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Saturday, 21 September 2013

Peace One Day at the LRC

One person can make a huge difference and Peace One Day's founder, Jeremy Gilley is living proof of that. Every September 21st, since it's foundation in 1999, Peace One Day has promoted peace around the world, through campaigns in the arts, sports, online and in Education.

The idea that "No matter how small, everyday acts of kindness can help make peace a reality..." (  is a power concept. If each of us can make a difference through our daily interactions with others, just imagine the change that can be brought about through slightly grander initiatives.

This year, the LRC did it's part for peace, on the educational front. Our ICT team, the LRC staff members and a member of the English team continued our work with a very special group of teachers from certain public schools in the San Vicente area. This work is strictly voluntary and run in conjunction with a small group of Canadian fundraisers who have made it their goal to do make a difference in the lives of young people, their families and education in El Salvador.

A year ago we embarked on a journey, in which we targeted a talented group of ICT teachers from the San Vicente area. The project involves working with the group on a wide variety of learning activities, exemplifying current methodology in teaching and learning with technology. The sessions are intense, packed with fun, exploration and reflection. The hub for this learning is the LRC's ABC Inset page in which resources are accessible to participants 24/7.

Today's session was the 5th of 6 in total, which will be held at the LRC. The focus was online gaming in education and online learning projects. Two special guest speakers, from our 8th and 9th grades , gave the teachers a first hand look at the potential that Minecraft and World of Warcraft offer for learning. The teachers, all of whom were excited by these ideas, ended up spending over an hour busily building and working together on our school Minecraft server.

During the second half of the day, the focus moved to planning an online project. In doing so, participants had to reflect on the different learning experiences they had been involved in over the past year. There were no limits imposed. The projects could have been large, small, done individually or in groups.  The teachers were responsible for identifying the age levels and skills, they wanted to target. Their choice of tools reflected each individual teacher's  situation, teaching groups and school settings.The planning was done using a shared template in Google Docs.

The range of projects that they came up with are varied and interesting: social networking using a Facebook page, an arts and culture blog for the community, using social networks to focus on reading, production and editing of videos, audio and images and  Geography and tourism through images and videos.

This phase of the project is coming to a close. It will end on December 7th of this year. This doesn't mean it is over however. The journey will continue. The learning will continue, through the collaborative efforts of those involved. The learning will happen at their schools, online, and as part of the learning community they have become.

Happy Peace One Day 2013!
Who will you make peace with today and every day?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Fun with Chromakey Suits!

Chromakey technology allows film makers to create special effects in the post production stage, such as generating the illusion of invisibility and applying imagery to the green areas. This is achieved by compositing/layering images or videos together. 

Students in the LRC have made good use of  this technology over the years by filming in front of blue screens and green screens and editing their footage on iMovie.

This year the decision was made to  take things a step further. We were very excited by the arrival of our special green screen gloves and body suits last week. The students had a great time trying them out and creating some very special effects. Here are a few fun pictures from the set.

Here is a short video which explains how to do this.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Wevideo, An Alternative Video Editor

We have been playing around with a web based alternative to Windows Movie Maker and iMovie. The application is called Wevideo. It is powerful, versatile and free.  This program will not do chroma key work yet and doesn't allow you to split clips, but apart from that it is a very complete toolset for video production work.

We just have begun using it with our students for video work that can't be done in our Mac Lab, due to booking issues. It will be presented to 7th grade Humanities students as one of several options for tools they can use  when producing their slave diary projects this fall.

  If you haven't tried Wevideo yet, you should. Here is a brief tutorial on how to use this free, online application for movie making.

Wevideo is available in the Google Chrome App Store,