Green Screen is an amazing technology tool that really helps students build confidence and voice! I enjoyed integrating green screen because my students found it very engaging and I saw increased investment in the presentation of their stories! They went from simply reading or recording their stories to actually acting them out. The kids loved it and the finished products were a blast to share with my student's families and peers. So here are some resources for you to explore to get started!
Below I have also included a tip sheet I created that you can right click and save to use as you tinker with iMoviel! Feel free to share with anyone interested!
This week, I was asked to read the following articles that discuss generational differences and the idea of Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants. You can find the articles here:
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants – Part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). Retrieved from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
McKenzie, J. (2007). Digital nativism: Digital delusions and digital deprivation. From Now On, 17(2). Retrieved from http://fno.org/nov07/nativism.html
Reeves, T.C. (2008). Do generational differences matter in instructional design? Online discussion presentation to Instructional Technology Forum from January 22-25, 2008 at http://paeaonline.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/10c-Gen-Diff-Matter.pdf
The question I aim to answer in this post is this one: "As educational technologists, what did you take away from these generational differences readings? How would you handle a colleague who bought into the notion of digital natives?"
The readings were very engaging. It was very interesting to read Prensky's work and then read a direct rebuttal by Reeves. The Reeves paper proved to be very academic and helped paint a very thorough picture of the differences between the different generations of learners.
I come to my own personal analysis of the readings with the perspective of someone who only recently (2013-now) began to truly integrate technology into my classrooms. I, indeed, have grown up in the generation that was exposed to many new technologies, such as the Internet and mobile devices, but that didn't really impact my decision to integrate technology. Just because I use the Internet daily and have had a mobile phone since I went to college in 2005, doesn't equate to being able to effectively integrate technology tools into my classrooms. It still took quite a bit of learning and I continued my development as a technology integration teacher because I began to find tools that truly transformed the learning in my classroom.
Pensky did seem to paint the portrait that Digital Natives could just snap their fingers and turn curriculum into video games. However Reeves, while clearly being more researched and prepared to respond to Pensky's work, does come off as someone who isn't as open to change and will spend more time coming up with such a passionate rebuttable than actually looking for any possible truth in Pensky's observations of the changing educational landscape.
I have witnessed these types of interactions before in planning and staff meetings. Change is always hard and comes with a bit of anxiety. The interactions between the two articles really reminded me of teachers going back in forth in meetings on many different topics all rooted in the ever present debate of "what has always been done" versus "what is the next best thing". Both sides of this argument always have amazing points backed with passion. Unfortunately, and I am speaking from only my personal experience, those meetings often result in very little change. So what is to be done?
I recently came across a quote from Rumi that says "Somewhere beyond right and wrong, there is a garden, I will meet you there.". This quote just nails it in my opinion. I have learned that balance in teaching is absolutely necessary. Whether the debate is direct vs. inquiry-based learning, standards vs. no-standards, phonics vs. whole language, technology integration vs. no technology, I just feel that the key to everything is finding the right balance for each institution, school, or teacher. To me, finding a balance means looking at each "side" with both a critical eye and an open mindset to find what is truly best for children. Koehler and Mischra created the TPACK framework to extend the tradition of research and scholarship by bringing technology integration into the kinds of knowledge that teachers need to consider when teaching. They write "each situation presented to teachers is a unique combination of these three factors, and accordingly, there is no single technological solution that applies for every teacher, every course, or every view of teaching. Rather, solutions lie in the ability of a teacher to flexibly navigate the spaces defined by the three elements of content, pedagogy, and technology and the complex interactions among these elements in specific contexts". I appreciate and connect to the part about "flexibility to navigate the spaces". There are so many spaces and situations teachers have to navigate throughout in a teaching day or even a career, and I have found that finding a flexible balance is the key to finding an effective intersection of teaching and technology.
So what would I tell a colleague that buys into the idea of generational differences and Digital Natives vs. Digital Immigrants? I would tell them great teachers are open to new ideas and possibilities. I truly feel that if teachers are properly trained by actual educators who are using technology tools effectively, that their mindset would open to the new possibilities technology integration holds. However, you cannot just drop off the new hot technology and expect all teachers to make magic with it! Teachers need time to explore, tinker, and collaborate with tools before they can integrate them into their teaching effectively. Those were the things I needed on my own personal journey and it what I strive to provide to teachers I work with every day.
Koehler, M. J., & Mishra, P. (2009). What is technological pedagogical content knowledge? Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 60-70.
Aloha Kakahiaka! My dear friend Jake asked me to write a blog entry for his website and I am very excited to share with you this morning. Jake and I met four years ago when we both started at Punahou School together. We both shared a passion for innovation and open-mindset educational experiences. We bonded and have been learning together ever since.
