After completing Literacy Strand this summer and my own digital story, I was interested to see if I could incorporate digital stories into the content areas.
There is a 6th grade, two person team and a 7th/8th grade, four person team. I am currently the science teacher on the 7th/8th grade team and the Vision Project is being completed with 7th grade science classes. Groups are heterogeneous, except one group of life skills students with para support.The digital stories were created using iMovie on the MacBooks and we have 8-10 working computers for this.
It also helped with computer skills like cutting and pasting, saving, importing, etc.
-saving issues, parts of files not found, messages about some of the parts being in the trash, changing the size of images-, lots of diagrams of inside earth and not as many descriptive images
I think digital stories can work within the science classroom. I will use them in the future as part of “choice” final assessments. I was thinking a digital story around Newton’s Laws would be good.
Digital stories in the science classroom<br />Jessica Hammond<br />Middle Grades Institute-Literacy Strand 2009<br />
goal<br />Explore the use of digital stories in a science classroom. <br />
School context<br />SCHOOL INFO: The setting for the Middle Level Vision Project is at Twin Valley Middle School located in Whitingham, VT. Twin Valley is 6-8 middle school with approximately 120 students. I am currently the science teacher on the 7th/8th grade team and the Vision Project is being completed with 7th grade science classes. All of our classes are heterogeneously grouped. Class size is 18-24.<br />TECHNOLOGY: Students have access to a wide range of technology and there has definitely been an emphasis to incorporate more into the classrooms. We have both PC’s and Mac’s. <br />
proposal<br />Create digital stories in a middle school science classroom<br />Give students a new type of technology and presentation tool using content skills<br />Improve students literacy skills by creating a content-based creative story<br />This proposal was attempted with a 7th grade science class that was studying the layers of the Earth. Students created a 3-D model of the Earth and as a new option they created the digital stories.<br />
Rationale from research literature<br />Incorporating stories and technology is a newer tool for students that gives a greater depth to assignments (Ohler, 2005-06)<br />Digital stories… “enhance students’ skills in critical thinking, expository writing and media literacy.” (Ohler, 2005-06)<br />
Action Plan<br />After creating my own digital story this summer, I decided that I wanted to try this with science concepts.<br />The first appropriate unit seemed to be studying the layers of the Earth. Students have always created 3-D models, so I added digital stories as a second part of the project.<br />
Action plan continued<br />Project Requirements <br />Project Rubric<br />Vocabulary to be included<br />Explained what a digital story was to students and showed them my digital story, which was a personal story but they had an example.<br />Showed students a tutorial of garageband and iMovie using the Starboard in my class.<br />Placed students in groups of four. While students were building 3-D model, part of the group was writing story and finding images using creative commons. Gave each group a vocabulary list of what should be included and encouraged them to come up with a creative scenario.<br />
Strengths of project<br />Strong engagement and focus from students, especially those who enjoy more creative projects<br />Showed how students were understanding concepts we covered- density and properties of layers<br />Project taught students more about media literacy and copyright<br />New technology tool that students can bring to other presentations. <br />Basic computer skills<br />
challenges<br />Technology Issues<br />Time required- I would not do digital stories and 3-D project together again<br />School only has 8 of the Macbooks and most students could only work on this at school<br />Finding appropriate images<br />Providing the tech support and content support to all groups and I only had 5 per class<br />Absences within the group, missing flashdrives<br />
What Students say about digital stories<br />“It was fun to add a storyline to the facts.”<br /> “I liked it. It helped to learn about the Earth and also the computer.”<br />“I couldn’t wait to start.”<br />“It sounded dumb but it was pretty good.”<br />“ I think it was fun and unique.”<br />“ The idea was fun, but the organization was very hard and there was many tech. difficulties.”<br />
Next Steps<br />Continue to find appropriate places to use digital stories.<br />I need more practice myself to work with the “bugs” in iMovie.<br />Get students to include more concepts and less facts- different topic would make this better.<br />Students like the opportunity to be creative and use the technology.<br />