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Final Presentations Discussion

Discussion 8: Final Presentations Shout Out!


The presentations went ok. I have a sense of feeling that maybe people didn’t know or remember that we were going to present that day, so it seemed as if some people were not ready for it. While some did well going on the spot, others just seemed to have issues presenting or figuring out what to present.

I want to give a shout out to all the classmates, even though there were some who seemed to struggle, I feel that they did their best.

TPACK Evolutions




Assignment 9: TPACK Evolutions

Looking back at my A1 TPACK I realize now that it was all wrong. My diagram now would resemble the TPACK of Dr. Koehler. His diagram has everything that I would need to complete my own TPACK, which would be all 3 knowledge’s with the middle being TPACK itself. My original diagram wasn’t even really connected with itself and had them moving down into how I use technology. I found and discovered through this activity that I don’t necessarily use technology primarily for communication and social platforms.


So now that I have officially figured out that my TPACK wasn’t what I thought it was I realize that it is much more. For me what I discovered the most is that I might have not initially understood what my TPACK really was. Looking back now, I feel that I have a better grasp on what my TPACK is actually about. With our beginning assignment of creating a diagram of what our TPACK is, I really believed that technology was just being used specifically for social communication. I was determined to make technology be strictly based on communication. By working through our assignments for this class I realized that I had actually been using technology for so much more and that my TPACK was actually a lot more creative. Instead of just being about communication, I used it more to bring out my creativity. I practiced my creative side by working out the assignments with my ‘comedic’ sense. I typically wasn’t very creative with my examples for my assignment modeling but this class has me doing so.

My creativity really came out when I started applying the technology apps towards my PBL. Even though I have already used my PBL in the class, I was able to play with it more the way I wasn’t able to in the actual classroom. When I originally thought about my TPACK, specifically my TPACK regarding my PBL, I thought that it was being specifically used with communication only. Even though I did use the technology with communication, I never realized that creation and analysis was also a big factor. My PBLs typically revolve around and involve many technology tools for my students and I to use. Therefore, naturally my TPACK will end up looking like Dr. Koehler’s, if not it is a bit more towards the TK side. As I worked through my PBL the activities that we worked on throughout the class only added and supplemented it, even though it may have been a bit overloaded since my original plan had the students working on a computer program. Nonetheless, the TPACK I introduced into my PBL had no real negative affects towards it, it only enhanced it.

I don’t feel that the scaffolding affected my technology framework, but I will say that it maybe wasn’t fully scaffold in the way it was intended. Usually, scaffolding follows the typical, “from easiest to hardest” type of leveling. The Practical Technology Integration Framework that we followed for this class seemed a bit jumbled. I guess that it just really depends on opinion on what a person feels is easier to attain versus what is not, but if I had to make some changes I would have. However, I still would keep the last two technology pieces in the end, not because they are “harder” to attain but because they take time to use. The creating and editing portions of technology are very time consuming, even after you figure out how to use them. So leaving those portions to the end of the framework makes sense. The one change that I definitely would make would be the portions of the “discussion and reflection.” Now the word change is a bit drastic, what I mean is I would push that portion closer to the beginning and have students create accounts for certain technology tools. That would push students to be fully engaged in the tools and it would make cross communication a requirement.

Looking towards the future, specifically into my own practice, I am more excited than ever. Before recently I did not know about the concept and idea of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge framework. I knew and understood that technology and technology tools are the present and educators should be encouraged to use them in their practice. I didn’t, however, know that there was a concept developed for and around using technology in practice. Obviously this is the true reason why I personally decided to get back into graduate school. I wanted to be able to delve deeper into the area of educational technology and its implications in the classroom. I truly am excited to have learned about this type of teaching last year in my first experience teaching in the classroom and now in my continued education. On top of that, I also look forward with excitement to what my future classes in this program will bring.

Discussion 7: Creation & Editing Tools, Part 2 – Digital Storytelling

Discussion 7: Creation & Editing Tools, Part 2 – Digital Storytelling

The majority of the tools are on the highest level of learning, just as in the last set of tools that we worked on. The majority of the tools are all about creating and editing video. Video creation is one of the most popular digital tools that most the younger generation use on a regular basis. It helps most students and people express their creativity through video format. I typically don’t like using video editing/creating systems, only because I feel that they take a lot of time to create and use. Maybe that’s just me. All and all, I really enjoy seeing what students create for school.

