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Technology Integration:
Multimedia in Projects: Tools for Creating and Viewing Media

Multimedia with CD's, Microphone, Video Camera, and Film GIF

Technology Integration is a four part series on essential questions, technology integration resources, web page design, and multimedia in projects.  Sections contain relevant opening essays and resources.

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Software Tools, Plug-Ins and Viewers

 

Are you looking for top applications for learning?

Tools Metaphor

If you are integrating media into your instruction, consider the words of Andrew Churches (2009): "It's not about the tools, it's using the tools to facilitate learning" (p. 1).

Andrew Churches' educational origami website includes Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and ICT where Churches matches traditional approaches to each of the multiple intelligences with specific digital tools, strategies, and activities.  In Bloom's and ICT Tools, he provides specific tools matched to Bloom's Digital Taxonomy: creating, evaluating, analyzing, applying, understanding, and remembering.  Both are valuable contributions to those who are integrating media into their instruction.

Web Quest Search Gif -- Searching with a telescope  from a boat at sea

The Centre for Learning and Performance Technologies is a must see site for the Top 100 Tools for Learning, which include many Web 2.0 tools for collaboration and communication, and multimedia development tools.

 

What is open source software?  What should you be concerned about?

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Open source software is "computer software whose source code is available under a copyright license that permits users to study, change, and improve the software, and to freely distribute it to potential users" (K12opensource.org, para. 1).

More and more, schools are turning to open source software as a way to cut down expenses associated with commercial software.  Many of the programs provide documentation and tutorials for their use.  However, support, security, integration with pre-existing systems, and track records of successful implementations in schools are issues of concern (Nagel, 2007b).

Fortunately, there are organizations looking at successful implementations of open source and keeping track of open source standards, hardware, and the better open source software.  For more information, see the following resources:

 

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Development and Authoring Tools

Note: If you are looking for video-editing software, David Nagel (2007a) noted that this software comes in professional, semi-professional, and consumer varieties.  Free or cheap solutions might introduce students to editing concepts and get the job done for K-12 school projects, but  "the way those editors work is not the way professional systems work" (online p. 1).  So, you also need to consider the learning outcome of using the software and that some software, whether it is for audio or video editing, might not provide the skills that students would need for college level or professional work.

 

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Compression Tools

Multimedia files can consume a lot of space on your hard drive.  Large files can be slow to transmit or receive over the Internet or via email.  Compressing files reduces their size by eliminating redundancy.  By compressing files, you also can save more data on your back-up disks or CDs, or other portable media.  Popular compression tools include:

 

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Plug-Ins and Viewers

Plug-ins are needed to view multimedia on the web or in presentations.  Pearson Education Browser Tuner provides a quick check of what browser you are using on your computer and checks if you have common plug-ins installed from those listed at their site.

 

Need to print a web page?

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Print Friendly is a free online tool that "cleans and formats web pages for perfect print experience. PrintFriendly removes Ads, Navigation and web page junk, so you can save paper and ink when you print" (About section).  Just enter the URL of the page you want to print.  You can also email the printout, or save to a pdf file.  You can also add Print Friendly to your browser or add a button to your own web page.

 

 

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Online File Storage

If you do not wish to take up valuable storage space on your hard drive, consider saving some of your digital creations and other files online. Teachers might find this of value, for example, to store files that can be accessed from any computer.  Services include:

 

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Conferencing Tools

 

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Creating Media

Tutorials and the Technical Aspects of Multimedia

Man creating media at his computer workstation GIFIf you involve students in creating multimedia elements, you need to consider levels of difficulty and time for development.  As one person, you most likely will not have time to learn every piece of software you would like to use.  You might consider assigning groups of students to learn a specific feature of the software to demonstrate to the class, and  having those knowledgeable students help others in the class to develop media.  Arranged in order (least to greatest), these difficulty levels include:

The following resources include appropriate tutorials for creating and working with multimedia.

Screencasting How-to's:

 

Atomic Learning: http://www.atomiclearning.com/ has a series of online tutorials on how to use a variety of technology products.

Cornell University Library's Digital Imaging Tutorial: http://www.library.cornell.edu/preservation/tutorial/contents.html

The Digital Camera in Education Web Site: http://www.drscavanaugh.org/digitalcamera/ includes pros and cons of using the digital camera, applications (e.g, ESE, ESOL, science, math), how to's, sample lessons, and a series of videos to illustrate what you can do in 15-seconds.

