3 Shot Movie on an iPad

I’m a huge fan of the 3 shot movie to help structure your videos. It’s a simple way to teach students and teachers about frames, clips and the basics of story telling.

I saw this demo’d at a recent GAFE conference by Jim Sill (an ex-producer and now Edtech trainer). The 3 shots basically are;image 1.png

  • the wide shot – gives context
  • the medium – shows more about the characters
  • the close up – gives more detail.

Here’s a quick gif that shows how easy it is combine these shots into your timeline on the iMovie app on an iPad. If you’d like to see more information on this process, including how this process can be done on  Chromebook, check out my full post on our Using Technology Better blog.

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Book Creator Comic Tips

This week I’ve been making some comics with a class in the Book photoCreator app. It’s part of a bigger ‘app-smash’ we’re working on by combining the comic with the Explain Everything app to make an animated video.

Here are some tips to creating a comic with backgrounds, characters, and layered objects to give your comics a super professional look!

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1. Insert a background into each panel.

The new updated Book Creator has a great comic layout with loads of comic like features. Elements such as stickers, comic looking fonts and text functions and PANELS! These are one of my ‘go-tos’ for students adding photos into a page. When they click the photo or camera icon within a panel the app fits the photo perfectly inside it.

When adding a background image for your comic strip, use this approach to give each panel the right backdrop. You can use the same image and zoom in or out for each panel using the 2 finger pinch and stretch.

 

transparent2. Use the ‘transparent’ option when searching for character images.

Students can search and save the right character images on a Google search by finding and using a ‘long press’ on the image to ‘Save image.’ This will appear in their camera roll for use later.

BUT, if you want to use images that can be layered without a background attached to the actual image (it will look like the character is cut out) then use the ‘Search tools > Color > Transparent’ function to search for PNG files. These will have a grey and white checkered background when opened and these save as PNGs for you to add to your comics.

 

3. Add your characters with the + icon.character

When you’re adding the characters you will need to use the + button at the top right of the screen, rather than the camera and photo function inside the panel. If you use that function then the character will replace the background of the panel. The + button process will let you move the character over top or inside the panel as needed.

 


layering4. Layer the objects using the ‘move forward and back’ section.

The last step is to work on getting your characters, stickers, speech bubbles and other elements to be layered in the right way. The default order is that the last thing added will go to the top…but to change this order simply select the element, click on the ‘I’ (or inspector) and use the ‘Move forward and back’ function. This lets you order the elements how YOU want them.

 

And here’s the finished product of all of these tweeks. It’s incredible what students can create using a few techniques and the greatest thing is seeing the sense of accomplishment and pride at what they’ve achieved – as well as the chance to consolidate and deepen their understanding of new learning.

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Camels and Pokemon – VLOG #005

This is the fifth Vlog of a travel series I’ve started – this one is from a day off in Sydney. I’m loving the learning process that comes from discovering how to construct a story, film the clips and the combine them with the soundtracks.

Very fun!

Google whats? The difference between Apps and Extensions

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 4.08.11 pmOnce an educator has a grasp of the basic Google Apps (Docs, Calendar, Forms and Slides) they may start to hear talk about other apps and things called extensions. It can be enough to make the head boggle!

Here’s a brief explanation of both and a shortcut to getting your own little powerful tools to move your Google experience to the next level!

Google AppsScreen_Shot_2015-05-21_at_3_50_48_pm

There are 8 basic apps that most users see when they click on the 3×3 grid in the top right corner when signed in. By clicking MORE you can see a few more…and… you’ll then see the link to the App Market Place.

This is where you’ll be able to search, find and install the apps you’d like to find. I’ll post some of my favourite apps and extensions in a later post; I’m always finding and hearing about new tools and the possibilities seem endless.

They can also be found by going directly to the Chrome Webstore.

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Apps are like websites that allow you do some amazing things, just like an iPad app, but on your browser – and they’re connected within your Google Account.

Google Extensions

Extensions are like little add-ons that you attach to your Chrome browser to give them some extra functions – again, many are amazing tools that make your google experience really grow arms and legs.

They’re also found in the Chrome Store but sit next to the URL bar of Chrome and mostly work in the background to change or adapt things or, when clicked on, activate a great little tool.

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Here’s a poster that explains the differences. It could be a great print out for your Staffroom or classroom wall!

Download High Res Poster

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Ipad Management and Setup

I’ve been asked to help a few schools setup their Ipads this term and it’s been quite an exercise working the process out! I can see why, in a lot of cases, schools decide to hire this process out to IT companies. The only ‘fish hook’ with that scenario is the cost.

But, with a mind to help make the deployment journey a little less mystic, here’s a poster that explains the steps in a broad over view and in more ‘ipad hands on’ detail. I’ve based a lot of the steps on Justine Driver’s and Nick Rate’s blog posts here, my own experience and what I’ve gleaned from threads on the VLN and a local IT company.

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In Breaking News – Apple is just this term releasing the DEP – Device Enrolment Programme, which will dramatically reduce the steps to setup your Ipads! From the advice I’ve been given by a company down this way, Schools will be able to have the same company that orders the Ipads, complete the DEP process so all we have to do in schools is open the box (the Apple ID and selected profile will be all setup and ready to go) and you will simply enrol the ipad with your MDM, such as Meraki. What a LOT of time that will save!

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Morning Run Panorama

I shot this pic with my iPhone 6 Plus while running from our house a few weeks back. It was a pretty foggy morning and I used the panoramic setting to catch the wide angle from each side of the road.

I used the ‘magic wand’ highlighting tool in iPhoto to get the colours out. We live in a blessed part of the world!

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Mastering Ipad Apps

There are lots of similarities between ipad apps – the way they save, share and work with files is often the same. Another similarity is the common use of ipad icons. Once you have mastered one app then it’s much easier to learn another because you are starting to become app literate; you now understand a little more about how they work.

designing-new-literacies-tolisano

Image by @langwitches

I often talk about the Doctor Suess looking cog – most apps will use that to link to an app’s settings. And there are a LOT more icons that you can learn.

This graphic below is my effort to teach people the visual icons of the app. It’s like a language that, when understood, will help anyone master any app they come across. When you know that trash can icon means delete then you can apply that knowledge across every app you open – ipads start to loose their ‘fear factor’ and you begin your journey to becoming ‘An Ipad App Guru!’  Click here for the downloadable version.

ipadappguruposter

I would suggest taking students through this slideshow as a class and see how many of them you already know. You could maybe have a treasure hunt and find examples of the icons on the apps you have.

It’s all about building digital efficacy, which, in itself is a modern literacy. The image below illustrates this really well!

Literacy is image

Above image from http://www.fightilliteracy.org/

Apps for Teacher Modeling Book

Lots of teachers are using their iPads to airplay onto a TV with their Apple TV. This gives them the ability to have an interactive modelling book that they can prepare before a guided lesson and add to as the lesson progresses.

I was asked about which app I thought was the best for this. My short answer would be that it deepens what functions you want to use. For the simplest, cleanest interface I would use Bamboo but if you want some more features such as adding images, importing templates and documents and more then Explain Everything has it all!

Here’s a graphic I’ve made that highlights the features of three well known apps. Please share the graphic around.

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