Bringing a little more Google into my life

After very little deliberation, as I’ve been waiting for just such an opportunity, I decided to apply for the Google Certified Teacher Academy 2012. My application (powered by Google Docs, very obviously) has been submitted today, including the 600 words of me selling myself. The application process also required me to submit a one minute video to support the application. The theme was Motivation and Learning
After throwing out ideas of talking to camera (which I hate, despite being able to stand in front of hundreds of children every week) I hit upon an idea that I hope suitably reflects who I am as an individual, learner and practitioner. The film was completely made on my iPhone – with the aid of some torn up bits of paper and a child’s blackboard rescued from the depths of my garage. It is only the second time I have used iCanAnimate. The first time was on a MacBook with a webcam and a ball of plasticine during a non-pupil day a few years ago. Thank you to Brian McGinnis for inducing me to it. I loved the simplicity of the app and was relieved that there was no exact science to moving objects – you can see exactly where the previous shot was. I had a problem with lighting as I started in natural daylight but the 200+ frames took longer than expected and I needed to turn on the lights. It is not perfect but adjusting the white balance helped immensely. Once the animation was complete (and slowed down) I exported it to the camera roll in its highest setting, before importing into iMovie. I simply added one of the generic theme sound tracks (rather fortunately the timing fitted perfectly) and uploaded to YouTube.
The best bit of all? I played my film through AirPlay with the Apple TV box linked to my television. Even if I do say so myself I was impressed with the end result and my own children said it looked like a ‘real advert’ (they do like to humour me). Reflecting on this I think that there would be increased motivation in the classroom if I showed finished projects in this way, rather than via a projector and whiteboard. There is something so engaging about watching what you have made on a television screen.
The finished video can be watched here. It is on my school YouTube account so I look forward to seeing what my pupils make of it.

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