Draft: Mobile Storytelling Tip: How to add a created song from GarageBand to your iMovie project.

Music making, to this day, is one of the forgotten parts of storytelling in the classroom. A lot of people just add a popular song to that video. The problem with this is copyright music cannot be used without the express written permission from the creators of the music. In another words, the music cannot be legally used.

The solutions are as follows:

  1. Don’t use any music.
  2. Find royalty-free music online. Download it, and use it on your project.
  3. Use a music app to make loop based music. Another words, use the loops that are already included with the application.
  4. Use a music making apps like GarageBand to make your own music. Whether you’re a professional or just a beginner, GarageBand can help you create music that is perfectly legal and perfectly yours.

What I like about option number four is that it creates an opportunity for another student to participate in the storytelling process. Music, is an emotional communicator and, in many cases, it’s the key component to the actual bigger story.

The cool news about iPads is that it comes with iMovie and a garage pad. So, if you’re editing your movie and iMovie, you can open up GarageBand, make a song, or a music bed and use it under your movie.

I’m going to walk you through how to move a created song in GarageBand and open it and iMovie.

On your iOS device, open up garage band. Locate the song you created for your movie. if you select and hold the song you want, it will wiggle. This means that it is awaiting a command from you. In the upper left-hand corner, you will see some actions available. You will choose the send to option which is the box with an arrow pointing up to it. See the image below.


Once it’s selected and the “send to/export” icon is selected– you’ll choose the “open in application” icon on the bottom


(Choose share)

When you choose this icon, you get the option to open it and iMovie.


Once you select iMovie, you will be prompt to choose the movie you want scored.



(Choose the movie you’re scoring: Rio Rides)

Locate it, select it, and you will see that the music will automatically be placed underneath the video. Now, all you have to do is adjust the length of the song/music and you’re done.



(Make length adjustments)



(That’s a rap).

Draft: Creating smarter passwords.

Recently I learned from a teacher in North Carolina about the importance of passwords.

For many, this is a new reality. Now, one has to memorize multiple passwords. And if you work for a company or an organization that requires you to change it every three months, you understand how tough they could be to remember passwords.

However, it’s something we have to do we have to be smart about it, too. Recently, we have seen in the news about actors and athletes who have been “hacked”. As a technical person, they really were not hacked. They just allowed people to easily guess at their passwords. You see, they didn’t have very complicated passwordS. In fact, in another article, I read about how many athletes use their nickname, their mascot, and their number as their password. This isn’t hard for mischievous people with time on their hands.

Another disingenuous activity that happens online is when companies and people pose to be someone else requiring you to input your personal information. This, you should be very careful and aware of. It’s called “phishing”. This is when someone poses to be someone like Apple and ask you to update your credit card information and your password via a social link usually, not apple). You have to see if that email is for real. Stop. Take a closer look. Call them if you want to verify its legitimacy, too.

While at the school, teacher Stephanie Karst gave me a few cool tips on how to be more strategic and smarter about password choices..

Here is a video of our quick tip interview.


These are really good tips. I am always amazed how many times I still see people with a sticky note with their username and password stuck to their computer. Or, a book on their desk called “passwords.” This is a new time. There’s way too much information online about you and leaving your keys out for everyone to find and use is not acting responsibly today.

Challenge: receiving your passwords. Think about how you can be more discrete and strategic. Also, think about how to retrieve it and store it in safe places.

If you take the time to think about your passwords a bit more– you’ll avoid a potential bad story.


DRAFT: New Orleans: Conflict makes for a great narrative.


Photo by Marco Torres


From Jenna:

This project has been an assault of the senses for me.  I have been learning with my whole being during this initiative.  This project reminds me of being in New Orleans on a hot and muggy day in July.   You stroll around  the Quarter wearing your flip flops armed with a sloppy po’boy while the mayonnaise drips down your arms. Watching jugglers, a Second Line, and artists at their canvass you are transported into a story told unlike any other in the U.S.  But it’s your flip-flopped feet that tell the real story at the end of the day.

They tell the story because they are utterly filthy.  New Orleans is a city that all at once is creepy and beautiful, dangerous and heavenly, Good and Bad, clean and dirty.

