MuseForJews

muse: n. a source of inspiration

Green Screen

Green Screen is an easy-to-use, ios app that enables users to make their own videos with simple “green screen” effects. Green screen effects are used in the movies to make it look like the actors are in an exotic location (when they are really in a Hollywood studio) or to make it look like a weather announcers are standing in front of a weather map (when they are really standing in front a blank, green screen).

All you need is the app and a green screen and you can create images that show your students anywhere you choose! And that green screen doesn’t need to be expensive; I’ve had terrific results using a green plastic tablecloth from the dollar store taped to the wall.

The app creates the effect by combining images from multiple sources into a single video. Just shoot your video (or take a photo) from within the app. Then, add your desired background, and the app will insert it in place of the green screen.  The result will be an image of your students standing inside ancient Israel, the shuk, or even on the moon!

The app costs $2.99. For more information on using the app, head over to Do Ink’s support site.

In Your Classroom

  • Feature a green screen booth at your Purim carnival! Pick a series of fun backgrounds and invite participants put on character costumes, and appear in a scene with their friends.
  • The app looks for green, so it’s a good idea to caution your students to avoid wearing green when recording (or they could disappear altogether!).
  • Think beyond the background – if your background photo is a person,  then your image can look like you are meeting  with that person. Try  having your students pose standing next to Mordecai or Esther.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

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February 20, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Slideshows

It happens to everyone! You take lots and lots of great photos and then drop the ball when it’s time to get the slideshow together. Not to worry! Here are some easy and inexpensive tools that can help you make slideshows quickly and easily:

Google Slides/ Slides toolbox

The Google add-on Slides Toolbox is a big time saver for importing your photos into a Google Slides presentation. First, upload your photos to Google, and
install the Slides Toolbox. Then, launch Google Slides. Finally, within Google Slides, go to Add-ons > Slides Toolbox, and click on “Import Tools”. Locate the folder that holds your photos, and Slides Toolbox will import your photos and place one on each slide. When you are done, save your Google Slides presentation and you’ll get a shareable URL that links to your finished slideshow.

Animoto

Animoto is another tool that you can use to also make a slideshow from your uploaded photos. You can choose a theme, select a soundtrack from Animoto’s music library, or, upload your own music. Once you’re finished making your slideshow, you can download a low-resolution version at no cost or choose from higher resolution options for a fee. Animoto slideshows are really attractive and well worth the cost.  Educators can apply for a classroom account here.

Adobe Spark 

Adobe Spark Video is a free iOS app that is a great resource for creating slideshows using the photos on your device along with a voice-over recording. Download the app, and create an account (or sign in with your Facebook credentials) to begin.

In Your Classroom

Make slideshows:

  • For an end-of-year presentation
  • At the beginning of the year, showing each student holding up a sign stating their, “wishes for the new school year.”
  • To document a class trip
  • To use as a portfolio of student work.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

January 23, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

What do you want to discover today? Check out the Smithsonian Learning Lab where you can search from over 1,000,000 resources from among the Smithsonian museums, research center and the national zoo. You can also create collections of your own and share your work.

Want to create educational games? Blended Play lets you create fun games from your own content. There are also some existing games you can use. This is a nice change from Kahoot!

January 12, 2018 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Apple Clips iOS App

The Technology: Apple Clips iOS App

Clips is a free iOS app that allows you to combine video with animated text, graphics, emojis and music. It’s an easy-to-use app that has enough bells and whistles to keep it interesting, but not enough complexity to make it frustrating for new users. It’s very intuitive and students should have no problem mastering it.

To create a video, you can either shoot new, live video or select an existing video or photos from your phone’s camera. Then, you can choose to add add text, graphics, voiceovers and music to create your final product. Once the videos are complete, you and your students can save your videos to your phone’s camera roll. It can also be easily shared via email, text-message or a variety of social media services.

To use Clips, download and install the app.

In Your Classroom

  • Use Clips to create a “How-To” video. For example, if you will be doing a challah cover project with your students or other type of art project, you can use Clips to demonstrate exactly what to do, step-by-step.
  • Next time you visit a food pantry or soup kitchen, video the different steps of the event: boarding the bus, arrival, and serving food. Then assemble your shots into a montage documenting the trip.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

January 9, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Popplet

Popplet is a free website and mobile app that allows you to create concept maps. A concept map is a graphic that shows a “main idea” in the middle, while related information is displayed radiating from the center and connected with spokes- like a wheel. Collaborating alongside your students to create a concept map can be a great  exercise for visual learners.

Creating a popplet is simple. Begin by creating a  main idea in the center and then click anywhere on the screen to create “popples”: your supporting ideas. You can then move and  connect your ideas  to other “popples” and add images or media to them from web sources such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once you have completed your Popplet, you can share it on social media or via a link.

