Like Reynold’s (2008), I also felt “overjoyed” to learn that the International Society for Technology Education (ISTE) includes a standard that challenges educators to utilize technology in the classroom to maximize student creativity and innovation. This standard is the one of five guidelines for teachers, and the focus of our first exploration in integrating technology into the classroom. Robin (2008) shares a powerful argument for why digital storytelling is highly engaging and effective for teachers and students alike. One example is that students gain the tool of 21st century digital literacy through this mode of storytelling.
While I want the K/1 students I work with to be technologically literate, and simultaneously limit the amount of time my students spend staring at a screen. The trigger question of how I can best facilitate a classroom project where students combine 3 dimensional art and found objects, creative writing, and digital technology to create a film catapulted my exploration of the first ISTE standard. Following the suggestion of a parent of one of my students who is a film maker, I discovered that collaborating with my students on a stop motion animation piece would be the most effective process to meet my vision for meeting the standard. I found an encouraging PBS article that highlights the academic rewards of creating a stop motion animation film with a class- http://blogs.kqed.org/education/2013/01/17/stop-motion-animation-in-the-elementary-classroom/. The process of assembling a stop motion animation film has been radically simplified by digital cameras and editing software since the Gumby and Pokey claymation films of the 50’s and 60’s. However, the charm of characters and scenes created by 3 dimensionally, in my opinion, remains intact. I shared a resource called Jelly Cam that is one of many free, user-friendly programs for assembling stop animation stories. Additionally, a classmate shared a digital storytelling tool called TikaTok that enables young writers to create stories that meet the Common Core State Standards (resource shared by Ashley Dugovich on Google Plus). I would not want to use TikaTok as the primary mode of digital storytelling because I believe students can be infinitely more creative and conceptual through creating 3-D objects for their stories. However, I would like to explore the possibility of the class community creating a story with the TikaTok tool that will be used to create their stop motion animation piece.
The above PBS link highlights a collaborative classroom stop motion animation project that is persuasive in nature. A classmate in my learning circle shared that she found this film inspiring because she is beginning a unit with her first grade class on persuasive writing, which is one of the CCSS standards for first grade. I plan to propose a film that demonstrates the scientific concept of a wave in motion. On an artistic level, I hypothesize that this project will be highly engaging for all of my students regardless of their ability, learning style, or preferences because of the opportunity to interface with technology in a fresh way.
Exploration of the ISTE 1 standard lead me to the resolve that stop motion animation is a more developmentally appropriate process for K/1 students as a means for engaging with 21st century technology in their storytelling. However, I imagine that this experience of collaborative digital storytelling would plant the seed for these children to branch out into a myriad of processes for digital storytelling as they grow.
Reynolds, P.H. (2008). Six essentials to foster creativity in the classroom. District Administration.
Robin, B.R. (2008). Digital storytelling: a powerful technological for the 21st century. Theory Into Practice. 47: 220-228.
Jelly Cam – http://www.ticklypictures.com/shop/jellycam/
TikaTok – http://www.tikatok.com/