Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank You to the FOC (Friends of Camilla)

Thank you to the Friends of Camilla (FOC) parent group who have allocated fundraising money to purchase new and exciting technologies for Camilla School.

Last week Mr. Byrne announced that the following technology would be purchased for our School:
• Promethean Boards
• Flip Ultra HD Digital Camcorder
• Nintendo Wii
• New Digital Camera

We look forward to even more learning and growing academically with technology infused 21st century instructional lessons!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Google Earth, No Passport Required!

What is Google Earth? “Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. You can explore rich geographical content, save your toured places, and share with others” (Google, 2009). Google Earth 5 is a free download that offers users:
Ocean floor exploration
3D buildings
Moon and Mars exploration
Educational exhibits
• Historical imagery
• Street level imagery
• Recorded tours

The latest version of Google Earth hosts an array of educational tools including partnerships with National Geographic, the BBC and Cousteau’s Ocean World. Teachers and students can explore the earth, ocean floor and solar system through extensive multimedia features.

The Google Earth User Guide gives detailed ‘how to’ instructions on using this exciting tool whether in the classroom visiting a location of instructional study or at home mapping out a vacation.

Google Lit Trips is a website that fuses Google Earth and literature together into amazing virtual roads trips using locations found within literature. Readers from grades K-12 can discover the world while traveling with books.

Google Earth in the classroom:
• Provides cross-curricular learning opportunities
• Engages learners visually and globally
• Builds mapping and navigational skills
• Connects students to their world using real-world perspectives

Ms. Tonhauser

Google Earth in 4L
Google Earth has become an important tool in the 4L classroom. I have used this tool in many of our classroom travels around Alberta. The grade 4 social studies curriculum provides opportunities for students to visit a variety of cities and town in our great province. This user-friendly program allows me to digitally mark each location visited by 4L so that we can compare how far we have travelled in relation to Camilla School. Google Earth allows teachers to record tours, so we recorded our trip to Drumheller and investigated the landscape up close and at a distance. Google Earth will continue to be an integral part of our learning landscape.

Ms. Langford

Google Earth, (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved from

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century

On November 4th Technology Learning Coaches in Sturgeon School Division attended an Edmonton Regional Learning Consortium session titled Literacy and Learning in the 21st Century presented by David Warlick. This was the first time many of us had the pleasure of listening to David speak in person and what a great learning day we had!

How do we define literacy today? Is literacy still simply defined by the 3R’s? David emphasized that literacy today is just not about reading and writing, but instead knowing how to find information, ask questions and find answers. What will the web look like in five years? What kinds of technology will emerge? For the first time ever, educators must prepare students for a future we know nothing about. We are preparing students for a future we cannot predict, or what David calls The Perfect Storm. Being literate today means questioning information, exposing information and becoming an informational ‘digital detective’.

David Warlick is an educator, author, public speaker, and blogger with over 30 years of experiences working with students and teachers.

Ms. Tonhauser

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Digital Storytelling: Tell Me A Story

"Digital Storytelling refers to using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories” (Wikipedia, 2009). This emerging form connects storytellers and technology through the power of imagery, voice and video resulting in short digital narratives. This digital format gives students the opportunity to enhance their communication skills by exploring storytelling through multimedia platforms.

The Educause Learning Initiative has published a great article titled 7 Things You Should Know About…Digital Storytelling.

The Educational Uses of Digital Storytelling serves as a resource for students and teachers interested in integrating multimedia into technology-based projects.

Center for Digital Storytelling is an international organization committed to helping people tell meaningful digital stories.

The Elements of Digital Storytelling website explores five elements essential in each story: action, media, context, relationship and communication.

DigiTales provides resources for schools, families and organizations ready to use digital tools in the storytelling process.

Camilla School has great multimedia applications available for digital storytelling projects:
• PowerPoint
• Photo Story 3
• Windows Movie Maker

Tech 7 students were introduced to Photo Story 3 for Windows in October and asked to create a visual story of the four seasons. Photo Story 3 software was new to students as well as the concept of digital storytelling, so they were eager to explore the digital possibilities of this project. All of the images used in the four seasons presentations were collected from the Microsoft Office Online free gallery. Specific technical and communicative elements outlined in the development of this story included the use of:
• Title frames
• Customized motion
• Cropping, visual effects
• Transitions and timing
• Conclusion collage

Ms. Tonhauser

Wikipedia (2009)