June 27, 2007

More Digital Stories!

Here are the two last films from Summer Learning Camp's youngest filmmakers at Alsup IB World School. The first is about family. The second is about the playground. Our last film is our best one yet! Check them out! What do you think?

Our Families!

The Playground!

June 22, 2007

Thoughts about younger students and digital storytelling

During Summer Learning Camp here at Alsup IB World School I have been pushed to work outside my comfort zone, teaching Kindergarten through fifth graders. I am used to teaching third and fourth graders. When I was designing my lessons for the three weeks of filmmaking workshop I struggled with what I should do in order to make films with the youngest students. I knew the second-fifth graders who had more advanced reading and writing skills would be more prepared to tell their stories digitally. But how could I make digital storytelling engaging for the youngest students? Would they enjoy the process or be bored? How much could they do on their own, and what would I have to help them with?

The Kindergarten/first grade group has made two films so far and has started a third. Each film has been posted to youtube.com. Their second film was about animals. For each part of the digital storytelling process I have guided the group in an interactive way using the Smartboard. Each student selected pictures that we downloaded from Microsoft Office Clipart online. After importing the photos into Photo Story 3 for Windows the students each edited their two photos, typed the names of the animals on them, and recorded their voice on their photos. We selected music as a group, built our story and then watched it on "the big screen." I have been happy with how this group has been able to focus on the digital storytelling process when guided through each part, one step at a time. Another thing that has helped is only working on our film for a short ammount of time each day before doing other activities. The students have a lot of fun making films together and then watching them! Any ideas how to improve this process of digital storytelling with younger students?

June 15, 2007

Using a Smartboard for Group Filmmaking

I have found that using a Smartboard is a wonderful way to teach elementary aged students digital story telling. I've been working with students in Kindergarten through sixth grade, teaching them how to take digital photos and tell a story using them. We are using Photo Story 3 for Windows, a software program that allows you to make films with digital photos. Using the Smartboard, all students are allowed to be an integral part of the process. They can see and learn how to use the features of the program while participating in making a group film. You can watch one of their films here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3FGoDj_hqw I see using the Smartboard is a way for my students to interact more while they are learning something new. Keeping them actively engaged helps them enjoy the learning process and stay focused on what they are learning. Have you tried using a Smartboard to engage your students? How have you used it?

June 12, 2007

My Mind is Full of Technology!

I have completed five days of Global Learner professional development training. My mind feels like a lettuce spinner that is in full spin. I am somewhat exhausted after learning about so many technology tools that have amazing capabilities. Under my exhausted layer there is a thicker layer of excitement. I am changed. The way I think about education has changed. Have you ever had an experience that has lefted your way of thinking about something completely different?

June 11, 2007

Welcome to Room 21 at Alsup IB World School! This year we will be collaborating and communicating on this Blog! What would you like to learn about in third grade? What do you hope our classroom community is like? What questions do you have about Alsup IB World School?