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Squirrels In My Pants

I did a presentation the other day on how one might use the Promethean software to do some interesting things with video. I don’t think the software is essential to do any of this but it did make it pretty easy and we already have it on all our computers and all our student computers. In any case, I used the video above to demo a few easy things for kids to do using screenshots from virtually any video. Yes, it did make my kids’ day to use a Fineas and Ferb song about squirrels in someone’s pants. I’m not sure what the teachers thought of it but sometimes you have to amuse yourself. Simplest- Visual Answers Take video screenshots to answer questions. Easy but a different level of involvement with the video. Depending on the questions this could be low level stuff or something more sophisticated. You could do simple things like ID the protagonist. Or you could ask harder questions like- Capture the most dramatic frame in the video. Summarize or Cartoonize Using simple screenshots you can add word balloons to summarize the video or just use the frame captures as fodder for comics in general. You can make it more complex by adding restrictions (see below) – things like you have to summarize the video in only […]


Easy Post Thumbnails

[snap url=”″ alt=”Preview” w=”400″ h=”300″] The thumbnail above was generated through the WordPress Snap plugin using the code above. It’s a quick easy way to add visual elements to your site. It seems to take a while to create for sites not already in their database but it opens up some really nice options. I’ve often wanted to automatically put thumbnails into posts linking to URLs but all the previous ways I found to do it relied on companies I didn’t like or had other shortfalls that ruled them out. There are a number of projects where we’d like to have this happen. We’ve been using Press This but in some cases I wanted to make the image addition automatic to simplify things for the author. I sat here for a few minutes and figured I could probably make this happen if I knew how to code stuff. I don’t know how to code but I figured I’d try anyway. Below is my first stab was at messing with the bookmarklet that allows the Press This to work. First stop, WordPress Codex – documentation there was somewhat sparse. I couldn’t find the word “via” which shows up when you use Press This so I now knew there had to be something else involved in how this works. I wandered around […]

It’s All About the PD Baby

Jac de Haan sets me straight regarding how confused I’ve been about the motivation of large corporations to sponsor teaching academies. . . Regardless of what you believe the motivation behind sponsoring such events may be, these companies are recognizing that many teachers put countless unpaid hours into professional development and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in education. Oh. Corporations are doing this to recognize unpaid teacher PD. That’s so very kind of them. It all makes sense now. I take back everything I said about educators being confused about how this whole thing works.