Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Free software for making animated movies:
An online hosting site where adoloescents can post their writing and media work, and view and respond to he work of others:
Monday, December 14, 2009
I was wondering if anyone knew of any other publishing sites for fiction stories. A fifth grader in my class has written some fiction stories and would like to continue writing them and I introduced him to FanFiction, where he can publish his stories and others can comment. Is there any other sites that he could utilize? Thank you!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Here's the link to Teresa's published video:
She's so very disappointed about not having been able to show it to you in class, but I'm sure you'll all watch it and appreciate it very much. It's a lovely account of Teresa's life and the things that are important to her (I especially like the bit where she's at Montclair Uni!).
Well done, Teresa! And thank you for sharing something so personal with us!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Here is my video on Romeo & Juliet. You can view it on my Facebook page - Juliet Capulet:
You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzrTsw-RqsA
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/profile.php?v=info&ref=profile&id=100000439977364 (or search for "Charlie Bucket")
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvVC2vDq2sE
Friday, December 11, 2009
This commercial is very similar. A man in a meeting “invites” Facebook onto his phone. Because of the capabilities of his phone (which the commercial is aimed to promote), he is able to open an Excel document so no one will see that he is trying to access a “fun” social networking site at the office. His fellow coworkers approvingly look on at him.
See everyone tomorrow. I am exited to see the final projects!
Also, if you would like to be friends with Bella Yorkie, please invite him as your friend on Facebook. His email is email@example.com
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
I created a faux Facebook for my dog Bella who is the main character in my movie project. However, I heard people said they will delete your Facebook page if the owner is an animal. Is that true?I post some of Bella's pictures in his photo album. It is very funny to do so.
The content in the Facebook only can be shared with invited friends. How can I send its URL to Dr. Knobel? Unless Dr. Knobel creates a faux Facebook page
particularly for MEDI 503 and then we can become friends.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
To exam what new things I learned from this class, those can be:
● knowing new technological tools to exploit in real life, including
● Windows Movie Maker and its knowledge and skills to edit video clips and
produce personal movies
● to convert a video project into a movie video and publish it on the web, such as
Youtube and Facebook.
● to make use of Google Docs for a personal journal or a collaborative tool in the
● conceptually thinking more deeply about copyright issues and fair use of copyright
materials in regards to the cyber environment.
● to be aware of internet privacy issue and how to protect personal data being abused via
● knowing what is “remix” or “remix culture” in terms of digital media, and what we can
remix and what we can’t.
Thank you, Ms. Knobel, for introducing us the variety of new technological tools to be used especially for teaching. There still a lot of new knowledge and interesting tools can be learned in the future, which I don’t get a chance to explore within this short time. Some of the tools are very useful, for example, to use Windows Movie Maker to make movies. I am thinking to run an afterschool club to introduce students how to use free video editor to make their own movies and post them on the web.
In the beginning of this semester, I was so nervous about making a narrative movie and writing a “conceptual essay”, as well as using Google Docs to create a “theory-and-learning journal.” Now, I am very confident with those tools and almost finished all of the assigned projects for this class.
These two youtube videos solved my problems, and then my movie project became a movie video and can be uploaded onto Youtube or Facebook. Meanwhile, the good news is the music track and motion problems in my movie project were solved too. Now in my movie project, music is played well and motion is moving smoothly. I love try and error because I learn from it. I need to jot down this experience to share with others and for my own reference. It was midnight,and I was content to go to sleep then.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Erika Pavlecka 12/2/09
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Last night as I was watching TV, a commercial came on that caught my attention. The commercial showed images of the Internet meme lolcats. Lolcats is a website where humorous pictures of cats are submitted and captions are added to tell viewers what the cats may be thinking. Also, viewers can rate each picture on a scale ranging from awful to excellent. The captions are written in interesting ways. For example one picture shows a cat sleeping with the caption “I’m in ur bed zleeping.” Another picture shows a cat with a completed Rubik’s cube with text “dere, all done I thought u said dis was hard?” Words are shortened as they would be in instant messages or texts.
The narrator in the commercial stated these cats have been pushed too far (exploited by lolcats) so they decided to retaliate. Basically this television channel created an iPhone application where the lolcats became “meowcenaries” and have to save their president from the Evilcat.
In the text memes are described as “contagious patterns of cultural information that are passed from mind to mind and directly shape and propagate key actions and mindsets of a social group.” Good memes have distinct characteristics. They include longevity (how long they last and are passed to additional people), fidelity (they resonate with viewers) and fecundity (the ability and speed in which they are replicated).
In this commercial there was no real mention of what the lolcats website was, but it was funny to me, and I’m sure others who have seen the site and know the popularity of this Internet meme. Here is a screenshot of the game and its description.
