teaminnovate2013

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Hurstbridge Primary School

Hello all.

My name is Luke Franklin from Hurstbridge Primary School.

I teach a grade two class and I’m investigating how I can use technology in an innovative way to better engage my students and present their work for the 21st century.

During this term our major focus has been on report writing. So far I have modelled and share written, and students have been writing their own reports.

In the past we have written these individual reports on lined paper and stuck them into paper portfolios. Having used Scratch in the past with my students to make games, and develop learning tools for Numeracy and topic work, I was interested in how we could use Scratch to present our work.

This is the bit where I start to talk about the power of programming and ‘open’ programs, which my students love to use. At the same time developing so many great skills such as; Problem solving, logical reasoning, collaborating and so on. But I wont go into that too much right now.

Our first focus will be to look at The Plant Life Cycle.

We have begun by talking about Animations. What are they? How could we create one? We started with ‘old school’ flip books! Yes, very old school, but the principals are the same for any animation. The flip books are a wonderful way of planning all the frames we need. Frame by frame we began planning our animations and transferring them into digital images created with a simple Paint tool. As we progressed along we had to overcome many problems such as; frame rate, size of elements on the page, how long each section should take, etc. The next part of the plan is to add recorded narration of students reading their information reports and making sure all the timing is correct….fingers crossed!

I will add some screen shots and photos of our progress very soon.

 

 

As you can see from the pictures above our projects on a plants life cycle is now completed. The students have finished all of the frames and recorded their voices onto the animation.

The example above is of one from my students. A few very interesting things have come up here.

1. He is quite weak at writing and his work is often very hard to understand. Marking his understandings is hard and time consuming often requiring him to be present to tell you about his work. Given the nature of this task, it has given him the opportunity to present his work in an organised and clear way.

2. Student engagement was at all time high. Every student finished the task in the given time frames and worked really hard to make it the best they could.

3. Giving students another medium to present their work made it easier to assess their understandings of this topic.

 

Work has begun on developing an interactive portfolio of my students understandings for our topic this term (Habitats).

This time I have made a template for the students to use and the students will focus on gathering, sorting and presenting information collected from our visit to the zoo. The students have a digital character of themselves that can move around the background map of the zoo. When their character hits an animal the screen will change to a picture of that animal and then a recording of the information collected will play. When the recording finishes the map switches back to the map and they can go on exploring other animals.

I am confident with this project all of my students will be able to show their understandings about habitats and animals that live in them.

 

Main Points of why I Liked the TL21C course.

1. It made me realise that there are many educators out there who are using technology in interesting and innovative ways. These people are also willing to discuss and share what they are doing.

2. If you want to evolve as a teacher Google+, Twitter and other social networks are a great way to learn, get inspired, and find information.

3. Personal Learning Networks – sounds difficult but in reality are easy to establish and the information comes to you.

4. Our students deserve a contemporary approach. We are doing them a disservice by assuming that what we are doing is always going to be good enough.

5. If you take the time to look, you will most certainly find it!

 

3 Comments to

“Hurstbridge Primary School”

  1. November 21st, 2013 at 10:54 pm      Reply Mel Cashen Says:

    Thanks for sharing, Luke. I was interested to see that when you started the focus was about having a different place to present their learning but by the end your focus had changed and you could see how much students build their understanding through using programs such as this.

    I did the same thing with creating an animation. I thought it would be a great way to present their learning. By the time we had finished I realised that the producing of the animation was the learning. It was what motivated them to learn more. It was the catalyst for them. And to think I was getting them to write to present their work before this!

    Do you think you will use Scratch again? I would be interested to hear how you would use it next time. Would you do exactly the same thing?

    Thanks again for sharing.

    Mel


  2. November 26th, 2013 at 9:51 am      Reply John Says:

    Developing an interactive portfolio of your students understandings of your topic this term is a great idea. It’s interesting to hear that you found it easier to assess their understanding by having them present their work in another medium. Thanks for sharing.


  3. November 27th, 2013 at 1:11 am      Reply Shirley Noble Says:

    Yes the TL21C course has opened my eyes to the possibilities that technology presents. I do like the access to new ideas presented by other teachers in the group, through Google+ and the interactive Hangouts and Webinars that made getting together much easier than driving all over town. Next year I’m hoping to do more with my students making learning connections through the use of Blogs.


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