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Advanced Project Component Overview

• Building a plan for doing the project with your students (specifying features that
describe your targeted students) (e.g., a unit plan, an instructional sequence, and/or
relevant lesson plan(s)).
See Unit Timeline below

• Building a student work sample that is relevant to your discipline/practice.

See http://bookbuilder.cast.org/
For sample student (Joey Calzone) story login using the following information:
Username: smileyjoe12
Password: abernfitch1

**Will say Welcome Amanda Wachter**

Click on the Create and Edit Books tab
Click on the Read tab along the right hand side of the page next to the story
“Summer Vacation”
Click the right arrow button to read through the short story

I am purposefully giving you this login information because in a typical

classroom situation, I wouldn’t want just anyone looking at my students’ work. This
information needs to be kept secure and not shared unless specified by the student.
Ideally, all students will be assigned a login and password by the teacher. This
approach will help the teacher login in and view each student’s work without

• Delineating the elements (tools, applications, sub-products, etc.) of your student work
Internet Applications:
 CAST UDL Book Builder http://bookbuilder.cast.org/
 Microsoft Office Online: Clipart http://office.microsoft.com/en-
 PacDV Free Sound Effects http://www.pacdv.com/sounds/index.html
Unit Tools:
 Student Informational Guide for Making a Digital Story (based on CAST
UDL Book Builder)
 Tutorial Session on Microsoft Online Office: Clipart site
 Tutorial Session on PacDV Free Sound Effects site
 Group Meetings in Class ( seek help from teacher(s) and peers)
 Rubric Review on Day 2 (students will know what is expected of their
 Digital Story Rubric
 Informal Assessment Checklist
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• Describing your assessment plan (including tools that you would use).
Two assessment components will be used for this unit. The Informal
Assessment Checklist will be shown and explained on Day 2 to the students. A copy
of the Digital Story Rubric will be given to the students and reviewed with them on
Day 2 as well. Students will see that the assessment pieces connect to each other.
Students’ checklist score will be factored in to the grade they receive on the final
rubric at the end of the unit.
The students will be required to hand in TWO hard copy rubrics on the final
day of the unit. One rubric will be blank for the teacher to fill in. The other rubric
will be completed in full by the student. The students will need to grade themselves
before the teacher grades them.
The Unit Timeline will be given to the students on Day 1 of the unit. The
timeline states what days assessment will occur. This is located along the right hand
side of the timeline. Students should not be surprised when assessments occur. All
unit information will be given to the students within the first few days of the unit.
The “Date” column is left blank to accommodate a flexible schedule for the students
and teacher(s) (days off from school, state testing, school assemblies, and individual
student cases: sickness, slower pace for special needs students, etc.).
This particular digital story unit is only worth 30 points. Since students will
be writing about their summer vacations, the unit will be done at the beginning of
the school year. This type of computer based project may be completely new to some
if not most of the students. I want this first digital story attempt to be a “tester” and
not worth a great deal of points. My hope is to reduce student anxiety/nervousness.
A second attempt during the remainder of the school year will be worth more

• Delineating the universal design/accessibility/differentiation features of your plan and

story format (e.g., in terms of readiness, learning profile, interest).
The digital story software that I chose to use is based on UDL; Universal
Design for Learning. Before selecting this technology outlet, I viewed the tab “Learn
About Universal Design for Learning (UDL) located on the site’s home page. The
site provided videos describing their views for addressing learners of diverse needs,
interests, and skills. This is a great site to use when working with students of
multiple academic levels and intelligences.
The features of the CAST UDL Book Builder site accommodate the learner’s
needs. The options that students have while building their stories are endless. These
options are highlighted in the Student Informational Guide for Making a Digital
Story document.The digital story building process on this site is definitely student

• Delineating teacher skills/toolbox needs.

The following teacher skills will be needed:
-Extreme familiarity with CAST UDL Book Builder site
-Extreme familiarity with Microsoft Office Online site
-Extreme familiarity with PacDV Free Sound Effects site
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-Familiarity with portable applications for handicapped students if needed

(Portable Magnifying Glass for visually impaired students; IntelliKeys Alternate
Keyboard for visually handicapped students; Adaptive Switch Interface for students
with disabilities)
-Familiarity with presenting information in the school computer lab (Presentation
Mode which takes control over all computer screens)

• As relevant, providing a rationale to amend the district’s Acceptable Use Plan/school

rules to accommodate the planned technology use.
Before contacting students and their families, the teacher will meet with the
school principal to explain the project and get the “go ahead” for the project. Once
the principal is on the same page as the teacher, then the student families will be
Students will be given a newsletter/permission slip before school starts. This
letter will explain the unit’s goals and all components to parents/guardians. The
parents/guardians will need to sign off stating their approval of their child’s access
to the Internet sites discussed in the letter.

