- The Derranged Destruction of the Turbo Toilet 2000
- The Hazardous Havoc Wrought By Professor Poopy Pants
- The Villainous Violence of Captain Underpants
There were some concerns from the students about how to keep these comics, which appear on the web in Flash Format from email links. This led to discussion about how we could keep these to share locally, on our blogs or website. My suggestion to the students and their teachers is that they should do some screen capture work, using the print screen key on the keyboard to capture each page from the comic strip individually, and then pasting the resulting image into photofiltre for cropping, editing and saving.
Using these edited images, the students can build on their recent multimedia work with PowerPoint, to make navigable slideshows. Inserting their comic strips as background images to the slide, and then adding action buttons, which will not only mean linking pages together, to be turned onscreen, but also the possibility of adding additional effects such as sound and animations to support transition from one page to another, affording an additional dimension and texture to their comic strip texts.
This is a completely new experience for many of my colleagues, students asking how I can use the computer to do this, rather than what are we doing with the computer today. And exactly where I wanted us to be as a school by July. The Students now want to share their completed texts on their blogs, or through their community pages on the school website, this either means signing up with for example slideshare, but more likely means a little extra work on the Y6 community pages. Can't wait to publish the outcomes...
Here is a sample ch or th slideshow, I uploaded to our school website this evening. The images I found by "Googling" a collection of "sh" and "ch" words, and then saving them to my computer. Using the slideshow wizard, I browsed for the folder I had saved the images to, selecting the ones I wanted to use, and then following the wizard step by step to produce it. To run the show, you browse for the folder where you saved the show, double click on the default.htm file and the slideshow will open in your Web browser. I think the outcome looks pretty slick.
Just one question.... Who did you say it was meant to be?
How cool is a blog? Final sketches finished 2.15, scanned in the suite... 2.30, published and live to a potentially global audience by 2.40.
Data Logging is usually identified with Scientific activity, and associated with the use of Data Loggers and sensing devices, but has a broader application it seems to me, on reflection, in plotting and recording change over time. With younger students, loggers and their outputs are very abstract, but there may be other tools we can use to introduce the process in the Key Stage 1 and Foundation Classrooms, where observation is based on first hand experience using all senses.
Data Logging part of an observational process. Within the ICT curriculum it relies on the use of digital means to remotely collect and store of information (data) about events as they unfold over time. This data when presented visually either in real time or in retrospect allows us to draw on the evidence presented (usually graphically) to tell stories, identify patterns, draw inferences based on what we have observed (or Logged), to this end multimodally speaking, it might also be considered a literacy based process. Science one at Key Stage 1 sets out to promote student's observational skills gradually encouraging them to relate these, drawing simple conclusions and making predictions based on their observations and growing body of experiences. I am reminded here of a something which happened during my NQT year.
My first class were a family grouped year 1 and 2 group, and outside our classroom we had a large asphault surface, with a concrete wall around it (all of this has now gone). That summer it was very hot, and the windows and doors were constantly open. Outside we usually had at least one activity set up, and one week I set up the painting easels, and water tray for exploratory play. During One session there was a desperatation by all to go outside. I thought to begin with that this was down to the heat, but it turned out they were fascinated by something they had discovered. That morning a pair of children had taken a container of water from the water tray, a brush from the easel, and had begun painting pictures using water on the wall. Their pictures had mysteriously begun to disappear. Beginning at the top of the wall and working down, by the time they reached the bottom of the picture it had almost vanished. Not to be beaten by this they would go back and begin all over again, only to have the drawing disappear again. I had watched this intrigued by what they would do next, and as the day went on the children as a class became increasingly drawn into the phenomenon, and eventually came to ask if I knew where their pictures had gone? This was too good an opportunity to miss.
We sat down as a class to discuss their problem... To many of the class it seemed like magic, but as we talked and drew on their experiences, children began to suggest that perhaps the water had dripped off, it had soaked into the wall or it had gone up into the sky... We recorded their thoughts, and when the following day I "accidentaly" spilt the contents of the water tray, I asked them to predict what they thought would happen next. I had a feeling that morning, the day was going to be a bit strange, and so I had brought my camera with me. We went outside together with chalk and drew around the puddle I had made, taking photographs of the marks and shape that resulted. Every 30 minutes or so, a group of children were sent outside to record the puddle again and a photograph taken to record what had happened since the last time, this was repeated throughout the day.
