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BeMused- Museums and Art Galleries: Watch. Look. Do. Discuss

What it is: Bemused is another site from the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  BeMused helps students be excited, aware, informed, amused, and involved in the Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery.  Through videos and activities sections students can discover more about the museum and gallery.  Students can get involved by visiting the Your Say section or submitting their own artwork to the online Gallery.  Students can watch videos including an introduction to the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery and short poems created by kids inspired by the issues surrounding slavery and Olaudah Equiano’s life.  The online gallery holds beautiful artwork created by students.  Your students can create and submit their own artwork for the online gallery.  The activities section has interesting quizzes and activities about art, history and museums.  In one activity, students try to find the faces in famous works of art as quickly as possible.  The Your say section gives students an opportunity to talk about history, art, and museums.  Students can add to an existing topic or start their own topic for discussion.  Currently discussions include what would you like to see in an art gallery?; who is your favourite artist?; and Is graffiti art? How to integrate BeMused into your curriculum: Bemused is a good place for students to be inspired by art and history.  This site encourages student interaction.  Students can join into forum discussions about art or history and even submit their own artwork to the online art gallery.  In the video section, students can watch a video of student created poems centered around history.  Use the video for classroom inspiration.  Your students can create and write their own poetry inspired by history.  If your students have visited many of the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery sites, they may enjoy challenging themselves to the quizzes in the activities section of the site. Tips: BeMused was created for the Birmingham Museum and Art Collection.  They have several excellent websites that I will be reviewing. Please leave a comment and share how you are using BeMused 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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