Video Camera GifDigital Hotcakes: http://www.animationsforvideo.com/html/tutorials.htm contains a number of free video editing tutorials for Adobe Premier, Adobe Premier Pro, Final Cut Pro, QuickTime Pro, Pinnacle Studio 9, PowerPoint, and Vegas Video.

GraphicsAcademy.com: http://www.graphicsacademy.com/index.php contains absolutely free tutorials on color, image design and capture, HTML and web design.  A glossary of graphics terms and file formats are also provided.

HowStuffWorks: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/ provides answers to questions of interest regarding multimedia and its production:

Internet4Classrooms: http://www.internet4classrooms.com/on-line.htm contains tutorials for several applications commonly used in K-12, including authoring.  Examples include PowerPoint, Hyperstudio, Word, Excel, Dreamweaver, Claris Home Page, Inspiration and Kidspiration.

Kids Turn Central: http://www.kidsturncentral.com/topics/computers/htgraphics.htm contains a series of articles and tutorials for kids on how to make and use graphics.  The site also introduces students to copyright issues.

Kodak Tips and Project Center: http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Kodak_-_Tips_and_Projects_Exchange_-_Lower_Content.htm is the best place to learn to work with digital images. Get tips for taking better digital photos; learn about cameras, digital basics, printing, sharing, enhancing and restoring; get ideas for projects. The Support Center offers product-specific and Easyshare software interactive tutorials.

Learninginhand.com: http://learninginhand.com/podcasting/ Tony Vincent has numerous resources for handhelds in education.  He presents details for learning to create podcasts: preproduction, recording, postproduction, and publishing. You can also find existing podcasts, subscribe to them, or listen to podcasts. Of relevance are his links showing how students, even at elementary school levels, are creating podcasts.

LInC Online: Graphic, Graphics, Graphics: http://ed.fnal.gov/lincon/tech_web_graph.shtml contains everything you wanted to know about using, converting, making, finding, and saving graphics.

Multimedia Seeds: http://eduscapes.com/seeds/ is designed for anyone who wants to learn more about audio, video, and visual resources.  The project contains four main sections: Collections, Collection Management, Collection Production, and Collection Use.

Nortel LearniT.org: http://nortellearnit.org/ has a series of video tutorials for developing technology skills.

PowerPoint in the Classroom: http://www.actden.com/pp/index.htm

Storyboarding from UsabilityNet: http://www.usabilitynet.org/tools/storyboarding.htm

Tucows: http://www.tucows.com/ Locate shareware for image, audio, video production and editing, and other top multimedia categories.

TechLearning: http://www.techlearning.com/ posted How to Embed Video in Classroom Presentations (Mar 1, 2004). Author David Pendery includes the steps with visuals to embed video clips directly into PowerPoint and AppleWorks presentations.  TechLearning also has an e-book to help students to learn how to create effective videos: Classroom Video: Tools and Strategies to Engage Students in Learning.

Ulead Learning: http://www.ulead.com/learning/learning.htm contains a number of product tutorials, and general information about imaging, video, and web graphics, including:

Video Creation & Tools: http://www.pearltrees.com/shellyterrell/video-creation-tools/id7514336 This is a great collection of resources for the how-to's of creating videos and ideas for their use in the classroom, gathered by Shelly Terrell.

Video 101: http://www.video101course.com/300home.html  by Prof. M. Trinklein of Idaho State University is a complete video production course.  Complete content is online regarding editing, video recording, camera operation, shot composition, the lens, sound, lighting, camera mounts, the TV camera, and TV graphics.  This site was honored by the Broadcast Education Association.

WebAttack.com: http://www.webattack.com/freeware/freeware.html contains an extensive collection of freeware and shareware for multimedia development and authoring, such as Graphics Converter Pro (image converter) or LViewPro 2002, and ImageForge Pro (graphics editor).

Web Site Estates: http://www.websiteestates.com/ has free Power Point templates for students and educators, plus tips and tutorials.

WhatIs.Com: Multimedia and Graphics: http://whatis.techtarget.com/ This site actually contains an A-Z dictionary of technology terms with explanations of concepts relating to computing fundamentals, hardware, software, PCs, networking, telecommunications. There are over 350 terms for multimedia and graphics.

 

Think about using video in your instruction.

Video Camera Gif

Friendly reminder Gif

Here are some of the many ideas suggested by Bob Sprankle at Wells Elementary School in Wells, Maine.