Unfortunately in 1990 I didn't have a digital camera, and IT work was limited to borrowing the school's solitary BBC B for any work I wanted to do with the computer, immediacy of output meant a 24 hour wait, and collecting my photos from Tescos on the way into work. In class we looked at the images and discussed what we thought had happened. The puddle hadn't gone all at once, it had taken a while to disappear so what might be happening. The suggestion that the puddle had soaked into the playground was not really likely, as we might expect the pavement to be damp, it took nearly all day for the puddle to disappear completely, and this left lots of time for discussion, speculation and conjecture, as we huddled and grouped, hummed and haahed! I still feel this is one of my best ever science lessons. The children were completely sucked in, we made a class book using the photographs we had taken, telling the story of the "Mysterious Vanishing Puddle," with a host of possible conclusions, all written in the back by the children themselves, and drawing on the related observations we had made and logged over the course of that strange day. The children loved their book and would sit in small groups talking about it in the book corner and share it with visitors who arrived.
The use of tools such as digi blues and tuff cams, if seen as data logging devices and observational tools, enable this process to be placed in the hands of the students, using community activity and discussion to select approriate data and evidence from the sequence of events for inclusion in the emerging stories. From a scientific point of view the Digital Microscope and also time lapse videos such as this, borrowed from You Tube, might also provide similar opportunities to observe changes, which would raise health and safety concerns in the primary school, but which support Science Work on Microbes at Yr 6.
while the use of webcams set to capture images over time, satelite images showing moving weather fronts from space, and the use of meteorological data from websites also enable comparison to be made of local weather conditions with those in a remote location .
It has cheered me up no end. Not the least of which because its not just writing, but writing with sound. We have been thinking a lot lately about podcasting, and I have been talking to colleagues about multimodal texts, while considering alternative outcomes for writing units in literacy, that use ICT to drive them. These Radio Adverts with jingles, created by Yr 4 students at SS Peter and Paul Primary, are fantastic examples of how a writing unit has been developed and adapted to embed ICT, through a media genre, to create high quality writing outcomes.
What makes them multimodal? The text presented uses expression and intonation to support meaning making and maintain the attention of the audience. They have devised jingles and sing these adding a musical texture, while including the range of features which we would associate not only with the genre of radio advertising but advertisements generally. It is aparent from the quality of outcomes that they spent considerable time preparing scripts, and rehearsing them before they were presented. Writing for a purpose, with a real outcome and.... as part of your audience I think they are fantastic. Well done all, I hope you have many visitors, I will certainly be sharing your work with my students and colleagues. Really inspired. Now to get cracking with Podium, engaging my colleagues and students in writing with sound, Thank you your fantastic examples, will really help me.
It was interesting in my student interviews recently when asked about the ICT experiences they enjoy, how students openly said they had enjoyed using the internet with me, but were disappointed that they didn't "play" their anymore. I took this as a backhanded compliment, when they went on to say that the sites they had visited with me were fun, and had helped them to learn about what they could use the internet for, and helped them find out things. The older students loved for example using think.com, because they had made their own web pages, it was a bit like MSN because they could sticky their friends and send email and the other social webspaces they had used at home, because they had used stuff they had found out or collected on their pages. They also mentioned how they had enjoyed making PowerPoints that were like the CDs they had played with. The Three Bees had helped them to think about what they were doing. So even though not free play or free searching, structured learning and fun were not exclusive, just different to prior experiences. It is possible by selecting the sites we wish our students to use carefully we can enable a balance between what is considered play and what is the purpose of the internet in school to support cross curricular "work"and the specific teaching of ICT skills. How do we manage this process however requires time and careful consideration of the resources we select and use. My strategy for this has been to use web technology itself to support me.
If you have not used Think.com, and have wondered what the environment looks like behind the scenes, or how some of the basic tools work, then this is a chance to see.
Thank you for sharing your blog with me, I look forward to visiting often and directing my friends and colleagues to read about the work you are doing.
My Sequence For Reading This Video
As I have spoken about in previous posts, I have been using video data to inform my classroom research project, and this has in turn begun to inform the way I use Video snippets and short films with my students as literate objects. Video as a text presents meaning in several modes, and sessions involving video require us to engage with these as we do others. With written texts we engage with them on a word, sentence and text level, with a video I tend to view them on a visual, aural and whole text level. To begin the unit we spent time "watching" the film in different ways:
I minimised the movie, and we listened to the soundtrack. Bert is great as it has no dialogue, there are lots of sound effects to listen for, and a jaunty score which changes to reflect mood. Every now and again I would stop the film, and encourage the students to discuss firstly in pairs and then as a class what could be heard and to infer what they thought was happening from the clues they could hear.