I have been an educational technologist in Hawaii for the past 8 years. My passion for project-based learning helped prepare me for my own learning in this field. I used the inquiry driven framework and mindset of PBL to learn and integrate many educational tools into the classroom curriculum of my personal classroom as well as other educators at my institutions. Through my works as an educational technologist, I developed a passion for modeling the power of using technology tools as means of creation rather than consumption to students and educators . When educators began to trust and their student's ability to document and share their learning experiences using technology tools, the sky was truly the limit for their classroom learning experiences.
Recently, my professional development and growth has led me to immerse myself in the maker education movement. My school, Punahou School, is currently designing a Learning Commons building that will act as the innovation center for our school. It will contain our school library but will also have maker spaces as the centerpieces of the building. I was tasked by my administrative team to learn about successful maker education programs, lessons, and projects. I have traveled to the mainland and attended conferences, visited schools, and even got to attend the national Maker Faire. I have decided to use this blog post to "link" you to some invaluable resources I have found in my recent travels.
High Tech High
I visited this amazing school in San Diego this Spring and it was the absolute highlight of my travels. High Tech High is school that is immersed in project-based learning and doesn’t believe in stand alone maker spaces. They truly believe that "making" and design thinking should be happening every day in every classroom. They use the project-based learning framework to truly integrate technology and innovation into every aspect of their student's learning experience. I have linked to the student work area of their website. I could spend all day on this site.
Most Likely to Succeed
I have put a link to a trailer for the movie "Most Likely to Succeed" which is a documentary featuring High Tech High that I highly suggest anyone interested in maker education view. You can find the full video online as well.
In my travels, I also visited the Stanford d.school. This amazing school taught me that the whole design thinking process starts with empathy! Students need to learn to think deeply about who they are designing for and the purpose for their design. They believe the focus should be on the process and not the product. The true opportunity for learning and growth is in the thought process and not in the finished product.
I was introduced to Maker Ready at the South by Southwest EDU Conference in Austin, TX where they are based. The link will take you to their website which is filled with various kits and materials. If you are interested in bringing the maker movement to your school, Maker Ready provides excellent professional development workshops. We brought them to our school this Spring and their workshops really sparked innovation in the minds of our teachers.
This is a great website with many different tutorials and lessons that will help you "make anything"! I often pull lessons from here.
I truly hope this post helps spark an interest and desire to bring the maker education movement to your schools or districts. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me at email@example.com and follow me on Twitter @liz_castillo.
Mahalo Nui Loa,
I have been very fortunate to come across some amazing people in my educational technology adventures across the country. My favorite part of both attending and presenting at conferences is meeting new people. It is so energizing to have interactions and conversations with people from various geographical and educational settings. Many of these interactions have lead to life long friendships.
My good friend Ann Kozma and I were both at the Apple Institute in 2015 as part of their new class of Apple Distinguished Educators, but that is not were we met. We literally met all the same people, but apparently we were just missing each other and were never at the same place at the same time. I kept hearing "OMG Jake, you have to meet Ann. You guys are like spirit animals." But our paths just never crossed that Summer.
So when did I finally "meet" this Apple Distinguished, CUE Rockstar, generally amazing educator from Southern California? Well, randomly, we met via a Google Hangout between EdCamp Hawaii and EdCamp North Orange County. I was running the Hawaii side and Ann the California side as we discussed coding and programming. I heard so much about her earlier that summer that we started Tweeting each other ,incognito style (I think it began when she Tweeted "I see you @TeachingJake"!), during the hangout and we have been buddies every since. (Side Note: Our actual first face to face meeting was a BBQ joint in Austin, TX at South by Southwest EDU).
Vincent Van Gough said "Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together." I completely agree. I truly feel that the best educational technology experiences happen when all the little pieces of pedagogy, curriculum, and technology all come together. The little standard, method, or tool can lead to big, sticky learning experiences.
Amy Prosser wrote an article for ISTE titled "Start small when integrating ed tech". She writes about her sister getting a new set of iPads in her classroom which created some anxiety on how to use them. She crafted the article in response to her sister's anxiety and anyone else possibly in the same position. She encourages teachers to not spend 50 hours creating the perfect technology project but rather to think of lessons already happening in their classrooms and how technology can make those more engaging. She lays out the following pieces of advice:
1. Start small
Pick a small piece of curriculum to enhance.
2. Make it meaningful
Think of ways to engage students while increasing their audience.
3. Seek YouTube tutorials
YouTube is amazing resources that help you learn new tools.
4. Practice using it first
Always important to tinker and try things first!
5. Don't let setbacks get you down
Setbacks will happen but this is how we learn.
