The Diary of a Technology Supporter

Technology being used in an elementary school

Podcasting Entry 3 January 30, 2009

Filed under: podcasting — msmithpds @ 8:37 pm

OH JOY!!! It all came together and I am elated! There is still fine tuning, but it is working.

The classroom teachers wrote the scripts with student input. This needs work. Here is what I envision…

The class has like a bulletin board or the back of the classroom door where anytime they come across something that they want in the PDS podcast they’ll jot it down on a post-it note and stick it on this board. The boys can do this at anytime, maybe something funny happened at lunch, or had a great activity that they liked in art. Maybe a boy won an award. Maybe someone needs prayers for his grandma. Maybe they learned a cool math trick. Whatever they want. Then there is a set day, every week where the class has a pow-pow and they take all the stickies and organize them into categories. Then using, Inspiration, or some web / graphic organizer, they (as a whole group) web out the meat of their news report. The teachers takes this Inspiration web, projecting onto the Smartboard, and shows the Outline feature. Then the class talks about order words, adjectives, etc, and turns their blurbs into sentences. Finally, they copy and paste their outline sentences onto a word document and print out the scripts. Then the 2 chosen news reports practice in front of the class. The class gives feedback, when to give an example, something funny or witty to add, maybe a like acting to spice up the report. The reports jot notes on the printed script. They also can higlight what they have to say using a marker. Another practice..and they are ready to record.

So now my part (the tech coach intervention):
The filming:
This week I used iMovie 08 (Can you believe there is an 09 out already! I am so behind!) gritting my teeth as I unlearn iMovie 6 tricks. I made this move because this put everyone at the same learning curve. I worked with each class on how to find and launch the program. How to turn on the iSight camera and use it to record. That’s it. That was all I did with my 2 experts who will work with me always, and my 2 news reporters that will change out each week.

The editting:
Today all 8 kids and 4 teachers met with me to edit their movies. I introduced them to the outline of iMovie 08, what each panel was. Then I showed them how to edit the raw footage. The teachers’ eyes were crossed but the kids caught on with a snap! We had to quit clicking when wanting to play the movie, because clicking selects the frame to allow you to edit. That was the hard part, but like I said, the kids had NO problem.

Once editting the raw footage was done, we moved the clips up to the project area and added a title card infront of the movie. This creates a black card. I showed them how to change the font, color, size, etc. The kids want me to figure out how to make the card not black. (So students are giving me homework now, huh?!) We also, as a group, brainstormed images / photos that we could use for the title card…like a news logo or something.

After the title, we add one transition between the title card and footage, and one at the end. I showed them how to set the length of the transition..worked like a charm! That’s it! All done! I grabbed the laptops – shared the movies as Quicktimes for an iPhone and threw them up on our school’s webpage. 🙂 What a great way to end the week!

Next week: I am going to show them how to add title cards in throughout the footage to say like MATH, or Way to go JOE! when announcing specific things. I will give them more time on adding transitions between these diffent video parts. Showing them how to upload sections of the footage at a time in order to split the video (command T in iMovie 6…I will give up my love for that program soon enough). They are DYING to learn about adding song. I think in 2 weeks they will need to come with a jingle that they will always use at the beginning and ending of their report. (An example is Mrs. Love wants The Beatles, “All You Need is Love” snippet on her videos.)

Come look at what we created by clicking here. All the podcasts that I am referring to are called: 4_-TV January 29.


Podcasting Entry 2 January 29, 2009

Filed under: Assessment,iMovie,podcasting — msmithpds @ 3:16 pm

The assignment: to create weekly podcast of what is going on in the classroom for grade 4 – 4 separate classrooms involved.

The plan:
1. We choose 2 kids per classroom to become the experts. They will be in every session training the other students.

2. I will be teaching them how to create a movie in iMovie 8. Originally we had made the movies in iMovie 6 because that is the program I know and am comfortable using. But then I started to realize that if I am going to go through a several week process in teaching these guys iMovie then I’d better teach them the newer program. Plus, the teachers who are involved don’t know iMovie 6 like the back of their hands, so I can start from scratch with them too. And since I have only poorly, by chance made 2 movies in iMovie 8 then we are all pretty much at the same learning level. (I actually told the boys that we are all like working like PreKindergarteners because we are new to all of this. They laughed.)

