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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Look at Me!

Lots of folks in the Foreign Language department are experimenting with technology. One of the best ways for students to learn a language, naturally, is to get them speaking! Our amazing teachers are accomplishing this through podcasts, audio recordings in Power Point, oral presentations set against the backdrop of a Comic Life dialog assignment, video projects shot with Flip Video cameras, tours with still images and voiceovers stitched together in iMovie, and my new favorite...”green screen” Photo Booth videos of themselves in front of famous monuments! With Photo Booth, every student has a built-in camera and the tools necessary to transport themselves anywhere in the world. They can take you on tour in the native language! So many possibilities... (see 7th Grade Spanish, 7th Grade French, and 8th Grade French)

Of course, Photo Booth is just fun in general, and has MAJOR potential to be a MAJOR distraction (Exhibit A: moi, out of control below). So please be aware of the classroom management necessary to keep this educational. In all seriousness, the beauty of Photo Booth is that every student has the equipment for his/her own project. No external cameras, no hassles with cables, no worries about compatibility, etc. It provides a level playing field for all.

Now for the fun stuff:
In addition to special effects that let you put your own backgrounds behind you, there are numerous fun “extras,” special effects that people have posted online, and they’re FREE!

Channel your inner Star Wars nerd (I think I mixed Star Trek in here too), become Obi Wan-Kenobi, and record yourself in hologram form:

Put yourself into a great work of art:

In the spirit of national politics, “Obamafy” yourself:

I’m not wasting time, I promise. This is all done in the name of research.