NECC in Washington DC

Got summer plans? We’re headed to Washington, DC for NECC and we can’t wait! BrainPOP turns 10 this year, and we’ll be celebrating this milestone throughout the show. We hope you’ll join us for all the festivities at Booth 3704 and beyond. Keep up with our plans — follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Ning; check out our schedule of events; and be on the lookout for details about the special happenings you won’t want to miss.

Of course we’ll also have Moby on hand to pose for pictures; hourly in-booth demos and presentations led by staff and educators; great raffles; and an array of BrainPOP give-aways.

Plus, come by to snag a free BrainPOP t-shirt at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, June 29th (while supplies last). If we spot you wearing it, you’ll win a subscription for the school of your choice.

Questions about NECC? Send us an email.

  • Pat

    Could you connect me with the experts who created movies in their classroom? I would like to know what hardware/software they utilized to put these together. Love the idea!

  • http://www.maxclassonline.net Robert Miller

    Hi Pat!
    Allisyn asked me to reply with some of our own personal classroom movie making tips that work in my classroom…. Hope this helps! Good Luck!

    Our classroom movie making was done in small groups first but this past year I sponsored an after school media club of 5th graders.. This allowed some extra dedicated time to do our movie making. We primary used our one iMac computer as well as a few personal MacBooks.

    Using a iMac and a MacBook laptop, the easiest way replacing a background is using the included program, PhotoBooth (often lumped in with Mac’s iChat and the webcam). You can read some information on it here:

    http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/ichat.html

    PROS:
    -Included in mac software, EASY way to step out of the frame, computer camera then remembers all images in background then replaces it with your given image
    -Does not require a green screen! Although we find it works best with a distinctly different solid color
    -No set up or after edits needed… literally can be run by a 2nd grader… I’ve seen it!

    CONS:
    -You need a mac.
    -The program serves its purpose but the quality of overlays is tricky to fine tune to the best it can be (lighting, placement, etc.) It is after all an included free program. We have found some heavy pixelation around subjects and ghosts/blurs in making some projects that cannot be avoided.

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    A program we have moved on to this year is iStopMotion and BoinxTV…. Both have great uses in the classroom and do the green screening. iStopMotion is all the rage in my classroom for claymation and lego films. Check out all their wares at http://www.boinx.com . Click on “Products”…. great stuff!!!!! EASIEST program my students have used and there are some educational discounts and trials…. Not sure if there is a windows version.

    There may be some other movie making programs for PC’s and some teachers have said they use Corel VideoStudio… I am assuming it is a PC program as it sounds a lot like Apple’s iMovie….. Check to see if there is a “chroma key” function— that would be your green screen type feature.

    **************

    My school went ahead and ordered a green screen for less than 200 bucks but that included the screen, stand, poles and carrying case… many out there if you search online. In my research, I found that many pros recommend the dyed muslin material… ours is working fine… may needing some cleaning but it has held up well, no fraying. Also we use shop lights bought from WalMart (range $10 – $30 each)…. some on stands, some sit on floors. Being halogen– there are very bright, very hot, and very fragile bulbs. BRIGHT LIGHTING IS IMPORTANT WITH GREENSCREENING!

    ***************

    There is a video posted on BrainPOP educators that shows the “How To” by my students…. I highly recommend using video production in the classroom or as a club… my students now appreciate the effort and collaboration that goes into making a production. They only get better over the years.

    The standard BrainPOP movie is a great template and format to follow… We flow ours with “Lead-in hook, letter, background info, explanation, example, summation, cheesy humor ending.”

    High interest and connection… there is an unspoken importance to quality and standard I find (“Guess what…? WE’RE making a BrainPOP video.”). Then after a few learning movies they go out to try to top previous movies of their own or peers (or dare to redo a BrainPOP movie even better than the original to include class material).

    Keep in touch with Allisyn at BrainPOP Educators if your student do any films! Being hosted on BrainPOP.com is a great motivator to do quality work for literally a worldwide audience… far more reaching than just on a room bulletin board, hallway, or school.

    Hope you find some good stuff and inspiration out there!

    Thanks Allisyn and BrainPOP for having such a collaborative site as BrainPOP Educators!