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Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology

November 2009

What’s Inside Spotlight Tech Tools Upcoming Events Professional Development Discovery Streaming and more...

Watch for our December issue featuring Digital Media

Board of Cooperative Educational Services of Nassau County Stephen B. Witt, President Eric B. Schultz, Vice President Susan Bergtraum, District Clerk Michael Weinick, Vice District Clerk Deborah Coates Ronald Ellerbe Martin R. Kaye Gale Ross-Srulevich Robert “B.A.” Schoen Edward J. Zero, Interim District Superintendent Dr. Robert J. Hanna, Deputy Superintendent Lawrence R. McGoldrick, Assistant to the Deputy Superintendent Joan S. Siegel, Associate Superintendent

Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Fred Podolski, Executive Director Dr. Valerie C. D’Aguanno, Assistant Director Paula Pisano, Supervisor

English Language Arts: Creating Digital Content By Patricia Iannacone


he word on the street is that the use of technology is woven throughout the new New York State ELA standards. Now, students and teachers will be expected to know how to “present” information effectively in addition to being able to view presentations with a critical eye. There are many tools designed to help students and teachers construct engaging presentations that aid the learner in internalizing new concepts. Remember, we forget 10% of what we read, but remember 95% of what we teach to someone else. Those are some very intriguing facts. VoiceThread VoiceThread is a powerful new way to talk about and share your images, documents, and videos on one simple page. It is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos, and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways—using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam). When comments are made, the participants’ words and photos surround the page. Anyone can share a VoiceThread with friends, students, and colleagues— and they can record comments too.

Interestingly enough, users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities, and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded to show and receive comments on other Web sites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies. Microsoft Photostory 3 This easy-to-use software allows the user to create multimedia digital presentations using photos (or other images), music, text, and narration. Students can create digital documentaries around any subject (think “An Inconvenient Truth” or any Ken Burns documentary). They can craft stories using photos from events in their own lives. Digital “storytelling” requires a student to map out the story and choose images, text, and music that will grab and hold their audience’s attention. digitalphotography/PhotoStory/default. mspx (continued on back page)

For information on any of CIT’s programs, including back issues of CIT Response, up-to-date education news, NCLB, special reports, new services and more, visit the Curriculum, Instruction and Technology Web site at:

Tech Tools WizCom Tech Solutions’ new ReadingpenTS helps people who suffer from reading, processing, and comprehension disabilities, such as dyslexia, by enabling them to scan full lines of text, access word-by-word definitions and translations, and hear unfamiliar words spoken and spelled aloud. This allows students with learning disabilities to keep up with their classes, while freeing teachers to concentrate on their curriculum. The Readingpen has a scanning eye that allows users to scan printed text in a wide range of font types and point sizes, as well as a variety of colors on contrasting backgrounds. Most students generally have much more to say than just A, B, or C. Sometimes, the answer is E=MC2, Robert Frost, 12,426, or LOL. With Promethean’s ActivExpression student response system, no message is too complex. ActivExpression features full text capability, enabling numeric, sentence-based, symbolic, and, of course, yes, no, A, B, and C-based responses. It’s an easy-to-use tool for polling and pre-planned participatory exercises alike, allowing teachers to instantly gauge student comprehension and adjust lesson plans based on needs. php?show=nav.16332

The only instant messaging system designed for educators to advance and promote learning, Wimba Pronto includes unique features to specifically benefit students, teachers, and educational institutions including: • Blended Audio and Video Conferencing • Application Sharing • State-of-the-art Whiteboard • Queued Chat for Tutoring and Office Hours • Automatic Population of Classmates and Courses • Instant Access to Campus Services • Instant School-Wide Notifications • Universal Accessibility • Spanish Language Preference collaboration_suite/ Nassau Digital Doorway is available on the Nassau County Library System. You can checkout audiobooks for download on your computer or iPod directly from the site—for FREE!! Check out how many books are available. It is a great resource for teachers. Default.htm

Spotlight Nassau BOCES Professional Development Services and Technical Services are currently working with the Massapequa School District to design a unique professional development opportunity for their administrative team. Their team consists of the district’s principals, assistant principals, curriculum associates, department chairs, and central administration (a total of 64 participants). The result is an “Administrator’s Academy” which is a series of 3-hour workshops during which their administrators will become aware of current technology tools, trends, and resources—including the 21st Century skills framework and the ISTE

standards for administrators. Participants will identify how to incorporate the ISTE standards in their work, use technology in their everyday work, and evaluate and assess the effectiveness of tech integration in teachers’ classrooms. All of the workshop sessions were custom designed around current technology projects in the Massapequa School District including installing Smartboards in every grade 4, 5 and 6 classroom and purchasing a videoconferencing unit for each school building. For more information contact Trish Iannacone at 516-608-6662 or Clifford Steinberg at 516-608-6685.

