Tag Archives: movie maker

Twelve Free Tools From Microsoft… Many Are New!

I was notified by Microsoft several weeks ago of some free tools that Microsoft wants teachers to be aware of. I took a look and was impressed with what I found. This post covers twelve of these tools, some that may be new to you. Please feel free to reply and leave any comments that may help all of us as we explore these free resources.  In the meantime, please follow me on twitter at (@mjgormans), I will follow you back and we can learn from one another. Thanks for taking the time to read and please subscribe by RSS or email!  Enjoy the read and have a great week! – Mike

Learning Essentials – Learning Essentials adds curriculum-based templates and toolbars to Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to guide students and teachers through various projects. There is a separate set of tools for teachers and students. Learning Essentials includes templates, tutorials. One tutorial of interest was The Writing Process, which claims to help students successfully complete the four basic stages of writing. Make sure you check out the tools, content, and download area.

Math Add In For Word 2007 – The Microsoft Math Add-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007 makes it easy to create graphs, perform calculations, and solve for variables with equations created in Word.

Pivot – Pivot makes it easier to interact with massive amounts of data in ways that are powerful, informative, and fun. Pivot claims to be an  interaction model that accommodates the complexity and scale of information rather than the traditional structure of the Web. Take a moment to watch this TED Video about Pivot. Also enjoy this informative  article from Technology Review describing this Pivot.

Windows Live Sky Drive – With SkyDrive, it’s easy to store and share your files and photos with almost anyone. Get to your online files from home, work, or on the road. Keep your files to yourself, or share them with anyone you want. Drag files into your online folders.

Microsoft Research Auto Collage – Pick a folder, press a button, and in a few minutes AutoCollage presents you with a unique memento to print or email. Take a moment to watch this video for more information. Read more about Auto Collage and see further demonstrations by exploring this link.

PhotoStory 3 – One of the most powerful programs to create digital stories. PhotoStory 3 has been regarded as an old reliable by many educators for several years. Here are some facts about PhotoStory 3 that will assist both teachers and students.  Be sure to check out Microsoft’s  free 25 page digital story telling book .  Also, take a look at this video that explains making a digital movie ,and  check out still another video that talks about using PhotoStory 3 in the classroom.

Photosynth – This is an  amazing program that you really must see to fully appreciate!  In Microsoft’s own words, “Photosynth takes your photos, mashes them together and recreates a 3D scene out of them that anyone can view and move around in”. You can create your own Photosynths, or visit a vast collection that are already made . Here is the info on creating your own synth!

Songsmith – A  Microsoft Research program that lets users create a  song  just by singing!   Just open up Songsmith, choose from one of  the thirty different musical styles, and press record. It’s now time to start singing  whatever you like, while Songsmith does the rest. Take a moment to read about Songsmith and listen to these samples. There is even an extensive help area available, not for your voice, for your use of the application!

The World Wide Telescope –  This program from Microsoft Research will turn your computer into a virtual telescope.  Use the WorldWide Telescope to see the best images from the world’s finest ground and space-based telescopes. You can discover the cloud remnants of a supernova explosion that occurred years ago, or travel to the future to see what future astronomers might observe. You will have access to  a googles of sky, earth, and planet data. There are ideas for teacher including lesson plans that Compare the topography of Earth and Mars and Explore the stars with WorldWide Telescope. Be sure to visit the site and try it out.

Digital Citizenship and Creative Content – Help students  understand the rules that dictate the ethical use of  digital files, and  facilitate their understanding as to  why these issues are relevant? Take a moment to check out the outline for this free program. You will find some great information that kids need to know.

Microsoft Education Labs – Take a moment a check out some of these cool tools. You will find plug ins for Moodle, a Chemistry add- in for Word, a Math Worksheet Generator, and a Flash Card Generator. Make sure you take a look at the future vision and also read the latest blog posting.

