Just some of my thoughts….

There really is no category…but I have had some interesting conversations/emails with folks this week and they were worthy enough to share.  No, the discussions were about cool ideas in the classroom not the TV show of the week (although I love The Amazing Race –my favorite.  Oops, not a Discovery show – it’s the only show I watch outside of Discovery :)). 

Last week, I visited with Rosanna Webb, librarian from Lindsay ISD.  Rosanna is one of those people that you enjoy talking to so much that you end up at her school for over two hours!  Rosanna wrote later, "I was encouraged by your visit–and challenged!  I SO want to move beyond just "viewing" videos into integration & collaboration!!!… I’m so encouraged by our new administration that I see it as more of a possibility than I ever have before which has given me renewed energy.  Maybe with your help, we can actually get the ball rolling."  The DEN will be there for you Rosanna!

I was working with Jackie Chetzron yesterday and she is a librarian at Lake Highlands Junior High in Richardson ISD.  Every spring, the students are given their summer reading list and instead of giving the same speech to every student or just a handout, Jackie thought of making a digital story using MovieMaker to share the summer book list.  Or maybe she could even podcast and email it to all the teachers or put on her website???  Not that we want to take away that face to face interaction, but the students could access the video and possibly even record their thoughts this summer.  I think I might be understanding this technology thing….Steve, do I qualify for geek status yet?

I also received an email from Minetta Smith, librarian at Reed Elementary in Allen ISD.  She shared a story of how a teacher who had never checked out the media cart EVER finally tried it when she wanted to show The Magic School Bus Blows Its Top.  Minetta wrote, "DEN worked a miracle today…She [the teacher] thought it was pretty neat.   So thanks DEN for providing a means of getting her involved.”  I don’t think the DEN is the ONLY reason – Minetta, you are the BEST reason!  Keep up the fantastic work!

Finally, here’s a question for you out there……How can you use unitedstreaming and digital media in a one-computer, projector-free classroom?  There are people out there doing it……let us know what they are doing! 


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  1. Beth Weeks said:

    How exciting to hear of so many conversations about using the unitedstreaming and video in classrooms! I am fortunate to have several computers in each room and a lab.. but we don’t always use united streaming on our projectors and tv screens.. we incorporate it into PowerPoint and the students work independently responding to the video… I have done one in PowerPoint on Thanksgiving that ended up in Excel graphing and will do another on PowerPoint where we watch pieces of the story in PowerPoint and type our responses on the next powerpoint screen! Another one we watched the story and then worked with clipart graphics to retell the story in a powerpoint storyboard. So many options!!!

  2. Pam Neven said:

    My 7th grades lived for “story time”. Everyone sat down on the floor, got themselves comfortable and we watched clips of appropriate videos on my computer. I turned the screen so everyone could see and it worked. I think the kids enjoyed the reminder of “story time”. I let them be kids. And they learned or mastered the topics at hand.

  3. Karen Law said:

    Reply to the one computer question: I have only one computer in my room that I use for review Powerpoints and some individual Special Ed Assignments. Students can view individually. Other students can jump on the Internet to look up questions that come up in class that we don’t know the answers to. Sometimes a student can use a single computer for extra credit to locate a visual on some topic we are currently discussing. I don’t have a projector in my classroom, but I do have a considerably less expensive Averkey that I show on the TV.

  4. Elaine Plybon said:

    I have a single computer, which cannot be accessed by students, in my classroom. I have a scan converter hooked up to the computer, sending the signal to a large TV in my room. This enables all my students to see videos, PowerPoints, and any graphic animations I want to use to enhance my lessons, without them having individual access to the computer. Scan converters are much cheaper than a projector, and you might be able to convince administration to get one for you. The one I use is one I check out from the librarian every August and turn back in every May.

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