Tech Tip Tuesday ... Animoto

Animoto is one of my absolutely favorite online tools. (I know, I know ... I say that about a lot of sites, but this one is really super cool!)

In just a few short and easy steps, you can create an awesome end-of-year music video that is sure to amaze your students, parents, co-workers, neighbors, administrators, etc. (it's guaranteed to impress!) You upload the pictures, short video clips, and music. You can even choose music from their own collection. Animoto [magically] analyzes your pictures and music, adds fun transitions, and waa laa ... you've got a music video!

In order to do a full-length video for FREE, you will need to sign up for an Animoto Educator account. It takes a day or so to get the account created, so be sure to sign up today at  www.animoto.com/education.

To create your own full-length Animoto, you will need to sign up for a [free] Educator account at www.animoto.com/education. It can take a day or two to receive the email confirmation of your new account, so you'll want to sign up right away.

Non-teacher-types can create free 30 second videos, but to create full length videos, there is a fee. For educators (that's us!) it's FREE! You will need to reapply for your educator account every six months, but Animoto sends email reminders and it's relatively painless. =) 
Animoto Ideas for the Classroom (for teachers or students)
  • All About Me project at the beginning of the year
  • Field Trip Presentation
  • Advertisement/Commercial for upcoming school events (carnival, book fair, etc.)
  • Introduce/Conclude a Curriculum Unit
  • Digitial Storytelling
  • Vocabulary Flashcards
Can you think of other uses? Do you have any Animotos posted to your website? If so, please leave details in the comments so we can check them out!


Tech Tip Tuesday ... Google Calendar

You probably don't actually need a calendar to tell you what time of year it is right now (we can just feel it, can't we?) but today's Tuesday Tech Tip is all about Google Calendar .
Google Calendar
If you haven't jumped on the Google bandwagon yet, this may be just what you needed to get you on board. There are many fantastic Google applications (Google Docs, Reader, Maps, Google Earth, GMail, etc.) but I think Google Calendar may be my favorite.
Just click the Sign In link in the upper right corner of any google page. Sign in with your Google username/password or click the Create an Account link to create your own Google account.
Why I Use (and Love) Google Calendar
  1. Access the Calendar Anywhere - I just log in to Google wherever I happen to be, and I have my entire calendar right there! I can access my calendar from my iPhone too ... super cool!
  2. Reminders - If you're like me, you probably have sticky notes all over your desk with little reminders for yourself. Sadly, I usually forget to read the notes! Google Calendar will actually send you SMS reminders to your cell phone, an email reminder, or a pop-up on your computer screen (although you will need to have your Google page open) for your events. Create as many reminders as you need for each event - a week, a day, an hour, 5 minutes ahead of time ... you choose!
  3. Share Your Calendar With Others - You can share with your family, your friends, your co-workers; create private calendars, share with just a select few, or create public calendars. You can also send invitations to events with Google Calendar - even to people who don't have Google accounts! 
  4. Multiple Calendars - I have several calendars of my own, I subscribe to a couple of public calendars, and I even have my co-workers' calendars too. I can color-code each one, and I can easily hide or show any combination of the calendars. It's also super-easy to copy one event on to other calendars.
  5. Adding/Changing Events - This simply couldn't be any easier! Just click into the appropriate date and enter your info. If you enter "meeting at DC @ 2:30", it somehow (perhaps magically) knows that DC is a location and your meeting will likely be from 2:30pm - 3:30pm. If it "guesses" incorrectly, just click it again to edit it. Oops - did the date get changed??? Just click and drag it to the new date (yes, as easy as that!)
  6. Multiple Views - Do you prefer to see the whole month at a time, or is that just a little too overwhelming? Easily switch between calendar views - Day, Week, Month, 4 Weeks, or Agenda.
  7. Repeating Events - Do you need a reminder to complete your lesson plans each week or change the class helpers? (Or maybe change the filter in your a/c unit at home???) You can create an event and set it to repeat weekly, monthly, or always on the 5th of the month, etc.
  8. Tasks - One of the newer features of Google Calendar is the Tasks list. I like to make to-do lists. I like to check off the items I've completed. I am guilty of adding tasks to my to-do list that I've already done, just so I can cross them off! I can use the Task list in Google Calendar to help me keep track of my many, many "to-do's"!
  9. Public Calendars - Of course, you can add "US Holidays" to your calendar, but there are lots of other choices too. Are you a sports fan? You can choose from most Professional Sports teams and see their schedules right on your desktop. 
  10. It's Pretty! - I know, it's kinda lame for a reason, but Google Calendar has pretty colors, a nice layout, and I like it!


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