A Coming-of-Digital Age Story By Nancye Blair Black Performed by Laney Blair
Used to be, learning at school was a bore.
Textbooks and textbooks and textbooks. Snore!
In class, teachers would talk, students would hear.
It was the same old story year after year.
Until one day, our principal suddenly appeared
With a class set of computers. The students all cheered!
Our teacher showed us what these new tools could do.
We played fraction games. We Skyped with the zoo!
And then it was our turn. She turned us all loose
To research and learn about a topic we choose.
I tried simulations. Collected data, too.
I emailed an expert. Read cutting-edge news.
Next, it was time to share what we’d learned,
To demonstrate knowledge and mastery earned.
In front of my classmates, I started to doubt,
But then all of a sudden, the words just poured out.
I showed them my slideshow with media galore.
My friends clapped and asked questions and begged me for more!
My teacher joined with them. Could this really be?
That along with my teacher, now a teacher was me?
It was hard to believe, but the message seemed clear;
My work mattered enough to see, read and hear.
And if sharing my ideas could matter to you,
All this work would actually be worth it to do!
So, I darted online to blog on my day.
Would the rest of the world really care what I say?
I posted my project as my global debut.
Other teachers and students were soon commenting, too!
And now, I can’t count all things I can share;
I’m an author, filmmaker and scientist extraordinaire.
My voice makes a difference. I now know it’s true….
And technology helped me to share it with you.
In 2011, some of you were there with me when I gave my first conference presentations to standing room only crowds at both FETC in Orlando, FL and in Philadelphia at the ISTE Conference. The presentation was titled “Elementary Media Projects You Have to See to Believe!” and it never failed to live up to the hype. With innovative project ideas and inspirational student work samples, student-created media was (and is) one of my favorite things to speak on. It’s truly incredible what even our youngest students can do!
Click to view student-created example!
One of the most popular projects from that presentation was the use of animations in PowerPoint to create digital storybooks that played like an animated movie. This type of project supports reading, writing, fluency and editing. It helps students to think and write with all of their senses and to experiment with various concepts of spatial thinking. Plus, it actually serves as a great precursor to computer programming through the use of strategic design thinking in executing both linear and parallel animation sequences to accomplish different visual effects. And the kids just love it!
To support my own students, as well as the other students and teachers who started experimenting with this type of project, I created a set of tutorial videos that walk through each step of the process. I then hosted them on YouTube so that teachers could embed the tutorial videos into their own school and class websites to share with their students. Since then, countless numbers of student created projects have followed…. along with this week’s 100,000 viewer milestone for the full tutorial on YouTube!
I wanted to share this momentous milestone with each of you who have used and shared these resources. Your efforts to give your students voice and purpose are commendable… and it has brought me great pleasure to provide this and other resources to the incredible ed-tech community over the last few years!
And if you are new to this idea, below you can find the video and some information about using it in class. You can also learn more about innovative ways to use PowerPoint and other student media creation tools in the Interactive Student-Created Digital Media Portal in the site’s Resources.
Happy creating, learning, and teaching! -Nancye
Creating with Animated PowerPoints
Kids love illustrating their stories. Using clip art in PowerPoint is a great way to allow our young students to create complex illustrations for their writing and stories without depending on their ability to draw them. And the best part? When they’re all done, these animated storybooks actually play like a movie.
The Concept: Illustrate and animate a narrative using custom animations and timers in PowerPoint or comparable presentation software
The Applications: Creative Writing – Identifying Setting & Characters, Plot, Sequencing, Character Development, Dialogue, Voice Math – Real World Problem Solving, Geometric Transformations, Equivalent Fractions Demonstrate Scientific Concepts – Virtual Experiments, Revolution of the Planets, Water Cycle Social Studies Concepts – Election Process, Teeth Care/Dentist, People in my Neighborhood *Students can complete a whole story or documentary on their own or each student make one slide to combine into a class “video.”
The Hows: Prerequisite skills: Decent spelling ability (clip art searches must be spelled correctly), Familiarity with the basics of PowerPoint (text boxes, clip art, transitions)
The Storyboard – Before beginning to create the animated illustrations, students should either write their rough/final drafts of their story or voice overs… or at least have a decent flow map story board or what happens in each scene.
Create slides using the following tutorial video. You can also embed this video into your own teacher website to use with your students.
Have students save their work often. At least once every ten minutes.
This video and/or the step-by-step tutorials below can be linked/embedded into your class or school website.
Inserting clipart – All backgrounds and clipart should be inserted as movable objects. Objects that come in and out of the scene can be placed outside of the slide. Also, let students use creative problem solving to “crop” clip art to get one piece of a larger picture.
Custom Animations – When creating the animations, instead of using “after previous,” set all animations to happen at the same time and then use the time delay to make them happen over the span of the slide. If you don’t do this, the animations won’t run at the same time as the narration after they are recorded.
2014 is right around the corner… Kick off the new year right by plugging into innovative sessions and workshops at upcoming conferences across the country! Whether you can make it in person or join in virtually, this is a great time to get connected to the best that ed-tech has to offer.
