Yesterday in #tech4teens we played with words and we how meaning can dance to different rhythm as we use literal and figurative language. We twisted tongues and a thesaurus as we learned how connotative meaning can speed up the tempo of emotion.

Writers control the volume knob with mood and tone. Connotative meanings, an associated idea usually used to draw an emotional response mark the dial.

So today in camp we played with language by making connotative number lines and then crafting an extended multi-metaphor using google slides.

Warm Up

We first had to define metaphor. Our campers range from age eight to fifteen so we meet in the middle and push everyone with universal truths of good writing.  We asked students to prime the pump by responding the following prompt.

Pick a normal object and compare it to something else. Try to use a metaphor.

These examples flooded the Google doc.

  • The pillow was cotton candy under the girl’s head.
  • The artwork hanging in my room is a wished upon dream.
  • The stuffed bear’s brown fur reminded me of a soft rug whose wool was the color of dark chocolate.
  • My shoelaces are safety belts for my feet
  • My charger is a burst of energy.

I used the following:

Window shade. My cold shoulder to the world.

Window shade. An Opening to Possibilities

Playing With Meaning

We used these two metaphors to define what figurative language, connotative meaning meant.

We then explored how writers play with connotation to hack on the mood and tone of the piece. I asked students for a word and someone suggested beach. We went to Flickr picked a word and I came up with one poem with a happy mood using words with a positive tone and connotation and a sad mood using words with a negative poem and connotation.

Next students went into breakout rooms and had to do meaning number lines. Each group got a pair of opposites and had to determing a way to display to typed of data the opposites on a scale and the connotation on the scale. They created these

table of opposities of big and small

Multimedia Extended Metaphor Poems

Then to complete camp we jumped back to WalkMyWorld and learned about writing extended metaphor poems. First we defined target and source. Then we made a graphic organizer and made one row for each sense and then one row for the target and the source.

Students created a chart and some went and found an image. Others found an image first and went back and made a chart.

I demoed how to write the poem, We discussed how our font and color choices affect mood and tone as much as word choice. We also talked about the importance of framing when considering a background.

You make the image a background of thr slide. Your write the poem. You mess with your design. You download and publish to your website.

Again please do not tell the kids but some of the standards we hit:

Use precise words and phrases, relevant descriptive details, and sensory language to capture the action and convey experiences and events.

Consult general and specialized reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation of a word or determine or clarify its precise meaning or its part of speech.

Distinguish among the connotations (associations) of words with similar denotations (definitions) (e.g., refined, respectful, polite, diplomatic, condescending).

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others.


Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

Featured image “Words of a Feather” by -Jeffrey- is licensed under CC BY-ND

At #Tech4teens this week we focused on where our stories come from. First we interrogated our heoroes and then our history to consider how who we choose as heroes influences and reflects history.

For a technology goal we wanted to explore where were from on our websites. So first had a quick lesson on access control and discussed and defined the differences between read/write access and how I had more privileged access. I demonstrated how I add server access, they had admin access on their website and editor access on the team site.

Then we dove into today’s topic

First we began camp asking, “Who knows about Ida B Wells,” only one student knew this American hero.

We then spent time learning about Ida B Wells. I modeled how to use our website builder as we summarized her impact on history as one of the first truly anti-racist feminist as part of women’s history.

Learning Vocabulary

Don’t tell the students but we moved to vocabulary and studied a few idioms from newspapers like, “above the fold” have translated into web design. We read Ida B Wells Wikipedia page and tried to name three “buckets” to put her accomplishments in. We explained how we should think about what part of our story should we tell above the fold.

Shape of a Story

Then we moved into  “Shape of My Story” a Kurt  Vonnegut Piece.

He discussed heroes and Cinderella.We discussed the Western archetype from Heracles to Harry Potter, a magical orphan who saves the world, and then the female archetype, (a step daughter who improves station through marriage) .

We compared famous female literary characters to Ida B Wells and wondered why isn’t there a Blockbuster yet?

