Monday, November 21, 2005

To iPod or Not to iPod?

I recently posted on my EdTechClass
about iPods in education on my blog comparing them to handhelds. I thought I'd share it here as well...
To iPod or Not to iPod?

You can post any comments at either here or the EdTechClass Blog.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Digital Storytelling - NYSCATE

David Jakes described the incredible power of using digital storytelling for students to express themselves. Stories are emotional and therapeutic in nature. The power of digital storytelling lies in the emotional impact of an individuals story. Jakes mentioned that the digital images are ideal for the brain which is hardwired with millions of neurons in the optical nerves for visual stimulation.

Digital storytelling is comprised of writing, voice, still frame imagery, video, music and of course a story to tell. Using 20-25 images and a single music track students create a 2-3 minute video to convey a personal story. Use of black space, text, transitions & title slides adds motion to the still photos. Jakes continued by describing the use of flickr and Creative Commons licenses and adding a slide at the end of the show citing the source of the images and photos. Students can download .mp3 music through FreePlayMusic to use in their story. Jakes supplies many tools and resources to start digital storytelling on his website.

What's amazing is that all the tools to do this are available for free. Microsoft has PhotoStory 3 available. With the release of the video iPod these stories can then be converted into a format for vodcasting. Following the session we discussed how to realistically start with digital storytelling. Ideas were to start with a free, simple to use application like PhotoStory 3 with elementary age students. In middle school students could use iMovie or MovieMaker and in high school students can use higher end software such as Adobe Premiere

For more about digital storytelling check out The Center for Digital Storytelling.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

ITS Meeting - November 2005

This is a post regarding our Instructional Technology Specialist (ITS) Town meeting held November 4th at our new Monroe #1 BOCES technology services building. We took a fifty cent tour of the new facility, got to know each other a bit more, and shared our thoughts about how we might build a better community for the ITS group.

There seemed to be a consensus that we start by trying a blog designed specifically for the ITS members. In the very near future we will set up a blog specific to our community. In the meantime, we will be using our blogs to make our posts.

As I stated in the meeting, one thing that helped me transition quickly into my new position was the use of RSS feeds. The idea and power behind it being that users don't have to take time to search for news or content. It is researched and delivered, like the Sunday paper, to the user. Granted, the user has to visit or use their news aggregator to read the delivered content. We have used as our aggregator and I have set it as my home page when I open up my FireFox browser.

I hope that you all got something out of us sharing the GIS items. This is such powerful technology we could do all day workshops on each tool that we touched upon. Please contact us if you have any questions about GIS in education. I found a blog related to Google Earth that shares some great resources and comes up with some interesting uses for Google Earth. Though not all are relevant to education, they can help trigger ideas.

We will notify the ITS community as soon as the blog is live. Thanks for your patience.