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Friday, November 21, 2014

TUIT: Kathie Wrightson, SCHS

Kathie Wrightson, an English teacher at Shelby County High School, would have several reasons to deserve a #ShelbyTUITshoutout. She's an eager integrator of tech, starting with the Blackboard LMS she uses with her dual-credit classes.  However, this particular shoutout is because of an app Ms. Wrightson brought to my attention for the first time: Magisto.

Magisto is a free app for Android, iOS and Amazon devices.  (Assuming you have already shot the photos and videos and put them on your hard drive, you could also do it from your desktop, which even allows you to directly connect to your Google Drive; a Windows PC app is coming soon.)  You can either take photos and videos within the mobile app or access media already on the device.  Choose a theme and some royalty-free music (or your own), OR you can choose "Clean" to continue without template effects and use your original audio.  Once you OK it, Magisto takes a few minutes to magically edit it together.  You can preview the "draft" and make final tweaks.  Once you are happy, the video is uploaded to the Magisto website.  You or others can comment on the videos, and share them across social media in various ways.  Videos can also be organized in public or private albums.  You can also make a "group" album open to other members to add their own videos; I can see this handy in a classroom setting.  I have to say, the final product is very professional looking, and the app is extremely easy and fun to use. Here's a sample video I made of SCHS, as well as a link to my public Shelby County album.

As I said, the app is free, but there are some limitations; for example, you are limited to a certain number of media clips, a fixed number of downloads, and the final video cannot be longer than 15 minutes.   If you are willing to spend $4.99 a month for Premium, you can use more multimedia, make longer videos, and get unlimited downloads.  For $9.99 a month at the Pro level, you can get all of what Premium offers plus HD quality videos.

Back to Ms. Wrightson!  Magisto started with leadership from students: they were the ones who brought it to Kathie's attention.  Her English 101 classes were challenged to come up with a social science experiment that involved a cause/effect relationship that applies to real life.  One pair of students came up with a "Free Hugs" theory: a student who is more well-dressed will get more hugs from strangers than a more casually dressed student.  They went to a mall and captured the experience with Magisto.

You can see how Magisto could be used as an engaging and high-order summation and synthesis of learning: documentary of an experiment in a science lab, the working out of a math problem on a whiteboard, historic photos of a world-changing event, a "movie trailer" of a book.

Thanks to Kathie for letting me know about Magisto!

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