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My Simple Show: Create your own explainer videos for free!

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Character Education, Create, Foreign Language, Government, History, Inquiry, Language Arts, Maker Space, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Technology, video, web tools, Websites | Posted on 22-09-2016

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Create  explainer videos free with My Simple Show!

What it is: My Simple Show Video Creator lets students easily create professional level “explainer” videos. The finished product looks just like a Common Craft video, so cool! The step-by-step tool helps students think about storyline and the flow of explaining a concept.

How to integrate My Simple Show into the classroom: My Simple Show is a fantastic option for digital storytelling. Students begin by choosing to write their own script, or by uploading a Power Point presentation. Next, they can choose from one of many templates to start from, or alternately, start from scratch. The templates are an awesome option because they give kids an outline and break down the story telling/explaining process. For each step in the process, it guides students with a prompt and with some examples. My Simple Show auto-magically picks up words in the script and suggests pictures. Students can use the pre-selected images, choose an image from the My Simple Show library of images, or upload their own image or picture. In the final step, students add audio. This can be computer generated or students can record their own audio. The finished product is pretty impressive! Below is a video I made quickly today.

My Simple Show’s obvious use is for explanatory digital storytelling, but it would also be a great way for students to reflect on a field trip, tell a story, retell new learning (pssst. this is an awesome way to check for understanding!), or create their own “textbooks.”

Students can use My Simple Show to explain a historical event, introduce a biological process, introduce a physical law, summarize literature, summarize a biography, discuss pros and cons, explain a law, etc. Use My Simple Show to create whole class stories where each student contributes a portion of the explanation or story.  This type of video can be made over a few weeks using classroom devices as a writing center.  This would be a fun way to create an A to Z type book of learning, reflections by students after a unit, a 100 day video,  fact vs. opinion video,  a class video of poems, a phonics video, or a class video about a field trip that students took. Students can take pictures of science experiments and create a digital video detailing the experiment with text, images, and student voice reflections included.  The finished product can be shared with parents and families easily through YouTube, Vimeo, or downloaded as a MP4 file.

For a back to school night activity, take a picture of each student to add to a class video and record students sharing an explanation of a school day. This same idea could be used in preparation for parent-teacher conferences. Students can create a video about their learning during the quarter/trimester, record thoughts about why they are proud of the work they did, and add reflections.  These can be shared as a starting point for conferences, at the end of the conference, parents have a keepsake. My Simple Show could also be used for character education. Give the students a scenario or problem, and have them work out a step-by-step explanation or solution.

Because of the voice recording capabilities, My Simple Show, would be a great way for students to practice a foreign language.  They can illustrate a word or phrase accompanied by the audio.  Classes could work together to create a “living” digital glossary.

Be sure to give your students access to My Simple Show in your Maker Space, it is a great option for students to choose!

Tips: My Simple Show has video guides that lead students through each step of the process…I definitely recommend watching these at least once as a class or for the first round of creation!

Little Bird Tales

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Character Education, collaboration, Create, Foreign Language, Interactive book, Language Arts, Math, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 25-02-2011

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What it is: I am late on this post, but it is too good to skip a mention!  Little Bird Tales is a new way to digital story tell with primary students.  With Little Bird Tales, students can upload their own artwork, record their voice, add text and email their finished creations to family and friends. Sign up on Little Bird Tales requires an email address for verification purposes.  This can be a parent or teacher email address (the site is geared for 3 to 14-year-old children so a student address is not necessary).  Little Bird Tales includes a built-in art pad where students can create pictures online.  They also have the option to upload photographs and images they have created offline.  Each page give students a place to add a picture, text and voice recording.  Finished books can be saved and accessed online or sent via email.

How to integrate Little Bird Tales into the classroom: Little Bird Tales is a brilliant option for digital storytelling in the primary classroom.  I love that it includes both online and offline student creations, as well as student voice recordings.  Students can use Little Bird Tales for creative writing and imaginative stories, as a way to reflect on learning, or as a keepsake for parents.  Students can take pictures of science experiments and create a digital science journal detailing the experiment with text and student voice reflections included.

Use Little Bird Tales to create whole class stories where each student contributes a page.  This type of book can be made over a few weeks using classroom computers as a writing center.  This would be a fun way to create an A to Z type book of learning, reflections by students after a unit, a 100 day book, fact vs. opinion book, an interactive glossary, a class book of poems, a phonics book, or a class book about a field trip that students took.  The finished product can be shared with parents and families easily through an email. For a back to school night activity, take a picture of each student to add to a class book and record students sharing what their favorite part of the school day is.  This same idea could be used in preparation for parent-teacher conferences. Students can upload pictures of their best school work, record thoughts about why they are proud of the work they did, and add reflections in the text field.  These can be shared as a starting point for conferences, at the end of the conference, parents have a keepsake.

Because of the voice recording capabilities, Little Bird Tales, would be a great way for students to practice a foreign language.  They can illustrate a word or phrase accompanied by the audio.  Classes could work together to create a “living” digital glossary.

Do you have a planned absence coming?  Why not create a digital story that your substitute can share with students?  Upload pictures that support learning, text, and your voice.

Tips: If you have parent email addresses in Google, Yahoo, or Outlook, they can be directly imported into Little Bird Tales as contacts.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Little Bird Tales in your classroom!