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Leadership Day 2009

Dr. Scott McLeod of the blog Dangerously Irrelevant put out a challenge for all edu bloggers to write a post related to effective school technology leadership.  Below is my contribution to Leadership Day 2009: I have found that the biggest hinderance to effective school technology is not a lack of funding, resources, or technology.  The biggest hinderance has been teachers who are unwilling to learn something new.  For me, “life long learner” describes the ideal teacher.  There are many reasons teachers find not to learn to use technologies to increase student learning.  They may be overwhelmed with duties and tasks currently being imposed on them by administration.  They may have lesson plans that they created 20 years ago that they have become so attached to they can’t imagine adjusting or scrapping them.   They may have inadequate technology support so even when they do use technology, it never works properly and they throw in the towel.  They may believe that they don’t have time in the curriculum to add “one more thing”.  They may believe that they don’t have time in general to learn something new.  All of these issues need to be addressed, but at the heart of every teacher needs to live one thing.  A desire to learn.  Excellent teachers need to be constantly learning, and modeling that learning process to the students they teach.  They must be willing to adapt their lessons and teaching as the world changes to properly prepare the students they teach.  For effective school technology implimentation, administrators need to change the culture of the school.  They must nurture and encourage teachers as learners.  They must ensure that teachers have the proper support so that when they do learn to use a new piece of technology, it is working consistently.  I believe if administorators truly transformed the school into a rich learning environment for teachers and students, the technology use would naturally begin to fall into place.

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PowToon: AMAZING free animation tool

Posted by admin | Posted in Create, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 16-08-2012

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What it is:  I have discovered my new favorite creation site.  Holy wow this is a cool tool.  Basically, it makes you (and your students) look like rockstars when they present.  You know all of those super cool animated videos that tell a story through drawings on a whiteboard?  Now you can make those all on your own with a super simple drag-drop tool.  Meet PowToon.  It is awesome.  I’m a little addicted to playing with video creation…no joke.

PowToon has a great mission: “to address all the frustrations that people have with power point and keynote and add animation and killer design.”  You don’t have to be super tech savvy or design skills to create spectacular animated presentations.   The goal here is to help people communicate in a way that conveys ideas.  Best of all…it is FREE!  Woot!  Also, PowToon loves education, they want to help teachers and students create great content that is visually engaging, captivating and fun to make.

Right now PowToon has 5 design styles (with more coming).  Added with your student’s creativity, these animations are going to be fabulous.  Finished videos can be shared all over: YouTube, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, Twitter, exported or embedded.

PowToon is currently in Beta version. Sign up for an early look at this super cool creation tool.  I got my invitation within a few hours.  #bam

How to integrate PowToon into your curriculum: PowToon is a fantastic way to share ideas and story.  Communication is a vital skill.  The ability to express ideas and story in a succinct, clear manner is crucial.  Today, students have another facet of communication to learn…visual communication.

PowToon would be a great addition to the design thinking routine.  Students can use PowToon to share their ideas or to “prototype” an idea.  Students can create videos to show math processes, explanations of complex concepts, review new learning, teach others, explain processes, tell stories, or present research.  The possibilities are really endless and students will come up with hundreds of other creative uses.

Teachers can use PowToon to create animations for students.  This is a great way to present new information or ideas for discussion.

Tips: The PowToon Interactive Tour and How to Create series are very helpful to watch prior to creating your first animations.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using PowToon in your classroom!

Comments (3)

I love PowToon! It was really fun and easy to use. I created this PowToon to lead in for my presentation to teachers about screencasting in the classroom:
http://youtu.be/bPNsFS_dOFU
I did not buy the HD download. I just noticed a YouTube option when I was in my video manager, to enhance the video and selected it. I think it improved the quality a bit.

I have been “playing around” with Powtoon as well! Thanks for more ideas on using it in the classroom!

Can’t wait to get the app.

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