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What is DaniellPedia?

Rick Parker launched the DaniellPedia project in 2010 as a way to deeply integrate technology with Social Studies lessons.  Our students began building an online encyclopedia (ParkerPedia.com) of all of our 7th grade social studies content, along with relevant current events and their connections to the learning standards.  Our encyclopedia is built on Google Sites with student created presentations, student created videos and animation, and student created web pages.

Since then, we secured a Google Apps site license, and expanded our program to include 7th grade science and (new this year) 6th grade science.  Our students are have a mission to produce lesson materials for their peers and the Internet as a whole via our DaniellPedia.com web site and our YouTube channel.  

How DaniellPedia Benefits Students

DaniellPedia Improves Student Learning

  • Meaningful collaboration.

  • Peer feedback.

  • High student engagement

  • Easy differentiation

  • Truly interactive

  • Connecting all learning to standards

  • Transparency for parents

It Builds Modern Digital Learners

  • Students use current tools

  • Engage in meaningful collaboration

  • Learn to be safe online

    • Never reveal personal information - not even full names.

  • BYOD friendly

  • Copyright legal - Any media in publicly published work must be public domain, or licensed under Creative Commons.

It Supports Common Core

It Gives our Students a Mission

  • DaniellPedia students have a purpose in creating work that goes beyond routine school projects. They are creating material to educate other middle school students and the public at large via DaniellPedia.com and our YouTube channel.

  • This raises the stakes for the quality of their work. They aren’t just working to get a good grade from Mr. Parker. They are also creating great material for the world to see.

Our Favorite Tools

Google Docs / Google Drive   drive.google.com


What we love - COLLABORATION!

  • Google drive includes robust word processing (Docs), presentation (Slides), and spreadsheet (Sheets) applications.

  • Documents can be shared with just a few people, an entire class, or even an entire school.

  • Shared users can be granted varying levels of access to a document, including view-only, comment-only, or full editing privileges.

  • Students who are home sick or travelling can participate in group assignments.

  • Documents can be embedded on a website or teacher-blog.

  • It is easy for students to share a project or just peer edit each others’ rough drafts.

  • The tools are cross-platform and work on even older computers.

  • It’s free.


  • We want to be able to add narration to slideshows, like you can with PowerPoint.

  • We would love to have some type of web-based video creation tools, or even Google native screencasting support.

  • Comment highlights should have different colors for different commenters.

  • We would like the revision history to be easier to use when there are a large number of editors on a document.

Google Classroom 

(requires Google Apps for Education)  classroom.google.com

Things we love

  • It’s now REALLY easy to create, assign, collect, and grade lessons.

    • A teacher using Google Docs can do this very quickly, with only a few steps.

  • Classroom makes it easy to manage student documents

    • Before this was only possible with third party scripting add-ons like “gclassfolders” and “Doctopus.”  These were great, but weren’t easy for average teachers to implement.

  • The Classroom stream is intuitive for students and teachers.


  • Better grade and assignment management tools.  Teachers can only manage assignments and grades via the “Classroom Stream,” which can be cumbersome.

  • We would like a tool for assigning documents and grades to groups or pairs.  Currently, the only options are individual or entire class.

  • A more obvious “turn in” button on Google Slides assignments. This already exists for Google Docs files.

  • We would like a method to “turn in” non-Google files, or at least some sort of “upload” system for teachers to collect those.

  • The ability to create a “sticky” announcement that would always stay at the top of the classroom stream. The “about” tab can be used for this but it’s not as visible.

  • It would be nice if there was a way to implement this at schools that do not have access to Google Apps for Education.

Screencast-o-matic (web-based screencasting software) www.screencast-o-matic.com   

  • With screencasting, students can turn ANY digital assignment or presentation into a video.

  • No account is required (can use with students under 13).

  • The free version is fairly robust.

  • Paid version is not expensive.

  • Includes easy microphone management controls.


GoAnimate - www.goanimate.com

Things we love

  • It’s easy to use. Students can get started with little training.

  • Tools are robust; enabling dedicated students to create very sophisticated videos.

  • Students who may have difficulty engaging in conventional lessons (including some on the autism spectrum) can be hooked right away with a GoAnimate assignment.

  • Videos can be embedded on student created web pages or teacher blogs.


  • Make it possible for multiple students to edit a project, like Google Docs or Prezi.

  • The embed tool should be  updated. The current embed tool is outdated and not compatible with Google Sites.

  • Bring back the ability to link directly to a GoAnimate video. Students used to be able to share their finished work with friends and teachers who aren’t on GoAnimate. The only way to do that now is to have a teacher publish it to youtube or embed it to a non Google webpage. This is serious problem to us.

  • Make it more affordable.  This is the only paid web tool that we use, and the expensive requires a serious commitment from our school.  This is a barrier for entry that prevents other teachers and students from trying it out.

  • Make the management tools more effective and easier to use.


Our Guide to Easy Video Creation

Download the handout

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