Back to Basics

The idea of this posting, and its subsequent postings comes, from my good friend, and DEN Star Member, Stevie Kline – Intermediate Unit One Coal Center in Pennsylvania.

During a recent conversation Stevie asked me if we could include some information for users that are not only brand new to unitedstreaming, but may be getting their feet wet with technology as a whole.  I thought this is a great way to turn tech-NO-logy into Tech-KNOW-logy (sorry I love a cheesy pun).

As we all know there is a great diversity of tech skills and knowledge within our schools and workplaces.  To help level the playing field (just a wee bit), I’m going to create a series of postings called "Back to Basics." 

Each Back to Basics blog will address technology and/or unitedstreaming terms and break them down into layman terminology.  They’ll also include tips and tricks, and easy-to-follow instructions for you to share with your colleagues. 

I’ve also created a Back To Basics Category (located in the grey bar on the left-hand side of your screen).

Finally, I’ll update and attach this information as a Word document so that you can print it out and use as a reference.

We’ll start with the A’s and go through to the Z’s (I may have to be liberal with some letters like X or Z).  Of course I welcome your input so please feel free to add your knowledge to the postings – I’ll capture your comments and add them to the document.

Ok let’s get started!

Adding Content – unitedstreaming allows users to save ("bookmark") links to unitedstreaming assets (videos, quizzes, images, assignments, etc) so that, once they find them,  they don’t have to search for them all over again.  Links to these assets are stored in the "My Content," "School Content," or "District Content" folders. 

Now here’s the really cool thing, you can organize your unitedstreaming bookmarks and create customized folders. 

For example, let’s say that I want to teach a unit on Cells.  I can click on "My Content," create a folder called "Cells" and store videos on cell division, images of mitochondria, articles on the nucleus, quizzes, writing prompts, assignments and more, all in my Cell folder.  Then, when I want to access my unit on Cells, I simply click on My Content, the Cell Folder, and voila – there’s all my stuff!

It is important to note that this material is not physically saved on your hard drive, it is simply saved as a link within unitedstreaming.  To print out step-by-step instructions, click on link at the end of this posting.

You can also go to the blog posting My Content, Your Content, Our Content.

Audio Files – unitedstreaming houses elementary songs, famous speeches, and over 3,000 sound effects.   These audio files are in MP3 Format.  MP3 is an audio-specific computer format. It takes the audio and compresses it (makes it smaller) by filtering off certain sounds that cannot be heard by the listener, i.e., outside the normal human hearing range.

Since the audio files are compressed, they can easily be downloaded and embedded (put inside) things like Word, PowerPoint, and even Google Earth!

To search for a unitedstreaming audio file simply log into unitedstreaming and choose Audio: Songs, Audio: Sound Effects, or Speeches in the "WITHIN" box and hit Go.Audio_search

Now here are some really cool applications:

  1. Use unitedstreaming images and sound files to help English Language Learners by inserting them into Word or Powerpoint
  2. Make your own Student sound files and combine them with images to tell a digital story
  3. Use the unitedstreaming songs as activators in your elementary classroom
  4. Use the unitedstreaming songs, images, and speeches to help illustrate a lesson or unit

Check the attached documents to see how to do step by step instructions for some of these ideas. Download back_to_basics_document.doc

Tune in for the next Back to Basic when we discuss terms like "bandwidth, bits, bytes and more"

Talk to you soon!

Discovery Educator Network!


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  1. Teryl Magee - TN DEN LC, Chair said:

    Great idea! I think sometimes we forget (those of us who have been active unitedstreaming users and DEN membes for awhile) that it all stated with a click on unitedstreaming! Anyone catch the “cheesy” reference? : )

  2. Tim Childers said:

    This is terrific! I can’t wait to point my new teachers to your valuable resources. Keep up the good work!

  3. Maryann Molishus said:

    Thanks, Matt. This is perfect for an upcoming workshop!

  4. Stevie Kline said:

    I’ve been away for awhile that is why I didn’t respond sooner. Thanks for the help and ALWAYS listening!!! Stevie

  5. Mary Kuterbach said:

    Matt- I think this is a great idea. Very helpful. But I would still like to see a “Dummy’s” version to help those teachers who really struggle no matter how easy you make it.

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