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Take Teaching to the Next Level

Where Microscope and Mouse Meet

Connecting to a Global Community of Educators

Matt’s Media Tips 2-27 A few brand new updates before we get into this week’s featured tips and tricks. First and foremost we’ve upgraded our account (that snazzy site that allows you to view this document online) so that you no longer see ads on the side AND you can open now open Matt’s Tips and Tricks on an iPad! Second - don’t forget to register for, and upload your student videos to, the the first student media contest of the year! http:// This challenge asks your students to listen to and select one of five songs about Math, Social Studies, Science, Geography, watch its corresponding kinesthetic lecture, and then create their own interpretation of that song in a video. 10 finalists will win 30 backpacks, a Flipcam, and a DEN Polo shirt. The Grand Prize winner will win the backpacks, Flipcam, shirt, and a school assembly! Thirdly - I need your help. In order for me to keep the Matt’s Media Tips relevant, concise and timely, I need your thoughts and feedback. I’ve created a very short little survey to help make sure that these tips and tricks stay on target and provide value to you. Please take a few moments (less than 10 minutes) to fill out this short 15 question survey. Thanks! Ok let’s get into the nitty gritty. Diving into the Teacher Center It’s always been there. And it’s always being enhanced. In fact if you haven’t seen this treasure trove, or even if you haven’t been there in a while, let me tell you what you’ll find. Within the Teacher Center you’ll find; a calendar that displays important things that have happened “on this day in history,” an interactive world atlas, a chance to meet the “faces of Discovery Education,” different STEM career professionals and corresponding STEM lesson plans, and a whole lot more. See - I told you lots of good stuff in the Teacher Center. Intrigued? Want to join me on a little treasure hunting? Great! Join me on the next page to find out more.

To find the Teacher Center (Teacher Centre in Discovery Education Canada) look below the white search bar at the top of your screen. It should be right there - down and diagonally to the left. Got it? Great. Click on that link to find all of the good stuff (plus more) listed on page one. Now let me tell you a little bit how educators are using some of these treasures. The Interactive Calendar. As mentioned above, the calendar lists different things that have happened on this day in history. And it sorts this information by subject area: Commemorations, Art & Humanities, Biography, Health & Guidance, Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies. One of favorite example of use is as follows. An elementary teacher in Anaheim, CA was having a tough time getting his kids to come to school on time. So he told his students that whomever came to his class 15 minutes before the first bell rang got to drive the calendar. They could search for any day that they wanted and the whole class would watch the corresponding video(s). It wasn’t too long before his students started to show up to class and school on time! The Discovery Atlas Interactive Map is too cool for school. After clicking on this link you’ll open up a map of the world. Mousing over any of the countries will highlight them. Clicking on the country will reveal videos about Culture, Government, History, and the Natural World. A middle school teacher in Fairfax, VA uses this Atlas when she teachers her unit on Africa. She asks her students to choose a country within Africa and then take on the role of its Minister of Tourism. Each Minister is then responsible for creating a short promotional video that explains what a visitor might expect to see when visiting this country. They must include elements about their country’s culture, government, indigenous wildlife, etc. The final videos are “aired” in class as part of the project. The STEM Connect is a fantastic resource for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math lessons. When you click on this link you’ll find these STEM components broken out by grade bands; K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each section starts off with videos from professionals in that related field. To the right of these videos are links to even more related content including videos and interactive simulations, the Mythbusters, etc. Finally, and probably the coolest part of STEM Connect, are the activities listed at the bottom of the page. There you’ll find great inquiry-based challenges that you can assign to your students. Most of them require that students work in teams to figure out the best solution to the problem. Elementary educators are using these lessons to introduce their students to the Scientific Process. They also love the fact that students can hear from real-world professionals about their careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and/or Math.

Discovery Education Webinar Schedule

Once again, thank you Kyle Schutt (@ktschutt on Twitter) for sharing this app with me! Socrative is a free teacher-clicker response tool that works on your iPhone, iPad, iTouch, and Blackberry and/ other smart phones and tablets. l love this app for its ease-of-use and range of cool uses. From their description: WORKS ON ANY DEVICE WITH A WEB BROWSER: Tablets, Smartphones & laptops Socrative brings smart clickers, student response and ease of use to a whole new level. Engage the entire classroom with educational exercises and games while capturing student results in real-time. Interact with the data to further student understanding in the moment, and review the reports to prepare for future classes. Socrative will even aggregate and grade your pre-made activities! Saving you time, so you can engage more with your students on an individual level. Create a library of activities and share them with your colleagues and learning community. Not a 1:1 school? That’s okay! Have students bring their own devices and join in the learning!


Time (EST)



4pm 5pm

I Luv Techbook Parent Webinar. This session will give parents an overview of the Discovery Education Science Techbook.


7pm 8pm

Discovery Education Builders 101. Learn to select from provided content and add your own to create exactly the assignments your students need. Put the power of Discovery Education to work for you to create engaging, relevant, and rigorous experiences.


4pm 5pm

Bridging Literacy and Science. This Webinar session focuses on resources, such as the reading passages and eBooks to increase science knowledge. Using proven instructional strategies Educators will understand how the Discovery Educations Science Techbook helps students to analyze and write about their understanding of the science concepts.


7pm 8pm

Brain Friendly Learning What does the latest brain research reveal about teaching and learning? Explore how implementing five simple brain friendly teaching techniques can assist in fostering a successful learning environment.


1pm 2pm

Student Investigation: Discovery Education. Calling all students! This webinar is just for you. Gather your class and be prepared for an exciting 30 minute journey through Discovery Education.


7pm 8pm

Flipping your Classroom with Fizz Presented by Dr. Lodge McCammon Monday, March 1, 2012, 7pm ET For Educators Join this educator-only webinar to learn how to apply this innovative and effective teaching strategy with none other than the expert himself, Dr. Lodge McCammon, Curriculum and Contemporary Media at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

Check it out at

Don’t forget to register and participate in the first student media contest of the year! Check out

Miss a week? Catch back up here! 2/13/2012






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 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 App - 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 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

Help Me Make Matt’s Tips and Tricks Even Better I am always looking for ways to improve Matt’s Tips and Tricks and your feed back is invaluable to me. With that in mind I’ve created a short 15 question survey. I would love to hear your ideas and thoughts. If you can take a moment to fill out this super fast survey it will go a long way to making each edition better than the next!

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! DEN STARS GET COOL STUFF! We’re providing all DEN STARs with the DE Science Techbook for the rest of the school year! Get your free passcode by logging into the DEN Community page. To get you started we’re hosting a series of webinars to provide an overview of Discovery Education Science Techbook. At the end of February we will enter all of the attendees from the webinars into a drawing for an iPad 2. Find out more here on the DEN Blogs. DEN Summer Institute 2012 Get your cowboy boots ready! The DEN Summer Institute is heading to the wild, wild west. DENSI2012 will take place from July 21-26, 2012 in scenic Bozeman, MT. We really like giving stuff away so we’ve decided that we’re going to cover the airfare of three more DEN Stars who apply for DENSI 2012 by March 1, 2012. If you’ve already applied your name is in the hat! Find out more about this year’s institute and how to apply today!

Matt's Media Tips and Tricks 2-27  

Want to learn more about using media in the classroom? You've come to the right place. Learn from educators around the world. Find new an...

Matt's Media Tips and Tricks 2-27  

Want to learn more about using media in the classroom? You've come to the right place. Learn from educators around the world. Find new an...