I muted the sound, and we watched the movie as a series of moving pictures, pausing the film at approximately the same points as before, cueing the children to recall the sounds they had heard in a particular section, and focussing on the actions, the facial and physical gestures of the characters. Using these to devleop inferences about feeling, and to predict actions that might happen next.
We watched the movie with sound and pictures together, and spent some time rehearsing and retelling the story orally before beginning our own versions of the story.
Preparing To Write.
I have a copy of Bert in MPEG format, and have used this previously to support narrative writing and recount in the literacy hour. For previous table top units of work, I created and used Smart Notebooks with drag and drop storyboards, to support sequencing and oral storytelling.
To create the Notebooks Quick Time Pro was used, to capture significant scenes from the film and to save these as image files. These images were inserted within the Notebooks, to support sequencing and discussion of how the story unfolded. Images of characters, featuring facial expressions and gestures, were also used as prompts to support discussions about feelings or why characters might be behaving as they were. To some images I added thought bubbles and speech bubbles, and using "pair and share" or "talking twos" used small drywipe whiteboards to encourage discussion and suggestions about what the characters might be thinking or saying. Since the film is without dialogue use of images such as these out of sequence, also enables revisits to predictive tasks from previous sessions. What happened before this? What happened next? and facilitates the use of inferencial skills to consider why characters might be doing or saying what they are, drawing on the visual cues and the student's sense of events drawn from the aural and visual evidence within the film itself.
From this immersive work, I went on to develop student's own versions of the story through collaborative storyboarding and comic strip type activities. The Writing outcome initially being to orally retell, using images their versions of the story to the class. This immersive approach I found worked particularly well with struggling writers, who were able to use the visual narrative to support their independent work later.
The last time I used this movie was with a group of reluctant writers, and students who had significant literacy difficulties. Our unit's final outcome was based onscreen, and used images captured from the movie in MS PowerPoint, as writing prompts to support creation of a picture book for younger students. This term I have developed the unit to become two multimedia text units one at key stage 1 and the other in Key Stage 2.
Extending This To Develop Onscreen Multimedia Texts
This term I have drawn on the activities above to develop familiarity with the story, but have used the images captured previously to create digital writing frames.
In Year 2, I was asked to use a unit originally about graphics and text to support the student's understanding of features of recount writing. We have been using 2 simple's 2 create a story, and Bert as a context to support this. Before we began the onscreen writing task, the children helped me to choose 8 images from the movie and 2 create a writing frame, inserting the images before saving the file to the network. The children then worked in pairs, opening the shared frame and drafted their texts on screen, using the images as writing prompts. On completion of their writing the children were encouraged to think about what they had written and choose animation effects for their images that would help support the story they were trying to tell. Finally they were asked to add sound effects to the page that would add to the feelings of the characters and action within their story. I have published the first completed text to the school website.
In year 5 we are extending their experience of digital texts by writing a digital story book for younger children, using PowerPoint. The story is much longer, and as well as using images from the film, they are inserting action buttons to enable their readers to navigate the story on screen. We have turned off the onclick default setting for slide movement, which means that the strories they produce will function very much like a CD ROM story in slide show view. Some of the students have asked if they will be able to include sound effects, as the CD ROMS they have used often jingle when pages are turned, and also about the possibilities for having their story read to their audience, or hiding sounds or actions in the pictures. These types of questions I find particularly exciting as they reflect an awareness of the creative potentials of ICTs in the classroom, which we may overlook. They reflect student knowledge and experiences of digital technologies, experiences we tend not to utilise or draw on in our need to teach particular skills, or perhaps because they are beyond our personal experience. They also reflect a move I actively encourage, the "how do I get the computer to do this, rather than what can I do with the computer today" approach we often see in classrooms. We discussed how we might be able to achieve some of these, but time is an issue here, though I really would like them to have the opportunity to build on this interest and the excitement and sense of achievement I am sure it will generate. I had planned to insert page turn sound effects, and am considering how we might insert hyperlink effects through image hotspots. We also have the software environments available that would enable the students to create self made sound files to read the stories through action buttons (and on mouseover), in the form of Podium and Audacity, this however will mean the children needing to work in small groups to create these. Watch this space for further developments.
Of 103 students surveyed, 80% across Key Stage 2, from year 3 to 6 have their own Mobile Phones, and more than 70%, have access to the internet most via Broadband from home. From conversations I have had, many of those using the internet regularly, also have MSN or Social Web Space accounts, and several of the Boys in upper KS2 are regular players as members of Multiplayer Gaming Commmunities. Surprising to me however, were the students in Upper Key Stage One, who said they had Mobile Phones, some of which they had received for Christmas, and one of whom mentioned using MSN (hopefully under supervision!). I also had a conversation last week with one of our parents, who felt able to discuss with me some of the issues they had already needed to address with their eldest child, and who expressed how pleased they were that we were seeking to engage with the issues surrounding online safety and behaviour, so actively with our younger cares.
