Archive for the ‘Digital Storytelling’ Category

iPhoneography: Unleash Creativity

Sunday, April 1st, 2012

Follow me on Instagram. Username: needleworks

Follow me on Instagram. Username: needleworks

My latest creative interest has been iPhoneography. Last year I purchased a DSLR camera, lenses, cases, accessories, and more. I took a class and I’ve even gotten pretty good at using the manual settings. However, on a recent vacation I found myself reaching for the phone much more often than I did the DSLR. It’s small, it’s fast, and it’s immediate. I would take photos with the iPhone, have them transfer wirelessly via Photostream to my iPad back at the hotel and then edit the photos with the iPad.

The DSLR photos are certainly sharper and the lenses give me much more flexibility than I have with the iPhone. However, I much prefer the editing apps on the iPad than my desktop tools. The tactile nature of touching and swiping make it a breeze to quickly add effects.

My favorite photo editing apps are Photo Wizard HD and Snapseed. Both apps are frequently available for free if you wait long enough. The best app for sharing photos is Instagram. With Instagram, I am able to quickly share photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram’s built in social network. The feedback, or lack thereof, from other users encourage greater picture taking.

My photos are now so much more dramatic and I feel like I am have photographic success. I am trying to post at least one photo per day. I find that the process of taking pictures is leading to greater creativity overall in my life. Imagine what it could do for your classroom.

New Book: What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I’m honored to have a chapter I authored on integrating digital video production in the classroom published in the just-released hardcover book, What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media edited by Scott McLeod and Chris Lehman.

The other chapters are written by  several of the educational technologists whom I’ve come to admire and respect through their blogs, presentations,  and work in the field.  The book is arranged in easy to digest chapters on relevant subjects you can read or reread when you’re ready for them.  I recommend it for principals, tech committees, and teachers who have an interest in transforming education.

The book is available now in hardcover or for the Kindle and includes the following chapters:

  • Introduction, Chris Lehmann & Scott McLeod
  • Foreword, David Warlick
  • Learning Tools


    More Learning Tools

    Royalty Free Photos, Music, and Video List (Updated)

    Friday, June 3rd, 2011

    Here is my updated list of Royalty Free Resources for multimedia projects, including photo and music options.  I’ve also included this list as a permanent page on my blog, accessible on the right hand side under pages.  I’ve tried to list only options that I’ve actually used.

    Most of these royalty free options require attribute i.e. credit to the author.  It’s always safest to credit the author somewhere in your project…a footnote in print materials, a credit in a movie, or a credit slide in a powerpoint are generally sufficient.

    Royalty Free Images
    a free product of Tech4Learning these are images donated for classroom use
    I always start here in the classroom because there are no inappropriate images and the site is simple enough so that I have taught first graders to navigate it.

    Free Images Donated by Photographers
    This is my second destination when I can’t find what I’m looking for on pics4learning. They are not necessarily for educational use but are available free and taken by real photographers who are willing to share their images.

    Flickr Creative Commons Images
    has images taken by photographers of different abilities (amateur and professional) which you can use according to their Creative Commons license.

    free images for web pages

    free photos of “everything of earth”

    iStock Photo – $2-3 a picture

    If you still can’t find what you want or are going to use your images in commercial projects, why not pay $1 per photo and use the image legally? These site has pictures of almost anything you would want.


    Free Image Database

    NASA Images

    Free Clip Art

    Royalty Free Clip Art

    More Royalty Free Images

    Larry Ferlazzo’s List

    Terry Roberts’ List

    Royalty Free Music and Audio

    Kevin Macleod
    This guy has great movie music that’s easily searchable by mood and style. I don’t know how he makes a living cuz he’s giving good stuff away for free.

    Free music selections.  Great stuff for movie soundtracks.

