Tag Archives: YouTube

Stars are Born!

I believe that we can engage children and have them truly own and demonstrate their learning success by incorporating multimedia learning in the classroom. This belief was reinforced by a few projects that I worked on with a class of Grade One students who I had the pleasure of working with for the past six weeks.

Anytime a child believes he has an audience for his ‘performance’ he will be more engaged and concerned about his production and success. Tell a child that she will be in a movie or on a poster and her eyes will light up. Kids are natural performers. Even the reluctant, shy ones will smile and be excited when they see themselves on the screen or in print.

One of the first activities we did was to create a ‘number hunt’ where the kids had my camera and were in charge of walking around the school to find things that were found in groups of one, two, etc.. After the pictures were taken, I used Sliderocket to put together a presentation that we shared with our class, another class and with the parents and guardians by sending the URL home for them. I was also able to download it and print it so that after it was laminated it became a popular book for the children to read to themselves, reinforcing both counting and number words. Relating to their own environment and relevant objects was important.  You can see our presentation HERE.

On Groundhog Day, we used Wallwisher to record the information that we had learned about groundhogs and the traditions around the day. The kids were thrilled to see their names being recorded on the screen and they again shared the URL with their families at home to re-read and share. We used Wallwisher again when doing a KWL session on nutrition, food,  and reasons that we eat.

We made Photovisi presentations that we printed out to record our 100th day of school activities and our Valentine’s Day fun. The picture stories with their photos were great for retelling events, ordering events and sharing with our school community and children’s homes.

The most fun we had was producing our very short YouTube video showcasing the digraph /sh/. Going through the process of learning about the sound, watching similar project videos by Kathy Cassidy’s students, brainstorming words, preparing our ‘props’, and then the steps of actually producing our video was intriguing, interesting, and motivational. The video was put together using Movie Maker and uploaded to YouTube. The kids felt like superstars! The joy and pride on their faces while watching the finished product was proof that they were invested in it. They truly had tried their very best, knowing that they would have an audience beyond the immediate classmates and teacher. Sharing the product with their parents and guardians was an exciting event!

These kids were amazing writers, actors, directors and producers. They had not had experience with creating these kinds of multimedia presentations and they were eager to be a part of it. Their enthusiasm and pride was evident and they were completely engaged in learning to share what they knew. These projects were fun and engaging and these children were truly ‘stars.’ The knowledge that they could have an audience beyond their classroom was motivating for them. Their desire to show what they knew and teach others was a huge source of pride. They were superstars and I am very proud of them!

This particular school does not have many technological resources. In a Kindergarten to Grade Eight school with approximately 550 students they have 30 laptops for the whole school and one computer per classroom. There are 4 additional computers in the resource center and one interactive whiteboard housed in a Grade 8 classroom. These could be considered limitations but the amazing projects that we were able to create are proof that there are some wonderful tools that allow us to incorporate learning and technology for kids to create with.

The problem that I have seen isn’t a lack of tools but seems to be a lack of teacher engagement with these tools. Is it fear of the new tools or an unawareness of the tools? How do we get more teachers to see the benefits of their use and to take the risk to try them?


My ECMP Presentation

So, I’m getting ready to head to class to present my final reflection for my ECMP 355 class.  I just hope I don’t sound like this:

I will post my presentation slides later but for now, just wish me luck. Looking forward to seeing all of the other presentations!

Hallelujah Chorus from Quinhagak, Alaska

This YouTube video was created by a group of Grade Five students from Kuinerrarmiut Elitnaurviat in Quinhagak, Alaska.  It was planned for an audience of about 200 people in another village but has almost one million views, now, to the amazement to the people of Quinhagak.  They can be very proud of this piece.  Enjoy!

Sharing: What’s the problem?

