Wallwisher and Stupeflix in the Classroom
As you all know, Martin Luther King Day is Monday. Our school is named after King and each year on the holiday held in his honor our school hosts a King Day of Service. Many of our students actively participate on this day. The Philadelphia Orchestra comes to our school and offers a free tribute concert for members of the community. I wanted to do something in my classroom to help my students connect to his message and voice their own dreams.
My problem was how to accomplish this in two days. I was watching my Twitter stream last week and stumbled onto Shell Terrell’s Blog post, What Did They Tweet, where she featured an MLK rap video and it jump-started my brain. I decided to have my students watch the video and then write their own dream statements. I also had them search for a picture to illustrate that statement. My ultimate goal was to create a video slideshow of all their dreams to share at our next assembly. I though it might be nice to have it playing in our auditorium as people were gathering and waiting for the orchestra to begin. I am not sure if that will happen, but there’s always hope.
Two days was not much time to pull this off, but we did it. First, I showed my students the short rap video.
Then, I gave the students some sentence starters to prompt their thinking about dream statements. I embedded a Wallwisher for each of my classes on our class wikispace. The Wallwisher was the perfect choice for gathering the student dream statements and pictures. Each sticky note had a place for their name, their dream statement, and a link to the picture.
The first day, I only had about four students get their sticky notes on the Wallwisher, and I was worried we wouldn’t finish before the deadline. Some students were not as interested as I thought they would be. Dang, now what? I went home and added the first four statements and pictures to a slideshow, hoping it would motivate the other students to participate. I tried iphoto first, but the text was getting lost in the pictures. Animoto is blocked at school so that was out.
I decided to try Stupeflix, a free online video slideshow program I had heard about from the members of my PLN. I showed the short slideshow the next day in class and it did the trick. My students couldn’t get their statements and pics on the Wallwishers fast enough. Those that finished first hopped around the room helping the others that were having trouble. By the end of the day, I had two full Wallwishers of dream statements and pictures. Creating the slideshow video was easy. I just right-clicked on the pictures on the wallwisher, added the photos to my iphoto library and then uploaded them to Stupeflix. Stupeflix allows you to add text that appears below the picture, perfect for my purposes. I also realized you can add photos using the URL. I clicked on export and my video was completed in a few minutes. I paid the $5 fee for the HD full-length version. As I watched the video I noticed a few spelling errors and had to pay again to fix them. I contacted Stupeflix to tell them about my spelling errors and they responded quickly and offered me a refund since it was the same video. They even found me on twitter to tell me about the refund. Their customer service rocks!
I have tweeted out links to our wallwisher, hoping to get people to join in and add their dreams. Several teachers have already added theirs. Would you like to join us? How about having your students add theirs? My students would love you to share your dreams!