Sunday, December 28, 2008

MD, VA, DC Day of Discovery

On Wednesday, August 13, 2008 I traveled to Silver Spring, MD for “The Day of Discovery” at the Discovery Communications Headquarters. In addition to breakfast, lunch, and wonderful door prizes, we were treated to two keynote sessions and three break out sessions that taught us how to incorporate “Discovery Streaming,” a paid subscription to a site that is packed with educational multimedia for teachers to use.

Scott Kinney presented on “The Media Evolution”. He supported the idea that media should be incorportated into the classroom as an instructional aid since 8-18 year old children spend 6 1/2 hours a day with media of some kind. Many teachers do not realize all of the skills that are needed to create media for school projects: researching, locate and gather resources, prewriting, writing, editing, storyboarding, and reading fluency skills.

Hall Davidson, Director of the Discovery Educator Network, presented on “Digital Media with Students in the Classroom.” He discussed scaffolding the use of digital media in student projects until students are comfortable with the skills. For example,
  1. Begin with creating PowerPoint presentations and embed videos from Discovery Streaming.
  2. Create slideshows from your digital images in Photo Story.
  3. Create videos and movies with narration in Movie Maker.
  4. Finally, create movies in Adobe Premier Elements and introduce chromakey skills to the kids.

In addition, Mr. Davidson told us about Kitzu, a website of resources for digital media for student projects and Jakesonline, a site of wonderful tutorials to get you started.

Matt Monjan presented “50 Ways to Integrate DE Streaming”. While most of this was a review since I saw matt speak a few times before, I still learned a few new tricks. For example, I discovered that you can now insert embeddable code, or widgets, into DS’s writing prompts and you can add more than one image. Also, if you search “AFI” in Discovery Streaming, you will find several film making video resources to use with your students.

Hall Davidson also presented on “Teaching with Cell Phones”. I spent most of the time on my phone so I forgot to write most of it down. However, I learned that you can podcast directly from your cellphone using You can also upload video directly into YouTube from your cell phone. And did you know that you can take a poll from your phone using text massaging and see the results live on I tried this out - SO COOL. Or try this one - if you send a text message that includes a fast food restaurant and a menu item to 34381 you will receive a message with all of the nutritional information about that food item. For example, text “McDonald’s Big Mac” to 34381, it will tell you how many grams of fat you are about to enjoy.
Dennis Swain presented “Embedding Multimedia: PowerPoint Presentations that Pop!” While I knew that we could embed videos and hyperlink to videos, I didn’t realize you could embed videos and still have all of the controls of Windows Media Player available (play, rewind, fast forward, etc). To do this, open PowerPoint and go to a slide.

  1. Click the “View” button on the top toolbar.
  2. Click “Toobars” and “Control Tool Box”.
  3. Click on the “hammer” button.
  4. Scroll to “Windows Media Player” and select it.
  5. Crosshairs will appear. Draw a box on the slide where you want the video to appear.
  6. Right-click the box. Choose “properties”.
  7. Click on the three dots on the box. (…)
  8. Browse to where your downloaded movie is on your computer. Select it.
  9. Under “playback options”, uncheck “auto start” and check “stretch to fit.”
  10. Click OK.
  11. Now you will see the embedded video with the Media Player controls. While the video is playing, you can right-click the video and choose “Zoom” and “Full screen”. Ta-Dah!

Thank you, Discovery Education!


Photostory Quick Tip: Saving as a Project vs. Saving as Final Movie

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