Assignment Expectations
a. Describe how you and/or another teacher might use your EDU 528 Advanced
Project in the classroom. Describe the project (by giving an abstract of it);
indicate the age/grade range of the students who will use it, and include
information on each of the following topics.

Grade: 5th

• The goal of the project (e.g., What specific content are students supposed to learn?)
The goal of this digital story unit is to familiarize students with telling a story
through the use of technology instead of the traditional Word document or
pencil/paper method. The students are to specifically learn how to navigate through
the CAST UDL Book Builder site to create a story about their summer vacation
(real or fictional version accepted). In addition to navigating CAST UDL Book
Builder, students will need to learn how to upload images and audio from two
additional sites.
The biggest goal that I’d like my students to master is transporting all
components of a story into a technological version. By this I mean students will need
to be mindful of and include evidence of the following in their digital story:
-Story structure (clear beginning, middle, and end)
-Character and setting development
- Correct grammar and punctuation
-Include a morale or lesson to be learned
-Questions for the reader to ponder as they read the story

• The teacher's role

The teacher’s role in this project is both “manager-like” and facilitative. The
unit would be a disaster if the teacher didn’t keep the unit on track running in an
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organized manner. The teacher’s role is to explain all unit components (rubric,
timeline, assessment explanation, etc.) to the students at the beginning of the unit to
ensure student full understanding. In addition, the teacher will host multiple
tutorials to help the students learn how to maneuver through all three internet sites
pertaining to the project. The teacher will show students how to create files and
folders to keep their unit information organized. On Day 6 of the second week, the
teacher will hold a discussion with the students about how they thought the project
went. The teacher will ask “What worked? What didn’t work? What Internet
applications should we keep, discard, or add to our next project? Did you feel
nervous/stressed at all during the project? If so, why?”
The teacher will facilitate students as they work in the computer lab after
he/she gives all necessary guidance. The teacher will remain active and work with
students on an individual basis.

• The students' role

The students will be required to actively participate in all the Set-up/Tutorial
events during Week 1. It is imperative that the students ask questions if they don’t
understand their task at any given point. The student will need to be mindful of all
deadlines and assessment dates explained to them. It is the student’s responsibility
to read over all material given to them by the teacher (especially the rubric).
The student will need to take all new information learned and apply it to
his/her story. Students should include evidence of the following in their stories:
-Story structure (clear beginning, middle, and end)
-Character and setting development
- Correct grammar and punctuation
-Include a morale or lesson to be learned
-Questions for the reader to analyze as they read the story
The students will also need to turn in two rubrics at the end of the unit when
they finish their story. One rubric will require the student to grade themselves. The
other rubric will be for teacher use.

• Technology's role
Technology plays an abundant role in making this project a success. The
digital story unit includes active participation on three different websites (CAST
UDL Book Builder, Microsoft Office Online, and PacDV Free Sound Effects).
Technology based applications will be used to upload images and audio clips for
student stories.
A presentation using multiple computers in the computer lab will help
students understand the unit goals and all unit requirements discussed at the
beginning of the unit. Each student will be assigned their own computer to complete
his/her project. Technology is present in various ways.

• How students are grouped

Students are placed in small groups at a couple different points within the
unit. On Day 3 of Week 1, students will be working in heterogeneous groups to come
up with story ideas, image ideas, and sound clip ideas. On Day 3 of Week 2, students
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will meet in the same heterogeneous groups to discuss how the project is coming
along. Students will help each other work out issues and swap great ideas they’ve
come up with.
Those two instances are the only moments when students will be grouped
together. Students will be mostly working on their story on an individual basis.
During future digital story units, I may opt to have students write a story in pairs.

• How outcomes are assessed

Student outcomes are informally and formally assessed using two different
documents: Informal Assessment Checklist; Digital Story Rubric.
Students will be informally assessed through classroom observations (Walk
and Talk, Week 2 Day 3) and monitoring of small group conversation. The teacher
will assess to make sure students are on the right track with their projects and that
they are working effectively in small groups.
Students will be formally assessed using the Digital Story Rubric described to
students on Day 2 of the unit. At the end of the unit, students will have to complete
their own rubric for the teacher to view. This assessment provides fairness to all
students because they will have the rubric to guide them as they complete the unit

