Week 7: Digital Storytelling

As I was thinking about this activity my mind instantly went to the storytelling tools my students use every day, Snapchat and Instagram.  At the middle and high school and even upper elementary, I think using these tools as an educational storytelling platform would be an excellent way to engage students.  So I started googling.  I came across a couple of links to ways you can use both platforms in the classroom:

When looking for resources, I also found this great website which gives a list of various digital storytelling tools.  As a teacher, I can definitely see great applications for many of them in my classroom but for me, I’m more excited to use them as a parent.  My daughter is not a huge fan of writing, so finding fun ways to share her ideas and create engaging stories is something I spend a lot of time doing.

For my digital storytelling assignment, I chose to use the online comic creator www.pixton.com.  The story is pretty simple but it could be a used as a starting point for a class discussion in regards to the future of space exploration as part of Science 9.

Scroll to the left to view.


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Introducing Kaz

Hi there,

Over the last couple of weeks Kaz Ito has transferred from EDDL 5141 to EDDL 5131 and while it took a couple of weeks to get the enrollments changed, he’s here with us now. Kaz has already been working on the activities and will continue to catch up. Head over to Kaz’s blog and say hi.

Talk to you later,


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Week 5 and 6 – Audio Activities

I combined the audio activities into one audio file.  I first recorded a script I created using Audacity.  I then downloaded an audio file from freesound.org (here) and clipped it to a shorter length.  I then combined the 2 files by appending the freesound audio file to the end of my scripted audio.  Lastly, I added another piece of scripted text after the freesound audio clip.

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All About Me


Hi, everyone. My name is Jose Pascua and I am a husband, a father of two, and a Grade 7 teacher at Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have been an elementary school teacher for thirteen years. However,  I’m at a point in my teaching career where I would like to explore the secondary school environment.

Teaching has been good to me, and it’s been quite rewarding. I’m originally from Los Angeles, California. I began my teaching career in Palmdale, California. It’s taken me to the South Bronx in New York City for a couple of years, and it currently has me in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Long story short – my wife is Canadian and we’ve always agreed to settle in Vancouver when we had children.)  It’s been a fun and exciting ride through and through.

I have learned, that as a teacher, you can never stop learning. Hence, I’m always trying to pick up new things as I go. I hope to share, learn, and possibly steal some really good ideas with my participation in this course.

I look forward to learning with all of you.




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Week 4: Activity 4 – Resize an Image to Create a Thumbnail

I chose to turn a great picture of the High School I work at into a thumbnail using Preview.


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Week 4: Activity 3 – Create an educational graphic using layers

I have a created the following layered graphic in Adobe Photoshop.

Each portion of the life cycle is a different layer and it progresses as follows:

The steps I used in creating my layered graphic:

  1. I found individual images of a star at all the different points in its lifecycle using Google Image Search with the license settings set to Labeled for Reuse with Modification.
  2. I then cropped all of the images into a circular shape using the Smart Lasso Tool in Preview.
  3. I created a background layer using the stars in the night sky and grouped it with the title.
  4. For each individual portion of the star’s lifecycle, I grouped together the layers containing the image, the text, and the arrow.

I could use this image in my grade 9 science class by opening up the Photoshop document and bring up one layer at a time until the whole lifecycle was displayed.  Another option would be to put all the png files for all 6 layers into a slideshow and then click through them one at a time.





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Week 3: Activity 2 – Create Educational Graphics

Graphic #1:

Graphic #1 is a transformational graphic.  According to Richard Mayar, “A common use of transformational visuals is to teach or provide reference to the steps needed to perform a procedural task” (19).  In this graphic, the specific steps necessary to solve a linear equation problem are outlined in blue and the problem itself is solved step by step.  This graphic aligns with the Alberta Grade 9 Math curriculum and I would either use it as an anchor graphic in my classroom, put on my class website, include it in a review package or text it to the students as a homework resource. This graphic meets all the guiding principles outlined by Mayar in that it provides a functional role both in and out of the classroom and it fits well into the context of the math 9 classroom (22-25).  When creating the graphic I ensured I used a variety of actions and tools such as; using contrasting colours, aligning information, and using a variety of shapes. 

