Monday, January 01, 2018

Multimodal creation with Discovery Education Streaming

This article originally appeared in the Discovery Education blog "Kathy Schrock's Katch of the Month" in January 2018 and is re-posted here with permission.


Multimodality occurs when students use several modes to create a product and/or communicate a message. These modes can involve speaking, writing, listening, and visual resources. When we have a student create a multimedia project that involves music, narration, and images, the goal should be for these resources to be used to create meaning for an audience.
The old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, probably still rings true, but we know now that students learn differently, and may require some text or narration to understand a concept or project. A graphic can be helpful, but only effective in the learning process if it is meaningful and related to the content being studied.
There are many online tools and stand-alone apps that can help both teachers and students create multimodal content. A teacher may create an introductory video or Web page to introduce students to a concept. A student might create a screen recording with narration as an assessment to demonstrate acquisition of that same concept.
Discovery Education Streaming is a vetted content-rich online tool and collection that can be used for multimodal creation. It contains, as of right now, over 199,843 individual pieces of content. In 2017, about 1872 new assets were added, but the average number of assets added each year is over two thousand.  (Discovery Education, December 14, 2017)
Because of its name, Discovery Education Streaming, educators are familiar with the thousands of full-length videos and video clips that are included in the subscription. But there are 38 different types of instructional assets included with Discovery Education Streaming!
To demonstrate what some of these assets are, I did a search in Discovery Education Streaming on the topic “tornadoes”. There were 846 results for my search! Following are some of the different types of instructional assets on the topic.






Teachers and students can use and edit most of these types of assets. Images may be marked up or cropped, segments of videos can be used, quotes or narration from the text materials can be read aloud, or some boards can be edited and re-purposed for a teacher or student project.


Kathy’s Katch blog in November of 2017 highlighted some of my favorite online tools for creation. I decided to showcase the use of Discovery Education Streaming assets by creating some projects and products with their resources and these tools.
Here is a trailer I created with Discovery Education Streaming images of tornadoes, my son’s images of tornadoes, three images of mine, and the iMovie app on the iPad.

The video below was created using a Lodge McCammon song found in Discovery Education Streaming, some images from DES, and various public domain images. It was created in iMovie on the Mac.

The project below was simple to make. It simply uses an image from Discovery Education Streaming as the background and two characters in the iOS app, SockPuppets+. (I had to move it into Shadow Puppet EDU to get it to play correctly here.)

ChatterPix Kids is another great iPad app that allows any object to have a mouth and speak! I brought in an image from Discovery Education Streaming and had the image tell us about itself in the thirty seconds allotted for recording.

I love using fun online tools for creation and I am sure students do, too! With the YourCover blank template, students can create a magazine cover from scratch and screenshot it when they are done. They can use an image and content from Discovery Education Streaming to make the cover.

So, you can see there are all kinds of instructional assets in Discovery Education Streaming that will support students as they create multimodal projects!  How do you use the assets in Discovery Education Streaming? Do you have samples online of student projects which use the video, audio, images, or text? Please share information on Twitter! #kathyskatch