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Matt’s Media Tips 10-15 The Digital Decoder: Digital Tools to help improve reading - Part Two Last week we explored four different digital resources that, when combined with the first three reading strategies outlined below, could help your students improve their reading and become even more engaged with the text. This week we’re going to explore how to use Discovery Education and six other digital resources to help students predict what they will be reading, re-state what they’ve just read, and make connections to the text that they are reading. The reading strategies that we are examining during this series are as follows: 1. Breaking down the sounds - Phonemes (Last week) 2. Chunking unfamiliar sounds and words (Last week) 3. Re-Reading (Last week) 4. Predicting 5. Re-Stating 6. Connecting to the Text

4. Predicting You could tie in lots of different digital resources to this strategy. One simple idea is to use pictures, key words, and/or sounds and ask students to predict what they think they’ll be reading about. After reading the text, have the students compare their predictions to the actual content of the text. Two digital resources/activities 1. Create a Word Cloud by cutting and pasting the reading passage into a word cloud generator like,, or Project the word cloud up on a screen and ask the students to predict what they think they’ll be reading about. Extension: Ask students to identify words that they don’t know or are difficult for them to read. 2. Find an image from Discovery Education and ask your students to imagine what they might be reading about. Extension: Zoom into a part of the image so that the whole picture can not be identified. Ask your students what they think will be revealed when you zoom out. Then ask your students to imagine what they might be reading about. 5. Re-Stating Re-stating requires students to look for and explain the main idea in a piece of text in a shorter form/short answer. Two digital resources/activities Digital Storytelling, which can encompass a whole lot of things, can be a great strategy to employ here. Elementary idea: Read out loud, or have your students read aloud, a piece of text and then have them recreate that text/story in their own form. One tool that you can use is Secondary idea: Have students create a Six Word Story with A six word story (as you might have guessed) requires that students can only use six words to restate the text that they just read.

6. Connecting to the Text It probably comes as no surprise to you that students who are given several different ways to demonstrate their understanding and/or mastery of a subject or skill tend to deeply learn the content. Naturally this principle can be applied to reading. In fact, we’ve just explored a few strategies in the preceding pages. This principle is amplified when students are able to connect to or see the relevance of the content that they are learning. One great example of a teacher helping her students connect to the text can be found inside Discovery Education. Click on this link to see what I’m talking about - Literacy In the Classroom (you will be prompted to log in first). This Discovery Education video is part of a series called Teacher to Teacher: Professional Development for Today’s Classroom: Technology in the Classroom. And here’s a little known tip/gem. Whenever you see More to Explore tab appear on your Discovery Education Media Player - click on it! There you will find similar content. In this case the More to Explore tab will take you to fantastic content covering things like digital storytelling, brainstorming ideas, and, you guessed it, more. Connecting to Text Digital Implementation/Idea If you watched the video mentioned above than you saw the “Sketch to Stretch” activity. This activity required students to draw an image that came to mind when they read the text. The image could not be a scene from the story but rather it had to convey their connections or feelings that the text evoked. I think is a great resource to use if we wanted to convert this into a digital activity. Photo Peach is a free digital storytelling platform that only works with images. It is simple, easy to use, and is completely web based. It includes copyrightfree music and even has an embedded quiz generator so that its users can create short five-second quiz questions (yes it counts down for you). Building off of the Sketch to Stretch activity you could have students create their own imagery or search for imagery within Discovery Education and upload it to Photo Peach to create a story. Students can match their imagery to music, type in text or vocabulary words, and/ or add their own quiz questions. Photo Peach also includes a comment section at the end where students can provide feedback of one another’s work.

Discovery Education Webinar Schedule

Just like last week, I wanted to find an app that would complement one or more of the reading strategies that we have explored.

