Video Lessons Made Easy

Moia Rowsome Blog

Since the rise of the smartphone and faster Internet speeds, people have changed the way they access and consume content. More and more, we are drawn to videos and multimedia. Why is this? One reason may be that “Videos are processed by the brain 60,000 times faster than text.” (Psychology Today). That’s a phenomenal number! It’s enough to make you want to go out and create a video. As educators, there are so many ways video can be used with students both in and out of the classroom. But isn’t it too difficult to create videos? Doesn’t it take too much work? Read on to see some tips on how to make the process relatively quick and easy. Where to Use Video with Students Introducing a Topic: Video lessons can be a great way to introduce a topic in the classroom. It takes the students’ attention away from the teacher and focuses them on something new and fresh to kickstart the new topic. Illustrating a Concept: To illustrate a concept or perhaps experiment that you cannot do in class time, a video lesson can be very effective. Let’s say you are studying photosynthesis. It can be difficult to illustrate this immediately as it is a process that occurs over a period of time. So in order for your students to really visualize what happens, you could create an animated video with diagrams and labels and even pictures of the plant growing over time to illustrate the process. This approach to …

Digital Storytelling Covers Multiple Concepts & Standards in 1 Activity

Eric Braun Blog

Just the mention of the Common Core Standards can be enough to cause the hairs on the back of one’s neck to bristle up, either from hatred of the standards or from fear of criticism of standards by parents and the community. Whether we call them standards, learning goals or something else, there are valid skills and concepts we need to teach our kids. When you put them all together, there’s a whole lot of detail and complexity to the learning puzzle. Finding activities that map to multiple standards, skills or learning goals can make the learning and teaching process much easier. Digital Storytelling is one of those activities. A couple of weeks ago, we looked at the value of the Digital Storytelling process. In this post, we’ll look at how a Digital Storytelling activity can be mapped to a selection of Standards from a few different sources, including the Common Core and ISTE. Now, that’s great value! For this activity, let’s look at the book Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, which could be used for a 6th grade classroom. Here are a few themes from Walk Two Moons: Empathy as a source of understanding Nature as a source of comfort and strength The symbolism of the journey Discovering one’s identity Grief and how people deal with it The roles of women The impact of culture on people As a student, I might select “The symbolism of the journey” for my theme. I could perform research on the journey in other …

30hands at Home: Interviewing a Relative

Gaby Charmont Blog

Each person has a unique background full of different cultural influences and their own lived experiences. Our relatives hold a wealth of stories about where and how they grew up, and it is interesting to uncover your past through having conversations and listening to what others have to say. Take the time to learn from the stories and wisdom they can offer in order to grow through gaining their perspective on life.   The Activity: Have your children interview a few of their relatives and obtain their stories. They will listen to the lived history of their family members and ask questions along the way. Help your children to identify cultural influences that have shaped their past through their relatives stories.  The Level: This is a valuable activity where children can learn a great deal at any age. At all ages, kids are able to gain a new understanding from listening to their relative’s stories. Older children may find it easier to makes connections to their own lives and to better understand the perspective of that family member. The Procedure: Ideally, have your child meet with in person or call the family member that they have chosen to interview. This may not be possible though and other forms of communication, such as e-mail, could be used to obtain their relative’s stories, but are less personal. Have your children focus on the meaning of that story and the takeaways present which they could apply to their own life. Your children will make a …

30hands At Home! Nature Exploration

Nate Brown Blog

For many students, it’s hard to stay mentally active during the summer. Its important to keep exercising the muscle that is one’s brain to stay sharp! Here is a quick 30hands activity to bring some learning and fun into the summer months. Today we are going on a nature exploration! All you will need is 30hands, and internet access for research. To start the nature exploration, simply go out into your backyard or the park with 30hands Pro! Once you have found an interesting spot outside, take pictures of plants and animals that you think are cool! You can make 30hands slides out of these pictures immediately or just take pictures and organize them into slides later. Take plenty of fun pictures, displaying the wildlife of your area! Once you have had your fun outside, and have some cool pictures, head back inside and research the wildlife you found. A lot can be learned about the plants and animals you see nearly everyday. You may be surprised at some of the facts you learn! Now make 30hands slides with your pictures, and narrate over them to report the things you learned. You can also draw your own pictures of the wildlife you caught on camera. Finally, publish it to 30hands to show everyone the wildlife in your area! Here’s a quick nature exploration video I made in my own backyard!

30hands at Home – My Summer Diary

Moia Rowsome Blog

So we’ve come to the last couple of weeks of the summer break. It’s our final chance for fun and frolics in the sun. But just because your kids are out of the classroom and hanging with their friends, it doesn’t mean they have to stop learning! How about having them document their summer fun in 30hands Pro? The summer break is everyone’s favorite time of year. However, it is always a concern that our students and kids will become a bit disengaged and miss out on wonderful learning opportunities. So this is an activity especially for parents who want to keep their kids engaged in learning activities throughout the summer months, and to prepare them mentally for going back to school. And the good news is it’s very simple. Let’s say you’re taking a vacation in Florida and you have various activities planned for your week. Maybe you are spending some time on the beach. There’s a lot of nature on the beach that kids can explore and learn about. So maybe they could take some photos and videos of what they see on the beach using 30hands Pro and then narrate over their slides to tell a story of their experience! Maybe they could even interview their siblings or parents who have spent the day with them about what they learned. Or perhaps you’re not going to the beach? This activity is transferable to any vacation or outing, such as walking in the woods, fishing, or even going out for dinner in a restaurant! Perhaps you …