So instead of thinking of the "next giant technology step" for your classroom try and think of the first tiny step you can take in incorporating technology into your classroom. And as you journey into new and exciting educational technology worlds, don't forget to collect amazing friends and peers along the way, just like my spirit animal, Ann.
Reflection is a huge part of teaching. As I write these blogs and build my site, I am completely aware of my Apple comfort level and often bias. My most recent school was an Apple Distinguished School and I taught in an eventual 1:1 iPad classroom. However, I recently moved to a district in Oregon which is more Google and PC focused. I am completely flexible and excited to expand my educational technology toolkit to include a more well-rounded variety of tools. So my discussion question for this blog is this....what are your favorite digital storytelling tools and which computer based and Google/android based tools should I tinker with?
Technology is at it's finest when it is seamlessly integrated into classroom curriculums. So often, teachers see technology tools as something "extra". With so many different responsibilities relating to both curriculum and teaching in general, the idea of learning new, unfamiliar tools can be quite overwhelming for teachers. In my own growth as an educational technology evangelist, my angst was lessened as I learned tools that would enhance curriculum lessons and areas that were already in full swing in my classroom. I read articles and blogs about SAMR and TPACK models, which at their foundation encourage teachers to find the intersection of pedagogy, content, and technology in their classrooms in ways that will redefine lessons in new, innovative, and transformative ways.
Digital storytelling was my entry point into the educational technology world because it just seemed so natural. I was really reflecting on meaningful ways for my first grade students to "publish" their writer's workshop finished pieces. Until that point, I would just have children share their writing pieces with peers at "publishing parties" and then simply slap their writing up on a bulletin board. This practice was feeling quite stale to me. Enter technology....
Once I started to explore technology tools for the 5 iPads I had in my classrooms, I started to find amazing tools that would allow my students to add their voice to their writing while creating a video file. Kids could create movies now highlighting their stories! This developed into kids sharing their writing movies with their families at conferences and eventually expanded to sharing through classroom blogs and digital portfolio tools such as SeeSaw. My student's audience grew to authentically include parents, other classrooms, and eventually peers across the country. This all happened because I tinkered with technology tools in the hopes of enhancing my writer's workshop!
So what are some first steps for people interested in getting started with digital storytelling! Here is a simple list to get you started...
Reflect by looking at your writer's block in your classroom. Is there any part of it that is lacking or feels stale? Have your students show any interest or expressed any desire to try something new? How's brainstorming going? Are your students having trouble with spelling? Are they developing student voice?
Once you identify an area that you feel you can enhance, TINKER! Do some online research, attend a conference, chat with a peer and find some technology tools that might meet the need of your writing block. Play with the tool as you plan an upcoming unit and brainstorm ways you might use the tool!
Try the new tool! Don't be afraid to fail and embrace learning the tool in front of your students. Co-learning a technology tool with young kids olds does not need to be humiliating! My students loved teaching me things they knew about their iPads! They got a kick out my mistakes and truly appreciated when I asked for the help. Start small and expand and don't forget to include your students.
Reflect on how the tool worked! Did it transform the learning experience? Were kids engaged? Take time and reflect on whether or not another tool might be better for your next unit. Don't feel married to the new tool! If it didn't work, there are plenty others to try!
Share your experience with your peers! It might help their growth and you never know who might have a new idea! Sharing is such a pivotal part of the learning process so put yourself out there and share the highs and lows of your educational technology adventures!
Reflect, Tinker, Try, Reflect, Share! Those are the 5 steps I always take when I am trying a new tool! They have lead me on such a journey! My students went from bulletin board ready writing to creating green screen and stop-motion movies! It has been quite the journey and I would be happy to share my highs and lows with anyone who is ready to try!!
Thank you for reading,
Kids always have a story to tell! Kids are also interacting with the world in creative and engaging ways at all times. Technology has now become an easily accessible, extremely engaging, and often powerful tool for students to document the world around them. My blog has an early childhood focus and flare because that is all I really know. I have been either a teacher or educational technologist in early childhood for the past 12 years and I have been amazed by the kid-friendly developments in technology, especially mobile technology. When technology can be literally in the hands of young children, it truly opens the world up in amazing ways. Kids can create books about field trips, organize photos into movies and slideshows, and turn their amazing writer's workshop stories into stop-motion movies. I will provide links for anyone interested in starting a digital storytelling adventure below. The links will include some of my favorite tools and how they were utilized in my classroom. I will also include some student examples and links to more amazing resources. Enjoy exploring and send me any questions or comments in the comments section below.
Highlighted App Links (My Favorites!)
This is a screencasting app that allows for students to record what is happening on their screen within the app. It is great for explaining their work or telling their stories. It is such a versatile app that you should check out.
Chatterpix is an app where kids can make anything talk by simply taking a picture of the "something" drawing a line for mouth and recording their voices! Such a great app for beginning digital storytelling.
