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"Tech Expo" – 5/23/07
Hands-on Instructional Technologies!


1. Digital Storytelling

What it is:

Digital storytelling means telling stories with digital media. This may include text, pictures, photos, audio or video. A student reading a poem accompanied by her illustrations is one form of storytelling. It becomes digital when it's recorded on the computer using applications like Apple's GarageBand and iPhoto and exported as a movie. (See "Swim Fishy, Swim!" under Examples.) Podcasting is another way to tell stories – audio recording which may include illustrations or photos. At Raskob, Mr. Clifton's students wrote quasi-historical scripts and then portrayed the characters, recording their stories with a video camera, and editing them in iMovie.

What to do:

Check out: Napoleon's Excellent Adventure (Part I) - and/or Part II - historical fiction videos by Mr. Clifton's students.
Also from Mr. Clifton's class: A Labor Day Carol (Part 1 of 2)

Examples:

"Momnotmom", by Thenmozhi Soundarajan – a girl's tribute to her mom (video)
"Swim Fishy, Swim", by first grader Rachel Rothberg – Awarded First Place in KQED's Reading Rainbow 2005 Contest
"Ambitious" – a 30-second video "WordFlicks" – a 6th grader combines photos and voice-over

Software:

Many schools use Apple computers because they come with iLife - an easy-to-use suite of applications: iMovie to edit video, iWeb to create websites, GarageBand to record sound and make "Podcasts", and iDVD for DVD authoring.
This chart shows some Common digital storytelling tools - outlined for both Mac and PC.
Microsoft Photo Story 3 for Windows XP
Audacity – free audio recording and editing software for both Mac and PC.

Resources:

The Center for Digital Storytelling in Berkeley is "...a non-profit training, project development, and research organization dedicated to assisting people in using digital media to tell meaningful stories from their lives."
KQED's digital storytelling initiative offers workshops for educators, and features various projects on this website.
Links for digital storytelling from Lakeland Central School District, Shrub Oak, New York.
Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling

Technical requirements:

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2. e-Text

What it is:

The "e" stands for electronic, or digital. If you use Microsoft Word, you are creating "e-Text". You can copy and paste text from one application to another, and from a web page into a word processor or talking word processor such as SOLO's ReadOutLoud. Did you know that Microsoft Word also speaks text out loud? Some websites include downloadable audio files - the digital equivalent of books on tape. You can transfer these to your iPod or other portable mp3 player. Many textbooks now include e-Text versions.

What to do, Part 1: Find some eText and copy it.

  1. Open another browser window or tab (Ctrl+W or Ctrl+T)
  2. Go to:Project Gutenberg – http://www.gutenberg.org/
  3. Search for "Frankenstein". (Type this in the Title box and click Go!)
  4. They offer both text and audio. Choose text (the book icon). frank_icons
  5. Look under Format. Find Plain text. Click on one of the dowload links.
    projectgutenberg The full text should appear in the browser window.
  6. Copy and paste all of the text (Ctrl+A).

What to do, Part 2: Paste into a word processing document:

Did you know that Microsoft Word includes text-to-speech capability? Try it!

  1. Open Microsoft Word.
  2. Open new document (Ctrl+N). Now Paste (Ctrl+V).
  3. Make sure the Speech toolbar is displayed.
    (On the View menu, point to Toolbars and then click Speech.)
  4. Highlight the text you want to hear.
  5. On the Speech toolbar, click Speak Selection.

Note: SOLO's ReadOutLoud and WriteOutLoud offer more text-to-speech options.

Resources:

Places online to find free eText include:
Project Gutenberg - A library of 17,000 free ebooks (whose copyright has expired in the USA) with book listings, a search engine, newsletter, articles and more...
List of E-text archives - courtesy of the University of Michigan

Technical requirements:

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3. Importing Photos

What it is:

If you haven't used the "point-and-shoot" Olympus Stylus 600 digital camera before, try it! Then transfer the images to your computer.

What to do:

  1. Take some photos.
  2. Connect the camera to the computer.
    Sony1of2
    PC will be highlighted on the screen. Press the central round OK button on the back of the camera.

  3. If the program "Olympus Master" doesn't open automatically when you attach the camera, find it under Start > Programs and launch it.
    TransferImages

    Choose Transfer Images, then From Camera.
    Sony2of2
    (If the program cannot find your camera, you may need to press the OK button on the back of the camera.)
    Use your mouse to select some or all of the pictures and click the Transfer Images button at the bottom right of your screen.

  4. You should get a message "Image transfer is complete" or click OK.

  5. The images you transferred are stored by default in the My Documents folder, automatically named and numbered like this.
    SonyMyDocuments


Resources...

The OLUMPUS Stylus 600.

