A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Popcorn Maker is an online video editor that lets kids pull in content from sites like SoundCloud, Vimeo, and YouTube to remix with pop-up word balloons, thought bubbles, images, maps, social media feeds, and summaries of Wikipedia articles. Kids can use the "pop-up" elements of Popcorn Maker to overlay a base layer of media -- like a song or video -- with related ideas or research about the topic at hand. Kids need a Mozilla "Persona" account to save work, but Persona only requires an email address (like a parent's) and no other personal information. Kids can remix other users' Popcorn videos and publish their own for sharing and remix, as well.
What's it about?
Using POPCORN MAKER's sidebar, kids can grab an audio or video link online and import sound or video into the editor as a \"media\" base layer for remix. After that, kids can add \"events\" like pop-up word balloons, pictures, and maps to enrich or comment on the original media. Kids can remix others' video projects to create remix \"chains.\" With a Persona account, kids can save and publish their work for others to share and remix, as well. Kids can also upload their own sound or video files to the services that work with Popcorn Maker and then use the application to edit, add to, and publish those works online.
Is it any good?
Popcorn Maker is a surprisingly robust video editor for a web app and its remix tools are fun and unique. The app pulls web content into the "media" layer quickly. Its overall design is very similar to that of other computer-based video editing programs, so the basic technical skills kids develop on Popcorn Maker -- like ordering layers and changing timings -- will transfer to other settings.
Editing video takes a lot of time and patience, and kids will need to root around some to find out how to tweak timings and set up particular events. That said, Popcorn Maker is definitely not the most difficult video editor to use, and it's a great, open and free place to begin teaching kids how to edit and remix responsibly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss how to create something new and educational or transformative from other pieces of media.
Families can also talk about the kinds of information that are okay to share in online videos and the kinds of information that should be kept private.
Explore remixing favorite video clips and songs with your kids.
- Subjects: Social Studies: citizenship
Math: arithmetic, measurement
Arts: film, script writing
Language & Reading: presenting to others, storytelling
- Skills: Creativity: brainstorming, combining knowledge, making new creations
Tech Skills: digital creation, using and applying technology
Communication: conveying messages effectively, multiple forms of expression, presenting
Responsibility & Ethics: following codes of conduct, honoring the community, making wise decisions
Collaboration: meeting challenges together
Thinking & Reasoning: decision-making, part-whole relationships
- Genre: Creating
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: November 5, 2015
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.