• Range of student skills anticipated, and how this range of readiness skills will be
The planning of this project includes an awareness of students with multiple
intelligences and abilities. As mentioned above, the teacher involved in running the
unit will need to familiarize themselves with additional supports to aid students who
need extra accommodations. Some supports could be:
-Portable Magnifying Glass for visually impaired students
-IntelliKeys Alternate Keyboard for visually handicapped students
-Adaptive Switch Interface for students with disabilities
Other supports will be provided to struggling students as well. Students with
kinesthetic difficulties will be able to use a scribe (aide, teacher, etc.) so that they can
“speak their story” instead of type it. In addition, extra time to complete the digital
story will be given to students who need it.
• Staffing needs
The unit will run smoothly with the help of additional people. The following
team would help the unit run in an effective manner:
-administration approval
-parental consent
-general education teacher
-special education teacher (to help with differentiating the project requirements)
-student aides
-computer lab teacher

b. Describe how your project illustrates your current ideas about the value of
using technology for teaching and learning.
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• Your growth related to the use of technology in the classroom (How have your ideas
about using technology changed over the semester, and as you have done your Advanced
I have learned so much in this technology course this semester. Prior to the
class, I knew how to email and use social networking sites. I knew how to use
programs such as Word and PowerPoint to create documents for assignments.
After taking this class, I now know many more technological applications.
I’ve also learned that you can connect these applications and make them work
effectively together. For example, I learned that you can use software like Wordle to
create a word collage and then upload that visual on another internet platform
(Wiki, Eportfolio, Blog, etc.). The connections between applications are sometimes
tricky to figure out but are endless.
I’ve learned that technology, specifically computer use, can be adapted to
meet students with varying handicaps. I was amazed and relieved to know that there
are options for learners of all abilities.
Through this Advanced Project, I have seen just how student-centered a
digital project can be. Digital storytelling is a great project to implement if you
believe in making your curriculum student driven.

• Your specific plans for continued growth (What will you do to continue improving,
learning, growing? In other words, what is your Action Plan for your own professional
development in this arena?)
Even though I’ve learned quite a bit from this course, I know that there are
areas that I’d like to explore to a greater extent. I would like to play around with
additional digital storytelling sites. I would like to compare these new sites to the
CAST UDL Book Builder site. I would also like to find additional methods of
gathering free images, clipart, and audio clips for digital storytelling projects.
Another venue I would like to investigate further is a digital poster maker
site; Glogster. I learned about this application at a conference in November but I
would like to test it out for myself. This is another great student driven application
to implement in the classroom. I believe in making learning real and relevant to
students so applications that allow students to showcase what they know in their
own way are best for my purposes.

• Resources that you anticipated using/needing, for your continuing growth (What types
of resources will you plan to assemble/tap/build, to pursue your Action Plan?)
There are some resources that I would like to tap in to in order to continue
my growth technologically. One resource mentioned above is Glogster. One
technological tool that we touched upon in class was the Smartboard. I would like to
actually play with the board and see how I could implement its features into a lesson
plan. I would love to own a Kindle as well.
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Unit Timeline
Date: Week 1: Set-up and
Day 1: Computer Lab Student Informational
Guide pgs. 1-3
Sample Student Story
Day 2: Computer Lab Student Informational
Guide pgs. 4-6
Rubric Review
Day 3: Classroom Summer Vacation Story Assessment
(Whole & Small Group) Webbing Will check your
planning for the
following by the end of
-story plot
-related image ideas
-related audio ideas
Day 4: Computer Lab Microsoft Office Online Assessment
Tutorial & Image Will check your Image
Gathering folder to make sure you
have at least 10 images.
Day 5: Computer Lab PacDV Free Sound Assessment
Effects Tutorial & Audio Will check your Audio
Gathering folder to make sure you
have at least 5 mp3
audio clips available.
Week 2: Digital Story
Day 1: Computer Lab Catch up/Familiarize
with New Sites/Get
Day 2: Computer Lab Story Creation
Day 3: Classroom Discuss & Share with Assessment
(Small Group) Peers: How is it going? Classroom Walk and
Give pointers and Talk. Informal
feedback! assessment of group
Day 4: Computer Lab Story Creation
Day 5: Computer Lab Story Creation-Wrap Up Assessment
Day Formal assessment using
Digital Story Rubric
Day 6: Classroom Discussion of the Process
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Digital Story Title: ____________________________________
Date: ___________________
Miss Wachter

Assessment Criteria Digital Story Rubric Score (1=poor 5=excellent)

Content: Material Story is complete; presents 1-5 ________
accurate information; Teacher Comments:
completed and turned in on

Content: Organization Story is extremely well 1-5 ________

organized; presentation is Teacher Comments:
clearly summarized in
student’s own words;
format is easy to follow

Media Resources Method of using media is 1-5 ________

very effective Teacher Comments:

Effective Story captures the interest 1-5 ________

of the audience and presents Teacher Comments:
a clear message

Presentation Clever, creative delivery of 1-5 ________

required story pieces; Teacher Comments:
material is engaging and

Informal Checklist Grade 1-5 _________

Total out of 30 _________
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Informal Assessment Checklist

Story Webbing Image Folder Audio Folder Classroom Project
Plot, Image, Check Check Walk and Completed
Audio Ideas 10 images at least 5 clips Talk 2 rubrics
handed in


Names highlighted in pink are fictional