Monday, February 25, 2013

Digital Story: Take Two

Draft of digital story update: a bit late. Had to uninstall, reinstall, and work with Apple Tech Support on the phone for 1.5 hours to rectify issues with iMovie software. I know some of you had similar tech problems, so thought I would give that backstory.

I created this during our 3-foot dump of snow during the blizzard we had recently, and was dreaming of being back in Hawaii.

Like many of you, I hate my voice. The narration is clipped, so it has to be redone. I had some problems timing the narration to fit along with the photo timeline, so had to digress from my storyboard script and ad lip or pause in some wrong spots. Will also being considering another soundtrack. Skyped with middle school teacher from Honolulu last night, and she recommended several popular Hawaiian singers' songs to use. Need to look into that. In the meantime, used George Winston's "Living in the Country," from his album Summer that I downloaded from iTunes.

Still a work in progress, but also thinking might just move on to another digital story about another Hawaiian islands. 

How would I use this in my teaching? If I were still teaching junior high or high school English, I might implement these student projects: 

  • Create a story about one or more of your favorite places. Describe the place and tell why you like it. 
  • Take a digital story you created about your favorite place, and retell it adding dialogue. Get together with a partner and rotate speaking the lines, staying in the voice of specific characters.
  • Create a digital story about the city or town where you live. Be sure the story tells the viewer about the sites.  Post the story on your blog to share with students in another school who can then respond back.  
  • Create a digital story about the settings in works of literature we have read as class.

As for the second to last idea, sharing with another school, check this QuadBlogging project done by students in six varied countries:  Our World, Our Stories: School Day or The Local Environment.  Some of the students created videos to show others how and where they live.

RSS is Really Simple: Keep It Up

By now, you are a avid user of Real Simple Syndication (RSS) with Google Reader.

cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by HeatherWeaver

In addition to peers' blogs that you follow through RSS, what other sources of information do you encourage educators to subscribe to via Google Reader?

Here's my list of some of my favorites in my RSS:

1) Free Technology for Teachers (regular updates about technology to use in schools and suggestions about how to use the selected technology; also can be subscribed to via Facebook)
2) iPad Apps for Schools (newer blog with updates regularly about iPad apps that are applicable in the school setting and recommended ways to use these apps; also check for the parallel blog on Android apps)
3) Edudemic (excellent all-around blog)
4) Cool Teacher Blog (Vicki Davis posts often and shares ideas for global collaboration and similar projects)
5) Educational Technology and Mobile Learning (updated often and also can be subscribed to via Facebook)
6) Van Meter Library Voice (school librarian who posts often about literacy, reading, cross-class projects, and much more)
7) Venspired (elementary teacher who runs programs for the gifted but post information relevant to all educators)
8) Class Tech Tips
9) Langwitches Blog (overall great resource for information on educational technology and literacy)
10) KB Connected
11 Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day (an ESL teacher from CA who posts all kinds of information relevant to teaching and learning--he posts nearly daily)
12) Blogging through the Fourth Dimension (Pernille Ripp is a great source of information for tips on blogging with students and the integration of technology to support learning)
13) Matt Gomez, Kindergarten Teacher (posts lots of good ideas for those who teach the lower grade levels)
14) Ozge Karaoglu Blog (brings a creative twist to sharing resources)

What sources of information do you recommend? What would you add to this list? Do you see the value in using Google Reader on a regular basis? Goal--use the folder feature in Reader to organize and sort your subscriptions by topics or areas of interest.

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by tetradtx

Calling All Bloggers?

cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by liewcf

Now that you have been blogging for several weeks, the question is, how will you use blogging in your professional setting. Some questions:

  • Would you encourage students to blog?
  • Would you create your own blog for professional reasons (e.g., to share with parents, students, a professional audience of colleagues)?
  • Will you continue to read others' blogs?
  • Will you continue to use Google Reader to access blogs written by your favorite bloggers or to add subscriptions to new sources of information?
  • If you will use blogging with students, would you do this through a centralized class blog, or would you have students set up their own blogs?
  • If your students were blogging, would you consider cross-blogging with other classrooms?
  • If you have already set up your own blog or have had your students create one, do you mind sharing access to such?
  • What do you see as the future of blogging? How do you think the concept of blogging will change in the future?
  • Who are some of your favoriate bloggers? Are these teacher bloggers, or people in other roles?
  • What advice have other bloggers offered you that you find most useful for maintaining a blog and attracting readers?

Yes, those are numerous questions, but please consider those most pertinent to your needs, and share your ideas.