I’ll be starting out the year at FETC in Orlando from January 28-31. If you are planning to be there, I’d love for you to join me in one of my workshops as we explore the transformative potential of using technology in the classroom. Here are three opportunities… and remember to pre-register for these workshops early while there are still spots available!
Tuesday, January 28 – 8:00-11:00 AM
Ed-Tech Transformation: More than Meets the Eye
Today’s interactive, relational and tech-savvy students are not the same 21st Century learners we had the first decade of the millennium and our technology curriculum and integration shouldn’t be either! Join us as we explore proven and emerging ways to revolutionize your class and school with a technology-infused curriculum that drives student discovery, problem solving, collaboration and creativity, all while meeting the demands for academic achievement.
Thursday, January 30 – 8:00-10:00 AM
Digital Village: Using Technology to Increase Parent Involvement
By using Web 2.0 collaboration tools, parents become an integral part of your classroom and their child’s learning! With interactive demonstrations, free resources, best practices, and testimonials, you’ll move forward inspired to turn your classroom into its own digital village. In this interactive session, attendees will engage live demonstrations of collaborative web environments, explore best practices for implementation, view diverse examples, and delve into free, effective collaboration tools like blogs, wikis, Voicethread, video-conferencing, writing apps, online whiteboards – and more!
Thursday, January 30 – 1:00-3:00PM
It’s a Small World: Elementary Global Collaboration
Discover powerful web resources and best practices perfect for connecting young learners around the globe. Gain ideas for tools like Google Docs, Storybird, Voicethread, ePals, Skype, Flockdraw, Quadblogging and more. In no time, your students will be sharing videos, images, knowledge and skills; blogging; storytelling; and even creating websites with other students across the classroom or around the world.
With ISTE 2013 only just behind us, it’s already time to start thinking about submitting proposals for next year’s conference. The ISTE 2014 Conference will take place in Atlanta, GA from June 28 to July 1, but the call for participation ends in just a week on October 2nd.
As you consider your submitting for next year’s conference, it has never been more important to consider including 3D technologies. Why?
1. The International Society of Technology in Education is an organization that represents the interests and priorities of educational technology leaders. Each year, the conference program and exhibit hall reveal the both newest and more effective technologies and edtech practices to nearly 20,000 attendees. In recent years, 3D technologies in design/modeling, 3D printing and stereoscopic 3D have represented the true cutting edge in educational technologies. Including sessions, demonstrations, and hands-on offerings that allow educators to explore these technologies maintains the ISTE Conference’s reputation as the quintessential home for edtech innovation.
2. 3D technologies and applications are internationally relevant to educational best practices. Stories, research and case studies of successes in teaching with 3D have emerged from countries across 6 continents, with applications spreading widely across the United States, India, and Europe. With attendees participating from around the world, the ISTE Conference is the perfect venue for exploring and sharing emerging practices relevant to the global learning community.
3. Knowledge and skills in emerging technologies lead to success in emerging careers. With 3D applications exploding in design, technology, engineering and manufacturing industries, exposing our students to learning and creating in three dimensions prepares them for future success in college, careers and life.
4. Teaching and learning with 3D technologies leads to significant learning benefits. Research from case studies around the world are demonstrating that teaching with 3D technologies is good for students. For example, when teaching with stereoscopic 3D video, interactives, and simulations, students demonstrate significant increases in learning gains, retention, abstract concept mastery, and more. A great overview of these benefits can be found in myStereoscopic 3D Enhances Learning infographic.
And if and when you do submit your 3D technology-related proposal for ISTE 2014, I would love to hear about it. Please, feel free to share about your ideas and approach in the comments below. I look forward to connecting with you now and at the ISTE 2014 conference!
Welcome to Engaging Education, a collection of resources and ideas that aim to engage our students and help them reach their full potential... as well as engage us as educators in the principles behind what we do every day. I hope you find them helpful, thought-provoking, and time-saving.
A Coming-of-Digital Age Story By Nancye Blair Black Performed by Laney Blair Used to be, learning at school was a bore. Textbooks and textbooks and textbooks. Snore! In class, teachers would talk, students would hear. It was the same old story year after year. Until one day, our principal suddenly appeared With a class set […]
Something “eco-lutionary” is cropping up at schools across the country. While some students might be experiencing the start of the new academic year from behind a desk, others are embracing an expansive sense of classroom that reaches far beyond the schoolhouse walls and into the green. At our public charter school, Lakeland Montessori Middle School, […]
“Beyond waiting “To Grow Up” For too long, our students have worked tirelessly for an audience of one: their teacher. When class assignments assume that work is simply preparation for some future “real world,” this singular audience makes sense. But in the course of a 21st century school year, if a class of students never […]
What should a good citizen do? The question of “what a good citizen should do” in a democratic society begins with an assumption of a universal ethical imperative within democracy. Perhaps this follows from the concept of democracy itself. At the onset of American independence, the writers of the Declaration stated that it was self-evident […]
August 31, 2012. Today would be 142nd birthday of revolutionary Italian physician and educator, Maria Montessori. To celebrate, Montessori alums at Google displayed a Google doodle of traditional Montessori learning manipulatives on their homepage. That’s right - both Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google, grew up as Montessori kids. What’s more, it […]