I was already sad that today will be our last day of camp, but I got more bad news in my email this morning. Build Your Wild Self, the website we had so much fun with a few weeks ago, is gone forever. I received a blog comment asking me why the site is now a blank yellow screen. I emailed the New York Zoo and Aquarium, whose site this was on. I received this response:
"We do apologize as this feature is no longer available. If we may be of any further assistance please let us know."
We all loved that site and knew that our kids would, too. It was engaging, creative, and educational. I'm sorry that it's gone.
Before we wrap up our summer camp and roast our last marshmallow, let's find a few more apps we can use if we only have one iPad in the library. Today I'm going to focus on apps for you to use in creating videos for whole group instruction.
When I'm planning for whole group instruction, I like to create some type of video because (1) it keeps student attention better than my voice, and (2) I can post it online for students to review later, and (3) I can incorporate cool graphics.
Here are several ways to use your lone iPad to create engaging, educational presentations for your students.
Snapguide is a free app you can use to combine photos, videos, and text into a step-by-step how-to guide to share with your students and to post online for them to review. Here is a sample snapguide created by fourth graders. You can use the camera in the iPad to snap photos around your library of procedures, like finding books on a shelf, or returning books.
I don't see a way to add audio to your still photos. You can add text to the photo. And the videos will have audio.
Talking Friends. You've probably seen some of these, but have you created any? You know your students would be totally focused on the screen with any of these: Talking Tom, Talking Pierre, Talking WeeMee, Talking Ben, or another one of the Talking Friends. Each of these uses animated characters and an altered voice to communicate your message.
Here's a Glogster, in which a second grade class here in San Antonio used several talking friends apps to create an iMovie about sums of 10. (This is a photo, not an embedded video. You'll have to click on the link above and visit the Glogster to hear the song.)
Puppets. This video was created with Puppet Pals. It's a Reader's Theatre featuring Frog, Toad, and an iPad. You could use book characters to create your own video!
And here is a video created with the Sock Puppet app.
You can see with this example that even the shortest video will be an attention-grabber for your library lesson!
As you're planning your library orientation lessons for the fall, think about including a short video using one of these apps. Give it a try!
And, finally, a thought to wrap up our tech camp. I purchased a skimboard for our upcoming trip to the beach. It had a warning label that said, "Do not attempt to do tricks that are outside of your skill level." And I thought to myself, "what rotten advice!" Where would any of us be if we didn't attempt tricks outside of our skill level? Especially in technology? We try, we make mistakes, we learn. We try again.
I hope you'll give some of our S'More Tech Summer Camp projects a try next year. And I hope you'll come back and share with us how it went. Together, we're all better!