Discovery Education workshop and co sponsored by AFI (American Film Institute) was held at Bucks County IU for two days in February.

Day One: Joe Brennan from Discovery has given us a lot of information to digest about film making. There is a LARGE (88 page) document you can download from AFI website and it is a comprehensive guide to helping your students create digital video stories.

Day Two: The title link takes you to Jennifer Dorman's wiki with all of the links for digital storytelling. Suggested programs you can use just for storyboarding:

You can download and edit every DiscoveryStreaming videos, except for those which are labeled for non-editing only. You cannot talk over it, chop it up and you can see a comment that says "non-editable content" in the Media Settings window. To search for this option, go to the ADVANCED SEARCH and put a check in the category editable titles.

This is a good format to use with learning support students. You can put the video together and have them write the narration! Actually why not do that for ALL students.
You can not upload DStreaming material for pubic use on your web. Students can not upload material from DStreaming and enter it into a contest with a monetary reward.

Creative Commons
Allows you to use music, images that have been listed here. If you want to use commercial music or artwork, you need WRITTEN permission from the author to use it within the boundaries of copyright. See Jen Dorman's copyright page for specifics. Using Creative Commons teaches kids about digital ethics.

PHOTOS online
  1. flickr - your accept a CC license for others to use your images as long as they are cited. Be sure to model good copyright practice when posing or downloading images. You can set up a user group and put images in that group for student's to use. Do not allow them to freely search, but put the content YOU want kids to use.
  2. - there are a lot of organizations such as museums etc, that place their content online. This is licensed for you to use. You can create you own collection after you set up an account. They can collect photos and later put them into their project.
  3. Library of Congress, American Memory Collection - Now located on flickr and has fallen into the public of domain. In addition to the image, the information has more information for the citation.
  4. flickrstorm - you can do the search and collect the images with citations and you can download in html.
  5. GoogleMaps - what ever you do, be sure to check out ALL of the Goolge Tools, enough said!
  6. FotoFlfexer - photos must be imported from flickr first.
  7. Use some of these image manipulation tools to create your avatar.
Chroma Key with Windows MovieMaker. There is a simple video "ChromaKey with Colin" that is a short tutorial to show how to do this process. You can use blue butcher paper or green. For a fun effect, put some of the green in front of the person. Later you can insert a ocean liner and make it appear as if they are on the deck of the ship, thus putting them actually INTO the image.

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If you wish to make your Google search more filtered, you can turn on another button in the preferences? I just learned that from fellow blogger "Mrs.Durff". Thanks. It is one of those obscure buttons we over look on that clean looking search page that can help keep your kids out of additional inappropriate material.
On your main Google page look for the preferences, next to the Google search box, and click to open it. Once open, you will see a subtitle "Safe Search Filtering". If you click the first box, "Use Strict filtering" your search results will be filtered locally as well.

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This site not only give a wide variety of links, but best practice in school management, articles, and geography career ideas.

From the website: "Geospatial" technologies--which include geographic information system (GIS), global positioning system (GPS), and remote sensing (RS) tools--are becoming increasingly important in our everyday lives. These technologies use "smart" maps that can display, query, and analyze geographic databases; receivers that provide location and navigation; and global-to-local imagery and tools that provide context and analysis.

As these tools become vital to helping community leaders ask and answer questions with both local and global implications, the ability to think spatially is an increasingly important skill for students. Hundreds of jobs--in such areas as planning, law enforcement, environmental management, business, public safety, health, and agriculture--now require key geographic inquiry skills."

GIS technology appears in the National Geography Standards, teachers in earth, environmental, biological, and general science."

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Since the weather in Hershey caused several sessions to be cancelled, I email the presenter to see if they would share their work anyway. Behold....they were very gracious and offered the web link to their very presenatation, as well as other information on the topics. That's what I love about tech people, they share their toys. So if a session you wanted to attend was canceled, do a bit of research to find the email of the presenter and ask them to share with you. I am sure they will be honored to do so.

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For the second year in a row it has snowed on Wednesday of PETE&C! I am sitting in a 2:00 session about blogs and wikis. I feel really bad for the people scheduled for the sessions at 2 and 3:00. So whoever stays until the end......gets all the prizes! Yesterday I has a slow leak in one of my front tires. It was so cold and windy I thought my hand was going to freeze to the thingy that puts air into the tires!! Since I heard that it might snow on Tuesday, I bit the bullet and went to Goodyear and bought two tires for the front! Thank goodness! I can't believe it is snowing like crazy here in Hershey and our school got out 2 hours early!!! So I'll be leaving here in about 30 minutes and trek home to New London! I know there are grammatical errors and some spelling mistakes and I will fix them when I get home later.

