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.
Looking for a way to test the waters of stereoscopic 3D teaching and learning with your elementary students? Here are a few ways to start integrating the benefits of 3D learning right away:
- 3D Ladibug Document Camera: This dynamic document camera is able to perform all of the basic tasks of a traditional document camera. Plus, it can show objects and manipulatives in anaglyph (red/cyan) and stereoscopic 3D (passive or active) by using the 3D software. In the 3D Ladibug pilot, elementary students were more engaged in lessons and more interested in creating models to use when presenting to the class, creating a more hands-on and collaborative learning environment.
- Presente3D: Most elementary students begin learning to use Microsoft PowerPoint at an early age. When I was a K-5 Technology Specialist, we started using PowerPoint successfully with our first graders. Presente 3D is an add-on to Microsoft PowerPoint, allowing the students to turn their presentations into anaglyph or stereoscopic 3D! By giving students the power to create and present in this intriguing platform, we can increase attention and motivation with our students. Their website offers a free download of Presente3D in demo mode – a great to try out its potential!
- Kid Pix 3D: While Kid Pix has been a staple for student digital artwork for several years, the new version of Kid Pix allow students to create both images and videos in anaglyph 3D. There is even a way for students to record their faces inside of digital costumes, putting themselves right into the 3D action. Kid Pix 3D offers a 15 day free trial of their software here.
- Hasbro My3D: This nifty gadget turns your iPod Touch or iPhone into a 21st Century View Master. By downloading compatible stereoscopic 3D single-player games and interactives, students can have the sensation of immersive experiences like traveling through the Solar System or swimming with sharks.
- 3D Books: Books with anaglyph images are popping up everywhere… and students are captivated by both the pictures and the content. Topics range from space to geography to animals. Look for them at your local bookstore or even the school bookfair. A couple of my students’ favorites are Eye-Popping 3D Pets and Extreme 3-D: Dangerous Animals.
There are so many ways to get started with stereoscopic 3D in the elementary classroom. In addition to these 5 easy-to-get-started resources, there are also great stereoscopic 3D video clips, simulations and interactives available. Look for future posts with more information and recommendations!
Nancye Blair Black is an award-winning educator, speaker, author, and consultant. She is the Founder and Chair of ISTE’s Special Interest Group for 3D in Education (iste.org/sig3d) and recently published a chapter on 3D document camera use in the IGI Global book, Cases on 3D Technology Application and Integration in Education.
So, what does Megan have to say about teaching and learning in stereoscopic 3D? Let’s find out!
Q: How long have you been working with 3D technologies and in what capacity? Megan: I have been using stereoscopic 3D in my classroom for 1 year.
Q: What made you decide to integrate 3D teaching and learning into your classroom? Megan: My kindergarten class was writing and filming a movie about decades in history last year and we wanted our audience to feel like they were really in the past. Our original idea was to film in 3D so the movie would be more realistic and allow viewers to experience the past with “future” technology. When researching the 20s, 50s, and 80s we found that 3D was around at those time periods. This finding became a very important piece that was threaded in our movie. 3D also gave the students a chance to learn about our sense of sight and about different perspectives.This directly connected to our comprehension work on inference and character perspectives.
Q: In what ways have you found 3D technologies innovative, unique and/or helpful in education? Megan: 3D is exciting and engaging. Because it is so close to real life students remember concepts and content more. It brings a whole new depth to learning and video.
Q: What are your thoughts on student use (K-12 or college) of 3D technologies? Megan: Any type of filming project with students is powerful. When you give students another dimension to work in, the project gets that much better. Students really have to think about the content and about the process of filming on a deeper level when creating in 3D. I would like to experiment more with 3D content in the classroom and am excited to see more students’ 3D projects.
Q: How can readers find out more about your work? Megan: People can find out more by watching our movie on YouTube.
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 […]
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