Nutshell: Prezi’s New App for Visual Storytelling

NutshellPrezi introduces a new way to share life’s little moments, in a nutshell.

Combining the simplicity of photographs, the compelling nature of video, and the fun of animated graphics, Nutshell uses Prezi’s new storymapping technology to create short, shareable cinematic narratives that can be shared easily and instantly.

Besides creating fun social media updates, Nutshell opens the door for all sorts of unique messaging opportunities when videos feel like too much of a production and plain photos just are not adequate for capturing life’s moments.

3 Easy Steps

  1. Snap three pictures.
  2. Add captions.
  3. Choose graphics and let Nutshell turn it all into a shareable cinematic story.

Features

  • Library of free animated graphics that you can use to create short cinematic stories
  • Instant sharing to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter
  • Send nutshells directly to friends via email, text messages, and WhatsApp
  • Full camera support for iOS 8.0 and above
  • Much more

Educational Connections

  • Provides students with a creative alternative for submitting reflections, journals, etc.
  • Share engaging news and announcements with students and parents.
  • Integrate with standards focused on communication: personal expression, propaganda techniques, etc.
  • Enables creative ways for students to share their interpretations of poems, stories, books, plays, and other works of art.
  • Empower students to collect evidence of their thinking during a lab or group activity.
  • The finished product can serve as an artifact of learning, potentially making thinking visible in your classroom.

There are many other educational connections. Please share yours in the comments to this post.

Learning with Web 2.0 and Social Media #idt7078

IDT 7078I’m very excited to be starting another learning adventure with graduate students here at The University of Memphis. For the next seven weeks I’ll be teaching IDT 7078: Seminar in Instructional Design and Technology. This semester’s topic is Learning with Web 2.0 and Social Media. Many of you may recall (because you were active participants) that I previously taught this course with a similar topic (Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0) in the Summers of 2008 and 2009. In both of these instances the students collaborated to publish the first two editions of the ebook Teaching and Learning with Web 2.0. Their exemplary work earned nominations for the international Edublog Awards (2008, 2009).

I also offered this course during Spring 2013 and the seminar topic was Learning with Web 2.0. It was the first time that I’d incorporated my work from Harvard, the idea of making thinking visible with technology, into a course. It pushed everyone’s ideas about thinking, learning, understanding, and technology. This experience as well as the work and research I’ve continued to do in the past year have resulted in the development of the class that starts today.

This semester’s class promises to be another outstanding experience for all of us. It has been designed utilizing some of the best practices and student feedback from the earlier offerings, and now incorporates many of the innovations in technology that have been developed in recent years. As we consider all the “cool” technologies and social media we will always keep the focus on their contributions to learning. These technologies can help us go a long ways in making thinking visible.

It’s going to be a different sort of experience and a wildly fun journey into learning. We invite you to join us!

hgsepzfol #hgsepzfol

Developing Young Authors #MECA14

StorybirdStorybirds are short, art-inspired stories, presentations, reports, or tutorials you and your students make to share, read, and print. Storybird is a fun, collaborative website that can be integrated in all content areas and at all grade levels. It can be an effective resource for teaching parts of a story, the writing process, promoting creativity, and more. STEM and social studies teachers can use Storybird for engaging alternatives to traditional lessons, reports and presentations. Storybird also seamlessly keeps a portfolio of each student’s work.

Participants will be guided in setting up accounts and helped as they begin using Storybird.com’s tools and services. Participants will learn how to use the teacher-specific tools.

Below are my slides from the workshop that I’ve taught a couple of times this week at the Mississippi Educational Communications Conference (MECA) in Jackson, MS. All the workshop materials and resources (including a video tutorial, additional examples, notes, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

Sounds Good to Me: Learning and Digital Audio

Yesterday, at the Mississippi Educational Computing Association Conference, I had the opportunity to share ideas for integrating digital audio with teaching and learning. One of my doctoral students, Fair Josey, collaborated with me on this workshop. I’m sharing the workshop information and resources here in response to inquiries I received last night via Twitter and Facebook. I hope that you find this useful and invite you to share your ideas for using digital audio in the classroom and at home.

Workshop Description

Enable students to make their thinking visible through the use of digital audio. Learn how recorded tutorials and messages, storycasts, book trailers, audio chatting and commenting, teacher recorded feedback, and more can enable students to engage with course content inside and outside the classroom and better equip parents to help with homework. Several freely available websites and apps will be demonstrated. Strategies for designing lessons and practical tips for implementation will be shared. Connections to special education, foreign language, and ELL classrooms will also be made.

You can view the workshop slides – which include video tutorials, links to examples of student projects, and more – by clicking on the image below. All the workshop materials and resources are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

Learning with Digital Audio

Sounds Good to Me: Learning and Digital Audio #edtech #mlearning

Yesterday I had the opportunity to teach a workshop as part of our IDT Program‘s Teachers and Technology Thursdays (T3) series. I’m sharing the workshop information and resources here in response to inquiries I received last night via Twitter and Facebook. I hope that you find this useful and invite you to share your ideas for integrating audio with teaching and learning.

Workshop Description

Enable students to make their thinking visible through the use of digital audio. Learn how recorded tutorials and messages, storycasts, book trailers, audio chatting and commenting, teacher recorded feedback, and more can enable students to engage with course content inside and outside the classroom and better equip parents to help with homework. Several freely available websites and apps will be demonstrated. Strategies for designing lessons and practical tips for implementation will be shared.

You can view the workshop slides – which include video tutorials, links to examples of student projects, and more – by clicking on the image below.

