Animated whiteboard presentations

This is my first attempt , so go easy on me. I wanted to show you how easy this app is to use. It’s a paid app called Elevator Pitch. It cost about 2.40 AUD. It is not a top of the range whiteboard animation app for scribing like VideoScribe. The latter comes with all the bells and whistles and runs on a computer or a tablet. Elevator Pitch is for the iPad and I can see some people would be able to use their iPhones to produce animated whiteboard presentations.It’s an entry level app for visual outlining. I was up and running in a couple of minutes.animated IWB presentationThe time line at the bottom is very easy to follow and you can swap the elements around if you want to. You can add your own images, use supplied clip art and then you type in the text and choose the presentation styles. It has no sound element which does not worry me at all. I am a beginner at this animated whiteboard presentation skill and I shall need to progress in my own way.Not having sound means I don’t have to worry about it while I am getting the text and visual elements in place.  The little video you make saves to the camera roll on the iPad and then I saved that to Dropbox. It saves as a .mov so it can be imported into a video programme for enhancement, sound, other added video elements. I put my presentation into Movie Maker because it is very quick to make a presentation. This one is just to start the year in my classes and get students who have done French before to introduce themselves quickly. More fun than writing a list of expressions on the board. I can show my video and then we can do a bit of  practice. The movie I made with Elevator Pitch itself lasts 20 seconds and is on my iPad, so if ever I want to do a quick refresher of the expressions in class all I have to do is go to my camera roll. This is going to be a great way for me to cover basic expressions and language patterns and quickly revise things we have learned. The only downside was that it appears to have no support for accented characters. Not even if I used the French keyboard.

The flipped classroom – sketch noting

Okay, hands up. Who likes reading a prescribed text or watching a prescribed video or slide presentation and taking notes or making notes? I have never asked students to take notes while they are watching or reading something. It is mind numbing and it interrupts the cognitive and creative flow. The mind is not free to make its own associations. Making notes on a second text reading or straight after watching something is different. Asking about a particular thing you want to remember in a visual presentation is normal. So yesterday I was writing in my blog post that note taking is important if you want to flip your classroom. So the video said. The video was by someone who had taught a flipped classroom. Me, too. My class time is working with students. You cannot teach languages in any other way. You have to constantly monitor and observe what they know and can know so you can create the next learning step to suit them. But what if you made note taking an explicit learning activity? What if you made it a  personal journey and a creative adventure for those who express themselves visually? What if you used visual outlining and visual thinking as a response to something you asked students to do at home? What if , once in a while, you had a bit of a competition and said you would display the best visual notes or had a bit of a competition as to who could produce the most colourful notes, the most original notes, the coolest notes? Set the criteria for the visual notes with your students? Sketch noting has a powerful impact on thinking and sketched notes can become works of art in their own right. It would not suit every student but it is part of a multi-modal delivery and would add to visual literacy and personal expression of ideas. I’d start off small and develop the concept over the year. I plan to do this because it offers yet another way for students to respond in a way which is individual and thought provoking. If you look up visual outlining and visual thinking on Google and click on the images, you will see there are some sketch notes which are highly complex in their approach. My belief, which I have yet to prove , is students would respond to this and would find doing their work challenging and enjoyable. If they are blogging they could also share these visual notes online to see what the world thinks. Sketch noting might not suit every subject or every assignment but I think if you are trying to make a success of a flipped classroom you have to find the things which will make it an attractive learning model. It relies on getting students to commit to their independent learning.

Josefine Grimm-Blenk

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