Aren’t those the elements that make a story good?

From Marco:

That is what makes a great story. The ups and the downs. The coming back up from a down or the other way! Music needs a happy ending and sometimes a sad ending. Stories, music, art, need this conflict. Ying and Yang are the best marketers. They win you over because you want to see how they figure things out after a mess up. Even people like surfers need this conflict in their stories. Wiping out is part of the journey. It doesn’t stop them from getting back up on the board. They even have a silly happy song about wiping out. Failing for them is not trying.

Jenna’s connection between New Orleans and this digital promise journey is a very accurate one for me as well. The official insect for New Orleans should be the bumble bee because. The bee is not supposed to fly. The wings are too small in proportion to the body but it does. New Orleans is below sea level. I remember looking onto the city from a river boat and seeing the tops of houses. This is usually bad news if one understands the law of physics. However even though they are confronted with this constant reminder of dangers, or as Jenna calls it, “the bad”, they thrive in their own special way– “the good”.

The city has a history of people trying to figure things out from slavery to kicked out Canadians, French, and Spanish to Plessy vs Ferguson to Katrina. Data is not NOLA’s best friend, however, the story is! This is why it’s one of my favorite places to go, as well. I’m addicted to its story.

Today, America and the world is grateful for the city that has given us a soul, art, culture, and hope (even though part of this story is sad, too).

We will thrive. We will survive. We will scrape our needs. Share victories. Dirty our feet. But, at the end of the day, like the Crescent city, the experience will be worth it!

There are three things New Orleans never hides: 1. It’s challenges, 2. How it adapts, 3. And how it tells that story using sound, smells, site, flavors, and emotions.

I love this challenge!

Thank you, Jenna, for helping me connect these very important dots for me today!

I’m now craving red beans and rice, Louie Armstrong, and my “Who Dat!”



DRAFT: What does it mean to be remarkable?

I love words. I love stating what they mean. I love learning about what they mean to me. In other words how can I connect that word or associated with a fact, a process, or a goal of mine. what does it actually mean? It means something that is worth remarking on. Simple, But, very powerful.

I am a sucker for a remarkable moment. In fact, that’s a photographer, my goal is to make people interact with my images. In other words make them ask questions based on what I am presenting. This created interactivity includes the viewer into my world. It helps me create an immediate team: Me, my art, and the viewer.

Think about the experiences in your life this week. What was worth remarking on? In schools, what was remarkable this past week? via empirical evidence, when I asked my cousins or nephews about their remarkable experiences with their schooling this week, their number one response was “nothing.” As a storyteller, I am intrigued by the challenge of what could’ve been done to create more remarkable moments.

Guiding question: what is a remarkable moment for me? Who is a remarkable teacher? What was a remarkable lesson? What was a remarkable experience/project? when I look at a meal, I ask myself how can I make it more remarkable? Did ingredients need it, do I need to adjust a technique, how do I make a more engaging presentation of my meal?

Remarkable moments create loyalty. Human beings like to feel good. They like to feel special. They like to feel included. And, in many cases– they love challenges. Remarkable moments create a syncing of communities. As Seth Godin explains in many of his blogs, these moments create tribes, Loyal tribes.

So, how can you create remarkable moments? how can you adjust to create remarkable moments? How can people around you create remarks based on an experience they had with you? People are fans of specific foods because of the remarkable experience they had with it. They are loyal to hotels and restaurants because of their remarkable experiences with them. They are fans of musicians, artists, athletes because of the remarkable moments they provided emotionally. These remarkable moments make people care.

These are stories that need to happen more often in our schools, workplace, and even families. take some time every week to evaluate, reflect, and rethink about your remarkable moments.

Share those stories. Create or join a loyal tribe! Make people care!

(PHOTO BELOW: A redefining and very remarkable moment: Steve Gleason of the New Orleans Saints blocks an Atlanta Falcons kick during the first game back after Hurricane Katrina shut down the city.  This remarkable moment symbolized a moment that the city didn’t  give up.  They won this important game against their rivals, too.  The city and the New Orleans Saints immortalize this moment by making the statue and calling it “Rebirth”. Although it is a Sports moment that lasted a few seconds, it was one VERY important and remarkable moment that redefined a new beginning of the city).



