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Book Wink

What it is: Book Wink is an absolutely incredible site to motivate students in 3rd through 8th grade to read.  Through podcasts and web video Book Wink introduces students to books that will help get students excited about reading.  Video book talks are about 3 minutes in length and introduce students to a topic, and the additional read-alikes that can be found on the Book Wink website.  Books can be searched by grade, subject, author, or title.  Subscribe to the video podcats to automatically receive the newest book talks.  This months book talk introduces students to the heist.  Check it out, it is fantastic! How to integrate Book Wink into the classroom:   Book Wink is an outstanding way to excite and motivate students to read.   Use Book Wink with a projector and introduce your whole class to a book talk.  The book talks are engaging and will have your students wanting to check out books on the subject for silent reading time.  Each book talk gives a related list of books along with their age appropriateness.  This makes it simple for your students to find a book that will capture their attention and help them gain a love of reading. Check out the Book Wink archives to find a genre or topic that fits with your current curriculum.  Topics include: heists, World War II, Sharks, 19th Centrury, Love, Mythology, Volcanos, Mermaids, Museum Mysteries, Sea Adventures, Parallel Universes, Popularity, South America, and Endangered Animals.  A new book talk is added each month, this should have your students excited about reading year round!  Book Wink would be a great site to have bookmarked or set as a homepage in the school  library.  After your students have become familiar with the book talk format on Book Wink, encourage them to host and record their own book talks.   Tips:  Book Wink is free to use.  You can support Book Wink through purchases from their online store or through a donation.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Book Wink in your classroom.

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Popcorn Maker: Mashup video with images, articles, text, maps, etc.

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Create, Evaluate, Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 23-01-2013

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What it is: Popcorn Maker is a super cool site that I learned about from Michael Zimmer’s blog, The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness.  Popcorn Maker is an online video mashup tool that makes it easy to integrate several different forms of online media into a video.  A clip from YouTube can be enhanced with article clips, images, text, audio, maps, other live feeds and social media content. Add some “bling” to any video clip…interactive is better! Videos can be mashed without logging in.  Creating a user profile let’s you save and share the finished project.

How to integrate Popcorn Maker into the classroom: Popcorn Maker is a great way to enhance videos.  Teachers can use Popcorn Maker to mashup media for students to engage with.  This could be adding a map to an historical video so that students can better visualize where an event is taking place, adding a wikipedia article to expand on an idea that a video touches on, adding a live social media feed with student comments as a “backchannel” video, etc.  This type of use is great for expanding on Kahn academy type instructional videos (which can be a bit boring/dry), educational videos, etc.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a real-life example pop up during a Kahn academy instructional video?  Students can connect number sense and computation.  (What a novel concept!)  For young students, create a video with embedded directions (audio or text) and next steps for learning.  This would make for a great learning center for completing a science experiment, multi-step directions, or next steps of learning.

Students can use Popcorn Maker to enhance videos that they have created, to further expand on an idea, to help explain a researched topic to the rest of the class, or to share reflections on a video with others.  Because students can add text, it is easy for them to add their “blogged” reflections directly in a video to be shared with others.  So often our students start their research with a video search.  Ask them to create a mashup of all of their research using Popcorn Maker.  This will help them to dig beyond the video for other relevant content that adds to their understanding.

In the “flipped” classroom, Popcorn Maker takes the videos to the next level.  Popcorn Maker could be a great way to help apprentice students in the art of learning.  Students can see the way that connections are made among different media types and are led through how to think and expand on an interesting topic.  After students have viewed a few mashups, ask them to create their own.  This could be really helpful in discovering misunderstandings in learning, gaps in the way research is being completed, or difficulties in making connections.

Tips: The tutorial on the first page is really useful. I recommend it before beginning a project!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Popcorn Maker in your classroom.

Comments (2)

We used this briefly for a mobile journalism course and I found it to be great in regards to layout, easy accessibility and immediacy of outcome. This is a great journalistic tool

I think the Popcorn Maker is a very smart invention! I remember when I was younger and I would get so tired of just listening to my teacher talk, but now teachers can really make a lecture interesting! It can also increase your knowledge about something by explaining it in different ways! Assigning it to be used by students can also improve the knowledge of things because they have to research all different types of resources and combine them. I’m very glad that I read this article and I may even start using the Popcorn Maker when I become a teacher!

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