Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Our first few 4-image stories are done!

As promised, here are the first few 4-image stories that the students have created using the Explain Everything screencasting app.  These are "first run" stories, with no editing. We have all learned quite a lot together and overall, the stories are quite delightful.  They should serve their purpose of providing a fun way to remember a moment in time.

Since students have posted their stories to Edmodo, they are now in the process of viewing each others' stories as "critics" to see what has worked well and what things perhaps did not work so well.  They are taking notes to keep in their iPad folders so that they can refer to them when they are working on their next projects. 

The notes are thoughtful and I have overheard many compliments --  about fluency of recordings,  about the ability to center drawings so that the desk doesn't show in the background, about telling a good story, about colorful illustrations, and about story topics.  I have seen lots of heads nodding and consulting with each other - questions asked about "how did you do that?"  There has been a lot of positive energy in the classroom, and as usual, most of the students have not wanted to go to recess, but have wanted to stay in and work with their iPads.

Jannah's story

Joely's story


J.W.'s story

Noor's story

Sean S.'s story

Sofia's story

Monday, February 18, 2013

Our 4 image stories -- the process

As many of you know, I am taking a fantastic ETMOOC  course with about 1,000 other (mostly) educators from around the world who are interested in technology.   Inspired by all the Digital Storytelling that I'm seeing from my fellow ETMOOCers, I was ready for our students to create their own "4 image stories."  This lesson is somewhat based on the "5 photo story" I first heard about from Wes Fryer on his website.

Before we started this project, we had been reading memoirs and talking about why their authors would pick to tell their tales.  For this 4 image story, students picked one memorable moment from their lives that they thought they would want to remember years from now.  They might pick the story everyone always told about the funny uncle, or the story about the time when everyone ended up eating sandwiches for Thanksgiving dinner.  The story just had to be about something that was important to them.

The students first wrote their memories down in story form, then they were asked to imagine how they would illustrate that story with only 4 images.  This wasn't easy.  Students had to consider which parts of the story were most important and they had to carefully consider the story sequence.  There were many "redos."  After everyone had quickly drafted some ideas on paper, they were given art paper to draw the 4 images for the project.

Once the drawings/images were finished, the students used our first paid app (thanks to all of you who donated to Walk With Pride!), Explain Everything, to import their images into a continuous story.  The images were imported via the camera roll, then students added a minimal amount of text to each image and audio of themselves reading the text. 

Here are some pictures of the process:

Mapping out a rough draft of the 4 images

Drawing the final 4 images

Getting ready to take photos of the images for Explain Everything.

Adding text.
Recording audio.

Sharing what we created.
About half of the class has finished their projects already and they are very excited about their work, if a little uncomfortable hearing their own voices in the recordings!  I hope to post their stories soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Haiku Deck (for teachers)

This post is about, Haiku Deck, an app I found through ETMOOC, a huge massive on-line open course I'm taking with about 2,000 other students. I'm so excited about this app that I decided to go ahead and post about it now before we have used it in the classroom since most of what we have concentrated on this year has been math-related.

The example below is one I created for my ETMOOC class in about 30 minutes.

There are several things I really like about Haiku Deck:

1. It is really easy to use. Click to add short bits of text. Click to add images from either the app or the camera roll. Click to add a new page. That's it.

2. The images are beautiful and easy to search.

Unless you choose to use your own images from the camera roll, the images gathered by the app originate from Flickr. Flickr is one of my favorite image sources because there are so many beautiful photographs there, and because they are so searchable. You can search using the searches suggested by the app or you can create your own searches. Searches can be literal, such as "sun." You can also search more general terms, such as "joy." Both will generate streams of photographs.

3. The images are all Creative Commons images that have the image credits embedded in them when the Haiku Deck in created.

I love this as a teacher! We spend lots of time in class talking about how important it is to give credit for images taken from the internet. When you create a Haiku Deck this work of proper attribution is done for you. All the Haiku Deck images have the image credit embedded in them so that when the image is viewed, the viewer can click on the CC logo at the bottom of the screen and view the image photographer and details of the Creative Commons license. This can be used in class to introduce Creative Commons licensing, to talk about proper attribution, and/or as a springboard to students creating their own image-based works.

4. Sharing may still be an issue in elementary classes since sharing is via email, Twitter or Facebook.

However, students could create Haiku Decks on a teacher iPad or on a home iPad with email. Once they are shared in any manner, an embed code is created so that the Haiku Deck can be added to a blog or website. Created with Haiku Deck, the free presentation app for iPad<