October 2019 Agenda—Arlington Heights, Illinois

Facilitating Technology Enriched Classrooms for 21st Century Learners.

Begin at 9:00am

Getting Connected


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1. The next workshop date is scheduled for Thursday November 7th.
2. Check out the Tec21 booth at LEA.  Tell them you are a teacher and get a t-shirt while supplies last.  Look for a  tech playground with hands-on activities to try, robots, etc.
3. IETC (Illinois Education & Technology Conference 2019) in Springfield Illinois WEDNESDAY – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 13-15, 2019
4. IDEA (FORMERLY ICE) February 24-27, 2020 –  REGISTRATION COMING IN THE FALL….Upcoming events here


Let’s take some time to reflect on last month’s TEC21 Challenges and share experiences. Share a success, a challenge you experienced or a lesson learned.


1. Discover the value of digital storytelling.
2. Explore digital storytelling tools and resources to use with your students.
3. Identify a tool or resource to share with a colleague.

Digital Storytelling

Everyone has a story to tell! What’s yours?

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What is Digital Story Telling?
How is the story told?
  • movies
  • slides
What is it for?
  • instruction
  • student projects
  • reflection
  • assessment
  • fun!
Why digital?
  • sharable
  • no mess
  • won’t make it and trash it
  • teaches other skills
  • music
Literary Basis

“Digital storytelling has emerged as a fundamental, cross-curricular technique that provides structure for both sharing and understanding new information. It has become an essential way of providing information and enhancing education…by making abstract or conceptual content more understandable. In all disciplines, it offers more ways to engage students and enrich learning through the inclusion of digital media that represents, illustrates, and demonstrates. Digital storytelling brings together text, graphics, audio, and video around a chosen theme, often with a specific point of view. Bernard Robin observes that a digital story may be a personal tale, a depiction of a historical event, or simply a way to creatively impart information or provide instruction. In the classroom, they can also foster collaboration when students are able to work in groups, and enhance the student experience through a personal sense of accomplishment (Robin, 2006). The National Council of Teachers of English in 2003, challenged teachers to develop instructional strategies for students to master composing in nonprint media that could include any combination of visual art, motion (video and film), graphics, text, and sound—all of which are frequently written and read in nonlinear fashion (Porter, 2008, p. 11). Included was the process of digital storytelling, where information is conveyed in a way that is more engaging than plain text.”     Strategies for digital communication skills across disciplines: The importance of digital stories (Links to an external site.)

Common Core writing standards require writing and publishing using digital tools beginning already in Kindergarten and continuing through Grade 12.

With guidance and support from adults, explore and use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products in response to ongoing feedback, including new arguments or information.


Paper Slides
Paper Slide videos are one of the quickest (and easiest, in my opinion) for getting started with digital storytelling! Check out how to make one below.
Stop Motion

More Digital Story-Telling Resources

Digital Citizenship Integration

What aspects of digital citizenship need to be addressed when creating digital storytelling projects?

  • Internet Safety
  • Privacy & Security
  • Relationships & Communication
  • Cyberbullying
  • Digital Footprint & Reputation
  • Self-image & Identity
  • Information Literacy
  • Creative Credit & Copyright

Genius Hour

Genius Hour Unit 2: Make a plan

To begin, develop your idea into a project goal. Next, list the first three steps that you will take to make that goal a reality. Then, make a list of resources that you will need including the tech tools that you may integrate into the project.

Lunch Hour at 11:30am/Back to Work at 12:30pm

Digital Tools & Resources

The world’s most popular and easy to use comic and storyboard creator..

ChatterPix Kids is a free app that elementary school students can use to create talking pictures. To use the app students simply open it on their iPads or Android devices and then take a picture. Once they’ve taken a picture students draw a mouth on their pictures. With the mouth in place students then record themselves talking for up to thirty seconds. The recording is then added to the picture and saved as a video on the students’ iPads or Android devices. A tutorial on how to use the iPad version of the app can be seen here.

How to use on iPad:  https://youtu.be/fEzkSmO4NRI

How to use on Android:  https://youtu.be/sQAOQKVgGnk

Adobe Spark Video is a tool that I have been recommending for the last four years. With Adobe Spark Video anyone who can make a slideshow can make a video. Students create their videos by creating slides that include an image and some text. Then they record a voiceover for each slide. Adobe Spark will automatically apply transitions and music to the video. The best part is that Adobe Spark Video includes an integrated image search tool to help students find copyright-friendly images. Watch this tutorial to learn how to get started with Adobe Spark Video.
This summer Flipgrid added a handful of new features. One of those new features is the option to create a whiteboard-style instructional video. You can use this feature along with the regular features of Flipgrid to easily create a video that includes instruction drawn on whiteboard background, stickers, and your face an
When it comes to making documentary videos I usually recommend using either iMovie or WeVideo. iMovie is free with your Mac (Macbook) or iPad. WeVideo is browser-based which makes it a good choice for Chromebook users and Windows users. Both services provide all of the tools that students need to create short documentary videos. A complete set of WeVideo tutorials is available in this playlist.
Book Creator is a popular tool for creating multimedia ebooks. It can be used in your web browser for free or you can purchase the iPad app to use it. Students can add pictures, drawings, and videos to their pages. Drawing tools are built into the service. Students can even add their voices to their ebooks. Watch my tutorial to see all of the ways that students can add content to their Book Creator ebooks. For the new school year Book Creator added an autodraw feature that will suggest drawings to insert into a page. You can see the autodraw feature in action in this video.

WriteReader is one of my favorite writing tools for elementary school students. WriteReader is a free service that students can use to create multimedia ebooks. Students can select pictures from a large gallery of drawings, including Sesame Street drawings, and place them on pages in their books. Directly below each image there is space for students to write and for teachers to add corrections. Here’s my tutorial on how to use WriteReader.

Storybird lets anyone make visual stories in seconds. We curate artwork from illustrators around the world and inspire writers of any age to turn those images
into original stories.
Storybird’s writing curriculum offers 300+ lessons, quizzes, and writing prompts created by experienced educators and expert authors.

Tell your story with any kind of media.From sketches, through PDFs, to videos, Explain Everything lets you turn an infinite canvas into a mixed-media playground that captivates and inspires.

Both Apple and Android


Not really a digital story-telling tool, but contains thousands of digital stories….

Epic! is the Leading Digital Library for Kids 12 & Under

Teach your students to teach others by installing and using this screen-recording tool

11 Halloween Lesson Resources from my favorite Richard Byrne

You can do this with this fun, and educational, Google Slides activity. This is a great way for students to be creative and to work on their writing skills by describing or writing about their Jack-O-Lantern. (Super Fun!)

Project Development

TEC21 Challenges

1. Engage your students in a digital storytelling activity or project. Share your experience by posting for others to see!

2. Post a question, an answer, a resource, a picture of your students working on digital storytelling, or an example of student project to the TEC21 Educators Group on Facebook.

3. Be a resource to at least one new person on your faculty before we meet again.


Dismiss at 2:00pm

My Contact Info

Denise Murphy

Cell: 630-973-6784

Connected teachers inspiring students in Technology Enriched Classrooms.