Developing Young Authors with Storybird #aaim14

StorybirdI’m enjoying being in Ft. Smith, Arkansas for the 2014 Arkansas Association of Instructional Media Conference. Below are my slides from the workshop that I facilitated yesterday. All the workshop materials and resources (including a video tutorial, additional examples, notes, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively. The slides also include a link to a special download containing information for using Storybird in preparation for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment.

Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories, presentations, reports, or tutorials you and your students make to share, read, and print. Storybird is a fun, collaborative website that can be integrated in all content areas and at all grade levels. It can be an effective resource for teaching parts of a story, the writing process, promoting creativity, and more. STEM and social studies teachers can use Storybird for engaging alternatives to traditional lessons, reports and presentations. Storybird also seamlessly keeps a portfolio of each student’s work.

Participants will be guided in setting up accounts and helped as they begin using’s tools and services. Participants will learn how to use the teacher-specific tools.

Yelling at Your Computer Isn’t the Same as Yelling at Your Car [Video]

I’m developing some resources for a course that I’ll begin teaching after Spring Break and ran across this video. I think it can be used as a provocative way of framing a conversation with students about digital citizenship and netiquette.

How do you approach these topics with your students? Can you recommend related resources that I (and others) might use?


Life Before the Internet: What We Used to Do

Enjoy this stroll down memory lane as we re-visit the ways that we communicated, accessed news, conducted research, and shared photos prior to the Internet and social media.

For educators, the implications are fascinating. Consider how much has changed in the past 20 years.

  • Have our classrooms, curricula, and instructional practices kept up with the changes?
  • Should education worry with keeping up with these changes?
  • What are the implications on teaching and learning if education does/does not strive to react to these changes?
  • What is the future of learning?

Event Tags: FOL2013, hgsepzfol

Before the Internet

Screenshot Source: We Did Amazing Things Before The Internet

“Friends” Producer Helps Blind Filmmakers Find Vision

(See Part 2)

Blind Filmmakers Have Vision

“If you think that the ability to see is the first requirement for being able to make a movie, then you haven’t been to Kevin Bright‘s film-making class at the Perkins School for the Blind in Boston…Bright was the executive producer of the wildly successful show “Friends.” Now, he teaches students how to make films – even though many of them are completely blind. The videos they made show that while the students don’t have sight, they do have vision, and they provide a rare window into the world of the blind” (Source).

Technology continues to empower those that are “differently-abled.” While there are specially developed technologies that provide much needed assistance, beneficial uses of more commonly available tools continue to emerge. I frequently hear first and second-hand accounts about individuals’ lives being positively impacted by the opportunity to work, communicate, and move about in more efficient ways with the help of technology. The state of innovation marches forward and it is important that educators are aware of these kinds of technological contributions. They may lead to new opportunities for our students.

You can view one of the resulting student films, Seeing through the Lens, here.

Screenshot Source: NBC’s Rock Center

Google Search Tricks

Google SearchThis Prezi by Tony Vincent (@tonyvincent) contains many tips for using the Google search box to access the information you need — including answers to math problems, information about the current weather, and much more.

You can also learn more by visiting Inside Search for more tips and tricks by Google.

Image Source:

Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

The following are my slides and resources from a professional development workshop that I’ll be facilitating for a local high school today.

Workshop materials available on the resource wiki, Learning Collaboratively.

I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Together we learn more.

Picture It! – Photo Scavenger Hunts in the Classroom

I’ll be facilitating one of the opening workshops today at the Arkansas Association of Instructional Media Conference. I’m excited to be back in Arkansas as I went to college and spent my first two years teaching in this state. The AAIM Conference is in Hot Springs which is one of my favorite Arkansan (Pronounced like “Are Kansan”) towns. I’ll be speaking a couple of more times throughout the 3 day conference. Here are the resources from today’s workshop.

Workshop Description
Photo scavenger hunts get students moving while engaging them with course content. Well-designed photo scavenger hunts integrate 21st century skills and promote higher-order thinking.

Workshop Resources

View more presentations from Clif Mims

Connecting the Classroom and Outside World (Feedback Requested)

Educators, what are some strategies for connecting the classroom with the outside world?

NOTE: I’d like to share responses in an upcoming workshop/presentation and on my blog and wiki. You can submit your ideas using the form below, share your text/audio/video reply in the Comments section of this post or respond via Twitter, Plurk or on your blog using the tag #thruwalls. You can also view the compiled database of suggested strategies on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

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Conversation tag: #thruwalls