The implementation:
Today I will have helped 2 classes just video themselves using the iMovie 08 and built-in iSight camera. The teachers wrote the script, but I am leading them into having the students write the script as a whole group. (Teach the writing process!) My administrator is calling this a great authentic assessment.

By tomorrow afternoon I will have worked, at one time, with 8 students and 4 teachers, teaching the most basic of the iMovie 08 skills. We will edit out the footage that we don’t want. Add a title card. Maybe a fade in and out transition. But no music, no special effects. Then next week we should be first graders with our knowledge of the program. I will blog and share the link to the end product hopefully Friday or Monday…most likely Monday.


Starting Out Podcasting week 1 January 23, 2009

Filed under: podcasting — msmithpds @ 1:07 am

4 of my teachers have been instructed to have students generate a weekly podcast of what is going on in their classes. Like a “toot your own horn” as my administration put it. The teachers are doing fabulous things, and want the parents to know! So my job is to train the teachers and students how to do this till they can do it on their own. I am going to log my journey, but let’s catch up with what already has happened.

Week 1 – 4 teachers – – one podcasted…well I did it. The teacher wrote a script for the boys to read. We used a student laptop with a built-in iSight camera and iMovie to record their “news report”. The teacher watched and saw how to record, but was more of a bystander than active participant. Then I took the laptop, edited the footage and built the movie.

Week 2 – 4 teachers – – one podcasted…well I did it again, and it was the same teacher. We used the same program and tools, and will always use them unless we master them and I feel like taking the Garageband approach to podcasting. The teacher wrote the script, but assisted with video taping. Yeah! The students were the same 2 from the previous week, I think… After the taping, I editted and built the movie.

Week 3 – 4 teachers – – TWO podcasted! YEAH!
Teacher 2 wrote the script and helped with the directing, but did not help with the taping (starting and stopping the recording). Then the students sat with me and watched me edit and build the movie for the podcast.

Teacher 1 wrote the script and had the boys record the report before I got to the classroom. There were 4 boys this time (2 from the previous weeks, and 2 new ones). I began to build the movie, but stopped, got up, and parked one of the boys in my seat. Together the students built their movie. I taught them how to edit the footage, split the clips, extract their flubs, record a voiceover, add a title card, add headlines, add transitions. They were pretty ancy by the time we added the little intro and exit song, but were awed over watching me do that part. I told them next time that they would learn more of the “sounds” part. That started the whole discussion of how we were going to help the other students. The small group and I decided that the these 4 were going to become the experts on movie making. I am going to request that they be incharge of next week’s movie/podcast. I told them that I don’t want to come until they have recorded, editted, and added the titles/headlines and transitions. When that is all done they can get me, I will do final editting touches and teach the sounds part. They are thrilled! We even discussed them being the experts for the other 3 classes. Peer teaching. I can’t wait for this group to get to take their laptops home in 6th grade. If they really dive into this project, they are going to be crazy fun by 2 years! Oh the projects they will be making and showcasing! The poor 6th grade teachers, how will they challenge them then? 🙂 Here is the podcast/movie that was created with this group.


Tumbarumba January 6, 2009

Filed under: tumbarumba,writing — msmithpds @ 4:08 pm

What a weird tool Tumbarumba is. Adding fiction to a webpage and making students read the content for strange information? Like a scavenger hunt…I will definitely look more into this product.


Letting Loose January 5, 2009

Filed under: searching — msmithpds @ 9:25 pm

I taught the 6th graders about Inspiration 7.6 today and they seemed to like it. One of them was thrilled about the outline view, which shows different learners! My issue though was the fact that the boys are studying a specific beach and mountain and using Google to gather their facts. There are so many adult activities that go on on beaches around the world. How do you feel comfortable about giving them a beach when on the main Google search page the top hits refer to adult activities on the beach. I suppose I should have kept them on the beaches in America ~ more tame beaches, but then that takes the thrill away from them learning about crazy places they have never seen, heard of, or have any idea where it is! That is what I was thinking when I found the list of beaches and mountains. We will see if they can handle the information. I am going to look in on using the pre-searched results Google can do and may use that for gathering of their beach information.