Manhattan Beach RockStar

Day 1:

MBRSWhat can we say? It was super awesome! The day began with many walking to Manhattan Beach Middle School. Upon arrival we were greeted with enthusiasm, eagerness, and an energy that was akin to that of a six year old. The room was abuzz with excitement for what the day had in store.

After all introductions – including that of CUE’s CEO, Mike Lawrence, the Shred Sessions began. If I hadn’t been a part of the faculty, I would have had a hard time deciding which to choose. Although, creating a website using Google Sites would have been a top choice.

I was so inspired by those creating their Sites. A few were not impressed with the templates they had chosen and wanted to customize their Site. Many went online to find patterns and palettes using ColourLovers, while others searched for Digital Scrapbook Paper. The result? Unique and beautiful sites. The participants were excited and lost in creation – we almost worked through lunch!

As with all RockStars, we enjoyed a 2 hour – catered – lunch in the sun. Oh, and ice cream! Everyone LOVES ice cream – or fruit pops in some cases.

After the day had ended, the connections continued at dinner. We went to a local restaurant, discussed, learned, and had a great time.

Yes, all in all, Day 1 was a HUGE success!

Day 2:

The day began with energized educators ready to learn more! Personally, I was inspired by the teachers I got to hang out with. We were creating movies to use in classrooms using Lego Movie Maker (iOS) and iMovie (iOS). The creativity was flowing! One participant needed to tweak her Gene movie she made in Lego Movie Maker. So I challenged her to import it into iMovie and do more editing. It was totally mean of me. She was a novice with both programs. She not only figured out how to create the movie she wanted, but taught me a thing or two about iMovie! I love when that happens. Other participants created a welcome video for 6th graders using the Trailer feature in iMovie.

That night we gathered at Dockweiler State Beach for music, S’mores, and a bon(d)fire – Thank you Jeanne Reed! It was so relaxing sitting by the ocean and getting to know those that gathered with us. It was also refreshing having many bring their families with them.

Day 3

Again I was inspired by all participants. There was one that was admittedly behind the times when it came to technology. We discussed Web Tools and how they can be used in the classroom – Animoto and Voki. Being a novice to all of this, I thought Animoto would be her choice. She surprised me by creating a Voki. It’s not that Voki’s (animated avatars) are that hard to make, Animoto is a simple and very easy video (trailer style) creation tool. Animoto is often referred to as the ‘Gateway tool’ for video creation. I asked why she chose Voki and her explanation warmed my heart and inspired me. She said that Voki would be the one her kids would really like. She was learning it for them – Special Day Class students. How awesome is she? Putting aside her inexperience, and putting the needs of her students first and just going for it!

Another participant, Paula Torres, and I sat back and fired off ideas on how each could be used in the classroom. She was a high school math teacher. Her ideas were amazing (Voki) – taking a snapshot of ones her students create and make them into trading cards to creating famous mathematician Vokis to an creating examples AND non-examples! If you’re not following her on twitter, you need to! Here is her Voki:

Paula Torres' Voki

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