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Thanksgiving: Plimoth Plantation Virtual Field Trip

What it is: Scholastic has a wonderful site and interactive for students to investigate the first Thanksgiving.  Tomorrow, November 16th (2010), your class can participate in a Plimoth Plantation Virtual Field Trip.  In this 30 minute online field trip your students will get to meet a Pilgrim and a Wampanoag—straight from Plimoth Plantation.  This Virtual Field Trip brings the Plimoth Plantation Museum to your students. This is sure to be a fun trip where your students can experience the first Thanksgiving in a new way.  In addition to the field trip, your students will receive “letters” (emails) from the Pilgrims and Wampanoags making the experience even more memorable.   The site has the original interactive activities for your students to explore before or after the field trip.  Download the free classroom guide and sign up today! How to integrate Thanksgiving: Plimoth Plantation Virtual Filed Trip to your curriculum: This virtual field trip is a fun way for your students to “experience” the first Thanksgiving.  Students will begin to understand what life was like for the Pilgrims and Wampanoags that first Thanksgiving and hear first hand what struggles they faced.   The virtual field trip brings the actors from the Plimoth Museum into your classroom.  Watch the field trip from your classroom using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer or bring several classes together in a larger space like the library.  After the field trip, set up classroom computers with the rest of the Scholastic Thanksgiving activities. Here students can explore the Mayflower, learn about daily life of the pilgrims and the Wampanoags, and check out the first Thanksgiving feast.  Scholastic provides a wonderful teaching guide that will help you use this site to its fullest. Tips: Here are some of my other tried and true favorite sites for Thanksgiving: Black Dog’s Thanksgiving fun and games Scholastic’s First Thanksgiving Investigating the First Thanksgiving Free Rice and see how we used it as a Thanksgiving activity here Please leave a comment and share how you are using Thanksgiving: Plimoth Plantation Virtual Field Trip 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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