Educators have been creating amazing teaching tools and models for years and years and teachers have always been encouraged to share those materials and ideas with other educators.  Many school divisions now have online resources where they encourage teachers to share their ideas for instruction and assessment by posting them, an example being North East School Division’s Curriculum Corner

So why is it that some educators are so reluctant to participate in the active sharing of their ideas?  Is it because they don’t want to have their work critiqued by someone else? Are they afraid that what they have done isn’t good enough or interesting enough?  Because I would encourage those people to read this great blog post called What’s Obvious to You, is Amazing to Someone Else by Richard Byrne.  And if you don’t have time to read that article just yet, just take a couple of minutes and watch this YouTube video that is included in his post:

Or is the reluctance to share great ideas because teachers want to hold onto their OWN lessons so that they can look amazing, all on their own?  Is it a bit of selfishness?  Because for those people, I would wonder if all of their “own” fabulous lessons and plans were not borrowed or at least built upon an existing idea already.

A couple of weeks ago Dean Shareski gave a presentation on Sharing and the idea that it is our ethical duty to share and contribute to a larger community of educators.  This was his Slideshare presentation:

As a relative newbie to Twitter, I am constantly amazed and humbled by the sheer amount of brilliant sharing that goes on with resources, ideas, links and conversation. I am proud to be part of a community of learners who believe that collaboration is so incredibly important and I hope that more educators are encouraged to become connected and part of the global sharing that takes place.  As a substitute teacher I am fortunate that I am exposed to many, many different schools and I get to talk to many educators and administrators.  It actually surprises me how few of the educators in our area seem to be connected via Twitter.  I hope that as we continue talking to our colleagues and providing information, education and support, that we see more people get on-board.

Playing “The Homecoming”

When my friend Katie was quite young and had started learning to play the piano, she was attempting to master a very well-known piece of music by a well known Canadian musician.  Since I can’t remember exactly what piece it was, I am going to take some artistic license here and pretend that it was The Homecoming by Hagood Hardy.  (Yes, Katie, I know.  It’s incorrect.  But it serves the story well, even if it is a semi-fictional account.)

As luck would have it, Katie ended up at an occasion in the company of Mr. Hardy, a piano, and her parents.  Her parents INSISTED that she play the Homecoming for Mr. Hardy.  Katie still talks about how nervous she was, having to perform such a beautiful piece of music for the man who had written and recorded it.

When I initially told Mr. Shareski, our instructor for ECMP355, that I was planning on learning how to build and implement a Webquest, he put me in touch with Bernie Dodge, who is the creator of the Webquest model and a Professor of Educational Technology at San Diego State University, using Twitter. I think I know how Katie felt, a little bit.  I am nervous that I won’t do this justice.  I know that I must contact Mr. Dodge because this is an amazing opportunity to network with someone who is a visionary and who could provide valuable feedback.

I am making good progress, I think, starting to really think about the Webquest Taxonomy and what elements I will try to incorporate into the quest.  I have been using Google Sites for my Webquest and have found a template that has a general outline of each of the sections of the Webquest, so I’m trying to stick pretty closely to those while also referring to Mr. Dodge’s website as well.

It’s time for me to play The Homecoming.  I pledge that by this time next week I will have gotten up the nerve to contact Mr. Dodge.  You can hold me to that.

Some great resources

I’ve found some great resources on Youtube to help me with my Webquest development:

What is a Webquest?

How to Make a Webquest


There are additional ones, but for now these have the information I need.

The Power of YouTube

Global National news tonight ran a story about a lipdub done by a group of Cancer Researchers at McGill University.  You can see it here:

This is the power of social media.  The dancers and other performers include four of the most celebrated cancer researchers in the world and laboratory staff.  Stick around until the end and watch the credits and the bloopers.  The number of Doctors listed who participated  is astounding.  They have a belief and a passion and they take their message to the masses using a digital platform.  And for every hit on their video, their sponsor, Medicom,  donates money to the Goodman Cancer Research Centre.  I hope it goes viral.

Brilliant, I tell you.