Monthly Archives: January 2013

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Free Workshop in Oklahoma City Fri Feb 8: Creating Games & Simulations with Scratch

Category : Tips

If you’re an educator in or near Oklahoma City, please mark your calendar for / tell your friends about / and RSVP for the next FREE “Playing with Media Meetup” at Northwest Library at 9:15 am on Friday, February 8, 2013. Our topic will be “Creating Games & Simulations with Scratch.” The meetup description is:

Come learn how to create stories, simulations and games with Scratch software in this FREE 3 hour, hands on BYOL (bring your own laptop) workshop. Scratch software (FREE for Windows & Mac) is a wonderful program for creativity and computational thinking. This FREE workshop will be led by Dr. Wesley Fryer, who has led several “Scratch Camps” for students as well as adults in the Oklahoma City area. This meetup is open to students 9 years and older, parents and educators. Homeschoolers are welcome! Scratch is a fantastic program for digital creativity, developing “STEM” skills like problem solving and computational thinking, and also having FUN! No prior knowledge or experience with Scratch is required for this workshop.

My first “Playing with Media Meetup” last Friday at Northwest Library went very well. We had 13 attend and participate. I’ve shared the recorded audio from that meet up on the “Fuel for Educational Change Agents” podcast channel in two parts: Part One and Part Two. Resources from the session are available on

I hope to see you on February 8th to learn more about using Scratch software!

Simulation or Game

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Free Workshop in Oklahoma City Fri Jan 18: Creating Multimedia eBooks

Category : Tips

If you live in or near Oklahoma City, please join me tomorrow morning at Northwest Library (5600 NW 122nd, Oklahoma City, OK) for a free, 3 hour, hands-on workshop learning how to create multimedia / enhanced eBooks on the iPad. Complete details and links to RSVP are available on The full session description is:

Bring your own iPad to this FREE 3 hour, hands-on digital workshop where we’ll learn how to create and share enhanced eBooks. Enhanced eBooks can include recorded audio as well as images and text. These kinds of eBooks are perfect for parents and grandparents to create with young readers, or for learners of any age to create! Check out some examples on We’ll use two different apps to create enhanced eBooks in this session, which you’ll want to purchase/install on your iPad in advance. They are:

This is a FREE meetup/workshop led by Dr. Wesley Fryer. Homeschoolers, classroom teachers, parents, grandparents, and anyone interested in creating enhanced eBooks as well as helping kids create enhanced ebooks are welcome to attend. Students 10 years old and older are also welcome to attend WITH a parent. More information is available about Wesley’s ebook “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing” (2011) and “Mapping Media to the Common Core” (Feb 2013). More resources and links about creating enhanced eBooks are also available on Wesley’s wiki for this workshop:

Creating Enhanced eBooks with iPads - Playing with Media Meetup (Oklahoma City, OK) - Meetup

I’m very excited that the latest version of Book Creator for iPad (version 2.4) now supports hyperlinks as well as combining multiple projects into a single eBook. This is GREAT news for many folks, including students and teachers creating eBooks in the classroom, for class projects, or just for fun! I hope to see you tomorrow morning at Northwest Library in Oklahoma City for this fun morning of eBook learning, playing, and creating!

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Tutorial: Creating a Narrated Slideshow with ShowMe for iPad

Category : Tips

Yesterday I worked with a librarian who is going to help 4th and 5th grade students next week record “narrated slideshows” to practice their oral communication skills telling stories with “story cards” from different perspectives. (1st person singular, 1st person plural, 2nd person, 3rd person singular, etc.) This is an excellent Common Core-aligned language project. She helped me record a 4.5 minute video tutorial about this, in which I show the steps for creating a narrated slideshow using the free iPad app “ShowMe.” We recorded this with my iPhone, as I demonstrated the required steps on an iPad.


I added a link to this video tutorial on the “Narrated Slideshow / Screencast” page of the Mapping Media to the Common Core project. I’m going to add similar “Tutorials” sections to each of the 12 media product pages in the Mapping Media digital literacy framework website in the weeks ahead. For another version of this, see my February 2012 post, “Narrate a SlideShow with ShowMe .”