Book Creator is an amazing app and totally my favorite! It allows students to build stories through drawing and typing while exploring different colors and fonts. The stories can be saved as an ebook, video, or pdf!
iMovie for the iPad
iMovie is an amazing resource for students to create videos on their iPads. On the iPad it is drag and dropped based for easy use.
iMotion is an app that easily allows kids to create stop motion videos! Kids can write stories and then recreate them in stop-motion animation!
DoInk's Green Screen
DoInk's Green Screen app allows kids to create green screen videos in seconds! All you need is the app and a blue or green background and kids can transport their stories all over the world and universe.
Video Links with My Class
(iPad Focused Videos)
Creating Stories in Explain Everything
In this video, I will talk about how I have kids use avatars they created in Explain Everything to do basic storytelling and sharing of their writer's workshop pieces. It has some basic animation and shows a quick and easy way for kids to put voice to their writing.
Publishing Stories with Chatterpix app and Book Creator app.
In this video, I will show how primary teacher can use the apps Chatterpix/Chatterkid coupled with Book Creator to publish their favorite writer's workshop pieces. It will highlight fun and engaging ways for students to add voice and personality to their writing.
Creating Stories with DoInk's Green Screen app and iMovie
Take a glimpse at a recent unit where we combined the hilarious stories of Robert Munsch, green screen, and first grade story tellers to make curricular magic (well the kids think green screen is magic)! Enjoy watching!
Publishing Stories with Stop-Motion and iMovie
In this video, I will highlight the apps Lego Movie Maker and iMovie for the iPad to show how your primary students can publish their final writer's workshop pieces.
Student Example Lists of Links Above:
A video highlighting a multi-app approach using Explain Everything, Chatterkid, and iMovie for the iPad
Student uses Green Screen by DoInk to publish a story in writer's workshop.
Student publishes a fiction story in the iPad app Explain Everything.
Students created a stop motion video story using Lego Movie Maker and then wrote the story in writer's workshop! This one is titled Crazy Car Dealership! 21st century learning!
Kathy Schrock's Guide to Everything: Digital Storytelling Across the Curriculum
Kathy's posts are always jammed packed with resources. She does a wonderful job or curating a stellar list of digital storytelling resources. I especially enjoyed her tie to the common core standards which will be useful to teacher's teaching in a standards based environment.
List of free digital storytelling resources
This article is also jammed packed with resources. The article has resources for websites as well as apps and links to many other articles and lists. I would check out the links to the apps Toontastic and Puppet Pals. Those are great resources I have used in class. They are great for primary levels and are very engaging.
How to Use Digital Storytelling in Your Classroom - Edutopia
This list blog gives such tips and advice on how to integrate digital storytelling into classrooms. I especially enjoyed reading the encouraging steps of "see technology as a tool and not a learning goal" as well as "learn by trial and error". As someone who has used a lot of technology in my classroom, I have learned that tinkering while not being afraid to fail is a pivotal part of our growth as educators. I failed big and failed often as I integrated technology, but by not giving up I found some pretty remarkable tools that transformed the learning in my classrooms. This article really hits home with my core beliefs about technology integration.
This summer I am revisiting and reimagining blogging! I have been a blogger and blogged with my students for the past few years. I have linked some readings from my graduate school class this summer. The readings were from 10 or so years ago when blogging was emerging as a new technology tool. The reading not only helped me reflect on my time as a pre-service teacher but also helped me reflect on how much technology has changed since my graduation in 2005. I remember my technology class in college introduced me to typing programs as well as word processors. How far we have come?!?
The thing that struck me in my reflections was just how many different platforms are available to teachers and students who are interested in blogging. While the reading highlighted basic blogging on blogging websites, there are so many different tools that highlight many different learning styles. Traditional blogging platforms are still available and effective. However, there are many different types of platforms for micro-blogging. Micro-blogs are blogs that can be read quickly. Students and teachers can explore Twitter, Snapchat, and even Pic-Collage to blog out their world. My good friend Ann Kozma just published a blog highlighting how she used Pic Collage Kids to blog her ISTE 2017 experience. Here is her blog post. It is a great read! Sketchnoting can also be used as a blogging tool! If you are looking for an amazing sketchnoting resource, follow Karen Bosch on Twitter! She is amazing!
I am so excited to dive into all these resources this summer! Self-Reflection is such an important part of life and teaching and we are lucky to engage with a world that is filled with so many dynamic and diverse tools!
Happy Blogging and Stay Tuned,
Check out these amazing teaching and learning blogs
Michael Fricano's Blog
2 Guys and Some iPads
Kristin Ziemke's Page
Don Goble's Blog
Mrs. Wideen's Blog