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Free or Cheap Audio/Visual Resources for Teachers

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 -- Scott Sterling

With the rise of LCD projectors and Smart Boards, teaching has become a lot more reliant on audio-visual skills than it used to be. You can just show videos and the occasional Powerpoint, but where’s the fun in that? What about making your own videos and presentations? What about helping your students do the same? Or, if you’re really on the cutting edge, what about flipping your instruction entirely?

Here are some tools to make all of those ideas become a reality.

PowToon

Perhaps you’re familiar with Prezi, which turns presentations into 3D videos that spin the audience around your slides and facts. PowToon is similar in that it helps presentations become videos, but without the motion sickness. PowToon is particularly great at making animations that look like cartoons or infographics to keep the kids engaging with your material.

Nearpod

Once you make a cool presentation, you want it to be easily viewable. If you’re in a BYOD or 1-to-1 classroom, students can use Nearpod to follow along with your content and interact with assessment tools, videos, and other features on their own device. You can even let kids work through your content at their own pace, freeing you up to remediate around the room.

TubeChop

There is a lot of educational content on YouTube (and a lot more non-educational content…), but what if you don’t want an entire video? Maybe you only want a clip. That used to require a crazy amount of editing software and skills, but now it only take TubeChop. Simply tell it what video you want, highlight the area of the video you want, and it will “chop” it down based on those guidelines. Then you can share it with your class online or view the video on your board.

Online-Convert

Part of the problem with BYOD is different machines might use different file formats. Videos, documents, and presentations can all come in many different formats that might not open on your machine. Online-Convert converts audio, video, images, and even e-books into any available format for that file type. Now you don’t have to worry about kids turning in a project file that won’t open on your Mac or PC.

Screencast O’Matic

Teachers think that if you’re interested in flipping your classroom, you have to be Martin Scorsese and direct your own videos using a complicated camera setup. The majority of flippers either a.) use someone else’s videos or b.) do simple screencasts. Screencast O’Matic simply makes a video file of your screen or webcam that you can download or share to YouTube. No video camera required. Deliver your lesson on your desktop and just share out the video.