ADDING ENGAGEMENT TO THE CLASSROOM S. Foster 03-14-2012
Why engagement: as a parent and a teacher Inoticed Bored students do not learn. Students need the “WIFM” or what’s in it for me angle. Parents and students are tired of learning strictly for assessment. Teachers are tired of teaching to a specific agenda. Too many learning levels in a classroom to reach each one with a standard teacher centered class. What will help alleviate the pressure? Engaged students. How? Digital Resources such as Digital Storytelling.
Why are we not doing digital story tellingnow? I surveyed teachers at my school. Overall, not enough time to teach the technology side and how to write. Struggle to integrate technology for 22 students with only 6 computers in a class. The learning curve of teaching each student how to create a digital story.
Students: Some Misconceptions Students know how to use technology because they are growing up with it.Students may know how to play games and use a phone. Students do not know how to use software to produce assignments. Students do not have access to technology.We don’t tell students not to do a book report because they don’t own a book. Students can go to the public library, they have many computers there.
The Engagement AngleTeachers say: What do engaged students look like? “Want to learn.” “Are more awake” “Excited to raise their hand.” “Seem happier.” “complete their work”
Is it not worth the time to teach the tech side?Students will come to me in the hopes that I will listen to their weekend story.When I have to say, “It is not story time right now we have to do _______.” I see the light in their face dim. I damaged a potential time for engagement. Students are hungry to tell their story. Students want to be heard and understood.
I believe it is worth the time to add a digital story component to the lesson plans.
Digital Stories Offer multiple modalities to assist learning. Auditory, Visual or kinesthetic, use of technology bridges multiple modalities Differentiated instruction? Create leveled rubrics based on grade or level for scoring projects.
Incorporate Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences into Digital Story Telling. Linguistic and verbal intelligence: good with words Logical intelligence: good with math and logic Spatial intelligence: good with pictures Body/movement intelligence: good with activities Musical intelligence: good with rhythm Interpersonal intelligence: good with communication Intrapersonal intelligence: good with analyzing things Naturalist intelligence: good with understanding natural world http://homeworktips.about.com/od/learningstyles/ss/multiple.htm
All of Gardner’s intelligences can be applied to learning how to complete a digital story.
Where do you start?In 4th grade: A simple 1-5 paragraph story typed in Word or processing software. (based on student level) A 3-5 slide PowerPoint or presentation software about their story. Create a scoring rubric to make grading easy. Time taken: First thirty minutes of school day for a week. Students will arrive early to work on their story. I have seen it happen.
Not enough time or computers? Make it a center rotation. Rotate computers with reading, writing time. Make a special computer lab or library trip. If you have a mobile computer lab arrange time. Ask for parent volunteers to come in and help?
Teach a student to fish? Once they have learned the basics of creating a document or a presentation, the investment of time pays off in other ways. Students will start giving you ideas for assignments they would like to create. What a gift digital stories can bring to a classroom.