I was introduced to Tikatok by my friend, Jackie Gerstein, when I visited her class in Sahuarita, AZ and was so impressed with the books her students were creating. Inspired after my visit, I have been waiting to try it out with a real story and my opportunity has come. My 4th grade grandson has written a pirate story for a class project and with his creativity and my Tikatok account we have created our first book. His assignment was to write a story about his adventures as a pirate that included the following details: pirate name, name of his ship, where his hideout was located (on the NC coast), use as many pirate vocabulary words as possible, include a drawing of himself as a pirate and a drawing of his Jolly Roger, plus any additional information he wanted us to know about his life as a pirate. While the assignment was to create a written project to turn in (pencil, ink, or typed) we thought it would be fun to also create a Tikatok book that could be shared online. We used his original writing and drawings, and added several images from Compfight which provides images that can be freely used with Creative Commons licensing with attribution. While we still have lots to learn and explore we are excited about our first creation. I especially like the feature that allows you to continue editing your book after it’s created and the URL remains the same so anyone you share the URL with will always see your latest version. If you have tried Tikatok with your students I would love to see examples and hear your tips/tricks for creating books.
This post started out as a test to see if I could upload a movie from my Flip Video camera to my blog. I was delighted to find that it not only was a successful upload, but that it retained very good quality. I am using an older model of Flip Video from Pure Digital (60 min. capacity) which I purchased on sale at Office Max for $129.00. There are newer models available now with improved features and the prices have actually come down. If I were to buy one now I would choose one that has the ability to be re-charged because you can go through the AA batteries pretty quickly. I would also like to have one that has more zoom capability. I took photos of a high school performance in a dark auditorium and while the photos were quite clear in spite of the conditions, I couldn’t zoom in as much as I would have liked. I chose to post the short video clip of wakeboarding on the lake because it wasn’t a “close-up” but still captured the moment. You can also take still photos with the camera.
I love how easy it is to carry (light-weight, fits easily in pocket or purse). I also really like the flip-out USB arm that allows you to plug into your computer without an additional cable and download your videos. I was able to take lots of short segments with room to spare on my 60-minute capacity and then drop all of them into iMovie on my MacBookPro to add still photos, music, captions, transitions and create a very nice finished product. Of course it doesn’t have the features and quality of my Canon DVR but it is a great, inexpensive, portable alternative that allows you to always be prepared to capture those spontaneous moments that can pass so quickly! No setup is required, just turn it on and click on record. I’m really enjoying exploring the potential of my FlipVideo camera!
The Ultimate Camping Experience (one example-click on the link)
This was an incredible moment captured with my FlipVideo camera. I was so “tickled” to realize that we could use a cell phone to call Costco’s while connected wirelessly to the internet to order a new DVR camera while out in the mountains camping! A moment worth capturing!
Thanksgiving in the US is just around the corner and I am so excited to be able to travel this Thanksgiving to visit my daughter and her family in North Carolina! I have so many things to be thankful for in my life and especially love the ways that technology has enabled me to share some of these things with others (my blog, website, online videos, ScrapBlog, online photo sites such as One True Media, Picasa, Flickr, etc.–the list is endless!) To begin my blog post today I wanted to share a beautiful online movie created by Mary Robinson Reynolds called “The Thanksgiving Movie.” Her movies are always so inspirational and this one is no exception. The beautiful photos, music and especially personal memories help viewers to remember their own special Thanksgiving memories and to give thanks for them. If you enjoy this movie as much as I do, you might want to check out her website to view other movies. (http://www.makeadifference.com/)
One more tool I have really enjoyed using to send personalized, online greetings for various holidays is ScrapBlog. I have shared this tool before (July, 2008) but I REALLY love it! The tool is so easy to use and you can upload photos, videos and be as creative as you like in compiling your greeting. Templates are offered to get you started but you can also start from scratch and create your own. This is an example of a Thanksgiving greeting I created last year with photos, YouTube video and background music. Maybe this will give you some ideas about how you can use this wonderful tool. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!