Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Flash Video in a Smart Notebook

UnitedStreaming, now known as Discovery Streaming, has for the past several years, provided us with the opportunity to download videos and video clips to use for instruction.  We know that, with a Smartboard, you can play those videos using the Smart Video Player which allows you to annotate the learning as the lesson goes on and gives you the opportunity to capture the notes from the learning to a Notebook file for use in subsequent lessons. 

The Smart Video Player will only play .wmv files which is what we usually download from Discovery Streaming.  However, now there is a new way to download those files to use in a Smart Notebook lesson - Flash video.  Flash is the same technology that is used for all those interactive files in the Lesson Activity Toolkit.

Go to Discovery Streaming and search for a video.  Click on one of the results and you'll see a window on the left side where you can stream the video just to preview it.  Right below that you'll see this:

Click on the dropdown next to Download Type.  There you'll see three choices.  If you choose the Flash option, you'll be downloading the video in a format that can be inserted into a Smart Notebook. Now download the video clip.

Open a Smart Notebook (one that you've saved that's appropriate for your video or a new one), choose Insert, then choose Flash file.  This will place the video right on the Notebook page where you can move it, resize it and play it during a lesson.  Now you can take notes as the video plays and save those notes for review in another lesson.

What's the advantage of Flash?  I can think of two right away.  The first is that Flash video files are smaller file sizes (saves room on our servers!) and the second is being able to take notes right next to the video or perhaps by using the split screen so that the video is playing on one page and you're taking notes on the other page.

Scribble Maps

One tool that you might use in your Social Studies curriculum for geography is Google Maps. Since you're using Google Maps online, the Ink layer on the Smartboard is enabled when you use any of the pens to make annotations to a map. The work you do with a map can be captured to a Notebook page.

Here's another option you might want to try called Scribble Maps. With this you won't have to use the Ink layer at all. Just go to the site and you'll find all the tools you need to reposition the map, zoom in and out, "scribble" on the map with different colors, add placemarkers, etc. The "scribbling" part can be done with your finger using the Scribble Maps toolbar.

In terms of lesson design and learning, you'd most likely be working with a map at the point where you're presenting new information. By capturing the learning from today's lesson, you're ready to activate prior knowledge tomorrow to help your students make those important connections between prior and new knowledge. As you continue instruction, you're creating an archive of student learning. The Smartboard and its software are such good tools for learning!