Category Archives: DigitalStorytelling

AL DíA: Eight Second Storytelling

Today, you often have only about eight seconds to tell a story, or one second less than a goldfish.
 Here are some tips for creating short content:

Some ideas suggested or adapted via 15 Brilliant Examples of Visual Storytelling on Instagram include:

  • Combine words and images to tell a compelling story about a historical event
  • Ask your students and/or community to share compelling pictures that provide insight (e.g. academic achievement, sports tale, a digital book jacket retelling a story in students’ own words)
  • How your students/staff have helped others at school, at work, or in the community
  • A visual story of an upcoming or current event from a student perspective
  • A collection of images that captures different perspectives of the same situation

To make the point, check out the @StatisticBrain twitter account…here’s one example. Look for videos that aim for the 8-second ride.

…studies have shown that eight seconds is the precise attention span for uninterrupted video viewing. “Videos shorter than 10 seconds are a distinct class from those that are longer….” (Source: Variety)

 


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Make Language Learning Comprehensible #duallangchat #ell #esl #bilingualchat #edtech

Do educators believe that practice makes perfect? Do you believe that English language learners’ brains work like muscles that, if properly exercised, will become more adept at the tasks they are set? These questions popped into my mind as I reflected on the following Tweet:
#ELLs speak, on average, less than 10 minutes a day in school. How can you learn a language when you aren’t allowed to speak? #WIDA2016
This tweet raises a few questions and responses. You are invited to inventory your biases, as I did when I resisted the inclination to agree. Let’s explore the questions.

The barrier isn’t language, but rather, our conceptions of how we seek to create input rich learning environments.
Remove the systemic barrier – Our own misconceptions about how humans acquire language.

Note: This blog entry originally published at TCEA TechNotes Blog as For the ELL Student, Does Practice Make Perfect?

Does Practice Make Perfect in Language Learning?

Stephen Krashen (@skrashen) points out that we learn language when it is comprehensible to us, when it means something. The Comprehension Hypothesis points out that we understand language (input) by achieving three criteria:
  • We have some language background to refer to.
  • We have some knowledge of the world around us.
  • We have context.
According to Krashen, this means that we acquire language by input, not by output. “Talking” he points out, “is not practicing.” He goes on to say, “More output, more speaking (or writing) will not result in more language acquisition. . .the ability to speak is the result of language acquisition, not the cause.” Speaking, however, does provide a way for students to obtain comprehensible input.
If Krashen’s second language acquisition hypothesis is accurate, then it does not matter that English Language Learners speak less than ten minutes a day in school. There is little correlation between learning and quantity of output. Practice, or activities that promote output, are important because of the opportunities they provide language learners in effective processing of input. Throughout this, students build a theory of the world around them, a “shield against bewilderment” (Smith, 2012).

If Practice Doesn’t Make Perfect, How Do ELL Students Learn?

Providing a safe, language-rich environment can enable students to learn a new language and be motivated to use it meaningfully. Students have the choice whether to participate or not in a language learning classroom. Games, discussing topics of interest, storytelling, and projects present opportunities for students to acquire language that is at their level and that they can grow on (what Krashen calls “i+1” with the “i” being for “comprehensible input”). Grammatical accuracy comes as a result of successful second language acquisition, rather than through rigorous practice. Regrettably, the latter is standard in high school foreign language learning classes.

How Does Technology Play a Part in Language Learning?

Creating safe learning environments that promote language learning are possible with online learning management systems. Listening to others can result in comprehensible input. Some approaches for ELL teachers include the following:
  • Engage students in the authentic purpose of solving a problem (problem-based learning/inquiry-based learning).
  • Encourage student collaboration on projects focused on the creation of tangible product(s) (webquests, project-based learning).
  • Amplify human voices as they gather stories and share them (blogging, podcasts, digital storytelling).
Findings (Jarvis, 2014) suggest that 1) Language learners find that non-pedagogical uses of technology are helpful (as opposed to direct instruction via language exercises), 2) The Internet provides many opportunities for comprehensible input. Finally, technology enhances language learning when used for authentic purposes.
For more suggestions on blending technology into second language learning, you are encouraged to read Stephen Krashen’s blog on The Potential of Technology. Alsoread and listen to these TCEA TechNotes blog entries and podcasts.