This was a great conference again and I got to meet some people in person that I have been emailing or Tweeting or communicating with online. Some of the authors of the blogs I read are here too and I was happy to speak with them about their contributions to 21st century learning! Thanks to everyone who was filming, backchaneling, tweeting, and blogging.

Our learning doesn't stop here, or anywhere as long as you keep reading what people are posting! Pay it forward.

Image credit

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This website was created by a team of 20 teachers who wanted to share ideas. Suddenly people wanted to join and contribute to the wiki from all over the world.

There is a book club session where they talk/online about books such as, Wikinomics, and Daniel Pink's book A Whole New Mind. Check the site for the next book.

Many teachers have ideas to share here. There are projects you can take part in with your classroom. The links are HERE to find a project. Take a chance, start slow and small. Just participate yourself first if you are nervous, then jump in with your class.

Interview section where you can hear about teachers from all over the world. The first one is from Tazmania.

Don't forget to keep the students directly involved in the process. They have great ideas and can organize the projects too! You can even send them out to find a project that will work with your curriculum. Believe me, they will find something if you give them the task. -One team of teachers from a district are each adding their notes to a wiki for sharing. Now that she has announced this address, I am sure that others in the room will add to her site. I will put this blog link there too. GREAT idea. I want to try this with our teachers too for next year.

Look to the blog section to read some good education blogs to follow. - check it out.

Great idea from Jen Dorman to have students learn a web2.0 tool and create a presentation to teach the teachers how to use it! Why not, these kids have the time and the desire to learn new things and love to have "one up" on their teachers!

Looking for a staff development project? Visit this differentiated instruction wiki.
Use parents in your district to help with projects. One teacher mentioned a parent travels the world often and brings back rocks from different locations. He takes a photo of the location and as much information as he can to contribute to the class study.

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Learning to Speak Native -

What is a Digital Native (the kids) Who are the immigrants (mostly the adults).
Digital Natives are multi-taskers, prefer graphics before text, CDs, DVDs, cellphones, game systems, expressive, information overload, extremely social, less fear of failure, active involvement, share a common language, risk takers, web-based, have electronic friends, nonlinear,

Adults say: dial the phone number, tape that tv show

If digital immigrant educators really want to reach digital natives, they will have to change- Mark Prensky

Information Explosion - just look at Google, they have a clean front page, but at the top of the page you will see links to MORE search links. We have become information consumers.

Flattening of the earth - Open source everything!

Wikinomics - collaboration, what better way to learn the material than to create a page or edit another person's page with CORRECT information (with citation), innovation vs. invention, the point is to mesh two of the new technologies to create a new more interesting educational connection (read literature add photos and timeline to a GoogleEarth Tour.

The community becomes MY Network because of the amount of information you contribute. Sometimes you have personal relationships with the network like DiscoveryEducators who actually offer face to face programs.

Tools - YUGMA, Twitter, WiziQ, Ning, SecondLife, search for popular social networking activities,

This is streaming live:

and will be archieved at:

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Rich Hug from Unionville-Chadds Ford School District is the president-elect and started today's program with an Internet fiasco happening in his district. Students, cell phones and inappropriate content, need I say more! He handled it with ease. After all, many people here have read the story or have had similar circumstances in their own district.

Since he is my tech director of course I thought he did a great job telling this story. As I met people here in Hershey, and told them where I was from, their next comment was: "Oh yea, I know where that is NOW! Are you the district with the photo problem?". So we have some notoriety and are handling it the best as can be done. A parent program is scheduled for March to educate the community about what is new on the net! More information to follow.

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Robin Ellis and Daren Draper (in Utah) present using Skype and other tools. They teach a class together and use UStream so they can record the lesson. People from all over the world are in attendance and some very interesting conversations take place about learning.

Conversation about "what is professional development" and how is it maintained? Robin and Darren teach an online class on Wednesday evenings, is open to anyone who would like to learn about social software.

Using 21st century skills to teach these students will connect them to future skills. If we do not use these skills in our classroom, then we are stiffiling their creativity and actually going backwards by ONLY using textbooks and black line masters!

