They’re Coming from the Cloud and They’re There to Help: The New Digital

High Definition Hall Davidson

High Definition Hall DavidsonHall Davidson, Distinguished Lecturer and an amazing tech guru began his presentation by defining terms because they define us. Early “stuff” existed in itself, like floppy disks, CD Roms, flashdrives, a wired network but then progress. Now we can deliver that same information because we have more devices that move around, wirelessly. Wi-Fi and mobile networks changed how we work, so we had to rethink our definition because we have THE CLOUD. Everything goes there now. Rethought complete–for now–as a vehicle for delivering resources, reacting to, and returning the information. You are in the cloud and we have just redefined digital.

Think about how Hollywood delivered content just 1 year ago, or how Walmart is advertising their ability to put your digital content in the cloud. Remember: anywhere, anytime? Now add back and forth. The challenge: to rethink how the cloud content is used as your create something specifically for the cloud.

Think about carrying your content in a backpack. Not dynamic content. Now think tablet. Dynamic. Old school: tomes of encyclopedias. New school: Discovery Education Techbook Series. Very dynamic. What has changed: techbooks can live in the cloud and you can update it.

As we move into the cloud, differentiation and individualization happens. Google nose. 44,000 images pop up. But if I want a specific nose, Google can find it because it reads your mail. Now Google gives you that specific nose; in otherwords, specialization rebuilds itself as we place things in the cloud. Drill and kill becomes drill and thrill. PDF documents are not a good use of the cloud, because it can’t be changed, modified, updated–it can’t grow with you. It isn’t wildly interactive. We should expect more of our books, our learning, our digital literacy building.

Ever notice people watching their devices. They travel with us, an extension of self. Today we have moved beyond the textbook. Engineering and science and math now can recapture the American student with digital techbooks because it will engage, enlighten, interact, morph and grow as we grow. Your device is your new backpack. It is multilingual, transformative, your future. And on that device could be your digital math and science techbook from Discovery Education. Now we don’t all have to be on the same page. Let’s face it: digital techbooks are a different way of learning. Think authentic 21st century learning. Techbooks also change the role of teachers in education, and that’s not a scary thought.

DE’s Digital Techbook

Discovery Education Techbooks are not just another ebook. If it is in the cloud, you can see what other people highlight, read, interact with on a daily basis. Learning becomes collaborative, both f2f, but even more interestingly, in the clould. Think about defining a book: hard copy, paper,, Nook, Kindle, cloud. The latter unlocks levels of digital, changes it. Digital games go beyond playing; now students are writing games. Beyond play, the cloud is empowerment. If I write a game and it goes into the cloud, then my brother/sister can play it. In a virtual universe, accurate interactive games are redefined. Significantly. Like Four-Square, your cloud travel locates your use.


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I had the good fortune to get a sneak peek at the Discovery Education Techbook Series, and it is learning like no other. Difficult to explain without seeing, hearing, interacting, co-authoring, being wildly interactive, creating, sharing–but it is multi-media on a whole new playing field–in the cloud. It’s the new digital. In and out, back and forth with content. We want to interact with our books. Content creation! Think mashup, but on a higher and different collaborative use, thus redefining our concept of mashup. So much bigger.

Your devices are backpacks, cloud carrying content. New school book with its own backpack. Carrying back and forth cloud interaction.Remember: you don’t need a device; you just need access somewhere else to your login. Ubiquitous Wi-Fi. Take a look at TED talks Mike Matas “A Next-Generation Digital Book.”


“What you do for a blogger”

SO, you have your information in the cloud, you’re using a tablet, and now you attach a microscope to it. Interesting content interaction. Hall checked my head for lice–but no lice–and not in the cloud (better not be). But you get the idea. What you magnify you can add to your backpack.

When it comes to tools, Hall demonstrated Leaf Snap (an electronic field guide) and Tour Wrist (travel remotely)two of my favorite apps. In the cloud. Add Google Translate App which translates your voice through your phone. Goes to the cloud, translates, then comes back to your phone. What can you do with QR code? Anything. Everything. Do your students ever forget something. You can make a movie, build a book, whatever…and QR code it. Make a QR code wall and send your student with his/her device to your classroom QR Wall. Go to and you can make a voice code. And you can do this in different languages. Back and forth–in the cloud. allows you to change your QR code. Hall likes this one because — drum roll — it let’s you make changes — back and forth in the cloud. You can also do a QR code tattoo–that sings, whistles, or dances. If you’re a techie with a love for tattoos, this is YOUR new favorite thing.

So how do devices connect. Hall began by showing us a digital book with a highlighted word. He also downloaded the Wikipedia Encyclopedia. When he clicked on the highlighted word, it delivered him to the word in the encyclopedia, delivering beyond a single silo app, because NOW apps can work together. Interactive functionality. Hall likes Word Lens–it translates into other languages by scanning your text. Very cool. Comic Touch Lite can photo and then label an image, send it to the cloud for the teacher to evaluate, then send it back to the student, all on your mobile phone. The last app is CoachesEye. Make a superfast video. Send it–back and forth–make it transparent on a blog, wiki, or maybe your LiveBinder portfolio.

Working this way, students can find themselves the first day in their book. The cloud continues to feed itself with your data, collecting, analyzing, and reconfiguring itself. Action Movie FX is Hall’s confessed guilty pleasure app. BTW: this is his third last thing. I count.

Hall’s resources: http:://

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  1. Christine Sylvain said:

    I just heard Hall Davidson’s presentation at the Tech Conference at the Palm Beach County School District. I am absolutely blown away and have so many ideas for my classroom. I teach media arts so all of this is perfect for me. I can’t wait to show my students the future of digital media!

    Now I just need (really want) an iPad!

    Thanks so much, Hall.

  2. Christine Sylvain said:

    I just heard Hall Davidson’s presentation at the Tech Conference for Palm Beach County School District. I am absolutely blown away and have so many ideas for my classroom. I teach media arts so all of this is perfect for me. I can’t wait to show my students the future of digital media!

    Now I just need (really want) an iPad!

    Thanks so much, Hall.

  3. Pingback: The Power of Glass Schools – DEN Blog Network

  4. Website Value said:

    Pretty great, Discovery Education Techbooks seems to be great products, I’m looking forward to buying one. They look very interesting.

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