The “ah ha” moment I had was in class when I saw what my classmate had created with Goanimate. I thought, if they could do it I definitely could. Once I did start working Goanimate, I did find it to be fun and easy. Though, it did take a large portion of my time to work on.

Even though it’s not exactly ‘new’ it is something to keep an eye on. An older site called Xtranormal used to be a great text-to-speech cartoon creator until it was cancelled and then bought out by a company.

The company that bought them out is now called Nawmal and they are working hard to bring it back. I encourge fans of text-to-speech cartoons to sign up for their newsletter to keep track of what’s going on with them.



Digital Storytelling Part Deux

Aside from the great work done at and the all the effort put into the narration done for the story’s, another great example was done through game form.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War

2664006-7158019745-VH-BAis in my opinion, another great example of Digital Story telling. Where as with Storycorps and other media, you don’t get to interact with the story’s themselves. In video game form of story telling, you do get to interact with the story in ways that can affect you in even deeper ways. Valiant Hearts is more than just a video game, it is an experience. You take a roll of various people and become them through their harrowing journey of The Great War. By roll playing as these characters, you get to take part in experiencing what they experienced. Even though it is in the media of animation, it still is very deep and enthralling.

Valiant Hearts is just your typical game either. It plays more like a live action graphic novel. With narrative and individual video animations of scenes, you become apart of the world without feeling like you’re playing a more “casual” or novel game. You feel all the emotion of the characters, because you are in control of those characters and you then become invested in their lives. This is the reason why I feel that Digital Story telling can be a great tool and assist in education people on events and narrative of life. Reading books and text still is and should be, a very large part of educational life. The digital realm, however, can also be just as powerful of a tool if utilized correctly.

Valiant Hearts can be, in my opinion, a great way to experience Digital Story telling for the 21st century. I leave you with the trailer for the game, that will capture your emotions just like the best piece of cinema or literature.

Digital Storytelling

….and in other news 


I’m really excited with all these tech apps and sites that we are working with, and I’m especially excited to use Storycorps.

I really love Storycorps. Before this posting from class, I had never heard of it. Maybe I had, but I probably had forgotten about it from the massive trainings I was also having to take. Now, getting a chance to go through the digital stories and hearing and watching them, I’m blown away. The first thing that came to mind when listening to the storys was NPR. NPR to me is more than what some people consider to be “LIBERAL MEDIA PROPAGANDA!!!!!!” It’s mostly just story telling, in the oldest of traditions. Show programs like “This American Life” and even KUT’s original programming are just glorified story telling. People talking into a microphone and telling us a story, about something. Could be anything, but it means something. At least to me it does, and apparently many others who tune in. Storycorps is a lot like that but so much more. Whereas Ira Glass’ program is based generally on what he and his producers deem to be relevant and significant, Storycorps feels that everybody’s story is significant. So much in fact, that they felt compelled to animate the stories. Which brings me to the one digital story that really stood out to me. Many of the storys have a tendency to pull at the heart string, and most do it well. The story I chose to pick out, did so in a very relevant and historical way.

German in the Woods is a digital story told by Joseph Robertson who “was an infantryman in the U.S. Army during World War II.” It goes into a very casual tone of explaining a night during the Battle of the Bulge in which he shot and killed a German soldier. At first Joseph goes into the story very casual as he begins to describe the time and place of the even he starts to talk about. He describes the German soldier crawling towards his position in still a lighthearted way, but begins to get a bit more excited about the event. As Joseph then tells how the German solider reached his position about 3 or 4 feet away, his voice still stays at the same level but the tone changes ever so lightly. Though when he describes shooting the German soldier, he laughs a bit out of uncomfortable awkwardness when he states “the killing shot.” As the story gets closer to the end, he then goes into stating that he didn’t think about killing the soldier that night due to fatigue, but that the next night when he did fall asleep he woke up crying about the incident. The story ends with Joesph, now at this point audibly weeping, discussing how even to this day he wakes up crying thinking about killing that young German soldier.

