Friday, December 19, 2014

All Things Youtube

Youtube has become a powerful educational tool lately that can be used in a variety of ways.  While there is always a place for the cat and fox videos that we all love (or hate), it can also be used to post content videos for students to watch, to assist in classroom flipping, or as a resource for students to find, use, and upload their own video creations.  On the surface, Youtube is simply a platform to post and share videos.  However, there are a variety of options and features that make it much more. Below you will find directions for uploading and editing videos, including increasing the 15 minute per video limit, subscribing to channels, creating and sharing playlists, and downloading Youtube videos.  The options are endless!

Uploading Videos:

  • Teachers and students can post videos to Youtube and share them.  One issue some teachers have run into is the 15 minute limit set on our school Youtube accounts.  However, that limit can be increased by following the directions below from the Youtube Help Site: Increasing Your Youtube Limit
  • Additionally, students can upload their own videos by following these directions: Uploading to Youtube.  
  • Once you have uploaded videos to Youtube, you also have the option to edit those videos, right in Youtube.  This video has instructions and help for editing your videos in Youtube.

Along with uploading videos, you can create and have students subscribe to your Youtube channel, making sharing classroom videos easier, or you yourself can subscribe to channels of interest to you.  For instance, Fargo Public Schools has an informative and helpful Youtube Channel with technology help videos - check it out here!
If you prefer not to access a complete channel or to create your own videos for classroom use, you can also create your own playlists, which are a collection of videos you choose and organize.  This works well if you use a variety of videos that you show in class or have students watch and you want to keep them organized and handy.  See the links below for videos on how to use channels and playlists.
     How to Subscribe to Channels
     How to Create and Share Playlists

See all the videos on the Youtube Help Channel here.

Downloading Youtube Videos and Audio

There are a number of ways to download videos from Youtube and options for downloading entire videos or just the audio of a video.  Students will often want to take short clips from videos to use in class projects, and the following sites allow for that.  This is also very helpful if you want to access a video later when you don't have internet access, or as a safety if you are planning to show a video in class, in case something isn't working (we all know the day you want to show a video is the day all it will do is buffer and not play).

  •      Keepvid: This site allows you to download videos from a variety of sites, including Youtube.  Simply copy and paste the video link in the box at the top of the page and click Download.  The site will provide options for downloading in a variety of formats, including video or audio only.
  •      Clip Converter: This site is another options for downloading online videos, or for uploading and converting the format of a video you have saved on your computer.  To download, simply paste the link and click continue.  Similar to Keepvid, you will get a list of options for downloading, including audio only.
  •      Youtube to MP3: This is one I recently leaned about from students, where you can again use the link to a Youtube video and convert it to an MP3 file that can be downloaded.  This is an easy way to get just the audio from a video or to get music that students can then use in presentations or classroom projects.  There is a variety of public domain music available on Youtube that students can use.  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Are You in Kahoot!?

Formative assessment is a big topic around here and a focus this year, so this blog post will focus on another formative assessment tool called Kahoot.  Kahoot is a student response system that allows teachers to create pre-made quizzes, discussions, and surveys, which can then be done interactively in class.  The site adds a game-like quality to the formative assessment, making more fun and interactive for students.

Teachers can create their own Kahoots (quizzes, discussions, or surveys) or use ones other teachers have created and made public.  After completing the activity teachers can receive a summary report that provides information about each student and the class as a whole, including a breakdown by question on how the students did during the activity.  This can help teachers evaluate later individual students who may need more attention, or topics that they may need to reteach.

See the videos below for more information on using Kahoot!

Introduction to Kahoot for Classroom Assessments
Get Kahoot  - link to site for teachers to sign up
Kahootit! - Link for students to participate in an assessment

Friday, December 5, 2014

Video Creation

There are a variety of tools available online, as software, and as apps that can be used for video creation. Some, like Windows Movie Maker, we have had access to for years on our school computers and most teachers and students are fairly familiar with.  Others, only a few teachers have ever tried, and still others are completely new to us all.  This blog post will cover a couple of tools that are not as frequently used in our school or that have specific features that make them unique.

Zoetrope is actually at Windows 8 app that is available for install on our student devices and teacher computers that have Windows 8.  This app is a great choice for creating stop-motion movies for classroom projects.  The app makes it easy to take pictures and provides an overlay of the previous image, making it easier to create the stop-motion effect.  Once the images are completed, it is easy to save the video and then share it with others, or put it into another program such as movie maker to add more effects.  A couple of our math teachers recently used this app to have students create stop-motion videos about trig functions and it worked really well.  Overall, what makes this app appealing is that it is easy to use.  See the links below for more information on downloading and using the app.

Zoetrope App in Windows Store
Directions for Students for Downloading an App on their PLDs
Directions for Using the Zoetrope App

Stupeflix is a website that is great for classroom projects with younger students, students who aren't as technology savvy, or when you want a fast and easy option without a lot of bells and whistles.  Stupeflix lets students create videos using a premade theme that they choose (and there are only two free options to choose from), and then students add in their own pictures or videos to use.  There are a few features like being able to add a title and credits, or adding text overlay on an image, but there are no frills or extras with those features.  Additionally, music or audio can be added to the project, and the site provides a database of free music that can be used, or the students can upload music or audio recording.  Once a video is finished, it is easy to complete and share.  The biggest benefits of this site are how easy it is to use and that younger students or those without strong technology skills can still create videos.  We recently used this site with our ELL New Americans class where they created videos about their learning styles and likes and dislikes.  The limited options worked well because they were able to focus on the content and ideas instead of getting caught up in how to use the technology. Click the links below for more information or to access the site.

Stupeflix Website
Directions for Using Stupeflix
Link to Stupeflix Youtube Channel - How-to and Example Videos