Showing posts with label videos. Show all posts
Showing posts with label videos. Show all posts

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Create Narrated Slide or Video Shows with Videolicious

I am giving a session on Digital Storytelling in speech and language intervention at today's ASHA Schools conference in Long Beach, CA, and thought I would feature one of my favorite tools in this genre.

Videolicious is a simple video creator- it allows you select photos or videos from your photo library/camera roll and talk over them, effectively creating a narrated video. What a great language tool- and did I say it's free? It's freeness comes with two limitations- videos are limited to 10 minutes, and the saving process sends your video to the service's website (unless you follow the directions below).

Videolicious is really simple to use. You will first need to have photos or videos in your photos app- either shoot them or save images from the Internet (again, see the directions below to avoid violating copyright). Once they are there, select them by tapping them in sequence within the app:

You are then given the opportunity to record a "Selfie" introduction to the video (you talking to the camera). You can select the option of using "mic only" so that you or the student do not appear in the video. As you record your narration, you tap the selected images or videos in order to time when they will appear in your video. Thus, a narrated slideshow.

Language Lens:
-You can use Videolicious to have students (including adults) practice describing, sequential language, storytelling, persuading- whatever form of discourse you would like.
-Videolicious, as it records audio of one speaking, is also a nice tool to work on articulation, voice, and fluency.
-As your project in Videolicious can include video, it can also be used for video modeling, having kids narrative the steps to social or functional sequences.
-Many creation apps are more about the process than the product. Use the process to help students to plan their language using a graphic organizer or script.

Videolicious, if used exactly as designed, saves the finished project both to your photos app AND the Videolicious website. This presents several issues:
a) You don't want to be sending video of your students to the Internet unless you have explicit permission.
b) If you saved images from Google Images, they were likely copyrighted. These are OK to use in any project that stays on your iPad in the app itself or if it is saved locally to the Camera Roll (this is Fair Use), but not to be republished to the Internet. You can use tools such as Flickr Creative Commons or other Creative Commons search websites to save the photos. You should still site them in some way, either orally within the video or by creating a text image (maybe with Doodle Buddy) attributing the image.

OR can avoid publishing the project to the site by following these steps (given to me by a Videolicious support person):
1. Create your video. Don't tap Save.
2. Leave the Videolicious app and turn on Airplane Mode in the Settings app of your iPad. This disconnects your iPad from the Internet.
3. Return to Videolicious and complete the steps of saving the video. This will save it to the Camera Roll (Photos app) and NOT the site.
4. When saving is complete, tap the Share button (arrow coming out of the square) and Delete Video. It will remain in your photos app but then the app will not attempt to upload it when you turn off Airplane Mode.

5. Go back to the Settings app and turn Airplane Mode off.

This does seem like a lot of steps, I know. Nevertheless, this is one of the easiest and best apps I know of to make a narrated video, so I still highly recommend it.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

"We Do Listen"-Animated Books about Social Cognition and Skills

The We Do Listen Foundation has produced some great books that are available both as hardcovers and free animated versions on their website.  The stories feature Harold B. Wigglebottom, who often commits a series of social errors and learns through them- thus providing a good context for teaching story grammar. In particular, "Harold B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen" is a helpful additional context for teaching Whole Body Listening (a term originally created by Suzanne Truesdale and also discussed in Nita Everly's Can You Listen With Your Eyes and Kristen Wilson and Elizabeth Sautter's Whole Body Listening Larry books), and I like that the story provides an opportunity to discuss perspective taking as others notice and are affected by Harold's difficulties in listening. To further explore these concepts, see the work of Michelle Garcia Winner at Social Thinking®. The site's playable animated books and displayable/printable posters are also iPad-friendly.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Celebrate Speech with a "Silent Film"

Another way to promote the awareness of the importance of speech during Better Speech and Hearing Month (or other times) is to explore the idea of silent film. Many kids are unaware that there ever were films that have no sound, and any language-neutral visual can be a great context for having kids generate language. I found this treasure, "Unspoken Content: Silent Film in the ESL Classroom" just in a quick search about this topic.  The article describes how "The Painted Lady," available, like many films, on YouTube (or using PlayTube to cache if YouTube is blocked), can be used to target narrative and metalinguistic awareness.

I mention all this primarily because Google has recently unveiled a cool new resource: The Peanut Gallery. This website (you cannot access this on iPad, and it only works in Google Chrome) allows you to dictate language that will appear as "silent film" titles over any of a selection of over 12 old movie clips. The site uses Google's "Web Speech API" and is remarkably accurate. Just speak, and it will convert your speech to text within titles over the movie clip, which is then saved and shareable.