    Purple Planet

    Dig CC Mixer

    Podsafe Audio
    good stuff, great variety

    Moby Gratis
    Recording artist, Moby, makes some of his discarded tunes available free to filmmakers
    (If you listen to the tracks, they’re mostly ambient, ephemeral pieces though I did find one I liked for my Film School for Video Podcasters project.)

    royalty free stuff, though I sometimes suspect some of the “public domain” material really isn’t

    Jonathan Roberts
    interesting stuff that I didn’t use for my last project but might use in the future

    Jimmy G
    I didn’t find anything that I used from here but it’s another option. Requires registration.
    This site contains music and video that is supposedly in the public domain…I have found a few examples on the web site that are not in the public domain and so I’m a little bit hesitant about using some of the material in video projects.  Nevertheless, this is a great web site with tons of material.

    I haven’t used this site yet, navigation is not entirely intuitive

    $99 a year for school site access to royalty free music

    Sound Effects/Foley

    Sound Effects
    great site for sound effects


    Absolute Sound Effects Archive

    Free Sound Project

    Additional List

    by Larry Ferlazzo

    Royalty Free Movies (search for moving images)

    Public Domain Flicks

    The Law and Additional Research Information

    Fair Use Doctrine

    Fair Use Comic Book

    Fair Use in Media Education Guidelines

    Is It In the Public Domain? Slider

    Copyright for Teachers:  Persistent Myths

    Barely Legal Radio Podcast

    Steal This Preso:  Copyright, Fair Use, and Pirates in the Classroom


    Video in the Classroom Carnival #6

    Friday, April 8th, 2011

    It’s time once again to highlight some of the best posts and resources I’ve seen in and around the blogosphere that feature video production and digital storytelling in the classroom.

    Classroom Production Examples

    Karen Thompson shared these movies by Cindy Huson which are a simple yet ingenious and amusing way of teaching vocabulary words.

    Steve Katz has a fun video production of Paul Revere’s Ride, The Minutemen.

    Ann Oro shares a sixth grade example explaining population density.

    Brian Crosby has several examples of science demonstration films.

    Classroom Struggles and Triumphs

    Kevin Hodgson shares Scenes from a Digital Storytelling Project.  This post has several parts and they’re all worth reading.  Kevin shares with great honesty the process of making movies in class including problems of technology and classroom management.

    Mr. Mayo connects his students via Skype to another classroom making movies to learn about the process  of filmmaking and posting those videos online. Anyone starting out with making video in the classroom can benefit from what the students themselves share about the process.

    Silvia Tolisano of the Langwitches blog shares her experiences using a green screen in class.

    Kids and Online Video

    Dean Shareski explores the pain of a bullied students’ internet pleas in a post that speaks to the power of video as a form of communication sometimes more powerful than the written word.

    On a related note:  Should you let teeny boppers be Youtube Stars?

    Guides and Tutorials

    Richard Byrne provides this free printable guide to making movies on the web.

    Lifehacker offered a complete beginner’s guide to editing movies.

    Showing Movies in Class

    In a case of be careful what you wish for, special education teacher, Elona Hartjes shares what happens when her district finally unblocks Youtube and she struggles to develop an acceptable classroom policy.


    7 Great Cell Phone Videos.  Use what you likely have readily available in your classrooms.

    The Film Techniques of Alfred Hitchcock.  These are great.  You too can shoot like you know what you’re doing.

    Here’s a late 90’s Beverly Hills high school musical version of Star Wars.  Great fun if you like Star Wars and musicals.

    12 Gorgeously Designed Vimeo videos from Mashable.

    Thank you to the teachers who’ve shared their work online for everyone to benefit.  Please feel free to share your own links in the comments.

    Higher Level Technology Use

    Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

    For my upcoming presentation, “Digital CPR:  Bring Your Reading Series to Life with Technology” for LAUSD’s Best Practices Conference on March 19th, I created this illustration which I will use to talk about higher level technology use.

    I will talk about incorporating multimedia in the classroom as something all teachers should be doing but I definitely want teachers to know that they shouldn’t stop there.  To reach high levels of engagement, thinking, and to narrow the digital divide, teachers must turn technology over to students and guide them as they become their own content producers and influencers on the community outside the classroom.

    To put it in more practical terms, if a teacher wants to hit all the levels of the “Technology Taxonomy” they can make sure that their students blog, podcast, and engage in video conferences.  I’ll talk about all three in my workshop.

    If schools opt to make student writing and podcasts, password-protected then they prevent students from reaching the highest rung.