From the little I've seen of it, FanFiction.net is an incredibly well put-together website. I first had to create a login name and password. I also needed to accept the terms and conditions of the site and its policy regarding posting stories. I was able to upload my story into the site using a tool called "Document Manager." Once the story is uploaded, I selected the "New Story" feature in order to publish the work. I needed to provide a title and short summary of the story. I then needed to provide the language that the story is in (i.e. English) as well as a rating (i.e. T, which I think means suitable for teenagers). I then provided two genres (Science Fiction and Tragedy), chose the category "In-Progress" as opposed to "Complete" as I will add more chapters later, set the world to "Original," and designated two of the characters used to Obi-Wan K. and Anakin S. I then chose my saved story to publish and selected the option "Publish New Story." A message appeared letting me know that the story was successfully published but that it may take 4-8 hours for the story to be available through the search engine. I later received an e-mail with a direct link to the story, so you may access it here. In case the link does not work, the URL is http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5549787/1/.
It is exciting and a little bit scary to open up your writing for the world to see and pick apart through commentary. I hope that someone does find my work and provide some feedback. I will continue to track this and let you know the results. I also plan to try reading a few other stories in the same genre to get others' ideas of the Star Wars universe and leave some comments for them as well. This is essentially online FanFiction networking at its finest. Hopefully I will be able to make a few contacts so that I will become better known in the world of FanFiction.net, and then this could lead to more viewers/readers. Fanfiction is a terrific example of participation because it encompasses different levels of participation. There is the authorship end of the spectrum, but then there is also feedback and networking. It is a great place to promote literacy in both reading and writing as other people who are more experienced readers and writers can leave tips for those who are just learning.
This would be a wonderful tool to use in the classroom if there was a way to make sure that the participating students were protected from potentially giving out too much information. Perhaps the teacher could instruct the students on how to set up accounts so as not to provide too much information. Or perhaps FanFiction.net could accommodate schools by offering separate secure sites where students can post work and then choose who can see that work and who can comment on it. There are some good security measures already in place on the site. For example, users can choose not to display e-mail addresses or locations on their profiles. They can also choose to block certain users, but I would suggest an option to have an "Add Users" list as well so that a person can choose to block everyone except those people he or she would like to be able to view that person's work (i.e. classmates).
Monday, November 30, 2009
- The first link is to "DigiTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories. At this website, there are just so many categories to choose from! To give a shortened form, you can choose "DigiTale Tools" which will give you specific information depending upon whether you have a MAC or WINDOWS. Also, it gives you little tidbits on how to do VoiceOvers. There is also a "StoryKeepers' Gallery" where you can view other videos that users have posted. There is a tab for "Evaluating Projects," where there is information on how to set-up peer review for video production. There is also a "Resources" tab where you can find an abundant amount of information to choose from ranging from topics such as Copyright Savy and Classroom Connections. Definetly a site to check out. Students can even check it out as well where there is DigiTale Tools for the Kids.
- VoiceThread is a comprehensive website that offers educators to provide a new opportunity to talk about and share images, documents, and videos. Students can comment and discuss on a video as they are viewing it. These commentaries can be done by telephone, webcam, microphone, and file sharing. Students upload the video, others comment, and these comments are shared with the class.
- Story Center is a place for digital story telling. On the website are articles links to digital storytelling and other website links pertaining to digital storytelling.
Finally, I cut my movie into 3 minute long. I am thinking to post it onto the web or just make a DVD. To post on the web, I will choose post video either on Facebook or youtube. I like to watch video in youtube recently becaue so many invaluable videos can be seen via youtube. Youtube is a very cool site.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
How is everyone doing? The semester went quickly. We are now down to the wire in finishing essays and movies. I finally figured out the trimming the still images problem. In movie maker, you have to go into timeline mode. Then, you highlight the still image clip (by clicking it) to either move the clip or trim it using the double red arrows. It took me a long time to figure it out. I hope this information is helpful for anyone who needs to trim either a still image clip or video clip. Take care all. See you on the 12th.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Yesterday, in class, I found out that I need to work on cutting down the duration of my still images clips. I went into movie maker and could not figure it out. I tried double-clicking on the image and using the arrows to trim but it did not work. Bill, I heard from Michele that you know how to trim the duration of still images clips. Can you tell me how to do it? Steph, to answer your question, I do not have a problem saving my project and opening it without losing any images. If anyone else knows how to trim the duration of clips in movie maker, please let me know. Thanks.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Was just wondering if anyone could help my group. We bought our movie on DVD but are having trouble converting the DVD movie onto the computer desktop or into Windows Movie Maker. We have tried several options, but they have failed us. We were wondering if anyone had a suggestion or option that we could try out. We have already tried some ripping/burning sites off the internet but they do not seem to work.
Please let us know if you have any suggestions or options to use. Thank you!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Finally, I've made a breakthrough! I had been struggling to find the right software in order to download and convert video files for my presentation, but finally I have found a process that works quite well! Of course, downloading one program gave me a virus, which set me back a little bit because I had to try to regain control of my computer before moving forward. Alas, I suppose that is all part of that "pleasant frustration" concept!
