Digital Writing Camp

Bessey Lab, Rm. 216
8:30 am. - 4:00 pm.

aka (also known as)


July 14 - 17, 2014

Aram Kabodian and Dan Laird

photo 3.JPG
Visitor Access to Computers
The "visitor" login gives non-MSU participants access to all software for the entire camp. Visitors may login to the system from 15 minutes before to 15 minutes after the camp. Visitors should log in using "COMPUTERLABS\visitor" as the User Name. The password is "visitor." Note: Visitor access does not provide online storage space, or access to some MSU owned or licensed resources.
Dan's video "Get Your Freeze On News" !

Day 1

A. Introduce ourselves (AS TEACHERS!) and students introduce themselves Both of us.- AK and DL share their movies on Teacher Tube!

Aram's first stop motion video: On the River Again and Aram in Two Minutes
Aram's blog

Dan's first stop motion video: Spinning Bottle and my Bio Video
Dan's Blog: Dan's Blog

Students introduce themselves......

  • Survey on writing and computers

Discuss answers
  • What we like about writing
    • how you can be creative with it
    • how to express feelings
    • writing fiction --- check out Fan Fiction!

  • What we don't like about writing
    • the actual pen and paper writing part (prefers typing)
    • writing poetry
    • choosing a topic
    • sorting out your ideas (organizing)
    • having to write about so much stuff with details
    • writing non-fiction and fiction

  • What we like about using computers
    • copying and pasting on the internet
    • lots of possibilities
    • easy to express feelings through pictures
    • spelling and grammar check
    • likes typing instead of writing with pen or pencil
    • shortcuts on the keyboard
    • auto correct
    • many different sites; options for information

  • What we don't like about using computers
    • glitches, slow loading....
    • confusing things
    • viruses
    • lag
    • hard to keep up with; getting used to updates, etc

  • How often do you write of your own choosing?
    • daily; a couple
    • weekly; four
    • monthly; one
    • never; two

  • Why do you write when you choose to write on your own?

Teachers will introduce classroom expectations:
  • Respect others, self, and all equipment.
  • Keep an open mind- Be patient!
  • Be willing to help those around you and be willing to ask for help.
    • online presence and safety issues
    • pass on a few tips for using computers
      • save early, save often (on your flash drive)
    • PC shortcuts
      • control f --- find and replace
      • control c --- copy
      • control v --- paste
      • control p --- print
      • control z --- undo

Setting up your wiki:
  • what email are you using?
  • how to use a wiki (AK)
    • similar to Word
    • how to make a link
    • how to upload a file
    • how to create a widget
    • how to navigate around the page

  • purpose for the wiki
    • respond to the Writing Prompts
    • post your final digital story from this camp
    • post other links, videos, writings that you want to share
    • read and view each other's work
  • campers look for videos, etc, that they want to put on their wiki while we get emails set up
    • check your email and follow the directions
    • find your page on our page
      • our page is at

Every morning we will open with an agenda for the day, posted on this Wiki. We will also have a short writing prompt to get our creative juices flowing and practice our writing!

Open your wiki page and write your response there.

Writing Prompt: (DL)

What do you think about this commercial? or about commercials in general? or about advertising? Since companies are trying to sell you something, what do you think they consider when they write/design their commercials? What do you think makes for a good commercial? What if they make little to no sense like this commercial....

2. Introduction of DS (10:00-10:30):

7 Things You Should Know about Wikis
7 Things You Should Know about Digital Storytelling

Examples of digital stories from past years (AK):

What do you foresee being difficult as you create your own digital story?

(DL) Explore student's ideas for their DS. Possible themes: growth/change; current topics (global warming, sports like the World Cup, natural disaster); personal topics (birthday gift/tribute to friend, vacation memories)...informational vs. personal/artistic, cheer leading, about a favorite band, autobiography, family member, a time period, history of a cartoon character, make up a story, favorite clothing or sport, hobby or interest

{You could make a digital story at school (someday) about a topic in Social Studies, put a poem to photos, a year-end review, a portfolio of work throughout the year, showing a process in Science}

BRAINSTORM!!! Write it on your wiki page or in your notebook. Think about the various ideas you could create a story on. Make a list or free-write.

Share time.
  • If you don't have an idea yet, that's okay. Please let one of us know what you plan to do before you get too far in the planning.
  • After you begin writing the draft of your script, show it to Aram or Dan.

FYI: We have several digital cameras and enough headsets with microphones for everyone.

