Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Shadow Puppet Edu: A Break from the iMovie Monotony

Ta-Da! The wonderful people at Seesaw created something else magical. Shadow Puppet Edu. This video creation platform is extremely user friendly and has very few written directions, making it easy for English Language Learners to use. It's also a refreshing change from using the somewhat complicated program that is iMovie. Don't get me wrong -- I love using iMovie! It's sometimes just a little too much for kids to use, especially when they accidentally find themselves on an unfamiliar screen, swearing up and down the wall that they "really didn't touch anything". By giving students a simpler platform, in this case Shadow Puppet Edu, you can eliminate this issue. The best news? The app is totally free!

Drawbacks to Using the App Include:
1. You cannot insert movie clips into Shadow Puppet presentations, just photos. That's definitely the biggest drawback, but if that's what you need, I would just use iMovie instead.
2. Shadow Puppet Edu is currently only available for iPads and iPhones, not android devices and tablets.
3. There is currently not a way to use Shadow Puppet Edu on computers either, with the exception of playing the videos you have already created by clicking on the link associated with them.

Here's what it looks like in the app store:

Get started with these quick instructions & tips:

1. Download Shadow Puppet Edu from the App Store. When you open the app, click the first "Create New" button. 

2. You will then be prompted to choose the photos you want to include in the presentation from your camera roll and put them in the order you want.
**If you do not put the photos in order you want during this step, you will not be able to go back. Kind of annoying, I know, but true nonetheless. 

3. After you choose your photos, you can add a combination of text, music, and voice recordings to some or all slides! Simply choose the appropriate icon at the bottom of the screen to choose what you want to add first. 

4. As you progress through editing your presentation, you can start, pause, and restart the voice recordings as you move through each slide. It's just as easy to add text. You can scroll through text placement, font choice, and color simply by clicking the left and right arrows on the screen below:

Here is a quick, and might I add, cheesy, example of what a finished product may look and sound like!

Here are a couple sets of video directions I recorded in under 5 minutes for students in my class who struggle with reading grade level texts or remembering more than one or two directions. They simply use an iPad to scan a QR code that is posted in the room next to where the directions are housed. I apologize in advance for them being a bit dull, but it really is just me voicing over their directions for the reading block in the quickest and easiest way possible!

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