Edcamp Cape Cod – A True Learning Experience

Moia Rowsome Blog

Have you ever been to an Edcamp? I had my first experience when we attended Edcamp Cape Cod in August of this year. Collaborating, connecting and planning were themes that made up an exciting and motivating day. Everyone’s openness to share their ideas and what they have learned in their classroom truly inspired me. It also reminded me of the amazing work teachers and principals do every day to better their schools, their lessons and their students’ learning. I could sense everyone’s enthusiasm to listen to and learn from others. And as teachers and principals don’t always get the time to communicate sufficiently with each other, this was a great opportunity for them to do so. A bright and fun-filled atmosphere captured us as we began our day. What is an Edcamp? The philosophy behind the Edcamp is that it is an ‘unconference’. In other words, it’s not supposed to be a place where people ‘teach’ the attendees, sell their products, give keynote speeches or any of the common activities that engender the traditional educational conference. Rather, it is a place where teachers come to connect and communicate with each other. Conferences certainly have an important place in the  world of education, however the Edcamp is an opportunity solely for teachers and administrators to share their classroom and school experiences. Anyone can arrive and put up an idea to talk about on the board, which then gets input into the official seminar timetable for the day (see right). You are then set to …

How Digital Storytelling Improves Learning

Eric Braun Blog

There’s been growing talk about Digital Storytelling lately. iPads, Chromebooks and laptops are everywhere, and educators want to take full advantage of their capabilities. With the landscape the way it is, I’m sure many wonder if this trend is more about the technology or the story. Everyone would agree that tech for tech sake is not the way to go. Using computers and the Internet do teach kids how to use devices and infrastructure that have become fixtures in the world around us, but… “Is that all there is?” I hope not, and I think not! Why does a story matter? It’s all about the process. Let’s look at what it takes to create a story. We all know what a story is and that it has a slew of parts (beginning, middle, end, characters, conflict, etc.), but what happens when we create a story? What process do we go through? The truth is that it’s a highly iterative and active process. Here’s an example: Assignment: Tell a story that shows you know about the planets in our solar system. Show you know what order they are in. Show you know at least 2 facts about each planet and about the Sun. Include Pluto if you’d like. Make sure you tell a story rather than just providing the facts and information. Make it fun and memorable. Sample Process for non-digital story could be: Think of a story concept that interests you. Be creative! Think outside the box! Think about how to include the solar system, …

30hands In Action! Marisa and More

Nate Brown Blog

WOW! Kids and teachers have been doing really great work with 30hands recently! Check out these awesome pictures and presentations, straight from the classroom! Here’s Marisa’s adorable video demonstrating her learning on counting by 10! Keep up the great work Marisa!! Great job to fifth grade teacher Mrs. Nussbaum for getting very creative and using 30hands for an ecosystem scavenger hunt with her students!! I’m sure the kids had a blast(class outside AND 30hands!? So fun!) and learned a lot! Librarian Lynn Lowery and coach Jeanette C. did a fantastic job introducing their students to live chicks, and helping them create stories in 30hands! Between the chicks and 30hands, this sounds like a very memorable lesson for the students! Keep up the hard work! Thanks for the great post Joe Tedesco! Ashley Cernosek has the right idea! Digital storytelling is a great tool to add to your teacher tool belt. Kids love it and its easy to use! Looks like kids at Hatfield Elementary in Texas are having a great time learning and telling their stories with 30hands!! Thanks for sharing the good times Rob Thornell!  

Olive’s Quick Tip of the Week – How to Make Your Audio Better and Cooler

Nate Brown Blog

Hey everyone! Olive here with another pawmazing 30hands quick tip! This week’s tip is on recording audio that takes your presentation to the top of the trees. You may need a fireman to get you down, but your audience will love your 30hands video. Whether you use audio to narrate, create sound effects, or put in music, adding audio to your 30hands video can make your video the cat’s pajamas. Meta-furr-ically speaking, that is! First, let’s review the basics. The first step to recording audio in 30hands is to pick a slide to record audio on. For my slide, I picked a picture of a bunch of my cat buddies! Once you have picked the slide you would like to record audio over and are ready to record, select that slide and hit the circular red button at the bottom of the screen. Now record your audio. If you don’t like how it came out, you can re-record your audio as many time as you would like. This helps you get the quality of recording so good that even the Wind will like it. The slide will play as a video, for as long as the audio recording is. This way, you can record on multiple slides to string together a story that 30hands will put it together as one continuous video. The 30hands audio function gives you unlimited creativity, too. When you use different character voices for narration, background music to set the tone, sound effects for entertainment, or anything …

Class Activity: 2 Things I Learned in Math This Year

Gaby Charmont Blog

As the end of the year draws near, it may be a good idea to encourage students to recall some of the topics they learned throughout the year. Math classes cover a large amount of content and this activity allows students to choose their favorite few topics and give the class a brief explanation of what they have learned. The Activity: Urge your Students to think back on the year and all the knowledge and concepts they now have and comprehend. Have them explain the topic in order to cement it into their memory and aid the rest of the class recalling the information again as they view the presentations. This activity will help peers collaborate and remember their lessons as well as be able to explain things to each other to further solidify their understanding. The Level: This activity can be done at any level, it is meant to get students to look back on their year and remember all of the topics they covered. This will help to sum up the lessons of the class and make it easier for students to recall information from the entirety of the course. The Procedure: Have each student pick 2 topics which they thought were the most interesting or lessons they felt were really important. This will allow each student to choose how their presentations will be set up and what they will focus on. Since there is a broad range of information that students can pick, their presentations should all …