ICT Tip: Popcorn Maker allows students to remix and create new web videos

April 23, 2013

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:


Link: popcorn.webmaker.org

Quick overview: Popcorn Maker is a web 2.0 tool that allows you or your students to edit, annotate, and remix various YouTube videos. Students can take any video and overlay animated “pop-up” bubble comments, Google maps, text, images, Wikipedia articles, and so on. There’s lots of possibilities to make a very interesting video-type presentation. The tool was created by Mozilla, the same people that brought us the Firefox web browser. Free!

How can this be used in the classroom? Are your students bored of PowerPoint? Popcorn Maker can be used a new way for students to present an opinion, demonstrate a viewpoint, or deliver a mock newscast. Using this tool, a student can remix a new video from all sorts of different sources to create something unique. As Popcorn Maker is web based, all their work is stored on the web and one does NOT necessarily need a powerful computer to do video editing. If you’d like to know more about how Popcorn Maker works, please watch the following video:popcornIs it easy to use? If you’ve ever dabbled with editing videos, then you’ll find the tool surprisingly efficient and easy to use. However, if you’ve never touched any type of video editing software before, there might be a learning curve involved. If that’s the case, I’d suggest that you keep this tool under your belt next time you encounter a tech savvy student who may enjoy a challenge and is looking for a different way to do a presentation. Normally shooting and editing video is difficult and time consuming. However, as this tool only focuses on remixing (rather than creating material from scratch) it might help speed up the process.

What about copyrights? Before students start remixing and editing together all sorts of videos from YouTube, they need to make absolutely sure that they are respecting copyrights! An excellent place to start would be to visit the Creative Commons search engine (http://search.creativecommons.org) where one can specify that you’d like to find a YouTube video that you can “modify, adapt or built upon” for a remixing project.ict_75

Teacher Feature: Hilda Smolash (EMSB, Marymount)

February 14, 2012

Teacher: Hilda Smolash (CCBE, English Literacy)

School Board and Centre: English Montreal School Board, Marymount Adult Centre, in Montreal, Quebec in conjunction with the RECIT FGA Regional Service.

What is the project? Hilda’s video project aimed to help literacy level (ESL) students improve their communication and writing competencies through the production of short video skits, based on real-life situations.

How did it work? In the first class, Hilda’s students were placed into groups and each group was asked to recreate a real-life situation in which they wanted to improve their spoken English. The situation had to include an exit strategy (an ending). Hilda reported that the initial part of the activity sparked lots of animated discussion as the groups had to reach a consensus. The following class, each group practiced their skits, but without written lines – they had to improvise the words just as they would need to do outside of the classroom. Next, they filmed their skits. With some assistance from Hilda, students were then asked to summarize the main parts of their skits by writing short captions in the third person narrative. In the last class, the students acted as “directors” and worked with Avi to incorporate their written captions into their video skits. Avi took care of the video editing so the students could continue to focus strictly on language learning, not on the video making process.

Are you interested? If you’re an FGA teacher who would like to develop a similar activity in your English or FSL class, please let us know. We can provide pedagogical support and technical guidance, along with equipment.

Video: To see an in-class video (2 minutes) demonstrating Hilda’s project, click the play button below.. Also don’t forget to check out the official press release!

ICT Tip: Flixtime allows your students to easily create slick looking video montages

February 14, 2011

This ICT tip could be best applied to the following subjects:


Quick overview: Flixtime allows students to combine images, video clips, text, and music to create a 60 second video montage with slick transitions and flashy effects. No previous video editing experience needed. Basic account is free.

How does it work? Flixtime is very similar to the Animoto site I wrote about in an earlier blog posting. Like Animoto, Flixtime allows students to upload digital images, video, text clips, and music files. The student then places the media in the order she would like them to appear, as to create a story or message. Flixtime analyzes the student’s uploaded content and then automatically generates a professional looking 60 second video montage. Here’s a simple example I created for the Blog.

How can this be used in the classroom? One of our teachers came up with an innovative use of Flixtime in her classroom. First, she divided her class into two groups. Each group was asked to argue an opposing viewpoint (i.e. – pros vs cons of consumerism) and then present their argument with a Flixtime video clip, similar in format to a TV commercial. Before even touching a computer, students were asked to brainstorm 8 to 12 images they felt would best get their point across. Next, they used Google Images or their own digital cameras to gather their chosen images. Interestingly, some images were dropped or changed as they searched for those that would fit best with their video montage. The 60 second time limit forced students to be concise and effective with their point of view.

What is the difference between Filxtime and Animoto? With a free Flixtime account, students can create a 60 second video montage, instead of only 30 seconds with a free Animoto account. Flixtime also allows you to continue to work on your video montage while your images and videos upload. Currently, Animoto forces you to wait until everything is uploaded before you can start working on your video montage. (Source: The Tech Chicks, ISTE 2010 Denver Conference)

Video Tutorial: For more information on how to create a Flixtime video, please click the large play button below:

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