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Classroom Makeover Contest, eInstruction: Updates

Is it me, or is the school year flying away? How in the world could we could be just days away from  Halloween? It must be a 
trick
or something  (Please don’t throw anything.). 

But it was just over a month ago when I shared eInstruction’s  – very cool – Interactive Makeover Contest for teachers and students. And since that time, over 290 videos have been submitted and are now awaiting the judges’ call, which will take place on Halloween no less. 

All this voting going on! Seriously, though take a look at these amazing videos. They may, perhaps, give you ideas for your own lesson activities. 

And…

Christy Oberley, the ever-so-patient, publicist, has been keeping me updated on all the developments. Thanks, Christy, maybe we can announce the winners here?! I am just sorry I didn’t submit a video with my own students – ESPECIALLY since I teach broadcast journalism! Earth to Amy?!  Anyway, see the following press release for details about judges, finalists and when the winner will be announced.  

Also, if you haven’t watched the video, you’ll have to see what prompts a first grade teacher to dare let his students out of their seats to learn. A ghastly thought, indeed! 

Press Release: 
 
With a little more than a week remaining in  its Interactive Classroom Makeover Contest, eInstruction
, a premier global provider of interactive learning solutions, announces today the names of five judges who will evaluate the submitted videos for the second annual contest. The judges are Andrew Schlessinger, Brent Hayes, Scott Walker, Richard Colosi and Alex Guseman.  "The videos submitted thus far are an amazing demonstration of
collaboration, creativity and technology," says Lisa O’Masta, vice president of marketing and training for eInstruction. "The excitement this contest has generated for participants and voters is beyond anything we imagined. The judges are going to have some difficult decisions to make, as all of the videos are very well done."

The judges will select five finalists from each of the following three grade level segments: kindergarten through fifth; sixth through eighth; and ninth through 12th. Once the finalists are announced, the judges will collaborate to choose one final winner from each segment. Each judge has a different background in the education sector and will solicit feedback from within
their communities to help select the videos that best meet the contest criteria:

*         How effective the entry is in demonstrating use of technology in the classroom

*         The extent to which the entry demonstrates collaboration between the student(s) and teacher(s) in creating the video

*         Overall creativity and spirit of the entry

eInstruction recently announced the company’s second video contest to recognize teachers and students for their creativity and use of technology in the classroom. Participants in this contest are asked to create a short music video parodying the song of their choice. The videos will be posted on the contest Web site where the public can vote for their favorite.  Votes from the community will determine 30 percent of the video’s final score and the panel of judges will determine the remaining 70 percent.

The first judge, Andrew Schlessinger, is president and CEO of Schlessinger Media, the award-winning programming division of Library Video Company that distributes a library of over 17,000 licensed educational videos. Schlessinger is also CEO and co-creator of Safari Montage, that will be donating a plug & play video-on-demand server that comes preloaded with
educational programs to each of the winners. He will be selecting the contest’s finalists based on videos that are both engaging and educational. In short, he wants to hear a good story and see a fun video that involves the students.

"The video submissions thus far have been excellent, and I’m anticipating more outstanding videos yet to come," said Schlessinger. "I’ll be looking for how students can creatively use video to engage and educate on the importance of technology in the classroom."

Brent Hayes, national sales manager at Precision Media Group and Canadian distributor for eInstruction, will be looking for enthusiasm in the student videos to help him make his decision on which classroom deserves to win eInstruction’s Interactive Classroom Makeover.

"The contest is an unparalleled opportunity for students and teachers to work together to creatively employ technology in their everyday lessons,"said Hayes. "I’ll be looking for student/teacher groups that take an enthusiastic approach to developing a video that captivates the viewer. I will also be looking to see if the students and teachers really understand the technology displayed in their videos."

Scott Walker is an education technology blogger from TeacherTechBlog.com, one of the top educational blogs online, as well as the technology and video production teacher at Bate Middle School in Danville, Ky. Walker is the advisor for the school’s Student Technology Leadership Program (STLP), a student group that focuses on Web site design, digital art, video editing
and computer repairs.

"There are so many simple tools that not only give people tremendous creative freedom of expression, but they also provide innovative ways of learning," says Walker. "I’m really excited to see the way young people and their teachers are grasping and putting new video and audio technology to work."

Richard Colosi, first grade teacher at Canandaigua Primary School, is the K-5 winner of the first Interwrite Makeover(tm) Video Contest. Last year, his first grade class won the dream classroom makeover by creating and submitting a video that exceeded last year’s judges’ wildest expectations. Colosi will be looking for an original idea, how well it’s executed and overall quality of the video-similar to the qualities his winning video showcased.

"I’m eager to see how inventive the teachers and students are in terms of using technology, how well the video is produced and whether the understanding of technology is truly demonstrated," said Colosi. "I want to see a video that motivates others to use technology after viewing. To me, originality is a key factor in making a video stand out."

In accordance with the right to a jury of ones’ peers, the last judge, Alex Guseman is an 11th grader at Howard High School in Ellicott City, Md. Guseman plans to link the videos through his Facebook page in order to gauge opinions from a variety of his peers and teachers. Along with the feedback he receives, Guseman will be judging the videos based on their creative quality and noticeable effort.

"In my opinion, a winning video should use imagination to demonstrate the power of classroom technology," said Guseman. "I want it to inspire me."

The five respective finalists will be announced on October 31, 2008, and the one final winner from each grade segment will be announced on December 3, 2008. Each interactive makeover is valued at approximately $25,000, with a total of more than $75,000 in prizes to be awarded. Included in that is a celebration party for each winning entry’s entire school.