Beyond Classroom Tech Tips…

June 21, 2007

Digital Storytelling with Comic Life and VoiceThread

Filed under: digital photography,Digital Storytelling,Speaking — Donna DesRoches @ 5:36 pm

Recently the Arts Ed Consultant, the Language and Literacy and the Learning (Computer) Resources Consultant partnered with a grade 2 teacher at Lawrence school to work on a collaborative writing project using Comic Life. The students created a storyboard in which they outlined the characters, plot, photos and text they wanted to include. Cameras were provided to each group and they carefully planned and shot each photo. After a brief overview of the program the students created their comic book story. When the stories were finished the students read them to the kindergarten students.

Many, many thanks to Craig Wilkinson, the Living Sky IT technician who installed the Beta version of Comic Life on the server, facilitated a process for downloading photos in a thin client system and just generally made everything work seamlessly!

Below is an overview of the project using VoiceThread which not only provide some images of the project but allows the students and teachers to comment on the project.

I was disappointed to find that I could not embed the voicethread in my WordPress blog so please to the Living Sky Consultants’ collaborative page, Imagine This, and view the project and listen to the students and teacher’s comments.

I have left comments open for now so please feel free to add a comment about the student work… you will need a mic and a log-in to VoiceThread.

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¬†VoiceThreads offers a simple description of how it can be used in the classroom….

VoiceThread allows every child in a class to record audio commentary about the ideas and experiences that are important to them. Whether an event, a project, or a milestone, children can tell their story in their own voice, and then share it with the world. For teachers, VoiceThreads offer a single vessel to capture and then share all the diverse personalities of an entire class.

¬†Global Warming is an example of a student project using VoiceThread….. an excellent example of focusing on the speaking strand in the Saskatchewan curriculum.¬† Take the time to explore it and see how it could be used in your classroom.


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June 15, 2007

Bibliography Tools

Filed under: Bibliography,Citation generators,Reference pages — Donna DesRoches @ 8:47 pm

Creating bibliographies and reference pages can be frustrating and arduous work for students. And… do they really need to know the specific punctuation and other formatting details? Universities now provide their students with online citation generation tools…. so perhaps we should consider the same for our students especially when they come as cheap and as available and as easy to use as this tool, BibMe… as it claims, easily the quickest way to build a bibliography on the web… or even off line!

It is far more important that we spend out time teaching students how to use the ideas of others to support a point of view, thesis or statement they want to make. Reference pages simply provide details about the sources of those ideas. Bibliographies show that students have consulted a variety of sources. Let’s get away from overwhelming them with the technical details of acknowledging the ideas of others… thus giving them more time to explore and effectively incorporate others’ ideas, opinions and research.

Other online bibliography tools available are:

EasyBib
LandMark Citation Machine
NoodleBib Express This is a great teaching tool as it asks the students several questions which helps them critically look at the source they are using.. useful in a world where information online begins to all look the same.

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