DEN LC PM Sessions

The morning DEN LC was devoted to leadership sessions for state chairs and blog and event coordinators. It was a busy and productive planning session, where you were fortunate to meet with all the coordinators/leaders from all the states (that attended). The blog session, run by Steve Dembo, was excellent, paced for neophyte and novice. But the PM sessions allowed everyone to participate in three sessions, and they were all wonderful. Although they were pitched as Leadership Council tools we could share in common across the US, all of the featured tools work equally well in the classroom.

Image representing Wufoo as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

According to Mike Bryant, Wufoo is cleaner/leaner than Google Forms, the latter owning all content. Bryant found Wufoo as a way of tracking calls; now DEN uses it to track registration.
Morning sessions were leadership planning within leadership teams: chairs, event, and blog coordinators.
So, why Wufoo? The answer is: the ease of reporting data. The team at DE is working on a custom template to make embeddable form on our blogs easier for LC events by building out forms.

According to Steve Dembo, MediaShare is a media management server marketed to school districts so they can aggregate/upload/store materials in one place. This product evolved from DEs need to contain info in one place. All DEN members can get into/download materials, but only STARS can do rating, have full upload access. Under a single asset, you can place as many files/resources as you want = beauty of MediaShare = great bundler w/single link for everything audio/video/text. MS = visible to all in DEN but can be shared w/MS users who are not necessarily DEN; you have options to share with DEN and District (either-or/both) + “national audience”; STARS have the most options, another GREAT reason to become a DEN STAR (or maintain your STAR status by reporting events). MS allows multiple uploads/types; video always interfaces w/Flash; next version of Streaming will search all products you have access to–pretty cool new tool, cutting edge (more about that below).

Limits in MS = 100 mb per file; need to break it up or call DE for an exceptionality; if you have 10 – 100 mg = 1 gb and if broken up into 10 segments, you are fine. When you are finished with creating a MS resource, even if you do not click “done,” your uploads are still there. The resource is created and is in “search”; you can find it by going back to your resources. MS = will accept embeddable code in “description” box; so instead of uploading a file, go to a VoiceThread for code and embed in resource (really like this feature); when you put it in “description,” it “resolves” and becomes the end product of embeddable code. The beauty of MediaShare = you can upload multiple media into description via embeddable code, including a ustream.tv box so that next time you did the presentation, you could have the live feed as a resource in real time. MS = flexible system: easy on template/format; aligns to other Discovery taxonomies; always check “check to allow embedding/direct linking” (if you want to share outside MS).

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...Image via CrunchBase

Internal tools as well as marketing devices, Jennifer Dorman demonstrates the elasticity of Google: Calendar, Groups, and Docs. “How to” are linked; today’s session is about integration. Google Calendar can be used for everything, personal, academic, marketing, in-house, and can be shared out with everyone. Like all Google apps, it’s collaborative, organizational, and transparent. Technically, you have these tools if you have Google Docs, so you already have a calendar; you just need to activate it. Your calendar will be your user name, but the calendar’s name can be changed. On one GC interface, you can add multiple calendars: yours and ones shared with you. Color-coding enables easier sharing of multipe calendars/users. Public calendars can be shared; private calendars can be shared selectively. LC calendars should be shared with editing rights among the state LC. Making changes and managed sharing are different. Tip: when you go to add an event, the event will default to main calendar, but drop down menu allows you to place event on appropriate calendar. Be certain to display events in proper time zone when you are broadcasting to an audience with multiple time zones. You can customize a widget by subscribing to your interests (e.g. Classroom 2.0). You can change the width and height to get a better widget size. (Might be a good idea to have a LC/DEN calendar on blogs). GC has an offline version of the calendar that will sync with online and can be added to Blackberry, iPhone. If you put a specific address in GC, it will embed a Google map.

Google Docs: Teryl Magee uses GD for TN DEN event planning across 3 sectors. The GD allowed them to see that they had even distribution of events across the state, including: date, event-title description, location, person assigned to the event, contact made/price estimate, wufoo sumbitted, DEN Approval. Teryl is willing to share TN event document if you notify her. Form also has session sign ups for Day of Discovery events. Can add GC url and link to events GD. Teryl created a form in GD to track registration with populating the event with STARS with top priority. GD is often easier to access data than Wufoo, according to Dorman, who uses both applications.

Second LifeImage via Wikipedia

Google Groups: Riptide Furse, aka Fred Delventhal, wanted a way to organize Second Life: DEN in SL, DEN in Second LIfe, DEN Guides. These groups have filters because of spammers, so you request permission to join the groups in SL. Peope are verified before acceptance. You can join the Google SL group without going to SL. Second Life uses GG to send emails with a group email, which broadcasts emails and creates discussion groups as well. Discussions create threads that are collected in one place. The GG allow multiple editors/chats simultaneously and will give a running record. GG is similar to a listserv/archive. GG really becomes a professional marketing tool. Wiki-like functionality w/broadcasting.

Matt Monjon previews new enhancements in Discoverystreaming, so early surprises. They married all the products under one search engine. I can tell you the new version looks FABULOUS. What’s great: a search goes through all the Discovery products. Each product logo for each search is diplayed. It’s really hard to describe the new look/feel; just trust me you WILL love it. Most searched/popular resources are tabulated, as well as highest rated videos will also enable you to search for what other user like. You will have the option to use an older view (but you won’t want it, so 2008). The narrowing down on the left by subject/grade/resources/media type is awesome, and things like closed captioned or editable videos is no longer hidden. Services are broken out by user in a drill-down format in a taxonomy. Re-sort is rapid and flexible. Major upgrade on the plus package gives your math and science overviews. Builder and classroom tools are tied to all assets; there are new tools for reporting for that all-important data collection that drive teacher decisions. New featured content for all your product access are highlighted on the new My DE. Since this is a global interface, you can now add streaming, science, and streaming assets, as well as a writing prompt, and then save it in my “global classroom” folder. You can assign your content to an individual or entire class, making this new product an awesome remedial tool.

The video assets page has a new download icon, and the display feature for each clip of a video is more visual and manageable. Nice enhancement. When the video plays, the framing device looks like HD and streams in multiple media players. You now have choices for streaming and downloading (awesome) and you have sharing options to 17 popular social networks. A new tab has been added to show all related videos in a series. The drop-down aspects of this enhancement–really wonderful. A bonus: additional exploration videos on a given topic. Videos are now embeddable, giving you full functionality!! “My Content” is global and can be sent to “My Classes.” Can assign dates, add school lists to “My Classes,” can sort by letter, can assign classes manually or have students login. How do you populate a data base. The answer is an upload tool that will allow Discovery to upload your students. They do all the work for you. I’m loving this so much. Student will be able to search, create products, and download videos to account, but they will not be able to populate to MediaShare. Student Media Packs will be a sub-set of the Teacher Media Packs, so students will not be able to see and access everything that a teacher can.

The next generation educational technology archipelago will take us to more platform integration with Web 2.o tools, mobile tools, and management systems. Take DE from one piece and ingrane it to the connectiosn that 21st century students make. And that’s what we all loe about Discovery Education: and as DEN LCs, we are getting a roll-out tonight.

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