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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!

Google Search Stories Video Creator

Posted by admin | Posted in History, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, video, Video Tutorials, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 12-04-2010

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What it is: Do you remember Google’s advertisement at the 2010 Superbowl?  It was called Google Search Stories and showed a story of Parsian Love  through a series of Google searches. Brilliant.  Now you and your students can create your very own Google Search story with Google Search Stories Video Creator.  There are three steps to creating your own Google Story: 1. Write the story, 2. Add Music, 3. Preview and Upload.  As you write your story,  you can choose to search by web, blog, images, maps, news, product search, and books.  

How to integrate Google Search Stories Video Creator into the classroom: Google Search story is an innovative way for students to display understanding or tell a story.  This tool teaches students to get to the heart of the story and tell it in a new, creative way.  Students can demonstrate their understanding of history, current events, a book that they have read, or a math sequence.

First, students come up with 7 events to search, paying close attention to story structure.  They should consider mixing web, images, maps, and blogs.  This will make the story more interesting.  Next, students choose music to fit the theme of their story.  It can be comedic, dramatic, romantic, country, horror, family, or sci-fi.  Finally, students can preview their story and share it with the world.

Think about sharing the life of a historical figure, or the story of Romeo and Juliet, or the scientific method in an experiment, or the story of their digital footprint,  or a fictional story that the student created.  Instead of writing out a traditional outline for a story, why not turn it into a Google Story?  The possibilities of this tool are nearly endless!  If you are introducing new information or learning to your class, consider doing it through a Google Story.  Watch the story as a class and find out what your students already know, what they need to learn, and what they want to know.  You could also create a Google Story as a class after new learning.  As you teach, ask students to jot down thoughts about what they could add to their search story to sum up the learning.  This will keep students engaged and thinking critically about the new material.  After the video has been completed, students can access it from home as an outline of what they learned in class.

Tips: Check out the Tips offered for starting a story, these tips will give you, and your students, a great jumping off point.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Google Search Stories in your classroom.