Professional Development On Tuesday November 3rd, (Election Day 2009), Nassau BOCES School Library Services will provide professional development opportunities for school librarians. Three different three hour sessions are available. Each session is offered from 8:30 to 11:30 and repeated 12:00 to 3:00. School librarians will be able to attend two different sessions at the Robert E Lupinskie Center for Curriculum, Instruction & Technology. • New school librarian • Developing your personal learning network • Assessing your school library program Details about the different sessions and registration are available through My Learning Plan. See all the latest Professional Development offerings Nassau BOCES’ CIT has to offer at: index.htm

ELA in the school library ELA Standard One: “Language for Information and Understanding.” “As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts and ideas…” They will be able to locate materials in the library and understand how a library is organized. ELA Standard Two: “Language for Literary Response and Expression.” “Students will read and listen….” They will use print resources to read fiction and non-fiction independently, plus listen to others read aloud. ELA Standard Three: “…critical analysis and evaluation can be taught and reinforced using the electronic resources.” Students will learn to evaluate the information critically, making an informed selection to choose the appropriate data searching the electronic resources. ELA Standard Four: “Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation.” “As listeners and readers, students will analyze … ideas, information, and issues….” Students are social communicators via text and instant messages. An expectation of the library program is to have students participate safely using the social networks.

Upcoming Events Active Listening for Improved Literacy When: December 7, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm, at Robert E. Lupinskie Center, Room 3 Facilitator: Virginia Nolan For more information and to register, visit http:// htm

Be sure to join us for these exciting events... Smart Table Presentation......................... November 2 ParentLink Presentation........................... November 5 Adaptive Curriculum................................ November 13 DE streaming training for beginners....... November 17 DE streaming training for Advanced........ November 17 Shadow TV Presentation......................... November 20 t All detailed flyers are at cit/it/mcs under Hotlinks to Upcoming Events

Stay in Touch High-quality and timely two-way communication with parents and the community is a major part of any emergency response plan. ParentLink Emergency Messaging Service (EMS) gives you more than just a quick callout; it gives you the ability to prepare and respond to an emergency. Additionally, today’s school districts are charged with improving student achievement. In order to be successful, this requires involving parents and the community. How well districts publicize their efforts and results has a tremendous impact on the public’s perception of the district. ParentLink is an easy-touse two-way communication for administrators to get information into the hands of those who need it and gather the feedback that is essential to their success. Download our flyer at cit/it/mcs/pdf/Upcoming%20Events/ParentLink.pdf For more information and pricing, contact Paula Pisano at

Discovery Streaming Did you know that Discovery Education streaming is an excellent source of videos on ELA and across the curriculum? Here are a few selections from over 10,000 video segments available to teachers at:

Grades K–2

Harold and The Purple Crayon is a classic story about imagination coming to life in animated form. Strega Nona is the tale, written by Tomie dePaola, of a “Grandma Witch” that won the Caldecott. Baseball Bat Factory introduces narrative procedure in one minute.

Grades 3–5

Discovering Language Arts: Nonfiction is an overview of using informational texts distinguishing between fact and opinion.

Model Schools 21st Century Explorers is a new grant written by

Carolyn Strauch from CIT’s Model Schools program. This grant takes technology outside the standard confines of the classroom. Using Garmin’s eTrex Venture series of GPS mapping handhelds, students practice latitude, longitude, and compass skills aligned with the NY State fifthgrade curriculum. Lessons involve hands-on team experiences like “treasure-hunting,” based on the practice of Geocaching. The “treasures” are filled with clues, or linked to information on Web sites or other places that will enhance their work in the classroom. Students track their caches in Google Maps and Google Earth, to see how large their world really is and how much larger it can be. The goal is to bring the world into the classroom---and have fun while doing it! This grant was funded by the Nassau BOCES Educational Foundation, http://nbeducationalfoun which encourages projects that enhance educational opportunities for all students within Nassau BOCES schools, services, or programs. For more information contact Carolyn Strauch at

Grades 3–5 and 6–8

Mesopotamia: The Development of Written Language examines how the Sumerians carved cuneiform characters into clay tablets.

Grades 6–8 and 9–12

History Through Literature: Civilization And Writing explores the ancient river valley civilizations, traces the move from oral traditions to literature, and uncovers the practical reasons for the development of writing in China, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Phoenicia. The History of American Literature: The Birth of a National Literature introduces Native American lore, explorers’ chronicles and the Puritans. It discusses literature as a political weapon during the Revolution and covers the beginning of cultural independence. The emergence of a national identity and literature was brought about by such authors as Captain John Smith, Noah Webster, Benjamin Franklin, Anne Bradstreet, William Cullen Bryant, and James Fenimore Cooper.

Grades 9–12

Discovering Language Arts allows you to research SkillsLearn systematic organizing and strategies. For more information contact Laura Benin at lbenin@

English Language Arts: Creating Digital Content (continued from page 1)


Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. One teacher uses Wordle three times a week to create word puzzles that become increasingly more challenging at the end of each week. Students solve the puzzles by evaluating the common thread in the Wordle, i.e., every word is a noun or a character trait. Students also create their own Wordles and challenge their classmates to solve them. These are only three of the many free tools on the Internet that can help anyone build and present knowledge. For more examples, visit these Web sites. or

Curriculum, Instruction and Technology • The Robert E. Lupinskie Center • One Merrick Avenue, Westbury, NY 11590 • (516) 608-6666

November CIT Response  

Monthly Educational Publication

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