Suggestions if you want to try this:
  • test it out with someone, join an online group already in progress
  • before your initiate a program, be a student in another person's class
  • try a virtual meeting
  • a place where communication can take place all at once
  • have a chat monitor who can block bots who try to invade
  • for new people, stay with Mebo account or UStream account
Teachers become facilitators more than the dictator in control of all movements and action.


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Mifflin County School District - Partner with local organizations, PTO, Lions, Band parents, Rotary, Communities That Care Organizations, etc, to help you promote the evening. You can also try to get students involved in this program as presenters, or answering questions from parents they could demonstrate an online chat or video connection, or how to use myspace or facebook. Kids give top 10 tech tips for parents.

  • social networking sites myspace and facebook
  • IM codes and how to use it
  • how to check history
  • how to use IM and send them to your kids
  • how to text

Get everyone aware: bumper sticker contest, 8th grade internet safety commercials,

Remember to get student permissions to show their work in public!!

Include district personnel, Director of Technology, Police, lawyers, judges or whoever is prominent in your area. Notify the media that you are having this program. Create parent flyers to distribute to all levels. Have handouts for people and door prizes! Let people evaluate the program at the end. This school produced a CD for people to take home to review the materials.

"What was your role for the Internet Safety Night" video included on the CD. Ask people involved to say a short one minute summary of what they did to help organize this event including parents, students and teachers. Film it live and put it on a CD for those parents who could not attend the program.

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Presented by Thomas Mclaughlin and Drew Giorgi. These teachers use PMWiki which is FREE. His wiki is HERE. There are links to many educational tools, including one that can turn your screen into a whiteboard! More later.

Using PMWiki, you can host your own wiki farm by following these directions. The advantage of setting this up for yourself is no public access. It remains an internal connection and access to parents, teachers and students only.

Educational uses for creating wikis (more on his web)
  • webquest
  • web pages
  • project deveopment
  • research development
  • collecting notes
  • authoring
  • sharing information
  • notecards
  • students/teachers creating links for a project
  • time dated journals
  • book review - all review the same book
  • book review - students review different books.
  • sharing sources for one topic creates a great page of links
  • student journalist can compile a newsletter online
Turn your screen into a smartboard - Purchase a Wii-mote, a USB dongle (not from RadioShack) and a jump rope handle, follow the directions on this site. Download the free Notebook software from SmartBoard.

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SKYPE ME by Eric Wittmer. Eric ran this workshop at the Keystone Summit. Using with two classes, these teachers started with kids introducing each other, then asked the kids how they would like to use this technology to collaborate with their new friends. WHY?
  • student collaboration
  • teacher collabaoration
  • integrating curriculum, math, language arts, technology, read a book together
  • higher leve thinking skills
  • learn about another person who does not live here(whereever you are)
  • teaches kids modern day skills
  • learn from other people
  • professional development
  • send files, photos

CONS - The Mac version does not have as many options as the PC version. This could involve a fee if you wish to use some of the plug ins. Using the teacher's computer limits access for all at same time. Student's can get on at home if they set up a user account without parents knowing. Sometimes there is a technical glitch and you have to reconnect. So the best way is to have one account in the classroom with a secret password, so they do not log in at home.

These two teachers started Skyping by sharing a common book "Rules". Every several chapters, they would connect and talk about the book, the characters and the symptoms of autism. They are talking about doing a reader's theatre or digital storytelling. The autistic suppport teacher did a short presentation to both classes about the characteristics of an autistic person and some of the strategies she uses with them.

You can conference with 6 connections at one time. This uses a lot of bandwith and is a bit troubesome here at Hershey because too many users on the Internet at the same time.
You can also use iChat if you are both Mac Users. If you are on the same network, you can do it very easy. When yo go outside, you need to use an AIM account.

If you want to arachieve the programs you can use, for Mac, ($15) with a QuickTime file format. For the PC you can use ($25) and uses LARGE file space in a .wmv format.

More notes on the PBwiki - has materials already online to use with lessons - Free collaborative online space.

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This is such a hop topic and it can affect many aspects of education. First of all student work, as it is created is automatically copyrighted. That means that if you wish to use a student's work on your bullein board as an anchor, you must have written permission and keep it on file.

Creative Commons is a place to use work without violation of copyright. Wikipedia does not allow copyrighted images in it's site, so you can use them. photos can be used without fear of infringement. CAPE has a lot of information for teachers who wish to learn more about copyright.

