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Welcome to Telling With Tech

October 23, 2010

Hello! My name is Christina Rencontre and the young fellow in the picture with me is my grandson, Ian. Welcome to my blog.

Telling with Tech is intended to be a hub of resources and articles of interest for teachers, youth workers and academics who are interested in incorporating digital storytelling and/or new media into their classes, research or community projects. As this blog has grown I’ve become more and more aware of how quickly technology and media are changing and in response to that recognition, I’ve also added stories about how technology is changing the face of journalism and education. The articles that I post in this blog will continue to be driven by what’s going on in academia, news, digital media, social media and the continuous advances in technology.

PLEASE NOTE: I am currently in the middle of my dissertation study, so I won’t be posting as much on the blog until I am finished. The links and search engine in this blog will continue to provide a myriad of resources for anyone who is interested in digital projects in the classroom or community. Enjoy!


New post for 4-H

August 7, 2014


Tucsonan helps youth find their voices

April 19, 2013

I saw this article today and thought about how it exemplifies the values of Positive Youth Development, by developing programing with youth…. co-creating. Excellent stuff!!! Here’s the intro to the article to pique your interest.

ImageIt’s a big deal when any organization wins a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant. In November, Pima County Public Library learned that it did just that, receiving $100,000 from the foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to design a mobile media lab, youth media space downtown and online youth digital media-arts community in Pima County. PCPL is one of only 12 museums or libraries in the country to receive this prestigious grant. The library also will offer three summer programs for middle and high school students.

Behind the scenes in procuring funds for programs to help Tucson youth is Josh Schachter, 42, a photographer, visual storyteller, educator and community activist who holds a master’s degree in environmental management from Yale University.

“The inspiration for the work I do, with values around social justice, environmental protection and art, is my Jewish grandmother. She spoke her mind and painted till she was 97,” says Schachter. “I did digital storytelling around her. I didn’t know my own history and I learned a lot about being Jewish from her. [I discovered that she] was discriminated against in nursing school for being Jewish in the 1930s in New York.” Click for the rest of the article.

American Indian Library Association Identifies Books of Excellence About American Indians and American Indian Issues

February 2, 2012

Although this blog typically focuses on digital media, this article is a good place to start if you’re interested in finding books to use for teaching about American Indians or American Indian issues. Books, in my opinion–whether using them in digital or hard-copy format–are the foundation of education and provide an excellent spring-board for student inquiry using a variety of media formats.

During my years as the Education Director for the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, I can’t tell you how many e-mails and phone calls I received from teachers asking for curriculum, books or other teaching resources that provided accurate and appropriate information about American Indians. I will continue to add links to appropriate American Indian resources and urge teachers to research their choices carefully since many books out there are NOT appropriate and simply spread misinformation or provide support for racial stereotypes.

I am working on a page in this blog, that will be dedicated to providing links to American Indian resources. Check back soon to see what I’ve found.

30 Cutting-Edge Tech Projects From Around the World

December 7, 2011

When it comes to technology it’s sometimes easy to think that it’s all a bit much, that perhaps the world is not better off for all our technology use. And, while “it takes 35 times more energy to produce a pound of smartphone than to make a pound of book,” there ARE some amazing things that technology is helping around the world.

In her recent Mashable article, Loren Hockenson writes,

From bike-sharing in Toronto to geothermal technologies in Reykjavik to accessible laptops in India, civic projects and startups alike are using tech to make a difference in the way everyone lives. These efforts are making traffic easier to navigate, energy consumption a little greener, and people happier. They show that smart uses of technology will be key in solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Below we’ve highlighted some of the best and most interesting projects. To read more about them, click through to get the full story, and follow the series to learn about even more global efforts for change. MORE

5 Best Practices for Educators on Facebook

December 5, 2011

Every once in a while I run across a new article about how to use or whether we should be using Facebook in an academic setting. This particular article, written by describes five–productive–ways teachers are using the social media platform in schools and provides several other platforms that can be used with children under 13.  I’ve included the introduction to pique your interest.

Facebook’s roots may be planted in college campuses, but classrooms have not welcomed the social network as eagerly as their students have. Once a Harvard startup open only to college students, Facebook has been pegged as a waste of time, a classroom disruption and a bad habit that is correlated with low grades. Missouri even went so far as to ban Facebook and other social media relationships between teachers and students (the law was later repealed).

But teachers such as Reynol Junco — who recently published a study that shows certain types of Facebook use are correlated with higher GPAs — are beginning to look at ways that they can use Facebook to their advantage.

“Students are already very familiar with the platform and spend a lot of time on the site,” Junco says. “Because of this, there is usually a good amount of activity [in class related Facebook discussions] because students receive notifications of new group posts in a timely fashion (something that doesn’t happen with Learning Management Systems).”

Click here for tips from Junco and other teachers on how to effectively use Facebook in the classroom.

5 Tech Innovations That Could Change the Developing World

October 12, 2011

Mashable Tech posted an interesting article today regarding tech innovations that may change/help the developing world.  According to the article, there is a movement to bring technology within the grasp of the middle and lower classes of developing countries, many of whom have not had access before now.  It will be interesting to see in the coming months and years the positive things that access to technology will do for people—especially the technologies that provide clean energy, clean water and other human necessities.  People don’t NEED e-readers, mp3 players, video games and etc. but they do need clean water and breathable air. I’ve posted the intro to the article below… enjoy!

Across the developing world, new technologies are helping to distribute resources for education, connectivity and health far and wide. Innovators are finding ways to make technology cheaper and therefore accessible to millions previously excluded by high costs.

Affordability is often the greatest hurdle to overcome in products from sanitation devices to tablet computers, mobile phones to solar panels…more.

62 New digital Media Resources You May Have Missed

October 2, 2011

I know that I’m biased, but I have to say that I love Mashable for timely articles about digital media trends. And, after the week we’ve had with the unveiling of  the Kindle Fire and Touch and the most recent changes to the Facebook platform, sometimes it’s helpful to step back and read about how other folks are thinking/engaging/living in this digital world. Whether you’re obsessed over what may or may not be present in the newest version of the iPhone, or you’re completely baffled by Facebook’s most recent changes, Mashable always delivers.

If you’ve got some time this lovely Sunday afternoon, take a look at this article and the linked articles on Mashable Social Media. Who knows, you might even be able to answer the burning question about how to active your Facebook timeline, NOW. 🙂  Enjoy!