Three times a year, MOUSE publishes an e-newsletter for our friends, partners and funders to highlight organizational milestones and to put the spotlight on exceptional schools, students and partners. The most recent newsletter includes an article about the High School for Arts and Technology's MOUSE Squad, about Berta Dreyfus Middle School and SmallLab, photos from our Liberty Science Center Kickoff event and info about MOUSE Corps students.
We want to welcome you into the New Year with a Web Tool that could help you enhance your DIY Projects and your MOUSE Squads.
From their website: VoiceThread.com is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or phone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).Users can doodle while commenting, use multiple identities and pick which comments are shown through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be embedded on web sites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs as archival movies.
For your Squad, consider using VoiceThread to:
- Show users how to build-a-computer step-by-step
- Run a play by play of the perfect interveiw.
- or, Use it to create a podcast where people can post comments and ask questions
This tool was also recently highlighted in a post from our friends at the The Innovative Educator. You can always find more great information and more tools at the The Innovative Educator Blog.
All MOUSE Squad Members are teachers too. You teach your fellow Squad members, you teach your friends and family at home, maybe you teach people in your community, even teachers at school! Teaching is a critical part of every Squad's job. Your goal as a MOUSE Squad technician isn't to simply solve problems, it's to help people become more empowered to solve problems and "do things" on their own.
This year, MOUSE is introducing the first ever All-Squad Do-It-Yourself Competition. The goal of Do It Yourself, or D.I.Y., is to develop a teaching tool that helps others to do something on their own. Does your Squad have special skills, unique talents, or great solutions to common problems? Use this project to show others how they can do it too!
What's should it look like?
A successful D.I.Y. project has a few key characteristics:
- The need should be clear: It should solve a problem, answer a question, or help people learn a skill or bit of knowledge that will help them (D.I.Y. topics can be technical or non-technical).
- Uses new media: A great MOUSE Squad D.I.Y. utilizes new media and technologies to reach as many people as possible. Websites, screencasts, podcasts, videos, digital workbooks - all of these, and many more, are great media to use for your D.I.Y.
- Are fun and engaging: Be creative, often the best teaching tools are ones that make the subject or content exciting. Does your Squad have great actors available, aspiring musicians, directors, programmers - use available talents to bring your D.I.Y. to life.
- Are appropriate for students: Be smart, know your audience - make sure the tool you create is helpful and appropriate for people like you.
Watch a sample D.I.Y. video submission, The Perfect Handshake. Video is just one medium that might work for your submission. Link below to the D.I.Y. Project page for more detail about acceptable formats and criteria for your submission.
The first 50 submissions to this year's D.I.Y. project will earn a Pizza Party for your Squad courtesy of MOUSE. All projects will receive a shout-out on mousesquad.org and be entered to win one of two grand prizes.
- A LEGO NXT Robotics System
- A MOUSE Squad Flip(TM) Camera
Click here for more info about MOUSE's national D.I.Y. Project. Or, consult your region-wide Coordinator for details about D.I.Y. submissions for your Squad.
Each MOUSE Squad is encouraged to submit as many D.I.Y. projects as you like, however, individual Squads will be counted only once for submission rewards and D.I.Y grand prizes. Good Luck, and we look forward to reviewing your submissions in the months to come!