Fotobabble By Fotobabble, Inc

Fotobabble could do just that. This free app lets you take a picture or select an image from your camera role, record narration via your phone’s mic, and then share your work via email, Twitter, Facebook. If social media or email is not an option, remember that your Fotobabbles are stored locally on your devices so they can be projected and/or shared within the classroom setting. If iPads, iPhones, iTouches are being used int he classroom, creating Fotobabbles could be incorporated into Sketch and Stretch or Six Word Story activities.


Time (EST)


7pm 8pm

Discovery Education Science Middle School: Learn how to navigate the sections to interact, watch, and read, using virtual labs, videos, and articles. The webinar also shows you how to use assignment builders and assessments to guide and measure your students’ understanding and mastery.


7pm 8pm

Challenge Based Learning 101: Join us as we explore challenge-based learning (CBL), a systematic teaching method that engages students in learning knowledge and skills through an extended inquiry process structured around complex, authentic questions and carefully designed products and tasks


7pm 8pm

Build Your Lesson with Discovery Education Science Techbook: Join us as we build a media-infused science lesson presentation that you can use in your classroom. Each month we will demonstrate how to create a truly engaging lesson presentation using digital resources and PowerPoint/ Keynote. At the completion of the webinar you will be able to download the finished product and use it in your classroom.


7pm 8pm

Putting the E in STEM with Discovery Education Science Techbook: A follow up to our webinar about the new engineering virtual lab, this webinar highlights the new stand alone tools that have been added to the Discovery Education Science Techbook.


1pm 2pm

Keyna: A Virtual Field Trip! Renowned conservation specialist M. Sanjayan, lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy, will share research and stories from his time spent in Africa. This engaging journey is meant for all grade levels, however will focus on middle school students and will highlight social studies, science, and math content.

Questions/Comments? I’d love to hear from you email me at or Tweet me at @monjan

Click here for the free download

What is a DEN Star Member? The Discovery Educator Network (DEN) is a global community of educators passionate about teaching with digital media, sharing resources, collaborating, and networking. With over 100,000 members providing professional development to over 600,000 educators worldwide, the DEN connects teachers both on-line and in-person. Discovery Educators have exclusive access to a wide range of resources, professional development activities, networking opportunities, exclusive Discovery Educator events and more. Find out how you can be part of this dynamic and supportive community. Become a DEN Star today!


Miss a week? Catch back up here! 2012-2013 School Year Archives 10/8/2012 The Digital Decoder. Part one of a two 8/27/2012 Back to School Review. Check out some of the major enhancements part series that explores how to use made to Discovery Education over digital resources to assist struggling the summer. We'll give you a readers. We’ll also explore Audioboo, chance to weigh in, showcase a a free mobile app that turns your mobile new back to school webinar series device into a roaming podcasting and highlight Nearpod, a very cool machine classroom mobile app. 10/1/2012 Getting Quizzy With It. Everything you ever wanted to know about creating a Discovery Education Quiz and more including an easy step-by-step guide for embedding Web 2.0 content into a Quiz! We’ll explore a unique mobile app called Stack the States as well. 9/24/2012 Five free tools from DE plus one that’s too cool for school. We’ll also explore links to even more free resources and then play with a free mobile app, Sketch Nation Studio, that provides a simple game design/creation platform. 9/17/2012 Downloading Closed Captions Explore how to download closed captioned files and manipulate their text on both a PC and Mac. We'll also examine the TechChef4U app that links to many education apps! Finally, in this edition, I provide links to the Best of Matt's Tips and Tricks webinar resources. In-the-know about Infographics. This 9/10/2012 edition highlights the new 2012 election material within DE. It also dives into different ways that you and your students can evaluate and explain data by examining three different sites that create infographics. Sock Puppets, an iPad app that is animated by your voice, is also explored. 9/4/2012

Opening up Closed Captions. Check out all of the new and enhanced ways to stream captioned content. We’ll also continue to explore the back-to-school webinars and play with EasyBib, an Android and iPad app that makes citing reference material a breeze.

Miss a week? Catch back up here! 2011-2012 Archives 7/19/2012

Sneak peek at the back to school enhancements. Roadshow app.