To use Popplet, sign up for free account. A free account will give you the opportunity to create ten popplets. If you would like to design more, you can pay $30/year for unlimited access. Students can access Popplet via the web on a computer or by using a free iOS app.

In Your Classroom

  • Popplet’s simplicity can be very appealing younger students. Use it to begin a parsha unit. You can put Moses in the center, and ask students for suggestions for the “popples” such as events and people.
  • Use Popplet to teach about the complexity of Israel. Show an image of Israel in the center, and  add details about the different types of people, sites, geography, religions, and history of the country to the “popples”.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

 

January 5, 2018 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Fake news! Here’s a great article about the future of fake news (spoiler alert: it isn’t going away!) and how to encourage your students to develop the skills they need to ferret it out.

Chrome extension of the week: I know there are a lot of you (you know who you are!) who keep waaaaaaay too many tabs open because you just haven’t had time to get to read all those articles you’re saving. Check out OneTab, which takes all those open tabs and pops them into a list of links. Very handy!

The concept of “extreme learners” is quite fascinating and author Milton Chen does a nice job of summing up what an extreme learner looks like and how to grow them in your classroom.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Google “Add-ons”

If you’re a Google apps user, you may have noticed “Add-ons” in the menu to the left of “Help.” Add-ons are third-party (which means they’ve been developed by people outside of Google) products that are often free and are designed to take Google apps just a little bit further.

Add-ons are developed for specific Google products, so there are different ones for Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc. It’s worth taking some time to check out the Add-ons store to see what timesavers you might find. For instance, some add-ons include:

  • EasyBib: Easy bib helps users create automatic bibliography and citations entries in Google docs.
  • Avery Label Merge: Allows you to take data from a google spread sheet, and print Avery labels from it.
  • Word Cloud: will take the text you’ve entered into a Google doc and generate make a word cloud out of it.
  • Template Gallery: Gives you access to many templates others have created for Google Sheets.
  • Group Maker: Will help you make random groups out of a list of students you have in Google sheets.

For more information about  add-ons, here are some additional resources you might want to check out:

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

November 28, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Escape!

Breakout or escape rooms provide an engaging way to integrate problem solving into your classroom. Basically, it’s a game where players use hints and clues to solve puzzles, which lead them to more hints to solve more puzzles. The payoff is “escaping” the room or breaking into a locked box.

There are commercial escape rooms popping up all over, and this has not gone unnoticed by educators who seek to leverage the craze and use it as an engaging activity for their students.

If you’re interested in purchasing a breakout box to use in your classroom, check out BreakoutEDU. You can buy their ready-to-go lock box with programmable locks, a lockout hasp, and  hundreds of ready-to-use puzzles and downloadables. It will also share with you cool ways that other educators are using the product.
BreakoutEDU’s product comes at a steep price, though. If you’re interested in creating your own Breakout box, this post has some great tips and list of the supplies you’ll need to purchase (hint: if you search for “breakout game” on Amazon, you’ll get a bunch of results that include locks, a lockout hasp, and locking storage boxes). You may even have some of these products already.

Any breakout game has the same premise: start with a story of some kind that poses a challenge. A typical breakout narrative includes a dilemma (someone or something is missing, or has been captured) and the directive that the students will need to solve clues to open the box and save the day. BreakoutEDU has resources for organizing your story on their site, including an organizer template.

Technology can be easily integrated in a breakout game, including QR codes (solve a clue, get a QR code to scan and get another clue) and Google forms.

For more information about creating your own breakout, you can view these videos:
Introducing Breakout EDU, Elementary Breakout; and read this  article.

In Your Classroom

  • Hanukkah is coming, and an Escape room can fit the Hanukkah story perfectly. Create a room where students have to find the pure oil, so that they can light the menorah!
  • This is a sure-fire way to engage your students in an end-of-unit activity that is going to be way more fun than anything else.
  • Breakout games can be a terrific ice breaker– and not just for kids! How about a breakout faculty meeting? Or a way to introduce new families to one another?
  • Ask older students to creating a breakout game for younger students. It can be a terrific way for everyone involved to review content that they’ve already mastered.

This is a “Technology Tuesday” post via Behrman House, edited by Ann D. Koffsky . You can find more Behrman House Technology Tuesdays here.

November 21, 2017 Posted by | Behrman House Technology Tuesday, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Here’s a terrific article about a young woman who came up with an app to address social isolation. Check out her TED Talk!

This is so fun – now you can play 20 questions with Google! This would be a great class activity.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Links You’ll Love

Hour of Code is coming! Okay, it’s not coming until the week of December 4th, but we need to get ready! How awesome would it be if every student spend some time learning about coding that week? Check out these resources about Hour of Code.

If you use your phone or iPad as a scanner – the app CamScanner is invaluable. Try it out!
If you want to step up your presentations or classroom graphics, check out Piktochart. You can start with a snazzy template or create your own.

October 27, 2017 Posted by | Links You'll Love, Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

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