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Tikatok-Student Online Book Publishing

Posted by Peggy George on May 31, 2009 in education, family

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.

tikatokpiratebookimage

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Flip Video-Exploring Features

Posted by Peggy George on Feb 6, 2009 in education, family

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!

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Liz Kolb and Cell Phones in Learning

Posted by Peggy George on Nov 22, 2008 in cellphones, education, instruction, lkolb

I am a big fan of Liz Kolb and her incredible work and research concerning the use of cell phones in learning. I am a regular follower of her blog which is loaded with resources, and was very excited to purchase her new book called “Toys to Tools: Connecting Student Cell Phones to Education” published by ISTE. I especially value the fact that Liz includes lots of suggestions for using cell phones for learning outside of the classroom because there are still many schools that ban the use of cell phones in schools. Her creative, practical examples for all age groups/all subject areas are great, and can be carried out by students at home! Another excellent resource from Liz is a radio show she has recently started. Her shows air bi-weekly on Wednesday afternoons and always have lots of valuable, practical information. The shows also provide an opportunity for listeners to contribute and ask questions in a chat. You can tune in and participate in the live event, or listen to the archived shows later. Her latest show focused on text messaging. Text Messaging Projects for Student Cell Phones I guarantee you will leave motivated and eager to try her suggestions after every show! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/elikeren

You also might want to consider signing up for your own show. BlogTalk Radio is a free online service for broadcasting. Information from their site: BlogTalkRadio is the social radio network that allows users to connect quickly and directly with their audience. Using an ordinary telephone and computer hosts can create free, live, call-in talk shows with unlimited participants that are automatically archived and made available as podcasts. No software download is required. Listeners can subscribe to shows via RSS into iTunes and other feed readers. The shows are archived and people can join to receive email alerts for upcoming shows (notification in your own time zone), subscribe via RSS readers or just go to the site to listen to the shows. Your shows don’t have to be weekly–you can schedule them any way you like and for any length of time you choose. If you have something you love sharing with people (ideas, tips, tutorials, entertainment, etc.) this would be something great to try out.

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