Monday, February 7, 2011

Start your Next Lesson with a Qwiki!

The first few minutes of a lesson can really define how the rest lesson is going to go. It's your "sales pitch" moment; a time to "hook" your students and show them that what you're teaching them is important and interesting. Qwiki might help you do that...

What is it?

Qwiki is an "information experience" that pulls images, maps, movies, and animations together to create a short, narrated movie. It's a quick and engaging way to build background knowledge when you introduce a new topic. Check this one out about the Great Barrier Reef.

How does it work?

  • Qwiki aggregates its information and images from a number of different sources--Flickr, WikiMedia Commons, YouTube, and Wikipedia to name a few. In only a few seconds, it combines key elements from these sites and turns it into a short, narrated presentation.
  • When you're at the Qwiki website, search for a topic (they have over 3 million at this point), and press enter. Qwiki does the rest.
  • When the Qwiki has finished playing, you can click on the "Content" tab at the top of the screen to see an outline of the media and information that was used. This would be useful if you were interested in revisiting some of the pictures or movies.
  • Clicking on any of the elements in the Qwiki will show you more detail about it (where it came from, names, etc.).

Anything else I should know?
  • Qwiki is currently in "Alpha" release, basically meaning that it's brand-new to the web. Features are still being developed and Qwiki is sure to improve as time goes on.
  • It's easy to contribute to any of the Qwikis (in fact--they encourage it!). If you're watching one and realize that you have a relevant picture or video to add, click on "Improve this Qwiki" at the top of the page.
Want to know more? Visit the Qwiki FAQ page for detailed descriptions of what Qwiki can do!

Good Luck!