When I first heard this story, I was taken aback. Most the story’s on Storycorps are heart felt as I had mentioned earlier, but this one really hit me. I don’t know if it had to do wit the fact that Joseph began the story very nonchalantly and then ended with me audibly weeping or that the story felt very real. I’ve read and watched countless story’s about World War II and the atrocities that took place. I’ve even watch documentaries with soldiers discussing events that they took part in and seen them cry on camera. This story though for some reason, felt so very raw and real that it had a more lastly effect on me.

I don’t know if maybe it had to do with the animation of it or not, but it really did strike a chord in me. The animations for all the Storycorps are fantastic. I really do love animation, so being able to hear real life story’s attached to such great animation is really a special thing. The animation for this particular story was even more so. The Rauch Brothers where the artists on this piece and even though I’m not familar with their work, it has a familiarity to it. As much emotion that was in Josephs story was just as prevelant in the animation. The part that really showed it was when Joseph described the soldier as a blonde blue eyed angel. Even though it was animated in black and white, you could visualize Josephs description.

Which leads into the audio itself, being another character that is brought to life. I have done a bit of dabbling in podcasting and know that having the right equipment and microphones for recording is a big deal. Having the right recording setup can be the difference between a studio quality recording and a McDonalds drive-thru. The people who go into producing these digital stories have recording down to a science. In the majority of story’s I listened to the narrators felt as if they were sitting right in front of me, which added to the whole experience. Especially with Joseph. He could have been my own grandfather telling me the story, live in person and I wouldn’t known the difference. Though the one thing that added a lot more feeling and emotion, was the subtle music playing during it. The music added so nicely to the story. It made it feel alive and living, I don’t know if words can really explain the feeling you get when you listen to it.

So that is why you must experience it yourself by listening to these story’s. If these had been written out, or if I had read them in a textbook or such, I don’t think that you would get the same experience. What Storycorps does best, is it bring these peoples events and story’s to life in feeling. Feeling and emotion are some the best experiences in life, which is why I really enjoyed watching and listening to these great story’s being told.


…….But I really do love animation and I really do love video games. I love things that can tell and narate a great story. Some of my favorite visual medias are Graphic Novels. Graphic Novels can do the same thing as Digital Story telling, but in paper form. Though for me, animation still does it best.

The perfect example to this is a game called Valiant Hearts: The Great War. I’ll be writing another post on this. Check out for that!

Assignment 7: Creation & Editing Tools – Part 1

(Note: Don't know why this was deleted and not posted, so I'm having to repost it again. UGH!)

Think man, think!

So I didn’t know what I was doing?………..but I had an idea anyways. Upon searching for what ‘creation and editing tool’ I was going to use, I decided on Storybird. The reason why? I liked the little bird.


I also liked the very simple design. It was so very clean, and crisp. I’m kind of a sucker for clean websites. I hate going to sites that are messy and all over the place. Storybird is very much clean and has a simple design but it was a little too simple and clean in which I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. I had to do some research and had to watch a Youtube video in order to guide me through the process. Here is the video:

For my project, I kept trying to find a way for the students to use it and I was drawing a blank.giphy So I kept thinking, and thinking, then I took a break from thinking and had some kettle corn, a candy cane tea and finished watching the latest episode of Gotham when I got an idea. Since my students are creating their Energy Cities, I thought of something fun to do with it. But I’ll get to that later.

Aside from MY activity for the kids to do, there are many ways to use Storybird. So essentially Storybird is the digital way for students to create their own books. I think it’s really awesome. It’s so imaginative and creative. You can have the students either create journals, or digital books or have them submit even something different. I feel like it would be a great way for a quick assignment for them to do, for maybe a quick warm up activity. Now, I will say that there will have to be a class teach session on how to use this site, BEFORE you try to include any kind of ‘quick’ activities.
          As a student though, I feel like this can go two ways. It can either be the most fun in creating your own written work, or it could be the most torturous thing, having to create something. I will say this, unfortunately there are people in this world who do not like to ‘create’ stuff. I know, I know, but it is true. So knowing you’re students always should come into play when coming up with assignments. Though, it sometimes is more often than not, a general minority.
Now back to my activity for in class. I figure that I could have the student write up a quick postcard for their cities. Something nice to add to their city, and welcoming for ‘undecided movers.’ I thought it would be really cute. Here’s the example I did:
You can attach pictures and write little story’s, or quips or you could just simply write chapters in a book with a picture to illustrate the chapter OR you could make your own picture books. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that the possibilities are limitless, but there’s a good amount of options. I created something simple to model would could or can be done with this, I’m dropping the link below to check out my storybook.
    All in all, I really enjoyed this Storybird. It it something I would use, maybe not all the time. I would use it at least once to try something different. The thing I didn’t like too much about it is that you have to use other people’s art. I still like the old school way of storybook creating, where the students get to illustrate their books by hand. I will say that this is a perfect substitute for students with any kind of disabilities or L.D.’s were for them, it’s easier to use the computer.
(18)  Culture. The student understands the ways in which cultures change and maintain continuity. The student is expected to:
(A)  analyze cultural changes in specific regions caused by migration, war, trade, innovations, and diffusion;
(B)  assess causes, effects, and perceptions of conflicts between groups of people, including modern genocides and terrorism;
(C)  identify examples of cultures that maintain traditional ways, including traditional economies; and
(D)  evaluate the spread of cultural traits to find examples of cultural convergence and divergence such as the spread of democratic ideas, U.S.-based fast-food franchises, the English language, technology, or global sports.

