Mr. Zirkle

Digital Coaching & the 4Cs

Part of my role as an ITF or Digital Coach is to work alongside teachers to plan on ways to incorporate the 4Cs. I want to point out that my role as a collaborator goes beyond just incorporating technology, but includes the integration of technology and the 4Cs into curriculum and content.

Digital Coaching and the 4Cs from

Digital Portfolios

Link to Slide Show
A portfolio is a showcase of work samples and artifacts. You would use a portfolio to help you get a job, get into college, or get an internship. A portfolio would contain a wide variety of artifacts that demonstrate your skills and abilities. A digital portfolio is in a digital format and includes reflections about your artifacts. Here is an excellent example of a college student’s portfolio.

All student Portfolios will require the following components:

You will create a page for each class – English, Math, Health/PE, Arts, Extra Curricular, etc
Types of Learning (Artifacts)
Variety of photos of work, audio clips, videos, embedded documents (essays, presentations)
Describing your artifacts, discussing your accomplishments, your challenges, your learning
Formal Document ( High School)
A cover letter and resume

Sample Digital Portfolios and Evaluation Activity
Here are several digital portfolios. Take a look at some of these samples and evaluate them using the provided rubric.

Start Your Digital Portfolio
1. Write your Bio
2. Create a Weebly or Google Site.Sign in with your student log in.
4. Add your bio to your home page
5. Begin adding artifacts and reflections
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Gender Roles and Stereotypes

Discussing Digital Drama

Real Housewives

Like a Girl

Gender and the Media

Change Your Life with Bacon

Cleaning Ads

Men In Ads

Solutions for Live Streaming School News

Old Broadcasting verses New Live Stream Technology

Old technology required hardware, television sets, and wiring. The hardware connected the television studio cameras to a switcher. The switcher board allowed the tech to select the camera angle and add text and graphics. The wiring connected the output to the televisions across the campus.  Both schools I work at do not have the hardware, wiring, or CRT TVs. The newer technology will enable me to stream live broadcasts verses having to air prerecorded broadcasts. Newer technology has removed the need for old CRT televisions and wiring from the output broadcast to the campus television network.  A basic live stream broadcast requires at least one camera, a broadcasting app or software,  and an internet connection. The audience, in a school, can view the live broadcast using a LCD projector or TV that is connected to a computer that is projecting the live stream.  The three most common locations to stream to are Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope. I personally do not use Periscope. I came across a number of inappropriate content and I would not want my students to be exposed to such material. 

Before we dive deep into the technology requirements for live streaming a news broadcast, I do want to point out that prerecorded broadcasts are an option. Prerecorded broadcasts have a list of benefits in comparison to live broadcasts. Some of these include the allowance for the talent to make mistakes, footage can be recorded on a wide variety of cameras that vary in quality. Lastly, you have the ability to custom edit the footage and use high end software like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Illustrator. 

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Go Lightstream

Cost: Free
Camera(s):  Built in webcam 
Audio: Internal microphone
Text & Graphics: Yes, and very customization
Green Screen Capabilities: No
Streams to: Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, & Mixer
Description: Go Lightstream works well when using one built in web cam. It is very easy to add lower thirds and text. It is difficult to fit more than two people into the frame. You need to keep your subjects close to the computer so that the microphone will pick up the audio. Go Lightstream has the capability to add other web cameras. I found this not to work because the audio from all web cameras is able to be heard. There is also a lag in switching from one camera to another. This application works will for one camera angle with 1-2 speakers 3-6 feet from the web cam. Contact me if you have questions of need tech support.

Switcher Go & Switcher Studio

Switcher Go: Free     
Switcher Studio: $29.00 a month or $299 annually
Camera (s): 1 to 9 ISO/Apple devices ( not compatible with Android)
Audio: Internal microphone / external audio
Text & Graphics: Yes, and very customization
Green Screen Capabilities: No
Streams to: Facebook and YouTube
Description: This is by far my favorite way to live stream. The only negatives I have at the moment is that you can not use green screen technology, you need a ton of free space on the device you record to, and there is no app for a Mac Book computer.  You will need at least one iPad to control all of the other cameras. I use a combination of iPhones and iPads. All of the devices must be connected to the same WiFi network. I use a soundboard with lavaliere microphones for my audio source. 
What is the Difference: Switcher Go vs. Switcher Studio

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Cost: $300 – $800
Camera (s): One Wide Angle Camera
Audio: Internal microphone / external audio
Text & Graphics: No
Green Screen Capabilities: No
Streams to: Facebook, YouTube,  Periscope, Livestream, & Vimeo
Description: The Mevo camera is one camera that functions like multiple cameras. You can use a tablet or smart phone to control the camera and select the areas you want to zoom in on. The app is available on both Apple and Droid devices. The Mevo camera does have a built in stereo microphone, I use external audio sources to increase the quality of the audio. The Mevo comes with a 16 gig micro SD card. The recorded videos are saved to the SD card. You have the option of recording without streaming live or recording and streaming live. I have not been able to live stream to Facebook using the school Wifi. I have to use my LTE to stream to Facebook while at campus.  The older version Mevo camera cost $299. The Mevo Plus cost $500. The Mevo Plus, Mevo Boost, & Tipod cost $800. The Mevo will record for about an hour on one charge. The Mevo boost will increase record time to 10 hours.

