Advanced tools and enrichment
Creating Video Assets
Maximizing Power Point
Making your own films (and animations) has some real benefits. If you have your students create a film, you can build in requirements that will help you assess their understanding of the topic you covered while they get to master skills that will be useful to them in the future.
As the teacher, creating a video asset preserves the information you wanted to teach, which can be accessed again and again, whenever a student wants to. This was really valuable to me during my 15 years as an alternative ed high school teacher. Life happened, and I never knew who was going to be in attendance on a particular day. Having tutorials and other videos on my Moodle pages meant that students didn't have to miss out just because they had been absent.
The easiest tools to use for this are Movie Maker for PC users or iMovie for Mac users. Final Cut Pro is not bad (though not really so "pro" any more). It's good for beginners.
DaVinci Resolve 16 (and up) is great. It rivals Adobe Premier, but costs WAY less. In fact, the free version will let you do quite a lot. There is also a big online community and a lot of content on YouTube if you want to learn to use this software.
Affinity offers software for editing Photos (Affinity Photo), drawing vector art (Affinity Designer), and creating page layouts (Affinity Publisher). These programs cost just under $50 each, which is not bad. It is a one-time cost, so once you have it, you own it. Unlike subscription based programs, as long as you have the software you will be able to access all of your working files.
Yes, there is always Adobe, which is fine if you don't mind monthly subscription fees. It's pretty expensive, though, unless you plan to do professional editing. Also, if you let your subscription lapse, you will not be able to use any Adobe files you had - say, if you wanted to go into an old project and rework it.
oPower Point has come a long way over the past twenty years. I remember a time when adding sound to your Power Point Presentation was really hard to do.
These days you can do amazing things with Power Point, including using buttons to move the user around in your presentation.
Say you wanted to create a review of some content you'd covered in one of your classes. You can set up buttons in Power Point so that the student can respond to questions by choosing a button. Their choice then can take them to a page that celebrates a correct answer, or other pages that review the information and let them know they were not quite right in their response.
Power Point even lets you do animation, which is pretty cool. So, if you wanted to create a tutorial that is a little more dynamic and engaging, you could do it with Power Point.
Students can also use it to create their own content. You can ask your student to create a Power Point to demonstrate their understanding of something you studied together.
You can also embed videos to add interest and detail.
There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube, too. I was really impressed with how much Power Point has expanded its capabilities. I think it is a really good tool for making assets to use in teaching. I turn my Power Points into MP4s which can be uploaded as video files to different platforms.
Some simple projects I had my students do included creating Public Service Announcements (PSAs) about an issue they felt strongly about, creating biographical sketches about people they respect and admire, and celebrating their families.
As a teacher, one of my favorite words was "free." Happily, there are a LOT of resources out there that are free.
For example, if you can't afford the Microsoft Office suite, there is Apache's Open Office. This open source software will both open Microsoft Word documents and create files in a similar format.
There is also an Excel-like application, and one intended for making slide shows.
Their website gives this description:
"Apache OpenOffice is the leading open-source office software suite for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, graphics, databases and more. It is available in many languages and works on all common computers. It stores all your data in an international open standard format and can also read and write files from other common office software packages. It can be downloaded and used completely free of charge for any purpose."
I am not affiliated in any way with Open Office; however, as a teacher I found their free software very helpful, especially for students who just couldn't afford to buy a lot of software.
To find out more, check out:
I still use Open Office on some of my laptops. I own Microsoft Office software, but I hated paying for it for every single device I owned. It got to be a bit much, and sharing Open Office files with other people is really easy.