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Ideas from TIE

Well, now that I am rested up and my head has stopped spinning with all of the info. I took in yesterday at TIE, I am ready to share some goodies!  Jason Ohler was the keynote speaker…I have to say, definitely the highlight for me.  His presentation was on digital storytelling.  While I have dabbled in digital storytelling with my students, Jason has jumped in with both feet!  Jason is quite the storyteller himself and had us captivated as he reminded us of the importance of developing creativity in our students.  As Jason presented, I was madly jotting down notes and have some great quotes to share. “Literacy today is consuming and producing the media forms of today.  Students need to be able to write whatever they read (or consume).”    I love this, our students are not content with simply taking in literacy, they want to be creators and inventors of their own literacy.  This has expanded beyond simply writing… think about your students obsession with You Tube. This one is my favorite “Intelligence is measured by your desire to learn.”  I think this is my new life motto.  I need to plaster this all over my classroom.  No Child Left Behind does nothing for intelligence! “You don’t have to be a technician magician…know free labor when you see it and let the kids do it.”  In other words, you don’t have to know everything or anything about technology.  Your students know how to use technology, let them be the experts and teach each other (and you!) Jason has an amazing website dedicated to digital storytelling.  You may need to dedicate a chunk of time to this site, trust me you will end up spending time here (hooray summer break, you do have time after all!)  You can even check out some clips of Jason’s keynote speeches on You Tube, these are linked from his presentation page.   Also, be sure to spend some time on the Resources and Projects pages.  You will find lots of treats for the taking! Are you already digital storytelling?  What advice do you have for those who are thinking about taking the plunge? More tomorrow, I bought Jason’s book “Digital Storytelling in the Classroom” and it is calling my name!  Happy learning you intelligent readers you!

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Mural.ly: Google Docs for Visual People

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Inquiry, inspiration, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Technology, web tools, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 03-04-2013

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Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 10.05.09 PM

What it is: Murally is a tool I learned about from my friends over at House of GeniusMurally’s tagline is: “Google Docs for visual people.”  Being highly visual, that description immediately resonates with me!  Murally reminds me a little bit of Wallwisher (now Padlet), it is a way for learners to come together to think, imagine and discuss their ideas.  With Murally, students can create murals and include any content they want in them.  Learners can drag and drop images, video, etc. from any website (or from their computer) onto their mural.   Learners can create presentations from within a mural they have already created.  The best part: this all happens with the ability to collaborate with others.  Murally makes it easy for students to collect, think, imagine, show and discuss learning.  Murals can be made public (shared live with a link) or private (only friends granted permission can access the mural).

*** email address, Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus account required for login.  You know what that means: 13 or older!

How to integrate Murally into the classroom: Murally is brilliant in the way that it enables learners to work and dream together.  My FAVORITE feature: you can drag and drop content from ANYWHERE!!! It works like the spring-loaded folders in Apple’s iOS.  LOVE this feature.  Honestly, this ability to clip content is a game changer.  It makes creating a mural incredibly easy.  Stinking brilliant!  

Murally is the tool that I wish existed when I was doing research projects in school.  Students can conduct and collect their research solo or invite friends to contribute to their research mural.  Students can add text, drag and drop links, pictures, video and other content.  After they have gone through the hunting/gathering phase of research, Murally makes it easy for students to go through and mindmap it all into some sort of order.  This tool is going to make me a better writer.  Visually being able to organize research and thoughts is HUGE.

Being inquiry based, I love the idea of beginning a mural for students with the driving inquiry alone on the board.  The learners job: be curious together.  Ask questions, explore, research, collect evidences collaboratively.  Capture all of that learning in one place.

Murally could be used for any mind-mapping appropriate project.  This is mind-mapping in the future.  Truly amazing!  The collaborative nature of Murally is fantastic.

Students could begin a Murally with a novel as the base.  As they read, they can include quotes, related thoughts, pictures, video clips, discussion, and related research.  I’m always amazed by the connections that our students make to other learning, a commercial they have seen, or a song.  Murally is a great way to visually collect all of this to share with others.

Murally would be an outstanding way to hypothesize about what will happen in a science experiment.  Students can then add in any research, class notes, discussion, etc.  After students have conducted the experiment they can include observations, photos, and final conclusions.

Use Murally with a projector-connected computer or interactive whiteboard for class notes.  As class discussions unfold, notes can be taken for the whole class and shared later.  Students can add to these later with additional learning, thoughts, and plans.

Because Murally can be used to show learning, consider creating map boards where students link what they know of Geography with the cultures, habitats, religions, politics of that area.

Murally would make the COOLEST “textbook” alternative.  Student created, mashup of all different tools, collaborative, discussion included, and organized in the way that makes sense to the learner.

This is one of those tools that has my mind spinning.  The possibilities overlap all subject areas and are endless.

Tips: The collaborative feature of Murally is so well thought out, see history and message collaborators quickly and easily.  Wonderful!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Murally in your classroom.

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