Be careful of duplication of class materials. Look in the book for the "allow unlimited copies" permission release statement. This is often in the front of a teacher's version, or at the bottom of the page of a black line master. Look on the Internet for resources you can use. Government documents are ALWAYS free to use. You must still cite them, but you may make copies of the maps, letters, documents available there. Another location is MIT OpenCourseware. They have put all 1800 models and content online FREE for anyone to use.

Scott Garrigan's presentation is available HERE.

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How to Implement Vodcasting into Your Classroom Environment by Christopher Cooley, 7th grade math teacher. Screen capture by Camtasia Studio allows you to film what you are doing on your computer. He uses this with his whiteboard, captures the lesson, sends it to ScreenCast so kids can access that information from a wiki, webpage etc. Great for introducing a new concept or a review. You can use on the Mac environment and it is FREE. There is a new product coming out that is usable for PC AND Mac in beta testing at their website. Can use Gizmos to create your face on another image(superheros).

Audio/visual presentations are known as vodcasting. Just audio presentation is podcasting. Vodcasting has three main components
  • recording the session, from minutes to hours, web cam or camcorder
  • translating the screen recording session into a movie format: Flash, .mp4 or .wmv(Flash take 4 hours to render a 45 minute lesson - YIKES!)
  • upload the movie to your host (YouTube, TeacherTube, your web page or wiki, or
You need:
  • Computer with sound
  • microphone to plug in to mic jack or USB microphone, can get at RadioShack or less than $40 each or you can use a Bluetooth or your XBox headset!
  • software that will record session
  • software that will render the session
  • host to upload the session (he has 100GB on ScreenCast)
BUT - if you have a SMARTBoard, you already have the software to do this process.

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KEYNOTE - David Pogue. David is most known for his 60 "Missing Manual" series of books, daily blog "Pogue's Posts" for NYTimes and his tech video appears Sunday morning on CNBC. His website is His predictions of tech for the future:
  • VIOP - Your phone number is connected to the external box, not the phone. You can take the box with you anywhere and keep the phone number, quality etc.
  • SKYPE - Free phone calls computer to computer going over the internet. No phone company involved. Perhaps it will come to cell phones. Ah yes, see T-Mobile. Unfortunately their announcement was made the same day as the iPhone, but watch them for future developments. You can take this phone overseas and make free calls.
  • GOOGLE CELLULAR - (46645) call Instead of calling 411 at $2 per shot, you can Google what you need. Type in pharmacy and it will give you the closest one, address and phone number. Also get weather (weather Sacramento), movie (Shrek 19711), driving directions, unit conversions, currency conversions by sending them a text.
  • SIMULSCRIBE - Will transcribe your text messages to voice messages.
  • CALL WAVE - Transcribe the jist of your message but is free.
  • A la CARTE TV - Any show at anytime.
  • HD -High Definition standards are being fought by Blu-ray and HD DVD. Sony and Toshiba are fighting this format war like the Beta vs. VHS format wars of the 80's. Just sit back and watch the players fight it out before investing because half of Hollywood is on one format and the other half is on the other format.
  • INTERNET VIDEO - Because many companies are getting in to this business for profit.
  • WIRELESS EVERYWHERE - Right now you can get a card from Verizon to get online everywhere, but at $60 per month. Watch this video about the iPhone Shuffle(parody).
  • HANDWRITING - LOL, MORF(male or female), AF, BRB, IMHO, RTFM(read the frekin' manual) TTFN, POS(parent over shoulder). The point is, kids are putting these into their school work!?! Engineers have adapted the Palm writing code and often write to each other in that form! Email is considered old fashined and old, kids want you to text them, not voice message or email.
  • ONLINE VIDEO - YouTube, and many many others are the current form of entertainment.
  • WEB2.0 - Information anywhere - site), loans apply and lend)
  • COPYRIGHT - Right now people are using a lot of materials to mashup
    • borrow CD from library
    • my cd is scratched borrow from lib to re-rip
    • record a movie off HBO and burn to dvd
    • my friend did this and I borrowed his and rip
  • PUBLIC INFORMATION - Your email is NOT exactly private if the other person chooses to publish the content, or publish it in the local news. Beware of any videos that are created just for fun or school project, these too can be republished on a video site.
This way by far one of the most entertaining keynote speakers I have heard. Loved his tech insights. I guess I'll look at the NYT more often!

