Saturday, December 30, 2006

News Sources, Family Resources, and a Video Project Tool

Which sources do teens use to keep current with the news? What's a good source of web sites to share with families? How do you and your students plan your video projects? Check out these web sites for answers to these questions.

Online, television, newspapers… which source do high school students access for news? Which do they think is the most accurate? Which do they rate as the easiest-to-use source? Do their high school teachers agree?

Read the interesting results of a survey of more than 14,000 students and almost 900 teachers last spring at this site.

Check out this site for activities for preschool, K-12, and parents. Younger children can listen to nursery rhymes being read ( while they view beautiful illustrations. ESL teachers may find these pages useful for their students and primary teachers can print the illustrations to use as manipulatives for teaching sequencing. Additional preschool activities include theme activities, letters and numbers, and a “read with me” section.

Study sites, best books, puzzles, and word wonders make up the K-12 section. The study sites are categorized by topic and grade level.

And parenting features, gifted and talented, special education, and web resources are available for parents. The parenting features include information on safe surfing on the web.

If you use or are thinking about using a video project in your class, you may want to consider using StoryBoard Pro, a free tool from (You do not have to subscribe to Atomic Learning to download this freeware software—for Macs or Windows-based computers --or to view the 16 free movies that are available to learn about the software.) This tool helps you to plan ahead when you or your students create video projects.

The web site lists these features for StoryBoard Pro:
* Enter shot titles and descriptions, complete with planned lengths and edited order.
* Indicate shot types: video, still, audio, music, or titles.
* Enter film tips for your camera person when videotaping the shot and editing tips to be used when editing in iMovie, Movie Maker 2, Final Cut Pro, Premeire, or any other editor of your choice.
* Import existing video clips, still pictures, and sounds to better illustrate each shot.
* Create, save, and import templates for video projects.
* Print copies of your storyboard for use while filming or editing.
* Print blank storyboard worksheets for brainstorming new ideas.

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