Learning with Digital Audio

Making Thinking Visible with Technology

Making Thinking VisibleBackground

Last week I taught a 3-day institute for a school district near Memphis. The forty teachers participating in the professional development represented the full spectrum of grade levels and subject areas. I enjoyed having several special education, PE, and music teachers participate as they helped push everyone’s thinking about teaching every child and broadening our ideas about the classroom environment.

Big Ideas

You can see from the title slide (the slides are embedded below) that the name of the institute is long, but it conveys the three big concepts that were woven through this immersive experience.

“I believe that if we keep the focus on learning, embrace the thinking routines,
and dedicate our efforts to teaching for understanding
then learners will exceed the benchmarks.”

Making Thinking Visible (MTV)

The Teaching for Understanding framework provides a nice frame for a deep exploration of teaching and learning. It helps put the primary focus back on thinking, learning, understanding, and creativity, rather than on technology, standards, etc. which sometime seem to drive teaching and learning. The Visible Thinking Routines are excellent strategies for encouraging deep, reflective thinking and making it evident. While engaging with thinking routines students can make their thinking visible through conversation or the use of pen and paper, art supplies, Post-It notes, music, drama, etc. The routines are easy to use because the reflection and higher-order thinking are “baked in.” The instruction and management are also integrated into the routines.

MTV with Technology

Technology provides many additional possibilities for making thinking visible. When connected with the visible thinking routines word clouds, digital posters, videos, podcasts, slideshows, digital sketches, online concept maps, cartoon strips, timelines, and much more can be used to help students provide evidence of their thinking and understanding. With a bit of strategic planning it’s possible for teachers to integrate the curriculum, use of technology to promote thinking and learning, digital citizenship, and 21st century skills into a single activity built around a thinking routine. These can sometimes be seemingly disparate items that many teachers describe struggling to “fit in” to the school year. Integrating them around thinking routines as described and exemplified in the slides below can minimize these obstacles.

Exceeding Standards

I have never been a teacher that wanted students to simply “meet” the standards. I may be oversimplifying things a bit, but I view standards as benchmarks — as the minimum level of “acceptable.” Simply meeting the minimum isn’t what we should be aspiring to achieve; it won’t make one competitive when it comes to some extracurricular opportunities, advanced course placement, college admissions, scholarship opportunities, or in the marketplace. I admit that my point-of-view can cause even more anxiety for some teachers who already feel overwhelmed by all the transition to and expectations of the Common Core Standards. However, I encourage teachers to consider what it means to cultivate a culture of thinking with their students. I believe that if we keep the focus on learning, embrace the thinking routines, and dedicate our efforts to teaching for understanding then learners will exceed the benchmarks. They won’t just be minimally proficient, but rather they will develop true understanding. This isn’t simply a pep talk, my opinion, or platitudes. I make these recommendations based on the decades of rigorous research from Harvard and on the personal stories I’ve heard from many teachers that have embraced these principles — two of whom helped me develop this workshop and you can “meet” in the slides below.

Share Your Ideas and Examples

I’m always looking for examples of student thinking being made evident through the use of technology. This can be accomplished through the use of software and websites, but it can also be done with connections to more traditional means. For example, students might demonstrate their thinking with markers and poster paper, or they may accomplish this with modeling clay, wooden blocks, and pipe cleaners. These wonderful, non-electronic artifacts can be captured (archived, curated) and shared through digital photos, videos, or even through an audio narrative or interview. I invite you and your students to consider sharing examples of thinking being made visible through technology, so that it can serve as examples and inspiration to other educators.

There’s More

I intend for this to be part 1 in a series of posts around these ideas. Keep an eye out for upcoming posts with recommended strategies for implementation, a discussion of some of the implications for professional development, the connections to multiple intelligences, and more.

Acknowledgements

I’d like to acknowledge the important contributions that Amy Lange, Julia Shaffer, and Fair Wicker made as guest speakers and teaching assistants during the institute.

I would also like to thank Sande Dawes, Par Wohlin, and Jessica Ross for being thought partners as I’ve batted these ideas around for the past couple of years. I’ve enjoyed the conversations, meals, and phone calls. Each of you have impacted my ideas about learning in significant ways and I am greatly appreciative.

Thanks also goes to Philip Cummings for helping me make some of the practical classroom connections and for sharing some of his ideas and experiences.

Event Tags: #pzc2013 #hgsepzfol

Digital Tools for Teachers’ Toolboxes at #iSummitConf

More than 5,000 teachers were recently informally surveyed about the Web 2.0 tools that they and their students most commonly used. This presentation will provide a hands-on introduction to these tools along with teacher-created and student-created examples. Strategies for implementation will be shared.

Below are my slides from this workshop that I’m sharing today at iSummit in Atlanta, GA. All the workshop materials and resources (including a teacher-created examples, student-created examples, tutorials, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively. (Image Source)

Storybird: Encourage Creativity, Promote Writing, & Add Excitement to Reports, Presentations, & Tutorials – for #isummitconf

Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories, presentations, reports, or tutorials you and your students make to share, read, and print. Storybird is a fun, collaborative website that can be integrated in all content areas. It can be an effective resource for teaching parts of a story, the writing process, promoting creativity, and more. STEM and social studies teachers can use Storybird for engaging alternatives to traditional lessons, reports and presentations. Storybird also seamlessly keeps a portfolio of each student’s work.

Participants will be guided in setting up accounts and helped as they begin using Storybird.com’s tools and services. Participants will learn how to use the teacher-specific tools.

Below are my slides from this workshop that I’m sharing today at iSummit in Atlanta, GA. All the workshop materials and resources (including a video tutorial, additional examples, notes, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

View more presentations from Clif Mims
Example Storybirds

Halloween Brothers on Storybird

 

You’re Mootiful on Storybird