Reitz High School

Reitz High School
Evansville, IN

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Digital Citizenship; Not Just For Students

Jeff Tron at the Indiana Unconference
Last week, the Indiana Department of Education invited all eLearning community educators to an unconference.  It turned out to be much more than I expected.  One of the sessions I attended was led by Robbie Grimes.  Robbie is a technology integration specialist for the Wayne Township School Corporation.  He has quite a bit of experience with integrating educational technology into the classroom.

The session that Robbie led was about Digital Citizenship.  Going into the session, I felt like I was pretty savvy on the topic.  He spoke about a situation where an administrator did what many of us, if not all of us, have done.  He went to Google image search, found a picture he liked, right clicked on it, and saved it.  He used that photo in his school newsletter that is also posted online.  The photographer and owner of the photo saw this and sued the school corporation for using it without permission or paying for it.

This really opened my eyes that Digital Citizenship is not just for students.  We as teachers and administrators need to be aware of the copyright laws and model good citizenship for our students.  It will definitely change the way I search for and use photos in the future.

Jeff Tron checking out the @EVSCREV14
To safely search for photos that are not copyright, you can do an advanced Google search.  To do this, you go to Google and click on images.  Type in the kind of image you are looking for and click the magnifying glass.  When your results show up, you will see a gear in the top right hand corner.  Click that gear and choose advanced search.  Scroll down to where you see the words usage rights down the left hand side.  Here, you will find a drop down menu.  In the drop down menu choose free to use or share, then click the blue advanced search button.  The images that show up now should be safe to use and free from copyright issues.

To follow Robbie on Twitter, you can click here.  He also has a very informative Prezi on Digital Citizenship that he shared with us, that you can view as well.  To view Robbie's Prezi, click here.

All pictures in this article were taken by Jeff Tron and used with permission.

Howell Yards in Evansville, IN

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

No Video Editing Skills? No Problem!

Do you want to make some cool short videos with clips that you have taken?  Do you teach younger students that can take good video, but cannot edit?  Never fear, Magisto is here!  Magisto is a web tool and mobile app that provides a free automatic video editing service for amateurs.  According to the website, Magisto aims to solve the problem of video editing being too complicated and time-consuming by letting users edit their videos in a click.  It has built its service on patent-pending image analysis technology that analyzes unedited videos and identifies the most interesting parts. The system recognizes faces, animals, landscapes, action sequences, movements and other interesting content within the video, as well as analyzes speech and audio. These scenes are then edited together, along with music and effects, into share-worthy clips.

Here is an Instructional Screencast

Or Click Here to go directly to the Screencast

 Here is a Sample Video Created with Magisto

Here is a List of Resources to Help You get Started:

App Storm
Magisto FAQs
EVSC ICATS Challenge
Tucker Tech Talk

Here are Some Ways to use Magisto in the Classroom
  1. Assign a videographer of the day to capture class and post it on your class website.
  2. Make a video collage of clips that illustrate an idea or theme.
  3. Make day-in-the-life videos of characters in books or people in the school.
  4. Create an inspirational video montage of a class's preparations for an assessment.
  5. Have students introduce a topic via video.
  6. Create discussion-starter videos.
  7. Create motivational videos made of quotes.
  8. Create an art portfolio video.
  9. Have students create biographical videos (my family, my favorite things).
  10. Have students share their definitions of a word and make a mash-up for that word.


Thursday, May 1, 2014

Big Huge Labs

Today's post is about a great webtool called Big Huge Labs.  One great thing about Big Huge Labs is that you can create so many different things with it.  In this post I will give you the link to the site, some examples, resources to help you get started, and ways that it could be used in your school or classroom.

The Big Huge Labs Website

Do fun stuff with your digital photos. Create and print personalized motivational posters, calendars, movie posters, magazine covers, badges, mosaics, collages, trading cards, and much more!

Here is an Example of the Motivational Poster created with BHL

Here are some resources to help you get started

The Big Huge Labs help page:
Teaching n' Learning Wiki:
Big Huge Labs Webinar:
Cindy Brock Blog:
Jacqui Murry Blog:
How create a motivator:
Visible Thinking:
Tiger Tools:

Great Ways to use Big Huge Labs in your classroom
  1. Create Trading cards at the beginning of the year for students to get to know each other. Some teachers make copies of each card and give a class pack to each student.
  2. Comic pages can be created.
  3. Students can make magazine covers for famous people reports.
  4. Students can create posters for different messages such as drug prevention week, fire safety day, or Earth Day.
  5. Create Trading cards for characters in a book and use them in a book report assignment.
  6. Students can create a mosaic for the chapter or unit they are studying.
  7. For new students at your school, you could create faculty trading cards so students can get familiar with the staff without actually meeting each one.
  8. Students can create inspirational/motivator posters for your school.  Some examples could be cooperation, pride, teamwork, success, unity, kindness, and achievement.
  9. Students could create magazine covers with headlines stating facts from the unit or chapter they are studying.
  10. Students could create a movie poster for their favorite novel and give a book report.