Our School Contract and Code is known as the Three Bees. And within this contract children are encouraged to
Within this framework, classroom based contracts are negotiated at the beginning of every year as classroom communities are established Through PSHE or SEAL sessions, what these mean to us as members of the community, ideas about what they look like in practice are also developed and consolidated through practical activities as we seek to establish commonly understood guidelines and codes of behaviour. It is my desire that within this framework we ultimately develop and embed our e safty work.
Within ICT sessions earlier in the year I engaged older students in helping me to write an Internet 3 Bees Student Charter building on the familiar and established framework we already had for classroom communities. It is important that our students recognise and are able to transfer skills and approaches from their everyday experiences to their online or technologically mediated activities, and I feel that this requires experience, and engagement in supported online activities.
To support this process I have opted to use the Think.com environment within taught ICT sessions, focussing on email and other aspects of online communication, from Year 3 to Year 6. Within our Scheme of Work, I hope to tie use of this environment to our PSHE and SEAL curriculum, as a place to practically engage with our E saftey guidelines, but the environment offers so much more, as a cross curricular tool to encourage collaborative work and thinking together. As we move towards the introduction of VLEs, we need to be careful that we do not see these solely as homework repositories, but that we see them as vehicles to support and diversify our views of learning with ICT and not just delivery systems or storage spaces. Hopefully when we do adopt a VLE formally the skills students and teachers develop within think will be transferable to the more formal environment.
Think.com enables students to develop up to 10 pages, where up to 6 page elements, text, multimedia or dynamic can be added on each, using widgets to do this. It also provides each student with an individual student.yourschool @think.com email account. I have just been visiting some of my Year 3 and Year 4 student pages, who after 2 sessions in the suite, as with the older students, are finding little difficulty in using the tools available to them to engage with others, and to add interactivity to their pages. Indeed they are offering support and help to their friends, by sending stickies, inviting them to visit their pages and helping to include things they have done. Using the widget structure their is the potential to engage children in collecting and sharing ideas, collecting data, and uploading and publishing work which can be seen by and commented on by a real audience. To enable this environment to be used for practice, and for school based e safety purposes I have set access options to limit their access to the wider world community, creating a "walled garden" type environment, where they can work, and through monitoring, we can promote the e safety practices which the space is intended from our point of view to promote. This could be altered later, as student experience develops but for the time being we are concerned to use this space for school based online tasks.
Currently I am working on a new E Safety Policy for school, drawing on templates borrowed from the LgFL, (thanks Anthony for this link). Within this the priority for us must be to recognise and acknowledge the diversity of experience our students and colleagues bring with them, and the naivity as well as expertise we have within our communities. A cybecafe mentality is not an appropriate perspective on the use of the Internet. Many of our colleagues may be unaware of the online behaviours of their students, or the potential dangers they face. We need to find ways of making these considerations as transparent as road safety and stranger danger are when we take students on a school visit. E Safety considerations are not a matter for scaremongering, but about using common sense. We have not stopped taking children on school visits, because of the need to carry out risk assessment, but have become more vigilant and considerate of the potential hazards. A common sense approach to developing and supporting children's learning in and around the use of technology is what is required of us, and this in turn requires us to become familiar with these ourselves, and to ensure that our school philosophies and policies reflect the action required to bring this about.
I have spent the last couple of weeks working with year one students, initially using the space as a newsboard, and somewhere to share the things we have enjoyed doing in class. Today, we uploaded our first focussed use of the space. The students have been learning about plants and the conditions they need to grow. They have planted bean seeds, and will be keeping a bean diary. This diary will be developed over the course of a few weeks, with pictures and simple annotations as the bean grows. We began today to develop a digital version of the diary, using our blog space as a place where we can include digital photographs of the process, and as a class annotate these. Uploading the photograph and their comments to the blog together, means we will be able to share our "logging" process not only with each other but with a wider audience too. Although constituting primarily a science based literacy activity, this also introduces the use of ICT to sense and monitor change. At key Stage One much of science's AT1 is about making and beginning to relate observations. Using digital photographs we can capture visually the process of change over time and use visually captured data, to compare and contrast evidence, relating what we have done to what has happened. Through "thinking together" around these images we can introduce the vocabulary and explore and discuss the processes involved, drawing on the visual evidence we have collected. You can visit our bean diary on our year 1 blog, we would love to hear from you.