The Mission!

People have been asking me recently, “What can’t an iPad do?” Today I found out. Or at least I found out how I would try it next time to make it work.

I decided I wanted to make this whole project on the iPad and not touch the laptop.

On Thursday I recorded the class I was working with choral speaking a poem. I didn’t have my iRig mike with me so quickly grabbed the audio with the free app QuickVoice Recoder cos there wasn’t a lot of time before PMP.

I wanted to basically create an enhanced podcast like I do on my laptop with Garageband. Easy I thought. No great timing or editing involved. Piece of cake.

Not so much!

The big hiccup was that Quickvoice only has email out of the .caf file. For all the apps that my Twitter network suggested might work, like Keynote, iMovie and Reel Director, all needed the audio to already be in iTunes.

I tried emailing the .caf file to myself on the iPad from Quickvoice hoping that it would give me options like when you email and ePub- it asks, “Would you like to open this in iBooks.” I was hoping I would get a, “Would you like to open this in iTunes.” No such luck.

The iRig mike app has an iTunes File Sharing export function but I set myself to try and do the project without the laptop. I tried recording the Quickvoice recording with the iRig mike but of course as soon as I put the mike in the iPad jack it muted the sound out so it wouldn’t go through the speakers.

I had taken the photos of the kids’ monsters with my iPhone and used the Photo Transfer App to get the photos on to the laptop so at least I didn’t have to use any cords.

I would hope that there would be a great app for doing this but I couldn’t work it out. Not at least with a pre-recorded audio track. So I gave up and went back to the laptop and had the job done in five minutes. I uploaded it to Vimeo at least which gave me easy playback on the iPad without having to use Puffin that plays Blogger flash based videos.

The finished thing is here on the class blog.

Any advice on how I could have done this better would be greatly appreciated.

 

Homework

Picture 3Tonight there was a write up in the Nelson Mail newspaper about a radical ‘new’ way of doing homework. Not so radical and not so new. I have been setting homework in this ‘new’ radical way for the last three years. I based it on a book by somebody and I can’t seem to lay my hands on it! Maybe someone can enlighten me. Before that I was the queen of the fill in the gaps, what is the capital city of… kinda girl. Not anymore. I even put a folder with year’s worth of homework in it on Trade Me and some poor sucker bought it for $10.

I teach Year Four (8 year olds). Nowadays we have a theme to the weekly homework that compliments something we are focussing on in class. After the theme has been chosen we brainstorm using Kidspiration. I save this as a pdf and children get a copy in their homework books. At the beginning of the year we start with very basic suggestions but get more interesting as the range of topics builds up. After we have done a bit of everything we dabble our way across the curriculum and key competencies.

Picture 4

A bit extreme but I have one one occasion podcasted the homework into the classroom when I was home with the flu! If you take a listen you will hear just how sad and crook I was!

Along with the focus brainstorm each child gets a grid with their homework activities for the week. It builds up over time so that each week has a range of academic, social and cultural segments with a section each week for home work- doing something to help the smooth functioning of home.

I give out the homework on a Friday and children return it on a Thursday for us to discuss, comment on and for me to write new words in their spelling notebooks for learning. This way gives the kids a whole week to work on it so if they get stuck in they could do it over the weekend and it leaves parents more able to contribute rather than rushing through the Monday-Friday thing with all the workday stresses.

If there is something on or homework doesn’t get done for a week life goes on but if children just don’t do or say they have left it at home they get a note that goes home to remind them to bring to school so I can help them with sections at lunchtime.

I have received great positive feedback from parents about my system and I would definitely never go back to the old system.

People via Twitter and the commenting have told me that the book is by Ian Lillico- you can find out more about him by following this link.

What do you do for homework in your class?

Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 10.03.00 pm

I am very proud to say that I an one of the twelve New Zealand finalists in the 2008 Microsoft Partners in Learning Innovative Teachers Award. I have been beavering away at making a poster to present at ULearn08.

The poster space is about 1mx2m so I have plenty of space to fill. Here is my centrepiece. There will no opportunity for interactivity where I have to present my poster so I made this interactive one that people will have to come to my blog to access it. All of the watermarked photos lead to blog posts that illustrate how I create, innovate, communicate and collaborate.