Plan B...walk over and feed the ducks...take photos along the way (for a practice digital story) lunch by the river

Give an overview of the next few days (using the agenda below)

Continuing Digital Story introduction (10:45 - 11:30) (AK)
a. After you have an idea for your digital story, you write out (actually, type out) the story or narrative (which we will come back to).
b. Then, gather materials: Photo, sound, script

How do you save an image and save the reference information?
  • Include a folder for photos and text
Save to the flashdrive (test it early by restarting and seeing if your work it there)

go to one of these sites, save a photo and/or music file, and show us:
(note: check to see which email address each camper will be using; if needed, get some campers a gmail account)
(though in Photo Story 3, the music can be produced within the you may not need these links)

Reminder: To Save files, put your cursor on the photo and right click. Then go to "Save image as" or "Download linked file as" and save it on your flash drive.

c. Tell students that they will be making digital stories using Photo Story 3 and publishing online!
NEED HELP? Go to Photo Story 3 Tutorials from

3. LUNCH (11:45 - 12:30)
  • � Lunch at tables outside, down by the river, or first floor tables if rain.
  • During lunch, discuss ideas for digital story
  • Discuss observations and ideas from lunch

4. Assess prior knowledge of digital story programs (Photo Story 3, Windows Movie Maker, iMovie, etc.) and share general information about it. (12:45-2:00)
  • Watch as we start a digital story test (DL)
    • Open Photo Story 3 (Start Menu, Programs, Course Software folder) and input photos and music from flashdrive (Pictures must be in jpeg format!)
      • This example assumes that you have written your digital story and found photos, which are on your flashdrive
        • make sure you save photos (right click, save as) --- don't "copy" them
      • Start a New Photo Story
      • Load your photos
      • Follow the steps in Photo Story
        • Edit the photo
        • Add words
        • Add music
        • Save to your flashdrive

Stop at this point and restart your computer as a test to make sure everything will be there tomorrow when you start again

  • Save as a mov file

5. Time to write (2:00-2:40) (AK):
  • Graphic organizer for DS script Ideas (below) or open a google doc or a word doc (save on your flashdrive)

  • Work on writing the script for your digital story (before you look for photos or music)

Make Beliefs Comix example:

Mini-Lesson on transitions, titles, how to save photos --- save the Full Size image, the photo by itself on a page (not the thumbnail...and not "all rights reserved")

6. REFLECTIONS (2:40-3:00)
Pair share with a partner and tell them what your story is and where you're going with it.

a. Now that you've started to gather materials for your DS, what questions do you have?

b. What are three important things that you learned today?

c. Save your PhotoStory file, Word files, and all your music/photo files on your flashdrive. Do NOT shut down your computer. Make sure all your files are put in your dropbox if you are using that.
How does your audience help you decided what your story will be about?
What do you need to know about your audience?

  • Don't put your last name on your digital story for safety reasons (no last names on the internet).
  • Remember to write down the source of your information and images (works cited)
  • SAVE your work on your FLASH DRIVE!!
  • Remember to bring your flash drive EACH DAY!!
  • Bring your lunch again tomorrow (good job remembering today).


1. REVIEW - Journal inspiration. Sharing of our ideas so far. Questions from yesterday.

Writing Prompt (9:00-9:45) (AK)
After watching the video, below, write on one of the following themes:
lessons we can learn from breaking routines sometimes
ways we can add fun or joy into the lives of the people around us.

Baseball's Home Run Derby, which was last night, is another example of the Fun Theory.
Other options:
  • Pep Talk from Kid President

Respond to one or both of the videos. Do you agree with the first message (we all need a pep talk)? What was the point of the interview? What did you like or dislike about either video? Or finish the sentence....The world would be more awesome if...

A couple rules/reminders for using Wikispaces
  • do not try to edit other people's pages (we will be able to tell and we will take away your privileges)
  • keep it appropriate (don't put anything on your wiki that includes swearing, puts down others, or is inappropriate in anyway)

Notes about wikispaces:
  • on the discussion page, pressing F5 refreshes the page
  • spell check is our friend (control, right click to check if you get the red, wavy line)
  • we are using wikis, partly, to expand the audience for your digital story; do your best!

Students may continue to write digital stories while Aram and Dan conference with each camper on their story ideas and give feedback.

Time to play with Wiki (10:00-10:15)
Try adding Cool Text or a Wordle on your wiki
What is Blabberize and how would you save the file. (DL)


2.TIME TO WORK/Q &A (10:20-11:30)
Open Photo Story 3 file from flashdrive
NEED HELP? Go to Photo Story 3 Tutorials from
  • Go over how to open the project.
  • We have headsets (to record your voice) and a camera if you need them
  • transitions, text on the screen, voiceover...
� Teachers circulate and help.

3. Model two stars and a wish with a student volunteer (11:30-11:45) (AK)

4. TEACHERS WILL take students on a field trip. Depending on the weather and topic needs, options include:
  • feeding the ducks at the Red Cedar River
  • MSU Museum
  • to a nearby garden (depending on the photos needed for projects)

Take camera (group photo) and lunches.

5. Lunch (12:00-12:50)

6. Peer Edit: Two Stars and a Wish... (12:50-1:00)
Pair up with someone and share your story.
Your partner will tell you two good things about your story ("stars") and one comment/suggestion ("wish").
Listen and consider your partner's ideas.
Switch roles (listen to your partner's story and give him/her two stars and a wish.