We had a wonderful meeting for #tech4teens

Today in camp we:
-Held a design review to evaluate how well flyers designed by Campers aligned to our value proposition
-Evaluated the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums
-Compared and contrasted the structure of two or more texts through narratives of “Who am I”
-Brainstorm ideas to produce clear and coherent writing in which the development of “Where I am From” comes through

Today’s soundtrack (

..can’t lie took control as DJ as I couldn’t do more Japanese Pop or Rock and the Gorlliaz stans didn’t make camp.

If you have a teen (ber baby’s included) who wants to learn to own their own story from their own website rather than subjecting them to social media that is the goal.


Every Wednesday our tech4teens club meets. Campers get free websites and connect to a passion through coding, web design, podcasting, or video.

This year’s journey we have decided to partake in the worldwide classroom of #walkmyworld. This global collaborative asks students to own their story from the micro level of me while sharing out loud with the collective we.

In the first walk the students decided they wanted to tell the story of #Tech4Teens to answer “who am I.” Each week a new walk gets posted but our campers work on one every two weeks.

As an academic enrichment program you know I will Sawyer in some academic skills so we decided to focus on writing a “value proposition” to create a marketing program to attract more campers. We have moved camp to Wednesday when many schools are hybrid or half day and need to let the world know.

Our students want to tell their story.

Defining Value Proposition

So we first broke down the phrase “value proposition.” Students did not understand the phrase at first and trust me only thing more awkward then my wait time in person is wait time on Zoom. So we broke the word down. Had to go into full grammar mode.

First we identified that the word “value” was a modifier describing proposition.So we went through different contextual definitions of value until we arrived at the usage.

We then had to switch to proposition. Another stamper. So we went to derivative meanings. We discussed how -tion can turn verbs into nouns and brainstormed a list of examples like act to action and perspire to perspiration”

So once we got to propose we were able to get to the action and students put together that a “value proposition” is something that describes benefits for particular audiences.

Writing a Value Proposition

Then we created a Google Doc and students had to hack together on a list of questions and a short answer for the value proposition.

What is camp?

Tech4Teens is a weekly camp where we get to hang out and make stuff about what we love

Who should come to camp?

Anyone interested in anything from coding to blogging. The technology doesn’t really matter and anyone can come and just have fun on your blog talking about what you love.

Why should they come to camp?

Tech4Teens helps people that want to learn more about technology and shows them how they can use those new-found skills in the real world.

Why is camp the best option for your Wednesday afternoon?

Sometimes we never get to leave or go anywhere. if you go to school you are always in a mask or have to stay apart. Camp acts like a door when you feel stuck.

Designing a Flyer

We returned to our camp theme of understanding literal, figurative, and connotative language and how this influences mood and tone.

This time though we turned to colors and fonts and how those need to reflect the message of the value proposition.

Then using Canva or pixlr students took the value proposition and created a flyer. Lisette Busamante  wanted to share hers with the world

Standards Hit

Please don’t tell our campers but they are doing some waaaaay above level work.

Connecticut High School Business Education:


  • Utilize virtual entrepreneurs, blogs, webcasts, webouts, and various other technology avenues to identify and solve various business problems
  • Compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of buying an existing business, starting an entirely new business, or purchasing a franchise
  • Explain the feasibility of starting a home-based or Internet-based business
  • Describe an entrepreneurial opportunity and formulate the steps in establishing a business oriented toward that opportunity


  •  Identify target markets for potential new businesses
  • Use primary and secondary data sources to locate information about potential target markets
  • Formulate a customer profile for a planned business


6 Creative Communicator Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.

6c. Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.

4 Innovative Designer: Students use a variety of technologies within a design process to identify and solve problems by creating new, useful or imaginative solutions.

4a Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.


Introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; include formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

Video in Video & Video Cropping Instructions


How to place video in video:

  1. Login to WeVideo
  2. Click on video to open a blank video template
  3. Downloading video:
    1. To download video, use a downloader of your choice
      1. Visit to download a free YouTube downloader
      2. Open Clipgrab
      3. Click on the search tab to find a video to edit
      4. Click “grab this clip” to download to your computer
  4. Once you have found and downloaded a video, click “Import” in WeVideo
  5. Drag imported video onto the  “Video 1” track
  6. Use the blue tab to find portion of video you want to edit
    1. To separate clip from the main video use the scissor icon to snip the video your desired length
    2. To delete unwanted video, click the trash can above the clip that can be found using the box with three lines inside
  7. Move video to the same position on the track
    1. The clip on the Video 1 track will be the main video
    2. Place the clip you want to be in the main clip on the Video 2 track
  8. To adjust the Video 2 to be seen in Video 1, double click on the clip in Video 2
  9. Use the scale sliders to adjust the video
    1. To adjust the position in the video, use the mouse to adjust placement
    2. You can also use the white boxes to adjust the scale
  10. Click save changes to successfully place a video in another video!


How to crop a video:

  1. Double click on the clip you want to crop
  2. Click on the second option in the options tab
  3. To crop:
    1. Use the sliders the crop the video to your liking or
    2. Manually crop video with your mouse in the video preview window
  4. Use the play button to preview what the clip will look like once cropped
  5. Click save changes to successfully crop a video!
  6. Go to the first option in the options tab to adjust video placement
  7. Click the play button to preview video to make adjustments as needed

Your Challenge: Make a video about how you will change the world.


  • Utilize transitions in videos to create a shape to your story.
  • Create a call to action

Our Warm-Up Activity-

(Nuestra actividad de calentamiento)-
Examples of Transitions That Can Be Replicated In WeVideo-
(Ejemplos de transiciones que puede replicar en WeVideo)-

Example of Cross Mosaic from a Video Game:

(Un ejemplo de “Cross Mosiac” de un videojuego):

Example of Bubble Pattern from Spongebob:

(Un ejemplo de “Bubble Pattern” de Spongebob:)

Example of Screen Wipes from Star Wars films:

Un ejemplo de “Screen Wipes” de Star Wars ppeliculas.

Examples of Other Transitions-
(Ejemplos de otras transiciones)-

Example of Answer Cut:

(Un ejemplo de “Answer Cut”:)

Example of Using Similar Items To Connect 2 Scenes:

(Ejemplo de dos cosas que unen dos escenas de películas:)

Example of No Transitions:

(Un ejemplo con no transiciones:)

Crafting code and creating our stories.

What we do, and we can do it across so many modalities and using so many tech tools Campers we had fun playing and learning web design but now we move on to videography. You need to tell us your story in six words.


  • Engaging in inquiry-based processes for personal growth as you create a movie (ASLA 5.A.3)
  • Seek a variety of digital assets and sources as you adopt a dynamic collection to organize assets for your video (ALSA IV B.4)
  • Persist through self-directed pursuits by tinkering and making by designing a title screen, video in video, and three transitions (ASLA V B.2)


Read these six word memoirs

  • It took longer than I thought
  • Live a little, love a lot
  • Too much vanilla, not enough chocolate

Which memoir spoke to you the most?

What do you think the author meant?

“Hong Kong Protests 2019” by Jonathan van Smit is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

Write a six word memoir about the person in this picture.

Make your Own Memoir

We will do attend quick write. Create a list of words and phrases that describe you, your current life. You will have ten minutes to complete this. Do not stop writing until time is called. Paper is your friend.

Go find images, videos, and songs to represent these words,.

Build your memoir in WeVideo

WeVideo Tutorials

Getting Started

How to Edit Video

How To Add Captions

Featured Image:“L’Angelus d’Homo Algorithmus entre la rationalité de son architectonique phénoménale paréidoliaque et l’affectivité de son atavisme libidinal crépusculé . .” by “Fragments pictosophiques” is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND


Wow hard to believe we past he halfway point of tech4teens, our global camp, gLocally located in New Haven,  bringing digital literacies to children across the globe.