It took me ages to hyperlink the photos- you could test drive it for me!

 

Waimarino Cluster Conference

iPhoto

I feel a little like an international jet setter these days as I presented two workshops at a mini-conference in Tauranga hosted by the Waimarino ICT cluster. Unfortunately I missed all of Michael Pohl’s opening keynote as I struggled with the Bethlehem College protocols of not allowing non technicians to connect any devices without a technician doing it- including plugging in the data projector! I had made a wiki showing some of the ways I embed ICT into my classroom practice and was trying to add the links in tabs in Internet Explorer one by one and the their PC lab computer froze when it got to something it didn’t like. After fighting the good fight a couple of times I gave up and went back to plan A and asked for help from the technician’s to hook my Apple onto their network which he did in a few seconds. I had made a back-up plan C of a Keynote of screen grabs but that would have been a lame imitation when trying to show the interconnectivity of the web

After lunch I moved onto a second group of folks wanting to podcast with a PC. An exercise fraught with complications I hear you say but I had asked them to download Audacity and the Lame Encoder beforehand to save time. I showed the assembled group a smattering of our podcasts and then we got down to business.

Following a similar practice run session with Upper Moutere School last week I managed a work around to record a digital story using PhotoStory3 and export it as a .wmv file which I converted using www.zamzar.com to a .mov file which can be uploaded to Podomatic which makes these podcasts with graphics ready for iTunes. But these sorts of digital mazes can be a bit bedazzling for novices.

Dewey Decimal Classification - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The final keynote was by Neil Melhuish, our MoE e-Learning Project Director. I had not heard him speak before and found his message interesting and challenging. I asked him if I record and edit his keynote. I was not disappointed. Unfortunately the sound quality of the recording left something to be desired so I won’t post it. Note to self- don’t chaw your way through crustly chocolate bars while recording with an iPod. They are very sensitive.

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Neil spoke about the way that we record knowledge in the 21st century. The challenging thing (for me) that he talked about that I hadn’t thought of before was the culture-centricity of the way we organise knowledge through the Dewey system. I have always accepted it as being the way that it is and thought of it without challenge. Looking closer though at say the Religion 200’s category. From 200 to 288 all of the subcategories are based on Christianity. All of the rest of the world’s religions lumped together only get 11 subcategories. This is the way Encyclopedia Britannica organises information in its 39 volumes. The way we can co-create knowledge in Wikipedia means that the rest of the world gets a look in- that’s a good thing.

Neil spoke also of the advances in giving children in developing countries access to 21st century learning via the OLPC scheme. I went to order one myself a Give1-Get1 OLPC laptop last Christmas but didn’t realise that the deal finished in 2007. I really do like the idea of giving a laptop and getting a laptop. Neil had a few to pass around. So much for my geekiness- I couldn’t even get the thing open!

I had to hop it smartly to the airport after the keynote and once there had a few moments to spare so opened my laptop to see if there was any chance of open wi-fi. I knew Neil’s nearby presence because I noticed olpc-mesh in my nearby devices. Even closed the clever little things were roaming looking for laptop friends to play with as Neil checked his luggage without shutting down the laptops! LOL

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Meme: Passion Quilt

All
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Chrissy Hellyer tagged me for this Passion Quilt Meme through Miguel Guhlin– the idea is that you post a photo of something that you feel passionate about children’s learning. For me this is developing connections between children globally and sharing our learning with our global community.

This photo is a mash-up of our collaboration between Paul Harrington‘s class in Wales and my own Moturoa class at Appleby. Over the year we had been building links between our classes- so much so that  children felt a personal connection with Paul and his class. The children were familiar with each other via our blog posts, podcasts and Skype conversations. The connection became face to face when Dino and his  family spent time in Paul’s class while on a family holiday in the UK. We came in to school late at night so we could talk to Dino and his  Welsh buddies directly via Skype video. The virtual friendships become real.

The photo credit from the Welsh end of the conversation goes to the Times Educational Supplement that did an article on how classrooms use Skype to link up globally.