References

  1. Jarvis, H., & Krashen, S. (February, 2014). Is Computer-Assisted Language Learning Learning Obsolete? Language Acquisition and Language Learning Revisited in a Digital Age. Available online at http://ly.tcea.org/teslcallobsolete
  2. Krashen, S. (2013). Second Language Acquisition. Available online athttp://www.sdkrashen.com/content/articles/krashen_sla.pdf
  3. Smith, F. (2012). Understanding Reading: A psycholinguistic analysis of reading and learning to read. Available online at http://ly.tcea.org/franksmith2012

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

Become a Storymaker

Note: This blog entry originally published at TCEA TechNotes blog!

Image Source: https://www.freepressunlimited.org/files/image_newsarticle/storymaker_0.png
When I first participated in Joe Lambert’s digital storytelling workshop, my father had just passed away. Creating a digital story,Garbed in Silver, a combination of narrative and images, helped me cope with the grief of his death. It also helped me reconnect with some of my best memories, allowing me to create a remembrance for my young son that endures today on YouTube and Teachercast video hosting sites. Digital storytelling can be a powerful way to connect with others. In this blog entry, we explore digital storytelling resources and tips.

1) Finding Digital Storytelling Resources

Looking for digital storytelling resources? There are quite a few available online. Here are my top three favorites:
Each of these contains digital stories that connect at a visceral level. And some, like We Are StoryMakers, invites the work of writers, actors, and media enthusiasts to create with a simple directive: you have five minutes to create a narrative and then record it.

2) Storytelling Keys

“In oral culture,” shares Joe Lambert, “we humans learned to retain stories as epigrams, or little tales that had a meaningful proverb at the end. In our current culture, many of us have not developed an epigrammatic learning equivalent to these processes.” Yet it’s not just about creating stories that are entertaining; it is about creating stories that transform us. As Vyasa says, “If you listen carefully, at the end, you’ll be someone else.” To accomplish that, I like to think that stories engage both our experience and beliefs, as Gretchen Bernabei demonstrates in this image, and helps us reflect and transform our perception of what has happened in our lives.
digital storytellingThere are various approaches to storytelling. The oral storytelling approach focuses on a beginning event, a middle with multiple events, each summarized by an image that captures our attention, until it reaches a turning point, moves to falling action, and ends. This story structure can be used for a lot more than just oral storytelling, of course. To prepare for this type of approach, Joe Lambert suggests creating a “memory box.”
Of course, it is easier to collect images, videos, and sound in one virtual space (e.g. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox) than ever before. A few tools I recommend for creating a digital memory box include the following:
  • OneNote + Office Lens: These two free apps, which work on a multitude of mobile devices, allow you to store text, audio, images, and embed videos, and could easily be used to collect information. The Office Lens app lets you digitize content, snap a picture of paper items or photos, and save them to OneNote, a digital notebook. With OneNote’s built-in digital ink, students can easily fill in the chart and storyboard their digital story. The teacher can take those student creations, combine them with the final products, and publish them on Docs.com as a OneNote Notebook (which is free for everyone and works great on iPads, Chromebooks, Windows/Mac computers, and Android).
  • Google Photos + Google Drive:  With these two apps, you can save photos or videos taken with your device to Google Photos, saving content online. Google Drive offers unlimited hosting for GoogleApps for Education (GAFE) users, so you can easily drop videos and images there.
  • Collecting images can be straightforward with mobile apps like Camera Awesome (iOS and Android), Camera MX (Android), and Google Camera. Image annotation becomes easy with Annotate (iOS), Photo Editor by Aviary (Android and iOS), SnapSeed (iOS and Android), as well as EyeEm Camera and Photo Filter (iOS and Android). Don’t be afraid to take advantage of green screen apps (DoInk for iOS and Green Screen Pro for Android) to further enhance photos, making your own greenscreen with a $1.00 Dollar Tree store green plastic tablecover.

