Pi: Film on the Fly

If you haven’t participated in the KOCE-TV, PBS  “Film on The Fly” challenge, you absolutely should.  My son and I had a blast.  Not sure the video hit the mark, as for showing circumference, ran longer than the 120 second limit and I didn’t use a cell phone (don’t have one that shoots video).  However, the day proved educational for my son and I.  He learned that doing a movie with dad equals pizza and Ferris Wheel rides.  I learned that trying to shoot at 8 different locations in Chicago in the 3 hours before dark can prove a challenge in itself.

We both walk away having spent quality time together, learning and with 3.14 temporary tatoos (wife not happy).

Check out all the entries here:  www.filmonthefly.ning.com

You can find the winners here at the Film on the Fly blog: http://www.koce.org/filmonthefly/

Watch my film below, though you need to be able to access youtube. :)

No MovieMaker, No iMovie, No Problem!

Discovery Education streaming has over 5,000 videos with Editable rights.  This means you can download and then edit the contents of the video, from audio to the actual video itself.  What if your computer doesn’t have video editing software?  What can you do?

Welcome to JayCut, an on-line video editing application.  No need to download and install an application, simply locate the editable video (video segment) in DE streaming you wish to edit. Download it, then upload it to JayCut for editing. Make sure you set the video to private and you’re ready to edit away.

Check out the quick overview below.

A facebook Infused CNN

Facebook Injected CNN

Just like some aging celeberities, CNN got a botox like injection of youth from the ever growing facebook yesterday.

 “This is CNN”.     Isn’t the same without hearing James Earl Jones’ booming voice resonating the real message, “This is THE NEWS.”  For many, including me, CNN has been just that, THE NEWS.  It’s the channel to jump to at home and website to click from the office or on the blackberry.  It’s been this way for me since college, going on a decade.  You want to catch-up on the world, the nation or the scores from the late games, you go to CNN, watch and/or read.  For me, it’s mostly read.  Click on the next story, read.  Very passive.  No longer.

To be fair, the CNN website has a ton of things to do. Look at video segments, read stories and blogs, pull up images, vote in polls and zoom in on Google integrated maps.  It’s media rich.  The component they’ve lacked,  a good social piece.  Who has a good social piece, facebook. That’s right, CNN and facebook teamed up and brought a unique experience to the Presidential Inauguration yesterday.

I turned to CNN for the live, streamed broadcast of the inauguration and was surprised to see a facebook pane just to the right of the live video. Begin multi-tasking. After logging in, facebook provided a bar to update my status and two tabs.  The first, a constant roll of status updates from other people watching the CNN feed, just like me.  The second tab, status updates from my specific friends.  Even though I wasn’t in DC and not with a group in downtown Chicago watching on a giant screen, I felt a part of that historic day.  My voice could be heard, well read, by millions of others and I could read their thoughts.  News not only came from the live video, but also from a thousand others, some standing in the crowd on the Mall, some from rooftops and others relaying the excitement from around the world.  I even got traffic updates from a friend in DC, just trying to help anyone heading to the Mall.

I hope CNN and facebook continue their partnership, bringing more live events to us in this format.  No longer passive media, but social media.


Fast side note.  I’ve been asked many times if I think facebook should be discussed and or used in schools.  There’s not an easy answer here. You know your students, your community and your curriculum better than I do.  I do believe that all of your teachers and administrators need to discuss and understand facebook.  You don’t have to befriend a single student to learn about the site and I bet you’ll be surprised at the number of your friends that are already there, waiting to befriend you.  I just befriended my mother-in-law.

CNN and facebook on Inauguration Day: By-The-Numbers

1.5 Million Obama related status updates

4,000 status updates per minute

8,500 status updates during the first minute of Obama’s speech

Arrington, Michael. “Facebook’s Big Day: 1.5 Million Obama-Related Status Updates Via CNN.” Washington Post.com. 20 Jan 2009. The Washington Post. 21 Jan 2009 <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/20/AR2009012004599.html>. 



Below is a quick video showing a sample of the facebook status updates during the inauguration.



Download larger version of video

Pump Up the Volume: Auditory Learning & DE streaming

Song Stats

STAR Discovery Educator quick media access(must be logged into DE) 

Song Stats.001.jpg  &  I_See_an_Elephant_in_the_Sky.mp3

Interest in this came right from my PLN via Plurk, Twitter and the blogs.   I saw a quick post that linked me to an unusual flickr group, not that an unusual flickr group is that hard to find, but this is something that makes perfect sense: SONG CHART.    The majority of images in this group are charts/graphs showing data from various songs.  Take the example I created above.   I took a song from DE streaming, “I See an Elephant in the Sky” by Twin Sisters, listened to the lyrics and created a graph that highlights some of the data in the song.  This is a great way to introduce the importance of graphs by illustrating a use outside of the norm.   Would love some feedback on this.  Have you ever used graphs this way?  If you’ve used this with your students, how’d it go? 

Summer Fun in the Builders: Voicethread and the DE streaming Assignment Builder

Students are always thinking, lets focus and tap into those thoughts.  With Olympics over and schools all over back in session, it’s a perfect time to reflect on all the things that have happened over the summer.  Using video and images from DE streaming combined with Voicethread‘s ability to create a digital story, your students can share their summer experiences via text, voice, images and videos.  Check out our video tutorial below for a detailed how-to.

