The BoinxTV Manor

Five elementary schools in Manor Independent School District in Texas are brightening up their mornings with student-run BoinxTV news shows to deliver announcements to the student body. The schools, which include Manor Elementary, Pioneer Crossing Elementary and Decker Elementary, each host their own show, and each has its own unique personality thanks to its anchors. At Manor Elementary, the main anchors are the president and the vice present of the Student Council. Other students rotate in and out for their chance to cohost each week.

“When you want to run daily video announcements, you want it to be as simple as possible for students of all ages to be able to learn and use effectively,” says Jacob Luevano, an innovative teaching strategist for Manor. “BoinxTV has a lot of the same features as a very expensive professional system in a small, easy to use and inexpensive package. As a sponsor for the program, you want to be able to trust your students to be able to run the entire broadcast without your immediate help.”

In fact, the only thing that Manor Elementary’s sponsor Pamela Gray does is type all of the announcements into the teleprompter before each broadcast, but she hopes that next year, another student will be able to take the reins. For now, the students love BoinxTV’s easy setup and the ease of adding new placers as needed in the broadcast. Plus, they can’t get enough of how professional it all looks!

There are plenty of bloopers however, but they only add to the fun. During one show, the teleprompter director had their hand in front of the camera over the course of the broadcast. Another time, the green screen fell down and covered one of the anchors, making them look like a floating arm on screen. During one of the last broadcasts of this year, the two anchors had allergies and couldn’t stop sneezing, so the team had to continually re-tape. Everyone was laughing so hard that it was difficult to focus on the task at hand. Perhaps a bloopers edition of the show is in store!

In the future, both Jacob and Pamela hope that all five elementary schools will be able to do a news show every morning rather than recording them one week at a time. That way, it would be a lot easier to keep the most current news on the show. They are even playing with the idea of a Friday special show to include more content.

“BoinxTV gives very advanced tools to students as young as second grade,” Jacob says. “They need to plan ahead, be able to storyboard and present in a very unique way. Running a news program with BoinxTV also gives many responsibilities to more than one student. Although only one student uses the controls, that student has to work very closely with the team to make sure it all runs smoothly. We do have plans to expand the daily announcements to our middle school campuses next school year, and we really hope it takes off.”

Check out Manor Elementary anchors Rilyn and Mercedes in their broadcast above! See what Pioneer Crossing Elementary is doing here, and watch one of Decker Elementary’s broadcasts here!

Thinking, Laughing and Thinking Some More with BoinxTV

Peter Young has been an internet expert since 1973, when the internet was still called ARPANET. His computer career began with ARPANET, and then he graduated to ALOHAnet, the first wireless packet data network available to the public. He then did some computer networking on MILNET, a branch of ARPANET that specialized in the United States Department of Defense. Once the internet became the internet we know today, he served as a television host and reporter on technology for NBC, married a television news and entertainment executive, and eventually became a professor in New Media Technologies at San Jose State University. It’s safe to say that Peter knows his stuff.

He discovered BoinxTV right when it came out and has been using it ever since. Because of his background, the technology is particularly exciting to him, and he is fond of using it in his classroom. Peter used BoinxTV with his students as early as 2011 and began demoing it regularly in his New Media Technologies course at San Jose State in the fall of 2012.

“It is now on my recommended software list,” Peter says. “This fall, my advanced New Media Technologies class will be using it as the framework for a series of three 30-minute internet-based TV news shows.”

Using BoinxTV with college students was exciting because all of the story ideas came from the students. Peter allowed them to decide what they wanted to report on since the real focus was on learning the software, writing, shooting, talking and recording simultaneously. They came up with ideas in small teams and then storyboarded the shots and set using Sketch and Illustrator. The audio was recorded on Audacity and fine-tuned, and then it was time for the on-screen fun. The teams wrote out their scripts and read them into the camera, using BoinxTV to show them the results. Finally, they could add little details like pictures and crawls, and the team put together a 10-minute broadcast with all of the assembled parts.

“This was the first time many of the students had used most of the software, so the results were a trial!” says Peter. “It made everyone think, laugh and think some more. This is why I plan on implementing BoinxTV in my advanced New Media Technologies course for the fall, since folks coming into that course will have already completed and learned the software required.”

In his class, Peter also plans on teaching his students nearly all Adobe products of interest, and they will eventually script and prototype all of the material for use on mobile devices. His main goal for the term is to showcase this advanced course for the California State University system’s “Excellence in the Classroom” project to show his colleagues around the state how new media technologies can and should be integrated into the curriculum.

Peter will soon be beta testing BoinxTV 2, and if all goes well, he will be updating his classroom system to support the new model. Come that time, we’ll be following up with him again to check out all of the fun!

Learning with Some Galapagoofs

What’s the deal with evolution, anyway? Take it from Charles Darwin and a goofy tortoise – it’s pretty simple!

In “The Galapagoofs!,” animator Mike Holmes introduces the vaudeville comedy duo in an iStopMotion animation made entirely out of felt.

“It couldn’t have been easier,” he says. “I was introducing my girlfriend to animating, and iStopMotion really made it painless and a lot of fun. We’ve got a lot of plans!”

We love the little touches Mike added to make his iStopMotion animation seem more realistic. Don’t forget small movements – like the tortoise wiggling its toes, Darwin’s moving eyebrows and the fluttering bird in the background – to keep your viewers engaged. Maybe they’ll even forget they’re not in prehistoric times!

Check out the video above!

iStopMotion Makes Animating as Easy as One Plus One

Our friend YouTube user leoand1 is back again with more iStopMotion fun. Using his Nikon to shoot and iStopMotion to animate, leoand1 walks you through their creative take on the process of creating OnePlus One cell phones.

In their 30-second animation, they take viewers to a futuristic factory where fruit is transformed into cell phones – in just one step! If only it was that simple in the real world. The OnePlus One phones are then loaded up into a box, ready to be shipped off.

Why use iStopMotion for this project? leoand1 says, “It’s so easy to use, even I can do it.”

Check out more iStopMotion fun from leonand1 on his YouTube channel here!

Vertical Video is the next big thing? - we are ready!

Almost all video has been traditionally shot with a horizontal perspective. Movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, and even the dimensions of our screens are horizontal. And while smartphones make it easy to shoot vertical video, the practice itself has long been blasted as amateurish.

But the popularity of social apps and live-streaming video apps have forced a new look at vertical video. Even the best selling German Newspaper the Bild Zeitung is recording their new online news show Bild Daily vertical instead of horizontal.

They are recording vertical video, because it is fun and easy. In addition to that smartphone users tend to view videos, including ads, in the upright position, as they don’t need to rotate their phones for watching the video in fullscreen.

If you look on the number of videos watched online most of them are currently watched on desktop computers. But smartphones and tablets will surpass the number of videos watched on desktops by mid of 2016.

Image: ADI_Video_1

In fact, also Snapchat says ads shot vertically outperform horizontal ads by a long shot, according to Adweek. Users are nine times more likely to watch a vertical ad to the end versus a horizontal ad.

Start recording vertical video

It is really easy to record vertical video, since nearly everyone has a smartphone with a camera these days. But most video editing software is limited to an horizontal, perspective aspect ratio.

FotoMagico 4, iStopMotion as well as the current Beta of BoinxTV 2 are ready to face the challenge of vertical video out of the box.

This will allow you to create beautiful vertical slideshows, stop motion animations or advertisements for your customers, friends and family or just shot a whole TV or news show with ease.

All you need to do:

  • Start the application
  • Create a new document
  • Enter a custom aspect ratio with vertical video dimensions
  • Be creative