Thursday, March 25, 2010

Using digital storytelling

My grade eight students go to an academic field trip every year. They visit Chiang Mai; a city about 700 km north of Bangkok in Thailand. In their trip they get to choose different activities: learning about organic farming in an ecological day trip, or learning about Thai rural life by staying with a local family in a small town, or enjoying Thai northern nature; these among other choices. Using this experience allowed me to make cross curricular connections; so I incorporated it in our current unit.

Combining our unit standards and integrating technology standards from NETS we came up with a formative assessment. The class became a tourism agency and using digital story telling students promoted tourism in Thailand; specifically Chiang Mai. Because the students travelled to different areas and experienced different activities, they were able to share facts and experiences.

The organization included checklists which outlined what needed to be included, a rubric which had three criteria: tech use, content and language.Students also created a sketch of their stories, reviewed the use of creative commons, and decided on a digital tool. Interestingly I had most working with photostory3 and a few with imovie. I set up the class in groups which included at least one student who was confident in using creative commons and a student who was confident with using photostory3 or imovie. These "experts" helped their groups with any questions before they came to me. This allowed me to concentrate on supporting my students with the language; as students collaboratively worked with technology.

The highlight of all this task is that it all happened in the target language. Most importantly, it was not only I speaking Spanish to students; it was them speaking among themselves to get their tasks done!

1 comment:

  1. It was such a pleasure for me to be able to visit during one of these lessons. I love the use of class "experts" and I definitely saw the students speaking in the target language (in fact, I was the one causing problems, talking to them in English!).