Exploring video tools was this week’s sandbox activity. Like many others, Animoto and Powtoon are my favorite video tools. Animoto is an audio slideshow that uses still images, music, and voice-overs. It can be used to tell a story, share an event, introduce or summarize a unit, create book trailers, public service announcements, and many more. Powtoon has engaging templates that can be used to create videos for lessons, introductions, commercials, etc. The ability to edit and add characters, images, text, animations, voice-overs, and music makes this video creating tool fun and exciting. I’ve made videos with these tools in a previous class, and if you’d like to see my examples click these links: Family Travels and Digital Citizenship.
With those tools already in my toolbox, I explored Pixiclip, Sharalike, and Wideo. Pixiclip is an interactive whiteboard that can be used for creating instructional videos, teaching a mini-lesson, or marking a document. An image or document can be uploaded then written over using a pencil or marker. Simultaneously, a webcam can capture a video of the teacher or the microphone can be used for voice-overs. Sharalike is easy to use and very similar to Animoto, but unlike Animoto it has limited options for customization. Wideo is also similar to Powtoon since it allows users to create animated videos. Yet, it wasn’t as user-friendly. I experienced many technical glitches while using it. Editing text and images and choosing transitions for each slide required a lot of patience. There were few choices to customize the text and it was difficult to find the tool to edit selected images. While choosing a background color, the small box remained on the side of the screen after closing the editing tool. Additionally, a sliding hand transition started to pop up on the slides during the preview, despite having removed it earlier in the editing process.
Below is a video I made with Wideo using pictures I took at ODU’s Learning Resource Center (LRC). You’ll see some examples of 3D prints created by the previous LRC graduate assistant. The multi-colored dog tag and lion statue (pictured here) were my ideas. 🙂 If the picture link doesn’t work, click here: 3D Prints.
UPDATE: Out of the three new tools I’ve explored, Pixiclip is the only video tool I will add to my teaching toolbox. Sharalike is a useful and simple tool, but it’s missing the additional options that I like using with Animoto. Wideo was frustrating to learn and it took me a few hours to figure out how to make the 30 second video. In my opinion, Powtoon was so much easier and more fun to use than Wideo. Also, if you want to download the Wideo video or upload it through YouTube, you’re required to pay different fees. The video file link also is not compatible with Google. I tried to share the link through my student profile, but it wouldn’t allow it.
7/5/2016 UPDATE : After seeing an example of a Sharalike slideshow created by one of our classmates, I’m now convinced that I need to add it to my toolbox. Web tools that are easy to understand and create with are worth keeping if they can save time as well!