3) Find Photos That Make You Care

“Is that your son?” asked a friend when I showed him the digital story I had made of my Dad. The picture showed my son, perched like a king, in my Dad’s lap. Both were grinning, the picture such an attention grabber that even now I find it hard to look away. If you are looking for examples of photos that hold your gaze, check out the IPPAwards.com site. You can also find a wealth of images in free, public domain, or available for re-use online.
Note: Want to learn more about becoming a story maker? Be sure to join Miguel Guhlin at TCEA’s Tots and Technology Conference taking place this summer in both Galveston and Frisco, Tx!

4) Combine Images and Audio into a Digital Story

“Little strokes” said Benmin Franklin “fell great oaks.” Epigrams like this one powerfully send the message that you have achieved something, overcome adversity if it comes at the end of your digital story. If you can’t make one up, find the right epigram to borrow, properly cited, of course. Practice telling your story aloud, using the pictures as your guideposts; keep your wisdom brief.
Apps like Shadow Puppet EDUAdobe Voice, and Storymaker 2, as well as MS Office Mix (Windows/Mac) enable you to combine content in powerful ways. The process is straightforward, but the key lies in creating epigrams that will stick in people’s minds. Include music only if it enhances your story; otherwise let your voice, or silence, and images make the message clear.

Conclusion

All of us are carrying countless stories in our mobile devices, in the moments that we felt compelled to capture with a camera. And those moments call to our spirit, seeking to liberate words that lay afraid in our minds. Digital stories can set you free

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

My First @Voxer Casts

In June, 2016, I had the opportunity to travel to the TCEA Tots and Technology Conference taking place in Galveston, Texas for elementary educators. When I attend conferences like this one, it can be overwhelming to process all the information that’s being shared.

Note: This blog entry originally cross-posted at TCEA TechNotes Blog!

 That’s why I took a few moments to start up the Voxer app and interview folks on the way to TCEA Tots. Below, you’ll find short “voxercasts.” The Voxer app makes it easy to record content and then quickly share it. 
I bookmarked the Tweets where I shared the Voxercasts and you can subscribe to the #TCEATots Voxercasts RSS feed via the Diigo social bookmarking tool.
These TCEA Tots voxercasts really help capture the flavor of this fantastic conference geared to teachers of young children. Note that links below will open to a Voxer page.

Seven Tots and Technology Voxercasts:

  1. Green Screen Tips from Dr. Bruce Ellis – This conversation really blew my mind, so to speak, and sharing the tips Dr. Ellis included in his overview of green screen tips caught the attention of pre-conference attendees in my Become a Storymakersession.
  2. GeoGuesser with Dr. Bruce Ellis – This conversation expands on social studies/geography connections possible with GeoGuesser, a Google feature I had never heard of. In fact, when I spoke with Lampasas ISD teachers who were presenting on virtual field trips and geo-related activities, they did not know about it either.
  3. iPad Sharing Made Easy (Part 1) with Miguel Guhlin – This conversation has me sharing about iPads and getting information out there. I highlight several apps, including Readdle Documents and Seesaw. This is a two-part series since we were having too much fun, and Part 2 also mentioned Android.
  4. iPad and Android Sharing Made Easy (Part 2) with Miguel Guhlin and Dr. Bruce Ellis – You may have noticed that the previous voxercast was cut short. This is the second half.
  5. Notecard Confessions with Pedro Delgado (El Paso ISD) – What a joy to chat with Pedro Delgado (Twitter @neuropete01), TCEA Teacher of the Year Award finalist. He describes how he and his fourth and fifth grade students adapted the Paper Slide Videos, which I shared in my pre-conference session at TCEA Tots and Technology, to create Notecard Confessions. Check out Pedro’s phenomenal web site here.
  6. Virtual FieldTrips and More with Sherrie Berry and Shelley Kozma (Lampasas ISD) (shown right) – We discussed Seesaw, as well as other awesome ideas and tips in the iPad classroom. This really addresses collecting student work from iPads. Also discussed Microsoft in Education, as well as Skype in the Classroom. And Google Lit Trips were also referenced. Catch them on Twitter @shelleykozma and@sherrie_berrys.
  7. Digital Storytelling with Dr. Martha Green (Texas A&M) and Cecelia “Cece” Porra – In this wonderfully rich conversation, Martha, Cece, and I discuss digital storytelling and its application for instructional purposes. Martha provides some insights into using digital storytelling for mathematics, as well as shares other ideas.
  8. Coding in the Language Arts Classroom with Kelly Hong – Listen to Kelly share what she knows about coding in the language arts classroom. Who would have thought you could “write” or “code” fantasy stories and tales with MIT’s Scratch program?
  9. Seesaw with Brittany Adcock (@adcockb10) – Listen to Brittany share about Seesaw, a phenomenal digital portfolio tool.
  10. Digital Learning Centers with Crystal Flores and Jeanine Freeman (@techtimewithj9) – This is a fascinating presentation by Crystal and Jeanine about how Crystal created audio versions of her classroom books. Also listen to Dr. Roland Rios share his reflections, too.
  11. TCEA Tots participants were asked to share their insights: What is one take-away from TCEA Tots? Other participants(TonyaHinkebeinMalvernMRS shown below with service dog, Nelson) also offered their thoughts on Promoting Technology Use in their classroom.
  12. Collaborative Grant Writing (Part 1 and Part 2)– This was an enlightening session regarding crowdfunding (e.g. DonorsChoose) with Brandi (@aesfinearts) and Mandy Bryan (@mandyrbryan) and collaborative grant writing tools. It resulted in two parts.
Be sure to check back for even more interviews from TCEA Tots and Technology 2016 in Galveston, Texas. And if you want more learning for elementary educators, consider joining TCEA for the Tots Frisco conference July 24-26.

Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

3 Steps to Leverage Technology for Language Learners

Image Source: http://goo.gl/yE4tUD


Technology can change the way students communicate in the classroom. It can create new patterns of discourse. 

Looking for some ways to leverage technology to enhance dual language instruction? While the first impulse may be to buy content that has technology components, often materials aren’t readily available for purchase. District and campus staff can leverage technology to enhance dual language instruction by using it to create content, facilitate communication between classes, and, then, facilitate sharing.

Some ways to leverage technology include the following:
  1. Students and teachers can use digital devices as tools for authentic communication and for accomplishing intellectually challenging, nonremedial tasks in the context of culturally appropriate whole activities. 
  2. Students can use technology to produce theme-centered, multimedia slide shows, electronic hypermedia books, and publish their poetry and written pieces. 
  3. Students can use technology to graph real life data and explore–with audio recordings–the relationships between data and their graphical representations.
  4. Students begin to learn the words for the graphics they wish to incorporate in their slide show, as well as the processes of modifying, saving and retrieving their work. Students learn to interweave audio narration using the microphone on their digital device, with some experimenting in the target language by reading or translating their work


Here are 3 easy steps you can follow in any classroom, but especially, a language learning class:

Step 1 – Create Content:

The tools for creating content have never been easier to use. Consider the following:
  • Narrated Audio Slideshows  – (read more)
  • Create eBooks – Students can create ebooks that incorporate audio, video, and text. (read more)
    • On iPad/Android tablets, use Book Creator app ($4.99)
    • On Chromebook and/or laptops/desktop computers, create ebook with GoogleDocs and/or LibreOffice, respectively.
  • Digital Storytelling – Students can approach storytelling from two perspectives – oral composition or written composition. Remember digital storytelling approach can be used for any content area, not just text. And students reading peers’ context while listening to audio is powerful and supported in the research.
    • Oral Storytelling – Focus is on audio recording. Take pictures and then add audio narration. Or, simply record audio of a child’s story, then have them prepare text to match it.
    • Written Composition Approach – Students write a script, match pictures to main events in the script, then narrate it, combining all the components into a narrated slideshow.
    Step 2 – Publish Content
    If your district doesn’t have an its own online space where staff and students can publish video, audio and images, you can take advantage of GoogleApps for Education with its unlimited storage to house content and/or YouTube. There really isn’t any reason why you can’t share content with a global audience!