DRAFT. From idea to a finished movie.


Let me make this clear. It’s not the technology that should stop you from creating a movie. there are many stops to make a movie and the technology is a tool used on some of those steps. For example, here is a brief outline of what a project can look like from start to finish. Most directors don’t know all of the pieces, however, they know what they want. Their goals are clear-ish and they trust they have a team that will figure it out.

The key is workflow.

If I want to make lasagna, I know I need the following items: lasagna noodles, minced meat, tomato sauce, spices, and cheese. I call this the “noun” part of the plan.

The second part of the process is what to do with those ingredients:

Boil the lasagna noodles, cook the minced meat, heat up the tomato sauce, add the spices, and finally layer the cheese as needed. Finally, we bake the assembled dish. This part of the plan I call the “verbs”.

Lastly, we talk about the tools. We boil The noodles using a stove and a big pot. We use a smaller pot to heat the tomato sauce. Will use a wider pan and a spoon to help cook the minced meat. We use a baking pan to assemble the lasagna components. At last, we use the oven to bake the lasagna dish. This part is the tools part.

And the sections, there are parts that we know and parts that we don’t know. To figure it out, we ask what do we know and what do we need to know.

This is how I produce my version of lasagna a.k.a., movies. I think about what those nouns are going to be, then I figure out the verbs I need to help me deal with the nouns, I then look at my resources or tools to see what I need or what questions I need to be asking. for some of this, I have knowledge as well as solutions, however, for other means, I may need to go online and find out, talk to someone, or connect with someone who can do it for me.

As a filmmaker, we don’t think about the tool first. We think about the story. The lasagna. If we thought about the tools first, it would prevent us from focusing on the most important part of this process. So, advice: start with your needs, goals, nouns, and then find your verbs and your tools.

I remember early lesson in a film class at a true filmmaker, storyteller knows how to figure things out. to this day, I use this as my motivation. If I don’t know something, what do I know, what do I need to know, and where can I go for help. this is my initial process.

For me, this is called learning. And, I love it.

DRAFT. Leveraging your iPad and tablet to create a digital storytelling classroom.

Recently, I came across an blog post that a friend shared with me regarding using the iPad for digital storytelling

I still get asked a lot how can we use the iPad/tablet more in the classroom and I keep going back to digital storytelling as my obvious choice! It’s such a wonderful way for your students to personalize how they can report back their learnings and reflections. Instead of everyone JUST writing a paper, you now have options for students to showcase their assignmnets.

For example, some can make a song, others can make a newsletter, another group can write a blog post, other students can create a podcast, and maybe another group can create a documentary style report. The options are limitless now. As a group, you can create a rubric on what you want to see included in the project. What evidence do you want to see. You can still ask the students to display evidence of the learning goals you set out at the start.  Once the expectations and the possibilities are discussed, allow the students to search for a medium to collect, curate, cultivate, and create their projects.

See this list below for ideas that I copied from Sam Glicksman’s KQED blog post:

• Create a narrated slide-show story to demonstrate the understanding of new vocabulary.

• Use a video or screencast (a recording of interactions on a computer or iPad display) to explain a complex scientific concept.

• Create an audio or video interview of your grandparents for a family history project.

• Create a historical narrative of a pivotal event using images and audio.

• Create a first-person audio journal of a person who lived during a significant event in history.

• Explain a mathematical concept by creating a screencast tutorial.

• Use audio podcasting to practice reading and speaking in a foreign language.

• Demonstrate a portfolio of work with personal narrative describing each piece, its objectives, and development.

• Narrate a character story or a personal journal with a musical soundtrack.

Having options like these now, make the classroom experience so much more engaging for everyone. Finished projects don’t have to look the same anymore.  This way we can create a more personalized (or differentiated) experience.

Personally, as a social studies teacher, I have used digital storytelling as a way to connect my students with my learning goals. It provided me with many more options to create success in the classroom. I hope this list can inspire Instead of the students record your Theden consumed information, they produced information. This also helps grow their portfolios!  Its a WIN WIN WIN!!!