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Matt’s Media Tips 9-10 Following the Elections - Discovery Style! As you already know, Discovery Education is full of great content. You probably also know that we are constantly adding new material so that you have timely and meaningful content to use in your instruction. And in keeping with this theme we’ve added a new incredible resource to Discovery Education. Each Wednesday, we post a new three-minute segment that summarizes the week in presidential politics. All segments are collected on a Content Collection page called Election 2012. What’s really cool about this collection of content is that is unique to Discovery Education. The collection is produced from a highly respected source, MacNeil Lehrer Productions, producers of the PBS NewsHour. This will run through the actual election, with the final segment posting the election results on Wednesday, November 7. You’ll also find lesson plans (grades 6-12) that complement the video. Which got me thinking...what else could we do around the elections? In the next few pages I’m going to explore a few creative ideas, sites, and one mobile app that can help you build your own content around this (or really any other) theme.

Displaying your Data The nationally televised debates give us an excellent opportunity to challenge our students to examine different points of view. It also gives us a chance to evaluate, vet, and critically analyze the statements made by the candidates and their respective parties. One of the ways that students can demonstrate their findings is with an infographic. An infographic visually displays data and text together to communicate concepts, main ideas, trends, etc. There are quite a few sites out there that will build infographics for you. I evaluated three different infographic sites when writing this edition of Matt’s Tips and Tricks. They were,, and (note that the first and last sites end in “.ly” not .com!) While each one had its merit, I found to be the most user friendly and intuitive to use. While all three of the infographic sites included multiple ways to share your work (including downloading, embedding, email, direct links, etc),’s access to sharing is made accessible in one click. I also like how clean’s interface is. It is easy to choose a “Vheme” (a pre-made template), object, background etc. It is also easy to change fonts and upload your own material. What lacks is the ability to upload and/or play your own video. But, for the most part, infographics are made to be picture-rich and data-driven so a video embed tool is a nice-tohave and not a need-to-have. I created a simple infographic that represents how many electoral college votes each state has. I then embedded that infographic into a Discovery Education Writing Prompt. You can see the competed work by following this link and then entering in your first and last name. http:// Remember to embed anything into Discovery Education, all you need is to copy the embed code and paste it into a Writing Prompt, Quiz or Assignment. So here’s how I embedded the infographic into my Writing Prompt. 1. I copied the embed code from my 2. I began creating my Writing Prompt. 3. I clicked on the “HTML” button inside the second box of my writing prompt. 4. I pasted the embed code. 5. I clicked “Save and Continue.” That’s it. Five easy steps! definitely had the most bells and whistles of the three infographic sites that I evaluated. However, I didn’t find this site to be as intuitive as I also found that a lot of the nice functionality within the site was in their Pro version which you have to pay for. Having said that, I do like that Piktochart gives you the ability to create charts. You simply drag the chart icon onto your work space to pull up the option of either uploading your own .CSV file or manually entering in your data with their on-screen spreadsheet tool. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make the text bigger within my chart so some of my chart text appeared too small to read. I did like that you can layer content on top of each other by pulling it forward, sending it back, etc. I also liked the ease in which you can upload and add images to your work. On the other hand, I found myself coveting the ability to batch upload my images. This feature only comes in the Pro version. Overall this site is robust, not too difficult, and worth exploring. The last site that I evaluated was This site is easy to use but also, I found, the most limiting. You have to use the templates that they provide and then you have to connect your to either Twitter or Facebook. So not a lot of customization or flexibility here. However, I was able to do one thing pretty neat with I chose the Twitter Account Showdown app and entered @BarakObama vs @MittRomney to see has more buzz in this space. On the next page I’ll detail a cool app that I found that is great for content creation. Super for digital storytelling and, in keeping with today’s theme, can be creatively used to teach Government/Social Studies - thank you @TechChef4U!

Discovery Education Webinar Schedule

This might be one of my new favorite apps. Sock Puppets gives you a number of puppets that you and/or your students can manipulate. Once you record your voice, the real magic starts. The sock puppets lip-synch to your recorded narration! How cool is that? You can toggle from one puppet to the other and those puppets will, in turn, move their mouths to your recorded voice.

Sock Puppets By Smith Micro Software, Inc.; Consumer Division

You can switch backgrounds around and add in props and scenery...and all of that is in the free version. That’s a lot for the free version but I do recommend upgrading to their Sock Puppets + version for $3.99. This will give you the ability to upload your own images (like from Discovery Education or your camera role). It also gives you extended recording times, all of the content packs and more. Think this is only for elementary students? Think again and check out these secondary student projects using this app - http:// - thank you @TechChef4u!

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!


Time (EST)


3:30 4:30

A Special Matt’s Tips and Tricks Webinar! Please join me as I deliver a special webinar that revisits some of the favorite tips and tricks from last year and unveils new tips and tricks for this year.


7pm 8pm

A Special Matt’s Tips and Tricks Webinar! An encore session - repeat of the 3:30 - 4:30pm session.


7pm 8pm

DE Science Elementary 101: Learn how to access and use reading passages and more, this webinar maps the effective use of this powerful tool


6pm 7pm

Techbook 2.0 Preview: Join us for a comprehensive overview of the new features and updates available for Techbook 2.0


7pm 8pm

Using Notebooks and Journals with Discovery Education Science Techbook: What are the best methods for students to gather "notes" from videos, reading passages, explorations and virtual labs? Join us to find out the answer!


5pm 6pm

Techbook 2.0 Preview: See description above


7pm 8pm

Exciting Enhancements to Discovery Education: Join us and find out how Discovery Education is going mobile, social, and adding even more functionality for you and your students.


2pm 3pm

Preparing for Back to School with the Techbook for Tech Departments: We’ll show you how to import new teacher and student accounts, update existing user accounts, and more.


4pm 5pm

Exciting Enhancements to Discovery Education: See description above


6pm 7pm

The Common Core Connection Resources from the DE Science Techbook that build Common Core Skills We will highlight resources that address the key tenants of the Common Core Standards for ELA and Math

I love the debate idea using Sock Puppets. And that is pretty timely as our country, once again, chooses who will be our leader. Here is a link to their iTunes 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 inperson. 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 8/27/2012 Back to School Review. Check out some of the major enhancements made to Discovery Education over the summer. We'll give you a chance to weigh in, showcase a new back to school webinar series and highlight a very cool classroom mobile app. 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-toschool webinars and play with EasyBib - an Android and iPad app that makes citing reference material a breeze., and EduTechr mobile app explored.

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






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 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


In a Class of Their Own Setting up Discovery Education Classrooms, Discovery Education 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

Matt's Tips and Tricks 9-10-2012  
Matt's Tips and Tricks 9-10-2012  

This week we'll explore how Discovery Education is covering the 2012 Presidential campaigns. We'll also examine three different sites for c...