Friday, December 15, 2017

May the WeVideo Force be with You

     I don't feel like I could start this correctly without paying homage to a certain franchise that I dearly love, so, "May the force be with you as I share this story."  
     My family and I recently had the experience of being able to travel to Disney World. It is there that they pride themselves about being story tellers. In fact, in the Spaceship Earth ride, it is even a part of the script as you travel through the passage of time. So I couldn't help but think that I want my kids to be storytellers as well. And, in the ride Spaceship Earth, I was reminded that stories can be told in many different ways.
     First things first, a special shout out to the technology department for making WeVideo and all of its components accessible for all students. Being able to share a story in the form of a video is such an intrepid experience for kids. Being able to teach the kids about what goes into the making of a well-informed, well edited piece is so full of risk and reward. The experience as a whole for 2nd grade all the way to 5th is amazing!
     So what is it that I am speaking about? How do you have students share those stories? By speaking about the past and present, as did our 2nd graders at Grimsrud Elementary using Green screens, color keying and wonderful, rich researched writing example. Or, by creating innovative and persuasive commercials for the Holiday Sale at Highland Acres Elementary, while maintaining the key elements of a persuasive work in under a minute. Or, by creating a weather topic forecast in third grade at Roosevelt, while playing the element of weather in the background while sharing about what it is and how it works.
      Being a story teller is so much more than visiting a magical place on earth. It is being able to share experiences that bond us together. Its sharing what we know, and connecting it to elements that are magical, and full of life. It's risk taking, it's rewarding, and it can be done in WeVideo.
     It's not just about what I think, take it from Shannon Chaussee at Highland Acres, WeVideo, "... Gives different groups different skills/concepts to research and learn, then letting them make a video – then posting these vids on google classroom for the kids to watch for homework (a sort of “flipped” student-led classroom)." There are so many opportunities to share, grow and learn with WeVideo!

    Happy storytelling, and teaching about all of its concepts. Perhaps you can share your perspective on Tuesday!

Twitter Chat:

Q1: How is the use of video an effective tool for students to share what they have learned?

Q2: How have, or could you use WeVideo in your teaching practices?

Q3:  What outcomes might you expect students to present using video story telling?

Q4: What kind of space, time and requirements are needed to make it work for T's and S's?

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Computer Science Education Week

This week (December 4-10) is Computer Science Education Week and all over the world, schools are celebrating. Computer science is the language and the discipline of the future, creating 21st Century learners ready for the unique workforce of the future. It opens students to career and interest opportunities that can impact their future profession. Every industry on the planet is being changed or made better by computer science.

Hour of Code

Student using Ozobots to
to learn coding.
Many schools in the area participated in the “Hour of Code”, an
international movement to promote computer science education to students. One hour coding tutorials allow students to create apps or games and code using fun and interactive activities. These free tutorials are found at, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to expanding access to computer science and increasing participation by women and underrepresented minorities” ( Some schools even asked area professionals to come assist the students with coding activities.

Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg are in favor of and help fund This global phenomenon has really taken off in recent years and has been in the news, gaining the attention of celebrities and politicians.

Celebrities, tech visionaries and even President Obama support Hour of Code
  • Every Apple Store in the world has hosted an Hour of Code.
  • Hour of Code has been featured on Apple, Amazon, Google, YouTube, Yahoo!, Bing, and Disney homepages.
  • Celebrities Ashton Kutcher and Jessica Alba and tech leaders Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, and Jack Dorsey have talked with classrooms in live video chats.
  • President Obama write his first line of code to kick off the Hour of Code in 2014, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau kicked off the Hour of Code 2016.
  • Hour of Code students opened the NASDAQ at a special even in 2015.
  • Over 300 partners have come together to support this grassroots campaign, including The College Board, Microsoft, Infosys Foundation USA, Google, Salesforce, BlackRock, Verizon, Disney, Teach for American, Khan Academy,, and more.
from "Hour of Code" flyer (

Code in the Classroom
Student coding using lessons.

Library Media Specialists and classroom teachers can introduce and use computer science and coding to enrich curriculum and engage students. Introducing coding strategies at a young age can lead to greater problem solving skills and in-depth learning opportunities in higher grades.
Edutopia, a nonprofit organization started by George Lucas that promotes a transformation of education, lists the following learning advantages of coding in the classroom:

  • Logical thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Persistence
  • Collaboration
  • Communication

This year, a 1st grade teacher was kind enough to let me help teach a lesson using coding. Her students were using number lines in math, so I asked if I could help the students visualize number lines using Bluebots. "But you said minus zero... how do I code the robot to move zero?" The lesson was a huge success, and the teacher can't wait to use coding again in future lessons! I have also used Ozobots to help with a social studies lesson and aided a teacher in using Lego Wedo 2.0 kits for a science lesson. All students K-5 have coded this week using or robots. lessons, Ozobots, Bluebots, Dot and Dash robots, Robotic Lego kits, and many other tools are currently available and are being used by LMS’s and classroom teachers at BPS to enrich lessons and provide unique and authentic learning experiences for students as well as co-teaching opportunities. Computer science education is a reality at BPS!

Happy Computer Science Education Week!

Twitter Tuesday Questions

Q1: What do your buildings do to celebrate Computer Science Education Week?
Q2: What are some ways coding can be used to enhance classroom instruction?
Q3: Who in the community could be asked to help facilitate an "Hour of Code" event at your school?
Q4: What are some coding activities that can be done "unplugged" or without a computer or robot?