3 Simple Meme Rules:

  • Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  • Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  • Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter.

So here is my challenge to you to do the same…

Sarne’s View@sarnee

Widgets and Wikis@Keamac

Thinking Past the Square@heymilly

Finalist in Edublog Awards

» 2007 Badges The Edublog Awards

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Chis Betcher skyped me last night to tell me that our podcast was nominated and is a finalist in the Edublog Awards 2007 in the best use of audio class. I am overawed to be a finalist.

Our podcast is only a little over a year old and I am very proud of its quality and variety of podcasts.

If you are a reader of this blog and haven’t done so already I urge you to click on the Edublog badge to take you to the voting page and vote for us before 6 December when the voting finishes.

The link will also take you to many other great educational websites that you may well enjoy reading, viewing or listening to.

Adding an enhanced podcast to Blogger

Hey there! I love finding out new things and thought I would share this little gem with you all. Three posts in one day is an all time record for me!

As you may know our main class conduit to our community is our Moturoa Class Blog and Allanah’s Appleby Showcase podcast.

They link to each other but until this evening I have had to convert the .m4a enhanced podcasts made in Garageband to .mp3 audio only files, upload to another Podomatic page that I made just for that purpose, use the Firefox add-on UNPLUG and through a tricky piece of code embed the .mp3 into Blogger. The ‘how to’ on this procedure is on my Bling4yrblog page if you still want to do this.

But tonight, just for fun, I tried to upload the .m4a file to Blogger movie and it worked! Now our enhanced podcasts play right inside our Blogger posts without having to click on an outside link. I didn’t think it would seeing it says they only process AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real, and Windows Media. Yay!

I still prefer to view our podcasts within iTunes but I like the visual appeal of viewing as well as listening to our podcasts from within our blog. Click on the screen grab to view how it looks. Kieran will be ever so pleased now he can add another video to his blog.

Moturoa's Web Log: 'The Lost Thing' Podcast

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Trans-Tasman Virtual Staffroom

Reports are written, parent, child teacher interviews are completed and the dark cloud is lifting so I can share again.

Chris Betcher, Jane Nicholls, Chrissy Hellyer, Simon Evans and I joined to be part of a virtual staffroom conversation where we are able to support one another and share our great finds on the net.

» Blog Archive » Episode 20: The Kiwi Connection

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Chris, from Sydney, brought us all together via Skype for a bit of a chat about our practice. I encourage you to have a listen by clicking on Chris’ Virtual Staffroom logo. I hope you learn something from us and be entertained slightly as well.

Thanks Chris for bringing us together to discuss ULearn07, Twitter, blogging, podcasting, K12 OnLine, Second Life and more.

Paid Employment

I got a phone call at 6:45 this morning telling me that Dorothy had been knocked down with the flu and wasn’t going to be able to fly down from Auckland to facilitate our Waimea South ICT cluster’s Pedagogy and Podcasting day and could I possibly step into the breach! I have not taught for the last eleven weeks while I have helped my mother cope with a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease so the prospect of paid employment was welcomed. Back to the chalkface next term though!

Filling Dorothy’s shoes was a daunting prospect but I had a good part of my ULearn podcasting wiki already prepared and was intending to put the finishing touches on the presentation next week. I needed advice with a couple of points so I turned to my Twitter mates for answers.

Firstly- could multiple people edit a wiki page at the same time? Thanks Chris Betcher from Sydney for your advice on this one- the answer is basically no! So we used Webnotes instead to record or podcasting topics and I will collate them to one page later.

Then I wanted to Skype in an expert in podcasting- luckily Jane Nicholls, from Dunedin was available and Paul Harrington from Wales offered as well.

Lastly I had forgotten the keystrokes needed to zoom in on the cursor on my Mac- not having taught for a while I had forgotten what it was (OPTION+COMMAND+PLUS) BTW- thanks again Jane! And I also learnt a whole new way I had never heard of before from John Pedersen from Wisconsin and Chris again from Sydney. You hold the CTRL key and scroll in with your mouse wheel). I love it- thanks guys!