OBS ( Open Broadcast Software)

Cost: Free + cost of hardware
Camera (s): Multiple Camera Angles 
Audio: Internal microphone / external audio
Text & Graphics: Yes, and very customization
Green Screen Capabilities: Yes
Streams to: Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, Mixer, and more
Description: OBS is free and has some powerful capabilities. The main benefit of OBS verses the other resources I have mentioned is that it has green screen capabilities. To add a camera other than the built in camera on a computer you will need to purchase some hardware. I have a Mac and I use a UltraStudio Mini Recorder.  It cost about $140 per unit. My Mac has two lightning ports, so I can only have two external cameras, which is enough for shooting school news. I shoot wide with one camera and get a close up with my second. I can also pull in my desktop as a video source. There are many tutorial on how to use OBS. Email me if I can help you set up your studio. 

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Help Save the Northwestern Pacific Tree Octopus

Help save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus. You can donate money to help build tree houses that will protect the Tree Octopus from weather and predators. Here is a reliable source about this fascinating creature. Here is a report about the future of the PNTO.

Website Evaluation Activity ( Check out these website and determine how reliable they are)
All About Explorers
Dihydrogen Monoxide Research Division
Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie
The Jackalope Conspiracy
Dog Island

Reliable Resource Presentation
Here are a few search engines that provide reliable resources for academic research.
2. Google Scholar
6. Refseek

Additional Activities and Lesson Plan

Science Myth Podcasts

Ms. Connor’s science class has been working on creating podcasts about Greek myths that explain the weather. They are currently studying weather and are discussing how the weather was originally explained through myths. They looking at the scientific explanations of weather but having fun with producing podcasts about mythologies explanations about the weather.
Group 1: Faith, Dabney, Dulaney, Aya, & Zoe

Group 2: Tamara & Aron

Group 3: Cooper & Justin

Group 4: Sean & Ananiah

Dance & the 4Cs

This video demonstrates how the 4Cs was incorporated into a dance activity at Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School.


Persephone & Demeter

I enjoy working with students that want to go above and beyond what is required of them. These students were originally assigned to record a podcast episode. They wrote their own script and recorded their podcast, but they wanted to take it a step further. These students wanted to perform their script and have it recorded. They created their own props and prepared for their performance. Here is their video.

DSAP, TPACK, SAMR, and Technology Matrix

DSAP- is a framework that helps identify technology tools for the purpose of increasing student engagement. DSAP stands for delivery resources, student practice resources, assessment resources, and productivity resources.

The TPACK framework is an excellent way to look at how technology plays a role in lesson and student activity development. It has been a couple of years since I dove head deep into the TPACK framework. This brief video does an excellent job ob explaining and illustrating TPACK.

TPACK helps us with the theory of instructional design and the SAMR model can be used to evaluate the use of technology. I see many uses of technology and most are not transformative. It can be a challenge to reach redefinition level. This video will introduce or refresh your memory of the SAMR framework.

The University of Sothern Florida has created an awesome “At Your Fingertips” resources for ITFs and teachers. I like to search the matrix by subject and grade level. Here is the link to TIM ( Technology Integration Matrix).

Skype in the Classroom

Here is a demo of how Skype can be used to communicate to students that are not physically present in the classroom.


    I am so happy to work Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School because we get to collaborate with the staff of NC State. We worked with the engineering department for the STEM Expo.We used the same STEM challenges that the engineer students at NC State complete for their coursework.Our students chose one of the projects listed below. As teachers, we could not offer them much imput or direction. We had to oversee their projects and ensure they stayed in the guidelines. For example, the students could not spend more than $30.00 on their projects. The students used the engineering design model as they collaboratively built their solutions to the STEM challenges.

Here are copies of the rubrics that were used to judge the student STEM projects.
Engineering Design Model
Bubble Machine
Fabric Bucket
Precision Launcher
Rube Goldberg Machine

3D Poetry in Motion

I have taught Language Arts for over 12 years and I have never seen a Language Arts lesson like this before. I was blown away by Ms. Hartnett and her Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School students. They transformed the lines of Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” into a 3D version of the poem that included STEM connections and a robotic speaker, in motion. I filmed Ms.Hartnett and her students presenting their poetry projects and sharing their reflections. It was exciting to see how this learning experience engaged the students.

I would love to collaborate with Language Arts teachers to create and implement learning experiences that incorporate STEM, technology, collaboration, critical thinking, and creative products that enhance learning and engage students.