Monday, March 13, 2017

App Smashing with Duck Duck Moose Apps & Green Screen by Do Ink

This post first appeared on FTISEdTech

Recently, while trying to help one of our Music teachers hack a lesson that included a paid app that we don't have access to, I discovered a strategy for using the Duck, Duck Moose apps - Draw& Tell, Superhero Comic Maker, or Princess Fairy Tale Maker combined with Green Screen by Do Ink that allows you to create a layered green screen videos that makes it look like students are interacting with comic book style characters.

Create your Animation

To make it look like you or your students are are between a background and the animation, you will want to create a "green screen" animation by either using the picture of a green screen or by filling in the background of a blank scene with green.

You will then set your scene.  Add writing, characters or letters.  Stickers will move during recording.  You can also add voice overs while you're recording, or maybe play a song in the background.  Whatever audio you have going, will be heard in your green screen video.  

You will also want to make sure that the video you make in your Duck, Duck Moose app is long enough to accommodate what you need to do with the Green Screen app - so storyboarding could be very helpful.


Once you are happy with your recording, you will go to the "My Comics" area and save it to your camera roll.





App Smash with Do Ink

Now that you have your animation video saved, you're ready to open up Green Screen by Do Ink and set up your project.  

Remember, whichever element is furthest down on the list, is what appears in the background.  So, you will want to place either a static image (or if you're feeling crazy a premade video) as the bottom option.  The middle should be your live camera and the top should be the video you made using one of the Duck, Duck Moose apps.

You are now ready to make your recording with the animations.  This will place your video on top of the subject of the green screen video.

It does help if students can see the animations so that they can react to them as it happens, so setting the iPad up on a tripod with the "Selfie" camera view will allow students to see things in real time. 

Record your video by choosing the red record button, and when you are finished press the stop button, which is a black square.  

You can choose to save your project from the menu or preview.  If you know you're going to want to re-record your project, press "Done" on the bottom right side of the screen and you will have the option to delete. 

You could obviously skip the background image altogether, depending on your needs and use a background you create in the Duck, Duck, Moose app - however it will have a more flat affect where it doesn't appear that your subject being recorded is actually inside the scene. That added layer adds a bit of interest to the project.

I am very interested to see what teachers and students are able to do with this kind of app smashing strategy.  It could be a great way to edit together a student/ character interview or create a dynamic presentation.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Interactive Notebooks in the Digital Age #KySTE17

This year I am so glad to have discovered the power of using digital style interactive notebooks with students.

As a new Technology Integration Specialist in a district that has recently adopted a digital conversion process at the elementary level, I was looking for ways teachers could integrate our new technology while maintaining teaching practices they were most familiar with.

As a result, I turned back to the work of Robert Marazano and the research his group has done in regards to High Yield Strategies for teaching and learning, and I began to re-examine some of the texts I had used as a new teacher a few moons ago.  

By looking at High Yield strategies, I was able to begin the process of identifying ways that we could incorporate tech into every day activities like reading assignments and vocabulary.  

I settled on the idea of adapting those strategies into interactive notebook style that I was seeing on a variety of websites in digital form and that some teachers were enthusiastically using in paper form.

My first notebook was a vocabulary notebook that capitalized on the Frayer model and used Nonlinguistic Representations.  Before I knew it, I was finding all kinds of ways to use the format.  Everything from reading notebooks to research and custom projects.

Here is a bit of what I have discovered:

Students in our district primarily work with Microsoft products and iPads, so I chose to use PowerPoint to create these notebooks.  The bonus of using PowerPoint on the iPad is that students can easily add content to their presentations like student created videos from a variety of apps like Chatterpix and Superhero HD and photo collages from apps like PicCollage.  They also have a draw feature that is missing even in the desktop version of PowerPoint.

Here is an example of an interactive reading notebook that utilizes Marzano strategies:

Making the Notebooks

When I create the notebooks I create jpegs and use those jpegs as the background for the slides:

I am not a designer by nature, so to make these notebooks I count on Canva.  I use the presentation size (16:9) as the template size and create a way.  I choose to use Canva because the graphic elements are really visually interesting and I can create jpegs to embed in the notebooks. 

You could also design the entire notebook in PowerPoint or Google Slides and save those slides as individual images, then insert them as the images.  

This is what it looks like in Slides:

Creating elements, like manipulatives or letters is also easy in PowerPoint because you can save individual elements as images.

These are just a few tips for creating notebooks. The possibilities are really endless with this format.  What will you create first?

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Design Thinking KySTE17

I first saw the concept of iterative design discussed in the book Invent to Learn by Gary Stager and Sylvia Libow Martinez.  It didn't really sink in though until I was learning more about Minecraft and chatting with Minecraft experts on a MinecraftEDU Twitter chat. 

The more I discovered about the concept, the more I realized it was exactly what I was missing in my makerspace project development.  For me, iterative design, or design thinking, helped to bring an element of mindfulness to creation.  It also helped to establish an expectation that our work can always evolve, and through that evolution we continue to grow as learners.


I saw a need to create a model that would work for elementary students K-5, and wanted to give a nod to the work of Martinez and Stager, who kept it simple, and work the work of Mitchel Resnick, discussed by Martinez and Stager in their book.  Resnick's hit on a cyclical model of imagining that really appealed to me.  As a result, I came up with ICE - Imagine-Create-Evaluate

Design Thinking Tools

To help students think through the design process, I created an interactive notebook that coaches them through three iterations of a project.  The tool can be used for physical models, multimedia projects or even live demonstrations. 

Check out the interactive notebook to see how the process works.