Allanah's Appleby Showcase
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Anyway the day went well and the room was full of concentration and podcasts by the end- we even managed to embed some of the podcasts in our blogs using the Firefox Unplug plug-in and a clever bit of code that I had already given directions for in my Bling4yrblog blog!

Don’t tell anyone but I would have done it for free!

Archived Learning2.0 Conference Session

Sheryl is now safely back in Virginia from the Shanghai Learning 2.0 conference and has posted a link to the recorded archive of our Elluminate Session. I really do recommend that you listen to it as the other speakers were spot on with their contributions- well worth listening to again.

To listen to an Elluminate session click on the above link and you will need to give permission to open a Java application, it will check for the latest version and automatically load, wait a bit for it to open, it starts a little scratchy and then Clarence Fisher tells us about how he uses Web2.0 tools in his isolated school in Canada, followed by David Jakes, myself and Chris Betcher.

Elluminate Live! - SHERYL NUSSBAUM-BEACH
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Clarence talks about how a class can be limited with just one teacher and the need to open the classroom doors so that children can learn from each other and other teachers/experts from around the globe.

This slide shows his representation of how a network of links has developed through blogging. Our class blog would be very similar I think. We learn things from friends and from friends of friends.

Do have a look/listen- you will not be disappointed.

Paid Employment

I got a phone call at 6:45 this morning telling me that Dorothy had been laid low with the flu and wasn’t going to be able to fly down from Auckland to facilitate our Waimea South ICT cluster’s Pedagogy and Podcasting day and could I possibly step into the breach! I have not taught for the last eleven weeks while I have helped my mother adjust to a diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease so the prospect of paid employment was welcomed. Back to the chalkface next term though!

Filling Dorothy’s shoes was a daunting prospect but I had a good part of my ULearn podcasting wiki already prepared and was intending to put the finishing touches on the presentation next week. I needed advice with a couple of points so I turned to my Twitter mates for answers.

Firstly- could multiple people edit a wiki page at the same time? Thanks Chris Betcher from Sydney for your advice on this one- the answer is basically no! So we used Webnotes instead to record our podcasting topics and I will collate them to one page later.

Then I wanted to Skype in an expert in podcasting- luckily Jane Nicholls, from Dunedin was available and Paul Harrington from Wales offered as well.

Lastly I had forgotten the keystrokes needed to zoom in on the cursor on my Mac- not having taught for a while I had forgotten what it was (OPTION+COMMAND+PLUS) BTW- thanks again Jane! And I also learnt a whole new way I had never heard of before from John Pedersen from Wisconsin and Chris again from Sydney. You hold the CTRL key and scroll in with your mouse wheel). I love it- thanks guys!

Allanah's Appleby Showcase
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Anyway the day went well and the room was full of concentration and podcasts by the end- we even managed to embed some of the podcasts in our blogs using the Firefox Unplug plug-in and a clever bit of code that I had already given directions for in my Bling4yrblog blog!

Don’t tell anyone but I would have done it for free!

Bloggers Afternoon at Brightwater School

Today I was invited to trial my presentation for ULearn07 on adding Bling to your Blog with a group of teachers at Brightwater School. It was good to be able to give the blog a bit of an airing and see if it stood up to local scrutiny and decide how it might best work for the real thing. I have thought a few more ideas for how I might best share what I have learnt. I started off with a quick run down of the features that you could add to your blog and gave examples by showing the blog posts and then we settled down for an hour of intense concentration using the blog to add the things that individuals wanted and I wandered around lending a hand if people got stuck. People helped each other as well so I wasn’t too rushed so that was good.

Working wirelessly on the Loop with internet access as fast as the world has to offer was a real bonus and I downloaded a 14MB Firefox install in seven seconds- that was impressive!

 

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Now I am looking forward to Dorothy Burt‘s presentation tomorrow on Pedagogy and Podcasting- I think I will have a go at a little live blogging from the event so watch this space!

Also you may be interested in the Professional Development that I have had this year so far that I have added to this blog in the top menu bar.

