iMovies and More


Digital Images.... 

The iMovie Mandi and I created covered the learning theory of Literature Circles. Our goal was to show the advantage of learning in a group versus learning alone. Making this video was really fun. It also kind of proved our point that learning and studying alone really doesn’t help. When we asked each individual on the tape to tell us how they felt about learning alone they all came up with negative responses, claiming they preferred to study in groups! I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy editing our footage was. IMovies is definitely a tool that I would be more than willing to teach to middle school students! Here is our iMovie:


One really cool project I found incorporated poetry and music through the use of GarageBand. The students could write both poetry or song lyrics and then record themselves reciting the lyrics on GarageBand. They would then go back and add any type of musical background, drums, bells, etc., to create a song. After completing this step, the student would then download their finished product in iTunes to share with the rest of the class.










Another example I found demonstrated how technology, such as television, can be used for educational purposes. In this lesson, students learn the difference between a commercial and a Public Service Announcement (PSA). They would then write and film their own PSA, educating their classmates on problems we face today. I know that for me, learning grammar can be the worst part of an English course. I find it very dull and tedious.







This lesson I found shows a way to present information about grammar in a more interesting way, which would hopefully grab the attention of students and make them want to learn things such as metaphors and alliteration. Before class, the teacher would prepare a short movie using nature and sound to illustrate what a metaphor is. An example used on the website was “Grass is a jungle for millipedes” showing a millipede crawling through thick grass. You could even take this a step further and ask your class to make their own video of finding metaphors in nature. I think by having them go out and actually find and shoot footage would really make the definition of what a metaphor is stick in their heads.





The last lesson I found uses iPhoto, digital cameras, and paint to create self-portraits of each student. First they would study self-portraits by photographers to get an idea of the different ways they could express themselves. Then students would write a brief description describing what it is they want to convey about themselves in a self-portrait; a message. They would then make five thumbnail portraits of themselves, using different lighting and color to change each picture. Then, using a digital camera set in a black and white mode, each student would take a picture of each other and save it in Paint. Once in Paint, they would use different tools to change the pictures to help portray their message. Finally, all the self-portraits would be entered into iPhoto to make a book. The class would then discuss words that described each picture and eventually make one poem using the words that described the portraits.         


One thing I really looked for when trying to find lessons using technology was student involvement. I really believe that the best way for a student to learn is by doing it themselves, becoming hands on. Like with the example of a teacher showing a video or even a picture of nature and then making a metaphor out of it is not nearly as meaning full as having the student go out themselves and find that metaphor. The teacher's initial viewing could be the hook for the students, but beyond that how much do they really get out of it unless they are trying it themselves?


The PSA lesson plan, not only relates it to the students’ real life, but also encourages them to do research on a public issue that they may not have considered before. I also thought this was a good lesson because it goes over the difference between commercials and PSA. I think that students sometimes take advantage of the technology presented to them everyday, such as television and commercials, so talking about the use of different forms of television and advertising is important.


The lesson which involves the students making self-portraits teaches them many aspects of different technology. Using a digital camera to take a photograph, and then being able to change that photograph with the click of a mouse to make art is really cool! It is also a fun way to generate a poem due the visual aspect. Instead of thinking of words, the student is presented with a visual picture to help them generate new words that may have never come to mind. Again there is that hook their to write a poem, but by being hands on with the project I feel like the student would feel more involved and care a little more.





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