In August 2006, on Day 2 of New Teacher Orientation, approximately 155 teachers were eating lunch (unaware of the upcoming activity) when we asked for their attention for a moment and began playing the intro video. Teachers watched the video and then were given their tasks (located in a large brown envelope identified by a team number). Teachers were seated at tables of 8. These became the designated groups. There are four tasks. Therefore, in a group of eight, two people shared each task.

The table became the team’s home base. Those who chose to the Delta activity used the calculator provided in the packet and stayed at home base. Each of the other three activities required teachers to move to separate stations set up around the perimeter of the lunch area. Each station had equipment for six people to perform the task at a time. Others had to wait in queue. Upon completion of the individual activities, all team members returned to home base to collaborate and solve the crime.

Additionally, the original activity provided for face-2-face interrogation of the suspects (Agent Bravo Assignment). Each of the 12 suspects (dressed in black shirts, khaki pants and black sunglasses) were lined up along one side of the lunchroom. This was great because people actually got to meet some of the IT staff which made future interactions more comfortable. However, for the sake of this ISTE activity and the desire to add an additional technology component, we created a podcast of the interrogations. Depending upon your circumstances, we have provided the details for both options.

To bring closure to the activity, we had each group report to the facilitator’s station to enter their team’s final results on an interactive Excel spreadsheet. The entire room got to watch the graph take shape as to whether answers were correct or incorrect. It became highly competitive. Please refer to the objectives page within this blog to see why we chose this and other activities to be a part of the project.  We were originally scheduled to provide a 20 minute activity, however the activity took 35 minutes.

What follows are links to the videos and support materials:

 Please note: the introductory video’s file size exceeds our current limit for uploading on an individual file. To accommodate for this constraint, we have split the video into 2 parts. The process runs smoother when you have one long movie but you can easily play these one immediately following the other without losing momentum. The movies were made using digital still photos and video footage with Movie Maker and Photo Story 3, both of which are free downloads from Microsoft.  If you are running a PC platform with Windows XP Secvice Pack2 should be able to run these programs easily.

Video – Part 1: Newscast Introducing the Crime

Video – Part 2: CSI Task Overview for Teachers

Nancy Butler, one of the division’s Technology Resource Teachers created the movie. She is one of our resident MovieMaker gurus. Below, please find some tips she has provided to assist you in your own CSI “Spielberg Moment.”

Ten quick tips for Movie Making with Movie Maker and PhotoStory 3: 

  1. Understand that Movie Maker and Photostory 3 are freebies from Microsoft.  Photostory 3 is intended for use with digital still images and Movie Maker can be used for digital video and digital stills.  You can import Movies created in Photostory into Movie Maker. You can import movies created in Movie Maker into Movie Maker. 
  2. Movie Maker can get squirrely, so, SAVE OFTEN
  3. Storyboard your movie!   If you make changes later to a large video project, you may find that the audio and video shift on the time lines.
  4. Add transitions after you have clips in the desired sequence.  If you move clips on the timeline, you will lose transitions.
  5. The larger the Movie Maker project is, the “squirrellier” it gets.  Idea:  Save smaller sections of a large project as smaller movies.  Then import the smaller movies into the “Master Movie.”
  6. To give the effect of motion using a digital still image, import the image into Photostory, select Customize motion, and specify the start and end position.  This simulates zooms and pans.  Start with a wide view and narrow the view to simulate “zooming in,” or start with a small field of view and end with wide view to simulate “zooming out.”  To simulate a pan, select a start point on one edge of the image and select the end location at the opposite edge of the image. Then, save the image or series of images with customized motion as a movie file (.wmv).  This movie can then be imported into Movie Maker.
  7. Music greatly enhances the mood of a movie.  Need some royalty free music?  Try: 
  8. Need some usage help for Microsoft Movie Maker?  Try: 
  9. Need some usage help for Microsoft Photostory 3?  Try: 
  10. Most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!!!  Remember, it’s only a movie; it’s only a movie….

Now, back to the remaining components of the inservice:

Mission Impossible Tasks and Learning Objectvives — the Task slide is to be displayed on screen while team members are working so they don’t lose focus and the Learning Objectives slide is to be displayed during the activity recap.

Contents of the Team Investigative Packets (the packets were distributed :

  • Pens
  • Calculator
  • Investigative Assignment Sheets (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta)
  • Dossiers (4 per packet)
  • IT Departmental Org Chart – graphic organizer to fill in
  • Final Results Report
  • Fingerprint (photocopied onto an acetate slide)

Investigative Assignments (documents originally created in MS Publisher and published here as pdf files):


Suspect Interrogations — Podcast

Office of IT Org Chart — Graphic Organizer that participants can complete while they are waiting for other team members to rejoin the group. It’s designed to acquaint participants with the technology staff, particularly those assinged to their buildings.

Final Results Report — teams recorded final results for perpetrator 1 (technica) and 2 (instructional) on this form. This is the document the team leader takes to the facilitator’s station for entry into the spreadsheet.

Interactive Excel for Answers

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