Monday, July 24, 2006

Minutes later...

Breaking news!! There's a New! Beta 2.0 Version in Digital Films.comI had not seen or was not there this afternoon. (The ever changing nature of the web!) It has some advanced features such as the possibility of adding props, more backgrounds and customizing the characters.
It seems the problem with the font has been solved, too! Magic!!

I don't have time to review all its features right now. It's 3 a.m. and I have classes tomorrow.

Want to give it a try? ;)

Another Movie Maker

Here’s another online movie maker: Digital
Its tool editor has similar features to DFilm’s, although the design is not as stylish. You may create a movie without registering. However, if you register, movies can be saved and edited at any time.(A great advantage!) Registration is very simple and straightforward, the password is not sent to your e-mail account, you just create one yourself and move on.

Tool Editor: Actions (4), background, sky, characters (2), text lines. Also, presentation, music and credits.
Characters: five (only people).

Another possible drawback is the fact that the text font is blue and it doesn’t appear in a speech bubble (with a white background), which makes it difficult to read on a dark background.

Do you think it could be suitable to use with our students?
Can you find any other features that are worth mentioning?

Give it a try and let us know!

Carla R.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Words of wisdom…

As Hala suggested, we should ask the experts. Well… How about George Lucas? Yes, the filmmaker! He’s the founder and chairman of an Educational Organization called Edutopia that encourages innovation and technology integration in schools.

Click on this link , click on Play Video and then on:

George Lucas: The new language of learning, where he discusses the importance of art to develop communication skills. Even if he has English as L1 in mind, I’m sure you’ll find some concepts and ideas that are relevant to our teaching situation.

Thanks Graham, Carla and Erika for sparking this initiative!

More soon…

A new project!

Dear LwCers,

Let's make the most of these animation applications or movie makers. They will surely provide a way to stretch our students' imagination, creativity and writing skills, plus the excitement of having a real and international audience for their films.

Find a short description of some of the main characteristics of each site below and see which the most suitable for your class is.

Zimmer Twins
Based on a popular Canadian Cartoon.
Requires short registration and a password, which is sent to your e-mail account.
Target audience: Kids – pre-teens
Tool Editor : Animation Clips: talk bubbles, action, close-up, star.
Sentence close- up (ss. use the language even to edit action scenes), Timeline. (See: "How to make a movie" clip)
Characters : only the cartoon characters : the twins, Eva and Edgar and 13 (the cat).

Special features :
· Some movies are shown (good to give ss. an idea of what a movie would be like).
· Optional movie starters! Ss. can continue the story.
· Comments to each movie can be submitted.
· There are special guidelines on the expected behavior of members. The Flag feature is provided to notify the administrators of unproper behavior shown either in the comments section or the movie itself.

No registration needed.
Target audience: older teenagers, young adults
Tool editor : features : background, sky, plot (i.e. character interaction), characters (2), text, background music, presentation.
Characters : wider variety : 32 (including animals, creatures and some famous people) some traits and information about each one provided.
· Possibility of submitting your own character!? (templates provided)

Special features :
· Can be sent by mail.

Would you add any other characteristics?

Note: I've e-mailed the producer, Bart Cheever, asking for a comment feature and the possibility of watching other people's films (a movie archive). Let's see what happens!

Now, it's our job to decide how to introduce this fascinating project to our students.
Group work? Script drafting? A topic for the whole class (or festival) or individual topics?

Let's pool ideas. The process has started!!