Practice makes perfect! Or at least it makes for more effective presenting…

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Most people agree that presentation skills are important, but effective presentation skills are even more important. But how does one improve their presentation skills? The first time I ever gave a presentation was my first week of university. It was in my college’s biggest lecture hall and in front of about 100 people. It was terrifying. There is no better way to describe it than that. My voice shook, my words stumbled and the palms of my hands greased. It was a short, five minute presentation, though I have no idea how long I spoke for. It could have been a mere two minutes, or ten. I was just glad to get it over with and honestly didn’t care if I spoke well or not – as long as it was over. It was times like then, and this is something I even still think about, that I wish I had the chance to practice my presentation skills at a younger age. Confidence My first presentation was when I was 17 years old and my issues ultimately came down to a lack of experience which resulted in nerves and no confidence. Now, I see teachers from across the United States tweeting their students’ wonderful 30hands presentations, and these students are as young as kindergarteners. I firmly believe that there is a direct correlation between effective presentation skills and confidence. How do you build confidence in a task? And how do you implement effective techniques to engage your audience longer? Through …

30hands Storyteller Pro version 2.5.1

Eric Braun Blog

We just released 30hands Storyteller Pro version 2.5.1. What’s new with this release? In addition to stabilization and plumbing improvements, we have some features that make things easier for teachers, experienced users and younger users, too. It’s important to update to version 2.5.1 to get the latest features, bug fixes, performance enhancements. Here’s the rundown of the releases from the past 6 months: 2.5.1 (April 21, 2017) The key update in this release was to fix a critical bug that may have made you think you need new glasses, because published videos had really bad, scrambled quality. It may have been good for a creative art project, but not for general usage. In addition, we included the following: merged the 2 options for publishing (Free and Hi-Res) added a setting to exclude the final 30hands slide when publishing a video   2.5.0 (April 18, 2017) This release included several enhancements to improve usability based on feedback from research called Toys or Tools done by Dr. Monica McGlynn-Stewart of George Brown College in Toronto. These changes include: moving the red “Recording…” text to the center, so it is easier to see that recording has begun extending video slide lengths to 2 minutes and prompting the user with instructions if a video is longer adding Pixabay web image search to Extended Drawing adding more exclusions to the Pixabay web image search filter changed the Cancel button to red and the Save button to green In this release, we also upgraded the Google Drive and Dropbox integration …

The Students Have Spoken

Gaby Charmont Blog

EdCamp Cape Cod was buzzing with energy and full of educators, administrators, and students alike. There was a beautiful breakfast spread and it was a great space where people began introducing themselves. I was quite overwhelmed but not quite out of place. I was among students younger than me but mainly teachers and administrators with many more years of experience than my mere few months of interning at 30hands. A huge grid was hung on the wall that organized the many classrooms available, their capacity, and time slots to plan your very unique day. Anyone could post a topic they were interested in within any of these slots. Soon after arrival, the slots were filling up and teachers were chatting about which topics they wanted to join in on the conversation and learn about tips and tools for use in their classrooms.   I found that I knew a great deal about a bunch of the topics and that I could have something to say in those sessions. I was relieved to know that I would have some important insights but also that I could learn so much from those putting the theories I’ve learned about into practice. One of the topics stood out to me, it was “We Don’t Need No Education! A Student Panel Q&A”. It had been pinned up by a few high schoolers who wanted to dedicate their time to the benefit of all the teachers who gathered in their room during the EdCamp event. They …

Sharing Your Lesson Plans as Videos, The Newest Trend in Education?

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Sharing lesson plans as videos with your colleagues can be a great way of both comparing ideas and obtaining new ones. Education is an incredibly time consuming gig and with much of a teacher’s time dedicated to the classroom and grading papers, it’s difficult to find the time to create new teaching materials. That’s why sharing materials is not only convenient, but educational. How do teachers benefit from this? Sharing your lessons online is a great way of expanding your knowledge and there are multiple websites which provide platforms for teachers to do so. Some of these (see Teachers Pay Teachers) have recently introduced the ability to do this through video. This is where 30hands shines in its ability to simplify, personalize and speed up the video creation process for teachers. Creating video can be a daunting task if one lacks experience in doing so, but with 30hands Storyteller, this fear quickly disappears as the app uses easy techniques which bring unique results. Unlike a lot of similar apps out there, 30hands Storyteller also makes it incredibly easy to edit your video, whether it’s to personalize it further or just to correct mistakes. There’s absolutely no need to alter your entire video just to fix one mistake! Creating 30hands videos from PowerPoints and Google Slides One of the best features of 30hands Storyteller is the ability to import your Google Slides or PowerPoint presentations and publish them as videos. This is done within a matter of seconds. If you have …

Using Images and Visualizations in Video Can Enhance Learning

Moia Rowsome Blog

How often do you look at an image to try to solve a problem or understand something complex? What about Google Maps or a subway station map? Or a How-To instruction manual with images to help you building your new book case? I know I use visualizations every day. They can serve to enhance our understanding and perception of a concept. Not only are they engaging, colorful, and even fun at times, they help the audience to assimilate information by making it more digestible and comprehensive. With 30hands Pro and Web, you can easily use images to explain a concept and energize a digital story. This can help your learners engage in the key concepts that you want them to absorb while avoiding overloading them with TMI (too much information!). Visualizations are everywhere in learning Never before have visualizations been more widely accessible than in the last decade. Sure, they have been used in books and presentations to explain a concept for a learner for a long time. However, with the explosion of technology, we have new tools to create and disseminate images, visualizations and animations for widespread consumption. This has opened up many new opportunities for educators and learners. Chief among these opportunities? Using images and visualizations in video. Learning from Video with 30hands The use of visualizations in a video to explain a concept is a game changer for teachers and learners. And this has only become easier with tools like 30hands Pro and Web. With narration and …

