Today we began our exploration of video. Again at #tech4teens camp we set the first three weeks up like a buffet line. We want students to nibble on podcasting, video making, and photography before choosing a pathway they concentrate on in the final three weeks. Having them try each dish before filling up on one.

On Friday the SCSU Interns and I met to develop the curriculum. We talked about how much offline work online video making takes. We then developed a curriculum for the three days that went roughly storyboard, curate, and edit.

Day4 revolved around story boarding. Annelise facilitated the lesson. We first went over some key vocabulary and reflected on favorite YouTube and TikTok genres. Then we watched a video how to use post it notes to storyboard.

Students blew us away with their demos. Evie, a nine year old camper from California, demoed her storyboard of the dinosaur extinction in a flip board. Diallo showed off his storyboard for a music video. Demario dropped the mic on the end of the lesson with a rap about the fun of building websites.

Check out Evie’s demo

Key Vocabulary

Some of the key terms we covered. Those who care for our campers, kids learn words best through multiple exposure, multiple times. If  your teenager is like mine and two word responses are considered a success, “It’s good…”….see if the vocab can help extend the conversation.



out of frame





Standards Addressed

Again folks, please don’t share with students all the wonderful academic skills we build together. We want them to keep coming to camp. Here are some of the standards we addressed today:

Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

Now you never teach an entire standard in one day. These are end of the year expectations for 8th grade. Each standard could take dozens of lessons, many with different goals to in order to show the standard has been met.

You can see how we worked towards these standards in our activity today. The storyboard provides evidence that campers can organize events, their dialogue notes provide evidence of narrative techniques.

When you empower kids to learn through passion they will often blow by what me mean by goals being met…Nobody can stop you when you drive towards your own goals.


Hello Campers and Guardians,

I wanted to take a second and introduce myself and go over your camper’s role in creating a positive community from their website.

About Me

My name Dr. J. Gregory McVerry. I am an Associate Professor in the Curriculum and Learning Department in College of Education at Southern Connecticut State University. I am also the College’s Associate Fellow for Online Learning.

I earned my PhD in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Cognition Instruction and Learning Technologies while a Neag Fellow at the New Literacies Research Lab at the University of Connecticut.

I helped to found the Elm City Webmakers, which organizes the camp with CfAL. The Elm City Webmakers began when we had 7th grade Gear Up Students from New Haven on SCSU camps many years ago.

Our mission aligned to the IndieWeb movement, is to empower learners to own their data, control that data, and make better connections while sharing their passions from personal websites.

We do not want facebook, owners of Instagram and whatsapp, shaping adolescent identity with their code. Deciding what is cool and what is not. We want students to share and amplify their own voices. To own their story.

Your child’s website

Over the weekend, and then today your child was given a website. These are live on the web and we use a WordPress install. WordPress is a popular tool for publishing to the web.

All data, like words and pictures, lives on a shared server controlled by CfAL. This means CfAL has control of your child’s work. If you do not want their work living on our servers we can help you learn how to host a domain for your child but this does come with additional work and expense.

As a parent you have the right to request any post be deleted. Simply email myself or Jennifer Ricker and we will take care of it.

Changing Password

Your child should change their password when they were given the account. The passwords were sent by email. This can cause a security risk. It is a personal conversation between you and your child if you get their password. We can delete a post and we can delete an entire website but we will never give out a users password without that users consent.

Mandatory Reporters

Finally myself, Jennifer Ricker, and most of the camp counselors are mandatory reporters. This means we must report any interaction that relates to self-harm, harming others, or drug and alcohol abuse. This can include fiction or art pieces like comics, poems, songs etc. This includes posts your child publishes privately or just to the group. Please know all counselors have had the highest standards of training in child safety.

Security warning

You may see a security warning on your child’s website. That is okay. This is caused by us not having an s after http in the website address. This address, also called a url, tells the computer where to find the website files.

To get the s you need a security certificate. We have one and just need to add everyone’s website to it. We have Yale Computer Science Interns solving the issue.

IndieWeb Meet Up Tonight

Every Wednesday people from all over the world gather for IndieWeb Meet ups. This week Elm City Webmakers will host one at 7:00pm tonight. All campers, guardians, parents, siblings, and pets are welcome for a meet and greet to learn more about the project or how the websites work.

These events are not associated with the camp, attendance is totally optional, and with three at home myself with a pertner who works nights, hectic and messy is okay. You can drop in and out or stay the entire time. We will be demoing how to build the sites.

Want to Join Us?

Finally, and please, if any parents or guardians want a website so you can join in on the fun I will set you up. You have no idea how good it feels when adults send comments to students work. please feel free to email me if you would like a website on our network.

The Elm City Webmakers have been running programs teaching adults in New Haven for the last two years.

We will keep the camp a kid space, they need that, but everyone welcome to join us on the web. donated all the server space so feel free to hack at your identity and then let the kids know how proud we all are of their work.

Nothing is more powerful than inter-generational learning.

Dr. Mac

Welcome campers!

Getting Started with Video

We Video Log in Information

Miss Jen’s Awesome Tutorial


Here are some examples of the three types of videos you could choose to make!

Explore the terms! 

Yesterday we discussed several terms used with videos. Here are examples of videos that match the terms for you to refer to if needed.

WeVideo and Misc Tutorials (if needed)

Plan (Started Tues. July 14) 

Make sure to plan out your video.

    1. Determine the type of video you want to make
      1. 120 second explanation
      2. In plain English
      3. Challenge Video
      4. Other
    2. What will this video be about? What is your topic? (Some examples I heard were; how to draw, a skateboarding technique, story of a specific athlete, imagination of future self…. any topic that interests you!!!!)
    3. Storyboard your idea (your notes or sketches to plan your video).