DE streaming, Voicethread and Assignment Builder from Mike Bryant on Vimeo.

Please remember to make your Voicethreads Private if uploading DE streaming video content.

DE streaming Audio & PowerPoint Synced Up

Ever try to sync audio with a power-point presentation? It can be frustrating, wait is frustrating.  1.5 seconds on slide 1, then 5.8 seconds on slide 2, 2.4 seconds of slide 3 and so on. There’s an easier way.  MyPlick.

Check out the below video to see how easy it is to take one the hundreds of songs found in DE streaming and sync it with your power-point for an amazing presentation.

DE streaming Audio, MyPlick and the Assignment Builder from Mike Bryant on Vimeo.

Always make sure you set your project to private when adding DE streaming content to the web.

DEN Leadership Council Institute DE streaming & Google Earth


Having a blast at the Discovery Educator Network LC Institute. Quick post today to get my keynote up and out to the group. The images, movie and sound do not work, but you’re more than likely looking for the embed codes anyway. View the slideshare below or click on the link, DEN Leadership Council Institute DE streaming & Google Earth, to download the ppt. Remember the Quicktime embed only works for macs right now. :(

Easily Annotate your Discovery Education streaming videos

Think VH1’s “Pop-up Video”. I’ve come across two sites recently that allow you to upload, then annotate you’re own video. I’m sure by week end there’ll be 50 – 60 more, that’ll offer a similar service, but will stick with these two for now.

  1. YouTube: I know you shuddered, hear me out.
  2. Graspr: Relatively new and probably not blocked.

YouTube.com: (If YouTube is blocked scroll down to the next section)

If you don’t have an account, create one it’s free. Despite what you may have heard, there are actually educational videos on YouTube. Curious about RSS, here’s an explanation from our friends at CommonCraft. See, although your head may be spinning, you learned something.

YouTube recently added the ability to annotate videos. Add speech bubbles, notes and spotlights at the points you pick in a video. Check out my example by clicking here.

To make this example, I simply downloaded a video segment from the Discovery Channel series “When We Left Earth”, available through Discovery Education streaming. I uploaded the segment to YouTube. For this example, since this quick preview segement from the series appears publicly on the Discovery.com website, I choose the the broadcast option of making this segment open to the world. Videos you upload will need to be made private, viewable only by those with a license to Discovery Education streaming.

Once my video was uploaded, I was able to click on the “Add/Edit Video Annotations” button in the top right. There are a few tutorials right on the page, but with a mouse click you be able to add annotations at any point in the video. Play around with it and let me know what you think.

Graspr.com: (New on the block and a different way to annotate).

Like YouTube, create an account, it’s also free. Graspr looks to build a video sharing community around instructional content, a lot of tutorials and how-tos. They aren’t flashy. Not a lot of ads. A relatively small community. I not for the whole annotation component I would have never gone back. I like the way clicking on a note takes you to that point in the video segment.

Again I’ve used the before mentioned segment from Discovery Channel’s “When We left Earth”. I downloaded the segment as before from Discovery Education streaming and uploaded it to Graspr. I choose to make this video public, as I discussed above, however you will need to make any video downloaded from Discovery Education streaming private. Check out the example here.

I added notes to the video, that if clicked on will take you right to that spot in the video. A little different than YouTube’s vision, but I like it. It feels a little less complicated.

I see both services being used as home extensions; a way to get the exact message and content across to a student home sick or that needs to catch-up. These could also used if you have stations set-up in your classroom. YouTube will more than likely be blocked at your school, so Graspr may work best for you. I’d love to hear what you think about these two ways to annotate your videos and invite you to share any sites you know of that do something similar. Add your comments below.

Amazing Tool for Educators!!

Look above. No! Really! It is an amazing tool. We often get caught up in the latest and greatest: hey did you checkout Reproba? Reproba can grade essay questions for you. ;) We tend to forget why we’re using some of these tools or we get lost in a sea of apps and web2.0 sites. I’m not saying cool apps and web2.0 sites can’t be useful. I’m just asking you to take a deep breath, turn off your computer, grab a trusted pen and put it to paper. Your experience, whether right out of college or a 20+ year veteran, is what will help make a connection with your students.

Great lessons start here - In your head. Write down your lesson ideas. Get a clear and concise view of what you want to convey in a lesson before you go to the computer. Once you have a clear vision, then you’ll be able to pick the best tool/app/media to help convey your message to your class. So, grab a pen and pad. Head outside, find that comfy spot on your sofa or jet over to Starbucks for some brain juice and let the ideas flow.

Web2.0 RoadMap

This week I’m in Orlando, FL on vacation. So why am I writing a work blog? Simply found a very cool site that I had to share. Web2.0 Web2.0 Web2.0 It’s what everyone’s been talking about for several years now, but how do I find web2.0 site? This site, Go2Web20, has a ton of web2.0 sites for you to explore.  You can even sort by tags, name, date, etc…  Ok, going back out to the pool now.

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