Graphic #2 is a relational graphics.  According to Mayar, “relational visuals are used to communicate quantitative relationships among two or more variables” (19).  The above bar graph that I created uses contrasting colours, shape and information chunking as some of its actions/tools.  This graphic meets the guiding principles in that it would work well in the context of an electricity lesson in a grade 9 science class, based on the Alberta curriculum.  It is also very functional in that it not only relays information to the students it also opens up an avenue for discussion.  For example, the teacher could ask students to hypothesize why there is no data for 6V (yellow) and 9V (green) when the resistance is 5Ω. 


Clark, R.C & Lyons, C. (2010). Three views of instructional visuals, In Graphics for Learning: Proven Guidelines for Planning, Designing and Evaluating Visuals in Training Materials. San Francisco: Pfeiffer, 15-28.

Mayer, R.E. (2014). Research-Based Principles for Multimedia Learning.
The presentation was given at Harvard University, 5 May 2014.

Keith Webster. Graphics for Learning

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Week 3 – Activity 1 – Crop a Photo

Being that I am currently teaching the Matter and Chemical Change Unit in my Science 9 class I decided to use the following picture of a Periodic Table which I downloaded from Wikimedia Commons (here).


My school district has an Adobe Enterprise account and I have really been wanting to work with Adobe Photoshop so I chose to use this platform to crop my photo.

I cropped out the following portions of the original periodic table:

  • The group and period labels.
  • The individual element key.
  • The names of the different families/groups.
  • The electron configuration blocks key.
  • The inner transition elements.

This cropped version of the periodic table could be used in a summative assessment task. Not only does it exclude many elements not discussed in Grade 9 Science, it also no longer contains key information that would provide answers in a summative assessment task.

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Resource Analysis on Wikimedia

I was not familiar with wikimedia but the more I looked into it, the more interesting it became to me.  Basically, it is a platform where you can find, and use without any copyright issues, pictures, videos, sounds and other media files.  I found some pictures about sexual dimorphism right away that I could use in some of my science lessons.  Some images on Google should not be used as they are not user permitted, unless you search those options, as is said in the readings.  However, all media on wikimedia can be used without any problems.

  • A list of the media used in the resource – what are the components?

pictures, videos, sounds

  • What educational context could the media resource be used in?

lots of images for science terminology, math diagrams, pretty much anything (it’s wiki!)

  • Note anything in the media resource that would limit the context that it could be used in.

some of the pictures are low quality and since pretty much anything can be posted, the teacher would really have to monitor what the students are looking at

  • Describe what makes the media resource pedagogically sound.

visuals are always an added piece to student understanding and this is a resource for that

the search function is quite simple and effective which makes finding visuals related to curricular outcomes easy

  • Describe the kind of software that is required to produce the media example you have chosen.

Inkscape, GIMP, hugin, Blender, Dia – all of which I know nothing about but will begin to look into!

  • Describe the hardware items, beyond a multimedia capable computer, that are required to produce the resource.

camera with video and audio capabilities, anything used for sound effects

  • Describe the skills needed to produce the resource.

an understanding and interest in software programs meant for creating pictures, sounds and videos


wikimedia commons – variation



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It’s Week Two!

Hi there and welcome to Week 2.

I want to encourage you to try to find time to engage with the activities and check in on each other’s blogs. We’ve run a few courses in the EDDL program where they could be essentially self-directed and worked well with small numbers. In EDDL 5131 I want you to take the opportunity to interact with each other – this will be important when you start making media as we progress.

So we will meet on Wednesday at 7:30 pm (Pacific) in the Big Blue Button web conferencing room on the Moodle site. You can find it at:


I’m looking forward to meeting you and I hope you bring any questions you might have.

Talk to you later,


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