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Another Way to Create a New Posterous Account

Category : Tips

Posterous is one of the best, free websites to use for sharing a variety of multimedia files with others on the public web. Posterous is the only website I’ve used to date which will let students EMAIL media files including text, images, ePUB ebooks, and videos to a class website that permits teachers to MODERATE submissions before they appear for others to access on the site. Unfortunately, however, Posterous has had some glitches in recent months since it was purchased by Twitter in March 2012. One of the most recent glitches is that new accounts (as of today) can’t be created by clicking “SIGN UP” on the homepage. In this post, I’ll explain a simple workaround that will let you and your students still create new Posterous accounts.

Can't Register on

According to the official Posterous blog:

You can get a Posterous Space just like this by emailing or signing up for a new account.

Creating a new Posterous account is literally just as easy as sending a new email to This method DOES still work as of today. (I tested it.) Remember when you send an email to Posterous with this method that the text you use as your email SUBJECT will become the title of your post. Whatever you include in your email message body will become the content in your new post, so be sure to remove your phone number or any other information you normally include in your email “signature file.” A minute or two after sending that email, you should receive a new email from Posterous letting you know your post has been shared online. That email will include a link you can click to visit the new Posterous site you’ve created.

Reply from Posterous

To set a password for your new Posterous account, click FORGOT PASSWORD on the homepage. You’ll need to enter your email address in the provided field, and then Posterous will send you another email with a link you can click to set a password.

Reset Posterous Email

That’s it! Now write down your Posterous address and your password in safe place. You’re ready to start using Posterous to share rich media files! For more details about using Posterous to share multimedia online, check out my eBook, “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.” You can also check out the following past posts:

  1. Post an eBook from an iPad to Your Class Blog (Feb 2012)
  2. Configure KidBlog for Safe, Moderated, Interactive Student Blogging & Commenting (Jan 2012)
  3. Mirroring a Cohort WordPress Blog with Posterous (Sep 2011)
  4. Configure Autoposting to a WordPress Blog from Emails via Posterous (May 2011)
  5. Moderate comments on a Posterous Blog (Mar 2011)
  6. Set Up a Moderated Class Blog on Posterous (Sep 2011)
  7. 365 Photo Blog: Posterous, WordPress or just Flickr? (Dec 2010)
  8. iPad Blogging with Posterous (Nov 2010)
  9. Share your 5 Photo Stories on Posterous! (Sep 2010)
  10. Quickstart guides for Posterous and iPadio (Jul 2010)
  11. Quickblogging Options: Comparing tumblr and posterous (May 2010)
  12. How We’re Reinventing the Blog by Sachin Agarwal (Posterous co-founder) (May 2010)

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5 Lessons Learned for iPad Event Videographers Publishing to YouTube

Category : Tips

This morning our church had a congregational “town hall” meeting. Since this was a very important meeting and not all our members could attend, I volunteered to record the event and share it online on YouTube. Expecting the meeting to last about an hour, I came prepared with my iPad2, a Makayama iPad Tripod Mount, a standard camera tripod, and an iRig microphone. Instead of a traditional camcorder, I opted to record with my iPad because its “quick editing” features substantially accelerate the workflow required to both edit and share a video like this. In this post I’ll describe some of my lessons learned from this experience, which built on my July 2012 adventure using an iPad with Ustream (and eventually YouTube) to share a 1.5 hour lecture at our church. See my July 2012 post, “Webcasting with Ustream, an iPad, a Tripod & an XLR Boundary Microphone” for more details about that formative experience.

iPad Recording Setup (minus the iRig mic)

Lesson 1: iPad Video Clips are Limited to 50 Minutes

The biggest surprise and “lesson learned” from today’s video recording and sharing experience was that iPad video clips are limited to 50 minutes. I bought a 64 GB iPad2 for the specific purpose of having enough flash drive space / local drive space to record LOTS of video when needed, in situations just like today. Last night I spent some time deleting old, unneeded videos both from my iPad camera roll as well as the applications iPad for iMovie and Pinnacle Studio. That cleared out a little over 17 GB on my iPad, which I thought would be plenty of space for our hour-long meeting today. Fifty minutes into the presentation, however, my iPad video camera stopped working. I didn’t actually read the error message which popped up, and just assumed that the flash drive space was full. I pulled out my iPhone5 and used it to record the final twelve minutes of the presentation.