You can see one of my attempts at it here.

The Language Lens on this site, then, is that it provides you with many contexts to have students analyze situations (characters, settings, ongoing events) and generate narration related to this, which employs the interpretation of body language and emotions, as well as, potentially, metalinguistics such as sarcasm and understatement. 

You will need to insert test dialogue (e.g. "Action" or "Oh no!") just to make the film proceed at first, so that kids get the context and can plan dialogue for a second or third try (or more), as improvising may be too difficult without your scaffolding.  

Common Core Connection
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Appy-Picking Month: Videos App

The Videos app that comes pre-installed on your iPad as part of iOS is one that you might want to "pick" for use of videos in your therapy.  This video shows you how to move videos from iTunes to this app, and also another way to bypass blocking of YouTube so you are able to show selected videos from your iPad.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

iPad Essentials: Working around the Barriers to YouTube Access

YouTube scares a lot of people, who rightfully worry about its Wild West of content and the often pragmatically inappropriate and soul-crushingly rude comments left in response to videos.  It is not a resource that kids should really be allowed to explore without boundaries.

At the same time, I do think it is a shame that so many school districts have chosen to block this and other resources rather than teaching kids to use them responsibly, and holding them accountable for when they don't. Doing so prevents educators from accessing many videos that have educational and language-enhancing purposes (see a previous post on this here, if you want specifics). YouTube also has a "channel" just for teachers, and blogs such as The Kid Should See This provide great examples of videos you can use to elicit language.

Unfortunately, if your building blocks access to YouTube or does not allow you access to wifi on your iDevice, your YouTube app is pretty much useless while in that zone. However, there is a way to access those particularly choice videos for therapeutic use, it just takes a few steps and some forethought. Here's what you do.

1. Identify a video of interest and while on a computer (not your iPad), copy the video's URL:

2. Go to KeepVid in your computer's browser and paste in the copied URL and hit Download at the end of the blue bar (not the giant red download, that's a ubiquitous ad, LOL):

3. Wait for the potential video files to pop up and download the MP4 by clicking on it. Again, ignore the giant Download button:

4. This will download the YouTube clip as a video file to your computer, usually to the Downloads folder. Now to get it onto your iPad. Open an email account that is accessible on your iPad (added to your Mail app. Accounts can be added to the Mail app using the Settings app under Mail, Contacts, Calendars). Gmail accounts work well for this process. Attach the video file to an email and send it to that account that you can access on the iPad. This may take a minute.

5. On your iPad, while connected to wifi, check the email account and locate the email. Tap the video icon in the email to download the video to the iPad. Then, tap and hold to bring up the option to save the video:

6. Now, go to your Photos app.  The video will be saved there (not in the Videos app, which is for iTunes content), and you can play it whenever you need to, regardless of YouTube blockage or wifi connection.

[Edit: You can also import/drag your video file into iTunes on a computer, plug in your iPad (you don't need to sync), and drag that video as displayed in iTunes onto the iPad icon in the left sidebar.  The video will then appear in the Videos app.]

A couple of caveats:
-Videos take up space. You'll want to be aware of this, and delete from your iPad if necessary, as well as from your email account and computer.
-KeepVid is Java-based. If you run into trouble with it, try running a Java update (through Software update on Mac or by Googling "Java Update" on PC). Also make sure your browser is updated or KeepVid might not function correctly (see part B here).
-This process will not work if the YouTube user has disabled embedding and downloading.  

Happy Work-arounding!

Friday, January 20, 2012


MadPad is an app that has received a lot of press in 2011 and was available free for some weeks as the Starbucks App of the Month (I do occasionally wander into Starbucks); the app is a creative outlet for "remixing your life." Essentially, what you can do with MadPad is download or create "soundboards" for your iPad or smaller iDevice (there are different versions, MadPad HD is the iPad one, priced at $2.99, the iPhone/iPod version is currently $.99 and adequate even on the iPad for the purposes I describe below). I find myself struggling to describe what this app actually does, so check out the video demo of creating and playing a "set" below.

That car set actually comes with the app and inspired me to tell you about it.  The creation of sets is as simple as it looks within the demo (note, not so simple on the cameraless iPad 1), and there are also "hundreds" of sets you can download easily through the app, including sound/vid combos within a grocery store, arcade, train, coffee shop, and zoo.  How could you use MadPad in speech and language therapy?

