My talented colleague, Jane (left) and me.
This week, I had the privilege of attending a two-day conference in Springfield, IL, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel: the Illinois Education & Technology Conference (IETC). I was lucky enough to be accepted as a presenter, along with my super-technology partner-in-crime, Jane Zappia, who teaches sixth grade in the same district as me. We had both attended this conference two years ago, but then were not able to go last year due to budget cuts--if you teach in Illinois, you probably know exactly what I'm talking about--so we decided to attend this year as presenters* (pronounced "free").
Our presentation was on using Screenr in the classroom, a free and simple web-based screencasting program with several classroom applications. You can view our presentation notes HERE, if interested:
Jane poses for a green screen photo.
My Favorite Session at IETC
One of our favorite session at the IETC conference was a presentation put on by some teachers from Centralia, IL. The session was on using green screen software. The software wasn't free, but definitely reasonable (approximately $100 per package). The two software packages come from the same company, but one is used for still photographs, Green Screen Wizard, and the other one is used for video footage, Green Screen Zipper. With these programs, you can change the background of your video and create the effect of students being in any setting--the moon, the White House, under the sea. If you can find a picture of it, you can put your students there. Jane and I were both excited about the classroom potential for engaging students, and have put these items on our Christmas lists!
NOTE: As my brain continues to process all of the things that I learned while at IETC, expect for more blog posts...
Were you at ICTE also? If so, what was your favorite part of the day? Answer in the comment section below.
It's no secret that I absolutely LOVE Screenr. And why not? The more I think about it, the more uses I come up with for Screenr in the classroom. One of my favorite uses is to create technology tutorials for my students to watch in the computer lab, eliminating some of the time I usually spend answering questions about page margins and inserting headers or footers. But, I've also begun to think of Screenr as a great tool for using with the IPEVO p2v document camera (which doesn't record on its own). Recently, I "played" with Screenr to see how well it would work for creating stop motion animation videos. You can see the results embedded below and--while my first attempt is far from perfection--it definitely shows potential. To create this video, I used clipart and a background from Smart Notebook software. I think that, given more time and a little more practice, this could become a great alternative to more expensive stop animation software programs. What do you think? Please feel free to comment on how you could use Screenr in the classroom.
Dr. Jessica Pilgreen, Ed.D.