  • List the types of resources you will need to create this video.


    1. Will you make your own video? Add your own pictures? Are you using a phone or tablet to make recordings?
    2. Do you need to find video clips online?
    3. Do you need music for the background
    4. Do you have Ideas for captions or text to layer into the video?
    5. Do you want to create voice recordings of yourself (or someone)

Check out  Miss Jen’s tutorial on how I planned for my WeVideo project if needed.


  1. Make a folder to store the pieces of your video on your computer. You want to stay organized
  2. Gather all of the pieces you need to create your video (images, music files, videos you made or found)
  3. Upload your materials to the media section of WeVideo. There are some great tutorials right on WeVideo to help you with this.

Helpful Resources


As you create your videos publish links on your website.


Feel free to think about what we have worked on this week and write a blog post about what went well and what we can do to help you more with this project.

Hard to believe our first week of camp came to a close. Today we worked on making hTML movie posters ands talking about how we need to think about images, fonts and colors together. The posters campers made came out amazing. Even better, each student, who shared their work had an entire backstory of to go along with the plot and each character. Such a powerful digital storytelling tool.

Key Vocabulary From The Lesson

  • Foreground
  • Background
  • Framing
  • Out of Frame
  • Mood
  • Tone

Academic Standards Addressed

Please don’t tell campers. It’s camp and buthing but fun. However kids do get the chance to interact with curriculum aligned to Coomon Core Standards. Today we hit:

Establish and maintain a formal style.

Engage and orient the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator and/or characters; organize an event sequence that unfolds naturally and logically.

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.

Student Examples

Next week campers get to mess around with video editing and WeVideo.

Just met with our team of SCSU Interns to write the curriculum and we came up with a cool Tic-Tac-Toe or Bingo Game.

Jump Cut  










Rage Video












Give Away


Tic-Tac-Toe Variety

Have two players square off. One as X and one as Circle, but you use colors. Players go by linking the word to an example video they find.

Bingo Variety

Scramble the words into a number of combinations. Give out the cards a s Google Doc or HTMl table. Share out a link to a video. When students identify the square they can mark it off.

Welcome Campers

Yesterday we learned to hunt down openly licensed images and we made memes with HTML! We got to talk about the difference of figurative and literal language. Then we found images of our doorways onto the world.

Then it was meme making time. Using @Glitch we learned about some basic HTML elements and made some cool memes… Ready for more

Day 3

Today we will keep playing with Images and HTML

Intro Activity

Let’s do a plus/delta. In the Google Doc write down 2 things your teachers should keep and 1 thing they change about remote learning.

Brain Challenge

Find the fails. Look for gifs of your favorite fails and post them to the Google Doc

Website Intros

Does anyone have a new website or anything to cool to show off on their blogs?

Make a Movie Poster

We will continue to our exploration of HTML and make a movie poster about our passion. Here is the project.

Exit Challenge

Remix this Star Wars trailer on Glitch and tell a spoof story about remote learning in your school (or any story of rebels struggling in the face of oppression)

The Elm City Webmakers met as part of the Center for Adaptive Learning #Tech4teens camp. We had participants from all over the globe. Today we decided to open the doorway and peak at the code that makes website happen.

The class began with a review of our expectations of conduct. We will work on a code of conduct with students but I basically paraphrased the IndieWeb Code of Conduct for a middle school audience.

Doorway to the World

We first spent time learning that images on the web are really links to files and work just like a any website address. Students had an entrance challenge of finding their “doorway to the world.”

“Door” by PMillera4 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

We spent some time first talking about the difference between literal and figurative language. We shared examples of literal definitions of doorway and then figurative and metaphorical. Diallo, for example share a cool image of an eye because his “eyes are doorways into the world”

flaming eyball
Lateralus, by TOOL –

This lead us into a discussion about how they as students need to remember learning is an embodied experience and they will need to seek ways to get their body involved in remote learning.

Using Openly Licensed Images

Next we talked about image attribution and Creative Commons. We discussed how artist openly share their work and how they may copyright work.

We then learned how to use the Creative Commons search engine and Flickr to download an image. In a teachable moment a student shared an image that an artist had disabled downloading. We reviewed how to use the search engine again but we got a chance to discuss why an artist may or may not want to share their work.

Next we practiced uploading images to Google Docs. Soon everyone will have their own websites but we also want to ensure students have good Google App (I know it it is Suite now but saying Google Suite skills… thank you) skills for when they return to school.

After that we returned to our meme making project. Using a wipe board (low tech matters more than ever now that its high tech all the time) I reviewed HTML elements of Headings and Images. We discussed the difference between styling and HTML and why it is important to use headings correctly.

Making Memes

I then gave myself a two minute challenge to publish a Meme. We went back to Google Images for these and searched for blank memes.

Then we got into breakout rooms. Account creation eats time, admin stuff takes away from learning in the face to face and the online classroom. In the classroom, however the students are not as exposed to the stress.

Will be asking mentors for ideas on making account creation easier. It is usually something that only happens once, still you can lose  important early engagement. It can also scare students off, so do a few dry runs of account creation before working with students. Need to remember that.

Our campers made some great memes. We will keep posting more below as they get finished up.

If you would like to learn more about supporting tech-4-teens we always need more mentors, donations, or light to moderate technical support (CPanel installs, OwnCloud or NextCloud, Wikis, WordPress). Visit Concepts for Adaptive Learning for donation and volunteer opportunities.