Language Lens:

  • At its core, MadPad is a dynamic and multisensory way to present items in categories or break wholes into their parts.  Think of the car demo above and the parts demonstrated: hood, door, window, tire, handle, keys, ignition, emergency brake, glove compartment, horn, brakes. Use the available sets or make your own, which would be a...
  • Great functional and pragmatic project for a group.
  • MadPad aligns well with curriculum areas including science units on the 5 Senses.
  • The items in sets could also be easily mined for articulation targets.
If you end up creating a set, please let me know!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Blog Awareness Month: The Kid Should See This

The Kid Should See This is a cute curation of videos and other materials from around the internet related to culture and education, kind of like a kids' version of Open Culture.  From the author:

There's just so much science, nature, music, arts, technology, storytelling and assorted good stuff out there that my kids (and maybe your kids) haven't seen. It's most likely not stuff that was made for them... But we don't underestimate kids around here. Off the grid-for-little-kids videos and other smart stuff collected by Rion Nakaya and her three year old co-curator.

The videos could provide a great context for a speech and language session, and included are fun sequences like this one (might be fun before an activity with the Cookie Doodle app):

Stop-Motion Biscuit Cake from Alan Travers on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Creating Your Own Materials with PowerPoint or Keynote

This info and video appears as part of our Essential Tech Skills 4 SLPs site but I wanted to make sure you ran across it, so am posting it here too! Apologies for the length of the video, but it was tough to make that mini-lesson more mini. The skills demoed here can be used to make your own visuals such as the PowerPoint cue cards I posted about some time ago.

SLPs often have the need to create customized materials such as picture sets and graphic organizers.  This generally takes us into the realm of desktop publishing, which can seem complicated.  However, we find that it is easy to repurpose a presentation program such as PowerPoint or Apple's Keynote in order to create a worksheet or a visual for a student.  Why these programs as opposed to Microsoft Word? Well, Word tends to want everything to fit in a word processed format, as in a typed report.  It is difficult to move text and images around as you please. Not so with PowerPoint and Keynote.  You can insert text boxes, images (see Part 3 of the Essential Tech Skills 4 SLPs site) or even draw items quite easily, click and move them around, and save them to print out and share with students (and colleagues)!

Check out this video on how to "Repurpose" these presentation programs to make any kind of visual or worksheet you would like:

Monday, September 12, 2011

First World Problems

The beginning of the school year is a great time to talk about essential concepts around being part of a group(see the Social Thinking® approach)- whether that group be a pull-out or private social skills group, or an entire classroom.  One of my favorite resources in this regard are the opening lessons of Think Social!, the character of GlassMan (for younger students) and The Incredible 5-Point Scale.  Through discussion and rating of a variety of problems, students can learn to respond in an expected way to things that come up in group settings!

I recently stumbled upon the First World Problems Rap on YouTube, a funny, visual, and kid-relatable context for opening and continuing a lesson on evaluating problems.

Be sure to check out my strategies regarding using YouTube at school (even if it is blocked)

Also, click through to see a printable Incredible 5-point Scale of Problems and info on how it can be used to build narrative language in conjunction with the SGM.

In the meantime, please forgive my less-frequent posting as I am dealing with my own #firstworldproblem: a WiFi issue at home, hopefully to be resolved today. The Horror!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Write-N-Ator!

The Write-n-ator is a site from New Hampshire Public Television based on the PBS Series Word Girl!  The site presents 20 different short clips from the TV show, followed by a writing challenge. What I love about the site is that it presents writing prompts in a fun context, and the prompts are all prime targets for S/L or literacy interventions.  They ask kids to work within basic text structures- list, sequence, or descriptive paragraphs- and could be completed in a relatively short period of time.  This would be a great resource to use when teaching kids to use graphic organizers, write basic paragraphs, elaborate and expand sentences in their speaking or writing, use main idea and details, or a variety of other IEP goals.

This would be a good resource to take some time with this summer and consider which videos you might like to use with a particular grade level(s).

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Video on Direct/Indirect Language

RSA Animate is a wonderfully creative resource that provides sketch visualizations of interesting talks and lectures.  I recently watched this one by noted linguist Stephen Pinker, discussing what we would refer to as "indirect and direct" language and social relationships.  It is well worth a look and would perhaps be worth using in segments if you work with adult clients that have high-level social pragmatic issues. Summer food-for-thought!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

GlogsterEDU Week: Make your Glog Interactive with Links, Audio and Video!

