PrimaryAccess Presented by: Meghan McGlinn Manfra PhD

Primary Access is a digital documentary tool that runs in your web browser. This free web tool could be used across grade levels and content areas. It is a great tool which permits the teacher to select appropriate material, such as images for students to use. It is a tool which would be great in a scaffolding process and I think it is a great tool to use a gateway into other movie makers such as: Voicethread, RemixAmerica, and Photo Story.

I believe that this would also be an easier tool for ninth grade and below or any grade level which is just getting started into movie making. It does not require for one to get involved with film editing. Megan McGlinn was very knowledgeable about this tool and her excitement made it easy for everyone attending this session to feel comforable using this new tool. I definitely will strive to use Primary Access in my classroom as a jumping off point for my students.

One issue I have had in the past when creating digital stories with my students is filtering innapropriate images within the classroom. Most students want to use google image and might stumble across images which are not suitable for the classroom. By the teacher preselecting a library of images this can prevent this from happening. It also serves as a great model for students to see how content can be presented through images and showcase their learning. I like that this way students can spend more time on how they can apply their content knowledge instead of spending all their time searching for images; which I believe will be very important at the beginning of the year.

Notefish Presented by: Julie Coiro PhD

Notefish is a downloadable bookmarking tool for your web browser. So far, I have only seen it work best on Mozilla Foxfire and not Internet Explorer. This tool makes websites and images available at any computer one the tool is downloaded. The user is able to organize their items by category and you can color code them. I love this tool and think it helps students to organize their information and they have a color coded visual which simplifies their research process.

I have already generated a Notefish page for my students to use for an inquiry project. This serves as a great tool to show students what high quality research looks like by my modeling. It provides choice and gives many high quality research to help deepen their understanding of their content.

Julie Coiro simplified this tool for her learners and showed the value and importance of teaching our students how to organize information. I am especially excited about using this tool with my students and believe it will be very effective with my special needs students that struggle with organization and sometimes are overwhelmed by research based projects.

Second Life Presented by: Cris Crissman PhD

I have been very curious about SecondLife after seeing it used on one of my favorite tv shows, The Office. I remember thinking how cool it would be to create an online atmosphere for my students but had no idea how I could make it work. I thouroughly enjoyed learning about this tool and am looking forward to seeing how this tool develops in the years to come. I think it will really take off for students once kinks are worked out and it becomes more geared toward teens.

I loved the ideas that Dr. Crissman shared in this session about having virtual book clubs and discussions. It was surreal how amazing it could be to take a whole new spin on a discussion with a group of people. The one issue that was discouraging was that I do not think I could make it work currently with my students due to the speed of our broadband at school. However, I have high hopes for this tool and must admit it is very addicting! I think students would love it and I think it would be amazing to have an author discuss a book with us in this virtual world.

Digital Video as Process and Product Presented by: Carol Pope PhD

I have had the honor to create Digital Videos with Dr. Pope both as a student and as a teacher. The way that she explained how content is enriched by the process of generating digital videos was truly inspiring. It is so important to engage students in a way that shifts them away from their comfort zones.

This session reinforced the importance of utilizing content as the driving force for documenting learning in a creative way. I am constantly revising my Literature Short Film Project which I developed with Dr. McCammon last year and gained a lot of useful information which is helping me know what I need to change this year during my project. Instead of being so concerned with the product I now understand that the root of the learning is within the process and the product might not always be perfect but it is the learning experience that is most important. I believe that by refining my process that the product will show great results.

Contextualized Lesson
Grade Level: 7th grade
Content Area: Language Arts
Time Frame: Two weeks (45 minutes daily)
Cool Tool: Digital Video Process (using flip video camera) and WordPress blog to upload videos and post reflections and kudos
North Carolina Standard Course of Study:
1.01 Narrate an expressive account which:
  • creates a coherent organizing structure appropriate to purpose, audience, and context.
  • orients the reader/listener to the scene, the people, and the events.
  • engages the reader/listener by establishing a context and creating a point of view.
  • establishes the significance of events
1.02 Respond to expressive materials that are read, heard, and/or viewed by:
  • monitoring comprehension for understanding of what is read, heard, and/or viewed.
  • summarizing the characteristics of expressive works.
  • determining the importance of literary effects on the reader/viewer/listener.
  • making connections between works, self and related topics.
  • comparing and/or contrasting information.
  • drawing inferences and/or conclusions.
  • determining the main idea and/or significance of events.
  • generating a learning log or journal.
  • maintaining an annotated list of works read/viewed.
  • creating an artistic interpretation that connects self and/or society to the selection.
  • constructing and presenting book/media reviews.
1.03 Interact in group settings by:
  • responding appropriately to comments and questions.
  • offering personal opinions confidently without dominating.
  • giving appropriate reasons that support opinions.
  • soliciting and respecting another person's opinion.
1.04 Reflect on learning experiences by:
  • analyzing personal learning growth and changes in perspective.
  • examining changes in self throughout the learning process.
  • determining how personal circumstances and background shape interaction with text.
*Standards pulled from the following:

Lesson Overview: Students will read Seedfolks by: Paul Fleishman and will learn elements of fiction through this novelette. Students will select a character from the novel and will create a narrative which showcases a specific literary element from the novel.

  • Day 1: Introduce students to elements of fiction and give background on Paul Fleischman by giving notes on his life, journey as an author, impact of this novelette, and show an onlive video of an interview with him to help give context for his novelette.
  • Day 2-5: Read Seedfolks. Explore vocabulary, analyze elements and content. Students will generate a lotus diagram with each major character and write importance information which is crucial to the characters role in the story. Discuss various themes and literary elements through the book in engaging discussions.
  • Day 6: Students will have a paideia wrap session with prompted questions about the novelette to help deepen understanding of the novelette.
  • Day 7: Present literature short film project and show a sample video created by the teacher to help students understand how a video can portray their knowledge and understanding of content. Students will select a character from the novel they want to portray in their literature short film.Students receive their literature short film handout to guide their process.
  • Day 8: Students will write their script for their literature short.
  • Day 9: Script writing continues and must be checked by two peers and by the teacher. Students will then decide on costumes and props for their video.
  • Day 10: Students are given a class period to fine tune their process and act out their script in front of a small peer group and for myself and other teacher helpers (Kristy Meyrick and Mary Davis).
  • Day 11: Lights, Camera, Action! Students get one take to perform their literature short which is recorded using a flip cam. Students are only allowed to perform once.Prior to their performance they must turn in their Literature Short Film handout.
  • Day 12:** Movie Day! Students videos are uploaded to the class blogsite ( Students must review at least two peers' literature short films and must provide their feedback. They are allowed to included constructive criticism but are also encouraged to include one "kudo" to their peer. They must also discuss their thoughts and state which literary element was portrayed in their film. After this students write a short reflection on their understanding of the novelette, and their process of portraying their understanding of literary elements through their literature short film.