I have found that the website www.savevid.com works quite well in terms of downloading the video files. Once on the site, I paste the desired URL from YouTube into the appropriate field and select "Download." I then click "Download flv" and save the file to my computer. Now it is time to convert it. The easiest program I found to do this is called "Any Video Converter," which I was able to download for free. I first must choose to convert the vid to the proper format, which is "Customized WMV Movie." Then I click "Add Video," choose the video that I want to convert, and select "Convert" Moments later, I have the ability to import the newly converted video clip into Windows Movie Maker. After all of that trouble, this is a thing of beauty!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
How is everyone doing on their movies? I am making real progress. I added video clips and music to my movie. But, I have a problem with the narrative piece. I want to do blogs for my narrative piece but I am unable to figure out how to write the blogs, save the blogs, and import them in movie maker. Does anyone know I can go about doing this? In class on Saturday I am going to ask the question to the class to see if anyone knows. Let me know on Saturday if you can help. Thanks.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I think this is an interesting concept that truly illustrates how the world is changing technologically and how students are accessing information. Educators in favor of this are paralleling the students’ everyday experiences using the Internet and bringing this practice into the classroom. This is a Mindset 2 concept yet it incorporates one’s self efficacy and individuality (Mindset 1). Collaboration, in this case, would be considered cheating. At a college level, I think this will work. Some students in high school may think it is a great idea initially but similar to open-book tests, may prove to be difficult. I fully believe that foundations are needed for any subject matter but this approach allows students to show how they use information they find.
How do you feel about this?
If you’d like to read the full article go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/education/8341886.stm
Monday, November 9, 2009
It is a great website and offers tons of free educational resources and lesson plans for all teachers K-12. The website divides into sections for educators, students, parents, and afterschool activities. What might be of interest for a particular class is the 21st century skills link, which directs you to understanding more fully the role that technology can and will play for the teacher who needs better technology for tomorrow's lesson.
I am posting this other link to a wesbite as well:
This is ISTE: ISTE 100 which stands for the International Society for Technology in Education. Here, you can become a member of their website. They offer professional development opportunities. There is a wealth of links that offer valuable resources for exploring this company further.
Sunday, November 8, 2009
How is everyone doing on their movie? Today, I changed my movie around, added video clips along with still images, and titles. It looks pretty good. It might be too long. How long is our movie supposed to be? I read chapters 5-7 in the New Literacies Sampler. The concepts of fan fiction, and video games and learning are great topics for the essay if anyone still needs concepts for their essay. Good Luck!
Monday, November 2, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Erika Pavlecka 11/1/09
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The first is MovieStorm, a free-to-download animation engine you can use to create movies. I've mucked around a little with this software in the past and lost a good many pleasant hours doing so.
The second is a game you play to generate your sets and actors and props for making machinima. The game is The Movies. You do have to buy it, but having used it in the past myself with teachers, I find it a marvellous resource to have, especially in classrooms where the internet connection is too dodgy to effectively use, say Second Life, to create machinima. Machinima.com has en entire channel devoted to The Movies machinima if you'd like to get a sense of what can be done with this game/animation software.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
When we had class last week on Second Life I had a chance to explore a Disney Inspired Island (Mouse island)with my avatar. The only word that actually comes to mind is OhMiiGod! Wow I was quickly transported to a replica of the Magic Kingdom. I quickly called over my three little ones and they started screaming, try sending them to bed after seeing this IMPOSSIBLE! Well I let them stay up and help me navigate and explore. I was truly incredible they little ones were in awe they rode the Dumbo ride, even had the elephant ride up and down. The went into the Haunted house and took lots of pictures of our "Ghost Host" it was a hoot. The my girls recalled what they had seen in Disney on previous trips (FYI we have been there about 12+ times my mother works for Disney) They knew exactly were everything was and what they should see. I was fascinated not only but the technology which was surreal-to put it mildly. I was fascinated buy the level of excitement it brought my girls they were squealing and clicking and made me make them popcorn at 8:30 so they can experience the park properly. I would so love to expose my students to this I could defiantly see them discovering ancient Tombs during an Egypt research project or visit the Greek Ruins for a project or even touring the human body for research. The possibilities are endless. TTFN!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
In iMovie on our lab Apple Computers, one can precisely adjust the timeline by double-clicking on an image or video clip and choosing a length of time that this particular clip will remain playing. I was extremely giddy when this was brought to my attention and hopeful that Windows Movie Maker would contain the same feature!
Alas, when I arrived home and brought up Movie Maker to test this procedure, I found that double-clicking on a clip in the "Timeline View" does absolutely nothing of use. I am going to try to scour some web searches and forums for a good solution to this conundrum. In the meantime, any suggestions here would be most welcome! Thank you!
Friday, October 23, 2009
Colleagues that have been teaching for many years do feel overwhelmed and with all the reports we are required to complete by administration, they do see this as more work. I think if we are going to incorporate new literacies into our curriculum it can serve as a replacement for other ways we taught the "same" skill. The bottom line is that regardless if teachers agree or not about new literacies becoming a part of the curriculum, it will be if the district in which you are employed requires that it will be. Sometimes that is the motivating factor
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
- Judy Salpeter and the "New Rules of Copyright"
- Center for Social Media, American University, and their Fair Use and Copyright"
- National Council of Teachers of English's "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Media Literacy Education"
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Erika Pavlecka 10/20/09
Monday, October 19, 2009
Erika Pavlecka 10/19/09
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Does anyone know of any workshops at MSU or otherwise?