For part 4 of Glogster EDU week (a.k.a. Thursday) here is a screencast covering some of the interactive features of Glogging: adding audio, video, and links to other web pages.  The audio/video aspects are ones that are very applicable to SLPs, as they allow us to work on listening skills and/or speech and language production in a manner that will be engaging to students!  Check out the screencast below, and learn why not all Schoolhouse Rock videos have stood the test of time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

TCM 31 Days of Oscar

The Academy Awards will take place on February 27.  Turner Classic Movies' 31 Days of Oscar website (featured on the Favourite Website Awards list) is an interesting resource to explore with a group of upper elementary, teens or adults.  The site is meant to draw viewers to the broadcast schedule, but there's plenty to do on the site itself. Text descriptions and video clips accompany each movie in the schedule (sometimes a clip, sometimes a trailer), and movies are all organized into interesting categories, such as "It Takes Two," all films about duos, etc.  These categorizations, along with the text pieces and clips, provide a good context to explore summarizing, text structure and inferential skills, as students will not have seen the films and can try to infer what they are about!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Superbowl Commercials and Language Therapy

The Superbowl approaches this weekend- what a great topic to engage your students as you sneak in some language strategy teaching! The game itself is often, well, boring, and besides the food, the other thing about Superbowl Sunday that people love is the commercials, often expensive productions that cost even more to air. Commercials are short pieces of discourse that use specific structures and strategies to convey their messages; these correspond to text structures that our students need to master to access curriculum text: (story/narrative, list, sequence, compare-contrast, description, persuasion, etc- thanks to my pal Maryellen Rooney Moreau for making this connection some years ago). For example, last year's entry from Doritos is a funny context to focus on sequence or, on a more complex level, problem and solution (basically a story structure):

Or, probably the most famous Superbowl commercial ever- a perfect comparison of IBM's monopoly on personal computing to a totalitarian state (try making a comparison web on this, or simply a sequence again to provide the background knowledge, along with a little sequence of Apple's history):

I first started using commercials to review text structures some years ago on VHS tape- what a pain compared to accessing the video resources on the web today! Here are some ideas and strategies for using some commercials in your teaching:
  • Obviously, we never want to show anything that we haven't previewed ourselves!
  • Start with YouTube- anything you might want to use will be there! If you search for "superbowl commercials 2010," you'll find a whole bunch from last year, and you can search for other years as well. See my post on YouTube if you are concerned about distracting links or if it is blocked at your school- also, avoid showing comments below videos to students.
  • Check out a bunch of food or soft drink-related ads- they are usually pretty family-friendly (don't even bother with any GoDaddy ads)- with an eye to what structures they can be used to teach. Do you see a list? A sequence? A description? A story?
  • If you don't have time to pre-watch a bunch of ads, consider a post-bowl lesson. While you are enjoying your 7-layer dip, watch the commercials with an eye toward text structure. They are sure to be on YouTube within 24 hours, if they aren't already.
  • Check out Yummy Math's lesson plan on Superbowl Commercials for a different take on the topic!
  • Lessons on Superbowl ads can be a great precursor to having kids script and create their own ads for a product for language practice.
Enjoy the game, and let's hope for no "wardrobe malfunctions" this year!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Guest Post on Social Thinking®!

At the ASHA Convention this past November, I was very excited to have had time to
accost, I mean, converse with Michelle Garcia Winner, creator of the Social Thinking® Methodology for teaching students with Asperger's, High-Functioning Autism, and various quirky characteristics. We chatted for a few minutes at her booth in the exhibit hall about all the great web tools that are available to help students visualize and apply some of the concepts and vocabulary in her programs and books.

As a result of that and further conversations, I now have a guest post on the Social Thinking® Blog (with a link to an instructional handout) regarding xtranormal, a great "text-to-movie" site that allows you to create simple dialogues between characters, often with hilarious results (you may have seen some on Facebook). It is applicable to all kinds of language instruction in terms of teaching about characters, dialogue, and social exchanges. The wonderful thing about it is that you can actually have kids create movies that illustrate the fleeting and abstract aspects of social exchanges you are teaching about, e.g. nonresponsiveness, interruption, etc. The timing of my post, written in November, was really pretty unfortunate, because on December 27 xtranormal announced changes to their site resulting in free features becoming unfree. However, a few points:
-I do think xtranormal is worth paying for in order to make a core group of movies you can use and reuse with students-- the same way you might buy a DVD that you would use with groups, but much more customizable!
-You can create dialogues with students and run them in preview mode without cost.
-I have made a diigo list for xtranormal videos people have created about social interactions, so please email me if you made one you'd like to share.

Please click on over and see the post- I am really excited to have contributed something to the work going on at Social Thinking®--they have helped my work immeasurably!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SLPs, YouTube and Gingerbread

Hi folks,

Two posts to tell you about that recently published elsewhere:

Please check out my post on ADVANCE about YouTube, an amazing therapy resource. The post contains strategies for minimizing student distraction when using a YouTube video, and also how you can still avail yourself of the site if your district blocks YouTube.

