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These are just a few words to describe the fabulous Fort Wayne Community Public Schools Convention on August 10, 11 and 12, held at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne , Indiana. Discovery Education’s Steve Dembo was keynote and described the world of technology and education. It is changing at a hectic pace. In his usual energized fashion Steve shared that our digital natives are becoming technology oriented at earlier and earlier ages, citing his own 2 year old.
One important point for educators is that teachers should be assigning projects that enhance student creativity. It is important for students to demonstrate their understanding and this can be done utilizing multiple formats. We should require assignments in which students have the option to prove they know the content in any way they wish. For instance, a musically adept student could write a song, a literature student-a story. Students can demonstrate their understanding of concepts with design projects, blogs, and web pages while utilizing Web 2.0 tools. We must realize that if the student does not indicate a full understanding of the required material/concepts, then he fails. Allowing students to share ideas creatively doesn’t mean that we shortchange content.
Clare Devine presented a workshop sharing strategies and Discovery Education assets. Utilizing an image to use as a hook in a lesson was one idea. Images can be used as story starters by showing either the entire picture or just half a picture. Showing video segments rather than full videos is a much more effective teaching tool. Teachers decide what the essential information is that students need to understand. Discovery Education has a wealth of rich digital media to help convey the information.
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February 2nd was a banner day in Charlotte NC. Not only did the groundhog predict an early spring, but teachers at the Charlotte Mecklenburg School District also predicted that their students would really enjoy the new instructional strategy they just learned about. “Digital Storytelling” is the use of media to express an idea or concept in a non-linguistic way. Teachers started their day learning about the importance of writing and story boarding. They then transformed their stories into movies using Photostory and Movie Maker. Across the district, many new “producers” were born! Bring on the Oscars!
Story boarding always comes first!
What’s more fun than learning about a new Web 2.0 tool for the classroom? Learning about six! During the week of January 18th, fresh off an unexpected week off due to the “Blizzard of 2011″, Dekalb Co GA teachers dug right in and explored a variety of Web 2.0 tools for content creation. Their goal? To become familiar enough with these interactive, engaging, student centered instructional tools to be able to bring them back to their school sites and inspire the rest of their staff. It was an aggressive task but no one minded because it was so much fun!
It’s hard to believe a year and a 1/2 has flown by with all of our PD days at MPS (Milwaukee Public Schools), Wisconsin. This past week I had (along with Cindy) the pleasure and opportunity to wrap up the calendar year with the MPS ITL group! It was great to see many familiar faces of educators we’ve worked with over the past year and 1/2 on Integrating DE streaming. This week we had the chance to take them a step further to prepare them to share out at their school sites creative ways to use multimedia presentations and digital storytelling with their teachers and their students. For me, it’s so rewarding to hear the “ohs and awes” when showing/sharing simple (and sometimes complex) tips and tricks when working with multimedia and digital storytelling. But the best gift of all this week was the amount of sharing and collaboration among ITLs. Several ITLs have already begun to dive deep into both ways to engage their students, and they certainly inspired each other with the number of teacher created and student created projects that were shared! Keep on sharing and collaborating, and as we like to say “You all are each others best resource!” And Thank You for sharing your days with us!
While everyone in the US was gearing up for early morning bargain shopping, on Friday November 26, 2010 School District 36 in Surrey, BC Canada got the best deal of all, a day of Professional Development on the Discovery Education resources! Following a Professional Development day in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada on the eastern seaboard earlier in the week, the DEPD team ventured out west to British Columbia, Canada. Twenty-five educators from 5 different schools in Surrey spent the day in a hands-on training, learning how to navigate the DE streaming Canada site, search for content, bookmark media resources into My Content folders, and a multitude of ways the digital media content can be used in the classroom and beyond. This dynamic group of educators, and their schools, are serving as a team to pilot Discovery Education streaming Canada over the next several months, with hopes to move forward with integrating digital media resources into their instruction. One educator said that today’s training, “got me excited about the Discovery Education site, and gave me ideas of how multimedia can be used more effectively across every subject area.” Another educator also said, “Thank You for today’s training, I have several new ideas to try out now.” I know I received the best “Black Friday” deal of all, by having the opportunity to share the wonderful world of Discovery Education with our new Canadian friends in the north! We wish them much success with their pilot and look forward to connecting with them in the future!
To those of us from the mainland Hawaii is a paradise. Students and teachers at Waipahu Intermediate School are accustomed to their beautiful island. Waipahu Intermediate School has their own star with Erin Yagi. Not only is Ms. Yagi a Teacher of the Year, but she is a gracious host and innovative teacher. With two days of Discovery Streaming most of the teachers were able to have an initial presentation on DE Streaming for different subject areas. The first day teachers learned the basics of Streaming. On the second day students were able to ‘take off’ with Discovery Streaming.
Waipahu students were studying the history of Hawaii and enthusiastically researched information about King Kamehameha, animals and other information from around the world. Some students were able to begin PhotoStory projects using information, pictures and other data from Discovery Streaming.
Funny thing is, we should send THEM a thank you note for such a great collaborative training day in Charlotte, North Carolina! Fifty great teachers spent the day with us to learn the exciting, rich content inside of Discovery Education Health! There are so many great lesson plans, activities and information for these teachers to use when they are working with their K-12 students.Many of the teachers gave us encouraging words:”Why would I use anything else when all I need is here?””My head is overflowing with all of this good stuff!”” I am so excited about going to work tomorrow so I can keep diving in and finding more resources to use with my students!””I know I’m not going to sleep tonight, because I’ll be thinking about all of these resources I can use!”So, even though we received a hand written thank you note from one of the District Facilitators, we thank you for joining us to learn about Discovery Education HEALTH!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 Pardes Jewish Day School Teachers investigated Discovery Streaming. Pardes is a beautiful private school in Phoenix, Arizona. It is rated one of the top 10 schools in Arizona. Teachers worked to develop skills in embedding technology in the classroom. Many teachers were surprised to see that Streaming is more than just video.
New strategies were shared and teachers were excited to see images, black line masters, lesson plans and songs. The excitement increased as everyone was able to find at least one new asset for their lessons. Because school was beginning in just a few days teachers were relieved to see information that could be used immediately. Many people enjoyed the multitude of educational games available.
Pardes Jewish Day School also subscribed to Discovery Science. With this asset Pardes faculty and students will be able to complete virtual labs.
The possibilities are endless and teachers are Pardes Jewish Day School are well on their way to utilizing Discovery technology in their classrooms.