MiddSouth Innovates

Issue #6

We're Going On A Trip In Our Favorite Rocketship

Actually, there is no rocketship and we aren't physically leaving the school. However, Google Expeditions can take you all over the world, into outer space, and even inside your own body. Never experience Virtual Reality (VR) before? Remember when you were a kid and you used a View Master to see pictures of your favorite cartoon characters in a view finder? It is basically that idea, but you are seeing 360 degree photos along. Each Expedition includes information in the pictures so you know what you are looking at. Some even include audio commentary!!

Below, you will find some students going on Expeditions in various levels of English and Social Studies. They are using the "Explore On Your Own" feature, but we also have a tablet which allows you to send all of the devices to the same location and lead the Expedition. Here is a list of all available Google Expeditions.

Expeditions is available for download on both iOS and Android devices (sorry Windows phones) so you can get the app right now to view the different locations. If you want to see it during your prep, feel free to stop by the Media Center and either Christine Nagy or Marc Seigel will be happy to assist you.

Presentations That Tell A Story

At the end of the semester in Mrs. Koumoulis' Criminal and Business Law class, the students work on a collaborative project called Famous Trials In American History. Through their research, the student learn how major cases (OJ Simpson, Rodney King, etc.) both impacted and were impacted by society. As we were discussing this project, she commented how in past years, the students spent more time simply reciting facts and figures rather than telling the story of trial. The students report on areas such as cultural icons, political policy and precedents, and economic policy, but they have difficulty expressing the significance of this information.

Students have been trained really well that when they hear the word 'Presentation' to open a Google Slides file, give it a title, and share it with their partners. But before picking the tool, we need to focus on the 'WHY?' of the presentation. This is why storyboarding is essential to building a quality presentation. Storyboarding allows the students to focus on the IDEAS and not the tool; brainstorming and creativity come first, and slide design second. The Slide Team's blog shows some easy steps for using Post-It Notes and whiteboards with students to help them build a structure to their presentation. As they explain, opening Google Slides/PowerPoint is the last step in presentation development because they confine your creativity. Build a presentation that you love first, then find the tool to make that happen.

Something Wicked Awesome This Way Comes!

If you haven't noticed already, Christine Nagy, our new Media Specialist, has been doing some amazingly awesome things in the Library. Dusty old reference books? Gone! Thriving Library Internship program? Established! Chromebook replacement and repair available all day long? Done! Monthly technology and/or media challenges? You bet! Innovative seating? Ordered! New collaborative learning areas? Designed!

Check out the most recent Media Center Flyer and the Media Center website for all of the latest news and Monthly Challenges!