Virtually Yours: A Second Chance @ DEN 10 Tech or Treat VirtCon

A Second Chance, Virtually!

Everyone deserves a second chance, especially when it comes to tech treats from Discovery Education‘s Virtual Conference. If you did not attend the DENs Second Annual Virtual Conference, or if you could not stay the day, here’s a second chance, virtually yours, to learn. You can find webinar descriptions and session archives on the DEN Blog (it’s gone global, but that’s another post), or at Discovery Media Share (only if you are a STAR), or for your viewing convenience, you can cozy up at home and watch from here.

I attended Gail Lovely’s keynote, It’s Not The Technology; It’s The Learning, and it was a wonderful set piece for the day. Lovely has graciously shared her resources on her website, along with her PowerPoint.

Collaboration beyond refrigerator postings

From Porter Palmer, Out Of This World Ideas For Showcasing Student Work provided a wealth of resources definitely worth investigating. Collaborative, creative, engaging, and cutting edge, Palmer and her ideas make re-/visiting her webinar a must do. I loved her analogy about how her work was viewed when she was a child–on the kitchen refrigerator–in hopes that a family friend or a relative would notice and comment. I can definitely relate to that analogy. How times have changed, with global audiences for our students. One of the tools Palmer showcased is a favorite of mine, LiveBinders, and I can tell you from classroom use it is a great ePortfolio of your students’ work. She also did a great Web 2.0 mashup, so this webinar is definitely Diigoed.

DE’s Digital Storytelling Site

Whitney Milhoulides’s Digital Storytelling in a Web 2.0 World entails much more than digital editing; it encompasses the culture of storytelling with all of it elements. Images, music, narratives, and voice, along with various Web 2.0 applications for delivering information in a way our digital natives prefer are tips and tech treats this archive offers.

Mobile phone ready 4 this archive!

From Hall Davidson, the West Coast Keynote, comes Ten Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do With Video and Zombies — And Two You Did. The first thing the inimitable Hall Davidson did was to tell you to get your mobile phone ready, since you can move videos or stills to your computer. So, mobile videos from students’ mobile phones can be uploaded to a high school server. Training begins for good video production early, in elementary school through high school, but teachers need to model appropriate use. To transfer, you need an SD card, or a FLIP camera, but it can be done via the web. For this webinar’s resources, plus some extras from Discovery’s video guru–webisodes plus–check out this link.

Enjoy the power of video!

Hall’s presentation really cuts the edge on mobile videos, uploads, and ways to send lesson plans (you guessed it, via videos to a mobile video upload site–that students can upload with their mobile phones–love it! And yes, I’m trying it soon). What is so intriguing is that you are creating and using videos in real time. You might want to try making a video on the fly with this webinar. I promise you it’s really fun! And if you are looking for new–and advanced–ways to use mobile video, this webinar is waiting for you. Always entertaining, Hall’s archive is delightful, and I’m enjoying it with East Coast coffee on a Sunday morning. PS: I like that Hall is hoping to nudge Discovery to create a place in Media Share for mobile video uploads.

Discovery’s Progress Zone

Digital Media, Formative Assessment, and the 21st Century Classroom with Kyle Schutt explores how digital media, collaborative environments, and formative assessment tools can be used together to create the ultimate 21st century workspace. Schutt began with a Google Form formative readiness assessment survey on best practices to assess his audience. Building common language, Schutt said this is not information for the grade book. Students need to inform their own learning, and we need to create formative assessments to guide their learning. The tool of choice is Discovery’s Progress Zone. I am piloting Discovery’s Assessment tools in my classroom, and in the future will be blogging about it. Schutt’s webinar provides excellent insight into the why of formative assessment, and of course, the how is Progress Zone. Learn how here.

DE + iPad = 2 Top Educational Tools!

Last but by far not the least, we end the Virtual Conference the way we began, with our very special emcee, Steve Dembo on DE Mobile: Student Access and the iPad. I must reiterate that there are countless benefits of being a DEN STAR, but even more if you sit on your state’s Leadership Council. During our monthly Insider Webinars, we get scoops on what’s coming, so we knew about DE Mobile and the iPad just a bit before its DE release. Steve’s session focuses on iDevices and the iPad in particular. Please note that Dembo is an iPad FAN because there are so many ways you can use the tool in education, but (virtual drum roll) especially with Discovery Education.

Why the i? – answered!

Dembo began with why the i? – especially since Apple is a closed system. The answer: the system works really well, especially in getting more reticent teachers involved. The other piece is the battery life; it’s the most compelling reason to go with an iDevice right now–9.5-10 hours of video playing, but Dembo says in real-time use, the battery lasts and lasts. No worry about carts and chargers; and it is a highly social computing platform. And it is a touch platform, light, easy, passes and shares in ways you cannot do in laptops.

Another compelling reason is ease of use; Steve gave it to his baby and away he went. Grandparents always use it, even when they are in their 90ies. I see my husband’s Christmas present coming (but won’t I want one too?). This device addresses two age demographics that have been passed over: the young and the old. The apps are over 400,000, making it the fasting-growing mobile device in history (Android has not caught up yet, and the popularity is not yet there). People are more inclined to buy in the Apps Store so developers follow the money. Check out this image of apps; someone created a font using all the apps. Did we mention inexpensive and diverse. Your iPad is your mobile internet, Flip camera, podcasting, iPod. It just does it all! 4 case studies

Is it the ideal solution for education. The potential is there, according to Dembo. He suggests you wait for Generation 2 iPads (near Christmas or April), or go iPad. He definitely likes it better than a netbook. For example, if you wanted the LiveScribe pen/notebooks but didn’t want to splurge, on your iPad you can add the LiveNotes app and have the same functionality. You can save your notes and then play what was happening at that time.

DE Streaming on your iPad

But by far, the best new app for the iPad comes from DE. Discovery Education Streaming has a mobile app that you can add by going to You use your same login information for your Discovery account. Right now this is iPad only, but Discovery is working on an iPhone and Android version, and more is coming down the DE pipeline soon. Pretty cool when you have student access to over 33,000 safe, vetted videos. Love it.

For the rest of Steve’s webinar, well, you’ll just have to watch the archive, and it’s definitely worth it.

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  2. Jennifer Gentzyel said:

    Thank you for providing me with some new tools to incorporate into my instruction. I’m eager to check out LiveBinder in greater detail!

  3. Pat Engleman said:

    Thanks for posting all of these. There was no way I could get out of class to attend, but the learning is too valuable to leave undone!

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