Time Person of the Year

untitled (WP)

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach has invited me to participate in the Learning 2.0 Conference in Shanghai! My contribution will be via Elluminate and will focus on how we use the web to network and learn from experts all around the globe. She writes…

That’s right- the person of the year is “You,” as in YouTube and MySpace, and the World Wide Web. Never before has it been easier to create and collaborate via the Web. Come see examples of how to create a classroom learning ecology where teachers and students learn from each other and content experts from around the world.

To illustrate this I have added to her 21st Century Collaborative wiki. I surprised myself as to the extent and variety of examples of some of the things we have been doing in the last twelve months.

Bodensee Edublog

Here is a new thing for me – Prof Martin Hofmann from Switzerland has linked to my TeacherTube Video One Woman’s Wanderings with Web2.o in German (I think). I am going to have to get some of my European friends (or Google Translate) to translate for me. All this linking is so very wonderful. Wouldn’t it be cool to link with a class in Germany who was learning English- they could practice their English and we could have to world open to us.
bodensee edublogUploaded with Skitch!

Aus dem Inhalt:
Den GrundschülerInnen von Lehrerin Allanah King von der
Appleby School stehen seit 2006 jederzeit 12 Notebooks (Apple Laptops) mit Zugang zum Internet zur Verfügung. Erste Erfahrungen mit einer online Lernumgebung machte Allanah King bereits im Jahr 2005. In einem Workshop lernte Sie das Bloggen kennen und führt seither auch ein sehr lesenswertes EduBlog. Im Video berichtet die Lehrerin davon, dass jede der fünf Schulklassen (1. – 6. Klasse) an der Appleby School inzwischen ein eigenes Class-Blog (Klassen-Blog) führt, in das die Lernenden mindestens einen Beitrag (Post) wöchentlich schreiben. Für das Verfassen des wöchentlichen Blog-Eintrags ist bei Frau King immer abwechselnd jeweils ein(e) Schüler/in verantwortlich. Häufig schreiben die SchülerInnen jedoch mehrere Posts wöchentlich; insbesondere dann, wenn viele Aktivitäten in der Schule oder im Unterricht stattfinden. Alle Kommentare auf den Class-Blogs werden zuerst von den LehrerInnen geprüft, bevor sie frei geschaltet werden (Moderationsmodus). Von den einzelnen Class-Blogs verweisen zahlreiche Links auf weitere nützliche Web 2.0-Tools: Blogmeister Class Blog, Education-Blog der Lehrerin, TeacherTube-Konto der Lehrerin, Klassen-Wiki, Podcast-Plattform, Kalender, Quick Notes, Fotocommunity Flickr, einzelne SchülerInnen-Blogs u.a.m. Besonders beliebt bei den Kindern ist auch die digitale Uhr. Ausserdem besitzt jede Klasse ein del.icio.us-Konto (Social Bookmarking), mit dem die SchülerInnen nützliche URLs sammeln. Allanah King bemerkt, dass del.icio.us zwar nicht sehr häufig genutzt werde, jedoch trotzdem ein sehr nützliches Tool für den Unterricht sei. Alle Class-Blog haben zudem einen Site-Counter (ClustrMap) installiert, damit die Lernenden auf der Weltkarte sehen können, woher die LeserInnen ihrer Blogs stammen…

PodcampUK

Today I attended a session with Joe Dale at PodcampUK in Birmingham without spending a cent. The thing that struck me was the interconnected-ness of us all. Joe was talking about an interview he had had with Ewan, how a child had done a scribe blog post in French in a similar way that Darren does with maths and they even played Rachel‘s blogging video and Joe spoke about adding Bling to Your Blog! I feel connected by just listening/viewing with BlogTV even if I was sitting at the back of the room.

http://www.blogtv.com - blogTV - LIVE now - Conference

http://www.blogtv.com - blogTV - LIVE now - Conference
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Hi Paul– I recognised your voice!

Oh I even got a mention! Now it is time for your lunch and my bedtime. Have a safe trip home.

ULearn Presentations

I got notification today of the venues and times for my ULearn hands-on interactive workshops in Auckland in October and thought I would publish it here because I wrote the abstract so long ago I have forgotten what I had said we would do…

*** ICT U Can!

1. Adding a little bling to your blog

Blogging is an excellent way to communicate with your community and make connections around the globe.