Sadly, Our Free Starter Must Ride Into the Sunset

Eric Braun Blog

Like a humble cowboy who has done his job and is overstaying his welcome, 30hands Starter must ride into the sunset. The road has ended and the trail is clear. We developed 30hands Storyteller to help kids learn better in a fun way, unsure if this iterative, storyboard method of creating a presentation that becomes a video would resonate with teachers and students. But we found that it has. If you still believe in this deep method and model of formative assessment and easy creation of video content, please show your support by talking to your school administration about upgrading to 30hands Pro (on the iPad) or 30hands Web (for Chrome). We have more improvements and functionality on the way, like extended video slide durations, improvements to “Enhanced Drawing”, better search filtering and usability improvements. To help with the transition away from the free Starter version, we will be offering 30hands Pro at a discounted price of $4.99 through June 2017. Apple’s VPP for education still applies. Think of the value you get: for the cost of a single ice cream party for your class, they get fun learning for the whole year, which is like ice cream for the whole year!. For 30hands Web, we will extend the free trial period as needed for you to better evaluate it as you discuss site licenses with your schools. We understand that people like things that are free, but the sustainability of 30hands Pro and 30hands Web depends on the departure …

Personalizing Learning Can Start With A Story

Moia Rowsome Blog

It’s nothing new to claim that everybody is different. We all have different talents. We all have different weaknesses. They are the result of a mixture of our genetic make up and the environments we have experienced throughout life. Ultimately, we are complex beings and we each have a different story to tell. So why not start by telling them in school? 30hands Storyteller is an app to engage learners in storytelling where each individual can explain their learning in their own way. It makes the learning experience personalized for each individual. Let’s take a look at how! Some Background Thoughts When it comes to learning, the complexities and differences between people should be fostered and championed. Todd Rose at Tedx Sonoma County said that students are not one-dimensional, either struggling or gifted. Students vary on many dimensions of learning. However, the reality is that many learners are still provided with the same textbook and learning environment in spite of the different talents and abilities in the room. Learners are all expected to absorb the same information and regurgitate it in the same way to score high on summative tests. There must be a way of making learning more personal, so that each person can be reached. Why haven’t things changed yet? Educators have been talking about change for quite a while. Why has there been no monumental shift yet across the education sector? It’s paramount to understand that this situation is not the fault of the teacher. The problem is that …

The Value of Video: Faster Ways to Leverage Your Knowledge

Eric Braun Blog

In the past 10 years, we have seen an exponential increase in the amount of video content on the web, content that is used for entertainment, communication and learning. YouTube has been a dominant force by providing an easy to use, 1-stop shop for finding and viewing videos. According to Cisco, over 70% of Internet data is video data, and that will rise to nearly 85% by 2020. The rise in video content has changed the way people consume information, favoring video over the written word so much more than in the past. Yet, despite the ubiquity of videos, creating great learning content in video format is not as easy as it should be. 30hands Learning is changing that, because there’s no better way to leverage your knowledge than through the medium of video. It’s true that every phone has a video camera now, but taking straight video on the fly is not the answer. If the flow is not planned, organized and scripted, it may ramble on or miss the point of the message, the lesson or the training. Here are some of the inherent problems: Taking straight video on the fly does not generally make for great content. Planning the flow and organizing a script are difficult. Quality is improved through iteration, but revisions often require starting over. Video software is often complex and hard to learn and use. There is never enough time to learn how to use an app or be creative. If existing information and presentations could be leveraged, the process …

Turning students into journalists with 30hands

Eleanor Kennedy Blog

Gone are the days of newspapers being the primary source of current affairs, or families gathered around a lone neighborhood radio to receive war updates. The past two decades have seen the ways in which we receive our news change drastically. But the importance of journalists in society? Perhaps even greater than ever. This is because in today’s digital world, everybody is a journalist. You’re on a school trip to Washington DC and notice a mass protest taking place outside the White House? Tweet it. On summer vacation in Greece and notice a rubber dinghy with refugees landing ashore? Get closer to the action and live stream the action. 30hands Storyteller is a simple tool for aspiring classroom journalists. It allows students to practice their reporting skills and even boosts their confidence when it comes to presenting to camera and recording voiceovers. It also allows them to practice gathering sources, interviewing techniques, and deciding which information is important enough for inclusion. Journalists are constantly under the pressure of time or restricted word counts, so sometimes it is impossible to report every piece of information.  Creating packages with 30hands Storyteller helps students prioritize information. A first-person narrative is often better than a newsroom journalist’s explanation miles away from the scene. 30hands Storyteller is just another tool you can use to report your information, and one’s capacity to do so as a journalist has increased wonderfully thanks to our newest feature – video slides. But before we talk about 30hands capabilities for …

Script Writing in 30hands

Moia Rowsome Blog

What’s your first step in the process of creating a video presentation? At 30hands Learning, we recommend writing a script to get things going. This allows you to plan out what you are going to say in advance and it provides a structure for your content. Starting with a basic idea of what you are going to say and laying it out in this way can be really effective. And what about the time it takes? Investing a few extra minutes at the beginning of the process makes things much quicker once you go to add images and then narrate over your content. Writing the Script We recommend using Google Docs to write your script. Once you have written out your narration, divide your script up into lines. Each line should represent what you would say on one slide.  Like this: What is a Civilization? A Civilization is a complex society that is defined by many characteristics. First, you need people to live there – that’s important. There must be a concentration of population in distinct areas or cities… And so on! Make sure to press the enter key after each line. Numbering is optional but can help you organize the flow of your story. Starting with a script generally results in a better story. In addition, if you create a script like this in Google Docs,  you can import it directly into 30hands Web. Each line will come out as a slide automatically with the text on the drawing …