7. Time to Work on your Digital Story (1:00-2:00)

  • finish writing story
  • import more photos as needed and choose music
  • create title slides and transitions
  • adjust volume
  • MAKE A POSTER AT BIGHUGELABS (that you could use in your digital story)

7.5 Introduce Prezi and some examples

8. Check back in. (2:00 mini-lessons on text within movie, cropping a photo in PhotoStory3) Everyone must have storyboard done and written out. When all bullets are can play on your Wiki page, adding more fun things to personalize the space.

9. REFLECTIONS (2:30 -3:00)
Think back to the digital stories we watched yesterday. Look back at your digital story; how can you improve visual elements (pace, clarity of photos...) and sound elements (volume of music, clarity vs. static of voiceover...)
Any other questions?



Journal Prompt:

Possible Writing Prompt questions:
  • What is happening in this video?

  • What about this video looks like it would be fun to create?

  • How could the creator of the video improve it?

The video above may have been created using Pivot Stickfigure
Here's the Stick figure vs. PC mouse video.
1. Welcome Back! (9:00 - 9:15)
View video for journal write and respond on the Wiki under the correct discussion tab.
�Review what you accomplished yesterday--- Time to ask questions as a group.
What do you want to work on for the next 30 minutes? (story? Audio? Photo?)

2.TIME TO WORK/Q &A (9:20 - 11:00)

Two Stars and a Wish... from Dan or Aram

2.5 We went downstairs and watched a Spartan Writers Theater group and gave them feedback.

3. 11:15-12:15 Early Lunch and stop at the Dairy Store (and video)

4. Mini Lesson (12:30-12:50)
Closing your project and saving a finished product on the flash drive.
Embedding project in various locations on the Internet - Wiki, Teacher Tube...
Time to work/record/save
5. Other Tech Projects to try (12:50 - 1:00)
What can you do if you finish your digital story? (after you have uploaded it to your wiki or we have it saved on a flash drive)
  • Or try Go Animate for some fun
  • Be Funky is useful for photo editing (toned down version of Photoshop);
BeFunky_Water lilies.jpg

external image Picture+6.png
external image Picture+6.png
Dipity is a great timeline creation tool that allows users to incorporate text, images, and videos into each entry on their timeline. Dipity also incorporates a mapping feature which allows users to place a Google Maps bookmark related to the topics the timeline covers. Like most good web tools, Dipity has a collaboration option and has multiple options for sharing products publicly or privately. Each entry to a Dipity timeline can include multiple types of media which allows users to add more detail and information than can be included in a traditional timeline.

Make a movie poster for your Wiki
Make a Google search movie

5. Work Time (1:00 - 2:30)

5.5 The other Spartan Writers group from downstairs came and watched our digital stories, prezis, animations, and wikis.

6. REFLECTIONS (2:30 -3:00)
What other things did you try today? Share out. Any questions?


1. Journal Write

What a Wonderful World video

What was the point of this video?
Can digital writing have more of an impact than traditional writing?
How did each of your senses add to the experience of watching and understanding the video?
Talk about Digital Literacy and write about this video on the Wiki. (9:00 - 9:20)

Thinglink is useful for sharing a bunch of ideas on one topic by using just one photo.

Line Rider is fun to watch and/or create.
Similar to Free Rider and Free Rider 2

2. Time to finish up all digital stories and/or work on another tool you've discovered here at camp. (9:20 - 10:20)

3. Would you like to add video? Here's a website that allows you to download a short clip. Many things are for sale on it, but the low resolution clips are free. Go tofreeStockfootage ( 10:20-10:40)

If you don't know why the following Tale of the Three Brothers is haven't been paying attention.

Morals: Ask for the right stuff...Be humble...Do what you can for the people that will follow you (or that you care about)...Accept that this life will end and don't work to try to bypass death.


4. Continue to work (10:40 - 11:40)

Check out this fun page!

5. Lunch (11:45 - 12:15)

6. Journal Evaluation (12:15-12:30)

  • What did you like about camp?

  • What did you dislike about camp?

  • What did you learn that you could use in school? What was valuable?

  • How might you use the Wiki on your own?

7. Stimulating Video
Popular Mechanics video clip

8. Share Digital Stories with each other (2:15-3:00)

If you have extra time...

Other fun stuff:
Palindrome fun ---
A Summer Fun website

July activity

What is a Podcast?

This Saturday, July 13th, there's a free Common Ground Matinee show: The MSU Community Music School Rock Camp

Xtranormal can be used to make short, animated videos

The following is an example of a quick (repeating) story by Sarah made with the Animation page.This Too Shall Pass by OK Go

Photo Story 3 download if you want to do it from home
Here's that fun, geography quiz...