National Film Board App

I was amazed when I came across the National Film Board app it has a huge library of  documentaries, animations, alternative dramas and interactive productions on the net.   also has  playlists and upcoming online releases. All resources are free for personal use and  schools and institutions can apply for a subscription.  Alternatively you can access the resources on the internet.

Film and TV teaching resources

Everyone enjoys watching movies and adding multimedia to the classroom is a great motivator.  Using movies as a teaching tool generates interest and enthusiasm and 21st century learners spend more time connected to media than ever before so why not join them!  Spreading the power of great movies has been a goal of The Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and the National Collaboration for Youth, and in collaboration with the Finding Inspiration in  Literature and Movies (F.I.L.M.) Project, they have devised free curricula based on Truly Moving Picture Award-winning films to promote  positive messages and life-affirming themes for young people and designed  to encourage reading and watching quality content, provoke thought and exploration of valuable and important themes and issues, and inspire participation in theme-based activities.   Free F.I.L.M. Curricula has resources for movies such as Flipped, How to Train Your Dragon, My Sister’s Keeper, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Bridge to Terabithia, Freedom Writers, Everyone’s Hero, Flicka, Saving Shiloh, Ramona and Beezus and more.  It also has a guide for developing resources for other movies and books: Teaching with Movies: A Guide for Educators and Parents. Great resources and ideas for identifying teachable moments in movies and sharing them with students.

Another useful and helpful site e is ‘Based on the Book’, a resource for finding books by genre, year or title that have been made into a movie.

Free movie scripts available at The Internet MovieScript Database, and Drew’s Script-O-Rama.

Thanks to Marvan Glavac, How to Make a Difference for forwarding this information to me.

In updating this post I am adding  EnhanceTV which has a plethora of teaching resources (many of them free for download after free joining) for TV and film content.  These are available via Screenrights, the not-for-profit organisation that licenses educational institutions to copy from TV. Nearly all schools, TAFEs and universities in Australia have a Screenrights licence. For more information on the licence, visit www.screenrights.org or email licensing@screenrights.org.

Metro Magazine, Australia’s media and film magazine, again, have a number of study guide resources for film.  They are linked to the Education Shop which has additional resources for sale.

Terrific Tools

Like most people who write a blog, there is never enough time to write about all the wonderful and interesting tools that are constantly evolving.  To keep this post manageable, I’m mentioning a few of the fabulous tools that I have come across in the past weeks  via the various networks that I attempt to keep up with.

Networking

StumbleUpon, a social media site that enbles users to discover and rate webpages, photos, videos, and news articles, has become a favourite plugin on my toolbar. If you haven’t tried it out, I’d encourage you to do so.  Like most networks or tools, StumbleUpon’s features are best experienced than described.  Briefly, you can identify the topics/areas you are interested in, then when you click the Stumble! button on your toolbar, it will present a site based on your selected interests.  You can then give it the thumbs up or down to refine your preferences.   Once you start using the tool, you see its wonders (and its addictiveness).  Since using it, I’ve come across some fabulous tutorials which I may not have otherwise found.   It can be used as a marketing tool, or in the case of educators, networking with other users to gain interesting and useful information.  Here are 5 power tips to get the most out of using StumbleUpon.

Information Organiser

The Personal Brain is a free downloadable visua information organiser that sits on your desktop and facilitiates keeping track of projects.  Great for a visual overview of what is going on either at work or home.  You can have as many ‘brain’ projects as you wish, or you can divide one ‘brain’ into different projects.  So it can be used for work/home.  Keep all your work related projects together and same with personal.  Notes can be added, web links, even files and images and there’s also a calendar.   It has potential in the classroom for brainstorming projects, project planning and even as a revision tool. Here’s a Youtube review of Personal Brain.

After using this tool now for several weeks, I’m quite impressed with its functioning.  It is intuitively easy to use, adding a new project is as simple as clicking on ‘Thought’ from the drop down menu > Parent Thought.  Add a sub-thought to this > Child Thought.  For a completely new brain > File > New Brain.  A paid version is available, obviously with more features. The free version has enough options to make it very usable and worthwhile.

Educational Videos

Teachers TV is certainly one of my favourites places to go when I want videos for the classroom, classroom management and personal development. Although I joined earlier this year, a mention of Teachers TV on Paul Hamilton’s site prompted me to go and take a deeper look.  As mentioned in Paul’s post, there is an incredibly rich supply of resources available on this site. What makes the site even more usable is that vidoes can be downloaded or watched directly via Quicktime or Windows medial player.  This overcomes the buffering problem that happens with watching online videos.  If you haven’t been acquainted with Teachers TV, I’d certainly encourage you to do so.

WatchKnow is an emerging  non-profit, online community that encourages everyone to collect, create, and share free, innovative, educational videos. Although not yet officially launched, it is available for beta-testing.  You just need to sign up (username and password is all that is required) to add videos.  The library is still building up.

Presentation Tools

Flowgram is Larry Ferlazzo’s No.1 site for Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education 2008. This is a great tool for presentations, tutorials, web and photo sharing; audio can be added and comments made by viewers. 

Magshow is a slide show creator alternative to my favourite slideshow creator, Smilebox (which requires a download and this proves difficult on different computers in a school setting).  Magshow enables the creating slideshows, panoramas or make your own map.

Rock You is a great new slideshow sharing site I came across via Larry Ferlazzo’s Best Web 2.0 Applications for Education 2008, rated No. 11by Larry.

Automotivator is a poster site I came across via Paul Hamilton’s site.  Create a motivational poster by uploading your own image or choosing a random image, add a quote and title, save to your computer or upload to a site.  This is an alternative to Bige Huge Labs which also has a poster feature.

Extranormal is another great tool that has potential in the classroom for students across the curriculum and across the grades.   It’s new animation tool that is so easy to use.   It claims if you can type you can create a movie.  It could be used for story making, explaining facts or concepts (either the teacher creating or students displaying their knowledge), revision topics, language students and so on.  I came across this via Paul Hamilton’s site.

ICT Tutorials

I came across ICT Teach via Patricia Donaghy’s site and it has been a minefield of wonderful free tutorials. Not only for school use but for my own personal learning.   For example, I have never found easy to understand tutorials for Photoshop and gave up on mastering its workings.  ICT teach has great simplified vidoes which enabled me to finally grasp the program.  ICT teach is aligned to UK syllabuses, nevertheless  all tutorials have universal value.  I’m continually going back there to check the resources, lesson ideas and just-in-time learning.  There is also what appears to be just about a whole syllabus set of resources on the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL) which is an internationally recognised qualification which covers the key concepts of computing.  I got really excited about the prospect of this availablility in schools in my country.  It probably won’t happen, but isn’t it a wonderful concept that we could be teaching kids skills that would have universal recognition?

Image by macropolous