The last days of school for my sixth graders were spent working with a stick figure animation program and here are some of the movies they created:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=1158941878118862160" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=4626591408186972447" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
Peace (in frame),
The other day, one of my sixth graders asked me if I had ever used Pivot for animation, which led to an interesting discussion about how this freeware software could be used with MovieMaker to create a little animated film.
So I figured I would try it out and now I am hoping to let my students try their hand before the school year runs out (soon!) and also to use this very simple, yet cool, software as an introduction to the Claymation Animation Camp that my wife and I are running this summer for the very first time (gulp).
Here, then, is the premiere of The Incredibly Crazy Clocks, using Pivot to create the animation (it comes out as an animated .gif file), then I imported the file into MovieMaker where I added some original music of mine, and a title, an I got a mini-movie.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=6106772181624048098" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
Peace (frame by frame by frame),
This video is part of my Collaborative ABC Movie Project and it deals with baseball and kids, and the connections between my own baseball memories and the experiences of my sons this year.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://video.google.com/googleplayer.swf?docid=-8891800749316318329" width="400" height="326" wmode="transparent" /]
Peace (with innings and outs),
My wife and I are trying something new this year — we are working together to offer two week-long Claymation Summer Camps for kids at her vocational high school. This is a new partnership between our Western Massachusetts Writing Project and her high school, and it is exciting. I stole this idea from my good friend, Tonya (she will recognize some of the information on our flier, as it comes from her flier).
Right now, I am in the midst of a claymation project with my sixth graders (in collaboration with second graders) and we will start filming any day now.
Here is a little movie I made for my Collaborative ABC Movie Project that shows some of the kids making their little clay creations. Some of them are very interesting and remain works in progress (I mean, clay creatures here, but I suppose I could be talking about my students, too).
I am sharing this via TeacherTube, which now allows for embedding into Edublogs, which is very cool and a great alternative to YouTube and Google Vid.
Download:Letter C – Powered by TeacherTube.com
Peace (with squishy parts),
On Wednesday night, I guest-hosted Teachers Teaching Teachers on the topic of technology and storytelling. It was a bit nerve-wracking (not knowing how things were going to go and how to get everyone on) but exciting and informative and all of that good stuff.
You can listen to the show as a podcast now and check out the chat room discussion.
Among the topics:
- What IS digital storytelling and is that even the correct term?
- Are our notions of DS constricted by the genre of personal narrative?
- How does the interactive Web 2.0 play into what we envision for future storytelling?
- What is the ABC project all about?
- What role does privacy of the storyteller (young person) play in the publishing aspect of the work?
- And more.
Listen to the podcast
Read the Chat Room transcripts
Thanks again to Paul and Susan for inviting me to sit in. They are wonderful hosts of that weekly show.
Peace (with a story),
In the past month or so, my friend, Bonnie, and I have launched a Weblog as a way to think about how technology can inform and inspire storytelling. We have been sharing resources, sparking discussions and just thinking about the convergence of the Web 2.0 interactive world with the traditional (!) digital storytelling techniques.
We are now moving into action, with a Collaborative ABC Movie Project, in which people will submit segments of movies based on letters of the alphabet and then we will use Jumpcut to edit them all together into one large collaborative movie. We have no idea how it will turn out, but we are game for exploration.
Here is my example for the letter A:
We’ll be sharing our experiences as we go along and I will try to move those thoughts over here. But feel free to check out Using Technology to Tell Stories blog and add your voice to our conversation.
Peace (with video clips),
My students have just completed a big art project around the theme of Celebrating Peace and their work is now hanging all around the hallways of my school. We also have them writing about why peace should be important to young people and to explain the symbolism of their art. It is very interesting to see sixth-graders tussle with the idea of a peaceful world in a time of war.
I thought I would capture some of that work through video and so I am sharing that video with parents at another Weblog site but I figured it would be nice to share it here, too.
Peace (in every way possible),
The other day, my eight-year-old son drew a picture with portaits of everyone in our immediate family: himself, his two younger brothers, his mom, our dog and cat, and, of course, me. The details are quite good (even if the video here is grainy), although we all wonder why some of us look mad or sad. He won’t say. 🙂
Plus, I want to test out embedding Google Video.
One of my own personal goals this year was to learn more about making documentary movies so that I could capture some of the work being done at the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, where I am the techology liaison for our network of teachers.
Here are two movie projects that I have been working on:
We are in the midst of making a DVD documentary of our 2006 Summer Institute and I have been sharing the work with our participants through a web-based site. The movie will center on our three main strands: teacher writing; inquiry research; and workshop presentations.
You can head to the Summer Institute movies here.
Meanwhile, I have also been working on a documentary for a Weblog project called Making Connections, which connects middle school students through technology. This project is funded through the NWP Technology Seed Grant Initiative.
Head to the Making Connections movie.
As noted down below in this Weblog, I have been working on a multi-media poem that seeks to utilize some of the emerging technologies as a canvas for creative expression. My idea was to try to write something that could be reflected in a Read/Write Web format and see what happens with it. And so, my writing — can we call it that? — is a mix of words, images, and sound.
Are you interested in experiencing Blink Blink Blink?
This link will take you to my poem.
As part of the process, I also recorded an off-the-cuff audio reflection that is embedded in the poem page but which can also be listened to independent of that piece.
Listen to an audio reflection about the poem
I would love to get any feedback on the poem — does it work for you as a creative piece? Does the technology get in the way or does it complement the writing? — and you can use the comment feature on this item to do so, if you would like.