Monday, January 19, 2009

Digital Storytelling with the Flip Camera

Our campus just purchased 4 Flip Video Recorders for teachers to check out and use with their students. As educators, we know that 90% of the brain’s sensory input comes from visual sources, so it stands to reason that the most powerful influence on learner’s behavior is concrete, visual images (Jensen, 1994). Research also reveals that simulations/role play increase meaning, are motivational, and facilitate transfer of knowledge (Wolfe, 2001). Difficult concepts will be easier to understand when our ditigal students become more actively and authentically engaged in the concepts being taught. Digital media is a great tool to help teachers do just this.

Our teachers have created several digital stories with their students using Photo Story 3 and iMovie, and now we're anxious to try out our new Flip Recorders in an educational setting. Here's a quick video on helpful tips for using the Flip camera.

Although I've found that the video quality isn't great with these cameras, I do love how simple and inexpensive the Flip is to use...even your Kindergarten students will be able to record with these cameras. I also like how the camera has a built in USB plug that "flips" out to download to your computer. The Flip comes with built in software to help you produce your videos. See the video below on the basics of downloading your video.

Here are some great ideas from Lee Summit, MO for video projects . Most teachers use storyboards for planning video projects with their students. Here's a template I like for the elementary level and this is another template that I think would be useful. There are also many useful resources for digital media at

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Inauguration Day 2009!

I just discovered this video that morphs all 44 presidents in less than 4 minutes on the Free Technology for Teacher's Blog that I plan to share with teachers on my campus. Our district will also be streaming the Inauguration live on C-Span's website. For teachers at the elementary/middle school level, there are great Inauguration Day printables (could also be used with Smartboards or projectors) at Edhelper and Enchanted Learning. Some great tech integration ideas for Inauguration Day can be found on the Innovative Educator's blog. I'm curious what other schools are doing to integrate technology with Inauguration Day?

Here's another version.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy 2009!

It took my daughter about 10 minutes to create this talking avatar for free at Voki and email it to her friends and our relatives. Click on the arrow on the player to check it out!