Week Six

This week we continued to explore different resources for digital storytelling…

For our tech task this week, we needed to come ready with at least 10 photos. Dr. Nantais then introduced us to Animoto, which is a video creation service that allows you to make video slideshows using a selection of your own photos. It was very simple to use and the result is a really professional video. This tool would allow you to make an engaging end-of-year video slideshow for your students that you could either send to parents, or upload to a classroom blog.  Our children spend so much of their lives at school, being able to capture and share photos of them with their families is definitely something I will do for my own students. I know as a parent, I would appreciate this so much.

We also took a look at Windows Movie Maker and iMovie which are two video editing software applications. These tools are user friendly and make it easy to edit and produce movies. You can add titles, music and visual effects to enhance them as well. From a early years perspective, I think only myself as the teacher would be able to use this technology. But in a middle or senior years classroom, movie making applications offer another creative alternative for students to demonstrate their learning.

Dr. Nantais gives these ideas for ways to use movie making applications in the classroom:

  • create full length movies – including writing the script, shooting, editing, and final production
  • newscasts (for school or local Access TV
  • stop motion movies
  • reenactments of historical events
  • safety videos, or videos with an important message
  • write skits or plays and record them

(taken from Moodle)

This week, we also finished reading Kathy Cassidy’s book Connected from the Start. In it, she gave a lot of useful information and resources for us to consider as we plan for our own classroom program. I also recently stumbled upon another blogger named Matt Miller. He has an awesome website called  Ditch That Textbook, and offers his e-book for free. Even if you aren’t convinced to incorporate technology in the way that Kathy Cassidy, or Matt Miller has, I do think it’s helpful to see how it can done by real classroom teachers.

Week Five

To kick off the week, we did a pop quiz using a web based game on the website, Kahoot. It was actually pretty fun to take part in! Kahoot allows you to create multiple choice questions in any subject for the whole class to answer on their own device or computers. This activity would be an excellent way to quickly assess your students understanding on any given topic.

For the remainder of the week, we explored digital storytelling which is  the use of  tools to share a story, or message. We are in a era where digital storytelling has become a very powerful medium because it involves the use of many different formats that can enhance the experience of the viewer, and anyone can create and share a digital story with relative ease.

Some of the formats to create a digital story include:

  • Slideshows
  • Digital pictures
  • Animation
  • Video
  • Digital books
  • Audio
  • Podcast

(this list was taken from Dr. Nantais’s Multimedia in the Classroom!  Prezi slideshow that he used to introduce digital storytelling)

Our tech task this week was to find an image to express what ‘learning is…’ Dr. Nantais directed us to  Compfight to find an image that we can freely use under a Creative Commons license. We then used the web app Pixlr to add text over our chosen image.

This was a quick and easy task, and produced a visually pleasing final product. I think it could be a really effective assignment to use for older students who are learning about metaphors and imagery in an ELA class.

Check out my final product:

Adrianne Rome .jpg

Tip: Another great site to do this type of photo editing is Canva, which is a graphic art and image editing app. It is modern, very user friendly, and simple to use.

Week Four

In my last post, I had indicated that I was warming up to the idea of using an e-Portfolio for myself, but also for my future students. Coincidentally, in Chapter 5 of the text we are required to read for class, the author, Kathy Cassidy, discusses her rationale for using a digital portfolio with her elementary students. She provides links to many of the resources she uses that allow her students to share their learning in their portfolio. However, I still remain on the fence as to whether this is something I want to do in my own classroom. There is no question that I think a student portfolio is essential for sharing a student’s work as well as their achievements throughout the school year, but to commit to doing this in a digital format is something that still overwhelms me. I can certainly appreciate that Kathy is able to do this successfully in her classroom, but I feel as though being new teacher, I  would first want to get a handle on more traditional ways of creating a student portfolio before taking the leap to creating them digitally. I realize 💯 that literacy using ICT is very important in a child’s learning, but at this point, I would incorporate technology in my own classroom in a much more conservative way.

For my elective this term, I chose Multi-Level Classroom Management. Our teacher, Devon Caldwell is pretty amazing and has shared so many tech resources with us. She uses a lot of ICT in her classroom practice, not only with us, but with her Kindergarten students as well. Between our ICT class with Dr. Nantais, and Ms. Caldwell’s, I have learned of so many awesome resources to use in my own teaching practice. Before this term, I would have considered myself ICT illiterate and really didn’t have much to offer in my first teaching placement in terms of incorporating ICT in any of my lesson plans. Now I’m looking forward to lesson planning for my next placement using some of the ideas I’ve got from Dr. Nantais, Kathy Cassidy’s book, and Devon Caldwell to enhance my planning.

Here is a link to Devon’s website as well as her blog that may be useful for you, too!