A big part of engaging students in any class activity or lesson is giving them the opportunity to share their work with a larger audience. When students know that their work is going to be shared with the whole world instead of just the teacher or a single class, they tend to work harder.
This doesn’t have to take a bunch of extra time. Sometimes, thinking about tech projects stresses a teacher out. It seems like a lot of extra work. This doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, there is going to be a little extra work, but the work with be worth it.
Most assignments can be turned into a digital media of some sort. I want to show how a simple book report can be turned into a digital media project with just a little extra work. The funny thing here is that the students won’t even realize they are working. This is what they love to do!
This video was made from a book report project. To start, the book report was made on paper. This, I feel is important. Just because we can make most anything we want on the computer does not mean that we have to. Students should be given (and probably required at times) to use their hands and just good old fashioned art supplies. This requires some good thinking. I don’t believe these hands on activities should ever go away. The cool thing about integrating technology is that they can be shown to a broad audience which allows for collaborative learning across the globe.
After the art project was finished, the student took pictures of each of the drawings with a simple digital camera. Some of the pages had two or three drawings, and other drawings filled up the whole page. It didn’t matter because the pictures were cropped using a photo editing program, so they filled a whole frame.
The pictures were then imported into Prezi. There are a host of other programs that could be used to do what was done here. Movie Maker and PowerPoint would also work fine. Another fun option would be to use Animoto.
Once the presentation was made, the student used a screen shot tool called Screen-Cast-O-Matic to record the voice over while flipping through the slides. For the voice over, the student read the text that was written on the original art project. After the screen cast was recorded, it was imported into Movie Maker for a few finishing touches, mainly the title and title effects.
The video presentation was then complete!
Okay, I can hear the naysayers now. “But you used like 5 different programs to make this one video. My students could never do that.” You’re right. They never can do that unless they have someone give them the chance. The first project like this is probably going to feel like a disaster. It will be chaotic, but the second one will be 100 times better. Once student learn to use the tools, then they can use them to learn, but they have to learn how the tools work. With some training, a project like this can be put together in 90 minutes.
That might sound like a lot of time when the students can just draw the pictures, write the text, and be done, but what good is that for the students. The do a bunch of work on a project and then throw it away after a few people look at it. Students want to show off their work. The other nice thing about a project that is turned into digital media is that the students can start collecting a portfolio of work they can share and refer to in the future.
Now for the big question. What standards does a project like this satisfy? Well for starters, we can look at the CC (Common Core) speaking and listening standards. This project is particularly relevant to standards 4 and 5.
4. Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely,
and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the
organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose,
audience, and task.
5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest
Turning a book report into digital media is a fun opportunity for the students to learn and show off their work and can be done with almost any art activity normally associated with book reports.
Now you just need to do it. Find a way to work this into your classroom in the coming week. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Read Full Post »