Discussion 6: Creation & Editing Tools, Part 1


The Creation and Editing tools are very, very advanced tools to use in the classroom. There is a very big learning curve when working with these tools. For someone as ‘tech savvy’ as me, I had to teach myself these tools in order to even remotely use them. It didn’t bother me much because I enjoy using/learning new tech tools and apps, but for those who are not as inclined it can be their worst nightmare. That thought right there is what I kept thinking about the whole time I was using it. It is so high up in Blooms Taxonomy, that it leaves the stratosphere. It takes the Creating level of Blooms and turns it into a Master of Art class, though it’s not unmanageable. I think that you would really be pushing students boundaries of thought and work process by teaching them these tools. You would, though, have to take a lot of time in teaching the students how to use these tools before they can begin to create their own works.

Things really began to click for me in the 1100th hour, with the Scratch game maker and with the Storybird. When they did click, it finally hit me. Hit me like a slow moving Hulk………..Creating stuff is hard. Guess that’s why I’m not an artist. Really when it comes down to it, I’m more of a fixer. i_can_fix_it_by_vaporotem-d5erzyk

I like to either fix whats broken or make something based off of something that’s already been created. But to create something from scratch, with no original recipe, is bloody hard. Guess that’s why I’m not an artist? Alas, Storybird is cool tool to push students abilities to whatever creative realm they can get to.

            NEW TOOL!


I found a new tool, that I think is really cool called Celly. It’s actually pronounced

It’s a communication tool like twitter, hangouts and IM all rolled into one. I haven’t really tried it all that much but I did create an account. celly

Essentially it allows a safe way for you to create “cells” so that your students, parents or anybody really can communicate with you……….without actually having your direct phone number. Now, they have to have account and you have to add them, which isn’t really that hard. People can text, call and post messages to anyone within the “cell.”

Once again, the best way to know something, is to actually try it. So check it out!

In)-class Activity #2: Share Your Point of View by Discussing your Thoughts on Creation & Editing Tools


  1. After reviewing the suggested tools in this category, earn two bonus points by creating a new blog post to:

This was pretty challenging even for me, I’ve got to admit. Having to make my own game is something I’ve always wanted to do, but knew that it was going to be very difficult. I had a lot of trouble making things work and that’s even with the tutorial. I don’t know if I posted this before, but this is very similar to an initiative created by a few big names in the tech industry. They created a great online program that teaches kids (and adults) how to code. Not only does it teach you how to code, but it teaches you the fundamentals of what things do and why they work. Essentially the whole concepts of “if x does y, then x will be blue.” Essentially teaching the fundamentals of Computer Science.

Right now I’m thinking of messing around with the program Storybird. It seems like something that could be cool to use, I’m just afraid that the students could start becoming overwhelmed with TOO many tech tools.

discuss 2 specific things (i.e. function within a tool, etc.) you want to learn more about, and

I want to play around more with this Scratch site and I also want to fiddle around with Infinite Monkeys. Even thought they seems like super overwhelming programs to try to learn on your own, I’m willing to try them out.

I don’t have something that drives me crazy or is confusing me, but I still do want to figure out the formulas of Computer Science. I know I can figure out the “variables” portions in coding. I just have to really try it out, it’s just hard because of my learning disabilities and my very weak math skills.