Saturday, 28 May 2016

Hundreds of Photos: Stop Motion

Today was quite possibly the best Digital Immersion day I have had to date.  We were set with the task of creating a stop motion movie to teach our learners an idea or concept.  I chose to create a stop motion based on beach safety and rips, as it will fit into our aquatics inquiry.  

Whilst the movie doesn't look like much, it took a lot of planning, creating and editing!  An important lesson I learnt is if you are using a newer model iPhone, take the 'live photo' capability off before you start taking pictures.  I got a big shock when I uploaded my photos onto my mac and discovered every image was a 3 second clip!  But with some playing around I found a way to turn the live photo off and upload it using iPhoto Library (instead of the Photos app that pops up automatically).

Creating my backdrop

To create this stop motion I first created my beach scene by taking photographs of my 'waves' crashing onto the shore.  After uploading the images to iMovie, I changed the duration of each image and saved it as a file.  I then created a new iMovie and imported the clip of my waves crashing. Next, I copied the clip, and changed the second one to 'reverse', as I wanted the waves to roll in and out.  Then I copied the two parts and pasted it numerous times so that the waves would be continuously rolling in and out throughout my clip. Then I saved this as Beach Scene.

So. Many. Photos!

Next came the task of taking photographs of my characters with speech bubbles.  This took a lot of time.  I first created my 'green screen' background and foreground.  Next I wrote out all the speech bubbles.  Following that, I began taking photographs of my characters and the speech bubbles. I took over 200 photos, making slight movements of my characters and the speech bubbles.  After this I uploaded my images from my phone onto my computer, and then onto iMovie.  

I then had to adjust the speed of some of my photographs.  This took a lot of time because some of my speech bubbles had a lot in them, so I needed to make sure my learners would have enough time to read them.  After this, I saved the iMovie and labelled it 'Green screen'.

Next I had to put it all together.  I created another iMovie and imported the Green Screen and Beach Scene files.  I placed the Green Screen file on top of the Beach Scene, and changed the overlay to 'Green/Blue Screen'.  At times you could see the creases in the paper of my background/foreground and stick I used for the speech bubble, so I had to fix this using the eraser tool. Lastly, I added a sound clip.

And it's finished!

There are a few things I am unhappy with (like the occasional finger and watch strap making an appearance on screen and that I didn't quite place the green screen and characters in the perfect place), but overall I am pretty pleased with how it turned out. It was lots of fun and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that arose when creating a stop motion movie.


Friday, 20 May 2016

iMovie 101

Today in digital immersion the MDTA learnt all about iMovie.  Our task was to create an iMovie about our learners.  I chose to focus on how my learners use Manaiakalani's 'Learn Create Share' pedagogy in their learning process.  I didn't have a lot of video footage so I created my own screencasts and included a DLO from one of the groups in my classroom.  Enjoy my movie!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Getting Creative

Our focus for our Digital Immersion day last week was 'Create to Learn'.  We were tasked with creating an 'explainer' video to show our inquiry focus.  I chose to create something similar to RSA Animate, but I was cheeky and found images online as I cannot draw to save myself.  It is not perfect and I have noticed that I need a question mark on the first slide, oops!  However I really enjoyed this task.  It was quite time consuming! I saved a ridiculous amount Google Draws as JPEGS and imported them all onto iMovie.  Then I had to decrease the time for each frame and change the cropping from 'ken burns' to 'fit'.  Following that, I recorded the voice over.  After a few touch ups of the timing of the frames (so they matched the audio) I was finished!


Sunday, 8 May 2016

I am a Google Certified Educator

I may be a little late to the game, but I am now a Google certified Educator! On Friday I sat down at my computer and began the daunting 3 hour level one Google exam.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I knew!  I can definitely attribute that to my learning during digital immersion days with Dorothy. All our learning about Docs, Sheets, Forms and Sites came back to me, and made the 3 hour ordeal much less challenging than I had expected. I also think teaching (and continuously learning) in a digital classroom for a term has given me a better understanding of how we can use Google to engage and accelerate our learners.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Digital Immersion: Creating Multimedia - Still Images

“Learn the rules like a pro, 
so you can break them like an artist.”  
- Picasso

Today we learnt how to take still images like a pro! We learnt about the rule of thirds, lighting and composition. With our newly acquired knowledge we set off for a little field trip. I had a look around Glenn Innes and got inspired to take photographs of street art in the community.  

Next we uploaded them to our Google Drive. I had always thought that uploading photos was a hassle as I didn't know of a quick way to transfer them my phone, to my computer and to my site. Using the Google Photos app on your phone is a super quick way to transfer photographs. We also discussed how to embed folders on Google Sites, which got me thinking about how I could use this in my class. During mathematics I take lots of photographs of the learners. I had intended to create a digital modelling book to keep a record of what we were learning, but I had completely forgotten to do this. Now I know of a fast way to get my photographs onto my computer I will add a modelling book onto my mathematics page.

Lastly we used Pic Monkey to create a collage, and YouTube to create a collage to share our photographs. Some of my photographs needed cropping, so I used iPhoto to do this. It was fun playing around with the slideshow options on YouTube. I like how you can choose from a wide range of royalty-free songs and change the transitions to suit the style of the photographs.

Creating a Site for Inquiry

A few weeks ago I created a site for LS1 and LS2's inquiry - Our Global Neighbours. It was great to use what I had learnt during the Current Events task, and apply it to a new situation. Whilst was a challenge to create the entire page with html (rather than inserting tables) it was very addictive! I enjoyed facing challenges and finding my own solutions. Here is the link our collaborative inquiry page. In the beginning I chose the font that we use for all our titles on our class site (Londrina Shadow). However we have learners with dyslexia in our class so I choose to keep the font plain and simple. This was an important decision because my site needs to be accessible to all.