Monday, October 26, 2009

Final Project

This master's I.T. project of digital storytelling came along at just the right time! The directions provided by FOSS were weak and needed to be far better presented. Digital stroytelling was the prefect way to enhance these lessons.

The science unit of Finding Energy in Ecosystems required studnets to learn and understand that food is the only source of energy for consumers. Like other forms of energy, food can be burned and its energy can be measured (in kilocalories).

Through formative assessment with my first class, I noticed two major areas that required attention.

The first: the direction provided by FOSSin the student hand book were incomplete. Here is a silent movie (captured on Flip Cam by one of my students)that shows how to set up a stable platform for a burning squid-ball snack.

The second: these students have no idea how to use a match! We went through boxes and boxes before I decided that I needed to formally intervien. Here is a short movie (created on PhotoStory 3) that shows 7th graders how to light matches. There is an emphasis on science and of safety, however, I think that if this 'how to' video is successful, many students will go on to light other things on fire.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Digital Story Telling

Digital story telling - let me count the ways: voice threads, photostory, audacity, podcasts, movie maker, imovie, slide share, flip cameras, the list goes on and on.
Kim and Jeff did a great job of putting it all together yesterday. Or was it that I was finally ready to hear what they've been saying all along?
Reflective messages keep surfacing for me. If I don't buy in, am I resister? Why am I not on the class blog band wagon? I see no point in podcasts for middle school science. Does this make me a digital stick in the mud?
Some things I warmly embrase: panthernet, google docs, technology that fits the work. So not a resister- I teach the I.T. class for crying out loud! Maybe I'm a late adapter? Not sure...
In fact don't think resiter or late adaprer are branding that are accurate for my place on the spectrum of technology in education.
I also no longer see that distinction as the point of what we are doing in our class- and that's the revelation for me. As educators we must be tech savy and tech aware. The multitude of plaforms with which to tell a digital story are oportunities for our kids to share their thinking in a way that works for them.
I see it now. Thanks Jeff. Thanks Kim.

Nut Job

Here is the link to the digital story. Massively updated by Jon Breedlove. Thanks Jon!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Slide Share

Last week, seventh grade science had two presentations about Lake Nichada: the first presentation was an introduction that I made using newly acquired "Presentation Zen" techniques, the second was done by the Chief Engeneer from Nichada Thani using a more traditional powerpoint presentation.
Since loading my Zen presentation onto Slide Share and posting it here on my Blog, it is obvious that with no words, there is not much learning to be gleaned from viewing my Zen powerpoint. The traditional powerpoint, on the otherhand could be viewed by a distance learner who could actually gain information from it.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Intro Lake Nichada

Check out this SlideShare Presentation:


Last week I organised an assembly for the entire seventh grade class about what we are doing in science. We gathered in the Chevron Theatre to listen to a guest speaker talk to us about how Lake Nichada works.

The students were expected to make connections between the aquariums and terrariums that they assembled and monitored in class to a real life example of an artificially created ecosystem: Lake Nichada.

Knowing how difficult it can be for seventh graders to draw parallel relationships, I decided to help them bridge the gap between concrete and abstract. I did this using powerpoint techniques that I’ve picked up through this course (see my slide share) and used photographs taken from CC.