Windows Live Movie Maker –  A fast, easy way to turn photos and videos into great-looking movies. Have fun with transitions and diffrent video affects.  Students and teachers can share with their class, on the Web, or on DVDs. Take a look at this Movie Maker Manual from Microsoft. Also be sure to watch the videos on Creating a Movie,  Adding Transitions,  Using Photo Slide Shows,  and Sharing Movies On The Web.

In conclusion, spend a moment to sign up for the Microsoft Education Newsletter filled with great information. Make sure you  subscribe to both  the Teacher Tech Blog and  the Educational Insights Blog. For a complete listing of service for educators visit the Microsoft Educators’ Page. Take a moment to read the  Seven Page Free Tools Guide from Microsoft.  Also, be sure to enhance your professional development by viewing free web and podcasts!  I am certain you will find that at least one of these free tools will help you facilitate real learning in the 21st Century!

Thanks for joining me on another journey aimed at finding resources that transform learning and prepare students for the 21st Century! I invite your feedback and encourage you to subscribe to this blog by email or RSS. Remember to follow me on Twitter at (@mjgormans) and also visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki!  Have resourceful week! – Mike


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Free Software To Make That Flip Video Experience Even Better!

Ever had trouble getting those flip video files into Windows Movie Maker or your preferred video editor? This midweek post of 21centuryedtech focuses on a free piece of software that really does make integrating the Flip Video camera with Windows Movie Maker easy. Outside of that, it is truly a great video and audio transfer program that has a multitude of uses in student and teacher productions of movies and podcasts! Try this and other great ideas and resources found at the 21centuryedtech Wiki! As always follow me at www.twitter.com/mjgormans – Mike (mgorman@sacs.k12.in.us)

It really is time to do a double flip for your Flip video camera as you find ways to integrate with free Windows Movie Maker. I recently purchased 30 Flip Video Camera for student use!  They have been a hit as have the movies that students have produced. While others may not, I did experience problems with the Flip Software (too simplistic) and using the video files on various computers and networks. I did a triple flip when I found the free product Any Video Converter.  This powerful yet free video converter application makes video and audio conversion quick and easy. The application can clip any segments and optionally merge and sort them to make a creative movie. Even more, Any Video Converter Freeware can crop frame size to remove any unwanted area in the frame ,just like a pair of smart scissors. It can convert almost any video format:  including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI, MPEG-I, DVD NTSC , DVD PAL, Flash for Video (FLV), AVI Video and Customized WMV movie formats. It also supports any user defined video file format as the output including avi, mp4, wmv, swf, flv, mkv, MPEG-1 and MPEG-2, mpg (PAL or NTSC), mp3, wma, ogg, aac, wave, m4a. This means that youtube, iPod, Zune, PSP, iPhone, 3GP Phone, and MP4 player are all covered. And if that’s not enough, it is also lightning  fast, even over a network.

Now about that Flip camera integration! It really is as simple as using the Flip Video Camera as a portable drive!  Just plug the Flip Camera into the computer’s USB port. Then open up Any Video Converter. Next select Add Video. It is then simple to use the easy interface to find the drive of the Flip Video Camera . Now , open the drive and select the desired videos.


Once the videos are selected a selection must be made from a pulldown on the right regarding the correct output format. For Windows Movie Maker the choice is customized WMV movie. Note that there are many other formats to pick from including ones that will work on the Mac, Mobile phones (including the iPhone), Flash, and portable video players.

There is even an Output folder on the bottom of the menu with various choices. The built in default is to have the program build an Any Video Folder in the user’s My Documents Folder. This can be great for network use that automatically sends user files to the user  network folder. Since Any Video Converter  can convert multiple files quickly and easily, you and your students will be editing using Windows Movie Maker or your preferred video editing software in no time. Take a moment to explore and learn about  and the download this free and useful program. While I have described its integration with Flip Video, you will find its power something you will find other reasons to do summersalts over!

Have fun and keep coming back ,and as always visit my 21centuryedtech Wiki! – Mike  (http://www.twitter.com/mjgormans)


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