50 min max

It turned out, however, that I had plenty of iPad flash drive space left. The 50 minutes of 720p iPad video took up about six GB of space, leaving me with about 11 more to spare. It worked out OK to record the remainder of the presentation on my iPhone5, since there wasn’t too much more, but if I’d realized the iPad has a 50 minute video clip limit I would have just pressed record again on my iPad after the first clip ended and continued recording with it instead of the iPhone. When I returned home and was ready to edit the video together, I transferred the 12 minute iPhone5 video clip to my iPad wirelessly using the PhotoSync app. Even though the iPhone5’s video was 1080p and the iPad2’s video was 720p, iMovie for iPad let me import both into the same project and combine them together for publishing on YouTube.

Lesson 2: iMovie for iPad Won’t Upload Videos Longer Than 15 Minutes to YouTube

Even if your YouTube channel is approved for video uploads longer than 15 minutes in length, as mine is, there is no way to overcome iMovie for iPad’s default restriction on YouTube uploads.

iMovie for iPad - 15 min upload max for YouTube

Since I couldn’t directly upload the final 61 minute video directly to YouTube from my iPad, I chose to save the final video to my iPad camera roll. I then used the free Mac app “Image Capture” (which comes pre-installed on all Apple computers) to import that video onto my laptop, and uploaded to YouTube via the Chrome web browser. If you know of an alternative way to upload videos longer than 15 minutes directly from an iPad to YouTube, please let me know. The app PixelPipe used to allow this, but it was discontinued / pulled from the app store in March 2010. Google has released a new YouTube Capture app for iPhone, and it does run on the iPad, but (from what I can tell) it does NOT allow you to combine more than one video together before uploading as iMovie for iPad does. I was VERY pleased with how speedy editing was with iMovie for iPad in this project. We had lots of questions from the audience during the second half of the presentation, and I was able to use the app’s “video split” features to isolate portions where people were asking questions without the benefit of a microphone. I then boosted the audio level of those clips to the maximum permitted by iMovie for iPad. The result wasn’t a perfect audio track, but it did make a big difference in making those audio portions more intelligible.

Lesson 3: Stick with 540p for Long YouTube Video Uploads

Even though I could have exported today’s video in 720p (high definition) I opted for 540p. This decision drastically sped up not only the time required to export the video to my iPad camera roll, but also the time required to upload it to YouTube and for it to convert for online viewing.

iMovie for iPad YouTube Upload Settings

The final, combined video I made is 2.5 GB in size. That is HUGE, but it’s amazing this is a “workable filesize” given the capabilities of the iPad2, YouTube, and my home cable modem Internet connection. It took over an hour for this file to upload and convert on YouTube. (I’m not sure of the exact time because I went to the grocery store after I started the upload.) Since my home Internet bandwidth isn’t “metered,” however, all of this cost me exactly ZERO dollars to do and share today.

61 min 540p 2.5 GB iPad2 iMovie for iPad Exported Video

I recommend you stick with the 540p video quality setting at this point for most YouTube uploads, but DEFINITELY when you’re uploading something longer than an hour as I was today. I have published a few high definition videos to YouTube from my iPad (like our family Christmas card this year) but generally I have found the quality of the lower resolution settings to be more than adequate for my needs / purposes.

Lesson 4: iRig Mic is Great for Lecture Recordings

I probably could have obtained a very decent video recording today on my iPad without an external microphone like an iRig, since the built-in mic on the iPad is high quality. I chose to record with an iRig on the “high sensitivity” setting today, however, because in the past I’ve found it produces a higher quality sound. If you have an iRig and use it like this, you do NOT want to move it around a lot. I’ve made the mistake of moving a stationary iRig placed on a table around during video recording, and that can produce loud, distracting noises. Today I just handheld the iRig during the presentation and it worked well.

Lesson 5: An iPad Tripod Mount is Mandatory

The #1 most important accessory for my iPad event videography today was the Makayama iPad Tripod Mount. This is the only iPad tripod mount I’ve seen to date, and while it’s relatively costly ($70 US) it’s worth every penny. I have tried to handhold my iPhone for extended conference sessions that I’ve recorded in the past, and I can promise you that gets old FAST. Back in 2007 I tried a “guerrilla tripod setup” at CoSN in Austin using my iPhone with Ustream, and the results were mixed at best.

Guerilla Ustream Setup

My advice: Get an iPad tripod mount like the Makayama if you’re going to video extended events. I bought a Glif tripod mount for my iPhone4 a few years ago and have been very happy with it. If you’ve used other standard tripod mounts for the iPad or iPhone I’d love to hear about your experiences. Those are my iPad event videography lessons learned! If you’ve tried iPad video recording for longer events, what other recommendations have I left out that you’d share with others?

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