    Step 3 – Share, Share, Share
    Once content is shared online, consider creating a district clearinghouse for awesome content in a GoogleSite (web site). This can be organized by grade level, reading level, etc.

    Conclusion
    The main benefit of these 3 steps is that it removes the some of the pressure of finding dual language materials, and instead helps students and staff create content that is relevant, appropriate, and engaging, while building on students’ key learning experiences. 


    View my Flipboard Magazine.


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    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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    Vidcast: Amy Stengel on Digital Storytelling @amyroleto @diben #writing #txeduchat

     
    View Vidcast of Amy Stengel’s Webinar Presentation
    on Digital Storytelling

    Amy Stengel

    Amy Stengel serves as the Director of Creative Writing at the NorthEast School of the Arts (NESA) English program at Lee High School in the NorthEast Independent School District. Her work as a teacher has inspired countless teens to pursue their love of writing and engage in a multitude of projects.


    Amy’s work with the San Antonio Area Council of Teachers of English (SAACTE.org) is also worthy of mention. You can find out more about SAACTE andread Amy’s welcome message online.

    Twitter: @amyroleto
    Facebook: Amy Stengel



    SHOW LINKS:
    1. http://animoto.com
    2. Flickr Photo from Mobile Only – https://secure.flickr.com/groups/73532194@N00/
    3. Animoto Education – http://animoto.com/pro/education
    4. Animoto for iPad – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/animoto-video-slideshows/id459248037?ls=1&mt=8
    5. Podsafe Music –  http://www.last.fm/music/+free-music-downloads/classical
    6. compfight.com
    7. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Podsafe
    8. The GIMP – http://www.gimp.org/
    9. Safe Place to Share Stories – http://storybird.com/
    10. Google Search Stories – http://www.youtube.com/user/SearchStories
    11. Video from Amy’s Presentation on Creative Writing Tea Time
    12. Huffington Post on Digital Storytelling – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tag/digital-storytelling

    About This Free Webinar Series Open to All Educators

    Welcome to the Weekly Webinar Series onDigitizing the Writing Workshop. The co-hosts for Weekly Webinar Series onDigitizing the Writing Workshop include Diana Benner (Del Valle ISD, Tx) and Miguel Guhlin (East Central ISD, Tx). Find out more–such as the schedule for webinars, recordings and future guests–about the series online athttp://tinyurl.com/etchweb  or Twitter Hashtag: #etchweb

    Note: You can earn credit for participating–along with a certificate–for this series if you are a Del Valle ISD or East Central ISD teacher. Watch the vidcast linked below for more information.


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    Telling Social Stories with the #iPad #autism @humbledaisy

    Earlier today, I found myself preparing a session presentation for a local conference entitled, Transforming Social Storytelling with the iPad.  Wholly ignorant of this approach, I’ve been delighted to find out that telling social stories can have a profound impact on individuals who fall within the “autism spectrum.”

    Here’s the TechFiesta session description:

    “Social Stories were devised as a tool to help individuals on the autism spectrum better understand the nuances of interpersonal communication so that they could interact in an effective and appropriate manner” (Source: Wikipedia). 

    Blend images and sound into a video social story using your iPad. Learn how you can use inexpensive apps on the iPad to easily create social stories for those within the autism spectrum.

    Have you heard of “social stories?” I certainly had not. A work colleague had prepared several fascinating narrated slideshows or enhanced podcasts and shared them with me. Unfortunately, while I could offer technical suggestion, I didn’t quite understand what s/he was trying to accomplish aside from narrating photos she had taken and sharing the resulting video with the student and his/her parents.

    Social Stories are simple, quick, personalized little stories that put a particular kid as the “star” of the story- and help that child gain understanding about the social world around him- both what to expect, and what is expected of him.  

