DEN FETC PreCon 2009

I’ve had to explain it a few times and without going into too much detail, it’s been a rough couple of months with some family issues since my last post for Florida. For that I do apologize. It looks like the rough part is behind us and it’s time to move on. With the new year just starting, it’s time to start fresh. And what better way to start it then with FETC 2009 upon us.

 It’s hard to believe that we live in the state of Florida. About 50ish DEN Stars met up early yesterday morning to head out to the Central Florida Zoo for this year’s DEN pre-con event. We huddled our way out there on a VERY chilly morning, TOO chilly for me. We started our morning with a session on Voicethread with Lee Kolbert. Personally I am always forgetting about voicethread as a tool to use in my reportoire of tools. As always, Lee did a great job in sharing how best to use voicethread in the classroom.

Our new regional manager, Justin followed Lee with sharing Glogster.com . Glogster is a combination of video, graphics, hyperlinks, text and music all rolled into one.  It definitely lends to a way to create movie or book trailers with little fuss. The ability to add the video though looks to be a great way as an alternative to begin webquests.

We were able to take an icicle pop tour of the zoo. Was very hard to focus on what the zoo guide was saying to us personally as I was constantly seeking out the usually only sunny spot at each of the animal areas. As with any DEN event we were tasked with an assignment. To create using any media “My DEN Story”. Unfortunately the tech gods were not with us this lovely day, as the wifi in the room was not strong enough to handle 40 bandwith hogging DEN Stars to complete their projects.

Alls well though, the DEN team huddled and moved us along with Plan B (at least I think it was plan B). I’m not really sure what they are calling it now, but I remember it vividly being used for the first time as “Cruising with the STARS”.  Volunteers from the group were asked to share their best tool that they use with everyone else. Here are the highlights of that session.

FuturesChannel.com (Katy)
2nd-12th grade; science movies videos and activities

Discovery Education + CDWG Win a wireless lab competition

GoAnimate.com (Brad)
Web 2.0 site where you can create your own animated video using templates, DE streaming images, voiceovers, and much more.

Jing (Katy)
Jingproject.com; screen capture application.  Creates stills and videos…great for tutorials!

Gizmoz.com (Tracie)
‘The best talking characters ever!” Allows you to upload your pictures into templates, make adjustments add voice overlays.  Tracie uses this to spice up her “do now” activities for her kids each day.

Portaportal.com (Sonda)
Create collections of bookmarks to share with others.  FREE!  Groups can register for their own collection that they can manage and maintain.

Scracth.mit.edu (Melissa)
All education based movie creator.  Creations can be saved in project folders and shared.  MIT is keeping a close eye on this content to ensure that it is appropriate.  Empowers kids to create great movies!!

Wordle.net (Marcia)
Creates a visual representation of words that are pasted into Wordle (e.g. Obama speech).  Ideas shared include doing a Wordle of your school’s mission statement, doing an analysis of words used in student writing and using filters to show different representations.  Placing a ~ (tilde) between two words will keep them together!!

MovieMaking.com (Carmen)
Video tips and tricks to help you and  your students create their own movies.

Alice.org (Mary Jo)
Inspired by Randy Pausch (Last Lecture) to encourage girls to explore computer programming.

Googlelittrips.org (Mary Jo)
Collection of Google Earth files that compliment the book that you are reading with your classes.  Organized by grade level, teachers can download KMZ files that will import place marks into your Google Earth favorites.  Be sure to check out the trip or Big Anthony which was posted by Michigan STAR, Andy Losik.

In an effort to get this out in a time crunch, I will come back and add the direct links to the words. I’m heading off to my presentation on the exhibit hall floor and I’ve just plum run out of time. I’ll also get more out later today about the first full day of FETC.

Until then.

Tom.

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