Quick overview: Popcorn Maker is a web 2.0 tool that allows you or your students to edit, annotate, and remix various YouTube videos. Students can take any video and overlay animated “pop-up” bubble comments, Google maps, text, images, Wikipedia articles, and so on. There’s lots of possibilities to make a very interesting video-type presentation. The tool was created by Mozilla, the same people that brought us the Firefox web browser. Free!
How can this be used in the classroom? Are your students bored of PowerPoint? Popcorn Maker can be used a new way for students to present an opinion, demonstrate a viewpoint, or deliver a mock newscast. Using this tool, a student can remix a new video from all sorts of different sources to create something unique. As Popcorn Maker is web based, all their work is stored on the web and one does NOT necessarily need a powerful computer to do video editing. If you’d like to know more about how Popcorn Maker works, please watch the following video:Is it easy to use? If you’ve ever dabbled with editing videos, then you’ll find the tool surprisingly efficient and easy to use. However, if you’ve never touched any type of video editing software before, there might be a learning curve involved. If that’s the case, I’d suggest that you keep this tool under your belt next time you encounter a tech savvy student who may enjoy a challenge and is looking for a different way to do a presentation. Normally shooting and editing video is difficult and time consuming. However, as this tool only focuses on remixing (rather than creating material from scratch) it might help speed up the process.
What about copyrights? Before students start remixing and editing together all sorts of videos from YouTube, they need to make absolutely sure that they are respecting copyrights! An excellent place to start would be to visit the Creative Commons search engine (http://search.creativecommons.org) where one can specify that you’d like to find a YouTube video that you can “modify, adapt or built upon” for a remixing project.