    Social Stories are commonly used in the autism/Aspergers/PDD community, but I think they are helpful for all kids. When my own children were small and had not yet acquired language, I used Social Stories to help them understand day to day routine. (Source: Skills for Living)


    When I asked for clarification, I was told that they are social stories. I immediately googled this term and stumbled upon Carol Gray’s web site on the subject. There, social stories are described in this way:

    Click here to view a You Tube video of Carol Gray describing Social Stories(TM).A Social Story™ describes a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses in a specifically defined style and format. 

    The goal of a Social Story™ is to share accurate social information in a patient and reassuring manner that is easily understood by its audience. Half of all Social Stories™ developed should affirm something that an individual does well. 

    Although the goal of a Story™ should never be to change the individual’s behavior, that individual’s improved understanding of events and expectations may lead to more effective responses.
    Click here for more detailed information.

    For iPad users, there are immediate applications. One of the applications being used is the versatile Sonic Pics ($2.99). You can blend Sonic Pics creation into a video using iMovie or, my favorite, Pinnacle Studio on the iPad. 

    A few other creation tools include the following:

    Other apps also work:

    Some social story video samples:


    Of course, you don’t just have to use an iPad to accomplish this, but the iPad does make doing this quite easy. The videos that have been shared with me have a simple script–prepared by an educational diagnostician–that read like the one below:

    John likes the red sliding board on the big playground. 

    Jennifer likes the red sliding board too. 

    Mark walked to the top of the slide and sitting on his bottom. He is going to slide down.  

    Ms. Gonzales and John are sitting at the top of the yellow sliding board. John slid all the way to the bottom, very slowly. 

    Jennifer slid down quickly!  

    John is walking up the steps to get on a sliding board. 

    These friends like to hang from the green bars. These friends say sliding down the blue sliding board is fun! All 3 friends slid down.  

    “Recess is over! Time to Go!” 

    John is going to line up with his friends.

    You can imagine the photos/images that go with each paragraph or line above. Each illustrates the line featuring a student’s actions, whether by him/herself or with others. A piece of advice that describes these social stories:

    As much as possible include actual photos of the child in the social story. I have found its much more effective and intriguing to the child to read a social story that has pictures of their family, home, school, and own face inside of it. (Source: I Love ABA!)

    Here is another example:

    The following is an example of a social story explaining when it’s appropriate to
    run:
     


    Running
    I like to run.  It is fun to go fast.
    It’s okay to run when I am playing outside.
    I can run when I am on the playground.
    Sometimes I feel like running, but it is dangerous to run when I am inside.
    Running inside could hurt me or other people.
    When people are inside, they walk.
    Walking inside is safe.
    I will try to walk inside and only run when I am outside on the playground.
    My teachers and parents like it when I remember to walk inside. 


    Combining images featuring a child and the narration results in, what it looks like to me is, Carol Gray’s storymovies

    However, in the edtech world, this is enhanced podcasting or, as Wes Fryer calls them, narrated slideshows. A simplified version of a digital story featuring a script and words. There are many tools that could be used to accomplish the creation of social stories…it is the use to which the tools are put to create a social story that is novel and exciting!

    Some of the suggestions for writing a social story are as follows and are available online from The National Autistic Society (UK) article, How to Write a Social Story:

    • social stories need to have an introduction, body and conclusion and should use positive language (ie where possible, describe what should happen, rather than what should not)
    • stories need to be as accurate as possible and should include words like sometimes and usually for situations where a particular outcome is not guaranteed
    • stories should appeal to the interests of the person for whom they are written. Avoid using words that may cause the person anxiety or distress
    • the content and presentation of social stories should be appropriate to the person’s age and level of understanding.
    • If writing for a child, write from the first person perspective (I will try to wait until it is daytime before I get up in the morning).
    • Pair age-appropriate photographs, picture symbols or drawings with text to help people who have difficulty reading or for younger children, as in Figure 2 at the bottom of this page. 
    • When writing for young people or adults, use the third person perspective (they, he, she) and adjust language and presentation accordingly. You could use a smaller font size, or present the story in columns as in a newspaper article.

    Have you created a social story with an iPad?

    Want to read more about social stories? Check out this Evernote Notebook on the subject or just Google it. Tons of information out there.




    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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