Fun things to do over the summer with technology and media. Mustacheme app is featured.


The ins and outs of Digital Storytelling. Digital Storytelling Web 2.0 presentation and apps


Who Knew We Had News? Find an additional set of free Discovery News videos, the Video Yearbook, video almanac, and great webinar information. Roadshow App for playing back videos on-demand is reviewed.




My Five Favorite Summer Resources. We explore five free interactive sites that parents, students, and teachers can use over the summer. We’ll also explore a free translation app for mobile devices. Getting Your Game On. Finding great games, simulations and more within Discovery Education. Back-toSchool Sneak Peek Webinars announced. Futaba Classroom Games for Kids iPad app explored. Getting the Point with PowerPoint and Keynote. Learn how to trim audio & video in PPT and save both PPT & Keynote presentations as images to embed in Web 2.0 sites. 2 Screens and Joinme mobile presentation apps explored.


It’s all about the Theme. We’ll explore several different ways to find unique thematic content. Three most voted upon stories revealed. Studyblue mobile flashcard app highlighted


Scratch and Pop. Six-Word Story finalists revealed. Links between Discovery Education and





2/27/2012, and EduTechr mobile app explored.


Mi Content es Su Content. Bookmarking and sharing your Discovery Education content across your school and district, two great contests, and two text-to-sign mobile apps

In a Class of Their Own Setting up Discovery Education Classrooms, Discovery Education Live Webinars, Quizlet App.


Building out the New Year Five of my favorite things you can do with the Discovery Education Builders, Rover App for DE Students


Special Holiday Edition 13 Tips from Educators around the US and Canada, Videolicious App


50 Ways to Use Discovery Education Tips and tricks galore iSwifter - Flash for iPads


What I am Thankful for Building out your PLN Wordspree and Math Acorn Apps


Things I Stole From the Community DEN Tips, Four really cool tips you can do with Google. TED and Animoto apps


First Six Weeks Aggregated


Creating an “iCenter" How to create an ePub using DE videos. Spirit of Innovation Challenge


Spooky Edition Digital Storytelling, Web 2.0 Piqua City Community Night, Crazy Pumpkin and Halloween Card Creator Apps


Stick it to IT Collaborative Note Taking Site Educator Spotlight - Jennifer Everett, ToonTastic and PuppetPals Apps


Opening Up Closed-Captions Closed-Captions for Macs and PCs, 10 FAQs Customer Service Receives


Common Core, Web 2.0 and DE Three cool sites that integrate nicely with Discovery Education. Administrator Spotlight - Molly Hay!


Can you Hear what I’m Writing? Embedding an eReader into your Writing Prompts, Getting to know Discovery Education SCIENCE

Can You Picture it? Learn how to create a six-word story using and Discovery Education. Digital Story Challenge! MeeGenius Audiobook app for mobile devices. Audio Book ‘em Dano. Eight simple steps for creating an audiobook using iTunes and any computer (Mac/PC). Molecules mobile apps. It’s All About The Sharing. Uploading, sharing and accessing your own content within Discovery Discovery Education. Cel.Ly app polling device via any device. Teacher Center Treasure Trove of Resources. Interactive Calendar Atlas, STEM Connect explored. Socrative App (student response).


Special Valentines Issue - Things I love about Discovery Education. Five Minute Preps, Images,Coaches Eye App


What did you say? Closed Captioning on an iPad? Getting Closed Captions to play on your iPad, GreenScreens on iPhone/iPad with GreenScreen FX app



Let’s Give Them Something To Sing About Differentiated Instruction Using Songs, First Student Media Contest of the Year, ShowMe and Educreations whiteboard apps Meet the Faces of Discovery Education Get up close and personal with the Discovery Education on-air talent, special student webinar series, Story Kit app

Matt's Tips and Tricks 10-15-2012  
Matt's Tips and Tricks 10-15-2012  

This is part two of the Digital Decoder series. Within this edition we'll explore how to use Discovery Education and six other digital resou...