I would like to add animation to my movie but I don't know where to start. Flash animation looks cool and Michele posted about stop animation. But, how do I chose which animation is right for my movie and how do I add it to Windows Movie Maker? Please comment if you can help. Thanks.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Riesland, Erin. "Visual Literacy and the Classroom." New Horizons for Learning. Mar. 2005. 29 Feb. 2008
Along with the advent of computer era, the definition of “literacy” somehow outdated. We need to reconsider what it means to be literate in the technological age. The literacy is quickly being redefined due to emerging technology. With new technologies, educators are dealing with “new literacy.” Multimedia is altering the way society communicates in the real world, as well as the speed of changing classroom communication is overwhelming. Both teachers and students are expected to be able to navigate and communicate through new media such as hypermedia. For example, hypermedia reading is different from printing reading. The use of internet changes the way students read and collect information, and accordingly, it will change the way students write.
Traditionally, writers use images to support their writing. Gunther Kress pointed out a shift in science textbooks that use more illustrations to support text explanations instead of using text to supports visual explanations. Kress argues that images hold more meaning than text. However, this visual literacy conveyed by internet is overwhelming. “As students learn to decode hypermedia, they are also learning how to decode advertising.” On the other hand, advertisers know how to reach youngsters far better than educators. Through those pop-up ads, students conceive the view of the world. Their thoughts about the society and their identity to the communities were influenced more than in the classroom. Therefore, new literacy education “should prepare students at [their] young age for the onslaught of advertising they will be exposed to during their lifetime”. They need to be trained to have the capability to evaluate the advertising messages. This is the concept of integrating visual literacy instruction into classroom curriculum to better prepare students for the constantly changing syberworld that they encounter in most of their spare time.
There are many ways of integrating multimedia curriculum into the classroom. The method of learning by design is based on the concept that knowledge is constructed rather than processed from information received from a multimedia source. The approach of learning by design motivates students to learn by working on a real world project. For example, teachers design a project for students to work together or individually to create the story movie where they can convey their own message into their movie. Through the role playing of the producer rather than the consumer of information, students get the better perception how hypermedia is displayed on the internet.
In the conclusion, Riesland brought up an issue “our modern technology-driven society demands a level of communication that remains largely unaddressed in the classroom.” Isn’t this concerned that the new literacy teaching should be seriously considered the current literacy demands of new technologies?
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Stop Motion Central is a good starting place, because it provides a place to watch stop motion animations along with how-to tutorials.
Animate Clay is a useful portal for learning more about creating our own claymations.
Different types of animations you can explore include claymation (the ADP Center on the ground floor of University Hall has claymation kits you can borrow), sand animation (and you must watch this), Legomation, line/2D animation, and doll and figure animation, just to name a few.
Here's a fab Lego animation made by a group of Masters of Education students Colin Lankshear and I worked with in Newfoundland over this past summer. And a wonderful sand animation done by another group within this same class.
Monday, October 12, 2009
"Adolescent Literature and Second Life: Teaching Young Adult Texts in the Digital World" by Laura Nicosia
After reading this article and having the opportunity to experience Second Life, it would seem that SL is a valid and useful tool in education. It gives students and alternative and fun way to learn what is being taught to them in school. With the technological advancements that have been developed in recent years, young adults are embracing and using technology in their everyday lives. Using SL in the classroom to teach literature is a great way to get the children engaged in the novels and come out with a much deeper understanding of the story. Being able to take field trips to the places being described in the novel or having students engage in discussion in SL, seems like a more interesting and effective way to teach the goals of the lessons. Nicosia describes many benefits that using SL have in regards to education, that it would seem foolish for teachers to not use it in their own classrooms, when possible. I wish these types of learning environments existed while I was in school, because I would have certainly have been more engaged in the lessons and also less self-conscious of expressing my thoughts in class, or in world. Even meeting in SL for MEDI503 has helped me to share my thoughts more, and also helped me to understand the technology more. Safety issues are not a huge concern in SL, as other parts of the Internet, due to the security measures they take with the teen grid and such. Therefore it would not be too risky to use in the classroom. I hope I have a chance to use SL with my future classes.
I want to thank Michele and Stephanie for their advice. When I searched on Google and for AVI, I found out movie maker can import uncompressed files. When I saved the files they were in compressed format. So, I went back to my files and uncompressed them. Then, I tried importing them in movie maker and it worked. Next, I imported all the files that I need at this point into my project and inserted them in my movie. It will take some time to get the timing right on the sound effects and the music but I will get there. I hope everyone's movie projects are going well.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
After I brainstormed yesterday, I found a great idea for my movie. I surfed the web and found great photos to save and use in my movie. Today, I went into Windows Movie Maker to create my movie. I had no problem importing the photos and adding them to the storyboard, and adding titles before the clips. Then, I decided I wanted to add music or sound clips to my movie. I went on the web and found some good clips, downloaded and heard them, or saved them into a file. But, when I went to import them in Windows Movie Maker, it gave me a message that the file is incompatible or cannot find it. Is anyone else using Windows Movie Maker? Does anyone know how to import music or sound into the storyboard in Windows Movie Maker? If you can help, please let me know how I can proceed. Thank you.
