Monday, March 25, 2013

Tip of the Week: There's More?!?, March 25, 2013

This post continues the conversation about the amazing resources that we all have access to with our   subscription to DEStreaming. I've blatantly borrowed some "Did You Know's" from a Discovery colleague's blog.. (thanks Catherine Beck!)
  • Did you know that DE is more than just videos ?
  • Did you know that many video clips are editable ? (think iMove  - have students bring in clips, eliminate the audio and re-narrate their own understanding - yes, several of Sudbury teachers and students have done this !)
  • Did you know that Discovery Education offers amazing webinars ?
  • Did you know they have many full audio books ? (The Hunger Games !)
  • Did you know they have most episodes of Sid the Science Kid and Magic School Bus to support science ?
  • Did you that the publishing group Weston Woods has over 200 animated versions of popular picture books available on DEStreaming ?
  • Did you know that they have Planet Earth and Frozen Planet ?
  • Did you know you can search for content based on state standards and the Common Core ?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Tip of the Week: DEStreaming Plus: Amazing Features!: March 15, 2013

Many of you already access our subscription to DEStreaming and download their educational videos, but you should also know that there are TONS of other resources and functionality that you can take advantage of with your account! If you have not yet created your account, click HERE to do so.

A variety of resources can be found in the Teacher Center:  Lesson Plans, Projects by Themes, Atlas Interactive Map, Events/Videos of the Day Calendar, and much more.  

You also have the ability to create classes, make assignments or projects, create and assign quizzes, and collect data.. Go to Classroom Manager to access these features and set up your class.  Note the available tutorial videos that will help guide you through the process.

Also note the ways in which you can manage your classes and the types of things you can assign, including linking to any of the DE content (videos, images, audio files, etc.)


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tip of the Week: Inklewriter: 'Choose Your Own Adventure' Digital Writing Tool: March 6th, 2013

inklewriter is a FREE tool designed to let you write and publish interactive, choose-your-own-adventure (or branching) stories. Once created, your stories can be published and shared! The reader can choose whichever path they want the story to take as they read along!

Title, author, beginning, introduction, sections or paragraphs... these are some of the elements you will include in your story. After each section is written, the author creates different outcomes from which the reader can choose while reading to create a unique reading experience. You can add images as well, and you can choose to see the 'map' of your story charted out visually in a flowchart.

Click Here for an Inkle story on the topic of Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books :)  And even more fun - check out this story on Jamestown created by two students in Shannon Famigletti's 5th grade class @ Noyes.  Yet another great use for an interactive story tool which is to help deepen understanding of the curriculum.

This unique digital storytelling tool can be used in any content area and teachers can create student logins.  One of the newest features allows you to incorporate mathematical value statements..  for example:

"How Much? can now write the value of a counter into the text of your story, either as numbers or as words. To do this we’ve introduced a new kind of inline bracket – square ones, with a function name, and then a colon. In this case the functions are “number” and “value”. So writing:
‘It’s my birthday,’ says the boy. ‘I’m [number:age]. Well, [value:age] and a half.’
will produce text like:
‘It’s my birthday,’ says the boy. ‘I’m 5. Well, five and a half.’
The numbers-as-words can go up to several billion, should you really need them to, and they can go negative as well!" 

How cool!

"This is a great tool for teachers who want to create  differentiated reading experiences. For example, instead of creating story branches for plot direction, teachers might create statements that gauge reading comprehension. They can then deliver the remaining parts of the text in smaller or larger chunks as students display understanding." (

"We want to bring non-linear storytelling to the mainstream."