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Posts tagged ‘International Society for Technology in Education’

Cool Interactive Whiteboard Storytelling Lesson

I came across this awesome whiteboard lesson and felt that I just had to share it.  It allows students to use their imaginations and storytelling skills while incorporating several different kinds of technology in the classroom.  Pretty cool.  Take a look!

Interactive Whiteboards Enliven Storytelling

Students better absorb class content when they create their own books about it using technology.

Cari Orts teaches fifth grade at Spicewood Elementary School in Texas.
posted June 27, 2012

Research has shown that interactive whiteboards make the teaching and learning process far more engaging and often lead to better retention of the material presented. With these and other classroom technologies, students can become their own content publishers.

LESSON DESCRIPTION: This lesson helps students transform an ordinary picture into an animated I SPY–like book using an interactive whiteboard, a digital camera, a digital voice recorder, classroom computers and Microsoft PowerPoint.

Begin by asking students to select the items they wish to include in their picture. They can either bring small toys from home or choose classroom objects. Have students set up scenes with the objects they have selected and then use the camera to photograph their work. These pictures will serve as the basis for the stories students will write and then transform into interactive books complete with animation and audio. Their stories must mention eight items featured in the picture and follow the basic mechanics of good storytelling. Encourage students to pick one object that will serve as the story’s “main character,” introduce a problem that will propel the action and come up with a plot resolution that will leave readers feeling satisfied at the end, as any good story will do.

When all stories are approved, instruct students to pair off and read each other’s story into the voice recorder. Help students save their pictures and voice recordings on the classroom computers and then assemble their books using Microsoft PowerPoint. The slides students create should incorporate both their photos and their voice recordings.

Next, have students display their stories on the interactive whiteboard and draw circles around each item mentioned in the stories using PowerPoint’s drawing tools. Students may have to listen to the narrative multiple times to verify that they have circled all items that appear in the story. Once all items are circled, have students animate the circles using the Custom Animation tab in PowerPoint so the circles “fly” into view as they are mentioned in the story narrative.

Conclude the lesson by showing each PowerPoint story to the class using the interactive whiteboard and challenging students to locate all of the items that are mentioned in each one.

SUBJECT AREA: This lesson teaches writing and technology skills and can be adapted for any content area or grade level.

CURRICULUM STANDARDS: This lesson addresses oral fluency, story writing, ­sequencing and technology use requirements outlined in the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills standards established by the Texas Education Agency. It also fulfills several National Educational Technology Standards for Students developed by the International Society for Technology in Education.


GRADING RUBRIC: Students should be graded on their ability to read aloud with accuracy, expression and appropriate phrasing; their development of a story with correct sequencing, grammar and punctuation; and their use of the technologies needed to complete the assignment.

Teaching Tips

✔ Have students pick one object or item in their picture to serve as their book’s main character. This makes it easier for them to build a story.

✔ Teach students the basics of PowerPoint before beginning this lesson.

✔ Instead of using a mouse with the interactive whiteboard, have students move objects in their PowerPoint presentations with their hands for greater control over their story elements.

I found this article at


Your School District Could Win $300,000 in Educational Technology Resources!

So, I found this article today, and I felt like I had to share it for any educators out there that might come across my blog, and not already know about this awesome contest.  This is a national contest that is offering an opportunity for one school and it’s district to win up to $300,000 in educational technology resources!  That’s huge!  There’s a link in the article where you can get your entry form, and then the winning school will be the school that receives the most votes online.  So, take a look, and then get moving!

National Contest Offers Schools $300,000 in Technology

Source for Learning Co-sponsors With Learning First Alliance

RESTON, Va., May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — School districts across America are struggling with reduced budgets—but now a nationwide contest will reduce the burden for one of those districts.

The Dream School Challenge, co-sponsored by The Source for Learning (SFL), provides an opportunity for one school and its district to win up to $300,000 in educational technology resources.

SFL and its service partnered with Lifetime TV’s “The Balancing Act” and six members of the Learning First Alliance to present the contest. The winner will be the school and district receiving the most votes online.

The contest voting runs through June, 2012. Schools can be nominated through an entry form, available here. Schools and districts that want to win can urge students, teachers, and parents to vote and, if they wish, to complete an optional brief essay.

The $300,000 prize includes computer equipment, school furniture, educational software, and a TeachersFirst OK2Ask® live, online professional development session for the winning school and district.

The Dream School Challenge was launched with a one-hour special on the Balancing Act program. Candace Hackett Shively, SFL’s Director of K-12 Initiatives, appeared in a segment with Don Knesek, President of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), discussing ways parents and teachers can work together to help students use technology effectively.

Other Learning First Alliance participants in the Dream School Challenge include the National Association of Elementary School Principals, The National Association of Secondary School Principals, The Association for Middle Level Education, The American Association of School Administrators, The National School Boards Association, and the International Society for Technology in Education.

Steve Gorski, The Source for Learning’s President and CEO, said, “SFL is well aware of the financial challenges schools face. That’s why we make TeachersFirst’s resources available without charge. We’re also developing content—such as the new TeachersFirst section “Help! I lost my library/media specialist“—to give teachers support that might previously have been provided by school staff who have been cut due to reduced budgets. The Dream School Challenge is one more way to reaffirm SFL’s commitment to teachers.”

The Source for Learning, Inc. is a not-for-profit corporation supporting enhanced learning through technology. Among the services created by SFL are,,,, and, which provides educational video clips with links to related resources from TeachersFirst.

Source: PR Newswire (