Week 11 Digital Story Telling

My digital storytelling project was about Polio and the vaccinations used to control the disease.  Not many students today have ever seen Polio’s effect first hand, so photos really give students an idea of the crippling effects on the children who are afflicted with the disease.  I used The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization for most of the information I gathered.  The sources of the photos are noted on each one.  You can view my digital story on YouTube at the following link:


The Process

I used Microsoft Word (table) to organize my storyboard, adding and organizing the script and photos I wanted to use. Then, I used a program that came on my computer called Photo Story 3 for Windows.  It was my first time using this program, but it was easy to use.  I had trouble getting the program to recognize my microphone, so I used my iPod and an ap I purchased called Voice Recorder mp3 to record my voice and background music.   I added the recording as a music file to the story and adjusted the transition times to match the recording script.   I used a free music website to find a sad sounding wood flute song, as background music.  Finally, I added the digital story to YouTube (also a first).

It was a great deal of work, but I think it would be a very effective classroom tool.  You could use it as a whole class or at a station.


Week 11- Tool Exploration

I did my project on an online collaboration site called Stixy.com.  I chose this site because it is a free site that you can use for professional or personal projects.  You can invite others to collaborate and you can incorporate your own photos and documents.  In the classroom, you could use it for small groups of students to do collaborative projects, or a whole class could do a project.  You could also create stixyboards for Open House or professional development days.

I used Jing (video recording) and Screencast (video sharing) for the first time as well.  They were really easy to use and have a lot of potential for use in the classroom and professional development areas.

My project: http://www.screencast.com/t/PyvN6LE3m

Resources to show Stixy being used in education:




Week 10 Fair Use and Copy Rights

I had been confused over the laws for copyrights and Fair Use. A few years ago, I was showing a video recording of an A&E program about history. As the video began to play a large FBI warning came across the screen that stated that the program was not allowed to be recorded.  Of course there was a student that picked up on that and made a comment.  I wasn’t sure what to say. Now I know that it was legally used because it was only used for educational purposes and considered Fair Use. Realistically, A&E and the FBI would never know about it, because a very small number of students viewed it and I wasn’t making money from it.

More recently, I used a few photos that I found on the Internet to enhance educational websites that I created.  I know now, I should have cited my sources and plan to do that from now on.  This use would be protected, but it would be better to give the credit where it is used.  I understand a little more about the importance of giving  a person’s creative talents acknowledgement.

As far as classrooms and education use goes, everything is open for use as long as you are not making a profit with it.  The laws protect teachers from sharing creative work with students so they can learn about our culture and history, without worrying about getting in trouble.

Week 9 Part 2 Social Promotion

Social Promotion  s the practice of promoting students to a higher grade level to support social needs, even if they are not making the appropriate academic progress.

This subject has been a topic of many arguments I have heard over the years I have spent working in the field of education.  I am curious to hear what you think about this subject. 

I have seen many students come through the Education System that I work for (detention and mental health facilities) that have been moved into higher grade levels, without learning the academic requirements.  Most of them are at least 2 grade levels behind their peers.  It ‘s very difficult for me to understand how these kids are getting to high school reading at an elementary school level.  Is it because of social promotion? 


 What are we teaching them by allowing them to move forward without achievement?

Will they ever catch up?

What would happen if there were 17 yr olds in middle school?


There are many resources on this topic, I only listed a few:





Week 9 Part 1 The New Trends in K-12 Education

There are major changes to K12 Education in Delaware, and many other states, right now.

The Common Core Standards are national standards for education (K-12).  The purpose of adopting these standards is to create a more systematic series of educational requirements for student learning throughout the country.  At this time, 46 states have adopted this group of standards.  To help teachers understand the standards and the progression of the standards, the Delaware Dept. of Education rolled out a website this Oct. for reference (http://www.doe.k12.de.us/commoncore/)  The Delaware DEpt. of Education will also be implementing a major professional development program to training teachers and administrators for the upcoming changes.

The national standardized test in production right now.  This test is a technology based assessment that measures the academic  achievement in areas of Math and Reading.  The test is set to roll-out in time for testing during the 2014-15 School Year.  At this time there are performance tasks and sample questions on the test website for teachers and administrators to see and give feedback on.

The trends that need to take place to ready our students for the new assessments are: increased academic vocabulary, increased text complexity,  and increased synthesis of the information being taught.

Week 8- I think I may be turning into an EduPunk too

I am still exploring LMS, but BB is way too expensive to consider for my purposes.  I am attending a meeting about hosting with  Adobe Connect to find out more about it, next week. The reason I started looking at these programs for  training is because many of the teachers I work with are ignoring my weebly site, wiki, Google group and blogs that I created and monitor for the Education Unit.  I created these tools because I get the same questions everyday and each person can build on what they already know and this way there is a central location that staff can find topics to help them with their specific needs when trying to use the technology we have.

I understand the EduPunk viewpoint because people are tired of being charged outrageous prices for the same quality collaboration they can do with free 2.0 Tools.  I do feel comfortable stepping out of the institutionally supported technologies, but I think my colleagues fear it. Many of them ask me questions, like,  “What is a blog?” They just haven’t been exposed to the Web 2.0 Tools and are not happy about the push toward using them in schools. I have not given up on using the blogs, wikis, etc.  but I think if I can reach someone in a different way, that I am not reaching now, it would be good.

The implications of “going Edupunk” with learners is that we are teaching students and teachers how to use technology to communicate, collaborate, and invest in a global community.   The cultural learning, problem solving and communication that takes place online is amazing.  You could not come close to that learning without computers!

I think eventually, costly LMS will go by the wayside and people will just blend it all together as learning.  Even BB seems to be moving in that direction.  The International Society of Technology in Education and other technology education leaders around the world are  supporting the use of open source learning in higher education and K12 classrooms.  The world of education is shifting and becoming better at educating the citizens of our global culture.




Week 7 Blackboard Collaborate

I have always wanted to learn how to do a training on Blackboard Collaborate, but I just never took the time to learn it.  Until now!

I attended a training on it this week, through the Digital Learning Cadre. It was very informative and I was surprised how easy it is to use. This link is a page of resources regarding this platform if you are also interested in learning about this great tool.


I need to find out if I have access to use this or what the cost would be if I would want to use it.  I hope to practice using it over the next few weeks and to do my Tool Exploration Project on it.

This program would be a great way to present and record future trainings for my job.  Our teachers are from all over Delaware, so it’s great to come together online.