Friday, October 9, 2009
Thursday, October 8, 2009
I just found something out at work today that I found interesting & exciting, in terms of technology...currently, our school uses http://www.schoolnotes.com/ for teacher webpages (to post homework, announcements, etc.). Someone from the technology dept. just informed me that soon, we will be transitioning into blog sites instead, so that parents/teachers/students/caregivers can communicate quickly, posting comments/questions/etc. I think it's great that schools are beginning to realize/accept the times & Web 2.0 digital technologies. I think a blogging site is much more useful as a classroom's website, as opposed to just having a traditional teacher website. Anyone & everyone in the class should be able to add to the site.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
anyone having difficulty finding a good video converter to use to convert videoclips to windows media maker? Some of the ones i downloaded corrupted my computer, so i had to delete.
Any suggestions if not then i guess i will just have to cry myself to sleep the way i have been doing since September 1st!
I think this video contest for the students is intriguing, for the students can showcase how they plan to achieve their dreams, all the while it is encouraging and promoting the use of technology in and out of the classroom. I think it’s interesting how 10 finalists’ videos will be aired on the Department of Education’s YouTube page. I didn’t know there was such a thing! Did anyone else know of this?
Monday, October 5, 2009
This meeting isn't compulsory--it's more about just touching base and chatting about questions you might have etc.
See you in-world!
How is it going, I found this interesting news @"whitehouse.org" and would like to draw your atention to that if you have not yet heard the news: It's all about Arne Duncan's issue on video anouncement encouraging students to respond to the president's call to take responsibility for their education. Students, 13years and up have been invited to create videos describing the role education will play in achieving their goals, and the goals they will set for themselves to get there. I think this is appropriate since students will be able to explore their levle of intelegency and also to be more creative thinking and acting.
How do you like the secetary of Education, Arne Duncan's issue on (video announcement) encouraging students to respond to the President's call to take responsibility for their education by inviting students, 13years and up to create videos, describing the role education will play in achieving their dreams, and the goals they set for themselves to get there. I think this is appropriate since it will allow students to think and explore their knowledge. Also it will motivate and encourage students as to the meaningful uses of media technology.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
In the article Remix: The Art and Craft of Endless Hybridization many interesting links are presented that are remixes. A remix, as we have seen, is a video, image or audio that has been changed in a creative way. One that interested me was postsecret.blogspot.com where there are postcard images that have been written on to create a funny or even intense message regarding war, romantic relationships, violence, etc.
Did anyone get to view the video “An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube” by Michael Wesch, a professor at
Michael Wesch discusses some critics of YouTube. I thought it was funny (and true) how Lev Grossman, a journalist, stated, “Some of the comments on YouTube, make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.” One can see that some of the comments are judgmental. This can also be seen in the way some people text and type. Examples include lolcats and the “specific language” used (Iz mah house!), texting lingo (lol, omg! bff, etc. – I am sure many of us have seen AT&T’s messaging commercial where a grandmother texts her BFF Rose). However, these are more than what they seem and go beyond grammatical errors – people are coming together, creating a community and relationships to express and share ideas.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I found interesting the chapter that discussed fanfic as a 'new' literacy. Before Dr. Knobel's class - i didn't even know what Fanfic was. There are many different types of new literacies such as remixes and so forth. I feel that these types of literacies makes reading fun again for children.
I went on a job interview recently and one of the questions i was asked was,
"Children seemed to have lost an interest in reading, how would you keep them engaged - how would you bring them back?"
I wish i would of read this chapter before going on that interview. One of my responses was to find the interests of the children and try to incorporate that in the classroom. Fanfic is an adventure. People are responsive to this type of literacy style especially our young readers. Fanfic is not just role-playing. Studying young children's lives and interests - helps improve professional development for teachers. By finding the interests of our children we are developing new approaches to teaching and learning. There is a joy in engaging children in reading. Students are more equipped than we think they are. I had students one time mention to me that over the weekend, they created a youtube video for fun and presented music and so forth that was of interest to them. Children love using new technologies to help them learn and grow. I didn't know if anyone else has seen this in their classrooms - or with their own children at home?
Well it was definitely an interesting read for me. - Stephanie Morales
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Meeting last night in SL was a great idea. Since we are not meeting every week, it is important to be in touch, and therefore motivated and informed.
Turning the Page: Students Live in a Digital World. Are Schools Ready to Join Them?
(neatoday: October/November 2009, pp. 24, 25, and 27.
This articles explains how some schools are diving into the digital world, yet there can be drawbacks to it as well.
Many teachers are turning to WEB 2.0 literature and a wide array of digital tools (blogs, wikis, etc.) to allow students to collaborate, create, and share their writings. When reading literature, many students are digitally posing as characters, actively engaging them in the process.
As this articles mentions, the key to being literate is using critical thinking skills to anaylze, critique, and evaluate information that is shown to them and that has been shared by their peers. These skills are essential to have in an informational society, and as teachers, we are consistently reinforcing these skills through digital media. Students are now learning that collaboration with their peers and teachers are as critical to collaborating with others from around the world.
