Monday, July 2, 2012

Reflections of a Wanna Be Tech Teacher

This summer I had the privilege of being the tech teacher for an enrichment program in my district. I was super thrilled by the opportunity and decided to focus on Cybersafety and Digital Storytelling. I saw my students for 30 minutes, twice a week, which was not nearly enough time to devote to making videos. Nevertheless, I gave it a shot. Here is what I learned throughout the process:

1. I felt a need to start the course discussing Cybersafety and how to stay safe online. It came to no surprise that a majority of my students were already using Facebook and Twitter. I reiterated this topic during our Parent Appreciation Event with families to further equip and encourage them to monitor their children's use of the internet and other tools.

2. The programs I used to create movies were developmentally appropriate. I chose to use Microsoft Story 3 with my 3rd and 4th graders and iMovie and iPhoto with my 5th-7th graders.

3. Classroom management was an area that I need to work on next year. This was most evident with classes that created movies in larger groups. I let each group plan everything out on their own. Since our students are very new to the movie making process, I will consider assigning specific jobs within each group to keep all members engaged.

4. On a similar note, our students needed more guidance in how they can portray their message or story. While I included footage and recordings of students' authentic (and mostly unedited) work, the quality of the message can always be improved. The best way to do this is probably to dedicate a little more time to viewing and analyzing some quality student final products and different elements within those products. I understand that this will not happen in one summer, but rather is a work in progress.

5. Lastly, I see a need to show our students how to use macbooks. Being a newbie macbook user myself, I wasn't ready to take this plunge this year. Over the course of the next few summers, I hope to start by introducing the basics and eventually transition into giving students more autonomy in the editing process in iMovie. The trailers were a perfect way to introduce iMovie thanks to their easy to use templates.

Overall, I was very proud of our students' hard work in planning and executing their projects. Below are a few examples of some final products.

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