For those of you who do not know, before coming to Discovery, I was a classroom teacher for 5 years in Anaheim City School District (ACSD)…. Just in case you were still wondering, I taught 1st, 4th, 5th, and 6th. So, I was delighted when STAR DEN Members Brian Brooks and Ray Hernandez from ACSD emailed to let me know that Alan November would be making a visit to my old stomping grounds.
The day was set up so that Alan would speak to the administrators in the morning, spend time with 1 classroom in the early afternoon, and 2 hours with the teachers after-school. Guess who was the lucky one who had a classroom visit from Alan November…. our very own STAR DEN Member Ray Hernandez!
I was fortunate enough to be in town and was able to stop by and observe. No pressure for Ray and his kids as STAR DEN member Brian Brooks and his tech team caught the whole thing on 3 different cameras.
I’ll share a few of my favorite parts with you…
Alan started off by telling the kids that maybe they would be able to take a look at Google Earth and fly around. It didn’t take too long before one of the student raised their hand and informed Mr. November that they were very familiar with Google Earth. Intrigued he asked what they did with Google Earth. Another student explained that they create placemarks linked to unitedstreaming clips and do fly over tours. Let’s just say he was pretty impressed.
After covering a few safe search practices he began talking about podcasting. Again, a few more hands flew up and proudly explained that they do their own podcast and have their own webpage. So, Alan took that opportunity to visit their site www.cr13.podomatic.com/ I encourage you to also check it out… Scroll down a bit and watch the "Podcast on Amelia Earhart"
The best moment by far came after students watched a video that another school put together to welcome new students to their class. Alan gave the students time to brain storm how they would construct their own video and as he walked around he came across a group debating which program they would use… Some argued MovieMaker while others gave their vote for PhotoStory and when challenged that PhotoStory only allows one layer of audio, one student explained they would complete their audio in Audacity, export as a MP3, and then import into the program. WOW! All this from 6th graders! Alan was amazed as were the rest of us!
A true testament to the power of lots of modeling. STAR DEN member Ray Hernandez just doesn’t go out and learn new technologies, he applies them… and not just for direct instruction, but also encouraged his students to become active participants!