out why.  I have twelve drafts in the works but I have yet to hit the publish button.  One of my professors told me last night that I am a perfectionist and perhaps this is why I act the way I do.  Part of me thinks that I have written my thoughts down and that is good enough.  I know what I have learned but it still needs to be shared.  Putting my thoughts and opinions online isn’t an overly pleasant experience for me.   I don’t look forward to blogging.  I know it is a great tool to use but I’m still not sold.  However, I do think blogging is a fabulous tool for my own students.  They get a wider audience and it gives them a purpose for writing.  I just don’t think self-reflecting type blogging is a practice that I will keep up after this class.  Reflections about learning are personal and I don’t want anybody and everybody to be a part of that.  I prefer a small community like Google + and Twitter where you can share shorter messages.

Do you enjoy blogging?

Which community do you prefer Google +, Twitter, or a blogging community?

I have heard that blogs should be 400 words or less.  Do you agree/disagree with this statement?

Now off to tweak and publish more blog entries.  Isn’t there a saying that the best learning occurs when you are uncomfortable?

Digital Media Project: What Is Blogging?

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I have started working on my digital media project (writing books about technology for 6-9 year olds) and wow is it tough!   I am trying to break down the concept of blogging. There are so many terms surrounding blogging that may not be familiar to children such as website and Internet.  I am approaching the topic as if the reader has little to no background knowledge on the subject.  I am thankful that I have a 7 and 9 year old at home to help me with this project.  I thought that I would be able to complete the content of the books and the illustrations would take more time.  I had no idea that the actual writing part would be as difficult and time consuming as it is.  I want short and simple text but I want it to explain a big concept   As I am writing, I am thinking about English as an additional language learners and I think that these books could benefit some of these students as well.

 Questions

Is there a way to illustrate books online?

What types of examples of blogs should I include?  So far I was thinking about cooking blogs, travel blogs, and blogs used by schools/classrooms.

artsy-writer-working

Digital Media Project: Take Two

Here are my newest thoughts on my digital media project for EC&I 831.  While Sue Waters talked to our class about blogging, she mentioned teaching kids about their digital footprint. I asked myself:

  • How many kids (ages 6-9)  know what a digital footprint is?
  • How many kids are being taught about their digital footprint?
  • What resources are out there that teach kids about their digital footprints?

I thought that I would like to make a video for this age level to explain what a digital footprint was.   As I was exploring, I discovered a website called http://www.commonsensemedia.org/.  They have some great resources and videos for children including what is a digital footprint.  I don’t want to redo what has already been done so I have been thinking about what is missing.

I know when I start teaching a concept I often read a story.  I looked up books on the topic and didn’t find much for the age group that I am focusing on.   One of my favourite series that creates fabulous classroom discussions in my class is called “The Best Me I Can  Be”series.  They are short and simple stories about different traits such as being responsible and honesty.  I use these books in my classroom and we also have them in the school library.  They are short and simple and most kids read them independently.

Maybe I need to write some short stories related to technology.

Maybe these short stories will assist teachers in the classroom and maybe even teach them something.  If a teacher is not comfortable using technology, they most likely won’t find online videos to show the class.

Maybe kids will learn something that they didn’t know from these short stories.  Many kids hear some of the terms used around computers but may not have grasped the actual concepts.

I have decided to write and illustrate some short stories based on technology related topics for primary children.  I will take pictures of the illustrations and put them into some sort of video/slideshow.  I have looked into publishing these stories through Scholastic but first I need to write them.  I am not sure if I will complete the entire series by the time this course ends.  My goal is to have at least 2 books completed.  Some of the topics are:

1. What is a digital footprint?

2. What is blogging?

3. What is Twitter?

4. What is cyberbullying?

5.  Do’s and Don’ts on the Internet.

6.  Computer Time (staying active while still having computer time)

I need your help!  What are some more topics I could write about?  Remember this is for grades 1-4 (ages 6-9) .  How should I make my slideshow video?