Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cross platform issues

I've hit a couple of snags working with PC computers in my room and Macs in the broadcast lab. I tried to download a digital video tape to my PC laptop to show the students and allow them to make comments about how they would change the shots taken in the video, but it did not load correctly in 3 tries...although I've successfully loaded videos to that laptop before. I then decided to leave it on the MacBook where it did load successfully, but my projector does not have a cord that connects with the MacBook. It was a day of frustration for me and the kids as they wanted to see the video they had taken and I was unable to get it loaded for them and show it during that class period. I'm going to have to consult our more experienced Mac users and find some answers. I definitely see the need for more video editing, transferring, music background information and assistance. I love the MacBook, but still need to use my Dell for many school functions. I'd like to get efficient so I don't have to carry 2 laptops around with me and alternate which one is used for which function.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Where are we keeping the calendar of sign in/out of items? I would like the chance to learn on one of the touches before asking my kids to do something with them. I'd like to use them during our week of Via Colori, our sidewalk drawing event which will fall in the first part of November, but I am not positive of the date yet. Probably the second or third week. We hope to have many guests artists attend to design squares and I'd like to try to get them to talk to the artists on tape. I can do this with video cameras and imovie if I need to. I will only have about 6 groups working on each square, so I would only need 6 of the touches; one for each group. Thanks.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Netbooks in action

I have had my Journalism students working on their projects using the netbook computers yesterday and today. They love the cute little computers, but I'm having to point out which applications they can use and which they can't on the little netbooks. They are learning it is possible to type without a Microsoft product. We are discovering there are certain times you really need the big computers and other times it's great to use the baby netbooks. The only problems so far are getting all the netbooks to connect at the same time. Some of them seem to have a few quirks and we are working on identifying those.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tech Apps Classes

Since the Mac Lab is brand new to all my students, all classes have been working with the iLife applications in creating several products. They started first with the Photo Booth and used the different effects in it to create really silly pictures of themselves & their classmates. From there we went to iPhoto and brought all those pictures in where they learned how to edit them some more with cropping, rotating, and more types of effects. Afterward, they created a slideshow of their images and exported it as a final product. Next, they learned how to record themselves in Garage Band, edit their recording and add music and sound effects. They they exported it as a podcast. Currently, they are scripting their first movie which will be all about themselves and their lives from family, friends, school and goals. They will use Photo Booth to shoot this & if our new Flip Cameras come in, they will use those as well. From there they we'll learn to import all of this in to iMovie and edit it into a real movie. Our plan is to post all their work, for now, on our school's Intranet; if it will work. By doing all of these projects up front, my plan was to have a cadre of 6, 7, & 8 grade students with a basic working knowledge of the different applications and their processes so they would be the leaders for the rest of the school as teachers begin to delve in to all these wonderful acticities. That's about it for now, but I think they've been pretty busy!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My 1st Attempt With the Touches

This week I used the iPod touches with my classes for the first time. The students used the Piqqo Project app to learn about a couple of projects people in other countries have set up to conserve energy and then wrote summaries about what they had learned. Overall, I was very pleased with how well the students stayed on task and were enjoying getting to learn in a new way. I think they really enjoyed being able to see the videos and pictures that went along with the written information. Doing it did point out some of the difficulties with web based apps though. If you are planning on using a web based app, make sure to check it out in your room with several of the touches ahead of time. Even after getting the app set up to work in the district (thanks Karen for your help getting that done!), we still had a few touches that couldn't get what was needed for the assignment. I'm looking forward to using them again!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Early Steps

My students are working on videos for a district project where they create 1-2 minute videos titled "I Am Inspired By." We should begin shooting the video this week. I'm hoping we can have them ready to post in the next two weeks. I think they will be excited to see their own work actually completed and "out there" where other people can view it as well. We should also have our first newspaper edition ready to go soon and will spend some time making selected articles into a NMS news podcast as well.