Mr. Zirkle

FVMS Pride

I filmed this several years ago when I got my first DSLR camera. I can make videos for schools that highlight the academic, athletic, and arts programs. I call this style of video a school pride video. I would want to respect copyright by using a royalty-free song. I would love to record a live performance of the school band and then use that audio for the audio for the school. This styel of video could be created using voice over instead of using a music track. Let me know if your school is interested in producing this style of video.

Universal Design, Chromebooks, & Actively Learn

As an ITF and instructional designer, I take into account learners with disabilities. “When considering learners with disabilities, the instructional designer must be aware of three major factors: the presence of disability, the impact of disability on learning, and the technology used by individuals to overcome barriers presented by the disability ( Reiser & Dempsey, 2018).  I have been working with a special needs teacher that has three very old desktops in her class of ten students. We discussed the presence of the disabilities her students have, the impact it has on their learning, and how technology could be used to overcome some of the barriers. We came up with a list of what would benefit the students:
1. One-to-One – if every student in her class had their own device they could all participate instead of having to share among three dinosaur desktops. This will help with some of the emotional issues student have when they can not participate or control the device themselves.
2. Audio – the students would benefit from having a device that would read the text to them.
3. Agility /Motor Control – some students have a hard time using a keyboard and mouse.
4.Visibility – having what is being presented to the class in front of the students, on a device, would be more beneficial than the content being projected at the front of the room.
5. Reading Program – having a reading program that will help differentiate texts for the various reading levels would be beneficial.
6. Dictionary – being able to define a word on demand would increase comprehension.
7. Digital Annotation – students that have difficulty writing manually could annotate using a computer.
8. Discussions – having a way for students to discuss and participate without having to be verbally would increase participation.

After collaborating with the special needs teacher, I came to a conclusion/recommendation. I recommended that she purchase ten touchscreen laptops and purchase and use the free version of Actively Learn. The touchscreen devices and the reading program would meet every item on the list that we created. The problem is that she had no funds to purchase the devices. I reached out to some community members and was able to secure a three thousand dollar donation. I purchased ten touchscreen laptops. I was also able to provide her with a lockable charging cart.


Reiser, R. A., & Dempsey, J. V. (2018). Trends and issues in instructional design and technology. New York: Pearson.

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

Exploring How Matter Changes

There are several ways to incorporate pre-recorded lessons. The blended learning model is my favorite. The students consume the instruction on their own personal device, at their own pace. The teacher is free to work with students individually or in small groups. The following video is a perfect example of how an instructional video can be used for blended learning. For example, all of the students could watch and listen to this video on their own personal devices. The video prompts the students to pause the video, in between each station. During this time, student complete activities and resume the video when they are ready for the next video segment. This allows students to work at their own pace and the instruction is free to assist students instead of presenting the lesson to the entire class. Pre-recorded lessons also benefit students that were absent.

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.

Active Learning Spaces

My goal is to create active learning spaces that use pedagogy, technology, and space to engage students in self directed learning experiences. I have been able to build one that houses fifteen students. I was awarded two grants to fund the project. One was from the Wake Ed Partnership for $3,000 and the other $3,000 grant came from Wake Electric.The following video showcases students using the active learning space I created in my classroom.

The space is small but jam packed with technology. The learning spaces seats fifteen students. It has the following equipment and technology:
– 13 laptops
– 2 desktops
– Adobe Creative Cloud software
– Podcasting equipment
– Canon T6i Camera
– Lighting
– Green screen and other backdrops
– 2 Breakout EDU kits
– Apple TV and Chromecast
– Reason recording studio software
– Collaborative and lounge seating

I worked on securing funding for these active learning spaces from two sources. I wrote the grant for FVMS and was awarded $50,000. I also wrote the rough draft for CCMMS grant application.I worked with a team of teachers there to finalize the grant application. We were also awarded $50,000. Lastly, I worked with the PTSA at FVMS to determine how the technology fundraiser funds should be spent. I advocated the funds be used to create an active learning space in an area we call the Fish Bowl. They provided us with $10,000 to convert the space.

Read Across America

I was amazed to see how successful Fuquay Varina Middle School’s Read Across America Day was. Various members of the community and WCPSS participated by reading a rigorous text with our students. Students also were engaged in activities that allowed them to incorporate a variety of literacy skills.