Gingerbread! It's a reasonably non-sectarian topic for speech and language therapy around the holidays. Click on over to the Mindwing blog for links to discuss characters and create them as gingerbread men, and also a 3D Gingerbread House activity (with screencast).


Disclosure: author is a paid contractor for Mindwing Concepts Inc, but in no other instances is compensated for product/website/app reviews.

Friday, December 3, 2010

UDL Explained

Not every consultation between an SLP and a student’s teachers is about technology, of course, but on some level, every consultation is about Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Check out Chris Bugaj’s terrific video UDL Explained and please give him a vote over at the People’s Choice Awards for UDL!  On my Mac, the video opened in Windows Media Player, so you may need to make sure you have that (good application to have on your computer anyway).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

60-Second Recaps

Do you work with high school or adult students and struggle to help them access curriculum? 60-Second Recaps is a great resource for you.  The site provides a series of recaps for an ever-growing library of books commonly tackled by older students.  The recaps, indeed 60 seconds in length, are narrated by Jenny, an engaging and humorous host, and organized by essential characteristics of the book- characters, themes, etc.  Visuals throughout each recap support comprehension of the clip, and every effort is taken to relate the themes to the books to meaningful aspects of students' lives.  Consider making a Facebook page for your intervention group- you don't have to "friend" students to interact with them on the page.  You can share 60-Second Recaps on Facebook and perhaps facilitate some great discussion "homework" and home consultation.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Remove Distractions from YouTube

Our students tend to be distractible.  Correct me if I am wrong.

I believe YouTube has enormous potential for instruction (hopefully your district does, too, and doesn't block it), but nothing annoys me more than when I take the time to locate a fun instructional video on YouTube, and while I am presenting it, student B says "OH, there's a link to ____, can we watch that  too?" Even more annoying is when they consider having YouTube on screen as an invitation to suggest unrelated videos out of the blue.  Gee, I am writing a lot here about being annoyed.  I am sure none of my readers ever get annoyed by students...

A good solution to this...distraction is using something like ViewPure, which allows you to present YouTube videos "without comments, suggestions, or the other things."  Simply copy/paste the URL location of the video (the web address at the top of your window when the video is playing on YouTube), and ViewPure will give you a new URL and screen that shows only that video, like this example.

Even better, ViewPure has a bookmarklet button you can drag up to your bookmarks bar in your browser, and it will "Purify" any YouTube video you would like, without having to navigate to ViewPure and cut/paste, etc.

Thank you to Richard Byrne for pointing out this resource.

Friday, June 25, 2010

iMovie for iPhone 4

Huh, I just realized this is my 101st post! Cool.

I have been a big fan of iMovie on the Mac ever since I had to learn it really quickly and stressfully to produce a slideshow for my Dad's retirement party. Ever since then I have found it, in its various iterations (we are now on iMovie '09) to be a pretty intuitive way to produce a nice movie. At my elementary school, I became known as "the slideshow guy," and that moniker has followed me up to middle school, though in truth I usually use iPhoto to arrange the photos and music in a way that looks much harder than it is. When Apple announced they were releasing a version for iPhone, I thought that seemed logical and a great idea.

I gave the app ($4.99 at the app store) a try last night, using some of the snapshots I have taken this year to update families in my weekly emails home after private practice group sessions. It was, again, way easy to use. You can pick from 5 "themes" that affect how the photos or video are displayed, with accompanying titles and music. Problem is, I could not get the title editor to come up though I tried following the directions exactly. Anyway, I am sure I/they will figure that out. You can use the theme-based music or anything from your iTunes library. It was midnight and I made this while lying in bed (ha!) so I didn't persist in trying to make anything too fancy. I LOVED that I could upload it directly to YouTube, skipping the plug-into-computer steps necessary with Flip video and other pocket video cameras.  This is a montage of photos related to therapy, including:
-A "goodbye" picture a student drew for me. I love it because he so clearly associated me with Story Grammar Marker, which shows that he "got it"
-A picture I sent to a parent to show how we were using Thememaker magnets to learn the difference between the text structures of List and Sequence.
-Several images on how we were using The Incredible 5-point Scale in therapy
-A map of a local Dunkin Donuts I made before a group community trip in order to talk about the "schema" and expected behaviors for that location.

Language Lens
Movies like this one are much simpler to make than you think! A short movie can emphasize work, concepts, and events to parents or students and would be very motivating to watch. iMovie for iPhone can be used to produce social stories and scripted role-plays, or to provide video feedback on session behaviors. It's a great tool for SLPs!

What about you?  What is your experience with iMovie and using video in therapy.  How would having iMovie on your phone be helpful to you?

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