Welcome to the Jungle

Pasco County, one of the newest unitedstreaming counties, invited me to come to their district today to train in Digital Storytelling. Karen and Jennifer were the best hostesses, and their school lunch that Karen treated me to was actually delicious. Now, my Welcome to the Jungle title refers to, I guess, an internal site for their teachers. But I kept hearing it today, that I had to use it.

They asked me to share the PowerPoint from the lesson and some of my favorite sites. I will first admit that some of the slides are borrowed from Kay Teehan’s resource that is uploaded in the resource section. I think I borrowed 4 slides. For me, digital storytelling is a way of giving students a voice, and so that’s the title of my presentation. Download giving_students_a_voice.ppt  I would love to share my iMovie tips, however, I didn’t have any. Thankfully they knew that software, because as a PC user, I didn’t. My only tip, just make sure that you download the EDITABLE clips in Quicktime format.

They asked for some of my favorite resources. First on the list is Inspiration, great to plan with and to even present with. You can download a free trial if you’re not familiar with it. But if you are familiar with it, they have a great scholarship opportunity to help you pay for either a graduate course or a conference of your choice that deals with visual learning. (NECC is in Atlanta this summer!) Read about it in this month’s newsletter.

The next favorite is Tech4Learning. Tech4Learning offers some GREAT software to use with students. I also enjoy their MyT4L site. This site gives you tools, such as an incredible rubric maker that I just love, "recipes for success" – which are how to-do lessons for software, and even a link to pics4learning. One of the recipes by the way deal with unitedstreaming! They worked hard on it, and include a Mac recipe. Hey, and if you are a Tech4Learning user, apply for their wonderful Innovative Educator Award.

I also read the book Ish by Peter Reynolds. One of the stories I shared was a reverse of Future Vision, but instead a look back. It was "He Was Me".

Now, my favorite tool is unitedstreaming. Don’t forget that in the Professional Development section we have the Teaching Tips, Trainer Toolkit and so much more. But their favorite was when I introduced them to Brian Degenhart, their implementation rep. They kept asking me techy questions that I just could not answer. So we got help from Brian and then when Brian was involved in a webex, I got on with Matt Monjan – another FANTASTIC Implmentation Rep. Remember, call that 1-800 if you have questions, if you want to set up a web-ex training, or have an issue. They can help you. They like to talk to the end user. They are there for you!

Yesterday by the way I spent time with Nikki Slinkard’s Class in Polk County. Awesome fun with technology and my life as a military child in Germany. Nikki, there are some great videos on Germany to watch with your students on unitedstreaming AND COSMEO.

What a great day! Thanks Pasco County for having me.


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  1. Karen Michalak said:

    The media specialist in Pasco County Florida really appreciated the workshop on Digital Storytelling that Danielle Abernethy did for us today. She had excellent resources to share from an educator view point, modeled the teaching process and provided hands-on opportunities. Everyone in the workshop developed a deeper awareness of activities that can used with unitedstreaming to improve student academc performance by engaging students in the learning process.

    Research done by Boster (2002) showed that the use of digital video clips to supplement instruction resulted in increased student achievement

    Boster, F. J., Meyer, G. S., Roberto, A. J., & Inge, C. C. (2002). A report on the effect of the unitedstreaming(TM) application on educational performance. Cometrika, Inc., Baseline Research, LLC., & Longwood University.

    If you have the opportunity to invite Danielle from North Florida DEN to your location you will be very pleased. She brings a lot of personal experiences and a lot of enthusiasm with her.

  2. Cheryl Woolwine - NFL said:

    I agree we have Danielle as often as possible – she always revitalizes us and shows us new and exciting ways to unitedstreamning in with our students!

  3. Henry Haake said:

    Digital story-telling is a superb way to incorporate technology in the classrom. Kay Teehan’s book is very good and is sure to become the handbook for digital story-telling.

    I liked Josh Wolfe’s suggestion in the powerpoint about using photographs as a “topic” for student writing. I plan to use his idea in my eighth grade classes.

  4. Jennifer Krill said:

    I can’t wait to read Teehan’s book.
    I’m sorry I missed the Digital Storytelling workshop. What a great tool to add to every teachers bag of tricks. I have only heard positives about the training and the eagerness to return to school and implement.

    Thanks Danielle.

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