Further to my posts on beauty and charm in the design of learning resources, here's a couple of rippa little tools that make it very quick and easy to get us boring old teachers at least half way there.
A good friend Jude Cooke just sent through this tool! DFilm. DFilm is a web based application where you can create your own little movies based on a range of templates predesigned by DFilm. Check out this one made by the naughty Leroy Black called Internet at School.
The possibilities are amazing with DFilm. You could use it to introduce topics, stimulate discussion, or make a political joke, such as Leroy is trying to do. Or you could use it the way Jude is - getting her students to create their own movies.
Another similar tool to DFilm is the French production Gnomz. I've been using Gnomz quite a bit in Blended Learning. Instead of creating movies as DFilm does, it lets you create comic strips.
You can customize your characters and settings to quite a large degree. To get your comic out of Gnomz, simply press the 'print screen' key on your keyboard. This will take a picture of the screen in front of you, ready for you to paste into an editing program. Most of us should have some sort of image editing program on our computer, GIMP is a good free one, or Picasa is nice and easy for those using a Microsoft Windows operating system. Both of these programs crop images - something you will need to do once you have opened your screen picture of your Gnomz comic.
Just a few little tools that make it quite easy to start getting 'beauty and charm' into our teaching resources.
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