Last week WeVideo announced that they will now provide users with the ability to export audio-only projects, essentially allowing students to create their own digital radio shows or “podcasts.”
(NOTE: This option is not available under the “free version” of WeVideo, but is included with any WeVideo plan.)
Why is it important?
Giving student the choice to create movies to demonstrate their understanding provides for so much potential, creativity, and fun, but at the same time can eat up a lot of class time to allow them to produce a quality product. Creating a podcast can be done in less time because there are no visuals to worry about, and at the same time because there are no visuals students need to pay more attention to the quality of their content to ensure it communicates their knowledge and comprehension of the material.
How it works
When a project is ready to be rendered, click the FINISH menu option at the top of the WeVideo editor.
On the FINISH page, next to “Export” you will now see two options: Video with audio and Audio only. Audio only will export the project as a .mp3 file.
You can export prior projects that contain visual components as audio only files. This could be an interesting test to see how well the audio components alone work to support the project’s message, or show how powerful using appropriate visuals can be to the telling of a story.
New episodes are released each week and are accompanied with a written summary, list of references, and links to additional content. Search the archive for past episodes and use their tag list to find episodes based on specific topics such as Math, Chemistry, STEAM, and more. Scroll down to the bottom of any page to subscribe to the podcast via email, or sign-up using iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud.
Assign episodes for homework and have students reflect the next day in class or online using a discussion forum such as Padlet or blog like Google’s Blogger or WordPress.
The Literacy Shed is a collection of visual resources gathered over a ten year period by a fellow educator and primary school teacher. The goal of the site is to use digital media resources to help facilitate discussions about plot, character development, scene construction, voice, etc. Each ‘shed’ comes with a list of suggested discussion topics, then a list of writing prompts and possible ways students can explore or expand upon the theme. There are currently over 30 sheds to choose from with themes such as The Ghostly Shed, The Inventors Shed, The Authors Shed, and many more.
One of may fondest memories of writing class was when my teacher did a whole unit on writing the conclusion to unique and sometimes weird scenarios. With this site students who are struggling with writer’s block can get a little extra push to jump-start their imaginations.
Encourage students to look beyond the traditional paper and pencil to continue the stories, utilizing mediums such as a podcast, iMovie, eBook, and more.
iNudge is an interactive web tool that combines digital sounds and instruments with a 16×16 grid to allow users to create custom sounds and music. Use the colored squares to the right of the grid to select from up to eight different sound libraries such as Avatar, Harp, and Saturn. Use the final square tool to access the Drums library with 16 different variations to choose from. Click the ‘MORE’ button beneath the grid to access volume and tempo controls, as well as add additional stanzas. When finished, use the ‘get+share’ button in the top-right corner of the grid window to get a link that can be emailed and shared with others.
This can be a handy tool for getting students to create original soundtracks for movie and/or podcast projects. You may need to use some creative problem-solving to transfer the music, but this could also be a great challenge for students to take on.
The site can take some time to load, especially if you are working in a lab environment. I would recommend having students browse to the iNudge website early, then open a new tab/window to engage in another activity while you wait.
This site contains a wide variety of tools and resources on topics ranging from budgets to financial wellness to how loans and debt work. For educators, click on Lesson Plans under the Resources menu to access 55 different lesson plans and activities, almost all of which come with objectives, assessments, and suggestions for learning extensions. Check out the calculators area for a list of 35 different financial calculators on a variety of topics that high school students may find valuable. For elementary students, check out the Money Bunny section for stories, podcasts, and printable worksheets on earning, saving, and spending money. There’s even a section with videos in which students give financial advice to adults.
Financial literacy is an ever more important topic to integrate into our classrooms as we prepare students for the real world. Use the lesson plans from this site as starting points and then customize them to fit your content area and curriculum.
LogoType Maker is a free, Flash-based web tool with an impressive archive of fonts, graphics, and templates for making logos and rich titles. Simply type in the text for your logo, then click the Generate LOGO button. If you don’t see one you like, click the Refresh button in the top-right corner of the page to generate a new list. When you find a logo close to your liking, click on the blue double gears icon to enter the editor tool and tweak the logo until you have exactly what you’re looking for.
This is a great tool for students when creating digital content for a project. One of these logos could be easily inserted into a presentation, enhanced podcast, iMovie, blog, or any number of other digital projects to give it a personal touch.
This podcast will show you how you can program your own text substitution and apply it globally to most Apps. installed on your Apple computer. The example in the podcast shows how to program the Mac to convert “LOL” automatically to, “That was quite a humorous statement.
This is a 3 minute video podcast, with audio directions provided as a guide and screencasting to provide clear visuals of the setup and configuration process.
I just finished listening to an episode of This American Life from NPR on the topic of “Middle School.” The topic was requested by who else, a middle school student who listens to the podcast. The entire podcast is available online as well as the individual segments. I just thought it was interesting to here from actual students about what they thought of middle school. It made me wonder what our students would say if they had been interviewed, and that we are not alone in the triumphs and challenges that we face everyday.
In an effort to try to building on our understanding of how our brains work, scientists have turned to a group who has made a profession out of knowing how the brain perceives in order to deceive it: magicians. Watch as some well-known magicians share some (not all) of their secrets in order to try and understand how the brain processes visual information.
I found this video utterly fascinating and thought that teachers could use this, at the very least, to spark a class discussion about the brain and what we see (or don’t see). Science teachers could use this to talk about the importance of accurate observations of experiments and why lab partners don’t always observe the same things.
MLTI Minute is a set of video tutorials created by the MLTI Project Team showcasing a variety of tools and features provided to every student and teacher in the MLTI 1-to-1 Laptop Program. Tutorial topics range from tips to customize apps. to making better use of the Mac operating system to hardware performance tricks, all taking about a minute to watch.