October 2020 Agenda—Saginaw, Michigan

Facilitating Technology Enriched Classrooms for 21st Century Learners.

Begin at 9:00am

Getting Connected


To the WiFi:   Go to “Peace” network      Username:   tec21       Password:    welcome

To the Agenda:   go to    tec21connect.com   and select “Workshops” and then “Agendas”

To Each Other:    Check out the snack table and say hello to your teammates.  How has everyone been doing since last month?

To Other TEC21 Teachers:    Check out Facebook – TEC21 Educators and see what’s new.  Respond to a post or post something yourself.

Flipgrid – Why did you become a Lutheran teacher?  (post a 1 minute video)    Code to Enter:    c2a9d7



God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.

Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.


1. The next workshop date is scheduled for Thursday, November 12.

2.  The Global Read Aloud started October 5th.  Here are some other upcoming events:


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. Here are the September Challenges:

1. Digital: Explore further a tool or idea from today’s session. It can be learner-centered, teacher-centered or a combination of both. Come ready to share your experience when we meet again in October!

2. Social: Consider following TEC21 on the social media platforms of your choice. Also, be sure to request to join the TEC21 Educators Group on Facebook. As a result, we will connect, share, inspire, grow, and support one another making our Lutheran schools thrive!

3. Spiritual: Again, with the words connect, share, inspire, grow, and support in mind, encourage a colleague and be a resource to them between now and October’s session


  1. Discover the value of engaging your students in a digital storytelling project.
  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?

Made with Padlet
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.
Digital Storytelling Tools

Storyboard That – digital storytelling tool that allows students to create a cartoon story using ready-made scenes, characters, props and more.  Students provide dialogue using text boxes.  Can be accessed on the internet and works well with iPads and Android tablets.  Check out this video for help getting started and this link to see more on using Storyboard That with different subject areas.

Little Bird Tales – digital storytelling tool that allows students to upload, record, and create stories using pictures, drawings, or other images.  Can be accessed on the internet or as an app on iPad.  Here is one example created by a class:  Who Am I?

Toontastic – digital storytelling tool that allows students to create stories using ready-made scenes, characters, props, and more.  Students record the audio for the stories and can animate them as well.  Accessed on iPads.

Adobe Spark – record voice over images one line at a time.  I would recommend this one for adults or older students.  Can be accessed on iPads.  Here is one I made in about 20 minutes:   Sample Adobe Voice Video

Book Creator – Easy to use digital storytelling app (on iOS, Android, or the web) that allows students to publish an online book under the teacher’s account.  Free account allows for up to 40 books.  Book may be shared publicly or privately using a link.  Here is an example of one I made in about 20 minutes.  See this link for “50 Ways to Use Book Creator in Your Classroom.”


Stop-Motion Video

Check out this example of a stopmotion video – Insane Stop Video

Try the Stop Motion Studios app!

Low-tech option: Paper Slide Storytelling

Paper Slide Videos – digital storytelling tool that allows students to record and create stories using paper images that are moved while being recorded.  Here is a video that explains the steps using the paper-slide technique.

Build A Jack-O-Lantern with Google Slides

Students can “build” their own jack-o-lantern 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.  Click here to get the template.  Make sure to make a copy!

Collaborative Activity with Brother/Sister Cohorts (optional).


How can we practice telling stories?  Let’s take a look at a quick and easy start-up. Five Card Flickr allows students to practice their creativity skills based upon a random set of 5 pictures.

Recording Stories

Audacity is a great (and FREE) audio recording and editing tool. This is a perfect tool for students to learn how to record high quality audio for voice narration, stories, or podcast creation! It works on PCs and Macs.

Digital Citizenship Integration

Whether students are learning in-person, remotely or in hybrid scenarios, online learning activities are a part of the education process. As educational leaders, we have the extraordinary opportunity to be a positive influence in their lives when it comes to modeling and teaching them about digital citizenship. Common Sense is a nonprofit organization dedicated to provide parents and teachers lessons and resources to teach children in grades K-12 skills and responsible behaviors to thrive in the 21st century. Below are their six core curriculum topics. Check out their website HERE.

  • Media Balance & Well-being
  • Privacy & Security
  • Digital Footprint & Identity
  • Relationships & Communication
  • Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech
  • News & Media Literacy

Common Sense Media – great website for parents and teachers that has a digital literacy component as well as reviews for books, movies, TV, games, apps, and websites. This is Digital Citizenship Week.  Check out their additional resources here!



Planet Nutshell – Safety videos for K-3
Safeweb – Internet safety resources for K-4, 5-6, 7-8, 9-12, and parents
AT&T Safetyland Game – 8 question game that would work well for younger students (grades 2-4)
YouTube Videos from Google – on Internet Safety (good for ages 12+)

Digital Tools & Resources

Flipgrid empowers social learning from PreK to PhD classrooms around the world.  Use video the way your students do.  Students can record and upload short video clips that you then approve and post.  The “Grid” is easily shared with parents and others.  See “The Educator’s Guide to Flipgrid” for tips on how to get started and how to incorporate Flipgrid into your classroom.  Richard Byrnes’ “Guide to Flipgrid” is also helpful!  Or check out this “Flipgrid Getting Started – Teachers” video.

Voki allows students to create an avatar, customize it, and then provide speech through the phone, microphone, or text.  See my example here.

Story Toolz is a great resource for student writers that allows them to do things like check their writing for readability or cliches, generate storylines, create great titles, etc.  Watch this quick video to see what kinds of tools are available on this site

Little Bird Tales is a website that allows teachers and students to upload, record, and create stories using images. You can use images that you already have or you can draw your own! You have the option to share tales through email once you are finished, but they are not made public unless you want them to be. Little Bird Tales is a creative way to encourage student self-expression. It is also a fun way to help reinforce reading and writing skills in your students!