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Discovery Educator Sessions - Sunday
  1. DIGITAL STORYTELLING - with Jen Dorman I will put the link here later to her presentation. There are many sites available for FREE to use with your students to create digital stories. This is a chance to get away form the side show, PowerPoint, type of presentations. It doesn't mean you will be spending less time preparing, but you will engage your students into learning at their level. Be sure to check out Google Presentations. You can have many students using the same presentation, AND view a live conversation on the sidebar. Good for including students who may be homebound, or in different classrooms across the hall or across the ocean! To embed data information in charts visit If you want students to create with some of these online tools, be aware that you will need an email account. Some suggestions are to use or accounts. If you want to use FREE background music, try, BUT check out the content of the lyrics. Some contemporaray artists put their music on there so people can "mashup" their video/audio content.
  2. 50 WAYS TO USE DISCOVERY ED. STREAMING- Log in to the site and go to professional development/trainers tool kit.. There are 400 elementary songs, in addition to sound effects to download for ause in a presentation. If you decide to use the writing prompt builder use Firefox not Safari. Using the calender daily can offere some great writing prompts or class discussion points. For example, if you enter all of your student’s birthdays, then when their birthday comes up, you can talk about all of the important events that appear on that day. In the Assignment Builder you can film yourself with a green screen background and put your video over a shark video or walking on the Great Wall of China. This might be a fun way to introduce your students to their assignment! Or have them make a green screen movie about their topic! Another feature of Discovery US is the Interactive Atlas Map. From the Teacher Center, look for the Discovery Atlas Interactive Map. Click on the map and click on Launch Atlas. When you click on any site in the world, a list of videos will pop up for you to play. To see Matt Monjan’s presentation, you must have a Discovery Educator Account to log in HERE. With the new version of Inspiration (8), you can embed UStreaming videos. There are some excellent training videos on the American Film Institute web site.
  3. GOOGLE EARTH WITH KIDS - Julia Tebbets. Students create online tours of the world using United Streaming videos and GoogleEarth GE with links to the historical sites. Have students crete their tour ON PAPER FIRST! For example students can make a tour of the 7 modern wonders of the world, 7 natural wonders of the world. Historical events study are a natural choice such as the Revolutionary War or Civil War Battles. Some novels talk about different world locations, so their book report could be done this way. Students studying habitat or biomes could create a tour with photos, citations, and links. THey can create an overlay with a polygon. For example, they could outline the states in New England, or time zones. Use the line tool to trace the route of an explorer, a migration route of the Monarch Butterfly, or timeline of a president of the US. Using GoogleSky, you can view the stars from France, Africa, Antartica, or your own backyard. You can also view other locations such as the Crab Nebula. You could also see the motion of the planets as they revolve around the Sun. When you scroll back in to Earth, you can select several layers to view, including weather. Students could include a weather report in their tour too! The weather information is updated every 15 minutes, whereas the GoogleEarth photos are often a few years old. You can also search for landforms such as volcanoes or mountain range. Students could pretend to be one of the delegates in the US to the Continental Congress. Trace their life route. Students send a photo back to the school from a vacation spot and their postcard is scanned and linked to the world location. Be sure you create a folder at the start of class and close it at the end of class. For image citations, from UStreaming, when the image comes up, there is a tab which has the credit information. Copy it and you can past the image credit in the image description. As of today, you can only embed Flash player videos into GoogleEarth, but you can convert other formats with free programs.
  4. MORE WAYS TO USE US AND DEN - Matt Monjan. My hands are tired of typing, so here is the link to his presentations:

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It's February and the annual Alaska Iditarod Race is in the final stages of preparation. You can follow this race as a casual viewer, or really get in to the deep details of each team of dogs and their musher. These details and more can be found on the Official Iditarod Web site. There is still time to have your homeroom or class follow a team. The race begins March 1, 2008 at 10AM. Make a map, post it in your room and move the teams along each day. You can write email to the folks involved and they will write back, or follow them on a blog. Either way, your kids can learn a lot about weather, sled dogs and the grueling race we hear about on the news!

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History of political campaigns, civil rights, immigration, famous people, explorers, inventors, and more can be researched at this site. Every war we haven been in and natural disasters are part of this compendium of information compliments of your tax dollars at work!

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Now that we are becoming more environmental conscious, check out this site for the efficiency of your appliances, products, campaigns, and other links to great sites. You can find recycling centers, information on consumer reports, resources and tools to help you leave a better green footprint. You can even search different food and beverage items to see what chemicals are in the product. The site is run by Consumers Union.

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