Our students are living in a different world, an information technology world, and we must provide resources for students to actively engage and use the tools that have been developed for this 21st century world.
However, many teachers are still resisting to incorporating 21st century digital media into their classrooms. The articles explains that many teachers are reluctant to use digital tools that they are unfamiliar with, but that their students might show a strong interest and intellectual ability in it. I disagree because isn't the student-teacher relationship supposed to be reciprocal?
Many teachers are combining using the "original" ways to teaching literature, but incorporating digital media where necessary.
Many students are becoming writers and are improving on their writing through the popularity of blogs, wikis, writing fan based stories, keeping a MySpace or Facebook page etc. Students are writing for global audiences online as they post or keep these digital spaces, and are not just writing for the teacher aymore.
I like the last point this article makes. Through the use of digital media, students are sharing their writing with one another, using collaboration as a means of communication and educating one another, not only in academics, but in social and cultural ways as well.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
I have to admit, I am not the most computer savvy person and not only was I a little intimidated by the course, but experimenting with the "unknown". While viewing the "Project New Media Literacies" website, I was struck by their list of "skills" needed to engage in today's participatory culture. One of the skills listed was "play". This motivated me to make a connection between the students in my class and myself.
When given a "free choice journal", asked to explore a new website during learning centers, or generate their own discussions during literature circles, I often notice that my students are almost at a standstill when they are not given "specific directions" or asked to enter the "unknown". When signing up for Second Life, I felt the same way. I was intimated and nervous to break away from my structured universe. However, once I logged into Second Life I couldn't leave! Although I encountered some frustrations and road blocks, I kept challenging myself to overcome these difficulties.
I began to realize the importance of learning and gaining new knowledge through the process of "experimenting", learning from my mistakes, taking risks, and not being afraid to fail! This method of "play" takes problem-solving to a more advanced level of critical thinking. Being able to participate and function in a highly literate society entails that we not only instruct students to "consume" new media literacies, but promote them to take a chance and gain the courage to become "producers" of media. As the saying goes "Practice what you Preach", I firmly believe that this can only be accomplished when we too free ourselves and branch out into a "second life". See you all in the virtual "playground" tomorrow!
Erika Pavlecka 9/28/09
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
This article mainly describes the literacy achievement gap between the economic, cultural, and linguistic minority groups and those privileged students whose culture and language are the mainstream in the school curriculum.
However, the previous researches suggested that students who have low achievement in schools can manage very well in their intellectual and literate works outside of schools. Therefore, those minority and low achievement students can perform better if the school provides a “permeable curriculum” with culturally diverse contexts. This paper studied the case of Horatio, a Latino Sophomore, who participate an after-school digital movie composing program called “the Technology and Literacy Project” (TALP) which was coordinated by Michigan State University. Horatio was a fan of hip-hop. He creates a movie with his hip-hop passion and uses a lot of hip-hop literacy. The movie is reflecting his after school knowledge, and successfully, he interplays very well between his after school experience and the content in his movie.
In Horatio’s movie project, he demonstrates not only his engagement to integrate audio and video texts from school knowledge and home literacy, but also proves that his engagement and use of out-of-school literacy can help his performance in-school work.
This study is an empirical support for the permeable literacy curriculum to facilitate engagement and academic achievement for cultural minority students. Horatio’s case tells us that students can perform well if the conventional school curriculum takes into account of their diverse cultural and linguistic background. The school curriculum can build a bridge between students’ literacies in and out of school by reflecting their cultural knowledge in the school standardized assessments for literacy achievement.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
I found it interesting to read the story about Horatio. He was an engaged teenager in outside literacy practices, but he could not engage himself in in-school literacy practices. He is involved in an after school activity called Technology and Literacy Project. The focus of his project is on a remix of Nelly's popular song, #1. Horatio takes this song and incorporates images from his home that are meaningful to him such as images from hip-hop magazines and clothing popularly worn by teens that are his age (basketball jerseys, athletic shoes, etc.). Horatio entitles his video "What Does It Take to Be #1." In this video, Horatio questions whether status symbols, such as having expensive clothes and accesories are really what are needed to be number one.
It is interesting to read how Horatio recontextualizes images and lyrics from Nelly's #1 song and creates his own version and remix on his take of the song. He incorporates his home and school culture, and different status symbols that are important to them. It is amazing what one can do with all of the technological advances that we have. With technology, especially with photo and video production, one can produce a twisted remix on anything that comes to mind and create an amazing piece of art that still has a literacy conception to it. It will be interesting to see our class' take on how people take an idea and create a multimedia twist that you never thought could come about!
I just went to Second Life. It is cool. I think it will be exciting when I get handle on how to move and get around Second Life. I have a question about Second Life. How do you navigate the tutorial on Orientation Island? It seeems like I am just moving around and not getting any information. Therefore, I am confused. Can someone help me? Thank you.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Basically, Fableforge.org is a game engine accessed online that you can use to create your own point-and-click games (i.e., your mouse cursor is the control device, and you can use it to navigate through or around settings, to select game options (e.g., "ring bell", "talk to ghost"), and to access additional information about the game narrative to help you solve or complete the game itself. The truly excellent thing is that it looks like the FableForge engine helps you to create really polished-looking games with just a modicum of knowledge about how such games are developed. That's our kind of produser service!
