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Green Screen App

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 10.48.23 pmI just downloaded Green Screen App and I am in love. Chroma Key / Green Screen / Blue Screen programs have always been not that good or really expensive, but this is easy to use and will only cost you a few dollars in the App Store.

Here is a quick 20 second video that I made by taping a piece of green paper to the wall and grabbing a bit of Lego. I got the background image from Google and I added the lasers with Gun Movie FX (Another great special effects app).

The interface is really easy to use and you are able to layer three videos/images. Classroom applications are limited only by a students imagination. I can already see students adding themselves to historical footage in a history presentation.

Watch the video, download the app and give it a go :)

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When someone Googles your name, what do they see?

Have you ever Googled yourself?

I am a Rugby League player, a carpenter on a home renovation show, a 21 year old who has just been arrested for heinous crimes and a sales engineer in California. Of course I am none of these, but just a humble teacher from New Zealand living and working in China.

I was at a conference several years ago and a speaker posed the thought that at the start of the digital age, smart employers might search for your online presence to check your moral character and be happy to find nothing, but now in the 21st century with everyone having such an online lifestyle, employers could find it more worrying if the searched for you online and found nothing – ‘What are they trying to hide?’.

That thought, wether it is true or not, got me thinking. How can I teach my students to be digital citizens who make well thought out choices about what they say and post online if I do not model my own digital life. This was when I came up with the spoonerism Dukelyer; search for it in Google and you will find only me and you will have a window into my life, not the life of an engineer or a sportsman.

My Blogs, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud and Vimeo all appear when you google Dukelyer and colleagues, my students and their parents are aware. They know that I write about what we do in class, share the successes and failures. Through a name unique to you, you get see the thread of what you have shared around the world.

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Sharing openly not only proves to your students that you are a digital citizen, but can help others in ways you would never contemplate. The other day I was Googling for images of my classes to show a colleague and I followed a link to discover that Erin Klein (@ErinKlein) had used a photo of my classroom that I had shared on my Flicker account under a creative commons license. She modified it, added writing and used it to make a banner for a project blog she had created. She had given me photo credits, which was all I had asked for. It was sharing at its best and would not have happened if I had not taken the time to share what was going on in my class.

I still have a private life on line. My Instagram is a photo blog of my life, both school andIMG_7039home, and it is open to all who wish to see. I must admit this is my favourite form of social media at the moment and my goal is to tag my Instagram world map with my adventures. I have Facebook, but it is on the highest security settings and I read it each morning as if it is a personal online newsletter about my friends. I do get Facebook friend requests from students and I decline them and politely let the student know that I have done so the next time I see them and why.

I guess what I am getting at, the crux of this post is to try and get others to think of their visibility online. We share, but do we share enough? Do we share to all or just to some? Just think, what do I do and how do I share it?

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Here Goes Something?

This is the most reflective thing that I have done in a long time and was an opportunity that I did not want to let pass by. I have not made the video public apart from here, so if you watch it I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Fingers crossed and here goes something.

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Creating a quick Video Tutorial to support Home Learning

I though that I would share this experience from last term as I thought it was a pretty good example of problem solving and a great way to show my students to power of the digital tools they all have at their disposal.

I teach Year 5 and we were using protractors for the first time and some clicked but others took a bit longer to get it. The class asked for some more practice angles to take home so that they could master the skill and that was then end of that.

Later that evening I receive two emails from students saying “I just don’t get it!”. So what do I do, do I leave the kids hanging, email back saying ‘Don’t worry, we’ll go through it tomorrow’? I tell them that if they email me before 8pm I will try to get back to them.

Quick solution – record a quick tutorial on my iPhone and email it to the kids. 5 minutes recording time, 5 minutes editing and voice over and email it to students in a small file format. But, instead of just emailing the kids who asked for help I emailed it to all of them and their parents. Next morning there were many others who needed help, but hadn’t asked, but thanks to the video all kids had completed the task there were several thank you emails from parents and it was all thanks to two kids asking for help and an iPhone.

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The 1 minute movie – a taste of home

I was going through my video accounts and came across this 1 minute movie that I made a few years ago. Being an International School teacher is pretty amazing, but due to the dreariness of a smog filled Chinese City winter I felt I needed to share it again to perk me up and remind me of home.

It was filmed, edited and published completely on an iPhone 3, which lets you know how long ago it was made, and it was my first attempt at 100% phone movie making (including the Ukulele audio track).

Enjoy ;)

A Trip to see the Sea from Dukelyer on Vimeo.

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Lego Sail Challenge

Ok, half day today and only 6 students, as many have already flown away to exoticWind Powered Lego Cars destinations, and only a half day at school.

What to do?

Lego Design Challenge – Make a Wind Powered Car.

Lego Wheels Kit, Tape, Pipe Cleaners, Ice Block Sticks, Paper and a Hair Dryer for the Wind. The variety of designs were amazing and there was whole lot of trial & error and design thinking happening. Sail designs were modified to be curved and more rigid and a natural progression was to add outrigger like wheels to stabilize the vehicle.

It would be great as a design technology component of an renewable resources / environmental inquiry and I would include more research/investigations into sail design and different types of sail boats.

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Last Day of Term – App Smash not DVD

Kids used to love the last day of school DVD on the projector and while it was on the screen the teacher would complete the roll or compile assessment tracking data. In short the DVD was a way to keep students busy while the teacher completed jobs so that the teacher could leave a minute after the students did. But I like to create not stagnate, so I booked the pod of iPads and said your brief is to “Smash some apps into something bigger and better”.

I posed the question of what Smashing Apps meant and one girl said ‘You create something in one app, then put it into another app and then maybe do it again if you can” – she was pretty much bang on, but if you want a deeper explanation you have to read  the post ‘Why App Smash’ by @ipadWells.

So we brainstormed what apps we could use and off we went. The music was created in Garage Band, they filmed and took photos, they animated in iStopmotion and created clips in Puppet Pals HD, then they put it all together in iMovie and recorded voice overs, sound effects and foley art. There was no learning intention other than Create something and Tell a Story. There was no assessment other than ‘Did you have Fun?‘ and ‘Did you create something?’. The whole class creating, not stagnating all morning and there was constant transference of knowledge as one child learned a new way to do something then shared it with the person next to them.

So next time you think about putting on a DVD, which you know they have all seen before, get some iPads and get smashing!