Mary’s Little … Multimedia Project

One of the best presentations I watched at “The Old Ship Hotel” in Brighton yesterday was Mary Henderson’s “Meaningful English through Multimedia Projects”. The projects she was talking about were research projects where her students (young adults) had been expected to use various recording devices (video-cameras, audio-recorders) and computer software (Windows Moviemaker, word processing software etc.) to produce a written report and a video-presentation on their chosen topic. The topics ranged from sports and baseball to product design, and from tea-drinking customs in Britain to the meaning of the word “gig”. We got to see clips from the video presentations and we flipped through several of the reports and I thought they were all brilliant!

Mary Henderson

Mary Henderson

From Mary’s presentation it became clear that the keys to her (and her students’) success lay in the planning and the feedback. The students had been required to follow a detailed week-to-week plan throughout the project and had had to complete the different steps in the process by given deadlines. That helped the students stay on track and also made it easier for Mary to monitor and assess her students’ work and effort continuously.

I would love to be able to do something like this with my students. However, my students are teenagers living in Turkey and not young adults living in Britain trying to improve their English. So, obviously I’ll have to lower the bar a bit as to the quality of the end product as well as probably think up ways to motivate them to actually do the work. My younger students may or may not be as techno-savvy as Mary’s students, nor have as much time as they did to devote to editing and programming, and that needs to be taken into consideration as well.

Although designing and running a project like this seems to involve rather a lot of work on the teacher’s part (the very detailed planning, the regular assessment, the feedback, designing the rubrics, and evaluating the end products), the examples Mary showed us convinced me that it will all be worth it in the end!

:-) CoffeeAddict

Glogster Experiments

Click on this picture to get the full interactive version.

Click on this picture to get the full interactive version.

Inspired by my blogger friends, most recently Eva who wrote a post about using a glog as a pre-reading exercise , I decided to have a look at what Glogster and Glogs were all about. I had been told it was “great for creating interactive posters” and that “you can get an edu-account and manage the students on the site as well” so I set the following tasks for myself:

1. Create my own interactive poster to use with my students.

2. Get an edu-account and have my students use it to create their own posters.

Step one is hereby accomplished. It wasn’t difficult at all! I got the hang of it almost immediately and that tells me that my techno-savvy grade 8 kids will have no problems with it. I created a glog about Paris because I’ll be travelling there next week to visit a school and (I hope) sight-see around town as well. The visit is part of a Comenius project that my school is involved in.

My plan for the Paris Glog is to embed it into a Moodle Module Quiz. The students will have to explore the Glog, i.e. watch the videos, take the virtual tour and check out the links to be able to answer the questions on the quiz correctly. Putting the questions in Moodle means the program will mark the student attempts and the kids will get instant feedback on their work.  That will keep them on task even without me in the room! You see, I want this activity to be assigned to the kids by their sub-teacher while I’m away in Paris.

If I didn’t have a Moodle I could of course have supplied the students with a traditional worksheet to go with the Paris glog, but then I’d have had to collect the sheets afterwards and either marked them or gone over the answers later. That would have been less fun :-) – especially for me! Now all I’ll have to do is have a nice conversation with the kids about Paris when I arrive from France – and what they’ve learnt from the Glog-Activity will probably make for a more fun and informed discussion. Don’t you think?

Task 2 will have to wait until I come back from Paris. In the mean time – do any of you glogsters out there have any experience with using Glogster for Educators that you could share with me? Pretty Please?


GoAnimate Animated All!

I have just had a couple of super successful lessons with my grade 8 students and I owe it all to a wonderful Web2 tool called GoAnimate. My students and I had been working on the story “Eleven” by Sandra Cisneros (From “Discovering Fiction 1” Cambridge University Press) and I wanted to make sure that they had understood the story. “Normally” I would have had them write summaries or dialogues but this time I asked them to retell the story by turning it into a cartoon. GoAnimate makes this ridiculously easy to do. So easy, in fact, that my kids (in pairs) were able to create super animations in only 1 lesson! Here’s a link to one of the animations they created: ELEVEN Great or what?!?

I was so impressed by the students’ work and the joy with which they completed this task that I registered as an educator and got an account 4schools! Next week I intend to have the student accounts ready there and I will ask them to watch the following “instructional video” which will introduce next week’s animation assignment. Well be reading a story about a grandfather and his grandson first so that’s why the topic is Grandparents. assignment: animation by Karin Tirasin

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate4Schools. It’s free and fun!

What do you think? Do you have any experiences with GoAnimate4Schools to share with me?