The website itself is designed to be both a space where you can create your games, play other people's games and comment upon/review and discuss these games (cf., Gee's concept of "affinity spaces").
The introductory video tutorial is a gem--the creator of Fableforge is a delightful commentator, and the tutorial is really comprehensive. Marco is also in the process of developing additional vdieo tutorials, available through his YouTube account.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
We will meet inside Second Life (on Montclair's island) on Tuesday, September 29 @ 8pm. In what follows, I list the process you'll need to follow in order to get yourselves signed up for a Second Life account, to get the software you need for accessing Second Life downloaded to your computer, and then I'll tell you exactly where inside Second Life we'll be meeting. At the end of this post I'll also ive you details about how to get additional in-person support for getting yourself up and running (flying even!) inside Second Life if you find you're having trouble doing it on your own. Okay, so here we go.
Well before Tuesday, September 29, do the following:
1. Set up a Second Life account (http://sl.nmc.org/create.php), download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Orientation/69/107/32/).
2. Once you have completed the tutorial, you should know how to teleport yourself to different islands. Here is the URL for accessing my meeting space on Montclair's island: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Montclair%20State%20CEHSADP/227/123/22 This is where we will met as a group for our question-and-answer session. So, you can click on this link hen you have your SL client open and it will teleport you to our meeting space. When you are there, create a landmark for this space (you'll have learned how to do this in your tutorial as well). This will make it easier to find tis particular space again later.
3. Send me your Second Life username once you have set up your account--that way I'll know who is who when we meet.
4. Once you're inside SL, you can also make me a "friend" (I'm Nell Aquacade inside Second Life)--that way you can send me private messages during the discussion if you need to, or if you get lost in SL, I can easily find you and get you unlost.
5. To help support you, my assistant is available in person between 4pm and 6pm on Tuesday, September 22 (this is next week, a week ahead of when we will all meet in Second Life). Come to room 3173 in University Hall (my office) and she will be able to talk you through any difficulties you're having with getting yourself onto Second Life and to our meeting place. She will only be here, though, if you let me know you need her help.
6. We also have at least two Second Life experts in our class, so feel free to ask them for help via our blog. And if you are familiar with using Second Life, don't be shy about sharing tips and hints with everyone via our blog.
Best of luck everyone, and see you in Second life on the 29th!
Additional hints-and-tips sites include:
+ use Google to help you troubleshoot problems you're having, too.
Here is a listing of some of the vdieo types you can consider making--or spend some time exploring:
Podcasting (useful for creating your soundtrack)
Podcasting once referred to digital audiorecordings that were issued as part of a single series. Listeners could subscribe to each episode using software like iTunes or online syndication services (e.g., Podcast Alley). Now, the term “podcast” is used to refer to almost any edited digital audiorecording that has been made publicly available.
Music video editing
Do-it-yourself music video editing can take any number of forms, but typically refers to the process of splicing together still and/or moving images in a meaningful sequence and synching this sequence with a pre-selected music or song track. It entails using video editing software like Windows Movie Maker (ships with PCs) or iMovie (ships with Macs) to edit both images and sound.
Music videos can use “found” images and footage, or can include live action footage you’ve shot specially for this project. Music videos typically pay close attention to mood, interpretation (well beyond merely illustrating the lyrics literally), the appropriateness of transitions and effects, etc. For assignment purposes for this course, your music video needs to include multiple images (with at least two of these being moving image clips) and multiple edits (transition and speciual effects, etc.).
• watch lots of DIY or fan-made music videos on YouTube.com (if you don't have a favourite music artist to search for, just try searching "music video")
• ccMixter.org (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws)
•http://www.freeplaysounds.com (for music not bound by punitive copyright laws)
• http://www.keepvid.com or http://www.savevid.com (for downloading videos from YouTube)http://ccmixter.org (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): http://www.ffmpeg.org or http://www.zamzar.com
Anime Music Video remixing
Anime music videos—or AMV for short—are a subset of music videos. They draw entirely on anime—animated Japanese cartoons—as their source material for the music video. Thus, AMVs work on a number of levels; fans, for example, can read entire universes of meaning into the music video because they are familiar wit the series on which the AMV draws. AMVs can be “in cannon”; that is, the AMV draws from only one series (e.g., Naruto, Card Captor Sakura), or can draw from multiple series (e.g., search for “Anime Hell” on YouTube).