Technical Requirements:

 


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4. Inspiration

What it is:

Inspiration (grade 6-adult) and Kidspiration (for grades K-5) support visual thinking. They are used to create graphic organizers, concept maps, idea maps... You can quickly switch from graphic view to outline view. The programs are inexpensive and come with a library of templates.

What to do:

Create a Mind Map, using the RapidFire tool for brainstorming:

  1. Launch Inspiration and type "Photosynthesis" in the Main Idea box.
  2. Click on the RapidFire tool.RapidFire Tool

  3. Type a related idea, like "Water." Every time you type <Return> (or <Enter>), Inspiration creates a linked box, and continues until you clik the RapidFire tool again.
    MindMap
  4. Click the Arrange tool and Inspiration will neatly rearrange your ideas.
    Arrange
    Neatly

  5. Click Outline mode to switch from graphics to text.
    Outline Mode

  6. To add another topic, click the Topic icon.


  7. Feel free to experiment with Inspiration's intuitive and user-friendly features. It comes with various: Basic, Language Arts, Planning, Science, Social Studies, and Thinking Skills. Try opening one of these under the File >Open Template.

Student Work:

Bessie Smith biography by "Breonica," a 7th grader at East Buchanan School, Winthrop, Iowa.
India by "Trenton and Brandin," from the same school.
More 7th Grade Inspiration Projects from this school.
4th and 5th Grade Projects by students from the Canby School District, Canby, Oregon.

Resources...

Visit the company's website for complete information.
Watch the company's "5-minute QuickTour" of Inspiration.

Technical Requirements:

Inspiration/Kidspiration | Free 30-day trial


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5. Draftbuilder

What it is:

While Inspiration may be a more versatile program, some students may be distracted by its variety of features – shapes, color-coding, etc. DraftBuilder provides a structured environment and is specifically designed to assist students (upper elementary through adult) with the writing process – organizing and rearranging thoughts, sentences, and paragraphs.

What to do*:

  1. Launch SOLO and Sign In as a student.
  2. In Student Central, choose New. Then in the New Document window, choose DraftBuilder.
  3. Choose any template in the Add Outline window and click OK.
  4. Draft:Builder has three stages: Outline, Notes and Draft.
    DB_3tabs
    Always begin in the Outline stage, where main ideas and supporting ideas are outlined. Anything you type on the Outline side is automatically updated on the Map side, and vice versa.

    In Outline view, students can write words or short phrases to develop their outline of ideas. Add or move topics by indenting, outdenting or moving them up and down within your outline using the arrows in the tool bar. To expand either view, click and drag the vertical spacer between the two windows, or click the Slide Bar icon on the toolbar.

    To overwrite a topic in the text outline, be sure it is highlighted (in light blue). To add a new topic, use the New Topic icon on the toolbar. The colored square to the left of each topic indicates the level of subordination, (i.e., green=major topic, yellow=subtopic, etc.)

  5. Notes can be topic elaborations, descriptive sentences written by the student, and/or writing prompts written by the teacher. To add a note, first highlight the topic to which you want to add it. Then click “New Note” on the toolbar. You can change the order of the notes within a given topic using the arrows in the toolbar (but to change the outline, you must return to the Outline view).

    Notes are indicated by this icon NotesIcon. To add a note that is not related to a topic in your outline, click “Unassigned notes”. The number in parentheses indicates the number of notes for that topic.

  6. In Draft view, click and drag topics and notes from the outline on the left side to the writing draft window on the right side, or you can use the cut, copy, and paste using the toolbar.

  7. Recognizing tool bar icons.
    DB-Toolbar
  8. Speech Options. In the menu bar, under “Speech”, you can turn speech on or off, set it to speak letters, words or sentences, change the voice, or change pronunciation of words mispronounced by DraftBuilder.

  9. Next steps. Once you have a working draft, send it to Write:OutLoud (which offers more word processing features)
    by clicking “Send to Write:OutLoud” on the toolbar.

Resources:

Technical requirements:

You must have DraftBuilder on your computer, either as a stand-alone program or part of the SOLO suite.



*adapted from: DraftBuilder Student Features by Montgomery Public Schools, MD

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6. Other Resources

The Library of Contress Learning Page - Lesson plans and classroom activities using primary sources
InspireData – graphical math software from the makers of Inspiration
funbrain.com – Online learning games/arcade
sparktop.org – More fun, computer-based learning activities, from Schwab Learning
CTAP Revion IV – The California Technology Assistance Project
epnweb.org – Educational Podcast Network
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
California History Online
Project Based Learning
Adobe Digital Kids Club
teachnology.com –Teacher resources
4teachers.org – Teachers integrating technology into the classroom
awesomelibrary.org – Lesson plans and more...



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