Posts in Category "Resources & Links"

July 24, 2008

Florida Center for Instructional Technology – Free Resources

Established in 1982, the Florida Center for Instructional Technology (FCIT) has been a leader in working with educators to integrate technology into the curriculum. With its location in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, Tampa, FCIT is available to assist over 1,200 pre-service teachers who graduate from USF each year as well as thousands of in-service teachers in Florida. With funding from the Florida Department of Education, Office of Instructional Technology, FCIT provides many instructional resources for Florida’s teachers and students.
FCIT’s award-winning resource and training websites receive over one million hits per school day.

1:18 PM Permalink
June 12, 2008

Visual Communicator Training Opportunities and Resources is pleased to present a unique school TV workshop opportunity this summer with Adobe’s Visual Communicator software.
Learn how to produce school TV news shows and class video projects
at Amherst Middle School’s state-of-the-art “Green Screen” TV studio near Buffalo, NY.
July 14-15
July 24-25
August 4-5
Join Amherst Middle Technology teacher and Adobe K-12 Education Leader Mr. Rob Zdrojewski for an inside look at how Amherst Middle School produces live school news shows and classroom video projects using Adobe Visual Communicator 3. Participants will learn how to begin or improve school TV news programs on any size budget and create video productions that have the professional look of network TV.
More details at our site for Visual Communicator users:
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Learn more about Amherst Middle School’s award winning Tech TV program at:

10:06 AM Permalink
February 15, 2008

Five Tips for Combating Home Movie Mediocrity

1.Tell a story.
Instead of simply burning a DVD of your kid’s soccer game (BORING) capture the highlights from the entire season and create a documentary. The NFL does a great job at this. They are able to take snippets of video throughout the season, add narration and music, and turn it into a compelling story. Of course having a voice like John Facenda (the voice of NFL Films) certainly helps.
2.Don’t Focus Only on the Positive
Success is great! Heck, who doesn’t like to succeed? However, some of the best selling NFL videos document football follies! Try incorporating a bit of life’s struggles into your videos; failure is often times waaaaay more interesting than success (at least on video).
3.Tell the “Rest of the Story”
Senior Jason McElwain scored 20 points for his high school basketball team. Big deal…that is until you hear the rest of the story. Jason was the team’s manager, not a player, and is autistic. His coach, Jim Johnson decided to add Jason to the roster for the last game of the season, entitling Jason to a basketball jersey and hopefully some play time. Jason went on to score twenty points in four minutes, and won his way into the hearts of sports fans across the nation. Without the details…you have no emotion!
– see the video on YouTube
4.Take the Road Less Traveled
My cousin invited me to watch a video of his honeymoon in San Francisco. I rolled my eyes, sighed, and prepared myself for home video boredom. It turns out that Matt and Julie are a bit more adventurous than your average honeymooners. At each location they would walk up to the locals and interview them (think Jay Leno’s “Man on the Street”). The best part of the tape documented Matt finagling a turn on a street performer’s drum set. It was both funny and interesting. It didn’t hurt that they spent a bit of time in post production cutting out the boring parts, adding music, and highlighting the interesting stuff.
5.Add Humor
I taught middle school and junior high science for six years. Hands down the best instructional videos were those starring Bill Nye the Science Guy. He seemed to have a short 20 minute, highly engaging video for just about every topic I taught. He incorporated humor and wacky (but relevant) experiments into every episode. The students and I loved Bill Nye.
So there you have it. My five tips for combating movie mediocrity. Anybody else care to share?

8:01 AM Permalink
August 20, 2007

Kuler is cool

At the recent Adobe Ed. Leaders camp I was introduced, via a colleague, to a wonderful application put out by Adobe called Kuler,
Not being a graphic artist by any stretch of the term artistic I was mildly curious but not whole-heartedly ready to add the Kuler application to my repertoire of technology related tools and software. I made a note of the application in my “things that might interest me” notebook where I have dozens of useful tech tools and tips that I have collected but not adopted as a tool of my own.
Recently I spent some time with the Kuler application, reading the tutorials and the many useful web links Adobe has provided on color theory. Well I must say, after reading these web links, that I understand the importance and need for thinking about color. And Kuler makes it so easy. Select any of the rules of color such as analogous, complimentary or triad and then use these principles to easily select five colors that you could use in a website, print publication or DVD without worrying about color coordination or appearance. You could copy the hex values from the Kuler app or use your Adobe ID to login, save your color combinations as a palette and download them to Adobe programs. I teach technology to middle school students and will now insist that all students use Kuler before beginning any multimedia project. Along my excursion I discovered two other interesting sites. One site contains a movie about communicating with color and the message colors transmit. The second site contains collections of color combinations uploaded by color enthusiasts, similar to Adobe’s Kuler, that can be downloaded to Adobe products as color palettes.
I give Kuler two thumbs up.

2:29 PM Permalink
July 26, 2007

Lots of Love for Fireworks

Here at Adobe Education Leaders Camp we had an awesome session with Alan Musselman from the Fireworks team at Adobe. We had so many fervent Fireworks users in the room that for a minute I thought we might hog-tie Alan to his chair and force him to stay to talk with us about our favorite graphics application.
Alan finally escaped us, but not before we had a chance to see some of the ideas being floated around for the next version of Fireworks. Nothing that can be shared here unfortunately, but it was awesome to see what Alan and his team have in mind, AND to hear that Adobe is devoting engineering dollars into the next version of Fireworks.
Alan mentioned one of my favorite extension developers over at which I wanted to link to for the members of our group. There’s always incredible FW stuff there, so it’s definitely worth a look on a frequent basis to see what kinds of new things are out there.
Also, don’t miss Jim Babbage’s run down of Essential Extensions for Fireworks CS3 over at Community MX. Jim has a great listing there that provides a one-stop listing of some of the really cool new things that Fireworks extension developers provide.

9:05 AM Permalink
July 25, 2007

Converting Files to iPod on a Windows OS

This pdf file is from the Florida Center for Instructional Technology. We created it so that Windows OS users could create vodcasts. It shows how to use a free converter called Videora. Several people asked for it in the School Collection Training.
Michael Sweeney
Learning Development Facilitator

9:46 AM Permalink