  1. Film students on the first day of school, asking them what their goals are for the school year.
  2. Ask a student to demonstrate how to solve a math problem and capture his exact process, rather than just the answer -- great to post online, too.
  3. Capture hands-on experiential learning.
  4. Film important lesson highlights so absent students can review what they missed.
  5. Have students create tutorials.
  6. Capture the excitement of learning from each student.
  7. Film real-world connections from outside and use them to capture students attention during a lesson.
  8. Use video to leave instructions for a substitute teacher.

Source: Sprankle, B. (2008, April). Caught on video. Technology & Learning, 28(9), 29-32.

Need more help with video production?

School Video News is a free online magazine for K-12 TV and video production, which is produced monthly.  It "includes articles on all aspects of K-12 video production:  lighting and audio, set construction tips, increasing production values, case studies, projects and profiles of other schools.  In addition to technical articles by industry professionals, there are product reviews, student projects, event coverage, and industry/academic news as it relates to TV/Video production" (About Us section).

Are you searching for free tools?

Web Quest Search Gif -- Searching with a telescope  from a boat at sea

Star with word Free on itRead 50 Free Tools to Make Computing Easier by Miquel Guhlin (November 2005) at TechLearning.com.  Educators love free materials and Guhlin provides that list.  He discusses compressing multimedia files so that they can be attached to email, setting up a Web server and FTP server, spyware, adware, virus protection, a browser alternative to Internet Explorer, email software, minimizing spam, creating PDF files without Adobe Acrobat, creating Web pages without Dreamweaver or Frontpage, programs for editing and creating graphics for Web pages, downloading Web sites for use in presentations when Internet access will not be available, making flyers and brochures, and where to get all those free programs.

FreewareFiles.comFreewareFiles.com is a resource for free software in multiple categories, such as anti-virus, audio and video, developer tools, games, graphics/design, home and education, internet, networks, programming, screensavers, security/privacy, utilities, and more.

Do you need free offline browsing?

WebStripper enables you to copy websites to your hard disk for browsing them offline without having to connect to the Internet.  And it's free.

 

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Media Collections

 

Clip Art Gallery on Discovery Education

Clipart ETC: Math from Florida's Educational Technology Clearinghouse is a free collection of nearly 10,000 images for "algebra, geometry, trigonometry, probability, money, number sense, and more. This collection of illustrations for teachers and students consists of clipart for all levels of K-12 math classes. Included are coordinate and polar grids, graphs, number lines, clocks, patterns, flashcards, protractors, thermometers, fractions, geometric shapes & solids, angles & lines, bags of marbles, spinners, constructions, theorems & proofs, and dice. From the common place to the hard-to-find clipart, everything an educator needs for activities, assessments, and presentations can be found here." (Website description)

Creative Commons contains databases of audio, video, image, text, and educational materials that have terms of use already designated, which eliminates seeking permission to use copyrighted material.

Everystockphoto.com is a license-specific photo search engine owned and operated by Vibrant Software in Vancouver, Canada. The company indexes and searches millions of freely licensed photos, from many sources, and presents them in an integrated search (About Us section).  Its great for locating free images on the web for projects.

FreeImages is a great resource for free photos and illustrations on just about any topic.  If you use any images, remember to contact the artist using the e-mail address found on the artists page. Free stock images at this site are from photographers all over the world.

FreePhotoBank is a free stock photo site.  If you search for mathematics or topics pertaining to mathematics, for example, there are numerous images that you can download.

The Freesound Project is a collaborative database of Creative Commons licensed sounds (not songs and compositions): audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, field recordings, and so on.  Some sounds can be used for scientific research.

Open Clip Art also includes an extensive collection of math clip art.

 

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References

Churches, A. (2009). Bloom's digital taxonomy (v3.01).  Retrieved from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Bloom%27s+Digital+Taxonomy 

Nagel, D. (2007a, May 9). Know your NLE's. T.H.E. Journal.  Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2007/05/09/know-your-nles.aspx

Nagel, D. (2007b, January 18). Open-source schools: Got data? T.H.E. Journal.  Retrieved from http://thejournal.com/articles/2007/01/18/opensource-schools-got-data_633573844165627942.aspx

 

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Binoculars GifSee other Technology Integration pages:

Part 4: Multimedia in Projects: Page  1  |  2  |  3  |

Part 1: Essential Questions  |  Part 2: Technology Integration Resources  |   Part 3: Web Page Design