THE CLASS AWAKENS
If there’s a bright center to the universe, my classroom is on the planet that it’s farthest from. At least that’s what my students think sometimes. Why not grab their attention with a real Star Wars Crawl, just like in the movies, except with custom text that you create? You can make your own Crawl using the Creator at starwars.com:
The Crawl Creator allows you to type your own customized text that then automatically crawls up from the bottom of the screen against a background of stars while John Williams’s unforgettable theme music plays. I use a Crawl to introduce a lesson once in a while, but I suppose you could use it to make announcements, give directions, or just about anything you can imagine.
After clicking “BEGIN,” you can grab yourself a cup of blue milk and get right to work on your customized Star Wars Crawl. You can’t save your Crawl text, but you can still plan your Crawl ahead of time by using the “SHARE” button. I like to use the “SITE LINK” button near the bottom. Copy the link to your clipboard with CTRL+C, and then save the link somewhere. (I like to add a button to my lesson slideshow.) Test the link ahead of time to make sure your customized text has been saved.
Here are a few more pointers:
- Choose your title carefully, because you only get 20 characters.
- The music track cannot be modified, so if your Crawl is too long (more than 2 or 3 short paragraphs), then the music will stop before everyone is done reading it.
- To add drama, I always “freeze” my classroom projector and get my Crawl ready while the students are working on something else. Make sure your volume is nice and loud–no one likes a Crawl without music!
- Click on the Full Screen button just before you’re ready for playback to begin. The video will start playback immediately, but you can pause it if you want to “queue it up” for just the right moment during your lesson.
- The Star Wars people won’t let you upload your Crawl directly to YouTube, Vimeo, or any other video sharing site. That was never a part of the deal. However, you can use a live streaming app as a workaround. My personal favorite is the Screencastify, a Google Chrome plugin.
- Don’t use the colored share icons at the bottom right — they WON’T share your custom Crawl; instead, they will only share a link to the starwars.com Games site. These aren’t the buttons you’re looking for.
- Do. Or do not. There is no try.