In our final two weeks of camp we transition to students working on a project where they must better themselves or the world by learning something, teaching something, or doing something.

Each day we begin in our main room and do a fun activity. Next campers head to specialized breakout rooms where they work with mentors from Yale and Southern Connecticut State University. Finally we get back together and demo what we worked on that day.






Tool Time- 1 or 2 people demo edtech tool

Wacky Wednesday-One person leads us in a game

Music and Memes-Pick a song and find memes to go with it


Breakout Room

10 minute mini lesson

20 minutes work

10 minute pair/share

Breakout Room

10 minute mini lesson

20 minutes work

10 minute pair/share

Breakout Room

10 minute mini lesson

20 minutes work

10 minute pair/share


Whole Group Demo

Whole Group Demo

Whole Group Demo

Today we demoed Google Forms as our cool tool. First we talked about how important reflection and self-efficacy are for learning. We then worked on a collaborative form and briefly examined the results.

This lead to a discussion of Likert scales, self-efficacy, ordinal data, and numerical data. We then examined the results and talked about bell curves, skewness, and kurtosis. We will add definitions to the Camper’s Guide to Vocabulary later this week.

Check out some of the results
30% online NHPS 90% tech 4 teens

We have had over a 90% daily attendance rate and over 88% of all campers have completed all of our activities and challenges. While the comparison isn’t perfect it is important to note that New Haven Public Schools only had a 30% full participation rate.

student self efficacy scores showing growht in digital literacies

As we defined and talked about the importance of self-efficacy we asked campers to reflect back on their knowledge at the start of camp and then at the halfway point as we begin to follow our own pathways in our passion projects.

Students were asked to rate their knowledge on a 4 point scale with 0 being none and 3 being a ton. In all four pathways students self reported  statistically significant knowledge growth. Even if the data isn’t perfect and subject to self rating bias it is so crucial. Believing in yourself matters so much in learning. Little indicators like these help us teach students “how to learn how to learn online.”

Plus we got to introduce lessons to campers on some basic statisical knowledge. Playing with Google Forms was fun.

After our mini-lesson students then went into their breakout rooms lead by SCSU and Yale Interns. The Southern Connecticut State University students who are completing internships in the Master’s of Library Science program have crafted a wonderful curriculum.

Please do not spill the beans on how we align the camp to national standards like the Common Core State Standards, The International Society of Technology Educators, and the American School Librarian Association.

I can not wait to see what campers make.

Web Design Objectives:

Create an original website to teach something or learn something that integrates  multiple pages, multimedia, and automated navigation (ISTE NET-s 6a;CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RH.6-8.7 )

  • Use a use a deliberate design process to generate ideas for a website (ISTE NETs 4a)
  • Utilize fonts and images to communicate complex ideas in hypertext docs (6c; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.6)
  • Build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems (ISTE NET-s 3d)
  • Utilize PHP for the automation of website components (ISTE NET-s 5d)

Podcast Objectives:

  • Express curiosity about a topic of personal interest or curricular relevance while using collaborative technologies to publish a podcast (ASLA V.B.1; ISTE NET’s 7b)
  • Persisting through self-directed pursuits by tinkering and making by designing a podcast with an intro, bumper, and outro ASLA V.B.2; ISTE NET’s 4e)
  • Collect interview data and make  critical choices about information sources to use as you trim and edit podcast episodes (ASLA 4A3; ISTE NET-S 3c)
  • Interview one person

Videography Objectives:

  • Engaging in inquiry-based processes for personal growth as you create a movie (ASLA 5.A.3)
  • Seek a variety of digital assets and sources as you adopt a dynamic collection to organize assets for your video (ALSA IV B.4)
  • Persist through self-directed pursuits by tinkering and making by designing a title screen, video in video, and three transitions (ASLA V B.2)