• Main affinity space: http://www.animemusicvideos.org (search for how-to guides; watch lots of AMVs)
• http://www.handbrake.fr (for copying videos from DVDs—watch copyright rules)
• http://ccmixter.org (Creative Commons licenced music)
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac
• http://www.keepvid.com or http://www.savevid.com (for downloading videos from YouTube)http://ccmixter.org (Creative Commons licenced music)
•Video converter software (free): http://www.ffmpeg.org or http://www.zamzar.com
Stop motion animation
Stop motion animation is a process by which physically manipulated objects or drawings can be made to look as if they are moving unaided. It begins with a series of still images taken of a scene wherein carefully planned, but slight, changes are made in each still shot. Run together, these still images create the illusion of movement. Digital stop motion animation is like an analogue flipbook animation created with a digital still camera and video editing software like Windows Movie Maker or iMovie. Popular examples of commercial stop motion movies and television series include: Wallace & Grommit, Coraline, Corpse Bride, to name but a few. stop motion animations can be music videos, or short stories, or full-length movies.
• You’ll need a digital still camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you.
• Stopmotion animation comes in a range of forms, including: whiteboard line drawings, hand-drawn images, action figure or doll stop motion, Lego stop motion, claymation, and so on. Search YouTube for examples.
•An overview of the process: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop-motion
• A useful affinity space: http://www.stopmotionanimation.com
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac
Live action video that includes multiple edits
Live action video is anything captured “live” and in the moment. YouTube is replete with live action videos. For the purposes of this assignment choice, your live action video needs to include multiple edits; that is, it can’t be a single, one shot take with a title slapped onto the front end and credits at the back end. Your live action video can be narrative in some way (tell a story, an anecdote, etc.), documentary-like (e.g., interviews about local history; multiple perspectives on local key issues), or even mockumentary in nature (a spoof documentary).
• You’ll need a digital video camera; and if you have a tripod that will make things even easier for you (you’ll also need an IEEE cable to hook up your video camera to your computer. Check to see whether you need a four-pin or six-pin plug.
• Look for Windows Movie Maker on your PC , or iMovie on your Mac
• You might also want to play around with live action video and Voicethread.com
Flash animation is a form of digital animation, as distinct from cel-based animation we all grew up watching, where each cel of the animation was painted by hand. Cel-animation comprises two types of frames: key frames and in-between frames. Key frames mark principal points in the animation (e.g., where a character starts to fall, a hand moving to brace for impact, etc.). In-between frames fill in the moment between key frames. Key frames are drawn by the master artists, and in-between frames by “tweeners” or people specially hired to this often-tedious work. Flash animation automates the in-between (or “tweener” “cels”, saving the animator hours and hours of time. For this assignment, your final flash animation video should be at least 1 minute long.
• Search YouTube and Aniboom.com, and watch lots of examples
• Use Google and YouTube to search for how-to tutorials (e.g., http://animation.about.com/od/flashanimationtutorials/Flash_Animation_Tutorials_StepbyStep_Lessons.htm)
•Online service for creating your own flash animation: http://www.aniboom.com/Animachines
•Download and muck around with the trial version of Adobe CS4 (popular flash animation software): http://www.adobe.com/products/flash/ (click on “Get the trial”; for PCs only)
Second Life machinima
Machinima (machine + cinema) describes the process of using video games or 3D worlds to generate the scenes, sets and actors for a movie. A Second Life machinima is a movie filmed using the world of Second Life as your location. Your actors will be the avatars of each person in your group. the easiest way to create a Second Life machinima is to sign up for an account, explore Second Life a little, then watch a whole bunch of Second Life machinima in order to get a sense of how it’s done. In a nutshell, creating a Second Life machinima requires three different pieces of what we’ll call software. The first is the Second Life client. This client works like, say, MSN and Yahoo Messenger, where you have to install the interface software before you can use the service. This is what you use to log-onto the virtual world of Second Life. As you are moving around in Second Life you use screen capture software to record what’s happening on your screen. This generates a video file that you can then edit in the third piece of software, your video editing application (e.g., windows Movie Maker or iMovie). You can use a digital voice recorder—a separate device, or audacity, free recording software—to create your spoken soundtrack. For the purposes of this assignment, your Second Life machinima should be at least 2 minutes long, involve multiple edits, and be a stand-alone story.
• The Second Life Machinima channel: http://www.machinima.com/channel/view&id=10
•Search YouTube for “Second Life machinima”
• How-to guides and other resources (including links to free screen capture software): http://capricorn.montclair.edu/newlits/index.php/Making_movies_in_Second_Life
• Set up a Second Life account (http://sl.nmc.org/create.php), download the client software and login, and complete the tutorial on Orientation Island (this introductory island can also be accessed directly once you have your account and have downloaded the Second Life client. Use this URL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/NMC%20Orientation/69/107/32/).
• Audacity (for creating your sound track; free software): http://sourceforge.net/projects/audacity/
•How to use Audacity to create a soundtrack: http://capricorn.montclair.edu/newlits/index.php/Podcasting_and_Fluency
Additional hints-and-tips sites include:
Thank you for any response.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
If you are looking for the video editing software on your home machine and can't find it, here are links to downloading it:
For PC users ("Windows Movie Maker"): http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/updates/moviemaker2.mspx (this version won't work on Vista, though)
For Mac users (iMovie): http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/10228&vid=85242 (if you the iLife suite, go to Apple.com to update your software)
Throughout the course I aim at introducing you to free or nearly free software and services so that you can use them easily in your own classrooms. Video editing software is a cool tool to have at your finger-tips in any classroom!