Make videos in minutes with Powtoon. Use our library of styles, characters, backgrounds and video, or upload your own! Free. Easy. Awesome.

StoryJumper is the easiest way to create, narrate, and publish your own hardcover and paperback books. Read and listen to books from our worldwide community.

Epic! for Educators contains thousands of amazing free books for educators and their students.  Instantly access 35,000 ebooks, quizzes, learning videos and more for K-5.  Start here for a great playlist of videos on how to get started.

National Day Calendar   Because there is always something to celebrate!  Check out the Classroom resources.

Have you ever heard of Genius Hour? Listed below are several resources to help understand what it is all about and why some teachers have been integrating this project-based learning strategy into their classrooms. Jerrita Staehr, one of our workshop facilitators, created all of the necessary assets for TEC21 Teachers to use either for themselves during their TEC21 experience or to make copies and adapt them to use with their students. She’s broken it down into steps and provided wonderful examples and templates. Excellent work, Jerrita, and thank you for sharing this with everyone! Here’s a link to the shared Google folder with all of her resources if you are are interested: Jerrita’s Genius Hour TEC21 Style Resources.

  1. “What is Genius Hour?” (Genius Hour)
  2. How to Build Community Leaders of Today – And Tomorrow – Through Genius Hour (EdSurge, 2017)
  3. Genius Hour in Elementary School (Edutopia, 2017)
  4. Tips and Tricks to Keep Kids on Track During Genius Hour (MindShift, 2017)
  5. Inspire Drive, Creativity in the Classroom with 20-Time (20-Time in Education)
  6. 20-Time Projects in Education: 41 Projects in 4 Minutes (YouTube, 2014)

George Couros Blog

8 Things to Look For in Today’s Classroom – by George Couros

“The question that must be asked every day is, ‘What is BEST for this learner?’” ~ George Couros

Articles About Exploration Studying Columbus this month? Or the Pilgrims next month? Take a look at these leveled articles on exploration!

Free Tech for Teachers – Autumn Resources It’s fall! Check this great blog for information on the sights, sounds, and science of autumn: videos on why leaves change color, how animals prepare for winter, autumn stars and planets, and chemical reactions that cause colors to change. Consider subscribing this blog for great ideas and to stay current with technology in education.

If It Were My Home Easy to use website that allows students to see differences in living conditions between their location and other countries, also has a way to see the impact of some disasters.

Semantris is a fun word game that is a vocabulary version of tetris. In this version instead of shapes you have words that fall from the top. You then need to eliminate words by typing in a word or phrase that best identifies that particular word, without using the actual word in your clue. Google’s AI then tries to guess which word you meant and removes that block, along with any same colored blocks touching it. As the game goes on the falling words become more similar.

This is a fun game to help students expand their vocabulary, while working on selecting precise words and phrases to best define a word.

Toasted Cheese Toasted Cheese is a place for adult writers to get feedback and suggestions, but their writing prompt calendar give you excellent suggested writing prompt you can use with your students. One for every day of the month for the past ten years. So if the one for today is not good for your class pick one from the weekend … or last month… or last year.

Hidden Worlds of Our National Parks  Great place for a virtual field trip!  Students can self-lead themselves through the National Parks or use with a whole class.

PHET Interactives  Interactives for Math and Science.  Many choices for grades K-12.

Chrome Canvas  Another option for drawing or making artwork in the Google Chrome browser.  You can also upload a picture to write, draw, or color on top of.

Tinycards Tinycards is a new app made by the team that created Duolingo, the most downloaded education app in the world. Students can make their own decks using text and images, or use 10,000 existing decks of flash cards on languages, science, art, and more. Type in Concordia Publishing House in the search to access the Six Chief Parts free. Check out the Ten Commandments-Luther’s Small Catechism.

75 Scientific Research Projects You Can Contribute To Online

Monitor local animal populations, identify plants, transcribe women astronomers’ notes, bird-watch and more.

Though it’s true that many field research projects are paused, hundreds of scientists need your help sifting through wildlife camera footage and images of galaxies far, far away, or reading through diaries and field notes from the past.

Plenty of these tools are free and easy enough for children to use. You can look around for projects yourself on Smithsonian Institution’s citizen science volunteer pageNational Geographic’s list of projects and CitizenScience.gov’s catalog of options. Zooniverse is a platform for online-exclusive projects, and Scistarter allows you to restrict your search with parameters, including projects you can do “on a walk,” “at night” or “on a lunch break.” To save you some time, Smithsonian magazine has compiled a collection of dozens of projects you can take part in from home.

Read & Write – Installs on tablets and Chrome.  Reads text aloud.

Reading IQ – Thousands of digital books.  Free.

Quizizz – Formative Assessment Tool

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

Project Development

TEC21 Challenges

  1. Digital: Engage your students in a digital storytelling activity or project. Share your experience by posting for others to see!
  2. Social: Post a question, an answer, a resource, a picture of your students working on digital storytelling, or an example of a student project to the TEC21 Educators Group on Facebook.
  3. Spiritual: Be a resource to at least one new person on your faculty before we meet again.


To open the reflection in its own tab, select HERE.

Dismiss at 2:00pm

My Contact Info

Please don’t hesitate to contact me at any time during the year with questions, problems, or suggestions.

Email:    lmeyers@vlhs.com

Phone:  989-790-1676  ext. 12   (school)

989-324-0666       (cell)

Connected teachers inspiring students in Technology Enriched Classrooms.