We will take a quick look at a few different blogging solutions and then focus on using Blogger as a tool.

We will look at ways to make it as safe and secure as possible, and then get into some fun stuff to add to your blog to brighten it up to make it a resource centre for your class and community.

Best suited to those who already have a blog and want to give it a little bling!

Sky Apple Marlborough Room 1

Breakout Round 5

Limited to 25 participants

2. Getting connected globally with podcasting

In this hands-on session we will have a quick look at a variety of types of podcast, audio, enhanced and video; and different genre of podcasting- scripted, interviews, Skype, video etc.

Then we will look at how to put a podcast together with Garageband, followed by how to have it hosted on line and subscribe-able in iTunes.

One of the great things about podcasting is the way we can use it to connect personally with others in your community and around the globe.

PC users are welcome but learning with Garageband is an Apple application which is difficult to mimic on a PC.

Sky Apple Marlborough Room 1

Breakout Round 6

Limited to 25 participants

Looking at the timetable my two presentations totally conflict with Ewan’s– damn it! Viewing of everyone’s presentations goes live next week and selection in September- if it was anything like last year you need to get in quick to get the sessions you want as there are 1400 registrations this year!

Keeping Ourselves Safe

Every second year the whole school learns more about Keeping Ourselves Safe. The programme is supported by parents, police and a variety of videos as children are helped to understand more about being safe and getting help.

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The Year Five and Six class prepared this animation using the Apple application I Can Animate. The animation script follows closely one of the support videos ‘Home Alone’- what to do if you find yourself arriving home and your parents aren’t home yet. Everyone in the class had some role in the production- script, set,animation, filming or production.

It was a great effort- deserving of a wider audience. It has been published on our podcast page but I thought it was so cool that I would share it with in case you don’t subscribe to our podcast.

12.7MB 3 minutes 5 seconds

VoiceThread

I have spent the last few days exploring VoiceThread, a newish collaborative tool for recording voice with photos and inviting oral comments from others.

VoiceThread

To support and record my own use of Voicethread I have made a new post on my tech blog Bling4yrblog along with an actual Voicethread. It takes you through step-by-step how to create a VoiceThread. VoicceThread has lots of possibilities and I look forward to using it in my class next term.

Here is my first effort with Voicethread.

[kml_flashembed movie=”http://voicethread.com/book.swf?b=4748″ width=”400″ height=”300″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Thank you John Pearce for your expertise in embedding VoiceThread in Edublogs. You are a star.

Of course you are presently reading the blog of one of the biggest clutzes known to man! You need to make sure your Voicethread is public otherwise you will be the only one on the planet that can see it!!!!! Thanks Paul and Steve from Voicethread himself for your feedback.

Handbrake and Animoto

Today I had a lot of success playing with a couple of new finds.

Download at HandBrake

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The first was a link from Paul HarringtonHandbrake – a cross platform application that lets you turn DVDs into something that can be published in a podcast or played as a movie. I was a bit skeptical but will give anything a try. A quick download later and I was surprised just how straight forward it was.

We had written a DVD a couple of years ago when iMovie was new and the source files had long ago been forgotten. Ten minutes later my selected DVD chapter was an MP4. I then turned that into a podcast with a much wider audience than it had sitting on a classroom shelf. This is one for the rugby fans with the World Cup coming up soon.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/LtjmZAgpXj4" width="400" height="360" wmode="transparent" /]

get images [step 1/3]

The second find from Ewan MacIntosh was Animoto. With Animoto you upload your photos and they can add the music and make very jazzy slideshows.

I also added a ‘How to’ post on my Tech blog on how to use Animoto.

Here is my practice run

Thank you to Lynne Crowe via Twitter for the heads up that Animoto now embeds in Edublogs. Yay!

[kml_flashembed movie="http://widgets.clearspring.com/o/46928cc51133af17/46c9693f3e1682ce/46928cc51133af17/f679a29c/autostart/false/file/c29a1f7ffabd21844c3f6e19e0df7939" width="420" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]